November 22: Letters to the Editor

Illustration by Crowcrumbs.


RE: Travis Bubenik’s November 8 article on Marfa Public Radio’s website concerning Presidio County and El Cosmico

Liz Lambert’s quotes about “trying to find the right answer” and “anything they can do to make the day-to-day be easier for everybody involved, they are willing to do” made me laugh.

I think the only thing she is willing to do is take care of her bottom line … I think what would be better for everyone involved is for El Cosmico to stay in its present, small (20 acres) location, but that’s obviously not going to happen because sadly she just can’t make enough money there.

Her comment about the entryway road through the park improving chances of the park being used more often is correct, but CORRECT IN A TOTALLY NEGATIVE WAY. Sure the Park would see lots of use … use by El Cosmico campers, party-goers, tourists and million-dollar 3-D homeowners driving on their glorified entryway road on the way to their high-end compound. 

This is park improvement?

And what’s really sobering: in another statement, the company said it is working on “additional route proposals” that will be provided in additional meetings.

“Additional route proposals” means to me that, in addition to Vizcaino Park, El Cosmico has never stopped looking at the golf course, the rodeo grounds/roping arena, or the area around the ag barn as targets for their entryway road … always wanting county land to be sacrificed for their private business … always feeling entitled.

So I wonder:

  1. What does “working with the county” really mean? Who or what is their definition of “the county”?
  2. Who is encouraging El Cosmico in their quest for obtaining county land for their road?
  3. Which official(s) is leading them on and why?
  4. Why do they continue to think they are entitled for special consideration?
  5. Which county officials (or official) are actually working on this new proposal and why?
  6. Is the commissioner of Precinct 1 being included or is she purposely being left out?  Because after all, she is quoted:  “If it was any everyday Joe, they would be required to use the (existing) road. It almost feels like a special favor for somebody, and I’m not cool with that.” 

Is there a big “For Sale” sign posted somewhere out at our north park area that I haven’t seen?

Or is the “For Sale” sign somewhere else?

Dawn Shannon



We were shocked to read in The Big Bend Sentinel that the Big Bend Regional Hospital District (BBRHD) awarded a $25,000 grant to the Presidio Pregnancy Center (PPC) and that PPC is affiliated with Care Net, an extreme evangelical group.

These types of facilities give the impression that they are real medical centers even though they don’t provide medical services. Their purposeful omission of well-rounded reproductive health information violates the legal and ethical standards of informed consent. The American Medical Association (AMA) Journal of Ethics states that such clinics propagate misinformation, and their actions should be regarded as an ethical violation that undermines women’s health. 

Misinformation and omissions can lead to health risks and unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. People with unwanted pregnancies are more likely to delay prenatal care, use tobacco or alcohol during pregnancy, experience postpartum depression, deliver preterm, continue to smoke after giving birth, and often decline to breastfeed. Their children are more likely to experience both physical and mental health issues. 

The mission of BBRHD should NOT be to support one-sided and misleading anti-abortion counseling. Instead, it should be funding efforts that deliver actual healthcare and improved access to healthcare in our region.

If this decision is not rescinded, local tax dollars will go to a group that does nothing to provide licensed medical care for women in the Brewster and Presidio counties. Instead of recruiting physicians or improving medical care for local residents, your money will be used to pay for non-certified or accredited staff and building rent to provide biased healthcare advice. 

These types of clinics have the sole purpose of intimidating and shaming women into making a decision that may not be in the best interest of that woman or young girl. 

David and Darlene Marwitz


Dear Editor,

Thank you for being an ethical, truthful news source in our tri-county.

I am very grateful for the articles that Sam Karas and Mary Cantrell put forth.  

If Sam Karas had not reported on the Big Bend Regional Hospital District’s award of $25,000 to the fake pregnancy clinic that seeks a home in Presidio, I would never have known.

Thank you for your intrepid reporters.

The Presidio “clinic” honors no Hippocratic Oath — they can share all information from a woman seeking advice or care. When we seek medical care, we assume privacy. This alleged clinic will take information from women in crisis and use it for harm, shame and worse.

The purpose of the taxpayer-funded hospital district is to financially support healthcare services for indigent residents of Brewster and Presidio County, Texas. To think that this entity is funding a clinic that shames and captures women who are not certain they want to be mothers simply mortifies me. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but please — are there any ethics or kindness in the room?

We are Presidio County. I moved here 15 years ago from Travis County. We are the two counties in a patriarchal state that vote blue. I am proud to live in Marfa. I know it is fluffy and art-rich, but are we not a family?

Thank you, Ms. Karas for your report.

Please let us stand together against our local hospital crushing evaluation of women. It is a great embarrassment. It shames our county. It hurts our women, who are the backbone of our sweet little town.

We are business owners, caterers, cleaners, cooks, entrepreneurs, mothers, sisters, friends and children of Far West Texas.

We cannot stand for our local hospital supporting a fake clinic that harms our women.

We are Presidio strong.

With my warm regards,

Bridget Weiss

Chef/Owner Marfa Table


Dear Editor,

On behalf of Marfa Public Library, we want to thank everyone who participated in our latest and greatest Read Marfa session.

Begun in 2016 by Ann Marie Nafziger, Read Marfa is a volunteer program that supports young readers by providing regular, 30-minute read-aloud sessions to groups of students at Marfa Elementary School. This year, we expanded to include the Wonder School.

As we wrap up this semester, we wanted to thank everyone at the schools, who have so graciously welcomed us into their halls: Amy Bizup, Arlene Conners, Beverly Dutchover, Mallory Jones, Maria Medrano, Debbie Melendez, Socorro Mena, Heidi Roman, Lalli Sanchez, Priscilla Serrano, Emily Steriti, Victoria Villareal and Principal Amy White. 

We also are grateful to our incredible volunteers, who make Read Marfa what it is: Martha Bumpas, Kate Calder, Julie Carey, Kendall Craig, Marc Declercq, Colette Haines, Glen Hanson, Kristen Johnson, Beth Kerzee, Susan Kirr, Drue McClure, Ann Marie Nafziger, Suzy Simon, Kim Soto, Michael Wallens and Susan Wallens. 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And we are starting another round of Read Marfa in January –– please email us at [email protected] should you want to volunteer! It will be the best 30 minutes of your week, we promise. 


Jasmin Pineda and Nicki Ittner

Marfa Public Library

Dear Editor:

While it has been a privilege and honor to serve this beautiful county, it is with a heavy heart that I announce I will not be seeking a third term as Presidio County commissioner, Precinct 1, at this time. Some of you know that I have been dealing with some medical issues, and I need to focus on that and getting myself better. By the end of my term, I will have served Presidio County for just over 18 years in some capacity.  My time with the county came with many lessons and challenges, but the overall experience has been a great one.

There were some hard times that really broke my spirit, such as the lawsuit that we faced when the four commissioners, including myself, decided to abolish a financial department. While I was not permitted to speak during that debacle, I can now say that I was NOT lobbied or asked to do that in retaliation for anyone. What happened between the two parties involved was none of my concern. If my friendship gave the impression of something underhanded going on, that was absolutely NOT the case! It was only the continuance of a friendship that had been established many years prior and was not changed by any circumstances that were going on at the county. I didn’t feel that my right to continue a friendship should be paused because it might be questioned by someone who might have had ulterior motives. Although the outcome wasn’t in our favor, I still stand by that decision today and WOULD NOT change my vote. The decision was mine, and I take full responsibility for making it. My only regret is that someone else got caught up in it, and that person WAS NOT in control of that decision or any other decision that I ever made. Also, for the record, it cost the county less than $1,000 to resolve that case, as we are members of the Texas Association of Counties and insured through their risk pool. The Texas Association of Counties paid $700,000 not the county.

If you know me well, you know that I am a strong-minded individual and make decisions of my own accord; I don’t rely on the persuasion or coaxing of anyone. I have often voted alone at the table and will continue to do so when I feel it’s necessary. I will let my background on the court speak for itself!

During my second term, we dealt with the COVID Pandemic. While there was a lot of political controversy around it, I think we did a good job of trying to keep the public safe and informed. We had amazing numbers of vaccines that were given to people at that time, some of the highest in the nation. I believe that helped keep some people alive during this scary time. I believe many great things were accomplished during my tenure.  We contracted a company that has successfully sold trust properties for us that had been off of the tax rolls for many years, adopted a Dark Skies ordinance to save our beautiful West Texas skies, and adopted a thorough mass gathering permit that could aid in protecting the health and safety of our residents and environment. We transferred a sacred burial ground back to the Lipan Tribe and their loved ones, where it belonged. We added to Redford’s water improvements and placed arsenic removal equipment in Candelaria for their water system. We successfully applied for millions of dollars for new water infrastructure in Las Pampas, Shafter and Marfa’s Ft. DA Russell and East Heights, and we’re not done yet, there’s still opportunities for us to do more! We also held a successful election establishing the very important Presidio Underground Water District as its own taxing entity to ensure its continuance for the security and safety of our water. Most recently, we saw the long-awaited completion of the Presidio International Bridge, and so much more that I didn’t even touch on! I wholeheartedly plan to continue to serve my constituents until my term is officially over at the end of December 2024. Don’t count me completely out though, if my health gets better, I could be back at some point!

A huge appreciation goes out to my county family both in Marfa and Presidio, you guys are great teammates and friends. Thanks for all the times you motivated me and shared your trust in me. I feel so fortunate that I got the opportunity to work with each of you. You guys are a huge reason for my own success. You believed in what I stood for and trusted me throughout. You all will forever be my other family! To my actual family, especially my husband, Joel, and my kids, Bryanna, Andru and Mikayla, thank you all for being my happiness and strength in some of my hardest times. You always have my back, and believe in me wholeheartedly!  Lastly, my constituents and residents of beautiful Presidio County, so many of you have reached out to me and let me know how much confidence you have in me and how I represent you all with my decisions at the table. That is the biggest and most important part of what I have done for Presidio County. I am not someone who is going to allow frivolous spending of tax dollars that belong to all of you. I am humbled by your continued support and confidence in me!  

Representing Presidio County has been my greatest privilege and honor!

Brenda Silva Bentley

Presidio County Commissioner, Pct. 1


Dear Editor:

I am a longtime subscriber to the BBS and recently read the November 16 edition about David Beebe’s involvement in the TxDot grant. 

Marfa is fortunate to have David’s expertise, support and knowledge on many issues. He is smart, committed, honest and a dedicated person!

Richard L. Stone

Austin, Texas

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my appreciation to the Marfa Police Department, specifically Officer Martinez and Chief Carrillo. An ebike was stolen from my business a few weeks ago. I filed a report but never expected to see it again. Thanks to their professionalism and network with other law enforcement in the Big Bend area, they were able to recover it. We are lucky to have such a good department in our small town.

Rob Crowley