A smoke-free campus protects the health of all, but frustrates some

EL PASO — Some students and staff at The University of Texas at El Paso say that smoking cigarettes can ease the stress that comes with study or work, but that tension isn’t going away any time soon. After 100 years the cloud of tobacco smoke at UTEP is lifting. UTEP banned the use of all tobacco products from university property on February 20.Notifications for the major campus reform came through a mass email that afternoon but for some the full realization didn’t hit home until they arrived on campus the following week. The school mascot PayDirt Pete adorned Smoke Free Campus signs and orange flags representing tobacco litter on the floor were there like slaps in the faces of unaware smokers.This massive reform affects too many people to be broadcast through only an email, according to smoker Tony Acuna, who was one of many regulars hanging out outside the doors of the library. He said that his rights are at stake.“Smoking is my choice, just as eating fast food,” said Acuna.

Despite legalization in some states, local marijuana pushers peddle in the old fashioned way

EL PASO — Colorado and Washington State approved legal sale and personal use of marijuana last year paving the road for the rest of country to light legally, but, until that occurs, cannabis users will have to procure their weed the old fashioned way — from drug pushers.  

The illegal drug providers include individuals who put themselves at the risk of getting caught by police while obtaining the drugs from major traffickers and, then disbursing their product to a plentiful clientele anxiously awaiting their high.  

One local drug pusher who travels regularly from here to California to get his merchandise at the best market price now marvels at the irony while drug sellers are just retail merchants paying taxes elsewhere, he is considered a criminal here.  

In the meantime, he travels to get the best wholesale price. “They would give me 10 pounds every month, maybe 20,” said a source who wishes to remain nameless.

Bob Stull, UTEP's Athletics director, presents The Mike Price Era timeline at the Don Haskins Center. (Hector Escobedo/Borderzine.com)

Mike Price Era

EL PASO – As the football season ended, UTEP Miners head coach Mike Price made one last appearance at the Don Haskins Center. He was the main event in the halftime show for the Men’s Basketball Battle of I-10. The crowd was roaring as he gave his final “spell out” cheer for the Miners. Athletics director Bob Stull gave him an emotional timeline titled ‘’The Mike Price Era.’’ Price’s era began on December 21, 2003. He resurrected the program, bringing two 8-4 seasons in his first two years.