El Pasoan who spent more than 40 years buying art considers how to leave it for others to enjoy

With altruism as the main drive behind his art collection, UTEP librarian Juan Sandoval has amassed over 1,000 works of art that he keeps in his modest Sunset Heights apartment. “I always had poor friends growing up, so I would help them out by buying their art,” said Sandoval. The first time he bought a piece was in 1975 to encourage a friend. “In college, I used to buy original works of art for $25,” he joked. The works Sandoval has acquired throughout the years range from simple Native American tapestry to intricate and abstract lithographs made by prominent artists such as Luis Jimenez, Francisco Toledo and Marta Arat.

New border organization seeks to inspire community involvement in response to White House anti-immigrant sentiment

By Veronica Martinez

Boundless Across Borders, a non-partisan coalition of community leaders across the Rio Grande, met for the first time with the intent of improving civic involvement among it members and El Paso residents. The event, called “Hear Our Voice,” met early February at the Armijo Branch Public Library, with representatives from the UTEP Black Student Union, El Paso del Sur and Centro sin Fronteras. “We’re trying to activate people who have not been active before; to come to the table and say ‘Sorry I haven’t been around before. What can I do?,’ ” said Xochitl Nicholson, a member of Boundless Across Borders and an organizer of the event. Community leaders discussed city needs with the 100 plus attendees.

Women, young voters drive record early voting in El Paso

Editor’s note: This article by Bob Moore was originally published in the El Paso Times Nov. 5. It is reprinted here with permission of the El Paso Times. Women and younger voters who did not vote in 2012 fueled El Paso’s record-shattering early voting turnout. An El Paso Times analysis of county election records shows that the number of voters under age 30 doubled from 2012, to almost 20,000.

Ciudad Juárez: ¿una caída del crimen o un simple espejismo?

Por Damià S. Bonmatí, Univision Noticias

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, México. Hay tantas cosas que a Olga Esparza le recuerdan a su hija Mónica. Las jovencitas que viajan en el autobús, las que andan deprisa por la calle, las que llevan hijos pequeños de la mano. Mónica Janeth Alanís desapareció en marzo de 2009, cuando salía de sus clases de Administración de Empresa en la universidad, y sus restos fueron hallados en 2012, en las afueras de Ciudad Juárez. Tenía 18 años.

A newly arrived Cuban migrant fills out paperwork in El Paso.

El Paso social services respond to Cuban refugee surge

Cuban refugees continue to seek asylum in the U.S., traveling from Juarez, Mexico to El Paso for a third straight week, with many staying in El Paso longer than expected, which could strain local organizations that traditionally provide services such as food, shelter and legal advice to immigrants. Elizabeth O’Hara, communications director of Catholic Diocese of El Paso, said about 300 Cuban migrants have been arriving each day since May 9 for a total of about 3,000 in the last three weeks. “Some of them will stay 24-36 hours, but now we’re seeing some of them staying longer,” O’Hara said, adding that the first wave of refugees seemed to be better off financially. “Most of the first ones to arrive had money left so they could bounce out of El Paso faster.”

That seems to be the case as well at the Ysleta Lutheran Mission, which is housing up to 80 refugees at a time. Karla Gonzalez, Ysleta’s chief operating officer, said most immigrants will just pass through El Paso on the way to family or friends in other parts of the country.

Downtown El Paso set to ride streetcar revival

Beginning in 2018, El Paso residents will be riding the rails again. Streetcars, once a staple in El Paso, will return. A $97 million grant from the Texas Transportation Commission and $4.5 million from the City of El Paso is funding the 4.8-mile route. The revamped streetcar system is an example of art becoming reality. A graduate thesis by City Council Representative, Peter Svarzbein, was the impetus for the project.

El Paso becoming new frontier for space research, business ventures

Our lives are full of consumer products that can be traced back to NASA: invisible braces, infrared ear thermometers, memory foam and cordless drills. Now one El Paso-area organization has partnered with NASA to make this kind of technology transfer easier. The Space Race challenge offers business planning, networking, mentorship and support to teams who are competing for up to $1.2 million in funding from venture capital investors. The Center for Advancing Innovation, a global public-private nonprofit is facilitating the program with El Paso-based Medical Center of the Americas Foundation. “NASA has a very large number of researchers who are primarily dedicated to solving NASA’s problems, but once that technology has done its job for NASA, by and large, that’s the end of the road, said Jeff Fuchsberg, the director of intellectual property and innovation projects at the center.

Latino entrepreneurs make their mark through microbrewing

El Paso, TX – Carlos Guzmán opened his first bar while he was stationed in Iraq. Well, it was sort of a bar. And it sort of just happened. Guzmán was having a hard time buying liquor in Iraq, so he asked his friends and family to stash some little bottles in their care packages. “Little did I know that within a month we’d have over 50 bottles,” said Guzmán who was in the U.S. Army.

El Paso filmmakers explain why Texas is not Hollywood

El Paso — Lights, cameras, but not much action in this nascent filmmaking community far from Los Angeles, the epicenter of global entertainment. There is no filmmaking infrastructure in this high desert community to entice venture capitalists and support movie producers, directors, actors and ancillary businesses that contribute mightily to the economic engines driving film industry friendly states like New York, Georgia, Louisiana and neighboring New Mexico, local officials and filmmakers said. There are several reasons why Texas is not Hollywood, local industry insiders said. In the last decade, the state has slashed the financial incentives it offers to filmmakers who want to make movies here. Currently, Texas incentives range from 5 percent to 20 percent based on the amount of money a film company is projected to spend before it wraps production in the state.

The Tax Dodgers, the Corporate Loophole cheerleaders and "Mitt" the dancing baseball glove greet Ann Romney at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan in 2012 and join the march.

Top U.S. companies stash over a trillion dollars in offshore tax havens

By Erick Payne, SHFWire.com

WASHINGTON – The 50 biggest U.S. companies relied on a secretive network of more than 1,600 disclosed subsidiaries in tax havens to stash more than a trillion dollars offshore, according to an Oxfam America report released Thursday. The analysis shows how large U.S. companies use tax havens and other loopholes to dodge paying their fair share of taxes, according to Oxfam. The actions by multinational corporations cost the U.S. about $111 billion each year. “The vast sums large companies stash in tax havens should be fighting poverty and rebuilding America’s infrastructure, not hidden offshore in Panama, Bahamas or the Cayman Islands,” Raymond Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, said. Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization with the goal of creating solutions for poverty, hunger and injustice.