School district budget cuts kill jobs and crimp the arts

EL PASO – In 2010 the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) was looking for ways to cut $2.5 million from the district’s budget. Part of the solution came last week with a sting – the EPISD saved $5.6 million by cutting 116 positions. Before that decision, the situation had escalated to the possible closing of two elementary schools, Schuster and Zavala. Kenneth Parker, chief officer for the EPISD said the closing of the two elementary schools would save the district about $2.5 million. In the past five years the district has cut $43 million from the budget, without hurting academic courses.

The golden poppies were a no-show, but the mountain party blossomed anyway

El PASO — The northeast section of this high-desert city doesn’t have much to brag about, but it does have poppies — the yellow flowers that bloom in the spring overwhelming the northeast slopes of the Franklin Mountains in gold glinting with the wind. But this year, even the yellow poppies abandoned the northeast. It’s a rite of spring for El Pasoans to bask in the beauty of the golden mountains, but 2011 is the year the Mexican Gold Poppies were not willing to bloom. Some blame the unusual unrelenting freezing weather and snow hit El Paso in January and the little rain that has fallen since. But Marilyn Guida Curator of Education at the El Paso Archaeology Museum said, “The poppies not blooming this year really can’t be tied to just one single cause.”

The Fifth Annual Poppies Preservation Celebration was held as usual anyway.