Abuse of authority destroys our faith in the system

EL PASO, Texas — It has become apparent upon turning on the television and watching the local news of the Sun City and surrounding areas, that many individuals in positions of power are being accused of and in some cases, found to be abusing the authority that they obtain. These days when I find myself to be in too good of a mood, I simply grab my television’s remote control around six or ten in the evening. If I’m not running late, I’ll turn the tube on just in time to hear a story about a former judge convicted of exchanging money and sex for lesser, more lenient rulings, or a police officer moonlighting as security for a wedding, who is accused of stealing money and gift cards from the newlywed’s reception. If I am blessed with a little time to kill somewhere between sleeping and studying, I might surf the local media’s on-line news sources, only to come across more stories of police officers and even teachers, accused of having inappropriate relations with underage children, or council members from the surrounding areas being indicted on alleged fraud charges, while others are getting caught up on the wrong side of a drug bust. The fact that these types of things are happening does not surprise me in the least.

UTEP offers solace to its Mexican students

EL PASO, Texas — The office of the vice president for student affairs at the University of Texas at El Paso has issued a letter addressed to students commuting to class from Mexico, encouraging those who may be experiencing difficulty coping with the recent murders in Juarez of two UTEP students to utilize the services the university provides. “The recent loss of students, Manuel A. Acosta and Eder A. Diaz, has been a difficult situation for the entire UTEP community. I am aware that for those of you who live in Juarez and other parts of Mexico or those of you who have immediate family there may be experiencing that loss more acutely,” said Dr. Richard Padilla, Vice President for Student Affairs. Padilla encouraged the UTEP student body to watch for students who may be struggling with the recent tragic events. “Let them know that there are people on campus who may be able to help.

Sidewalk spectacle takes art to the people

EL PASO, Texas — The metal giant’s arm reached out and grabbed a blue, two-door sedan with its six-foot long hydraulic metal fingers, raised it up as high as the street lights and then dropped it letting it crash on the asphalt below. Half a dozen junked cars waited for destruction inside a circle of steel barriers blocking off a section of downtown at Oregon and Mills St. at this year’s Chalk the Block art festival, The cleverly named Hand of Man was one of the main attractions, stopping crowds in their tracks as pieces of broken plastic and car hoses shot out at the feet of on-lookers. Crew-member Nathan Oswald explained that artist and creator Christian Ristow, “…wanted to be able to build something participatory.” Unlike many art pieces, the idea behind this installation, Oswald said, is to be something fun for the crowd to become a part of. Mario Castillo won a chance to control and set the sculpture in motion, through a local radio station’s call-in contest.

Farah company veterans relive the garment maker’s rise and fall

EL PASO, Texas. — A purple box of tissues was passed around a table by former staffers of the family-owned Farah Manufacturing Company as they grew emotional remembering the glory days of the world’s largest manufacturer of men’s slacks. The panelists told stories of their experiences and the family dynamic of El Paso’s 20th century garment-industry giant at the El Paso Museum of History on Saturday, October 9th.  “It was a culture built around more of a personality of a family member, as opposed to a general family culture,” said former Farah vice-president of human resources, Dan Cruse. The Department of History at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and the El Paso Museum of History combined their efforts to bring together former employees, close family friends and members of the Farah family, to tell stories of the time they spent with the Farah family and company.