Sticks beat science in low-cost search for water

Water witching (also called divining or water dowsing) is a practice used to locate ground water using a stick, rod, pendulum, or something similar. With the drought going on in the El Paso area, a lot of people are searching to have wells built for their farm or backyard. Robert Garcia is someone people go to before they begin the process of starting a water well, which can cost up to thousands of dollars. He said he uses the technique of water witching to identify the best location for finding water. Who can do it?

El Paso’s creative sector expanding, city reports

Music festivals, art, and theater performances are only some of the great treasures that make up El Paso’s creative economy. Kailey Hoppe, a tourist from Rockford Illinois in town for the 2015 USBC open championship, was impressed with all the art and festivals El Paso offers. “I think so far it’s amazing. It’s huge and fun to see. Wicked is in town which is one of the best shows I’ve seen so far and it’s fun to see it come to El Paso.”

The latest Destination El Paso annual report shows almost 3 million people have visited El Paso.

Historians chronicle lives, dreams of Mexican braceros in U.S. labor program

EL PASO — Emilio Solis Pallares,92, sits at his home in Fabens, Texas, listening with surprised amusement to his own voice for the first time 12 years after his story was cataloged along with the tales of hundreds of other bracero farmworkers as part of a national program by the Smithsonian Institution. “Yes, that is me and the story still remains true,” said Solis, who labored in the cotton of fields of Tornillo, Texas, for 15 years in the 1940’s and 1950’s as a member of the federal Bracero program, which recruited 4.6 million Mexican citizens to work in agriculture in the United States. Solis’ story was just one of more than 900 interviews conducted by the Institute of Oral History at the University of Texas at El Paso. More than 3,000 oral histories of braceros can be listened to online at the Bracero History Archive. Emilio’s oral history can be found here.

Segundo Barrio march honors Cesar Chavez and our farmworkers

EL PASO — Shouts of “si se puede! and viva Cesar Chavez” followed the residents of Segundo Barrio — El Paso’s historic neighborhood settled by Mexican immigrants a century ago — into the streets as they were carried along in a river of red flags. Downtown El Paso paused March 31 to watch some 300 residents of Segundo Barrio walk through the downtown area to remember the great Chicano labor leader on his birthday. Participants gathered in the late afternoon at the Border Farmworkers Center (Centro de los Trabajadores Agricolas Fronterizos) on Oregon Street. “We are here to remember Cesar Chavez, and the annual event the Centro has in Segundo Barrio brings out different people from the community.

Tax time traps some who failed to sign up for health insurance

EL PASO — Yvonne Mendoza a master tax advisor usually helps clients wind their way through the tax return maze, but this year she came up with a nasty fine in her own return – a penalty charge because she did not sign up for personal health insurance. “With my refund being affected, it didn’t allow me to pay the things I needed to pay in January,” said Mendoza, a17-year veteran tax expert at H & R Block. The penalty cost her more than $400, one percent of her household income. This year’s tax return bill can cost more than expected because the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare imposes a penalty on Americans who failed to get health insurance. Mendoza said that she made the mistake of not going to the marketplace.