Archive for March, 2008|Monthly archive page

NPT Voter Guide 2008

Several candidates face tough run offs in May and voters face tough decisions. Originally published in February, the NPT Voter Guide invited all candidates to answer questions specific to their race. If you haven’t already seen the voter, it’s online at in theElections section, where you can find the latest news and information on local races.

Click here to read the NPT Voter Guide 2008


Officer Endorsements Shed Light on Sheriff Candidates, and Unions

This article was originally posted on on March 28, by David Crowder

The endorsements of a coalition of law officers, and of a breakaway group, reflect on union concerns over bargaining, discipline, and who really represents officers’ interest over playing the game of politics.

Richard Wiles may be the El Paso police chief whose recent four-year tenure never got messy, kept El Paso at the top of the safe-city list and led to the accreditation of the department, but a coalition of public safety unions endorsed his opponent and predecessor, Carlos Leon, for sheriff.

There has been a lot of speculation about the why the El Paso County Sheriff’s Officers Association, the Municipal Police Officers Association and the El Paso Firefighters’ Association chose Leon over Wiles.

Wiles thinks it may have been his tough discipline standards, and Leon doesn’t disagree.

But the union leaders say the unions’ collective and individual endorsements weren’t meant to tell voters whom the officers’ organizations think would make the best and most effective sheriff.

It was, they say, a decision about which candidate, Leon or Wiles, would be best for the labor unions themselves — and chiefly the members of the sheriff’s officers union.

And the biggest issue, the union leaders say, was probably the fact that Wiles sought the support of a break-away union established by sheriff’s deputies.

“Both are real, real qualified for the job,” Joe Marrufo, a sheriff’s department detention guard and the president of the officers’ association, said of Leon and Wiles. “What it boils down to, I think, was a labor issue.”

Click here to read the full article.

Upswing in Downtown

Before joining El Paso Media Group, I was a relative stranger to Downtown El Paso. Although I was born and raised in the city and have lived here for most of my adult life, I admit that I was not very Downtown-savvy.
Growing up, my Downtown excursions were limited to occasional (and obligatory) dates with my dad to the symphony and as I got older, I periodically treated myself to the Chilean Sea Bass at Café Central. But really, I was unaware of any fun or exciting happenings in the area and the thought of navigating through one-way streets, throngs of pedestrians and overcrowded parking lots seemed daunting, to say the least.
That is, until I began working at EPMG. On my first day with the group, I remember being quite impressed with the historic Cortez Building (after three years there, we’ve recently relocated to the Bank of America building at 416 N. Stanton). I was awed by the marble floors in the lobby and surprised by the building’s regal gold elevator doors and charming crown moldings. I would soon discover that the building was not only beautiful, but, like many Downtown edifices, played a vital role in El Paso history and development.
I then began to view Downtown through a different lens. EPMG takes great pride in their hometown and work tirelessly to promote the city, both in its great potential and existing merit. I soon learned that El Paso’s Downtown district has plenty to offer, from exciting monthly museum events and movie nights at the beautifully renovated Plaza Theatre to free concerts and impressive expos and tradeshows. And if you look closely enough, you will find that the area is packed with upscale restaurants and bars (check out Downtown’s Union Plaza!) as well as stunningly crafted buildings.
And now more than ever, it seems that other El Pasoans are taking notice of the diamond in the rough that is our city’s Downtown. With forces like Mills Plaza Properties and the Paso del Norte Group working towards achieving a revitalized Downtown, I am thrilled at the prospect of working with this team of community leaders to re-establish the area as the heart of the city.
I hope you’re as excited as I am about the future of Downtown and encourage you to join in its progress by re-introducing yourself to the area; changes are happening everyday and although it may take some time to see the end result, I am confident that a greater city is on the horizon.
Read on!
Cassandra Yardeni

Barack Obama’s Speech on Race

Although I missed the speech on television, I read the transcript to Barack Obama’s “We Have a Choice” speech on race which we recently published on Newspaper Tree. If you haven’t taken the time to read it, make the time so that you can join the national conversation that so few of us are brave enough to have.

In response to all things Obama, we published another great column on Newspaper Tree, “El Paso Won’t Vote for a Black Man” by Marc Williams. Williams begs the question of NPT readers why does “the notion of an African American president of the United States elicit such antipathy from the Mexican community?”

Join the discussion either on in the form of a Readers Response or here on our blog.

Read on!

El Paso Corruption Scandal

“El Paso is a city that believes in its soul that it has been cheated of its destiny.” -Paul Burka, Texas Monthly

I am always flattered when out-of-town media outlets cover El Paso news and events, but when it comes to our current county corruption scandal, I feel “turfy” and want to read locally-produced coverage. Paul Burka’s recent take on the county corruption scandal, albeit totally smart and well-written, is not locally produced and seems clinical at times. Luckily, I can rely on Newspaper Tree for smart, well-written, local coverage of El Paso news. For example, Joe Olvera’s recent column in response to Raymond Telles’ guilty plea, has all the qualities I need in a column; cultural sensitivity, insight and a deep sense of El Paso history. What did you think?

Lisa Degliantoni

Sito Negron’s Quote of the Week

Sito Negron, the editor of Newspaper Tree, has a daily radio show on KHRO 1650 AM from 11 a.m. – noon. Sito focuses on music and politics and has a great rapport with callers and guests alike, given his energetic and smart delivery and timely topics and guests. Today Sito was talking to a frequent caller named Gilberto about creating a strong Isreal and they were disagreeing about something. Sito responded to Gilberto “I will bet you a hamburger right now…”, thus creating this new section of our blog, “Sito Negron’s Quote of the Week.”

If you hear something come out of Sito’s mouth worthy of mention, send us an email at

NPT Video Page is UP!

After months of our publisher Keith Mahar requesting that we launch a video section on Newspaper Tree, we finally got our act together. Click here to visit the video page. You can view all kinds of interesting stuff from our staff riding around on a Downtube folding bike to eating Chico’s Tacos to hosting Paddy Jones and the San Patricios on our KHRO radio show.

As the video page grows (and our talent for shooting video) we will be sure to update you on new and exciting posts to watch. Want us to shoot something? Send your suggestions to

My Life in Radio, 3.14.08

Tomorrow at 10 a.m. on KHRO 1650 AM, I will interview Beto O’Rourke on “Lifestyles with Lisa” by radio show where I interview the people and events that make El Paso shine like the Sun City it is!

Beto is the City Council Representative for District 8 in El Paso. Beto is a father, business owner and graduate of Columbia University. Be sure to tune to find out where Beto stands on the results of our most recent election and the Obama vs. Hillary debate.

Lisa Degliantoni

My Life in Radio, 3.10.08

I host a radio show on KHRO 1650 AM, Mondays and Fridays from 10-11 a.m. My job as host is to promote and talk about stories in El Paso Magazine, take calls from listeners and interview interesting people, all in a very pro-El Paso stance- it’s totally my speed.

Today on my show, I was joined by Ben Fyffe and Victor Guerroro from the Museum and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD). They were on to promote an upcoming Education Evening to help introduce the “Downtown Cultural Corridor” (a very sexy phrase to describe the culture cluster that is popping up around the City Hall side of Downtown) to teachers.

Part of the interview focused on a study that came out in 2004 about the benefits for children that participate of 100 minutes of art each week. (100 minutes of art to include drawing, painting, dancing, singing, etc.) The results of the study are so interesting I just had to blog about it!

2004 National AFTA Study Found that students who participate in 100 minutes per week of Arts are:
4 x more likely to be recognized for academic performance
3 x more likely to be elected to class office
4 x more likely to enter a math or science fair
3 x more likely to win an award for school attendance
4 x more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem
2 x more likely to read for pleasure
4 x more likely to participate in a youth group
4 x more likely to perform community service

So, the next time you are looking for ways to improve your child’s chances of growing up to be a fantastic citizen of the planet, add a little art to their life and wait for the results!

Lisa Degliantoni

NPT’s Plaza Hotel Coverage

On Feb. 15, NPT reported that “The Plaza Hotel today was sold to Mills Plaza Properties, a company controlled by Western Refining CEO Paul L. Foster.” Merely 11 days later, renovations are underway, and some of the images captured show a building frozen in time.

On Feb. 26, I happened to be walking across Downtown with a camera and let myself into the Plaza Hotel (the doors were open, a work crew was there) to see what was going on. The story and slideshow I posted from that adventure (click here to read Plaza Hotel Begins Renovations) turned into one of NPT’s most-read stories.

In our newsroom we spend countless hours deciding what to write about, how to cover it and how our readers will respond. The Plaza Renovations story was one of those rare moments in journalism where all the timing was right and the story was a hit for both our readers and our editorial team.

If you have a chance to read the story, send me your feedback.

Lisa Degliantoni