Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, September 5, 2001
Enrollment drop to cut funding by $1.1 million
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 5, 2001 -- Enrollment figures for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD show the number of students in local schools is down by 131 after
the Labor Day holiday compared to the same point a year ago, which
means a loss of funding from the state.
"We're down 131 kids from same time last year," said PBT-ISD Superintendent
Don Love. "And last year we lost 145, which means that's a total of 276 kids."
The drop represents about a five percent loss in students compared with
last year. Love said that in state funding that comes to about $1.1 million.
"Every time we lose 10 kids we have to look at cutting back," said Love.
Some of the figures are actually up from last year, according to Love.
"The biggest hit was over at the high school," said Love. "It picked up a
little yesterday from 789 to 806 (on Tuesday)."
Love said that enrollment figures would be calculated again on Friday,
when they have to be submitted to the state. "I'll do this again on Friday
and fax over our figures right away," said Love.
House Bill 2879 contains a provision where there's a 98 percent adjustment
rate for the difference in 2000-2001 and 2002 for ADA. "I knew we were going
to lose more than 2 percent and didn't have any faith that there would be
enough money," said Love.
Love said that in this bill $11 million has been provided for this year
and $11 million more for next year, based on districts' enrollment numbers.
"On Friday we and all the other school districts will submit an estimated
worksheet for determining the ADA adjustment," said Love. "We send that in
and then the people in funding can look at the worksheet and see what funding
will be provided."
"We'll see how this $11 million will be appropriated," said Love. "We're
hoping to see some of this funding, but we'll see what happens," he said.
There are currently 44 students in pre-kindergarten; 167 in kindergarten;
221 in first grade; 199 in 2nd grade; 216 in third grade; 175
in fourth grade; 195 in fifth grade; 185 in 6th grade; 219 in
7th grade; 204 in 8th grade; 225 in 9th
grade; 206 in 10th grade; 189 in 11th grade and 172
seniors, for a total of 2,675. Last year's total figures after Labor Day
"We were down in some grades, but up in others," said Love.
Malaysian cyclists' world tour stops in Pecos
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 5, 2001 -- Two Malaysian men made a stop in Pecos this
week while continuing their journey around the world on bicycles.
Hasan Nawawi, 46, and his brother Ahmad Redhwan, 38, took a break from
their journey to make bicycle repairs and rest for a difficult part of the
trip when they rolled into town on Monday.
The cycling duo began the worldwide journey in Malaysia on January 4 making
Tuesday the eight-month anniversary of traveling.
Yesterday also marked the 40th day in America and the 12
th day in Texas.
When their worldwide journey is completed, Nawawi and Redhwan will be
the first Malaysians to cycle around the world.
Nawawi, who has cycled on other journeys before, said that he has been
planning this trip for about 10 years.
"I planned this 10 years ago," he said. "It didn't come all of a sudden."
In 1989, Nawawi started cycling in Malaysia, which after finishing he
first thought of the possibility of cycling around the world.
So in 1992, he decided to cycle for one week in Thailand as well as backpack
in India for a few weeks in 1994 in preparation for the world journey.
Nawawi said that their main reason for cycling around the world is to
have the chance to see the world.
"One reason is first we want to see the world," he said. "You can go
around the world by plane but you won't see anything."
By traveling the world on a bicycle, Nawawi said that he and his brother
are able to experience more.
"We see more things, we meet more people and we get more experience,"
he said. "You cannot by this experience."
Nawawi said that he had to figure out how he was going to pay for the
trip around the world and started looking for sponsors.
He said that he knew that people would not sponsor him and his brother
just to travel around the world unless they went for a record.
"You have to go for the record if you want people to pay for your hobby,"
Nawawi said that the Malaysian federal and state government as well as
private sectors are sponsoring the trip with $25,000 for two for approximately
The Malaysian government is encouraging the brothers' trip because it
helps instill courage and determination to the children, according to Nawawi.
"They (government) feel that it is their social responsibility to encourage
people to have courage," he said.
Nawawi said that in order to travel around the world on bicycles you must
have four things.
First, he said you must have a strong mind in order to get through the
"If you want to do it and you say you can do it then you'll do it," he
Nawawi said that you can not let fear take you over.
"You must have a fearless mind. Courage will overcome fear," he said.
"If we talk about fear we'll never move."
Secondly, Nawawi said that you need to have a lot of physical strength
in order to travel approximately 100 miles a day.
He added that in order to travel through deserted spaces and foreign lands
you must have tough skin and a strong stomach.
He said that he and his brother have had to sleep out under bushes, especially
during their trip through the deserts of Iran and Pakistan.
Nawawi said that while in such countries as Thailand and India it is better
to cook your own food and drink only bottled water in order to safe guard
yourself from diseases.
While preparing for the trip Nawawi decided to take his younger brother,
who is single, because it is better to travel with another person than alone.
He said that on his previous trips he traveled alone and while on those
trips he hardly ever talked.
With his brother he has someone to talk with and he said that it is safer.
"It is quite dangerous if you travel alone," Nawawi said. "If you travel
alone people have the confidence to try to overtake you."
Nawawi said that the main reason for choosing his brother to go with him
on the trip is because he is single. If Redhwan was married, he said that
he would take someone else because he does not want someone to have to leave
However, Nawawi had to leave his wife of 20 years and their four children
to go on the trip.
He said that his wife is very supportive of him and encourages him through
email to not give up on his journey.
Nawawi said that his wife did not question why he wanted to leave his
family and home for a year to travel around the world.
"My wife didn't say anything because she knew me from the beginning,"
he said. "She knew that if I want something I will get it."
Nawawi said that he prefers only having his brother on the trip and no
more people because it is easier and there is less friction when he is able
to lead without question.
"Two captains in one ship will make ship sink fast," he said jokingly.
In order to go on this trip, both Nawawi and Redhwan had to take a year
off from work.
Redhwan is a car mechanic, which Nawawi said it valuable because they
often need to repair their own bikes and is good having someone comfortable
Nawawi works for the government and is the equivalent to a city mayor
in America as well as a geography teacher.
He said that he is taking this year off to from work without benefits
However, since the government believes that his trip would be beneficial
to the country because it teaches courage and the "never say die" attitude
they would consider paying him for the year if the journey is completed.
Nawawi said that this is another incentive to completing the journey,
which will make him and Redhwan heros in Malaysia, "So I'm eager to complete
it. Nothing will stop me."
While on the journey, Nawawi and Redhwan have traveled through many countries
including India, Thailand, Iran, Turkey, Italy, France and England.
Nawawi said that his favorite portion of the trip came from cycling through
the Alps in Europe.
He said that originally he was concerned about the trip through the Alps
because he was not sure how difficult it would be but he was pleasantly surprised
at how relaxing the trip was.
"It really was not difficult," he said.
Nawawi explained that the roads slowly ascended up the mountains with
the natural curve of the mountains and once they reached the top they were
able to "cruise" down until they reached the first town.
Nawawi said that all throughout the trip he and Redhwan would camp out
at various campsites because it is cheaper than motels.
He even spoke of a campsite located approximately six miles from the Eiffel
Tower in Paris, France that was close enough to everything in the city that
they would be able to travel easily to the many place in Paris.
While in Pecos, Nawawi and Redhwan stayed in a local motel in order to
get proper rest to start off today's journey to El Paso by way of Orla and
the Guadalupe Mountains.
The duo is unable to travel the straight route on Interstate 20 because
of the law of no slow moving vehicles on the interstate.
Nawawi said that it is important when traveling on bicycles to have lots
of rest, proper sleep and proper food so the "next day you will have a fresh
He said that he and his brother wanted to make sure they had that before
they started the three-day desert journey to El Paso.
After reaching El Paso, the cycling duo plan to travel to Las Angeles
where they will fly to Japan to start the last leg of their journey.
Nawawi said that they have enjoyed traveling through America where he
said they have met many good people, especially in Texas.
He said that he and his brother knew the trip through Texas would be good
when they received free lodging the first night they were in Texas.
"Americans are wonderful people," Nawawi said.
Like many countries, Nawawi said that America may have killers and thieves
but they have not met any.
"We have met very honest people," he said. "They want to help."
Nawawi said that he and his brother hope to be finished with their journey
by the end of the year and encourages anyone interested to follow them on
their website where they give reports on what they have seen.
Anyone can check out how Nawawi and Redhwan are doing by logging on to
Balmorhea Festival's winners announced
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 5, 2001 -- Cook-off entries were down, but overall
participation was up for the 26th Annual Balmorhea Labor Day Festival,
according to organizers of the annual holiday weekend event.
"The 26th Annual Labor Day Festival had the biggest crowd ever,"
said festival organizer Pat Brijalba, though the total number of entries
in the Fajita and Beak Cook-off was 15, a dozen below last year's record
total of 27.
Jaime Gomez of Pecos took first in the World Championship Frijole Bean
Cook-off, with Abel Rodriguez of Balmorhea second and Charley Granado of
Fort Davis third. In the Fajita Cook-off competition, James Dutchover of
Fort Stockton took top honors, followed by Salvador Garcia of Del Rio and
Anita Baeza of Pecos.
While the cook-off was going on a bloc to the east of the main festival
booths, a Washer Pitching Tournament held just south of the downtown area
had 22 entries, with Elias Dutchover and Marcos Sanchez of Fort Davis winning
The cook-offs and the washer tournaments were held Saturday afternoon
along with a special Saturday opening for the 1st Fridays Trade
Days, which began in Balmorhea earlier this year.
Saturday night, the Cruces Band from Las Cruces, N.M. performed as part
of a free street dance in the downtown area, while on Sunday the festival
featured mariachi music from Juan Carlos Franco of Midland.
WIA program provides youths training for jobs
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 5, 2001 -- A youth program in the community is offering
year-round job training services and academic skills training to assist the
youth with a smooth school to work transition.
The WIA Youth Program offers training throughout the year, with the main
goal to prepare the youth with the knowledge, skills and behavior necessary
to make the transition into meaningful, challenging pathways in high skill,
high wage careers and for lifelong learning.
WIA is also committed to teaching the youth the skills to become productive
citizens, according to youth coordinator John Garza.
"This summer 52 WIA youth not only worked at 23 sites in Reeves County,
but they were also offered the opportunity to get involved in several other
activities," said Garza.
The youth attended a Junior Achievement sponsored leadership conference
held at U.T.P.B. in Odessa.
"Several participated in the Meals on Wheels program as well as the city
wide clean-up project and more volunteer activities are planned to ensure
good citizenship," said Garza.
"We offer activities that help prepare them for the labor force as well,"
The WIA program will sponsor several youth entering post secondary education
The program is sponsored by the Pecos Workforce Center and administered
by the Permian Basin Planning Commission.
For more information or to apply for this program contact Garza at 445-9664
or come by the office located at 215 W. Second St.
Bonilla among GOP hopefuls eyeing race for Gramm's seat
From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 5, 2001 -- Republican Congressmen Henry Bonilla of San
Antonio is considering a run for the U.S. Senate to replace Phil Gramm,
who announced his decision not to seek re-election on Tuesday. But
the five-term Republican could face opposition within his own party
before ever having to face a Democratic challenger in 2002.
Bonilla, who became the first Mexican-American Republican elected to Congress
when he defeated Albert Bustamante in 1992, represents District 23 in the
House of Representatives, which includes the city of Pecos and all of Reeves
County. Bonilla's district is the largest in the state, stretching from San
Antonio and Laredo west along the Texas-Mexico border to the eastern sections
of El Paso County.
Bonilla, who was a TV news producer in New York City and San Antonio before
being elected to Congress, could face a primary challenge from Attorney General
John Cornyn, Land Commissioner David Dewhurst and Texas Railroad Commissioner
On the Democratic side, Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk and former Attorney General
Dan Morales are considered potential candidates, and former San Antonio Mayor
Henry Cisneros has been mentioned. Lawyer Ed Cunningham already has announced
Most potential candidates said little publicly Tuesday about their own
plans, insisting it was Gramm's day.
But Kirk acknowledged Gramm's decision opens a door.
"It certainly makes that race that much more interesting and appealing.
That's the good news. The bad news is that it's going to be interesting and
appealing for a lot of people," he said.
Morales plans to announce this fall that he will run.
"It was really my assumption that Senator Gramm would be my opponent.
The fact that he won't be is clearly beneficial. He would be the toughest
opponent the Republicans could put up," Morales said.
Cornyn said he has received "numerous calls" urging him to run.
"I will discuss this opportunity with my family, give it the serious
consideration it deserves and decide soon on my intentions," Cornyn said.
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said he was reactivating his Senate exploratory
committee and would consider his options. He said hundreds of people had
asked him during his recent visits to Texas to consider the race.
Depending on the momentum at the top, other statewide races could be
wide open and winnable by either party.
The letter to the editor published yesterday under the headline, "Gift
shop plans closing due to high taxes," should have been attributed to Mrs.
Jan Chandler. The letter was attributed to "A partner of: Pecos Art Gallery
and Gift Shop." The Pecos Enterprise's letter to the editor policy requires
that letters be signed. Yesterday's error was simply a typographical error
and Mrs. Chandler wanted to make sure that the letter was attributed to her,
as there are multiple partners in the Art Gallery.
School tax rate rollback voting underway today
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 5, 2001 -- Early voting began today for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD rollback elections. Voters will get to choose whether to leave property
taxes at the current rate or lower the rate by 32 cents per hundred-dollar
Early voting will run from today through September 18. Voting will take
place at the Community Center next to the police station from 10 a.m. until
Girl Scouts holding rally on Thursday
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 5, 2001 -- There will be a Girl Scout Rally Thursday
night at 6 p.m. at the Girl Scout House located at 715 S. Park.
All girls and adults interested in Girl Scouting are asked to attend.
Parents should accompany their girls. Adult positions as leaders and co-leaders
For more information call Kim at the Council Office in Odessa at 800-594-5677.
PECOS, Wed., Sept. 5, 2001 -- High Tuesday 95. Low this morning 65. Rainfall
last 24 hours at KIUN Radio in Downtown Pecos .07 inch. Forecast for
tonight: Partly cloudy with isolated showers or thunderstorms. Low
65 to 70. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph. The chance of rain is less than
20 percent. Thursday: Partly cloudy. High in the lower 90s. South wind
10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the upper 60s.
Friday: Partly cloudy and windy. High in the mid 90s. Saturday: Partly
cloudy. Highs in the low 90s. Lows in the mid 60s.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise