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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Tax rollback early voting turnout low

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 20, 2001 -- Voting clerks are ready for the rollback tax election scheduled for Saturday in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, though early voting was slow throughout the two-week period.

Early voting for the rollback election ended on Tuesday at the Pecos Community Center, and voting clerk Debbie Thomas said, "We had 235 voters in 10 days."

There will be five voting polls open on Saturday, including the Pecos Community Center, located next to the Pecos Police Department, the Barstow Community Center, in Orla at the Red Bluff Office, Toyah City Hall and in Saragosa at the Multi-Purpose Center. All polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The election is required under state law to be conducted by the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, following the adoption of the tax rate that will bring in about $2 million in additional revenues to the school district this year, based on the same $1.50 per $100 in valuations tax rate the district had a year ago

Increases in oil and gas valuations between 2000 and 2001 is the reason for the increase in tax revenues, but P-B-T Superintendent Don Love said under Texas' school funding law, the district will lose that $2 million in state revenues beginning with the 2002-2003 school year. As a result, Love asked the P-B-T school board to maintain the current $1.50 per $100 in valuation tax rate, even though to do so automatically forced this month's rollback election.

"They are either voting for what the school board has approved as the tax rate, or they are voting against school board recommendations," said Love.

If voters approve the rollback, taxes will be cut to $1.18 per $100 in valuations. That will bring in the same amount of money as a year ago, but the district will face a drop of $2 million in revenues in 2002, and can only increase taxes by 6 cents a year under Texas law to make up for the lost revenues.

Voting for the tax rate set will not mean higher taxes for homeowners, according to Love. "They will be paying the same in taxes or maybe a little bit less," he said. "The only ones affected will be the oil companies," he said.

Pecos police add video cameras to patrol cars

By LEIA HOLLAND
Staff Writer
PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 20, 2001 -- Officers at the Pecos Police Department are not only serving and protecting the community; they are now making citizens video stars, though some may do so unwillingly.

The police department recently installed three video and audio camera units in three patrol cars that will aid the officers with investigations as well as provide more safety to the officers and citizens of Pecos.

Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney said that he was able to use state grant money to purchase two of the units, which costs approximately $5,000 for each camera unit.

"I was able to acquire two of these camera units off a state grant," he said. "Then I had enough seized drug money to buy the third unit."

All three cameras have already been installed in the patrol cars assigned to Officer Ismael Gamboa, Officer Arnulfo Rivas and K-9 Officer Oscar Machuca.

McKinney said that the equipment may be very expensive but he believes that the units will benefit the department and the community.

"It's a very expensive piece of equipment but I really think they're worth it," he said.

McKinney said that one of his main goals in getting the equipment is providing safety for the police officer and the citizens.

"The purpose and my goal for these cameras is basically three things; one to enhance prosecution, two to promote officer safety and the most important thing is it provides an indisputable account of police, citizen contact," he said.

McKinney said that each eight hour tape would be stored for six months unless needed as evidence in which it would be stored in the police evidence room.

He said that the tape would also provide evidence if anyone makes allegations toward the police officer.

"It there are allegations of police wrongdoing the police would then go review the tape," he said. "It's a safety mechanism for the citizens as well."

The police department currently has a policy in place regarding the use of the cameras, but it is not being enforced until the officers attend a training class set at the first of October.

"Right now I'm just letting the officers get accustomed to the equipment," McKinney said.

The camera is mounted inside the cab of the patrol car with a control panel and a small viewing screen but the main computer that controls the unit is located in a fire and bullet proof casing in the trunk of the car.

McKinney explained that the unit would automatically start recording both audio and visual when either the lights or the siren are turned on.

He also said that the officer would be able to manually turn the recorder on.

Gamboa said that he believes the camera unit is very beneficial.

"It's a good thing to have," he said. "It's going to be a very useful thing."

Soon the police department hopes to install cameral units in each of the approximately 14 patrol cars, according to McKinney.

Earhart flight re-creation resumes Friday

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 20, 2001 -- A California woman who is recreating the 1928 round-trip flight across America, which was made by Amelia Earhart, will finally be allowed to come to Pecos.

Dr. Carlene Mendieta had been grounded in Hobbs, N.M., for the past nine days, following the terrorist attacks that occurred at the Pentagon and at New York's World Trade Center on Sept. 11. All non-military aircraft flights in the United States were shut down at 9 a.m. CDT that day, and only commercial aircraft were allowed to resume flights last week.

Mendieta left Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y. two weeks ago in a duplicate of Earhart's 1927 Avro Avian aircraft. She flew from Fort Worth to Hobbs, N.M. on Sept. 10, and her plans were to fly to Pecos the following day. But that schedule had to be scrapped when all flights were grounded following the national disaster that has affected everyone in the United States.

A full day of activities had been scheduled to mark the recreation of Earhart's 1928 flight from New York to Los Angeles and back, but those plans have been readjusted. Mendieta's visit Friday is only scheduled to last a little over two hours.

"The new plans are that she will fly into Pecos at 11:15 a.m., tomorrow," said Pecos Municipal Airport Manager Isabel Blanchard.

Anyone wanting to greet her can do so at the airport. "We're also specifically inviting those that saw the original Amelia Earhart plane when it landed in Pecos all those years ago," said Blanchard. "Those individuals will be allowed to sign the wing of the airplane."

Mendieta will fly into the Pecos airport and then will be transported by an old Model A Ford to the West of the Pecos Museum. A proclamation declaring that day Amelia Earhart Day will be signed and the public is invited to the reception following the signing of the proclamation. She will then speak to the group assembled.

"After that, she'll be taken by the house where Amelia stayed when she was in Pecos," Blanchard said. The Hickory Street home is owned by Mr. And Mrs. Jimmy Dutchover, and Blanchard said, "They have been kind enough to let me take Dr. Mendieta into the house to share a little bit of the historical value of the house."

"We'll go back to the airport and she will leave Pecos at about 1:30 p.m., headed to El Paso," said Blanchard.

Earhart's 1928 flight made it past Hobbs without problems, but ended up making an extended stop in Pecos, due to engine trouble with the airplane that required a replacement part to be brought in from El Paso, the next stop on her transcontinental trip.

Her 1937 disappearance while flying across the Pacific Ocean remains a mystery and the event most associated with her. But she first gained national fame by becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928 and her 1928 cross-country trip, which Blanchard said traveled west from Fort Worth's Mecham Field to Hobbs, and from there south to Pecos while the repairs to her plane were being made.

According to a press release about the recreation, Mendieta, whose regular job is as a dentist in Sonoma, Calif., is flying the only working Avro Avian left in North America. The flight will land in 23 cities along the historic route and cover approximately 5,500 miles at an average speed of 82 mph.

For Earhart, the original flight was among her first aviation records and was the first solo, round-trip transcontinental crossing by a woman. The flight is called "Amelia Earhart's Flight Across America: Rediscovering A Legend," and is sponsored by St. Paul, Minn.-based HistoricAviation.com, while information in the flight itself is available at www.AmeliaFlight.com.
 

Opinion

We cannot underestimate our enemies

PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 20, 2001 -- I am afraid that we are underestimating our enemies right now. Much of what I hear only credits Osama bin Laden and company with dumb luck in causing so much damage and killing so many Americans.

As a nation at war, we must consider the alternative _ that the strike was planned to cause the damage that it did.

If our enemies planned this magnitude of destruction, then September 11th marked a new era in this war _ an era that should frighten America to the core, and fortify our resolve to exterminate our enemies as quickly as possible.

I do not say, "win" because we cannot win this war in the traditional sense. Victory for us will be counted each day Americans are not killed, but there will not be a day when we can declare that this threat is over.

Factions in the Middle East have been fighting this war since the Allies created Israel after World War II, and to some degree since the Western world began to take interest in the Middle East oil reserves.

The significance of the September 11 attack is that it transcended the bounds of terrorism and crossed into the realm of guerrilla warfare.

The terrorist strives to be a murderous pain in the neck without crossing the line that invites concentrated military action.

That line was crossed. Our enemies are not stupid and are fully capable of understanding that crossing this line invites a military response that will inflict heavy casualties on their units.

They also understand that they do not have to win this war in the traditional sense, to win. It is a guerilla war. America is not backed into a corner. We are not fighting for American soil.

They must only make America weary of putting citizens in body bags. They must make us question the policies that have precipitated the war. Is Israel this important? Is Middle Eastern oil worth tens of thousands of lives? Those are the questions they want America to ponder.

So far, our response as a nation does not seem to acknowledge this shift from terrorism to guerilla warfare. The shift may be subtle, but it is important. At this point, we seem to be hell bent on vilifying Osama bin Laden and his organization to the exclusion of other terrorist groups, and on trying to create defensive measures that will prevent further attacks.

Both responses are shortsighted. Osama bin Laden is the face of the monster, but killing him and even his entire organization will not kill the beast. Only a general war on terrorism will wound this monster and keep it at bay.

Even this cannot end this war. Our war with these factions of Islam has no foreseeable end. We cannot abandon Israel or our Middle East interests and our enemies will accept no other solution.

Defense is a near-useless term when fighting terrorists or guerillas. Surely we learned this from the French experience in Viet Nam as well as our own. Nazi Germany learned it in Yugoslavia. The Russians in Afghanistan.

With defensive measures we will simply succeed in exchanging the freedoms that are the foundation of our nation for a false sense of security between attacks.

The only defense in this war is offense.

We should assume that our enemy understands this.

If I were Osama bin Laden, and knowing that my actions would invite severe retaliation, knowing that I was escalating from terrorism to guerilla warfare and that my chances for survival were severely diminished, I would have set in place attacks numbers 2,3,4,5,6 before I triggered the first.

I would wait until America began to return to normalcy, until Nintendo and McDonalds were at the forefront of American thoughts again, and then I would attack a small rural town. Nerve gas delivered by pickup trucks with mosquito foggers would be my weapon of choice while America looked to the sky and banned pocket knives on commercial flights.

This attack would be calculated to bring this war home to the rest of America, not just the citizens of the big cities. As a bonus it would paralyze Interstate traffic as Americans scrambled liked crazed lemmings to secure the roads and in the process crippled the vehicle transport that supports the economy.

A few weeks later I would aim a series of attacks at energy supplies. A few wrecked transfer stations to take out the power grids and a couple of refineries to choke gasoline distribution would do. Natural gas pipelines would also make easy targets. You can get Americans' attention when they cannot turn on their microwaves or put gas in their cars.

America would repair the damage quickly. Gas would start pumping again but at $4 per gallon. Lights would come back on slowly across the country. The smoke from the probable riots in Los Angeles and Chicago would disperse. As it did, I would deliver my Sunday punch.

If I could, I would use a small-yield nuke in a large population center _ preferably on the West Coast so that the Hollywood crowd would become very concerned with self-preservation and perhaps aid my cause by lobbying for the United States to end its imperialistic, oil-driven policies in the Middle East and allow Arab nations the same right of self-determination that American's fought for in 1776.

Those sentiments would be the cornerstones of my propaganda campaign.

With the documented poor security of the former Soviet Union's nuclear arsenals, especially concerning low-yield battlefield nukes, it is possible that a group with bin Laden's money and resources could acquire one.

If not, biological or chemical weapons would suffice. Any of the three would accomplish my goal of killing thousands upon thousands of America citizens.

At that point, I would explain to the citizens of the United States, not the government, that I did not wish to be at war _ that I only wished for Arabs to govern their own countries without American intervention, and that the war could stop as soon as America bowed out of the Middle East. I would guarantee the safety of Israel and a continuing supply of cheap crude oil. I would send the tape to CNN, not the government. The government will sway with public opinion and that is where this war can be won.

For a nation counting its dead by the ten thousands and watching its economy grind to a near halt, it might be a persuasive argument.

I hope not, but it might be. For Osama bin Laden and the rest of his ilk, there is no other possible victory.

Hopefully, we as Americans will finally acknowledge this war for what it is - a war. A war with no end. Hopefully we will acknowledge the goals of our enemies for what they are, and respond appropriately with overwhelming force and determined resolution that will not fade in the face of casualties or time.

The only other options are withdrawal from the Middle East or suffering more guerilla attacks that will cost far more lives than a sustained campaign will.

In the end, there is no final victory. Only a relative safety provided by superior firepower, vigilance, and the willingness to kill our enemies before they can kill us.

American Flags are printed inside Enterprise today

PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 20, 2001 -- Copies of the American Flag, which can be placed in windows or other prominent places, are contained as part of a separate insert in today's Pecos Enterprise.

Other copies can be purchased at the front desk at the Pecos Enterprise, 324 S. Cedar St.
 

Rec Department starts registration for youth soccer


PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 20, 2001 -- Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department is now enrolling children for its Fall Soccer League.

Interested parents or guardians of children who are 5-13 years old may pick up enrollment forms at the recreation office during regular hours.

Entry deadline is Oct. 20 and parents will need to bring birth certificates and both parents' signature. Cost is $10 per child.

For more information call 447-9776.
 

Police Report

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies.

The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instanced we will indicate payment and release.

***

Robert Mendoza, 37, was arrested at 6:05 p.m., on September 17 at 12th and Ash streets for DWI refusal.

***

Jose Luis Ortiz, 40, was arrested at 8:59 p.m., on September 17 in the 300 block of South Orange Street for assault by threat under the Family Violence Act.

***

Jamie Wade, 44, was arrested at 8:46 p.m., on September 18, in the 2200 block of South Eddy Street on a warrant for a worthless check.

***

Johnny N. Valencia, 39, was arrested at 9:37 p.m., on September 19, in the 200 block of North Oak Street for assault under the Family Violence Act.

***

Geneva E. Chavez, 24, was arrested at 10:51 p.m., on September 19 in the 1400 block of Eddy Street for no driver's license, fourth offense.

***

Jeannie Mendoza, 33, was arrested at 2:09 a.m., on September 20 in the 100 block of South Pecan Street for assault under the Family Violence Act.

***

Michael Ontiveros, 33, was arrested at 2:29 a.m., on September 20 in the 600 block of Cherry Street on warrants for failure to adjudicate, operating an unregistered vehicle and no liability insurance as well as public intoxication.

***

Jose Luis Falcon, 20, was arrested at 2 a.m., on September 3 at the Gomez Bar in Balmorhea for public intoxication.

***

Billy George Barnett, 36, was arrested at 12:01 a.m., on September 6 in the 1200 block of West `F' Street for family violence.

***

Pedro Perez Martinez, 27, was arrested at 12:15 a.m., on September 8 on Main Street in Balmorhea for public intoxication.

***

Donaciano Torres, 61, was arrested at 11:59 p.m., on September 16, seven miles east on FM 1450 for possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Weather

PECOS, Thurs., Sept. 20, 2001 -- High Wednesday 101. Low this morning 69. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows 65 to 70. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms.

Highs in the lower 90s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 60s. Saturday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs 85 to 90. Sunday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Lows near 60. Highs in the mid 80s.

Obituary

Bruno Garcia



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Pecos Enterprise
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
e-mail newsdesk@nwol.net

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