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Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Feb. 26, 1998

Monahans's Well

By Jerry Curry

In Ward County, the Primary Color is Democrat.

If it weren't for Candido Gutierrez, there wouldn't even be
a GOP tint.

That's the pronostication and the fact with the 1998
primaries dead ahead. In not too many days, the official
voting of March 10 will be on us. Early voting, a privilege
Texas enjoys and which most states do not, already has

In Ward County this year, except for County Judge, the
Democratic primary will decide the county's political
future, for betteror or for worse, through the end of the

In the County Judge race, incumbent Sam G. Massey and Pam
Treadaway seek the Democratic nomination. One of them faces
Republican Gutierrez for County Judge in the November
general elections. Gutierrez has no opposition for the GOP
nomination. He, in fact, is the only Republican of any kind
on the ballot for any of the local offices being contested
in Ward County.

This means most of those who vote will vote in the
Democratic primary.

Ward Countians do this because they want a say in how their
county is to be run.

It is not so much that citizens of the county are Yellow
Dog Democrats. They aren't. But most of them are moderate to
conservative and most of them might vote Republican in
regional, state and national races although they are

They are Democrats just like their fathers and mothers and
grandfathers and grandmothers, all of whom were moderate to
conservative and all of whom voted Democrat in local races.
Ward County voters are thinking voters. And they know local
politics in Ward County means the Democratic Party.

Candy's lone GOP effort for county judge is all the evidence
required to prove Republicans are not much of a factor in
the political life of the county.

It probably will not always be this way.

But it has been this way for more than a century.

But the winds of politics do change, sometimes with
hurricane force and once mighty political forces vanish. No
one today knows

Main Street program rolling

Monahans Main Street is the closest thing we know to a
perpetual motion machine. This outfit just keeps rolling and
growing like a little snowball on a high mountain in
January. Monahans Main Street has become a focus and an
avalanche of support and positive marketing for Monahans and
Ward County.

Chamber of Commerce people recognized this at the annual
Chamber banquet. State of Texas officials had recognized it
earlier. But Monahans Main Street and Project Manager Suzi
Blair are not resting on laurels earned.

In March alone, Texas Main Street and its big chief, Terry
Colley, are coming to this little West Texas desert town to
meet with City Manager David Mills. A survey is in progress
among the citizens of the community to identify their
priorities in both economics and cultural life. State Main
Street Architect Dick Ryan of Austin will be back in town
for a little more consulting.

We wouldn't be surprised if Main Street brought Texas' first
lady to Monahans in April.

What? Laura Bush is coming to town on April 27. We told you.

Yee-haaaa! Main Street rolls!

CNN loses credibility

Credibility is gone at Clinton's News Network, otherwise
known as CNN, if it had any left after the billions it made
pandering to the devil in all of us after the televised
fiasco of The O.J. Simpson Trial. Such CNN marketing of sex,
blood and celebrity can almost be excused under the late
P.T. Barnum's oft-quoted axiom: "You never go broke
underestimating the taste of the American People."

CNN was, is, supposed to be practicing journalism, which
means an obeisance, even a slight nod will do, toward the
God of Objectivity. This is more or less expected of those
who call themselves journalists.The latest sleeze oozing
from Washington has turned CNN into an apologist for The
Administration, a fact underlined by the so-called exclusive
granted the cable news operation for the recent fiasco at
Ohio State University. Truly CNN is as morally bankrupt as
The Administration it serves.

Christie Kittley's Cybergab

Most everyone has heard about the loads of information
stored on the internet. (And if you haven't, where have you
been??) The place the information on the internet helps the
most people is in the medical field. When diagnosed with an
illness, it's a rare person that knows exactly what all the
symptoms are and what to expect. In some cases, there are
new treatments being tested every day, and unless you
subscribe to every health journal known to man, it's likely
you won't find the latest information until it's been in
circulation for weeks or months.

Unfortunately, some patients just don't have that kind of

The internet provides explanations, alternative treatments,
solutions, and best of all peace of mind. All of this in the
most immediate time frame, and at a click of a button.

Sometimes, the best cure for what ails you is simply to talk
to others that have been there. Most medical websites
devoted to a specific topic will have bulletin boards or
even chat rooms where you can talk to people who have the
same illness that you do. Some schedule chats with doctors
from around the world that you can listen in on and ask your
own questions.The websites will even e-mail you the specific
times so that ifyou don't make it to their site, you know
you are still invited to join.

It helps to know that there are others facing the same
problems you are, and their success stories give the gift of
positive thinking.

Families of patients also find comfort in these websites.
There are bulletin boards and chat rooms where loved ones
can talk about their hopes and fears, or simply read what
others have written. In troubled times, it's great to know
you're not alone.

Net Tip of the Week

It's my hope that these websites get you a good start
searching for answers on the internet. Don't forget...when
all else fails try every search engine. (Lycos, Excite,
WebCrawler, etc.) One search engine does not have the same
listing of websites as all the others.

This is a site I found on the search engine Infoseek. It's
a listing of medical journals that offer information on a
wide variety of topics.

This is one general site about cancer...there are many
thousands of sites on the internet.

Snail Mail
P.O.Box 187
Wickett, TX 79788

Letter from the editor

By Steve Patterson

What do President Bill Clinton and the Pecos River Pupfish
have in common?

Both are currently embroiled in a sexual controversy as
determined by federal officials.

The Ward County Commissioners Court approved unanimously
Monday morning a resolution of opposition to government
agencies declaring the Pupfish an endangered species. You
may or may not know - or care for that matter - but the
little two-inch minnow which used to inhabit the Pecos River
from north of Roswell to south of Sheffield can now only be
found in two spots; i.e. a tributary of the river in Reeves
County and in a gravel pit near Grandfalls.

Federal wildlife officials in New Mexico are warning that
the Pecos Pupfish will become extinct if action is not taken
soon. My knee-jerk response to the bureaucrats in the Land
of Enchantment would be, "Hey, why don't you guys just give
us back some of the river water you've stolen over the years
and maybe we would have enough minnows to satisfy federal

But, as usual, these matters are not so simple.

"What difference," you may be asking yourself, "could it
possibly make if the feds put a fish on an endangered
species list?" Well, rest assured that it would not be long
before we would have feds spreading across Ward County
writing us up for federal regulation violations.

But, in this particular case, the villains are not us
taxpayers. No, the biggest threat to the survival of the
Pupfish are those lecherous, sexually-aggressive males of
the Costal Sheepshead Minnow species.

Apparently the male Pupfish is one of those type guys who
likes to sit on the couch in front of the TV sipping a few
cold brews while - unbeknownst to him - Mrs. Pupfish has
been receiving the undivided attention of the studly
Sheepshead minnow. I assume that the U.S. Department of Fish
& Wildlife is going to bring in some trained relationship
counselors to try and salvage what's left of the Pupfish'
romance, but it may be too late. Perhaps all this hub-bub
could have been avoided had Mr. Pupfish just picked-up
around the place ever so often and maybe bring home flowers
once per mating season.

According to Hans Stuart, spokesman for U.S. Fish & Wildlife
out of Albuquerque, said the Sheepshead home-wrecker was
introduced into the Pecos by sports fishermen trying their
luck below the Red Bluff Reservoir Dam. Other than this
"hybridization" (Stuart's word, not mine), the Pupfish is
also threatened by the drying up of the Pecos and pollution,
he said.

Friends of Animals

Jennifer Fowler-Propst, a field supervisor for this region
and a biologist with U.S. Fish & Wildlife, was very helpful
in giving me even more background about her agency's efforts
to have the Pupfish placed on the list.

She emphasized that the effort is still in the proposal
stage and that it would be at least a year before any final
action would be taken. She also said that public hearings
would be held in Ward County if citizens voiced a need. She
added that her agency has been in contact with supportive
officials from the Texas Department of Parks & Wildlife and
the Pecos River Compact Commission.

And then, Ms. Fowler-Propst said something that brought this
whole affair into focus. The feds are pursuing this matter
due to some lawsuits calling for "resolution of status" for
several species. The lawsuits were brought by an
organization known as Friends of Animals.

"What possibly," I asked her, "can the federal government do
to keep the sexually aggressive Sheepshead male and the
Pupfish female apart?"

Ms. Fowler-Propst's reply?

"Plenty. Back in the early 80s, there was a massive
fish-kill along the Pecos due to algae and other
contributing factors. If we [the feds] can isolate the
Pupfish in the tributary of Salt Creek and in the gravel pit
in Grandfalls, we can keep those populations going until
there is another fish-kill and the Sheepshead population is
decimated in the river."

After the fish-kill, the Pupfish could be re-introduced into
its old stomping grounds, she added.

Doomed Remnant Population

Dyer Moore, owner of Texas Redfish Company in Grandfalls,
has a few opinions about the controversy , although he
readily admits that Pupfish regulations would have no impact
on his business since he doesn't use river water for his
hatchery operation.

"Isolate the Pupfish population? Wait how many years for
another fish-kill? It's a pipe dream!" scoffed Moore during
a telephone interview.

"The Pecos Pupfish is what is known as a 'doomed remnant
population', which means there is nothing the federal
government or the Friends of Animals can do to stop the
natural selection process. A heartier species comes in and
takes over the neighborhood through hybridization. In this
case, the disappearance of the Pecos Pupfish will have zero

"To me, this is just another example of a waste of
taxpayers' money and a jamming of the court system," said
Moore, adding that he found the controversy ludicrous.

If U.S. Fish & Wildlife decide to hold public hearings
concerning the Pupfish, I hope Dyer Moore and others around
Ward County will show up and speak up. I also would welcome
any letters from members of Friends of Animals defending
this - what I consider - frivolous litigation.

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Steve Patterson, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.