Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, June 16, 2006
La Tienda finishes $1 million renovation
La Tienda Thriftway is nearing completion of its $1 million renovation to its South Eddy Street store that began last year.
On Wednesday, June 21, the store will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and host an open house.
“We will have free samples and giveaways,” said District Manager Robert Garcia.
La Tienda began major renovations in November of 2005 with this summer as the goal for completion.
“We started with the exterior,”said Garcia, who said the exterior work included completely renovating the outside, including the front and rear of the building, and replacement of the store’s roof.
During the renovations they added new heating and cooling units to the building.
“We changed our outside lighting to high-output lighting for customer safety,” said Garcia.
The parking lot was seal coated and new striping applied.
A new entrance design was created, with a center opening instead of two separate entrances, which was the design when the store originally opened as a Safeway more than 35 years ago.
“This blocks a lot of the west side heat and also blocked out the wind, which was blowing a lot of debris into the store,” said Garcia. “This also helped because everybody was parking on one side of the lot only (when only one door was open) and this opened it up to where people parked in different areas of the parking lot, instead of just one end.
“This allows people to use both entrances conveniently and helps traffic flow in the parking lot,” he said.
Garcia said that they had eliminated the old floor tile and went with stained concrete inside the store.
“Concrete stain allows a slip-proof surface, a modern look, and is easy to maintain,” said Garcia.
During construction, the group added approximately 2,000 square feet to the produce department, along with new cases and new merchandise.
“Everything you put your produce on is new,” said Garcia. “This allowed us to add close to 200 new items to the produce department.”
The meat department received an upgrade and now features new triple-deck cases, and new frozen meat merchandise has been added.
“We now have a center aisle display and a five-door frozen meat case to add variety to the meat department, which the customers really appreciate,” said Garcia.
During one night, the crew moved the whole dairy department to the other side of the store. “We were able to add 32 feet of dairy space by doing that, which increased the variety,” said Garcia.
The deli and bakery area were completely gutted. “Everything that was there is gone. We brought in a new deli hot table, new luncheon meats were added, and four new showcases were added.
“We brought in new baking display tables and a Blue Bell dipping station,” said Garcia. “People really seem to like that.”
The store added a more modern cheese display case and brought in a variety of cheeses, along with the standard line.
“We completely took out the old shelves and replaced them with new shelving throughout the store,” he said. “This allowed us to widen the aisles and provide more variety throughout the store for the customers.”
Garcia said that one thing that they did was look at the aisles.
“We put markers on both ends of the aisles,” said Garcia. “Everything we did was with the customer in mind.”
He said that another check stand was added to avoid overcrowding and long lines. “We also widened the space between the aisles and the checkouts,” he said.
The number of employees was also increased. “We have added close to 30 or more employees and are still trying to fill our workforce,” said Garcia.
A new customer service area was also built.
“The Western Union counter was created and a separate check cashing counter,” he said, while the store retained its one-hour photo lab, which was a fairly recent addition.
“It’s still in place, which is the only place in town you can get one-hour photos,” he said. “We also expanded the floral department.”
Garcia said that they have been stressing to the employees the importance of customer service. “We want to take care of our customers,” he said.
The store design was done by a design company out of Dallas. “They design all in-store décor, - that’s their specialty,” Garcia said.
Summer store hours were also changed, and La Tienda will be open for the next few months from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.
“We’ve received a positive response from the people in Pecos and worked closely with city leaders,” said Garcia, adding that the Pecos store is the most modern store within a 100-mile radius.
“Mr. Bill Fenn wanted to invest in the community and he had promised to remodel this store for the people of Pecos,” said Garcia. “He wanted to give the people of Pecos a selling point for bringing new businesses in and we hope we’ve done this with our remodeling.”
Garcia said that La Tienda is served by the third largest warehouse in the United States, (Affiliated Foods).
“We receive five trucks a week, so we’re hopeful we can provide the freshest produce and meat and variety to the customer,” said Garcia.
Garcia said that if there is anything that the customer would like to see in the store, they will get it for them.
With Kentucky Fried Chicken closing it’s doors recently, La Tienda wanted to fill that gap left by the closing of that franchise.
“We are now offering fried chicken,” said Garcia. “The chicken is by Charley Biggs,” said Garcia.
Garcia said that they hoped this filled the void left by KFC. “We also offer the side dishes,” he said.
The store also brought in a variety of items at the deli, including smoked brisket and ribs.
“Customers can get the brisket in different forms, smoked or sliced,” said Garcia.v
A stand up oven was added in that department with the capability of baking 200 pies at one time or 80 loaves of bread.
“We wanted to give Pecos a new look in the deli department,” said Garcia. “We wanted to give a fresh, new look. Everything in there is new,” he said.
Extra employees were added in the baking department to help keep the tables full.
“We appreciate the people of Pecos and their great response,” said Garcia. “We tried to provide a more modern day grocery store for Pecos,” he said.
Garcia said that they had remodeled the store in Carlsbad in 2003-2004.
“We appreciate the communities’ patience while we were under construction,” said Garcia.
Rodeo events, ribbon cuttings discussed at Chamber
New events for the kids are scheduled for the Annual West of the Pecos Rodeo.
Rodeo President Joe Keese talked to members of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors during their monthly meeting and said that everything is pretty well set up for the yearly event.
The rodeo is set for the week of June 26.
Keese said that there will be a boot scramble for kids, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 28 and Thursday, June 29. The event will be held before the rodeo performances.
“We received six bikes as donations from Wal-Mart to give out as prizes,” said Keese.
The Boot Scramble is open to three age groups: five and six-year-olds; seven and eight-year-olds and nine and ten-year-olds.
Any youngster wanting to participate in the Boot Scramble should be at the West of the Pecos Rodeo Arena by 6:45 p.m.
A Calf Scramble is planned for the older children. The Calf Scramble is scheduled for 7 p.m., Friday, June 30, also before the rodeo events begin.
The scramble is for boys and girls and will be held for two different age groups; 11 and 12-year-olds and 13-15-year-olds.
The top boy and girl in each age group wins an official West of the Pecos belt buckle donated by the Rotary Club of Pecos.
“Our sponsorship has gone real well,” said Keese. “We’re going to have a very successful rodeo,” he said.
Keese said that volunteers are always needed and welcome.
“Sunday night we will have open roping, before they start competing on Monday,” said Keese. Opening night will be June 28th.
Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Gholson told the group that there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, June 22, for La Tienda.
“It will be at 10 a.m. and we hope to have as many of you there as possible,” said Gholson.
“The Collier House will also be opening their doors soon,” said Gholson.
Gholson said that they plan to open a bed and breakfast and hope to have everything ready in time for the rodeo events.
“Wal-Mart will be having a Jail and Bail on Friday, to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network,” said Gholson.
“A KOL meeting is planned for Monday, July 17 at the Winkler County Credit Union and will be sponsored by the credit union and the hospital,” said Gholson.
Chamber of Commerce President Jimmy Dutchover asked about the cantaloupe crop and whether or not we would be having one.
“Yes, they will be shipping on July 1 and there are just as many planted as have been in the past few years,” said Gholson.
Board member Debbie Thomas told the group that local art teacher Walter Holland had traveled with one of his students to Austin.
“He took the student to Austin and they will be lending us (the West of the Pecos Museum) the exhibit for a week,” said Thomas.
Tickets have gone on sale for the Annual Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant scheduled for Friday, June 23, at the Pecos High School Auditorium.
“Since we don’t have a chair or co-chair, we have been relying on volunteers and everything is coming together,” said Women’s Division President Gail Box.
Box said that since they will be having a Sunday event at the rodeo, she had checked around to see if any of the local restaurants would be open at that time.
“I’ve been talking to some of the local restaurant owners to see if they could possibly open on Sunday,” said Box. “We’ll have people from out of town and we don’t want them to think there’s nothing here,” she said.
Plans for the yearly rodeo parade are coming along smoothly.
“The theme for this year’s event is ‘Western Movies,’ and we already have the judges for this event,” said board member Elsa Palomino.
Collier home opening as bed and breakfast
Quinten and Macy Stanford are opening the historic Collier family home at 216 W. 4th Street as a bed and breakfast next week.
Built in 1908 by Dr. Jim Camp, Pecos’ first doctor, the house was purchased by the Colliers in 1912. Family members have occupied the house ever since.
Quint is the grandson of Ethel and Howard Collier. He, and wife Macy, have life-long connections to ranching.
The 41-year-old Quint grew up near Verhalen on the Collier Stanford ranch and graduated from Pecos High School. Two years ago he started his own fencing company in Pecos, “Buzzard on the Rail Cattle, Horses and Fencing.”
“Buzzard on the Rail is acknowledged as one of Texas’ oldest brands dating back to the Spanish land grants. The Collier family registered the brand in 1901. The brand holds a place of honor in the dome of the State Capital building as well as the Texas Hall of State in Dallas,” Macy said.
Macy is from Clayton, New Mexico and, among other things, is an experienced cow camp cook. She has cooked for the past three years for McCoy Remme Ranches, located between Balmorhea and Ft. Davis, during fall and spring roundup.
Before that she cooked for cowboys on the Scharbour Ranch near Hope, New Mexico.
Why a bed and breakfast?
“We were living in just a small portion of this big house - the upstairs was unused,” Macy said.
“We wanted to build our own business and this seemed like a great opportunity,” she said.
Getting the house ready to receive guests has been a job. “It has been a lot of work. We have been renewing the house more than renovating. We wanted to keep the original feel,” she said.
This won’t be the first time the Collier home has received guests. For the ten years after World War II the house was operated as a boarding house.
When they open for business on June 28th there will be three rooms for guests as well as a common living area with a television, Macy said.
Two rooms will share a common bathroom while a third room has its own bath.
“The two rooms that share a bath will rent for $59.95 / night. The room with its own bath will rent for $69.95 / night.
Breakfast is complimentary and reservations can be made for supper. The Breakfast menu is “cook's choice” but guaranteed to be good. “Unless you don’t like West Texas cooking,” Macy said.
“We also have facilities for receptions, parties and special events,” Macy said.
The Collier House Bed and Breakfast will host a ribbon cutting with refreshments at 10 a.m. on June 27th and open house will continue the rest of the day.
“Everyone is welcome to come by and take a look,” Macy said.
To make reservations call 445-2583.
Deadline to protest taxes June 26
Property owners who wish to protest their 2006 tax valuations must file a written notice with the Reeves County Appraisal District before hearings begin June 26.
Real estate protests to the ARB are set for June 26 and July 10, said Carol Markham, chief appraiser. Mineral hearings are set for July 18. They will be at the appraisal office, 403 S. Cypress.
After the ARB completes its hearings and approves final property appraisals, local governments will use these appraisals to set 2006 tax rates.
Protests may be lodged for any of the following:
- the appraised or market value of the property;
- unequal appraisal of the taxpayer’s property compared to similar property in the district;
- inclusion of the property on the appraisal records;
- denial of a partial exemption, such as a homestead exemption;
- denial of special appraisals, such as agricultural or timber productivity appraisal;
- determination that agricultural or timber land has had a change of use and is subject to a rollback tax;
- identification of the taxing units or units in which the property is located;
- determination that the taxpayer is the owner of the property;
- or any other action of the appraisal office that adversely affects the owner.
Each protesting property owner may offer evidence or argument, either in person or by filing a sworn affidavit with the ARB.
Long-time Pecosite celebrates 90th
Mary Kate Zeman celebrated her 90th birthday on June 14, with friends and family at the West of the Pecos Museum.
Zeman was born June 13, 1916, in Pecos, to Pioneer Pecos and Reeves County parents, Nancy and Bob Couch. She graduated from Pecos High School in 1934.
She was one of the early graduates of Texas Tech College in 1937, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics. While still in college at the age of 19 she taught in the “one-room” school at Patrol, Texas. The Patrol School was located about 12 miles north of Pecos along the Pecos River.
After graduation she began her teaching career at Idalou, east of Lubbock. At various times she also taught Home Economics at Friona and Abernathy.
Zeman was also a Texas Agricultural Extension Service Home Economist at Lamar and Castro Counties. While teaching in Idalou, she met Virgil Zeman, her roommate’s brother from Abernathy.
They married in 1941. While Virgil was in the navy during World War II, she stayed on the West Coast in California and Oregon.
She worked at various wartime jobs including in a winery. Her winery job was a subject of family joking as her mother, Nancy Couch, was a staunch member of the “Women’s Temperance Union.”
The couple lived in Abernathy, Friona and Pecos. While in Abernathy and Friona, Zeman worked with the Public Library in Abernathy and helped establish the Friona Public Library. While in Friona, she was elected as the first woman on the Friona School Board. In Pecos, she has worked as a volunteer to several organizations. Her longest service has been to the West of the Pecos Museum.
She has been a member of the Methodist Church, and also the Presbyterian Church serving as an Elder, and now attends the First Methodist Church in Pecos.
Zeman’s husband, Virgil passed away in 1999. She has one son, a daughter-in-law, three grandchildren, one great-grandson, three nieces, and a host of extended family and friends.
She lives in her home of many years north of Pecos that Bob Couch homesteaded in the 1890’s.
Paperwork completed needed for camp
All 8th grade students that are signed up to go to the Gear Up Camp at Sul Ross State University, July 23 to July 28, must have all paperwork completed by the end of next week. You have to have a copy of your insurance and/or Medicaid card turned in no later than the end of next week. You will not be able to go if this paperwork is not finished.
You can turn it in at Crockett Middle School from now until June 22.
Their office will be open from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., until June 22.
For more information call Anne Hess at 432-294-3925 or 432-448-1039.
Brownlee, Harper announce wedding plans
Mr. James Brownlee and Ms. Jo Brownlee proudly announce the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their son, Bryan Paul to Miss Rebecca Jo Harper the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kenneth Harper, Jr. of Dallas.
The wedding is planned for 6 p.m., July 15, at Church of the Incarnation located in Dallas.
Oglesby named to Dean’s List
Local resident William Joseph Oglesby of Pecos, was named to the Dean’s List for achieving a 3.75 GPA for the spring semester at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
Oglesby is the son of Bill and Karen Oglesby.
Local students make honors at ASU
The Dean’s List for the 2006 Spring Semester has been announced at Angelo State University in San Angelo.
To be eligible for the Dean’s List, students must be enrolled full-time and maintain a 3.25 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
The honorees, along with their majors, include the following from the Pecos area: Marcela Fierro, accounting; Sarah Katherine Lee, pre-veterinary and Kenneth Wayne Winkles, music.
Alvarez receives law degree from UT
Alva Elizama Alvarez received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree on May 20, from the University of Texas School of Law.
While in law school, Alvarez participated in the Actual Innocence Clinic where she investigated inmates’ claims of actual innocence, represented indigent clients while participating in the Criminal Defense Clinic, and she interned in the Travis County District Attorney’s office in Austin, where she helped build cases against criminal defendants on behalf of the State of Texas. She was also active in the Student Recruitment and Orientation Committee for the law school.
Alvarez graduated with honors from Harvard University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Anthropology.
She plans to return home to practice law in Pecos, after taking a Texas Bar Exam in July.
Dominguez receives degree in nursing
Barbara Dominguez, a 1990 graduate of Irving High School, Irving, received her Master of Science degree in nursing (MSN, Nurse Practitioner), from the Catholic University of America-Washington, D.C.
She also holds BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) from the University of Texas at Austin as well as a Bachelor’s of Science (BS, BSN) and Nursing from the University of Maryland.
Dominguez graduated in the top 15 of her class and was inducted in Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society, Kappa Chapter.
She is the daughter of Cruz and Leonarda Dominguez of Irving, former Pecos residents.
She is the granddaughter of Helen Dominguez and the late Justo Dominguez of Pecos and also the granddaughter of the late Domingo and Juana Chabarria, also of Pecos.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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