Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
Channel lineup for Pecos rises, not in Barstow
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
PECOS, Tues., Dec. 9, 2003 -- The new owners of the Pecos cable company
will be returning one channel to the basic cable lineup and adding
several others in the near future. However, Barstow cable residents
won't be looking at any improvement to the channel line-up for their
system in the immediate future.
Cebridge Connections, which took over the Pecos and Barstow systems
this past summer from bankrupt Classic Cable, posted a notice on the
community cable channel that it would be returning Chicago's WGN to the
local cable lineup in the near future, along with adding several other
channels, including Black Entertainment Television and E! Entertainment
Channel, to the basic package.
WGN was taken off the local system three years ago and replaced with
the National Geographic Channel. The other channels have never before
been on the Pecos system.
The changes were among several additions and subtractions to the
expanded basic and digital cable packages for Pecos viewers planned by
Cebridge. Several channels will also be moved to new locations, while
one current basic channel, Toon Disney, will be relocated to the
digital-only cable package, according to the notice posted on Channel
While Pecos' channel line-up is scheduled to increase from its
current total of 54 channels in the expanded basic cable package,
Barstow's cable situation has far less variety.
Barstow residents receive 43 less cable TV channels than Pecos, with
a ten-dollar reduction in price.
According to a Cebridge Connections representative, the expanded
basic program that Pecos receives, which delivers 54 channels at $39.95
per month, is not available to Barstow. Barstow can only receive the 11
channels contained in the full basic program at $29.95 per month.
The problem is the smaller city's lack of receiving equipment,
according to officials with Cebridge. The system was purchased from a
previous cable provider and the satellite signal receiving dishes are
either not present or too few in number to pick up the additional
channels that Pecos can get.
Pecos' system was expanded from 12 channels to 21 channels by Warner
Amex (now Time Warner) Cable in 1982, when it owned the system. It
later sold Pecos and other area cable systems to United Video
Cabelvision, which expanded the service to over 40 channels in the late
1980s and early 1990s. Classic Cable added another dozen channels to
the local line-up and added digital cable service to the local system
over the past five years, before filing for bankruptcy in 2002.
The line-up that Barstow receives includes: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS,
the Weather Channel, National Geographic channel, Univision,
Galavision, Telemundo, and PTCB. On the Barstow system, CBS, NBC,
Univision and PTCB are received from Midland-Odessa, while the other
stations are brought in by satellite.
The root of the problem is that Barstow only has approximately 100
subscribers to the cable service. The installation of the additional
equipment needed to being the small community up to speed is just not
cost effective, according to a Cebridge representative.
Balmorhea, on the other hand, can receive 38 channels in their basic
cable package provided by Mountain Zone TV. Balmorhea and Barstow are
roughly the same size, with Balmorhea having about 200 more residents,
according to the 2000 Census.
Cebridge is a growing company with 885 employees, that specializes
in providing service to underserved or rural areas, according Hoover, a
business information website. The company's own website adds that
Cebridge provides service in nine states, and according to its mission
statement, it is dedicated to "bringing [rural] customer the level of
service that their urban counterparts enjoy, and to that end, the
company is currently investing tens of millions of dollars to upgrade
systems, improve picture quality, expand television entertainment
choices and enhance the internet experience."
According to the FCC website, cable television has been deregulated
to allow local government entities to contract out the cable services
for their town. The FCC only regulates the broadcast of indecent
material, the number of commercials aired during children's
programming, and the broadcast of material having to do with a
candidate for political office.
All other regulation is left up to the local franchising authority,
or LFA. The LFA enters into a contract of a certain length of time,
with intermittent renewal dates throughout the life of the contract.
The FCC directs all complaints to be presented to the cable provider,
then the LFA, and if those do not solve the problem, then the site ask
customers to call the FCC.
The cable company has the right to select what channels will be
available to an area according to price of delivery and market interest
of the customers, according to the FCC website. The channels provided
and the pricing for the service are both laid out in the contract
agreement between the cable company and the LFA.
Third candidate eyes Precinct 3 commish race
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Tues., Dec. 9, 2003 -- A former agriculture teacher in Pecos
has become the second potential challenger for the Precinct 3
commissioner's seat in the Reeves County Democratic primary election,
while four incumbents are the only ones so far to officially file to
run for new terms in the March election.
Bailey E. Wheeless has filed his treasurer's designation with Reeves
County Clerk Diane O. Florez as the first step in running for office in
Reeves County. Wheeless, a retired agriculture teacher at Pecos High
School, has filed to run for Commissioner Precinct 3 and designated
himself as treasurer.
He becomes the third person to file a treasurer's designation in the
Precinct 3 race, though none as of yet have filed with county
Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Dean. Incumbent Herman Tarin has filed
with the Reeves County Clerk's office, as has Manuel "Manny" D. Lopez.
Both Tarin, who filed on Nov. 26, and Lopez, who filed last
Wednesday, also designated themselves as treasurer for their campaigns.
Tarin is seeking his fourth term as Reeves County Commissioner.
The only candidates to file so far with Dean to officially run in
March are incumbent Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez; Reeves
County Tax Assessor/Collector Elfida Zuniga; Precinct 2 Constable Jerry
C. Matta and Precinct 3 Constable Tomas "Tommy" Martinez.
The first three also have filed their treasurer's designation. Gomez
listed Grace Morales as his treasurer; Zuniga selected Orlando Zuniga
as treasurer of her campaign and Matta designated himself as treasurer.
Incumbent Reeves County Precinct 1 Commissioner Felipe Arredondo
filed his treasurer's designation, on Sept. 9, naming himself as
treasurer, but has not yet filed with Dean to run in the Democratic
primary. Also filing a treasurer's designation in the Precinct 1 race
is Elizer "Chel" Flores, who currently holds the Precinct 3 seat on the
Reeves County Hospital District board. Flores filed with the county
clerk last Wednesday.
To file officially, candidates must file a petition with 50 names or
pay a filing fee to the local party chairmen, so the individuals who
have filed with the county clerk, will now have to take this second
step. Almost all candidates in Reeves County run in the Democratic
primary and file Dean.
Arredondo is seeking a third consecutive term in office, and fourth
term overall as Precinct 1 Commissioner. Flores currently is in his
fourth term on the Reeves County Hospital District's board of
Another incumbent has also filed with the County Clerk. Eriberto
"Eddie" Rodriguez filed for Constable Precinct 4, a position he
currently holds. Rodriguez designated himself as treasurer.
Filing for the Reeves County primary elections in March officially
began last Wednesday with the party chairmen, and continues through
Friday, Jan. 2 This year's primary elections are scheduled for March 9.
Along with the county positions, other local offices that will be
up for election on March 9, are Reeves County Attorney; 143rd District
Attorney and 143rd District Court Judge.
The District Attorney and District Judge positions cover Reeves,
Ward and Loving Counties. Former District Attorney Hal Upchurch of
Monahans already has announced his plans to seek re-election to the
position he last held 12 years ago. Randall W. Reynolds currently holds
the position, and was first elected to office in 1996.
Both the District Attorney and the District Judge candidates will
file their petitions or pay a filing fee in Austin.
Museum offering supplemental pages to local cookbook
PECOS, Tues., Dec. 9, 2003 -- Museum Cookbook Supplements, which
includes 200 recipes to add to your "Cookin West of the Pecos" #4
Cookbook, are now for sale at the West of the Pecos Museum for $5.
Or get the complete Cookbook for $17.95 for 400 mouthwatering
Sign-ups start for 6-8 grade swim squads
PECOS, Tues., Dec. 9, 2003 -- Sign-ups are currently taking place
for sixth through eighth grade students interested in joining the
Junior High Swimming and Diving Team.
All students are welcome - beginning and experienced swimmers, and
can sign up at the student's school office.
Individuals should attend the following meet to visit with Coach
Sixth graders: at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 16, in the cafeteria at
Seventh and eighth graders: at 3:10 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 17, in
Room 109 at Crockett.
For more information call the Pecos High School Pool at 447-7242.
Flu shots offered Wednesday at Kindergarten
PECOS, Tues., Dec. 9, 2003 -- Flu shots will be administered Wednesday
from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., at the Pecos Kindergarten.
The shots will be available for any child in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD, who are eligible for Medicaid, CHIPS or are underinsured.
A certain number of doses will be available and they will be
administered until they run out.
A parent or guardian must accompany the child. If someone else is
taking the child, a note from the parent, granting permission for the
shot, must be presented at the time.
PECOS, Tues., Dec. 9, 2003 -- High Monday 80. Low this morning 46.
Forecast for tonight: Clear. Lows near 25. Northwest winds near 10 mph
in the evening becoming light and variable. Wednesday: Mostly sunny.
Highs near 60. Light and variable winds becoming southeast near 10 mph
in the afternoon. Wednesday night: Mostly clear. Lows near 30.
Southeast winds near 10 mph.
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 2003 by Pecos Enterprise