City management 

Alpine City management has changed from its previous full-time professional, graduate-school-educated, MBA-trained, with previous municipal City Manager work experience to the present professional, undergraduate-college-educated with previous private industry work and management experience in sales and marketing. 

The switch from service to finance has extended to the recently reported malfunctioning of 20 percent of our fire hydrants.  The strategic distribution of fully functional hydrants, that conforms to the fire department’s minimum 1000 ft. access distance, is a necessary high-priority service to citizens that must not be delayed by contingency finances buildup or bickering over responsibility and costs with the fire department and the county.

Alpine management, whether from inexperience or other reason, has changed emphasis from goal-oriented on citizen service to one of short-term financial considerations. 

While history exists of the proper balance of service with cost, management has chosen to disregard that experience and apparently to focus on fiscal goals: to generate capital with the sale of underused neighborhood parks; betraying an obvious majority of Alpine area citizens by selling our precious potable water for the intrusive, risk-increasing Trans-Pecos Pipeline; continuing poor cost decisions, instead of reconsidering the halting of the sewer extension project, a costly decision to Alpine’s long-term credibility; and considering buying back the costly natural gas contract that is causing gas customers to overpay almost double the going monthly rate.

Management, like the neo-cons, admits no wrong from which to learn, and continues its marketing techniques at public meetings, presenting short-term accomplishments to keep the public unaware of long-term consequences. 

Alpine requires wise, capable and mature management to sustain its natural assets.

Joseph Goldman

Alpine

Promote Alpine

My husband and I spent two days in Alpine this past January. We tried in vain to purchase a baseball cap and T-shirt with just the words, "Alpine, Texas" on them.

Wow, you need to do a better job promoting your town. We literally went to about 15 recommended stores and the only thing we found was one long-sleeved tee that had a painted scene on the front, which is not what we were looking for.

Also, there is not a postcard to be found. We went to the chamber of commerce where they did have a few T-shirts, size small and XXL, but not one postcard.  

Seriously, Alpine, someone needs to step up and promote the town better. 

I called Bullshirtz only to find out they don't do individual shirts. I had a long, very pleasant conversation with Rick, who told me that many of the businesses right there in town do not use him for business. 

What is wrong with the locals that they won't purchase locally and stimulate the economy right there? The chamber used to use Bullshirtz for their tees, but not any more; the Alpine schools don't use them; the historic Holland Hotel prints their tees and caps promoting the restaurant elsewhere, too. And I'm sure there are others.   

I just don't get it, and while I realize there are two sides to every story, why aren't more of you shopping locally?

In my opinion it should be first and foremost on residents and business owners' minds. 

I speak from experience having owned small businesses and seeing locals shop everywhere but their hometown.

I challenge you, Alpine, to do better.

Jacquie A. Green

San Antonio

Sheriff candidate

Mr. Vega, you have stated you wish to "serve and protect our citizens."

How will you plan to do this with no background, no education in this field, unable to carry a firearm? Your qualifications are none.  

To solve this predicament you will establish a Civil Advisory Committee and possibly hire an employee. With who? Some more "good ole boys" who are as untrained as yourself?

We already have too many of those on our payroll as it is. This is going to stop violent crimes?

Sorry, my vote is very valuable to me and you do not qualify for that position as an elected official, just like the county treasurer and others did not qualify, either.

Voters remember this.

Katie Elms Lawrence

Alpine

Special interest

For those of you who might have missed this news recently, people in Midland have been busted for cockfighting.

What I found strange about it was how the cockfighting was highly prioritized over the cocaine distribution bust. I see the cocaine traffic in this part of the country to be a much bigger problem than cockfighting and to upstage it with cockfighting smells of special interest.

Cockfighting is another example of a once-legal activities being placed in the domain of criminals by well-intentioned special interest groups.

As it has been said the streets of hell are paved with good intentions; i.e., American prohibition and Mexican gun control. Both of these activities were and are responsible for criminal control and a rise in crime. Now we can add cock fighting to the list.

I see cockfighting as no crueler than the raising and processing of chickens for the general public. I suppose it’s the cellophane, little Styrofoam trays and plastic tubs that make it more acceptable.

If one finds cockfighting offensive then I suggest not going to one (still legal in Mexico), much like one with a weak stomach should not visit a poultry processing plant.

For those of you like me who have raised or spent time around chickens and/or turkeys you know the process of two alpha males contesting each other. This is what makes the art of cockfighting possible. And now it has been presented as a bigger problem than cocaine distribution.

Maybe it’s just me but I think our priorities are way out of line. It’s a chicken y’all!

P.S. Fresh dead fighting roosters are good for gumbos and stews if you simmer the toughness out of them before adding the other ingredients.

Russ Le Blanc (El Blanco)

Fort Davis

Water stewards

Public servants need to be much better stewards of our water, given Trans-Pecos Pipeline/Pumpco drawing more water than supply permits. 

The Brewster Country Ground Water Conservation District is short on funds (and perhaps backbone) to set limits after Tom Beard’s lesson-pursuing inspection of Pumpco’s FM 1703 facility.  

Is Alpine’s City Manager more interested in revenue from selling water to Pumpco than sustainability and verifying supply? Have city officials forgotten the outcry costing Mike Davidson his council seat when advocating merger with the county district? 

The following is my redacted letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), one among hundreds from Trans-Pecos Pipeline opponents:

“Did FERC conduct a field study analyzing the environmental impact along T-PP’s length or take the word of a specious Energy Transfer application? FERC cannot be ignorant of Energy Transfer’s history of misconduct or industry record stemming from a mind-set placing profits before safety or environment. Yet FERC held T-PP isn’t a ‘significant environmental impact of the entire project’?”

FERC rubber-stamped another energy industry application. Imprudent decisions adversely affect trust in government, setting a precedent with grievous societal consequences. 

Who does FERC answer to – the American public (preserving our resources, quality of life and future) by respecting our laws or the movers and shakers in the energy industry? 

My very conservative constitutional law instructor summed up constitutional due process (fundamental fairness) as: “that which the heart knows is right.” 

Do you have it in you to do what’s right? 

You’ve grossly failed to appreciate the fundamentals of our constitutional government, much less the inherent problems with T-PP’s negative impact on the Big Bend area of Texas and wilderness land to all Americans – to all life.

Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah

Alpine