We appreciate everyone who came in support of West Texas Public Radio for our Beers of the Basin: A Craft Beer Festival. Here are some photos from the event from photographer Alan Torre. You can also find photos from our friends at Smile Booth.
Oilman Clayton Williams’ fight to sell water from Pecos County to Midland-Odessa isn’t quite over yet.
Ed McCarthy, an attorney for Williams and his water company Fort Stockton Holdings, said he plans to appeal a judge’s recent ruling against his client in a years-long legal battle between Williams and the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District.
In 2011, the district denied the company’s permit to pump and sell about 47,000 acre-feet of water from Williams’ family land to municipalities in the Permian Basin. In response, Williams filed an appeal that became tangled in legal proceedings through the following years.
But in September, Sixth Regional Judge Stephan Ables ruled against Williams, siding with the district and upholding their denial of the water permit. The judge also ruled that Williams’ company would have to cover the district’s court costs and fees. Williams’ attorney says he plans to appeal the judge’s final ruling on the matter, issued this month.
There was a hearing on the issue of the court costs scheduled for Tuesday (November 17) in Fort Stockton, but it was cancelled because attorneys for both sides came to the agreement that Fort Stockton Water Holdings would reimburse the district for 100% of its costs in the case.
Still, McCarthy said that will only happen if the district wins the case on appeal.
The district’s attorney Michael Gershon said he estimates those reimbursement costs to be around $150,000.
Originally published on November 16, 2015
Update at 5:45 p.m. ET 24 Governors Now Oppose Resettlement:
In the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, a growing number of Republican U.S. governors say they oppose allowing refugees from Syria to settle within their states.
“Given the tragic attacks in Paris and the threats we have already seen, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees — any one of whom could be connected to terrorism — being settled in Texas,” wrote Gov. Greg Abbott, in a letter to President Obama.
“As such, opening our door to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril,” he said.
Allowing refugees to come into the country “is not only misguided, it is extremely dangerous,” said Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. “I will do everything humanly possible to stop any plans from the Obama administration to put Syrian refugees in Mississippi.”
In September, the president said the country would accept 10,000 refugees within a year.
But since the attacks on Friday, concerns are being expressed about the risks of a resettlement program. Some published reports say a passport found at the site of one of the attacks has been linked to a man who came into Greece from Syria as a refugee.
It’s not clear what individual states can do to keep refugees out. Immigration policy is the jurisdiction of the federal government, and once refugees are allowed into the country, states cannot easily prevent them from entering.
Twenty-four governors have now said they oppose refugee settlement, including one Democrat, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.
Some governors have stopped short of saying they will oppose refugees, but have said they will put resettlement efforts on hold.
In a letter to Obama, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he is unhappy about what he sees as a lack of information his state has been given about refugees being resettled there:
“Last week, the city of New Orleans began receiving its first wave of Syrian refugees. As with former immigration crises and federal relocation policy, Louisiana has been kept in the dark about those seeking refuge in the state. It is irresponsible and severely disconcerting to place individuals, who may have ties to ISIS, in a state without the state’s knowledge or involvement.”
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said his state would “temporarily suspend accepting new Syrian refugees and consider all of our legal options pending a full review of the process by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”
Even Michigan, a state with a large Arab-American population, is expressing reservations about refugee resettlement. Gov. Rick Snyder, who had previously promised to welcome refugees, is shifting his tone:
“Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration. But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”
The production of craft beer and the amount of craft breweries has seen a large increase in the United States over the last ten years.Although Texas was a little late to the party, the state is making up for lost time, with the number of active craft breweries nearly doubling in a span of three years.
Jackson Wisdorf set off to Big Bend Brewing Company in Alpine, to speak with brewery manager Henryk Orlik about the emergence of craft beer in far west Texas. Then had a chat with Josh Cockrell, label artist and “Creative Czar” of the Jester King Brewery in Austin, about the relationship between beer and the label that goes along with it.
Originally published on October 28, 2015
Hundreds of gas plants across the country — and as many as 180 in Texas — soon will have to alert the federal government if they discharge, produce or handle certain toxic chemicals like benzene or hydrogen sulfide.
Responding to a petition and subsequent lawsuit filed by a coalition of environmental and open government groups, including one from Texas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to add natural gas processing facilities to the list of entities that must report annually to the Toxic Release Inventory, or TRI. Congress created the program nearly 30 years ago as a way to provide citizens with information about the presence of toxic chemicals at facilities in their neighborhoods.
The EPA declined, however, to add the entire oil and gas sector to the list, as groups including the Texas Campaign for the Environment had demanded.
This weekend, another public radio personality visited West Texas. About two weeks prior, Jad Abumrad of Radiolab gave a talk in Midland, and on Friday, David Sedaris appeared in Odessa.
We got to know him from appearances on This American Life and from his sarcastic holiday stories played on NPR. And from books like Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Holidays On Ice, and Barrel Fever.
This show at Odessa College’s Deaderick Hall is publically supported. “Through the support of hotel-motel funding and donations,” said Ryan McGuire, who is on the Board as Treasurer with the Odessa Council for Arts & Humanities.
Carrying an armful of his books, Cindy Campbell never thought she’d see the author in the Permian Basin. “But I’m so glad Odessa is doing this,” she said, “because I’ve tried to catch him places. You know it’s usually like maybe Dallas or Houston. Once I tried to go to Washington D.C., when my son lived up there. I live in Lamesa now and here he is, an hour away.”
In this episode of our Astronomy Series, Ian Lewis speaks with Jerry Martin, the lead technician of the mirror facility and coating lab at the McDonald Observatory, who gives a behind the scenes look at how he and his team keep the observatory’s largest telescope in clean and working condition.
Jerry and his team of technicians demonstrate how they clean the primary mirror of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope with CO2, and later gives a tour of the mirror coating facility. Here, Jerry develops new coating mixtures for the mirrors, to allow for optimal light collection by the telescope. In addition, each of the 91 hexagonal mirrors that make up the telescope’s primary mirror are tested, cleaned, and re-coated in this facility when necessary.
GUADALUPE, Chihuahua — People living in the Juárez Valley southeast of Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, Texas allege that land speculators preparing for the start of oil and gas production have spurred a land grab that’s forced what some claim is an exodus of local residents.
People interviewed for this story claim that they or neighbors have been burned out of their homes and that many others have been murdered.
They all live in a string of towns along the Rio Grande in an area slated for energy production and rapid infrastructure construction.
Fog, it’s something not immediately thought of when far west Texas comes up in conversations.
However, whether it be radiation fog, evaporation fog, upslope fog, or the dreaded freezing fog, David Langford has taken photos of it, and Lonn recounts his adventures on this edition of The Rambling Boy.
By Andrew Stuart The approach to the Devils River challenges the senses. Limestone and juniper-covered plains, in gray and muted green, stretch as far as the eye can see. In the landscape, there’s little variety or change. Then there’s the … Continue reading
Lonn Taylor discusses watering holes and restaurants throughout the Lone Star State.
On this edition of the Rambling Boy, Lonn Taylor discusses his experience at the Medical Center Hospital in Odessa while undergoing a Carotid Endarterectomy.
From being able to pull off a red ascot with white polka dots, purchased in 1955 by Lonn at Whiteaway Laidlaw in Singapore, to speaking Tagalog, a language spoken by a quarter of the population of the Philippines, with a few of the nurses at the hospital.
Listen to hear the whole story.
Last week, Lonn rambled down to San Antonio to give a speech at the 100th anniversary meeting of the Old Trail Drivers Association of Texas at the historic Witte museum.
In this edition of the Rambling Boy, Lonn recounts the stories of cowboys and cattle-hands on long cattle drives, describing just how grueling of a job being a cowboy actually is.