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for Pecos Country of West Texas


Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Thanks for

everything Austin

Sometimes I pretend I have a secretary. I put my feet up on my desk and say, "Ms. Hurley (that's my pretend secretary's name) take a letter please."

Dear Austin,

Well thank you very much.

Thank you for declaring that the pool Pecos kids have been swimming in for the last 55 years is no longer safe.

It was safe enough in 1950. And safe enough in 1990. And safe enough last year.

What changed that brought about this patently unsafe condition?

Did you discover that the concrete used to form the pool contains hazardous materials?

Did you discover that some evil strain of bacteria hides in our old pool?

Have kids been getting hurt?


Your bureaucrats simply changed the regulations regarding public pools and the old Pecos pool does not measure up to Austin standards.

Of course for a couple hundred thousand bucks we can refurbish the old pool and make it "safe."

Unfortunately Pecos does not have a couple hundred grand to refurbish the old pool.

Oh well, at least Pecos kids will be "safe," while they sit around and sweat in 110-degree heat and look for something to do.

In a little town like Pecos there are hundreds of other things to do in the summer other than swim, like…. well, surely there is something to do. We will manage. West Texas breeds self-reliant folks.

Thanks again Austin.

Your bureaucrats have vastly improved our lives once again.

P.S. Please send the authors of these new regulations out to Pecos next summer. Say about July 15th. We would like to hold a special event in their honor.

"Send that right away please Ms. Hurly, and help me find that good length of manila rope that was lying around here. I want to make sure everything is ready when those Austin boys get here."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:

Our View

Hispanic voting power makes for interesting politics

The growing power of the Hispanic voting block is creating some interesting turns on America's political highway.

For the last 50 years our national politics have been dominated by political divisions that grouped minorities of all types, a majority of women, labor unions and all brands of tree-huggers in the Democrat camp and everybody else in the Republican camp.

Welcome to the brave new world _ a world where people of Mexican origins primarily _ are swinging a bigger voting stick than ever before.

In the process they are confusing the political generals in both camps.

Witness the current debate concerning Mexican trucks traveling United States highways as the North American Free Trade Agreement opens up the border a little more each year.

In the past Democrats have complacently counted on Hispanics to vote Democrat simply because Hispanics are thought of as a minority.

Now they have a problem. Mexican/Hispanic interests are running afoul of labor union interests and it may make for a big split in the Democrat army.

While there are legitimate safety concerns, and all vehicles allowed to travel our roads should meet the same safety requirements, you can bet your last dollar that the Democrat stance against Mexican trucks has a lot less to do with safety than it does protecting labor union interests.

The Republican generals are not getting a free ride in all of this.

Many Republican constituents fear an overwhelming tide of brown faces transforming southern border states into little versions of Mexico _ overpopulated, underdeveloped, undereducated and ruled by petty bureaucrats exploiting every ounce of their power to their own gain and stealing everything that is not nailed down.

Considering the Bush administration's policies, the Republican tactical wisdom appears to be that a Texas and California dominated by Hispanics might not be so bad if that population is participating in the American dream based on hard work, sacrifice, and capitalism.

The Democrats are going to have a tough time sorting this mess out and keeping Hispanics neatly in the Democrat fold if Hispanic-owned businesses continue to grow under NAFTA.

It seems that lot of Hispanics are more interested in capitalizing on capitalism than holding their hands out for the Democrat dole.

That will make buying their votes with tax dollars (though government handouts and subsidies) a tough job.

At the same time Republicans are going to have to work hard to make their core constituents comfortable with their new bedfellows.

It should make for some interesting politics.

Thanks to Reeves County Hospital staff

Dear Editor:
Last week, while we were visiting my family in Pecos, my husband became ill. Feeling a lot of pain, being up all night and not knowing what was wrong, we decided to go to the emergency room and I want to share this experience with you.

When they took my husband back into the examination room, he received wonderful care. The emergency room nurses, EMT technician, and Dr. Jifi were all great. My husband received excellent care from everyone he came in contact with.

We are back home and he is feeling better.

Thanks to all the employees at the Reeves County Hospital for making it a good place to receive medical care and to Pecos for keeping the hospital open.

Jeffersonville, Indiana

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Pecos Enterprise
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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