Category Archives: Act Now

Letter Writing

“Big Bend Letters” project forms to oppose La Entrada Al Pacifico

The mission of the Big Bend Letters project is to raise awareness across Texas of the La Entrada Al Pacifico plan, by facilitating letter writing from residents and friends of the Big Bend to La Entrada Al Pacifico decision makers and other concerned parties.

The Big Bend Letters project is seeking residents and friends of the Big Bend who would like to participate in an ongoing effort to raise awareness across Texas of the proposed La Entrada Al Pacifico truck route. The contacts for the project are: bigbendletters@yahoo.com or 432/837-9087.

The project, intended to coordinate with other groups opposing La Entrada, will create three volunteer letter writing groups to reach out across Texas. The groups will concentrate on contacting legislators and state agencies, statewide interest groups that frequent the Big Bend (hunters, birders, bikers, etc.), and statewide media, respectively.

Big Bend Letters is designed to avoid time consuming meetings and let writers work on their own schedule. The goal of the project is to cut through the red tape and let the unique voices of residents and friends of the Big Bend speak on the region’s behalf. Coordinating those voices can ensure that decision makers and others hear them loud and clear, and the research component will help educate Texans about La Entrada and the issues that surround it.

Each group will be composed of overall coordinators, several researchers, and numerous writers. Coordinators and researchers will identify letter recipients, and relay that information by email or phone to the writers on a regular basis, who will then write and send their letters. Writers may also receive talking points for their correspondence if desired.

This organizational model offers volunteers a convenient, high-impact way to oppose La Entrada based on their personal schedule, without the need for time consuming meetings. It can also accommodate as many volunteers as would like to sign up. The numbers of folks involved will matter, as the point of the loose organization is to let a lot of folks each contribute a little bit. This will help inform lots of friends and neighbors indirectly, and should keep the organizational burden from falling unevenly to a few folks.

 

The tasks of each group will include:

Writers: Write and send at least one letter per week

 

Researchers: Identify key players in each group’s field, their contact info and role in LEAP

Assist Coordinators in passing out contact info to writers

Keep information current; Keep volunteers’ information current

 

Coordinators: Coordinate overall group functions

Mentor and assist writers as needed

Work with researchers and others on research strategies

Coordinate regularly with the other writing groups and LEAP opponents

Collect copies of letters for archival purposes if possible

 

It is essential that residents of the Big Bend create an ongoing means of informing the rest of the state about the Motran/Txdot plan for La Entrada Al Pacifico, enlist the aid of as many Texas residents as possible to oppose the Motran/Txdot plan, and take action to implement better alternatives.

Anyone interested in participating in the Big Bend Letters project should contact bigbendletters@yahoo.com or call 432/837-9087.

Letter to the Editor

Local Alpine activist, Susan Curry has written a well composed letter to the local media outlets clearly describing our concerns. This letter could be copied and pasted into a letter to your local representative. Please come out for the letter writing/party, June 9, at the Alpine B&B, at 113 W. Holland Ave.

To the Editor:

Some people say it’s a done deal; that MOTRAN has the political clout to have their way; that trucks will be filing down Holland Avenue , spewing diesel exhaust fumes as they inch their way through workday traffic.

At this time, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is performing the La Entrada al Pacifico (LEAP) Corridor Study in order to determine the most efficient location of a potential trade route from Mexico (beginning in Topolobampo, traveling up the Copper Canyon to Chihuahua City and into the United States at Presidio). At the present time the existing LEAP Corridor follows US 67 from Presidio through Marfa and Alpine to IH 10 where it travels along IH10/US 67 through Fort Stockton to US 385 at McCamey before connecting to IH 20 and SH 349 in the Midland/Odessa area.

At the first public meeting of the LEAP Corridor Study set up by TxDOT on March 13, 2007, approximately 350-400 people crammed into the Alpine High School Cafeteria to register their concerns and opposition to this potentially community breaking project.

With this first public meeting, a core group of citizens from Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis , and Marathon began meeting to address the problems we will face due to increased long-haul truck traffic going through our main streets.

As we met and began researching the many angles and various players and ports, we realized that it should not be a “done deal”. If we let it happen without questions being asked and the right answers being given, this whole project could go down as a Texas-sized example of rotten pork at its stinkiest.

Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you donʼt have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.” It seems that a seed sprouted this spring.

Community members from all over the Big Bend began meeting to work on the long-haul truck traffic issue and the Stewards of the Big Bend, a non-partisan citizens’ group of stakeholders who are working together to help determine our own future, germinated. We are prepared to work with our elected officials and TxDOT to find alternatives that will not fill our main streets with traffic congestion, pollution, safety hazards, excessive noise and huge pot-holes. It is no secret that we want tourists crossing our streets, not trucks.

TxDOT says they want our input. Within the project timeline there are two more public meetings scheduled, one in July and the third in January, 2008.

It is at this early stage of the study that out comments are being solicited. The Stewards of the Big Bend (SBB) will host, along with the Bread and Breakfast, a Letter Writing Party/Meeting on Saturday, June 9 from 3-5 p.m. Please join us. We will have things set up for you to send a letter or postcard. If you can’t make it please take the time to tell TxDOT how you feel. You can leave a phone message on the LEAP Corridor Project Hotline at 1-800-517-4652 or you can email TPP_TXDOT-LEAP@DOT.STATE.TX.US. Please check out the web site: www.stopthetrucks.org and leave your comments. If you have any questions call 837-0735 or email the SBB at uptous@sbcglobal.net.

 

Best regards,

Susan Curry

Alpine, Texas

uptous@sbcglobal.net

Encouraging News this Week

A number of our citizens concerned with the proposed La Entrada al Pacifico trade route have contributed in bringing forth the facts. A special thanks to John Wotowicz, Don Dowdey, Jose Aguayo, Rod Ponton for speaking at the Midland City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 10th.

Also Sterry Butcher, my local hero, has reported and written a very revealing article describing Mexico’s position on the the La Entrada al Pacifico trade route. It is very encouraging to know that Mexican trade officials are mainly focused on rail transport for the port of Topolabampo.

More Information to help you Act Now

Please go to the Act Now page and find new contact information for your elected officials.  Write them, call them, and email them with your concerns. We’re working on an easier way to send a message to your elected officials, but for now Click here to Act Now