Special customer

Texas first lady Cecilia Abbott, in town last week to visit an El Paso nonprofit that combats human trafficking, had a quick lunch one afternoon at H&H Carwash before catching a commercial flight back to Austin. What did she order at the El Paso landmark? We hear it was red enchiladas.

Six-figure paradise

Where is the best place in the country to earn six figures? McAllen, Texas. But coming in a close second is El Paso, where a dual-professional household earning $100,000 would have an estimated $1,679 to spend at the end of the month after basic expenses. That’s according to a new analysis from personal finance website MagnifyMoney. The worst place? San Jose, California, where the same family would have to put $1,046 on a credit card to cover expenses.

Space boots

Among the more than 1,900 artifacts at the Smithsonian overseen by curator Valerie Neal from the space shuttle and International Space Station programs, there is a very special pair of boots. According to a profile of Neal in TCU Magazine, at her request, retired El Paso astronaut Danny Olivas gave the Smithsonian his Lucchese cowboy boots. They were custom-made here in El Paso and are embroidered with the Discovery STS-128 mission patch. “It was kind of related to my identity growing up in West Texas,” Olivas told TCU Magazine. “I grew up wearing cowboy boots, and so when I flew in space, that was going to be my gift to myself — a way of feeling like I accomplished a thing I set out to do.”

Really. No.

You may have heard the rumor that former city Rep. Steve Ortega, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013, intends to try again during the 2020 mayoral race. Is he running? Ortega says he has “zero plus zero interest. Trust me on this one.” He adds “100,000,000% no.”


After working at WestStar Bank for 27 years, most recently as senior executive vice president and chief lending officer, Burt Blacksher is retiring. The bank is celebrating the milestone Thursday. Blacksher has served on many nonprofit boards and is very involved with Project Arriba and the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso. We hear he will be replaced by Raymond Baer, a former Wells Fargo Bank senior VP.