Awards and chile 

In case you have not heard, El Paso novelist Benjamin Alire Sáenz was named the winner of the Texas Institute of Letters’ prestigious Lon Tinkle Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The institute plans to hold its annual meeting here in El Paso next April. That’s when the award will be presented to Sáenz during a banquet at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing.

In case you’re wondering what an award-winning author does during a pandemic, Sáenz says he’s been writing novels, reading poetry and canning green chile.

Recycle this, updated

We’re happy to report that the city’s recycling class is back, and now it’s all online.

The class is mandatory to get a blue bin from El Paso Environmental Services if you’re new to the city, and even if you’ve moved and had one at your old address.

But when the pandemic hit and the city shut down many services, the in-person class went away. 

Recently the class returned online. It takes about an hour, and there are questions. Here’s a tip: Pay particular attention to the rules about pizza boxes.

To sign up, visit, or call 311.

Blimp this

Up in the sky! It’s the Goodyear Blimp!

One of the Goodyear blimps was spotted cruising over El Paso last week, headed in a northwesterly direction, roughly. 

Still waiting for the Goodyear people to tell us where it was going. The blimps aren’t making a lot of personal appearances these days.

In the meantime, did you know there are actually three Goodyear blimps: Wingfoot One, Two and Three? The newest one, Wingfoot Three, weighs 19,780 pounds before it’s filled with helium. According to, that’s as much as 25,700 cans of soup. (Strange measure, no?)

But once the helium is added, Wingfoot Three weighs only about 200 pounds. Amazing.

And for people who have concerns about something with “good” and year” in its name, 2020 would like to have a word.

Coming soon

Boston’s Pizza will soon open its first El Paso location in the Montecillo development on the Westside. The global chain has more than 400 restaurants and sports bars in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. They’re hiring.

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