Notre Dame fire

Editor’s note: El Paso native Ann James Massey has lived for 25 years in Paris where she is an award-winning artist.

Early Monday afternoon, I was at the Prefecture de Police across from Notre Dame picking up my renewed carte de sejour (residency card). Notre Dame is where Henri and I attended mass on occasion in my early years in Paris and where I had a potential life-saving encounter in 1998. It’s where, for 25 years, I’ve taken family and friends to share its beauty, art and history as the heart of Paris – a vibrant and working center of faith, as well as a beloved tourist attraction and monument.

Early Monday evening, after a distraught call from Henri, I was devastated and in tears at my art studio watching the unimaginable on TV.

Returning home on the tram and fully expecting that the cathedral would be gutted, I could not stop the flow. The elegant woman with her cane sitting opposite handed me a small packet of Kleenex. No words were needed. We grasped each other’s hands as she left before me.

Tuesday morning dawned with hope and good news despite the destruction. What was standing and saved is a miracle within a tragedy… as is the outpouring around the world.

Ann James Massey

Paris, France

Migrant center

Re: “Broker defends proposed migrant center site” by David Crowder, April 14-20, 2019, page 1A:

It is misleading to say the business community is opposed to using the Hoover building (at 6750 N. Desert). I am a part of that business community, and I am 100 percent in support of this location.

A small number in the business community are opposed. Their opposition is misplaced and myopic. The closest schools and residences are on the other side of Interstate 10, which is a daunting barrier. Big box stores are typically much closer to residential areas.

The Hoover building will be well-fenced, like a prison. Ingress and egress will be highly restricted and monitored. The migrants will remain inside, out of sight.

Using the former Hoover plant is a tremendous opportunity for El Paso to showcase its ability to properly process, house and care for the migrants in a humane and pragmatic way that upholds the ideals of this country.

The Hoover building is close to the border and medical facilities, requiring less time and expense in transportation for migrants and staff.

The fearmongering from Washington and NIMBY attitude here do nothing to solve the problem. The problem is here. It needs to be solved here and now. There are fewer “bad” people among the migrants than there are “bad” people walking around this city who are here legally.

Robert Marble

El Paso

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