Deck park?

Re: “City receives $900,000 for I-10 deck park design” by Sara Sanchez, Oct. 21-27, 2021 page 1A:

The deck park would be great without the widening of I-10. El Paso has way too much freeway. Plus, didn’t they just finish building Border Express? TxDOT will keep expanding and adding freeways until all of Texas is just one large freeway.

- Mark Gorbett, Detroit, Mich. (Formerly Mesa, N.M.)

Who are the supporters of the deck park? Count me as an opponent to the deck park and the expansion of I-10 in Downtown El Paso. Please identify the supporters, exactly how much it will cost and who will pay. Then, ask the people what they want.

Instead of spending $900,000 on planning a deck, build the “Northeast Parkway” (aka “Borderland Expressway” or the “Northeast bypass”) that would connect Loop 375 to I-10 through NM 213 and Anthony Gap.

- Judy Ackerman, Northeast

El Paso Old Town?

I am surprised and saddened by the lack of any discussion about how the Duranguito neighborhood south of Downtown could be an asset to El Paso if spared from the “arena” project.

A nearby case is Albuquerque’s Old Town. (Note that the baseball stadium is out by the airport with lots of parking and even room for pre-game parties.) Farther east, there’s Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia. (Again, the regional stadium is far away.) And we might mention similar areas in cities in France or Spain or Portugal, but let’s focus on one spot south, Buenos Aires and its La Boca neighborhood (where there is a soccer stadium but not in the middle of the place). La Boca, like these others, is a hodge-podge of old buildings, redone as bars, galleries, shops and restaurants. It’s always lively and has attracted substantial numbers of tourists.

One could go on at length, but it is quite easy to picture Duranguito as this kind of place. It was developing that way before the destructive work began. It is not too late to stop and work to make Duranguito a pleasant place for residents and an attraction for both locals and out-of-town visitors!

- Marshall Carter-Tripp, Westside

Elder abuse

The Department of Justice issued its annual report to Congress on its activities to combat elder fraud and abuse last month. And last June, the first-ever elder fraud report was released from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Ransomware attacks and cyberattacks are often highlighted in headline news, while very little information is distributed about the fraud occurring amongst our elders in the local media.

Extortion techniques such as confidence fraud and romance scams were at the top of the list for victims over the age of 60. Scams that compromise email accounts and tech support impersonators followed closely, resulting in approximately $1 billion in losses annually.

Our most vulnerable population is under attack, and more has to be done to solve this issue.

Establishing a 3-1-1 type of customer service center dedicated to our elders would be transformative. As of today, the only thing the city of El Paso’s 3-1-1 program offers is information on library hours, zoo hours, park location and pools. It is also used to report potholes, trash, graffiti, traffic signal issues, and loud noises. But what if a similar system could also serve to assist with catching the bad guys?

A collaborative effort between federal, state and local governments is necessary to combat the wave of cyber-attacks plaguing our community. In the meantime, stay alert and be wary of unsolicited callers and suspicious emails.

- Abel Legaspy, Westside


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