Thursday Interview: Tom Jacobs Talks Appraisals

Tom Jacobs

Tom Jacobs

Host Tom Michael speaks with Tom Jacobs, author of What’s Behind the Numbers?: A Guide to Exposing Financial Chicanery and Avoiding Huge Losses in Your Portfolio.  Jacobs, who lives in Marfa, will be discussing the recent property appraisals.

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
A coal power plant in Fayette, Texas (Andy Uhler/KUT News)

A coal power plant in Fayette, Texas (Andy Uhler/KUT News)

4 Ways Texas Could Win Big Under New Climate Change Rules

Earlier this year, the earth hit a frightening milestone: carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached its highest level since humans have inhabited the earth. The last time there was this much carbon on the planet was nearly a million years ago.

As the heat-trapping gas proliferates, the world warms, and the climate effects domino: droughts intensify, floods increase, ice melts and seas rise. The question now isn’t whether human activity is changing the global climate; the question is what to do about it.

The Obama administration proposed new ruleslast month that would take a first step in curbing carbon emissions from power plants in the U.S. Their target? Coal power plants. The response to the rules from Republican leaders in Texas was predictable: Gov. Rick Perry said the regulations “will only further stifle our economy’s sluggish recovery and increase energy costs.” And Attorney General (and candidate for Governor) Greg “I  go into work to sue the Obama Administration” Abbott vowed to fight the “job-killing” rules just as he’s fought other rules from the EPA.

But Texas may want to sit the fight over the new carbon rules out: because they could be an economic windfall for the state, to the tune of billions of dollars a year.


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DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw (at far end of table, speaking) addresses the select committee. (Ryan E. Poppe/TPR News)

DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw (at far end of table, speaking) addresses the select committee. (Ryan E. Poppe/TPR News)

Lawmakers Question Cost Effectiveness Of DPS, Texas National Guard Border Surge

Texas lawmakers are questioning the heads of state agencies about the overall cost analysis related to the influx of border crossings.

The legislative committee is charged with determining the short-term and potential long-term financial impact that could cost taxpayers $17 million per month.

The House Select Committee on the Fiscal Impact of State Border Security Operations was set up to study what the influx of Central American migrants is costing state agencies. State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, questioned Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw about when he could say the state-led surge has been successful.

“The way I view it is that when the numbers in the Rio Grande Valley go below 2,000 illegal aliens a week, that’s the intended objective to achieve that,” McCraw said.

McCraw said in the first week the DPS detained over 6,000 people coming across the Texas border, the following week that dropped by 45%.


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Marfa Public Radio Now Accepting Applications for the Fall Internship Program

Marfa Public Radio is looking for 4 interns for September – December:

  • Are you glued to current affairs, culture, new music and talk shows?
  • Do you like working as team player with tight deadlines, standing on the front line of information for the community?
  • Are you business minded and keen to sharpen your development and grant skills whilst supporting a non-profit?
  • Do you want to work with audio, editing and post production?

If you are saying yes then read on!


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Flaco Jiménez on stage with the Texas Tornados at the historic USO building in Marfa, TX on 7/26/14 (Lorne Matalon)

Flaco Jiménez on stage with the Texas Tornados at the historic USO building in Marfa, TX on 7/26/14 (Lorne Matalon)

Flaco Jiménez Reflects on a Legendary Career: “The Heart is Still the Same”

Texas born-and-bred musician Flaco Jiménez has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association, alongside icons like Loretta Lynn, Jackson Browne and Taj Mahal. 

Jiménez will be presented with the award in Nashville this September, a testament to his decades-long career that’s seen him work alongside the likes of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and many others.

He’s currently touring with his Texas Tornados, the renowned supergroup that once included the late Tex-Mex greats Freddy Fender and Doug Sahm. 

Lorne Matalon climbed aboard the tour bus to talk with Jiménez before he and the latest rendition of the Tornados took the stage at the historic USO building in Marfa, as part of the Viva Big Bend music festival.

Jiménez reflected his career at the age of 75. 

“It’s been a long road, of course,” he says, but insists it’s been worth every minute.


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Video shown to Denton City Council by citizens concerned that flares at drilling sites threatened neighborhoods. (Cityofdenton.com)

Video shown to Denton City Council by citizens concerned that flares at drilling sites threatened neighborhoods. (Cityofdenton.com)

Don’t Frack on Me: Challenges to the Right to Drill

In Texas, a government official has warned that groups opposed to fracking might be acting on behalf of Russia.

In Colorado, a TV ad portrays fracking opponents as goofy idiots who believe the moon may be made of cheese.

The attacks on drilling opponents may reflect how deeply concerned the industry has become over citizen-led efforts to curb fracking, the now widely-used drilling technique that’s dramatically increasing oil & gas production from shale rock formations.


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Hydroponic Tomato Presidio Greenhouse facility in Marfa, Texas (Village Farms)

Hydroponic Tomato Presidio Greenhouse facility in Marfa, Texas (Village Farms)

After Rebuilding, Harvest Is Just Around The Corner At Marfa Greenhouse

It’s been two years since a hail storm took out the Village Farms greenhouses just north of Marfa. That storm ended up costing Presidio County $100,000 in lost tax revenue. But the company’s just finished rebuilding one of the damaged greenhouses and it’s harvesting time.

It’s payday and there are cars at just about all the parking spaces at Marfa National Bank. Workers have just gotten their paychecks from the tomato plant. Jose Castillo packs crates of tomatoes there.

“It’s the best day of the week,” said Castillo. “That’s why everybody is happy. Yeah, the pay is good; every two weeks get paid about a $1000. It’s alright, I ain’t complaining about it. Puts gas in my truck, food in my mouth so I’m pretty happy.”


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Dawn in the Big Bend of Texas; it shares some tectonic and geographic characteristics with the Permian Basin, home of the country's highest-producing oil field. (Jim White III)

Dawn in the Big Bend of Texas; it shares some tectonic and geographic characteristics with the Permian Basin, home of the country's highest-producing oil field. (Jim White III)

Border Fracking Standoff: NY Court Ruling Likely To Affect Outcome

The Big Bend of Texas, so named for the way the region hugs a massive bend in the Rio Grande, is renown for its desert landscapes, open spaces and tranquility.

But parts of it lie within the oil-rich Permian Basin, the nation’s highest producing oil field thanks in large measure to fracking technology.

And now, Mexico is drilling at least 29 exploratory wells across the border from the Big Bend, a saying it wants to jumpstart fracking operations there.

Of course, fracking requires water. And in the Big Bend, some landowners are selling water for fracking, pitting some conservationists against private property holders, who also consider themselves to be good stewards of the land.


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A chart made by Presidio County Groundwater District manager Rudy Garcia showing the amount of water used by the city of Marfa (blue squares) and the corresponding level of the supply aquifer (purple squares).

A chart made by Presidio County Groundwater District manager Rudy Garcia showing the amount of water used by the city of Marfa (blue squares) and the corresponding level of the supply aquifer (purple squares).

Presidio County Water Managers Offer Answers, but Citizens Have More Questions

Two weeks ago a small group of citizens vocalized concerns over Marfa’s practice of selling bulk water to clients outside the city.

“Our water is too cheap. It needs to be expensive. We need water conservation. We need to think about that,” said Buck Johnston.

Two weeks ago the Marfa resident formed a small protest to block tanker trucks using city water for their oil and gas speculation. The protest worked briefly but soon the trucks were rerouted to other spigots.

Later, it was announced that no oil or gas was found. And though the trucks disappeared from Marfa city streets, the concern about water use in Presidio County hasn’t.


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Jeff Davis County Sheriff Rick McIvor says deploying National Guard troops won't solve the crisis at the border. (Travis Bubenik/KRTS)

Jeff Davis County Sheriff Rick McIvor says deploying National Guard troops won't solve the crisis at the border. (Travis Bubenik/KRTS)

Chairman of Border Sheriffs Coalition says National Guard Troops Won’t Solve Humanitarian Crisis

Governor Rick Perry has announced his plan to send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border in response to the recent influx of Central American migrants.

Perry says the troops are needed to protect against threats from Mexican cartels and other criminals, but the Chairman of the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition says it’s an unnecessary move.

Jeff Davis County Sheriff Rick McIvor spoke with us about Perry’s plan.

“I don’t think it’s necessary to infiltrate the area with a lot of troops,” McIvor says. “I think you put a lot of fear into the people that live in the area.”


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Become a Community Correspondent, learn new skills and make new friends.

Become a Community Correspondent, learn new skills and make new friends.

Become a Marfa Public Radio Community Correspondent

Never miss a city council meeting? Always finding interesting stories in the Big Bend? Go to a lot of community events or concerts? If you’re interested in sharing your knowledge and experience with Marfa Public Radio listeners, become one of our volunteer Community Correspondents.

We’re looking for engaged citizens from across the Big Bend. A Community Correspondent assists Marfa Public Radio with news gathering and producing stories from the community you live in.
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(Amelia Schmidt/Flickr)

Books

Sometimes books are more than just a collection of words on a page, as we hear on this month’s Parenthesis with Judy Morgan.

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The Marfa Public Radio headquarters at located at 111 S. Highland Ave in Marfa, TX.

Dance on the Street, Support Your Public Radio Station!

Streaming issues – select the “Audio Help” below the Listen Now button for more options.

RIGHT NOW, we’re giving you a chance to put your dancing shoes on, enjoy some Texas tunes and support your public radio station while you’re at it!

Join us right outside the station from 5-8 pm for a dancing/tailgating party during Joe Nick Patoski’s Texas Music Hour of Power radio show.

The show explores the stars and unsung heroes of Texas music – Patoski’s also written for Texas Monthly, dug deep into Dallas Cowboys fever, and written a quintessential biography of Willie Nelson.

After the street party, head over to the historic USO Building (just a few blocks south of the station), for a show by the legendary Texas Tornadoes as part of the Viva Big Bend Music Festival.

Part of the proceeds from the concert go to benefit your listener-supported, non-profit public radio station.

The show kicks off at 9 pm with performance by Jay Boy Adams and Zenobia, and the Texas Tornadoes with Flaco Jimenez go on around 10 pm.

Give us a call for more information - 432-729-4578

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Thu. Jul 24 Interview: Viva Big Bend Coverage

Host Tom Michael speaks with Stewart Ramser, organizer of Viva Big Bend, and Beth Bellante about this year’s Viva Big Bend festivities.

Five towns, 60 bands and over 75 shows– the annual music festival Viva Big Bend is back! Marfa Public Radio has all the information on the hot shows catch and where to catch them.

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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The EPA's ECHO website uses data from state pollution regulators to compare compliance and enforcement. (Dave Fehling/StateImpact Texas)

Texas Slams EPA Website that Compares State Pollution Enforcement

Compared to other states, Texas has a consistently higher percentage of major industrial plants with “high priority violations” of air pollution laws. Yet, compared to other states, Texas does far fewer comprehensive inspections of polluting facilities.

Or at least, that’s what data seem to show on website run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Not surprisingly, Texas, with a history of fighting the EPA at every turn, says the website has “tremendous potential” for being misleading, deceiving, and inaccurate.

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Hannah Texie Bailey, Elaine Harmon, Roseland Klein, and Francesca Altamura

Wed. Jul 23 Interview: Photography Exhibition at The Lumberyard, Marfa

Emerging curator Francesca Altamura, artist Hannah Texie Bailey and community supporter Elaine Harmon, discuss their upcoming exhibition.  Seeing and Hearing Memories is a photography/multimedia exhibition that explores an emerging genre, vernacular photography.  Photographs, candids and posed alike, taken by amateurs, make their way on to the exhibition’s walls reminding us of the past and ourselves.  The show also has a community evolvement aspect in which Marfa residents, both long time and new arrivals, share their own pictures for the show. Seeing and Hearing Memories opens at  The Lumberyard, Sunday, July 27, on Dean Street in Marfa.  An artist reception will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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