Worried they may lose access to free and low-cost contraception through places like Planned Parenthood, some women are seeking out longer-term options like intrauterine devices -- also known as IUDs. (Sally Beauvais)

Worried they may lose access to free and low-cost contraception through places like Planned Parenthood, some women are seeking out longer-term options like intrauterine devices -- also known as IUDs. (Sally Beauvais)

Uncertain Future for Contraceptives Has Some Women Seeking Long-Term Options

President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act has women across the country seeking out long term birth control before they may lose access to free contraception. In rural West Texas, over 300 miles from the closest Planned Parenthood, some women are opting for a specific device.

Chloe Gallagher is a tour guide at an art foundation in Marfa. One November evening, she was scrolling through her Twitter feed when a hashtag caught her eye. Vice President Elect Mike Pence had just attended a performance of Hamilton, the hit Broadway musical. And Twitter users were re-imagining titles to other Broadway classics ad tagging their posts with #NameAPenceMusical. One of them was “Annie get your IUD.”

“And I laughed out loud,” she says, “I was just cracking up. And then I had this moment where the laughter sort of faded out, and I thought about it and I went, I really need to go do that.” 

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Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011 (Tom Pennington)

Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011 (Tom Pennington)

Texas Attorney General Paxton Sues EPA for a Second Time this Week Over Environmental Rules

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday joked about suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency one last time before President Obama leaves office this week.

On Wednesday, he did it again.

A day after suing the EPA over a coal rule, the Republican asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review another regulation aimed at curbing hazy conditions in national parks and wilderness areas in Texas and surrounding states. It requires states to craft plans about how to go about doing so.
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photograph by Frank Boston from Owasso, U.S.
Scolopendra heros – the giant desert centipede – is found across West Texas. It's North America's largest centipede.

photograph by Frank Boston from Owasso, U.S. Scolopendra heros – the giant desert centipede – is found across West Texas. It's North America's largest centipede.

Centipedes: A Primal Predator at Home in West Texas

They’re aggressive, swift in the attack, and deliver a potent, neurotoxic venom. Mountain lions, raptors and rattlesnakes – West Texas doesn’t lack for iconic predators. But centipedes may be the fiercest of the region’s carnivores. They’re the original survivors, members … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:35 am and 4:45 pm.
We want to bring you a little closer to how things get done at the Capitol Building in Austin (Credit: Phil Roeder via Flickr, CC BY)

We want to bring you a little closer to how things get done at the Capitol Building in Austin (Credit: Phil Roeder via Flickr, CC BY)

What Do You Want to Know about Lawmaking in Texas?

The 2017 Texas Legislative session is underway. State legislators meet every other year for 140 days in a frenzy of debating (sometimes arguing), deal-making, stand-taking, bill-killing and, occasionally, law-making.

We want to know what you want to know about the Legislature: how it works, why it works the way it does, and what you want lawmakers to do.

So we’re bringing back a project we started last year called Texas Decides. Leading up to the November election, we gathered your questions about voting and politics in Texas – and then put those questions to a vote. You chose the questions we answered. We brought you stories about how Texas got to be so “red,” electronic voting security, how Texas got such wacky political districts, third party candidates, and why voter turnout is so low in the state.

We’ve teamed up with public radio stations across Texas – KUT Austin, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio, Houston Public Media, and KERA in Dallas – to collect and answer your questions about the Texas Legislature over the next few months.

We want your voice to be heard as we cover the state Capitol, so send us your questions! Use the form below to ask your question.

Part of the existing border wall sits close to a Brownsville neighborhood. (Michael Seifert)

Part of the existing border wall sits close to a Brownsville neighborhood. (Michael Seifert)

Residents Concerned Wall Would Affect Cultural, Business and Familial Ties That Transcend the Border

This story was originally broadcast on a special episode of the Texas Standard called “The Wall”, an hour-long look at the prospect for an expanded border wall under the incoming Trump Administration.

It’s just before the holidays in McAllen, a town of 130,000 on the U.S.-Mexico border. Basilisa Valdez sits in the kitchen at her sister’s house, waiting for relatives to arrive. Here, that means some come from across town, and some from Reynosa, just across the river in Mexico. Before 2008, when a concrete and steel border fence went up along the Rio Grande, she says the two cities could seem like one. But after the wall, she says it’s tough for people who’ve spent most of their lives seeing the borderlands as a single entity.

President-elect Donald Trump and border-wall proponents forget that for decades before 9/11, passage between the U.S. and Mexico was easy, especially for the towns separated by just a sliver of the Rio Grande.

Families spread out and set down roots on either side, creating a web of cultural interconnectivity – a unique shared identity.

“When I see the wall, I feel like they’re trying to separate people,” she says. “I feel like we’re not united.”


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We’re Hiring! Morning Edition Host & Reporter Position Now Open

TITLE: Morning Edition Host & Reporter
REPORTS TO: General Manager

Marfa Public Radio believes in the capacity of public media to shape and animate who we are, where we live, and how we relate. Our aim is to use the power of storytelling to engage our listeners, celebrate our region, and generate dialogue. Our focus is both excellence and relevance. Marfa Public Radio (along with West Texas Public Radio) has been the most awarded small-market station in the nation during the regional Murrow Awards for excellence in journalism for two years. As public media shifts, we are asking ourselves as a sole service station that covers a vast range: what is the special capacity of our station?
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The community gathers to listen as Oscar Aguerro reads the first speech

Big Bend Community Members Gather in Marfa for MLK Day Read-Off

Community members gathered on the steps of the Presidio County courthouse in Marfa on January 16th to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King for a read off: five hours straight of inspiring civil rights passages. The lineup featured speeches from Cesar Chavez, Michelle Obama, George Takei, Elie Wiesel and more, dating from the 1800s to now, all read by volunteers from the community.

Gretel Enck was one of the organizers and explained that she and Anne Marie Nafzinger organized the event because “it seems like a wonderful way to celebrate not only the legacy of Dr. King but really apply it to our world today.” Before the event, Enck said that she hoped it would “inspire people to use the lessons of Dr. king and other civil rights and human rights leaders to do some work that needs to be done today.”

Marfa ISD superintendent Oscar Aguerro kicked off the event by reading Dr. King’s I have a dream speech. He says he was nervous before he recited the passage, and said, “nothing compares to that speech, being a history major and historian, I’ve heard it and listened to it and researched it many a time.” Aguerro asked himself, “ do I imitate… which there is no imitation of it, or do I read it as I would read it?”

Ultimately, he decided to read it as himself.

 

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Wed. Jan 18 Interview: Tenor Rodrigo Garciarroyo and Pianist Richard Dowling

On West Texas Talk today, our Classical Midday host Roseland Klein sits down with two musicians – Tenor Rodrigo Garciarroyo and Pianist Richard Dowling – both of whom performed in Alpine as part of a partnership with this radio station and the Piatigorsky Foundation.

 

They talk about how music entered their lives, the protocol of the classical music world, the evil eye, jazz vs. classical, and musicians as translators of history.

 

 

 

West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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Tue. Jan 17 Interview: Maisie Crow talks Jackson

Sing the ruling of Roe v. Wade in 1973, anti-abortion activists across the U.S., especially in the south, have won legal, cultural and political battles that have made it more difficult for women to gain access to abortions and have increased the stigma surrounding them. There is one abortion clinic left in the state of Mississippi and it is fighting to stay open. Maisie Crow, with her film, Jackson, takes us to that clinic for an intimate look at the issues. 

Today on West Texas Talk, Maisie Crow talks about growing up in Texas, what drew her to Mississippi, and what the response has been to her film from both the pro-choice and the anti-abortion community.  

West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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Lonn Taylor, the Rambling Boy

A Bridge in Candelaria

In this week’s episode of Rambling Boy, Lonn Taylor tells the story of an accidentally illegal international footbridge running from Candelaria to to San Antonio del Bravo. Though the bridge was originally crafted for convenience, connecting two towns across the Rio Grande, it was later seen as a threat to national security, raising questions of boarder control and wide line where Mexico and America meet. 

The Rambling Boy is broadcast Mondays after the 10 am newscast and again after the 7 pm newscast.
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Fri. Jan 13 Interview: Hamilton Leithauser

Today on West Texas Talk, Elise Pepple talks to Hamilton Leihauser about his new album and the last time he cried before he plays a show at the Crowley Theater in Marfa tonight.

West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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