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On Fronteras: Pipeline Wars, Sanctuary Cities, And Medal Mania

Jack Morgan
Texas Public Radio
One tradition for Fiesta goers in San Antonio is collecting unique medals.

This week on Fronteras:

--A coalition comes together to fight unprecedented natural gas pipelines in West Texas near Big Bend that would transport energy to Mexico. Residents are worried.

--A proposed Texas law pushes for an end to so called sanctuary cities.  But San Antonio police say the city is safer because immigrants can report crimes without fear of deportation.

--It’s Fiesta time in San Antonio and that means medal madness. Everyone’s having a good time collecting medals during the celebration. 

West Texas Residents Oppose Trans Pecos Pipelines 

The demand for natural gas in Mexico is growing - and the Permian Basin of Texas has a glut of natural gas on its hands.  Dallas-Based Energy Transfer won a contract with Mexico for two pipelines, but to move the  gas, producers need to cut through more than a hundred miles of Texas ranchland.   

Energy Transfer is now designated as a public utility which gives it eminent domain, the right to seize land from owners to build the pipelines.  The state says the pipeline is in the public interest, but residents don’t see it that way. Fronteras Desk reporter Lorne Matalon of Marfa Public Radio reports.


Residents Worry Pipelines Threaten Life in Big Bend

During recent public meetings on the controversial Trans Pecos pipeline plans, conservative landowners, ranchers and environmentalists in Wext Texas banded together in opposition.  One of the lines would run through the Big Bend regions which is pretty much industry. Marfa Public Radio's Travis Bubenik reports - some West Texans worry the pipeline could forever change their remote corner of the state.


Judge EleazarCano of Brewster County reportedly believes the pipeline is a done deal and his constituents essentially were kept in the dark about the plans.  The judge says his role now is to negotiate with the company to make sure the route, which is not yet finalized, is located as far as possible from residents. Fronteras will keep you posted on this story as it develops.

Texas Lawmakers Target Sanctuary Cities

The term “sanctuary city” was coined in 2010 when the State of Arizona passed a law that said local police departments couldn’t keep their officers from checking a person’s immigration status.  Cities with those policies were accused of giving sanction to immigrants in the country illegally.

Now  In Austin, Texas state lawmakers are considering their own sanctuary city legislation.  Supporters say it’s important for local police to enforce federal immigration laws.  But cities like San Antonio say that would interfere with public safety. Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe talked with lawmakers and police who don’t see eye to eye. 

Sanctuary City story airing on Texas Public Radio

Earth Day Marks 45th Anniversary 

This week marked the 45th anniversary of Earth Day.  According to the Earth Day Network, Earth Day spawned the Environmental Protection Agency and led to passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.  Among Latinos, Earth Day involvement is growing as organizations reach out with information in Spanish. Long before the designation of an annual Earth Day Native Americans were celebrating the concept with a proverb often quoted this time of year.  It says, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

San Antonio’s Fiesta Medal Madness

For the past week the people of San Antonio have been celebrating Fiesta.  It’s their version of Mardi Gras with elaborate parades, lavish parties and the coronation of kings and queens.  There’s also a collecting craze that kicks in with Fiesta.  Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan has more on the competition for Fiesta medals.

Fiesta medal story airing on Texas Public Radio

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.