Commissioner Leon welcomed Chuy's Mexican Restaurant at their Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at The Fountains shopping center in East Central El Paso. The El Paso restaurant is the chain's 64th location, reported Morgan Korous, the restaurant's general manager.
Chuy's opened on April 16, 1982 in an old, abandoned Texas Barbeque joint on iconic Barton Springs Road in Austin, TX. There was seating for about sixty, a women's restroom the size of a broom closet and a men's restroom that was, well, outside. Founders Mike Young and John Zapp had a vision of a fun and funky Tex-Mex restaurant that served authentic and fresh food in an atmosphere that appealed to everyone. From these humble beginnings Chuy's was born, and is now loved by thousands of people around the nation.
On the evening of July 6, 2015, Commissioner Carlos Leon and the El Paso County Public Works Department met with the Desert Acceptance area (Square Dance) community about an upcoming $8.5 million United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wastewater Project.
Community members from the Square Dance area had the opportunity to convey an existing 30 foot road easement to the County of El Paso. The property conveyed will allow the County the ability to make improvements with the proposed wastewater improvement project.
El Paso County is proposing to extend wastewater service to the Desert Acceptance (Square Dance) neighborhood located in eastern areas of El Paso outside the City Limits. Currently, this neighborhood does not enjoy any existing public wastewater services, and the disposal of wastewater via individual septic tanks. The proposed wastewater collection system will provide residents with wastewater services and reconnect with existing wastewater systems in the surrounding area. Project stakeholders include the County of El Paso, United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD), El Paso Water Utilities (EPWU), and property owners located within the Square Dance neighborhood.
County Commissioner Carlos Leon wants to thank the Eastside community for the kindhearted support and welcome at the 36th Annual Del Norte Fourth of July Parade this past holiday weekend.
Commissioner Leon honored Corporal Sergio Camacho during Commissioners Court for his courageous and generous organ donation for a fellow employee, Lt. Michaela Hebeker, of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
Corporal Camacho made the donation possible through the process of joining the kidney exchange program at the Texas Transplant Institute in San Antonio, where compatible donor and recipient pairs are matched. Corporal Camacho ultimately had a kidney removed which enabled Lt. Michaela Hebeker to receive a compatible kidney from a donor, giving her a chance to live a normal life with a working kidney.
Currently in the United States there are over 100,000 individuals waiting for a kidney transplant, with 3,000 new patients added to the list each month and twelve people dying each day waiting for a kidney donation. Out of 17,000 kidney transplants performed last year, only 5,535 came from living donors and 11,570 came from a deceased donor. An organ donation is the greatest gift that an individual may convey to another in need, and the number of people who may benefit from an organ replacement far outnumber the available organ donations.
The evaluation process entails blood labs, cardiology exams, EKG, ultrasounds, and psychosocial testing among other extensive exams, and often leaves the financial burden for travel and testing on the donor.
June 29, 2015 is recognized by the El Paso County Judge and Commissioners Court as “Corporal Sergio Camacho Day in honor of his courageous and generous organ donation for a fellow employee of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.”
County Commissioner Carlos Leon held a community meeting, Thursday, June 25, 2015 at the newly opened Eastside Annex located on 2350 George Dieter. He provided the community with the latest information on the construction of the Sportspark, Eastside Annex, USDA Sewer Grant Project (Desert Acceptance-Square Dance), new county kiosks and other current issues.
Joy Martinez, one of the newest board members of the University Medical Center of El Paso, was also present and took part in a Meet-and-Greet with the eastside community. Mrs. Martinez shed light and answered questions on current issues with UMC and El Paso’s Children’s Hospital.
County Commissioner Carlos Leon held his monthly Roundtable meeting the morning of Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Guest speaker Joy Martinez, UMC board member, was present at the meeting to answer questions concerning University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.
The eastside advisory board meets monthly to discuss issues that impact the eastside and the entire county. The goal of the Roundtable is to converse on issues without injecting political biases and continuously sustain a nonpartisan stance.
On June 17, 2015, Commissioner Carlos Leon spoke at the El Paso Veterans Court Graduation Ceremony held in the 346th District Court under the Honorable Judge Angie Juarez Barrill. Commissioner Leon left the graduates with encouraging words as he spoke on the tremendous mile stone they have reached, and the important role they will play as they become mentors to other veterans and active service members.
The mission of the El Paso Veterans Court Program is to divert justice-involved veterans and active service members from the traditional criminal justice system by providing them treatment and judicial monitoring to afford them the tools needed to lead a productive and law-abiding life.
El Paso was the second in the State of Texas to launch a Veterans Court in 2009. The 346th District Court officially opened its doors to the felony component on August 2012. This program provides a means to divert eligible veterans and active service participants from the traditional criminal justice system and provide them support and rehabilitation through comprehensive substance abuse and/or mental health treatment, education, vocational programs, and community resource referrals for housing, childcare, and transportation, all while being judicially monitored.
On June 9 2015, during Southwest University’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Commissioner Leon presented the university with a certificate of appreciation for the important role they play in higher education and providing the local community with job opportunities.
The mission of Southwest University at El Paso is to provide exceptional career and technical training, promote intellectual growth, critical examination and informed understanding. Through general education and a commitment to educational excellence, Southwest University strengthens quality instruction by providing a positive learning environment that integrates emerging technologies.
Southwest University is proud to be one of the first universities in the United States to go digital using the latest technology.
On June 2, 2015, keynote speaker Commissioner Carlos Leon spoke to the second graduating class (Class of 2015) at the Harmony School of Innovation Commencement Ceremony. The topic of the afternoon was, “Never Tell Yourself No.” Commissioner Leon stressed the importance of never stopping yourself from doing anything, “let someone else tell you no,” stated Leon as he sent off the graduating class of 2015 into a bright and promising future.
Harmony School of Innovation (El Paso) is a Kindergarten thru 12 model middle-high school in El Paso, TX. In 2009, Texas Education Agency granted a middle-high charter to Harmony Schools and opened its doors to students in 2009-2010 school.
Harmony School of Innovation is dedicated to preparing each student for higher learning in a safe, caring and collaborative atmosphere through a quality learner-centered educational program with a strong emphasis on math, science, engineering and technology.
Harmony’s vision is to prepare students for academic success in their future education, enable students to have a broad spectrum of options for their future endeavors, and prepare them to be responsible and productive citizens.
On the evening of May 20, 2015, Commissioner Leon met with the residents of Desert Acceptance (Square Dance) to address any questions regarding the $7.4 million USDA sewer wastewater project. Residents had the opportunity to become more familiar with the project and were encouraged to participate in the development.
Square Dance is located approximately 1.6 miles from El Paso Water Utilities’ nearest wastewater collection system in Far East El Paso. This project requires a permanent connection to EPWU’s existing wastewater collection system on Montana Ave. The project consists of constructing a wastewater collection system inside the subdivision and extends the collection lines to Montana Ave.
Commissioner Leon was honored to be a testimonial speaker at the United Blood Services Luncheon on May 6, 2015 to thank all the volunteers that spend a tremendous amount of time helping and supporting this organization. He emphasized the important role they play in their community, and reminded them that because of their efforts he, like many others, are still alive.
Founded in 1943, United Blood Services provide blood, blood components and special services for patients in more than 500 hospitals in 18 states. More than 25 million people in communities throughout these states depend on United Blood Services' generous volunteer blood donors and dedicated staff to make sure lifesaving blood is available when and where it is needed. This organization is responsible for providing blood for all 19 hospitals in this region; 70% of the blood that is collected comes from volunteer blood drives.
On Monday, May 11, 2015, Commissioner Leon presented Chief Tom Whitten and Commander Kevin Lanahan from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office with a resolution designating May 10-16, 2015 as Police Week in El Paso County. During Commissioners Court, Commissioner Leon publicly saluted the service of law enforcement officers in our community and in communities across the nation.
There are more than 900,000 law enforcement officers serving in communities across the United States, including the dedicated members of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and all other local, state and federal Law Enforcement Agencies in El Paso County. Since the first recorded death in 1791, more than 20,000 law enforcement officers in the United States have made the ultimate sacrifice and have been killed in the line of duty, including 56 members of Law Enforcement Agencies in El Paso County, including Constable Robert Parker White who died November 1, 2014. The names of these dedicated public servants are engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington, D.C. or recognized on the Texas Peace Officers’ Memorial in Austin, Texas.
The names of 117 brave men and women killed in the line of duty during 2014 will be added to these memorials. By joint resolution of Congress and signed by President John F. Kennedy on October 1, 1962, and proclaimed by President Barack Obama, May 15, 2015 is designated as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 10 through May 16, 2015 as Police Week to honor those fallen officers and their families. President Barack Obama directs that on Friday, May 15, 2015, the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day.
On Monday, May 4, 2015 Commissioner Leon honored Mr. Harry Edward Steen Sr., a courageous World War II veteran who died in his sleep on April 18, 2015 in his home at the age of 97. He was the last surviving Bataan Death March member in El Paso. Today, there are less than 25 survivors left in the country.
Mr. Steen’s widow, a close family friend and family from Arizona and Allen, TX were present to receive this resolution in his honor.
Harry Edward Steen, Sr. was born on March 7, 1918 in St. John's, Arizona to Tex Annie Laura Birmingham and Harry Steen. After graduating from Reserve High School in 1936, moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where he was drafted into the US Army on April 3, 1941, and initially assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas.
Mr. Steen was part of the first battalion that boarded the ship USS Pearce not knowing where they were headed over-seas until noticing a sign with the word “Manila” posted on the windshield of one of the Army trucks on the ship, realizing they were headed for the Philippines arriving on September 16, 1941.
In December 1941, during World War II, Mr. Steen was present during an attack by the Japanese Military on Clarke Air Field, 200 yards away from where he stood. In April of 1942, The Island of Corregidor was attacked, and after a three month battle Bataan surrendered, leaving many dead and Mr. Steen and other Americans taken as prisoners.
Harry E. Steen Sr. along with other Americans and Filipinos begin to endure what was known as the ‘Bataan Death March’, leaving thousands of prisoners with no food or water and suffering from extreme hunger, disease and abuse. Over a period of three and a half years, he and other tortured prisoners were fed a rice ball a day, returning at a mere eighty pounds when he was liberated at war’s end in 1945.
Upon his return to the states, Mr. Steen met and married his wife, Mary Lou Steen, and moved the family to El Paso in the early 1970s and called El Paso home ever since. Mr. Steen was married to Mary Lou Steen for 58 years and had 5 children.
Commissioner Carlos Leon hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning to commemorate the opening of the El Paso County Eastside Annex.
In an effort to better serve the community, the Eastside Annex will provide convenient access to offices for County Commissioner Precinct 1, Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, Constable Precinct 4, Adult Probation, and County Clerk. It will also house a community meeting room with a 100-seat capacity.
The Eastside Annex allows constituents to receive some of the same services as they would at the El Paso County Courthouse, improving the level of service and communication with their elected officials.
On the morning of April 3, 2015, Commissioner Carlos Leon spoke at Representative Carl Robinson’s Prayer Breakfast at the YMCA located on the Northeast side of town. Commissioner Leon gave a testimonial on his near death experience when he was involved in a severe car accident.
In August 2009, Commissioner Leon was involved in a serious motorcycle accident in Mesilla, New Mexico, that nearly ended his life. After being airlifted to El Paso University Medical Center, he spent 10 days in the ICU followed by two weeks at a rehabilitation hospital in addition to several months of VNA care at his home. Though the accident was difficult for him and his family to endure, they are happy to still have each other. Carlos views his remarkable recovery as a second chance at life -- a second chance to enjoy time with his family and friends, and another opportunity to serve the community he has called home all of his life.
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