(video can also be viewed on my Instagram)
I’ve been following this story since I arrived in Marfa in May. I was at the Commissioners Court meeting when they announced this installation was coming. Beto (the Sentinel reporter who ended up breaking the story) was sitting next to me, and I remember the baffled look on his face when we first saw the design. Since I was new to Marfa, I didn’t realize the controversy this thing would cause not only in Marfa, but worldwide. There was so much publicity on this. I didn’t report on it for the radio station (besides putting together this aggregated post), but when I took over Beto’s position at the newspaper after he left for El Paso in July, I also took over the Playboy Marfa story.
Hopefully, this story will be the final chapter, and I will never write about that damn bunny again, but we both know that’s probably not true.
Playboy Marfa comes down, hops to Dallas in April
Originally published: November 21, 2013
MARFA – The Playboy Marfa installation came down on a gray cloudy morning on Monday, November 18. Passersby stopped for one last photo as local construction crews took down the neon Playboy bunny logo, the 1972 Dodge Charger and the camera for the streaming video from Highway 90.
Click here to read the rest at Big Bend Now.
Today is election day for the primary elections! Did you vote?
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks with campaigns and so forth. However, today could also be the last day this FCC ruling will be an issue for some of the candidates, depending on the outcome.
This was an intense, but fun, story to write. Not because it’s a heavy issue, because that I actually understood, but because there were just so many layers to organize that it felt a bit overwhelming.
All because I asked one simple question…
This was also my first long-form article for 2014.
FCC equal-time rule affects local radio station announcers
Originally published: January 16, 2014
ALPINE, MARFA – The Alpine and Marfa radio stations have found themselves in a situation with a Federal Communications Commission rule, as three of their announcers are also political candidates in the March primary election.
So for now, Jerry Sotello of Alpine and David Beebe of Marfa are off the air, while Gilbert Valenzuela of Alpine can still keep broadcasting his Sunday music show.
On the Valentine’s Day episode of This American Life, NPR reporter David Kestenbaum (from Planet Money) talked about the time he and his college buddies at Harvard came with up a variation of the Drake equation, which is used to estimate how many planets out there have intelligent life, to estimate the likelihood of finding a girlfriend.
The equation they came up with:
Start with the Boston population, which is around 600,000.
Half of which are guys (David dates girls): 600,000/2 = 300,000
Let’s say he dates girls that are within 10 years of age (age range = 20 to 40 years old). Ira Glass mentioned that’s about 35% of the population, so about a third of people in Boston: 300,000 - ⅓ = 100,000
The doctoral students wanted girls that are college grads. Glass said 25% of Americans that are 25 years old have graduated from college. ¾ of these grads are women: 100,000 - ¾ = 25,000
Now the question is how often are these girls single? Glass and Kestenbaum assumed half of them are: 25,000/2 = 12,500
Next question - How many of these people are actually attractive to you? Glass said a high percentage would be 1 in 5: 12,500 now becomes 2,500.
2,500 girls are maybe available to date in the whole city of Boston. Glass mentioned this number is before you get into anything personal… your religion, how you see the world, etc.
2,500 out of 600,000.
The next time someone asks me if I’ve met a guy yet in Marfa, a small town with a population of around 2,000 people, I’m just gonna show them this formula.
(Bonus friend points if you know where the title of this post is referenced from…)
This was a fun one to write, and it inspired me to produce some complimentary audio. I was starting to get a little rusty.
Playwright-in-residence Octavio Solis guides Marfa High School students to write from the heart
Published: February 6, 2014
MARFA – Irma Ojeda’s classroom was silent during Monday’s writing exercise. Before her English students picked up their writing weapon of choice, playwright-in-resident Octavio Solis had them close their eyes and think. Think about someone very special to them. Think about a secret they would share. Think about a gift they would give. All that could be heard during this exercise was the heater keeping the room warm and a few sniffles from runny noses.
During the week of February 3-7, Solis will conduct one-act play workshops for Marfa High School students in partnership with Marfa Live Arts. He’ll conduct different exercises in the three English classes hoping the students will end the week with a body of work they can choose from. The end goal is for the students to write their own play, and Marfa Live Arts will then select a winning play from each grade earning a notebook computer and a staged reading at the Crowley Theater. Solis will also read from his work Wednesday, February 12, at 7:30pm at the Crowley Theater.
So don’t judge me, but I saw the One Direction documentary and actually enjoyed it. It’s no secret I like boy bands, so why should this one be any different? Plus, I also enjoy a good story, being the journalist and all, and the fact that these five boys were put together in a group after they didn’t advance to the judges’ houses as solo acts during the seventh series of the X-Factor UK, making their tears of rejection into tears of redemption, got me hooked even more. We got to see their growth as they ended up winning third place and learn that these young dudes are just like us with dreams and insecurities, but with accents.