The Stanton Magazine The Stanton Magazine is dedicated to providing a refreshing take on El Paso lifestyle. Our editors seek out the best in local flavor, health, style, grooming, business and relevant political topics to keep you informed and polished. Tue, 01 Nov 2011 20:57:11 +0000 en hourly 1 Art, Cars & El Paso Pride: Local Artist Fights to Save Lincoln Park Tue, 01 Nov 2011 20:57:11 +0000 David By David Pacheco

Inspiration can come from anywhere at any time, just ask local artist Josh Arthur.  Somewhere in between walking along the sandy shores of Pacific Beach, riding a ferry across the Puget Sound, or standing in the front row of an Ice Cube concert, Josh Arthur got the inspiration to become an artist.

Now Josh and his local car club are inspired to preserve the nearly 100 year old Lincoln Center which is located near Lincoln Park (the park under the Spaghetti Bowl).

Josh comes from a military family, so he has bounced around from several cities and countries throughout his life, but now at age 34, Josh Arthur proudly calls El Paso home.

“Living in different cities really influenced my artistic style,” said Josh.  Josh spent a majority of his young life living in San Diego; then he moved to Oakland for his first three years of high school.

“In Oakland I learned that graffiti can be art,” explained Josh.  Under the tutelage of several famous Oakland graffiti artists, Josh learned the proper way to express himself through graffiti.  “Graffiti wasn’t accepted back during the early 90’s, but now it has become synonymous with everyday pop culture.”

After finishing his junior year of high school, Josh and his family moved up north to Seattle for his senior year of high school.  “I got into the whole grunge movement,” admitted Josh.  During his time in the upper Northwest, Josh fell in love with nature and music,“I love every aspect of nature; mountains, animals, plants; I could go on and on,” said Arthur.

Nature along with music, have really fueled Josh’s artistic juices.  “Music isn’t just something to dance to,” says Josh.  “If you truly appreciate it, it speaks to your soul; I like to listen to various types of music and turn the pictures it paints in my head into visual art.”

Josh incorporates all of his surrounding influences into each one of his pieces.  He has also been influenced by several of his favorite artists such as James Jean, Mike “Dream” Francisco and Sam Flores.

Pencil and ink are Josh’s preferred media of choice, but he enjoys using Prismacolor pens, markers, colored pencils and acrylic paints.  “Each one lets me express myself in a different way, because each one has their own unique characteristics, which can greatly alter the overall mood of each piece.”

El Paso has had an impactful influence on Josh’s life; “I’m the most Mexican white guy you’ll ever meet,” laughed Josh.  Josh is proud to be Straight Edge, meaning he doesn’t drink alcohol, smoke or use drugs.

He is also proud to be the Treasurer of Destiny Car Club which is a family oriented club that has been supporting the city of El Paso for nearly 15 years now.

Destiny Car Club is a huge advocate for Humane Society of El Paso, as well as the United Blood Services of El Paso, Candle Lighters and now they are a part of the Lincoln Park Conservation Committee.  “I wanted to find a way to give back to the city of El Paso, and I really liked how Destiny is involved in supporting local charities and fund raisers; plus I really like cars.”

As Treasurer, Josh is constantly looking for ways to get Destiny involved in the most current fundraisers in El Paso.  “People often have a negative perception of car clubs, but each one does their own part to give a little bit back to the city.”

Destiny Car Club has already begun collecting toys for the Toys for Tots Foundation and they have been very active in supporting the cause to restore the Lincoln Center.

City Council has plans to demolish the Lincoln Center but Destiny along with the nearby residents believe the center can be restored and turned into a multipurpose center to give nearby children a place to play and study which would help keep them off the streets.  “We have organized multiple car shows at Lincoln Park to help support the cause and to help make improvements not just to the center itself, but to Lincoln Park as well,” explained Josh.

Josh was even asked to help paint one of the many murals that adorn the freeway pillars that give Lincoln Park its distinct look.  “Lincoln Park and center are a part of El Paso that can’t be forgotten about; each plays an important role for aspiring young children.”

Josh Arthur the artist is aspiring to one day open up his own studio, but in the meantime, he hopes to inspire the city of El Paso one piece of artwork at a time.

To view or purchase Josh Arthur’s artwork, please visit his Facebook page.

To learn how you can support the Lincoln Park Conservation Committee, please visit their website at

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Occupy Movement Takes on El Paso Tue, 01 Nov 2011 20:53:43 +0000 Danielle Words & Photos by  Danielle Urbina

It’s a fairly warm Sunday morning in downtown El Paso, and everything seems to be as it should. The banks are closed, the bustle of the busy streets is almost non-existent and there are small groups walking to and from church. Driving down Mesa is seemingly the same as it always is–until you see a small tent city covering the patches of lawn in San Jacinto Plaza.

Ralph Gallegos stands on one corner of the famous Plaza with a sign that reads “Occupy El Paso Veteran of USA Bank Wars” in red, blue, white and black capital letters. He’s protesting what he calls an “unfair government” and “weak economy”- this he says, happens because no one in Congress can get along.

“Basically, I’m here to protest about jobs. I’m unemployed, I’ve been unemployed for about a year and I can’t make ends meet,” said Gallegos. “I can’t afford Medicare so if I get sick, I have to go to the hospital. If I get admitted to the emergency room, I’m going to get a bill and how am I going to pay for that and utilities and rent?”

Although the Occupy Protests that have taken the United States by storm are more geared towards social and economic inequality, many war veterans, along with everyday citizens and business owners, are protesting the lack of jobs, corporate greed and a promise that was made to them concerning one word: hope.

Currently, the unemployment rate is at 9.1% and the public debt is at an astonishing $14.72 trillion.

In comes Mark Benson, an excitable middle-aged man who is more than willing to tell the public why he, personally, has occupied in downtown El Paso for the past 8 days.

“The entire nation, in little pockets, all over, is doing what we’re doing- occupying. This is a protest but it is a peaceful protest. What we’re really protesting boils down to this: 99%, we’re the 99%, me and you-because the 1% of the population of the United States controls and owns 42% of the wealth. That is way out of bounds, way out of proportion, and it shouldn’t be,” says Benson.

All over San Jacinto Plaza, the 99% is represented by many different walks of life- middle-aged business men and women, baby-faced young adults with political slogans pinned to their pants and hair spiked up about 6 inches high, even older citizens, who sat quietly on benches holding their signs under the sunlight. Yet they are all tied together by their heartbreaking stories. How they found themselves homeless, in debt, without jobs.

“This kind of abuse needs to stop,” said Benson. “Corporate law is written in such a way that you have to prove intent to actually prosecute anyone- this is how corporate businesses become greedy. There are so many loopholes. Our banks are failing, our government is covered in debt up to their eyeballs.”

But do these protestors actually believe their chants, signs and occupation will make a difference?

“No, this doesn’t make a difference, I don’t think so,” said Gallegos as he choked up. “They probably don’t watch the television and really hear what we’re saying. They read the reports but they don’t see what we see.”

However, Mark Benson thinks otherwise. His gentle, bright, blue eyes widen with pride as he explains being involved in a car accident prior to the protest. He was hit by a car on his way to listen to protestors before making up his mind about how he felt towards the issue.

“I limped back here that night and slept on the grass. I was hurt, and because I didn’t need immediate medical attention, it kept me in one place long enough- here, listening, actually taking the time to find out what is going on here. When I did find out, when I listened, I said, ‘I’m with you’ and I stand by that decision.”

It is unknown how long the protestors will go without jobs, occupying in the streets of El Paso, or if politicians will actually hear what is in their hearts, and on their minds.

As morning turns to noon, the lunch line grows significantly. A hot meal is being provided for the protestors by a friendly kitchen staff. Ralph Gallegos smiles and tells me, “Tent city- this is it. We’re supporting everyone, wherever it is around the world.”

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The Man Essentials: Yes, Zirh Tue, 04 Oct 2011 07:41:06 +0000 Farzad Words by Farzad Farrokhnia

I felt almost as excited as I used to get in 5th grade when I’d rush home after school to catch old episodes of The Justice League on Cartoon Network. It was only 2pm and I was already well into my work day. I was excited because earlier that day, I had purchased some items that I was very eager to put to the test.

For most of my life [or at least as long as I've been choosing my own grooming products], I’ve been a die-hard drugstore devotee. I’d alternate brands and products every few months so my skin would become too accustomed to any particular ingredient from any given product. As far as I could tell, my system always worked. Aside from some mild redness and sensitivity, I’ve always been lucky to have naturally clear skin. I didn’t go through the teenage zit years like most of my peers. Unfortunately, my pimples became problems in more recent years. Building stress and poor diet choices created lots of problems on my face. It seemed like every week was a new opportunity for my pores to rage against me. At 26, walking into business meetings with pimples the size of Minnesota on your forehead is not face you want to show.

Thanks to a slew of gift cards [acquired through the exchange of some birthday gifts], I made my way to Dillard’s and purchased a lot of new face products. I threw out all the old and stormed in with the new. Never something to catch my eye before, department store cosmetics for men always seemed like a gimmick. I always suspected that they were extremely overpriced and only worth it if you could afford it. I was wrong. The difference with department store grooming goods is the concentration of the product. At a much higher concentration level, much less of the actual product is needed to achieve the desired effect.

Finally, 5pm and time to go home. I rushed up the stairs in my apartment, dumped out the Dillard’s bag on my bed and spent the rest of the afternoon testing out the best of the Zirh Skin Care line. From start to finish, you don’t feel like your doing what would traditionally be called a “beauty regimen.” Everything from the packaging (brushed steel effect with bold blue details) to the scents (from lemony fresh to manly woodsy notes) to the feeling you get once you’ve dried your face makes you feel like a man.

Starting with Zirh Clean, a facial cleanser, I got to work. I noticed how thick the cleanser was and realized that I really shouldn’t have used as much as I did the first time. I lathered up and began to massage it onto my face. It produced quite a substantial amount of lather and I knew that next time, I’d use a smaller amount. (For comparison: the first time, I used a quarter-sized amount, on subsequent uses, I used a dime-sized amount.) The scent was fresh and not overpowering at all. It was clean and lemony, but less in the Pledge kind of way and more like a tall glass of ice-water with lemon. It was, in a word, refreshing. It rinsed clean and left my face feeling oil-free and ready for step 2.

Following Zirh Clean, I tried Scrub. An aloe-based facial scrub to remove any dead skin and prep my face for a close shave. The scent here was much differnet from Clean. It was stronger, muskier and “manlier,” to say the least. I was reminded of Drakkard Noir. Needless to say, it was a scent I did not wish to smell throughout the day. I was happy to discover that it rinsed away quite easily with the rest of the scrub. Just like Clean, Scrub left my face feeling clean and fresh.

It was time for a shave. Zirh Shave had a similar scent to Scrub. Piney, woodsy and overpowering. Again, I was glad when it rinsed away down the sink. The shave it provided was quite a departure from other shaving gels/creams I had tried in the past. To begin with, it was clear — something I had seen from only 1 or 2 previous shave gels. I like this because it lets you see where you’re going and just how much you’ve got to go before you finish up. There was no foam, lather or distraction from achieving a clean shave. The viscosity of the shave gel provided just the right about of lubrication to allow for a smooth, steady shave. There were no nicks, cuts or razor burn to be had with this shave gel. My face was smooth and ready for the next step.

I’ve never been one to use after-shave. I feel that it is an erroneous product that can be tossed without guilt. Those after-shaves that come with cologne gift sets? I toss ‘em and I’ve never looked back. Instead, I opt for a light moisturizer that will help minimize oil and won’t clog my pores. Zirh Protect does these things and it does so with hardly any scent at all. While I initially found it to be a bit too greasy, I discovered that adjusting the amount I used diminished that greasy feeling. I also felt that it was lacking an SPF factor, although I don’t spend enough time in the sun for that to be a huge issue.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend the Zirh Skin Care line. I’ve received many compliments on my skin since I started used it and I’ve noticed some great results. Tighter skin, clearer complexion and not a pimple to speak of. If you’re willing to shell out the cash [I spent almost $150], head out to Dillard’s at Sunland Park to snag some Zirh Skin Care for Men. If you’re not quite ready to make that kind of commitment, they’ll be more than happy to dish out some free samples for you to try before you buy.

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Dia de Los Muertos at Mercado Mayapan Tue, 04 Oct 2011 07:40:02 +0000 Vicky By: Vicky Diaz

Photos Courtesy: Mercado Mayapan

In South Central  El Paso, a gathering of people buzz with the sounds, sights and smells of authentic Mexican culture. As they prepare for the upcoming Dia De Los Muertos celebration on Oct. 30 to 31, the regular crowd at Mercado Mayapan enriched us in a lesson on history and overcoming life’s obstacles.

Founded in 2009, Mercado Mayapan offers an informed taste of Mexicanlifestyle through literature, food,  and cultural festivities that serve to bring a vibrant community together. This month, the Mercado is hosting a Day of the Dead celebration, in honor of  one of their cultures most widely known and festive events.

“The Mercado serves as a place for collective community learning,” Rubi Orozco, Public Health Specialist for La Mujer Obrera, said. “It is a part of La Mujer Obrera’s vision to holistically redevelop the South Central (Chamizal) Neighborhood after decades of economic abandonment.”

La Mujer Obrera was established in 1981. First as a women worker’s advocacy organization for fair labor practices then later, according to Orozco, “organized in an effort to establish a stable local economy based on community needs.”

Mercado Mayapan was then founded by a group of women workers who are a part of La Mujer Obrera, opening its doors to the public May 1, 2009.

The Mercado serves as an outlet where former garment workers and families can become informed about fair trade, business, culture, technology and more.

As the Day of the Dead, (Dia de los Muertos) approaches, Orozco shares that although the Mercado hosts several other festivals, the Mole Festival in July and the Corn Festival in September, this one is the most anticipated.

The festival has two main aims this year: first, to memorialize public and private historical figures, such as Emilio Zapata who greatly impacted the Mexican community. Second, to promote Dia de los Muertos in a regional manner and showcase the way that particular state celebrates.

This year, the festival focuses on Veracruz as their featured regional culture. The coastal state is rich with a mixture of cultures, such as indigenous, African and European influences, which can be heard in the roots of their music.

Son Jarocha, the music of Veracruz, is rhythmic based with percussion, including string instruments, call and response type verses and fancy footwork.

An internationally known son jarocha group, Los Utrera, will be bringing the sound of Veracruz to this border town.

“It is important to celebrate our Mexican roots,” Orozco said. If not, she said, “we cannot clearly know” what kind of “future we want to build if we don’t know who we are as a community.”

The festivities at Mercado Mayapan are more than just a place to celebrate, eat and shop. It is there where El Paso and surrounding cities will be able to learn and grow together as a Hispanic community.

“At Mercado Mayapan, we learn all this through the foods we feature, the musicians we bring, and the community we build,” Orozco said.

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Kern Businesses Come Together in the Fight Against Breast Cancer Tue, 04 Oct 2011 07:39:41 +0000 Jessica By Jessica Escalante

The Kern neighborhood businesses are teaming up for a cause. Throughout the month of October, area restaurants and shops will participate in charity auction, Kern for the Cure, to benefit the local Susan G. Komen affiliate. Each day, beginning on October 3rd, a respective business will auction off a unique item of different value.

Kern for the Cure kicked off the event by auctioning off a $150 gift certificate to Dane’s Steakhouse–located at 2711 North Stanton.

Other businesses participating include Aik-American Institute of Kenpo, Airport Printing, Ardovino’s Pizza, Baby Cakes by Marcy, Crave Kitchen and BarCrazy Cat CycleryDelia’s BoutiqueGeoGeske Restaurant and BarHommeworkJ Luxe BoutiqueKinley’s House Coffee & TeaLuKa 7, Magic Pan Restaurant, MaxMina, Mesa Street Bar & Grill, Rib Hut, Royally Sweet, Shundo Dance Studio, Star Canyon Winery, Supreme Laundry & Cleaners, Tara Thai, Toro Burger, Viva Creative & Westend Hair Company & Spa.

Collectively, the group is aiming to raise $5,000 for the charity.

Visit the Kern for the Cure site daily to bid on items from these businesses or like the Facebook page to stay updated with news and auction calendar.

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Mexican Photographer Granted Asylum in the United States Tue, 04 Oct 2011 07:38:25 +0000 Danielle By: Danielle Urbina

“Dear Mr. Hernandez Pacheco, This letter refers to your request for asylum in the United States…” states a letter dated August 22, 2011. This letter holds the key to Alejandro Hernandez Pacheco’s future of escaping the murderous city of Juarez for the rest of his life. He sits silently in front of various reporters and their cameras–the same cameras that could have cost him his life many months ago.

Formerly employed by Mexican television station, Televisa, Hernandez Pacheco was kidnapped by the Sinaloan Cartel in an attempt to silence the content broadcasted on their television station.

According to the “Statement of the Case” issued by Hernandez Pacheco’s lawyer, Carlos Spector, “Alejandro Hernandez Pacheco and three other journalists were ‘picked up’ by the Sinaloan drug cartel while covering a protest at the prison in Gomez Palacio, Durango. The prison director was accused of allowing inmates to leave their cells temporarily to work as hit men for the Sinaloan drug cartel.”

The freed inmates went on to kidnap and hold Hernandez Pacheco hostage until Televisa agreed to silence certain broadcasted messages. This was the only offer they made in exchange for Hernandez Pacheco’s freedom.

“Alejandro Hernandez Pacheco was an individual caught between Genaro and Chapo. Genaro Garcia was and is the Head of Federal Security in Mexico City. Alejandro Hernandez Pacheco’s case is a historic decision in that it had come at a time when the U.S. government finally realizes and recognizes that there is corruption in Mexico at its highest levels,” said Spector.

“Our claim is very sensitive for two reasons of political asylum: One; that he was kidnapped by Chapo Guzman’s organization and was tortured for a week to extort Televisa into publicizing media matters important to them and two; that the federal government in Mexico was corrupt and unable to protect him. And when he came over here to the US he continued to denounce the Mexican government for its inability to protect him, the way they used him, and the way the persecuted him. So that calls for political opinion,” said Spector.

Historic could not be more of a perfect word as the case comes during a time when the citizens of Mexico have seen violence due to drug cartels intertwine with the corrupt governments within the country. Spector’s “Statement of the Case” reasons that there is a long reported history of Genaro Garcia as a corrupt police officer who does the opposite of protect citizens and journalists.

“We don’t know the levels of Genaro Garcia’s involvement with the drug cartels. All the asylum law requires is that there’s a reasonable possibility that he’s involved. You don’t have to be killed to get asylum,” said Spector. “We have 9 sights of different incidents with Genaro Garcia where Mexican journalists have been naming him as someone who is involved with the cartels or who is suspected of being so. So that’s the context of this case.”

Further research shows that in 2010, Mexico was the world’s second deadliest country for the media, right after Pakistan. Thus far, 77 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000. 19 of those journalists have been killed in Mexico since the beginning of 2010 and 14 journalists have vanished without a trace in Mexico since 2003.

“Mexico is the second worst place for journalists in the world after Pakistan. And it’s in good company with Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as the four worst in the world, so this sends a message to the Mexican press that in fact, there is relief available and that journalists do have some hope in the future,” said Spector.

“You have been granted asylum in the United States…” continues the letter, stamped by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Alejandro Hernandez Pacheco smiles gently and stares straight into the camera as he thanks the United States and its citizens for allowing him and his family entrance to the country. He then makes a bold promise: to work hard to repay the United States for keeping him safe for the rest of his life.

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La Red: How to Make it in America Tue, 04 Oct 2011 07:37:46 +0000 Danielle By: Danielle Urbina

The mission of  La Red is to align Mexican-American leaders to achieve economic and political success while also promoting and preserving values and culture. Together, the group has helped the Mexican-American business community thrive and develop, despite setbacks caused by the violence in Mexico. We caught up the organizations President, Jose Luis Mauricio to find out more about their efforts.

TSM: How was La Red created?

Jose Luis Mauricio: La Red was created in February of this year, but we started working it together in September about two years ago. It was a pretty much people from Mexico–business men, executives. We wanted to build an organization that would represent the Mexicans that had come here to El Paso. The thing was that there were many business people that came to El Paso and they needed a place to feel comfortable so we started talking about forming a business community or chamber of commerce type thing where we could help ourselves through networking–that’s what La Red means, networking. So we did this in hopes of integrating business with the El Paso area.

TSM: Is La Red considered a non-profit organization?

Mauricio: Right now we are officially a non-profit and we are working to help anyone coming from Mexico to open business in El Paso and we’re giving them advice on what they need to do. We have lawyers, marketing people, realtors, and financial planners. People who offer a variety of services are members of La Red.

TSM: How has La Red grown since you first started?

Mauricio: We are a little over 300 members and it has been growing a lot. Every week we have our breakfast meeting. We normally average about 70-100 businessmen and women that attend our breakfast every Thursday morning.

TSM: From time to time, there is small controversy about Mexican business coming to El Paso. What do you say to that?

Mauricio: La Red has become a Mexican active community here in El Paso. We’re trying to adjust ourselves to this community. We don’t want to feel like the outsiders. Our kids are going to school here, we’re creating jobs here in El Paso, we want our families and the families in El Paso to benefit from this and that’s what our target is. That’s where our focus is at. People think that we’re just Mexicans living in El Paso with a visa but the truth is, about 80% of the members here are U.S. citizens. They were born in the states but went back to Mexico or they became U.S. citizens. We don’t support any candidates but we do have a political agenda in terms of what we do and what we think can be done for making the community better, in terms of what we can do for ourselves and for our members.

TSM: What is in the future for La Red and what do you hope to achieve?

Mauricio: Well right now we’re working on projects because we want to become a statewide organization in the next 2 years and in the next 5 years we wanted to become a nationwide organization. So we’re talking to people from Dallas, Houston and San Antonio so that we can join together and form chapters of La Red. This is something very important.

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A Walk Through History at Concordia Cemetery Tue, 04 Oct 2011 07:36:27 +0000 Danielle By: Danielle Urbina

Superstition says you’re supposed to hold your breath as you pass a cemetery, but if you hold your breath long enough to pass Concordia Cemetery in its entirety, you may just land yourself within the gates. For years, Concordia Cemetery, located in central El Paso, has been one of the largest, most historic cemeteries in the Southwest.

This October, Concordia Heritage Association brings El Paso its annual “Walk Through History” which gives El Pasoans a chance to walk through the cemetery and learn about the many different historic figures that lie within it.

“The walk through history started almost 20 years ago,” said Melissa Sargent, who takes part in running Walk Through History. “The cemetery has fallen into a lot of disrepair over the years, I mean granted, the cemetery was built in 1854. The first part of Concordia was built under the freeway, so there were bodies under the freeway for a while.”

Fear not, we no longer have bodies under I-10, but El Paso was left with a cemetery that was built to cater to everyone, no matter what race or religion. According to Sargent, the cemetery includes Chinese, African-American, Catholic, Mormon, and Jewish areas in addition to many more.

About 20 years ago, radio show host, Leon Metz, decided to do something that would not only raise funds to preserve the cemetery but that would give historians and family members of the deceased a chance to voice the history of the various historic figures buried within the cemetery.

“People were doing drugs out there, selling drugs out there, devil worshipping- all kinds of things,” said Sargent. “So people were afraid to go into the graveyard to

see the graves of their family members. Leon finally decided, you know, there’s 15,000 people buried out there, we needed to do some repairs. So a group finally got together and thought of ways to provide money for the cemetery but also to provide awareness so they did this- and they called it a Walk Through History.”

For a small price, the annual event allows people from all over El Paso to explore the cemetery or listen to first-person accounts of people buried there. The event will also feature historians, genealogists, a look at the recently-completed Buffalo Soldier Memorial and various other activities for the community to enjoy right before Halloween.

Among the celebrities that reside in Concordia are: Lady Flo, a mysterious socialite and cattle rancher, Mexican President Victoriano Huerta, and a man who at one point was the tallest man in the world, Jake Erlich.

“One of the things I tell people when I’m giving tours is that a cemetery is like a big history book, and each one of those gravestones is a chapter,” said Sargent.

For more information on Walk Through History or Concordia Cemetery, please visit:

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Brandon Wolfram – Serious Business Tue, 04 Oct 2011 07:35:35 +0000 David By: David Pacheco

Brandon Wolfram knows a thing or two about high scores.  He was UTEP’s All-Time leading scorer; but now, the former UTEP Basketball player has returned to El Paso to help you improve your credit score.

At 6-8, Wolfram was a star forward for the Miners from 1997-2001. During his senior season, Wolfram averaged 24 points per game and single handedly carried the Miners to their first postseason berth since 1995.

As remarkable as Wolfram’s scoring average was, what was even more impressive was his GPA.  Wolfram carried a 3.8 GPA and was twice named to the Academic All-America Team.

After Wolfram’s distinguished UTEP career was over, all signs pointed to a career in the NBA.

Unfortunately Wolfram went undrafted, but was invited to try-out for the Dallas Mavericks. Tragically, however, days before his try-out with the Mavericks, Wolfram suffered an injury that derailed his NBA career.

Wolfram was thus forced to pursue his basketball career overseas.  “I bounced around all over Europe; I played in Greece, Poland and Italy.”  “It was a really terrible experience,” said Wolfram about his time playing professionally overseas.

“I realized that moving around from team to team every season just wasn’t for me,” said Wolfram.  So Wolfram moved back to El Paso, reenrolled at UTEP and completed his degree in Business.

Courtesy: “From 2000 through 2009, the UTEP basketball team recorded 181 victories and made six postseason tournament appearances. The decade produced the school’s all-time leading scorer – twice (Brandon Wolfram and Stefon Jackson). It also produced “Fili, O.T. and J-Will,” the “Oh oh oh oh oh Gio” song (sung to the tune of “Hangin’ Tough” by New Kids on the Block), and Randy Culpepper’s gravity-defying tomahawk dunks.”

Shortly after graduating, Wolfram began working for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, but after playing a few pickup games with then current Miner players, Wolfram once again got the itch to play basketball.  “I was playing with Fili Rivera and Omar Thomas and I realized, that I hadn’t lost a step,” said Wolfram.

So in 2005 Wolfram returned to Europe, and this time he was fortunate enough to sign a long term contract with one of the premier teams in Spain.  “It was a lot of fun, I was in one of the best leagues in all of Europe and I was playing against old Miner players like Sharif Fajardo and Jojo Garcia.”

In 2010 while playing in Spain, Wolfram reaggravated his injury.  “When I got injured again, it was almost impossible for me to get another contract.”

“I knew my playing days were over, so I came home.”  Wolfram, who was born and raised in Amarillo, is now proud to call El Paso his home.

In January 2011 Wolfram founded Credit Development Solutions.

And so like any other college graduate, Wolfram hit the job trail.  “I was sending out about twenty resumes or more a day,” exclaimed Wolfram.  But after getting rejected numerous times, Wolfram decided to use his savings to open up his own business.

“Credit was always an interesting subject to me, plus I wanted to do something that allowed me to help people improve their lives.”

In January 2011 Wolfram founded Credit Development Solutions.

“El Paso has the 5th worst credit score average in the country,” explained Wolfram.  Wolfram was intrigued by that statistic, and he is determined to help El Pasoans improve their credit scores.  “Bad credit can not only prevent you from getting a car or house, but nowadays 40 percent of employers pull a credit report before hiring an employee; good credit is going to save you money and open up lots of opportunities,” explained Wolfram about the importance of having good credit.

Wolfram says there are so many myths about ways to improve your credit or to even obtain credit.  “Just because you pay your water bill every month on time doesn’t mean you have good credit, because utility bills don’t show up on your credit score.”

Wolfram also advices people not to cut up those credit cards; “You want to have at least 3-5 credit cards, but use each one sparingly, you want to have a high credit limit and maintain a low balance.”  “Your credit score is based upon the longevity that you have a card open for, as well as payment history, so cutting up/canceling a card eliminates all that valuable time that you invested in that specific card from your credit report, which in return will lower your credit score.”

Any credit score over 720 is considered a good score; “750 or more is just outstanding,” exclaimed Wolfram.

Business started off slow for Wolfram, but Wolfram stayed confident and didn’t give up hope, which he says was instilled upon him while playing for Hall of Fame Coach Don Haskins.  “Coach Haskins didn’t teach us how to run a business, but I’m sure if he did, it would have been pretty interesting,” laughed Wolfram.

Credit Development Solutions currently only has two locations in El Paso, but Wolfram plans on expanding within the next year, and yes, he does plan on changing the name; “I know the name is a little generic, so that’s why we will soon be known as West Texas Credit Advisors,” chuckled Wolfram.

Anyone seeking help with their credit can turn to Wolfram; “We want to be loyal to our customers, because there are too many shady businesses that promise to help improve peoples’ credit, but they just end up taking their money; we don’t ask for any money until after our job is completely done.”

When Stefon Jackson and Randy Culpepper passed Wolfram on UTEP’s All-Time scoring list, he was happy, for them; now Wolfram wants to make sure everyone passes him with a high credit score.

For information on how you can improve your credit score, please visit

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Catch Him If You Can: Jack Fields, El Paso Football Standout Tue, 04 Oct 2011 07:34:20 +0000 David By: David Pacheco

Special Thanks: Americas High School Football Team & Yearbook Committee

Who is Jack Fields?  He’s not a secrete spy in a television drama, he isn’t the newest superhero to hit the big screen; Jack Fields is a 5-11, 200-pound senior running back for Americas High School, and one of the most exciting high school players the city of El Paso has ever seen.

Although Jack can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound; Jack has already accepted a scholarship to play football next year at Boise State, he has Americas off to a 3-1 start and a No. 2 ranking in the city. Oh, and this native of Uvalda, Georgia is one of the most polite and humble teenagers you will ever meet.

TSM was able to do something that opposing defenses have been trying to do for years; TSM was able to stop Jack – albeit for a few minutes for an interview with El Paso’s most electrifying high school football player.

TSM: Why should El Pasoans come out and see Jack Fields?

Photo Credit: Acavius Largo

“Oh sir, don’t come out to watch me, come out to watch the Americas football team.”

Jack was quick to point out that his teammates and coaches are what make him better; “No sir, this season isn’t about me, it’s about Americas High School, our goal is to win district and then make a deep run in the playoffs.”  Jack credits Americas’ strong passing attack and their offensive line for opening up the running game.  “Albert Delgado and Danny Vasquez are two outstanding wide receivers, and our sophomore quarterback Orlando Garcia is a guy you should definitely keep your eye on, because he is only going to get better,” said Jack as he shifted his textbooks and agenda from one hand to the other.

Not only was Jack carrying several textbooks, but his backpack was nearly bursting from the seams.  Jack maintains a 3.5 GPA, so when he isn’t at football practice, studying film or lifting weights, he is usually hitting the books.

When Jack does have free time, he volunteers at a local church and he also coaches a youth football team.  This year he plans on running track for Americas; “Running track will help me build speed and help me with my endurance for the collegiate level,” explained Jack as he commended some teammates after practice.

In a time and age when most athletes are labeled “divas,” Jack Fields is anything but.  Jack doesn’t have an alter ego; he isn’t obsessed with stats, scoring touchdowns and promoting himself, he just wants to go out and win and help the team in any way possible.  “I don’t keep up with statistics, the only important stat to me is wins,” said Jack.

Photo Credit: Acavius Largo

As a sophomore, Jack rushed for nine touchdowns and nearly a thousand yards; as a junior his touchdown total doubled and he nearly had two-thousand rushing yards.

Jack’s performance on the field as a junior made him one of the country’s most sought after recruits.  He began receiving scholarship offers from UTEP, Texas A&M and San Diego State just to name a few.  “The whole recruiting process was great,” said Jack with a huge smile on his face.

After numerous campus visits, Jack narrowed down his choices to UTEP and college football’s darling Boise State.

“It was a really hard choice,” explained Jack of his decision.  “If I chose UTEP, I could stay here and play in front of my family and friends, but Boise State offered me a great opportunity to grow as a man.”

“We only have six games left sir,” said Jack.  El Paso has only six more chances to see Jack Fields in action before he does hit the big screen where you will only be able to catch him on Saturdays.  And coming soon on Sundays.

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