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February 2023

Bootsy Bellows Bash for Healthy Humor Huge Hit! @DavidArquette @officialdannyt

By Joy A. Kennelly

Healthy Humor Co-Chairs, David Arquette and his wife Christina McLarty Arquette were happy with this year’s Bash at Bootsy’s held at David’s West Hollywood nightclub, Bootsy Bellows.  Many other celebrities attended including Amy Yasbeck, Danny Trejo, Kyle Allen, Comedian Gabriel Iglesias, aka Fluffy, and award-winning actress Patricia Arquette.

CLU17736David Arquette’s work with Healthy Humor has shown him how truly remarkable their efforts are. Seeing the magic of Healthy Humor’s work firsthand has encouraged him to develop his own clown persona to help spread laughter, kindness, and fun to kids worldwide. Here's an article in People to elaborate: David Arquette Reveals He's 'Studying to Be a Clown': 'It Takes a Lot of Training'

CLU17986Healthy Humor is a non-profit arts organization that uses laughter, joy, and humor to aid in the healing of sick children and others who are suffering, relying on the magic of “healthcare clowning.” Healthcare clowns go out to hospitals and use their professional skills to alleviate the stress, sadness, and loneliness of a hospital stay. They understand how damaging the isolation of a hospital environment can be to a person's mental and emotional state and therefore help to reintroduce laughter and play to bring back the natural parts of life. 

For behind-the-scenes activity, review my client, Aaron Anastasi's Instagram:

Happy Fat Tuesday - here's what's happening in your neck of the woods

By Joy A. Kennelly

ChairsOn Wednesday, February 22nd, David Arquette along with his lovely wife, Christina McLarty Arquette, will serve as Co-Chairs of the Benefits Committee for this year’s gala of the non-profit organization, Healthy Humor. The Bash at Bootsy’s will be held at David’s West Hollywood nightclub, Bootsy Bellows, from 6 pm-10 pm.

The Bash will include food, drinks, a silent auction, live entertainment, and fun surprises throughout the night. Many other celebrities are also expected to attend, including Good Girls and Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks, Titanic star Frances Fisher, Comedian Gabriel Iglesias aka Fluffy, and award-winning actress Rosanna Arquette

Healthy Humor is a non-profit arts organization that uses laughter, joy, and humor to aid in the healing of sick children and others who are suffering, relying on the magic of “healthcare clowning.” ClownsHealthcare clowns go out to hospitals and use their professional skills to alleviate the stress, sadness, and loneliness of a hospital stay. They understand how damaging the isolation of a hospital environment can be to a person's mental and emotional state and therefore help to reintroduce laughter and play to bring back the natural parts of life. 

Healthy Humor serves over 600,000 kids and families at 15 partner hospitals annually across the country, including Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and Loma Linda Children’s Hospital in Southern California. With the trauma and grief left in the wake of the pandemic, their work is now more critical than ever. If you're interested in supporting their effort, or seeing if tickets are still available, please click here.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Meanwhile, back in Alpine, Texas, these are all the issues over 100 people submitted for consideration out of a town of 6,000. PiechartIt's a little hard to read and if you're interested, I'm sure the city manager would be happy to provide a copy if you asked nicely. But have to say people, you get what you deserve if you don't participate when your city asks for input. 

Here's the video of one of the poorly attended strategic meetings held by this City Council if you care to watch:

Apparently, infrastructure is a biggie, especially when those who live in places like Sunny Glen, Sierra la Ran,a and Alpine Country Club, are not paying city taxes because they're in the county, not annexed in.

So, when they want their roads fixed, guess who carries the brunt? Those of us living within city limits. are paying the Alpine Country Club's 30 homes 3-mile road repair to the tune, of what was it? $36,000? Or was it higher? Memory fades, but you can catch a rough estimate if you listen to tonight's city council meeting replay.

Apparently too, there are either a lot of inept repair people on the payroll, or the roads and water systems out here are just that crummy because they're constantly needing to be repaired at a high cost. Constantly. Why oh why isn't this fixed once and for all? 

Oh, and here's the reason many of us think the city attorney needs to go.  Back when there was money, the city hired a firm to do an overall review and map of all the water lines, infrastructure, etc. They then turned around and used the city's diagrams to create the docs they returned to the city in an unusable format!

But it gets better, they returned the images the city had provided, stating it was their own!

And this city attorney accepted this faulty job, didn't fight it, and made the City of Alpine pay out $80,000 for a.) work they never can use b.) work they should never have had to pay for in the first place. Shaking my head at the sheer audacity of this current city council to continue to keep this lame-duck city attorney still in his position. No wonder he was fired once before.

Ah, but the plot thickens. Guess who this city attorney is pals with? The county sheriff who ALSO screwed the city by claiming he would split the cost of the jail if it was built on city land and then reneged when it was built, leaving the city yet again, holding the bag for a huge bill that they didn't get anything out of if I'm stating it correctly. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I heard it from a pretty authoritative source.

Guess who used to work for the sheriff? You got it, Judy Stokes, leading us right back to Ward 1 and the issues raised previously. At least the concrete company was fined for violating the dark skies requirement and the current construction company is keeping to the hours set by the city ordinance. Nice to see some decorum and peace happening after weeks of chaos. As I said before, I don't care what they're building. I care when.

And for the person who decided to write me anonymously to say that the former interim city manager was fired for due cause due to a bounced check. She ignored it and allowed it to become a felony when her attorney, who said she would get off, died leaving her without legal representation to fight it.

That was raised during a city council meeting in 2016 and determined not to be an issue for the facts just stated. AND the SECRETARY OF STATE said it was ok. So let's give the woman a break ok? Maybe when she was sworn in previously she didn't realize it had turned into a felony? They don't always tell you these things up front ya know. Not that I would know! 

Haven't you ever bounced a check and then forgotten about it? Anyway, she's working to get it expunged so it will happen. It's why I don't write checks anymore. Too much bookkeeping to worry about.:)

So, all this to say, Alpine is much more twisted and secretive than even I imagined. If only I were a screenwriter... what a script I could write. And that's not even mentioning the bribery, illegal immigrants, or federal money funneled through certain people's pocketbooks.

Because it is...

I still stand by my assertion from the start.

Alpine deserves money to support its infrastructure and there's no reason why we're not getting any of it. One thing that you can do to help the city as a whole is to provide details on the water lines and pipes on your property when the city manager sends out a letter requesting this because it's now a requirement by Biden's administration AND it will help the city overall decide how to fix the infrastructure needs.

And if you want to see transparency in government, ask why the City Manager's performance appraisal isn't made public per her contract. What are they hiding and why? Inquiring minds want to know.

And lastly, because I find this hilarious seeing as I only saw white cowboys with their families and girlfriends and children attending this past weekend's Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering, why on earth does the Mayor think that an African festival will do well out here in the middle of Big Bend Country? I just did a quick search and in the entire Brewster County, there are 2.1% blacks per the 2020 US Census.

I have to laugh aloud that she thinks in all her positivity, that white people who I've heard use racist slurs in private and have been name-calling and threatening me online (which is a crime called cyberbullying fyi) will embrace a festival with another culture other than their own?

Maybe in El Paso where it's bigger, closer to an airport, people are more mixed and there isn't such a small-town cliquish vibe against outsiders, but not here in Alpine. This little town is as redneck as you get. And I'm saying that in the kindest manner possible, because if you are honest with yourselves, you know I'm right.:) Not everyone, but enough...

And the cost for anyone to even attempt to produce such an event when the entire town takes hours to get to, housing is at a premium, and food costs are so high. I just don't see it. But that's the event producer in me. I wish that person well, but if it were me, I'd relocate it asap.

So, if you want more matters of facts and opinions, turn in every other week to hear former city councilman, Rick Stevens, show on Thursday mornings at 9 am on

As long as my new neighbor, Dollar General, is keeping to normal work hours, I will now begin to write about what I really would rather write about. Travel.:)

And because this is also hilarious, I will leave you with these people reading reviews of Dollar General which cracks me up. 

I said what I said.

City of Alpine Ward 1 deserves better than Judy Stokes. Please read and consider running for City Council

By Joy A. Kennelly

Have to admit, when I first drove through Alpine, Texas on my way to Florida last year, I was surprised it was called the alps of Texas. I didn't appreciate the rugged terrain, the wide open vistas, or stop to explore any of the art galleries, the quaint candy store, unique restaurants, and shops, I just kept driving on to Austin, TX because my sister had given me a deadline to arrive at her house by 10 pm due to her work schedule. And I still had 6 hours of driving.

Never in a million years did I think I would ever end up living here as I drove through. I was going to live the rest of my days in Florida, enjoying the sun and the beach, and Governor DeSantis. HA HA HA. When man plans, God laughs. Isn't that the saying? 

I've moved so often it's hard to count, but I blame it on the fact as children my mom and dad took us to South America when we were very young and then as teenagers, moved us to Africa for a year. I've traveled through 27 countries, and 4 continents, and have either lived in, gone to school in, or traveled through most of the U.S.

There was a study done years ago by a California university on the effects living abroad has on children and one of the long-term effects was determined to be the need for movement.  At least that's my recollection of my participation. Can't find it now so we'll never know if I'm right, but I have been a nomad for most of my life. That's why it's a natural fit for me to finally own and operate a travel agency because if you want to go somewhere, I've probably been there. I also am becoming certified in all kinds of vacation spots because it's also a way to learn where I want to move next, truth be told.

That's why, waking up at 5:30 am to the sounds and vibrations of construction, bright lights, and loud horns blaring sporadically combined with the beeping of equipment backing up makes me want to pack up and leave immediately. I didn't sign up for a year-long construction site outside my bedroom window. What I thought I was going to find here in Alpine, TX was dark skies, and quiet, peaceful living while I build my online empire.

However, what I wasn't taking into account was a city council that, despite their claims they care about the city, allowed not one, not two, but THREE Dollar General stores into this community with a population of 6,000. Who does this without understanding the ramifications of such a ghetto store being here? 

Because I watched Ozark, have to admit, it has made me wonder if the cartel isn't using Dollar General as a money laundering tool because the research my friend gave me regarding where Dollar Generals tend to end up is in small towns with naïve city councils. In case you haven't seen it, here's the trailer:

I've really tried to hold my tongue, but having drilling previously on Sundays at 10 pm and lights on at 10:30 pm at night with a generator making a horrible noise, I have to ask, why aren't there ordinances in Alpine to prevent this? Why isn't there an ordinance to protect the quaint, small-town experience that generations have enjoyed year after year?

Guess what? Turns out, we don't need a noise ordinance to sue according to a criminal defense attorney. It's considered a public nuisance and  I would like to start a class action suit because I'm sure neighbors would want to participate since it's affecting their quality of life as well. If you're interested, contact me via email ( and we'll get it going. I know a law firm that specializes in class action lawsuits very open to receiving this information to start one. And if you have an Alpine news tip, send it to that email too.

Filing a noise nuisance lawsuit is easy peasy to quote said attorney.

What I find interesting is that I watched B.J. Novak's Vengeance film prior to moving here and was shocked to learn he had shot some of it right here in West Texas. And that a lot of the issues he references in the film, are currently happening. What? You haven't heard of this film either? Let me give you a taste of what you're missing. Here's the trailer:

After experiencing what I'm seeing lately, I think he could easily write a follow-up script using the greed of the land owners who sold the land for $37,000 to Dollar General (click here for stories about other small towns being decimated by this company) now live behind gated communities (yes, those even exist out in the middle of nowhere believe it or not) with their addresses blurred on Google maps and continue to build their coffers on the backs of small-town people who don't have the legal knowledge or money to fight back.

The classic class struggle.

The other day I sold a compact burner to a woman for $4 who told me her son was going to use it to warm up their house because he has no heat. That reminded me of a single Mexican mom I once rented a room from who couldn't afford to pay for heat in the apartment, rented to me to afford her living expenses because she stayed in a low-paying job believing the owner would eventually compensate her loyalty, and slept on the couch in the living room giving her teenage daughter her own bedroom. She slept with the oven on and the oven door open to keep the house warm which I don't believe is healthy for anyone.

Kind of opens your eyes to what white privilege really is when you think about it. Or is it life choices? Because after I moved out, her daughter became pregnant at 16 years old like her mom, dropped out of high school, and is raising this child on welfare. At a certain point, you make your bed and you lie in it if we are being brutally honest. I left after the daughter kept threatening suicide and the mom finally recognized she needed to have her apartment back to deal with her daughter's issues. 

But I digress. I didn't sign up for an excess of Dollar Generals in this quiet community and neither did my neighbors. Click to read the story of  "Dollar General: The staple in small towns throughout America. Are they harmful or helpful, and why is there another Dollar General for the “wealthy”?" because this is happening all over apparently.

"‘When a grocery store closes up and it’s your last one, you feel it immediately’ Rural areas are losing grocery stores but gaining other kinds of food retailers, such as dollar stores, according to the USDA." Click that link to read the full story.

Even the New York Times has written about this issue, ‘Everything Going the Wrong Way’: Dollar Stores Hit a Pandemic Downturn

Here's a link to the zoning map of Alpine that hasn't been updated since 2013 apparently: Why is that? Isn't it time we begin to be proactive? Prevent more bad business decisions? Apparently, there has been a lot of corruption over the years here, but that doesn't mean it has to continue.

That's what scares me the most about this current city council member representing our area, Judy Stokes, is that Ward 1 covers the small local airport too. Who's to say she won't allow more construction, more planes flying at all hours and wherever they want, and other encroachments on our civil rights? Or worse yet, illegal immigration via planes! Don't believe me? Read this article in the Big Bend Sentinel: Pilot in plane crash involving undocumented migrants pleads guilty to felony human smuggling charge

I tried to speak to her at the last city council meeting and she refused to acknowledge that I had the right to add the noise and disruption of the Dollar General construction to the next City Council meeting's agenda. Who does that? If she's not representing her constituents, WHO IS SHE REPRESENTING?

Because apparently, this has been a pattern with Judy Stokes since she came into office if this Big Bend Sentinel article indicates anything: New Alpine City Council throws out top city administration  

"Though citizens, the city attorney, and a fellow council member asked Stokes to provide her reasoning or motivations for the terminations she had slated, Stokes refused to talk. “We don’t have to have those, we are at-will employment,” she said. “I put it on the agenda and I feel comfortable in my position.”

Stokes did not return requests for comment, leaving the public with little reason as to why she initiated the swift terminations. On social media, some citizens responding to the terminations complained about Zimmer’s salary and his use of a city vehicle to visit his family in Albuquerque – something that had been contractually agreed upon by the city when Zimmer was hired."

So, to the anonymous person who chose to challenge my blog via email hiding behind your anonymity, here's why I write what I write and where you're wrong. Something is fishy when someone is doing a good job and is fired for no reason. You have to read the above article because it details exactly what went on when this city council chose to unceremoniously dump people who according to the community at large who came to speak on their behalf, were doing a good job.

"Erik Zimmer grew up in Alpine and was one of the most productive city managers in many years.  When he was hired in late 2013, the city had serious financial problems with a debt of nearly $10 million, almost as great as its total budget. When he left in 2017, it was about $6 million." (THIS IS WHO JUDY AND THIS CITY COUNCIL FIRED) You can read the full article here: Erik Zimmer returns as Alpine city manager

You know what's really ironic? At the last city council meeting this current city council voted to keep the city attorney who gave bad advice regarding Dollar General in his position as city attorney. WHY?! You just can't make this up.

So Judy, when are you going to listen to us? When are you going to act in the best interests of Alpine, Texas? Or do we need to find another candidate to run against you? I hope the person I've been talking to will do so because we need open, transparent representation, not someone who has her own agenda, refuses to listen to her constituents and isn't acting in the best interests of the area she was hired to represent.

And if you vote Judy Stokes back on the city council this May, you deserve what you get. A town that will continue to be run by someone who doesn't care and will do whatever this puppet wants to fulfill the bidding of her masters. At a certain point, we have to recognize that just because someone grew up in a small town doesn't mean they understand how to run it effectively, or that they're not being manipulated behind the scenes.

I said what I said.














Porter's Update, Upcoming February Events, City Council Review, and what lies underneath the surface of #Alpine, #Texas

By Joy A. Kennelly

Since I'm writing in my personal blog I will just share like you're my friend and interested in the latest hometown gossip, I mean news. First off, Porter's is having a soft launch tomorrow which will be great because when I went shopping at their older store, almost all the shelves were bare as they had moved all the sale items to the new store.

Speaking with Frank, Porter's employee, he says they will have the launch officially on March 4, 2023 with lots of delicious food and other fun activities for the community to enjoy.

Front Street BooksOur local bookstore, Front Street Books, has lots of interesting book recommendations which you will receive if you complete the newsletter sign-up here. They also will have 2 authors discussing their books on Thursday, February 23 at 6pm.  Front Street Books2

Now there are two big annual events happening later this month that sound interesting. The Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering is being held February 17 - 18, 2023 in Alpine, Texas and people come from all over to participate. 

Cowboy poetryThe featured highlight is Charlie Goodnight: His Life in Poetry and Song happening Saturday Night, February 18, 2023, which will be a true western opera comprised of 15 poems and 14 songs written and composed by Andy Wilkinson, a distant nephew of the famous cattleman.

For more information, please visit the website to buy tickets, check out the schedule, and see the delicious menu offerings.

Now if poetry and old Western stories aren't your cup of tea, then maybe you'll enjoy going to Valentine, Texas about an hour and 30 min from Alpine to participate in the 11th annual Valentine's in Valentine festival which is also a reunion.

Valentine_s in Valentine_Page_1

Valentine in Valentine, TX is a throwback celebration that combines live music, small-town vibes, and good old-fashioned surprise.  An authentic party celebrating the Western lifestyle, this unique experience feels more like a get-together of old friends and family. Held in an old refurbished Mercantile store from the early 1900s situated next to a rodeo corral, the venue alone adds its own charm & mystique to the annual celebration. 

Heading into its 11th year, the 2023 headliners will be Austin, Texas natives, Shane Smith & The Saints; who you also may recognize from the Season 5 Premier of the hit tv show Yellowstone. And speaking of which, did you hear the news? Yellowstone’ Spinoff With Matthew McConaughey in Talks Amid Report of Kevin Costner’s Uncertain Future. I think Kevin Costner's wife's demands that he stop spending so much time in Montana is partly the reason, but I digress.

Back to Shane Smith & The Saints.

Additional acts include The Pulpit Ramblers, Mariachi Santa Cruz, The Rosweels, and a special appearance by Sheverb. Sheverb has a surfer western twang to their music I find very unique and fun. Doesn't this video showcase what I'm talking about? Ironically shot in Southern California.

For more info and to purchase tickets, please visit:

And if you're wanting to camp while attending the event, be sure to check out my friend's campground, Desert View RV Park. They have 5 spots left and they will go fast because it's about 15 minutes away from the festivities vs traveling by bus back to Marfa, Van Horn, or Alpine.

JTA Facebook HeaderI know quite a few people in Valentine having spent months on a ranch nearby and now that I'm a certified, insured, and bonded travel agent under my banner, Joy's Travel Adventures, I'd be happy to help you with any accommodations you may have questions or want to book in the surrounding areas. And if you're wondering where to fly into, El Paso, TX is the closest airport.

Dallas Fort Worth is about an 8-hour drive to Valentine, TX. Trust me, driving hours on end with nothing but the Texas desert to look at is very tiring. However, the sunsets and sunrises are stunning. And every so often you'll see wildlife. Just be careful not to hit them. They will ruin your car according to locals.

What you can hit is Van Horn, TX from El Paso, because then it's only about an hour to Valentine from there. Plus, if you're into funky, unique art installations, Prada Marfa, is along the way. If you click the link to the Desert View RV Park above, I added a bunch of pictures and information to give you perspective on the area too.

Moving right along...

So, now to the City Council meeting tonight. I'm always curious who runs a city and what their personal agenda is because oftentimes, they're beholden to certain business owners, developers, and others with a financial vested interest in controlling the community as I experienced in Hermosa Beach, CA.

And it wasn't hard to see it's the same here. Apparently, 3 new city council members got on the council and immediately fired the City Attorney, the City Manager, the secretary, and the police chief. Doesn't that seem fishy to you? Especially when others I've spoken to said these people who were unceremoniously fired were actually doing a good job.

Why the sudden sweep? And why did they put back in office an attorney who was fired from the job before? Why was a woman who had sued the city and is in bed (literally) with one of the public works officials now our city manager? And why is a local apartment complex that wants to expand being held up for a feasibility test, when Dollar General didn't pay for one? And I hear this means NONE of the Dollar Generals were held to this accountability. Not to say I'm for random buildings, but let's get things figured out people. Do we have the water, or don't we? Will adding another structure to certain water mains reduce water for residents down the line? Or not.

What I also find very interesting is that the woman who is supposed to represent our area, Ward 1, has been in her position for one term and wouldn't acknowledge my request to have the noise issue from Dollar General put on the next meeting's agenda. Small towns are super shady because they are generally run by certain wealthy people who hide in the shadows and allow others to face the public wrath for their complete and utter disregard for the community as a whole as evidenced by the Dollar General fiasco. 

And speaking of the fiasco, now Biden's EPA has made it a Federal Mandate that all the lead and copper water line materials need to be inventoried all over Alpine. Probably all over the US, but this is where we are, so here is where I speak. 

And you want to hear a perfect place for fraud to happen? There was a grant offered in 2 phases that this new city manager decided to request for the city as a Planning Mobility Study for all of Alpine. And I don't remember her saying she consulted anyone when she did this too. Meghan, did you?

She didn't request infrastructure updates for this grant. No, a plan to be established at the cost of $280,000 with the city on the hook for 20% with the possibility of a $100,000 grant. Now apparently she has been speaking to local businesses to see if they would help offset the costs and there has been some interest if/when the city moves into Phase 2 of the grant process.

Now, on a positive note, the Alpine Tourism team has been very active and very successful in drumming up interest in people from other parts of the state coming to visit. The largest amount of visitors have been from Midland-Odessa and El Paso areas. However, the ones who spend the most money are from San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and other cities further away. When the reps were participating in the Dallas State Fair many said they had never heard of Alpine, but were interested after learning more.

In case you didn't know and are more auditory, the Alpine TX podcast ALPINE, TX: HEART OF THE BIG BEND PODCAST, is released every other week with discussion and news on travel to Alpine and the Big Bend region of Texas. “Heart of the Big Bend” won the 2022 Texas Travel Award for Best Travel Destination Podcast in Texas! This way you can get a taste of what is available here. I think Alpine, TX is a great place to vacation because it's central to numerous small western towns with lots of art, museums, history, and hiking.

However, to live here? Not so sure. There is definitely a territorial vibe from those who have lived in the area for generations, however, with more and more remote workers, contract medical workers, and those seeking to escape Austin and California, there are more people who have moved here in the past decade than usual. This has caused a housing shortage and why now there are numerous requests to split lots, build new apartment buildings, and other housing considerations.

One thing I find interesting is that there hasn't been a city plan in place for this growth which is the reason we ended up with the debacle of four Dollar Generals in a community of 6,000 people. Be careful Fort Davis, they're probably coming for your quaint city next. Can you tell I'm bitter? 

In any case, the infrastructure of the town is in desperate need of an overhaul which is why there are huge ponds of water gathering at intersections during the last heavy storm and why having enough water for residents is a concern with new developments. 

What struck me with the current city council is how little many of them see to understand or know what is involved in creating a functioning infrastructure. One guy is lying in bed recovering from surgery being asked what he thinks about everything and all he can say is a great report, good job as usual, etc. Then you hear others unsure of whether or not to move ahead with a new apartment complex because the water issue has never been explored. One woman works for the apartment complex in question and when I asked her if she would recuse herself should it come to a vote due to being a conflict of interest, she said yes. She seemed to be the one with the most wisdom of all I heard tonight.

What I was always taught as a child is if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I think it's time we have a plan in place for the City of Alpine, but I highly doubt the entire current City Council is qualified for the job which is why I'm encouraging anyone in Ward 1 to consider running during this upcoming election in May. The deadline to apply is February 17, 2023 at 4pm. You can find out all the details here:

Please don't let this small community suffer because it's continuing to be mismanaged. We need people in office who understand zoning, city development, and infrastructure and not just home girls and guys who are in office by virtue of having lived here forever. The city has way too many empty businesses and too many for sale signs everywhere for this to be an endorsement of the current job the current council is doing for the City of Alpine.

We need someone with vision, a background in city planning and development, and someone willing to take on the obvious corruption inherent in the current new group of city council members willing to fire FOUR people without cause. They were doing a good job so why FOUR at once? And the replacements are subpar? I will never understand people sometimes. If I was a screenwriter, I could write a movie in a few days there's so much evidence of something not right here. 

More will be revealed. Stay tuned. 

In other news, Porter's new grocery store set to open February 8, 2023

By Joy A. Kennelly

First some great news. Big Bend National Park was recently named a "Best of the World 2023" destination by National Geographic Travel! Check out this image to see why. Now, do you see why I moved here? Why don't you visit Alpine, TX? Just ignore the Dollar Generals ok?

Big Bend National Park Photo Credit Ryan Buonaiuto Photo Credit Ryan Buonaiuto

Now on to the story at hand.

Ever since moving to West Texas, I was surprised to see only one grocery store brand called Porter's covering the entire area of Van Horn, Fort Davis, Marfa, and Alpine. Otherwise, it's just Dollar General or Family Dollar as your local stores and I have to admit, this took a little getting used to and still does. 

However, all that to say, I was very happy when Porter's sponsored the recent Women's Empowerment Seminar Hosted By SBDC. Click the link to see the wonderful women who put this event on. I think there must have been over 300 women in attendance. I won a free massage with Mary who works over at the local Whole Life Center and it was just what the doctor ordered when I pulled a muscle over my clavicle. It was so painful until she gently helped ease the pain. Highly recommend her services!

What I've grown to appreciate about Porter's is the free item you receive when you purchase $10 or more if you use their app. I like that it's family owned and operated since 1945 and they respect their clientele. Whenever I have had an issue they have quickly and efficiently resolved it. I appreciate that they have a wide variety of grocery items to choose from, their staff is very helpful, the stores are clean and well-maintained and overall the selection has been fairly priced. I even picked up 3 chicken breasts for $2 once! I'm a little sick of chicken now but was glad I froze it.

Very happy to report they are moving into their newly renovated location effective Wednesday, February 8, 2023 if the store member who informed me is accurate. Here's a glimpse at some of the grocery prices in case you're living in CA and curious, click here.

That's all for now.


Alpine City Council Elections take place May 6th - Deadline to apply to run Feb 17

So! If you're fed up with Dollar General, have lived in Alpine for one year, and would like to have a voice on what happens in this town especially if you live next to the new construction, here are the details on how to run for office. And if I like you and what you're standing for, I'll even offer to help spread the word as I am a professional publicist. I personally can't run having just moved in, but I will happily support others!

You have to file before February 17, 2023.

This is taken from the city website and is accurate. But click here for the city's direct link too: NOTICE OF DEADLINE TO FILE APPLICATIONS FOR PLACE ON THE BALLOT 

Applications for Place on the Ballot may be filed from 1/18/2023 to 2/17/2023. Candidates may pick up the Application for Place on the Ballot and Candidate Packet from the Office of the City Secretary at the following address:

City Hall
100 N. 13th St
Alpine, Texas 79830

The Application for Place on the Ballot may be turned in at the above address between the hours of 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday to Friday. The deadline to file the application is 2/17/2023 by 5:00 P.M.

The 2023 Election Candidate Packet and Application will be available for pickup at City Hall on January 18, 2023. A candidate packet is not required to run for office, but candidates are strongly encouraged to obtain a candidate packet.

Any questions regarding Elections may be directed to the Office of the City Secretary at (432) 837-3301, Option 1, or at

And here's the link to information on what all is entailed according to the state website: Candidacy Filing - Local Political Subdivisions


Qualifications for Elected Officials are established by Texas Statute and the City of Alpine Home-Rule Charter. Qualifications for elected officials of the City are as follows:

 (1) be a United States citizen;

 (2) be 18 years of age or older on the first day of the term to be filled at the election or on the date of   appointment, as applicable;

 (3) have not been determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be:
         (A) totally mentally incapacitated; or
         (B) partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote;

 (4) have not been finally convicted of a felony from which the person has not been pardoned or otherwise   released from the resulting disabilities;

 (5) have resided continuously in the state for 12 months and in the territory from which the office is elected for six months immediately preceding the date of the regular filing deadline for a candidate's application for a  place on the ballot.


 (A) Each member of the City Council and the Mayor, in addition to other qualifications prescribed by the laws of the State of  Texas, shall

 (1) be a qualified voter of the City;

 (2) reside within the corporate limits of the City if a candidate for Mayor or within the district for which they are a candidate if a candidate for Councilmember.

 (3) not hold any other office or employment under the City government.

 (B) If the Mayor or a member of the City Council shall cease to possess any of these qualifications or shall cease to reside in the City or in the district from which they were elected or shall be convicted of a felony or is absent from three (3)  consecutive regular Council meetings without being excused by
 the Council, he or she shall immediately forfeit the office.

 (C) The Council is to be the sole judge of its members' qualifications. A majority vote of the elected members of the Council in regular session is required to declare the office forfeited.

So there ya have it. If you think you can do a better job of defending the small-town environment and creating a better community, please apply! It's time we take this area back to prevent yet another damn Dollar General coming in. And don't believe them when people say things can't change. There is always room for change. 



Why did certain Alpine residents sell this community down the river with yet another Dollar General?

By Joy A. Kennelly

Never in a million years did I ever think I would be living next to a Dollar General construction site, let alone one that decides it's ok to be working at 10 pm at night on a Sunday, or 10:30 pm with a generator creating a huge rumbling for hours last night.

But I am.

ImageAin't this the truth? If we count the two existing Dollar Generals and the one Family General we are about as full up of these kinds of stores as we can be. Now to prevent more from coming in and fully creating a ghetto.

As a result, I did some research to see what makes a successful small town and discovered that there are certain elements which are as follows:

"The research found that small towns with strong economic performance share several key traits, such as travel, tourism, and recreation as key industries; the prevalence of professional services; a culture of entrepreneurship; and research universities and 4-year colleges."

This is taken from the article entitled: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Small Towns If you want to read it in its entirety, click the colored link. But in the meantime, I'll showcase the main points because they're so interesting and I quote...

  • "Have a greater awareness of local entrepreneurship and support it.
  • Work with local community colleges and high schools to encourage entrepreneurship as an alternate career path.
  • Train young people in the skills that major employers demand.
  • Focus on their niche industries.
  • Refine their central value proposition.
  • Recognize the importance that arts and museums play in attracting people and firms.
  • Constantly evaluate the total portfolio of offerings as a business destination."

I do believe that the local SBDC is very proactive in building up entrepreneurship. I have been very impressed with the people I have met there and the classes I have taken. Also, the women's business lunch was really fun last year and it looked like 300 female small business owners attended. This group of people really care about the community and building it up.

Back to the article...

"He (Ross DeVol, the lead researcher and a Walton Fellow at the Walton Foundation) cites places like Effingham, Illinois; Bardstown, Kentucky; Spirit Lake, Iowa; and Auburn, Indiana as towns that get economic development right. 'Look at them. Most have community colleges that engage with local employers,' he says. 'They focus not just on recruiting large companies; they attract smaller firms from other locations, and they pay attention to business retention and expansion. Those things get overlooked in most small towns. They don’t in the most successful ones.'

He adds, 'It’s important to reiterate that it’s not just about being a travel destination. It’s what you do with your attributes. It’s about quality of life and place. All the top small towns have positive net in-migration. People want to move there.'"

I quote this because to me it's very dishonest to hide behind an LLC when you live in a community and then work to get the zoning changed to allow a "small professional business office" back in 2018, but then years later sell out to Dollar General!  Especially when you hide behind a gated community and are on the Historical Commission board of Texas and an Investments Officer at West Texas National Bank.

According to other research, Pete "is the past president of the Board of Leadership Big Bend, a member of the Boards of the Alpine Public Library, the Museum of the Big Bend, the Friends of the Center for Big Bend Studies, the Davis Mountains-Trans Pecos Heritage Association and the Alpine Ambassadors. Pete is a member of the Rotary Club of Alpine, and member of The Big Bend Friends of NRA Board."

Why on earth did this man and his partner, Pate, think this small town of 6,000 people needed yet another Dollar General?

We already have two, what about a clothing store, or something that will benefit the community overall? Like a recreation center, boys and girls club, or indoor activity center for when the weather is freezing cold for the community to enjoy?

So in light of all the vacant buildings either for sale or for lease in this town, thought we might want to consider the following article to determine what will work best for Alpine, Texas moving forward. Additionally, maybe it's time to update the local ordinances to restrict construction after a certain time because it's not included apparently. And it needs to be.

35 Small-Town Business Ideas That Every Community Needs

Fortunately, Alpine does offer many of these businesses already, but one thing I and others would like to see is a mid-price range clothing store. We have a high-end one that is very nice. But we need one that serves the broader community at large with children. Now that we're possibly losing Dimestore Cowgirl, where can people go to find clothes that they will wear on a daily basis?

I hope we begin to be proactive, rather than reactive as Alpine moves forward and we, as a community, consciously begin to work together to create an environment that preserves the quaint, unique, family-friendly, artistic community that appreciates the wide open spaces, wildlife meandering through downtown at dusk and other unique aspects to Alpine.