When the legislature meets every two years, the only thing they’re constitutionally required to pass is a state budget. This year, they’ve got a little less money on hand than during previous sessions.
Why? A couple reasons — including the downturn in the price of oil. The recent downturn meant that the state collected less money from oil and gas taxes, and therefore has less money to work with for the upcoming budget.
That has state lawmakers looking for places to trim, and funding for higher education is one of the many things on the chopping block.
Until the House and Senate agree on a final budget at the end of May, we won’t know for sure just how much funding — if any — higher education stands to lose.
Tonight on West Texas Talk, we’re joined by the President of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB), Dr. David Watts.
Watts has been President of UTPB since 2001. He joined us to talk about potential budget cuts UTPB faces, and to reflect on the his 16 year tenure as President.
(Full disclosure: UTPB is a financial supporter of Marfa Public Radio and West Texas Public Radio.)
On tonight’s episode of West Texas Talk, we are joined in the studio by conservation botanist Michael Eason. After getting his degree in botany, Eason worked at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and then for the Millenium Seedbank project sponsored by Kew Gardens. He has recently completed a book about Herbaceous Plants and is now spearheading a seed collection effort in West Texas. He talks about the various plants he has encountered, the importance of seed collection, and the role of seedbanks if something crazy goes down.
Eason will be speaking about all of this and more in the Warnock Science Building at Sul Ross University on Thursday, March 23rd.
On this episode of West Texas Talk, Elise sits down with Keith Maitland who directed Tower, a documentary that tells the stories of the witnesses, heroes and survivors of America’s first mass school shooting, which happened at the University of Texas. Maitland discusses his use of animation, shooting scenes in his own backyard, and the catharsis the film provided for those who experienced the event.
Tower will be showing at the Crowley Theater at 6PM on Thursday March 23rd, followed by a Q+A with Keith Maitland & Sarah Wilson.
On this episode of West Texas Talk, Elise is joined in the studio by special guests in town for Marfa Myths, Chulita Vinyl Club, an all-girl all-vinyl club playing their favorite records in our studio.
This is part 2 of a series of talks produced by students in the Youth Media Program at Marfa ISD. In past years, students have focused on more news-oriented features with multiple voices. This time around, we thought it would be good for the students to experience a one-on-one interview with just one subject.
First up is Christian interviewing Shawn Williams, a rancher and pipeline worker.
Second is Kendra interviewing Coach Alferez who teaches a folklórico class at Marfa ISD.
Third is Kat interviewing Mr. Thornsburg who teaches geometry at Marfa ISD. He was a marine and shares some of his stories about that experience.
This is one of a 2 part series of talks produced by students in the Youth Media Program at Marfa ISD. In past years, students have focused on more news-oriented features with multiple voices. This time around, we thought it would be good for the students to experience a one-on-one interview with just one subject.
First up is Lalli Brito interviewing her mother, Elizabeth Brito. Lalli talks to Elizabeth about what it was like to grow up and raise her younger sisters after her mother was deported.
Next up, Coy Livingston interviews a State Trooper, Dylan Henry, about his job. Full disclosure: Coy wants to be a state trooper when he gets older.
Finally we have Kaci Flores interviewing her brother, Timothy Flores, about leaving Marfa and becoming a college bull rider.
Diana Nguyen talks to Dain & Constance Perry who appear in the documentary “Traces of the Trade, ” a film released in 2008 from director Katrina Browne. The filmmaker explores her ancestry’s connection with the large slave trade network in the North. Throughout the film, she and her family learn more about their history and work through reckoning with their past.
Constance and Dain are part of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and work together to bring the film to new audiences around the nation. In this conversation, we discuss the importance of this film and understanding the history of the slave trade.
This weekend is the Marfa Myths Music festival in Marfa and one of the biggest names on the extensive lineup includes Roy Erickson, a seminal figure in psychedelic music and member of the band that coined the term “Psychedelic Rock” – The 13th Floor Elevators.
Joining us on this edition of West Texas Talk is Paul Drummond, a biographer of the Elevators who recently released a book titled Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Pioneers of Psychedelic Sound.
He also participated in a conversation and exhibition with curator Johan Kugelberg during the festival.