Simple Minded Daily Recap-ITATION! – 03/19/2017

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

FAREWELL DOWNTOWN, J.C. PENNEY.  YOU WERE THE ANCHOR FOR DOWNTOWN EL PASO’S SHOPPING DISTRICT FOR SO LONG THAT WE SORT OF TOOK YOU FOR GRANTED – J.C. Penney finally released its list of store closures across the country and the J.C. Penney in downtown El Paso was one of the 138 stores on the chopping block.  The store has seen better days but the current retail climate really took a toll at this location.  The store was at its downtown location for decades and for many of us it was an icon of downtown El Paso.  The news isn’t really shocking as the writing has been on the wall for this location for some time.  Nationally the main cause for the drop in “brick and mortar” retail sales has been the rise of the online sales, but here the main culprit for the downtown store closure was the drop in shoppers from Mexico and the influx of new businesses and residents downtown.  The rise of the middle class in Juarez has seen less foot traffic come into downtown as more transnational shoppers will just drive over and visit one of the malls or giant shopping centers in the area.  In addition, downtown El Paso’s recent growth is overwhelmingly led by the yuppie and hipster set ……. and the yuppie and hipster audience aren’t exactly the type of people to go look for discounts at the downtown J.C. Penney.  It’s actually surprising that the downtown location lasted this long, but it will always be fondly remembered.  So you now have until June to visit the downtown J.C. Penney one last time and take advantage of the upcoming sale.  And then the real fun starts as we see who ends up buying the vacant building from J.C. Penney.  Will it be someone competent like Foster or Gaddy or will Billy Abraham screw everything up by buying another building he has no intention of fixing?  It will probably be Billy Abraham.  (kvia.com)

ALL HAIL KHALID!  EL PASO’S NEW MUSIC OVERLORD! – Congratulations to recent America’s High School graduate, Khalid, for making a great album that debuted inside the Billboard top ten.  American Teen, which includes the great single “Location”, debuted at #9 on the Billboard album charts and things are looking good for the skilled teen that calls El Paso home.  Khalid burst onto the scene last year with a couple of solid locally produced songs that made a big impact on the internet and led to a whirlwind evolution that now has Khalid with the #9 album in the country less than an year later.  Kudos to Khalid and let this be a lesson to all artists to never give up on your dreams.  (cbs4local.com)

BETO AND WILL GO TO WHITE CASTLE D.C. – In an epic and meaningful road trip that would make Thelma, Harold, Louise and Kumar proud, two El Paso area congressman from different parties traveled together from San Antonio to Washington D.C. and made the most of it by broadcasting it all live on the internet.  Beto O’Rourke, who represents El Paso as a democrat, and Will Hurd, the republican who represents that huge part of Texas between the suburbs of El Paso and the suburbs of San Antonio, decided to drive to D.C. because of the flight delays caused by Super Blizzard 2017.  The road trip and live internet broadcast town hall was a great showcase for bipartisan cooperation and a very clever way for both congressman to reach their constituents.  The experiment was so successful that it made headlines worldwide!  If you are wondering how the live stream played out, remember when Krusty the Clown went out to the desert to create a pirate TV show with a leaky car battery and a scorpion?  Well in this situation, Beto O’Rourke was like the scorpion and Will Hurd was like the leaky car battery – so it worked out quite well and was very entertaining.  (kvia.com)

 

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

CHUCK BERRY IS DEAD.  LONG LIVE CHUCK BERRY! – ROCK AND ROLL ……. If you want to summarize Chuck Berry in as few words as possible all you have to say is “Rock and Roll”.  Chuck Berry was one of the founding fathers of what would become rock music in the ‘50s and without him music would have definitely evolved in a different direction.  He was a major influence on all the great rockers that would evolve the art form in the ‘60s and ‘70s and his music still inspires many to this day.  His life was rough, but he persevered and became a legend in the music world.  They’re all rocking out to “Johnny B Goode” in heaven as we speak.  LONG LIVE CHUCK BERRY AND LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL!  (bbc.com)

NOW THEY’RE FIGHTING IN DAMASCUS AND THE SITUATION IN SYRIA MIGHT NOT BE AS “SETTLED” AS SOME WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE – After the fall of Aleppo to government forces, it was believed that things were dying down in Syria and that the rebels were on their last legs.  Now fighting has increased in the Damascus area and it seems the rebels aren’t all that lifeless after all.  This might be the death throes of the rebellion and this will all end soon, but things are not all peaceful in Syria and even Assad’s stronghold of Damascus is not immune to war and death.  It would be a hell of a thing if Damascus would be engulfed by fighting, even Assad and Putin wouldn’t be able to spin that one into a positive.  (bbc.com)

IF YOU LIKE WATCHING EXPLOSIONS, HAVE WE GOT A TREAT FOR YOU – The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is leading a project to digitize and “re-master” film footage of America’s past nuclear weapons tests in order to get a better understanding of previous nuclear weapon tests and to re-analyze the data from these tests.  A few videos from their project have been declassified and are now available on YouTube and they are as amazing as you would expect.  Nuclear weapons are horrible, horrible things – but the explosions are so mesmerizing and hypnotic that you can’t look away.  So go view these videos before the government changes its mind and makes them classified all over again.  (blogs.discovermagazine.com)

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