Harmonson Law Firm - December 2019





It’s hard to believe this decade is coming to an end. It will soon be the ‘20s! It’s been quite the decade too, both around the world and right here in El Paso. Here in El Paso, the decade was bookended by presidential visits. The decade began by a visit

I still remember when Asarco’s smokestacks were brought down in 2013. These smokestacks, which were part of Asarco’s copper smelter operation, had dotted the El Paso skyline for decades. For many, the smokestacks were a staple of the community. At that same time in 2013, the El Paso city building was demolished. A few fellow attorneys and I actually stayed at the DoubleTree Hotel to have a watching party of the demolition. You can still find the video of the demolition on YouTube. The following year in 2014, we saw some major construction projects come to an end, namely the Southwest University Park baseball stadium. Construction of the project wasn’t without controversy, but it did bring a lot of excitement to the community, especially as the AAA Minor League baseball team, the Chihuahuas, officially moved to El Paso from Tucson. Now, the Chihuahuas have become a local staple and a major source of pride for many El Pasoans, this one included. We’ve also seen the revitalization of our downtown over the last decade. While revitalization efforts are still ongoing, it’s brought a lot of great opportunities and interest to the heart of El Paso. Many buildings like the Mills building and the Plaza hotel have been or are currently being renovated. Revitalization efforts will likely continue as local property owner Billy Abraham has been forced to sell his dilapidated downtown properties, and the courts seem poised to allow the demolition of the Duranguito neighborhood to make way for a new multipurpose arena. El Paso Streetcars also made their return in 2018, although I rarely see anyone riding these million-dollar beauties. Our family has enjoyed a revitalized downtown and I hope that the growth will only continue. Finally, the ‘10s have been marked by the IH-10 (GoTen) project here in El Paso. It seems that construction has been with us nonstop for the entirety of this decade. Will the efforts be worth it and will the construction ever be completed? Time will tell. So far, I give the improvements and especially the Loop 375 extension five stars. Wishing everyone peace this holiday season and a happy new year at the end of this dynamic decade. – Clark Harmonson

from our 44th President, Barack Obama, who visited Ft. Bliss in 2010 to thank service members for their service. Ft. Bliss is such a large part of our community and is an important part of our nation’s role as global peacekeepers. President Obama then visited in 2011 to discuss his plans for immigration reform, a problem that has yet to be solved in this decade. Now at the end of the decade, we have had two presidential visits from our 45th President Donald Trump in 2019. President Trump held a rally for support of his pet project, the border wall, in February. He also visited El Paso in the wake of the El Paso shooting in August. This decade will be remembered most because of these two men who are so vastly different and the tumultuous change our nation has undergone after Donald Trump’s election in 2016. Speaking of politicians, the ‘10s also saw the rise and fall of Beto O’Rourke. O’Rourke was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 after defeating eight-term incumbent Democrat Silvestre Reyes in the primary. O’Rourke burst onto the national scene when he narrowly lost the U.S. Senate seat to the highly unpopular Ted Cruz in the 2018 elections. In March of 2019, O’ Rourke announced his run for president. During his campaign, he tacked hard left when he proposed severe gun control legislation in the wake of the El Paso shooting. O’ Rourke only recently ended his bid for the presidency. Love him or loathe him, one thing is certain: Beto loves El Paso and has used his popularity to let the nation how awesome a place El Paso truly is. Politics aside, we had a lot of great things happen in El Paso over the last decade. In 2012, the El Paso Children’s Hospital opened its doors, bringing a new level of pediatric care to the city and the region. Not only have things been built up, but things have also been taken down.

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