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Home | Tag Archives: pbs

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KCOS launches fifth season of digital video series, Only in El Paso

Only in El Paso, the digital video series by KCOS, El Paso’s PBS station, is back for it’s fifth season.

“Using our platform as a television station and content curator to showcase talent in filmmaking and to improve the image of our beautiful city is an absolute honor,” said Emily Loya, KCOS General Manager. “At KCOS, we are proud to work with our partners on this very special project, which I know, will make a difference. The world should witness the excitement and beauty that lives in El Paso and this video series does exactly that.”

This joint venture of KCOS and PBS Digital Studios, much like the first fourth seasons, will capture unique people, places and more that you can find Only in El Paso and the broader border region.

From historical architecture to the story of El Paso’s Star on the Mountain, you’ll discover more to our Sun City through each of these fun and informative mini-documentaries.

Season Five of this great series is possible thanks to generous support from El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, El Paso Electric and Destination El Paso.

Below is a list of filmmakers participating in Season Five and their corresponding topics. All were selected through a competitive application process in the Fall of 2018 and are listed below in no particular order.

Topics & Filmmakers

The Mexican Wolf – Carlos Corral
Drainage – Isaac Marquez
Duranguito – Tony Dueñez
Standup – Cassius Casillas
The History of Kern Place – Weird West
Crossing Borders – Richard Gonzalez, Rafael Prieto, Victor Romero
Boxing Museum – Roberto Tibuni
El Paso Skatepark Association – Luis Galindo
The History of Cinco Puntos Press – Monica Riehl
Murals Art – Viridiana Villa

Videos will launch weekly for the next ten weeks after the premier of the first episode on the Only in El Paso YouTube Channel.  Fans can also follow the Only in El Paso Webseries Facebook page for more information and info on the filmmakers.

Select videos from past seasons are featured on the ELPVirtuwall at the El Paso International Airport and on the Digital Wall at the El Paso Museum of History.

KCOS Annual ‘PBS Kids Writer Contest’ Underway

KCOS’ annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest is now underway for kids in the El Paso and Las Cruces area.

Designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning, the contest empowers children in grades K-5 to celebrate creativity and build literacy skills by writing and illustrating their very own stories

“KCOS is committed to helping El Paso & Las Cruces area children build valuable literacy skills through fun, hands-on opportunities to express their creativity and explore their imagination, said Emily Loya,  General Manager,  KCOS.

Loya adds, “Through providing opportunities for kids in our border region to learn and explore through creative writing, KCOS is making a commitment to its children and their long term success, in school and in life.”

The Contest, made possible in part by local financial support from El Paso Electric, Superior Health Plan, and El Paso Kids Inc.   

Children in the El Paso/Las Cruces area can submit their entries to the KCOS PBS KIDS Writers Contest. Volunteer judges from the UTEP Department of Teacher Education will select local winners and award prizes including free books, gift certificates to local kid-friendly businesses, and PBS Kids prizes in May 2018.

Local winners’ stories will be published on, as well as on El Paso Herald-Post, and recognized in the May edition of the El Paso Kids Inc.  

Additionally, any classroom or community organization that submits at least five stories will be entered for a chance to win a visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog.  PBS LearningMedia also offers a collection of online teacher resources for use in classrooms nationwide.  

The contest is supported by a robust set of resources for children, parents and teachers which can be found online. Story ideas, activity sheets, along with the previous winning entries are available on the Contest website to inspire children during the brainstorming process.

 To enter the Contest and for more information on entry rules and contest resources visit  The deadline for entries is April 6, 2018. 


Op-Ed: Screen Time

Back in the 1960’s I remember my mother telling me not to sit so close to our Magnavox color tv console my family had purchased that was the center of entertainment in our house.

“The radiation will burn your eyes out.” I remember her saying. I think she also warned me about some kind of cancer risk as well.

Her warnings morphed over time into “You’re eyes will be crossed and you won’t be able to uncross them if you sit too close” as well as “You will have your brain fried by watching too much television.” At the time, I was never completely sure she was telling the truth to me. After all, surely Captain Kangaroo wouldn’t irradiate his entire audience of children. He was such a nice man it seemed.

I suppose my mother’s purpose was to scare me enough so that I wouldn’t spend so much time in front of the the “boob tube” (a reference to what happened to your mind if you watched to much television, not a body part.) Did it work?

Probably not. I remember watching pretty much what I wanted to.

The difference, even back then, was that I tried to watch more “mature” material (other then Captain Kangaroo and Saturday morning cartoons) because I wanted to be an adult, even at an early age.

So my viewing consisted of a lot of PBS, even though I didn’t understand a lot of it.

The material was high quality, even though I didn’t understand all of it.

Captain Kangaroo gave way to Zoom, The Electric Company, and then NOVA, Cosmos and the like. Bob Keeshan was the gateway drug to Carl Sagan.

I often think about my mother and her dire warnings of impending doom whenever I hear of a study that makes a broad generalization:

  • Butter is bad for you.
  • Eggs are bad for you.
  • Cell phones will cause your car to explode at the gas station.
  • Cell phones will give you brain cancer

I thought of her when I recently read a study that said that said that kids spend too much time in front of screens. It isn’t hard to find a study that picks on technology in education. The British seem particularly good at jabbing sticks into the eyes of ed tech. And it isn’t too hard to make the connection, if you have lived long enough, to link the old “too much TV research to “too much Technology” research. Everything old is new again if you are young, or you have a bad memory.

  • “Screen time keeps kids from understanding emotions.” says UCLA.
  • “Screen time should be limited” says the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • “Screen time too much for teenagers.” says the Brookings Institute

The cumulative effect of these types of studies are that the public will think that ALL SCREEN TIME IS BAD TIME. The implication then is that using technology is bad. If you sit in front of a screen, you are slowly losing your mind. And adults that allow it are complicit in the mental homicide.

Of course, that is wrong. It is not about the time in front of a screen. It is about what the child is DOING on the screen. A child that spends 10 hours in front of a screen is being just as social as a student that is spending ten hours reading a book, or ten hours practicing a violin or ten hours running around a track or lifting weights. A good parent should be watching their children, no matter their age, and limiting ANY kind of behavior that they think is inappropriate or “too much.” Ten hours of straight Netflix watching anime to me is just as bad as ten hours straight of reading.

However, ten hours straight of watching educational material on Netflix…is that bad? Is ten hours of NOVA, or Cosmos with NDT, or a Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War equal to ten hours of Marvel Superhero movies? Is reading ten hours of classic literature the same as reading ten hours of Batman graphic novels?

I remember once talking to a parent about taking their kids to Barnes and Noble. The parent was talking to me about the dangers of the internet, and that there were lots of “bad things” out there. I asked the parent if they would take their child to B&N. “Of course” she said, “it is, after all a book store.”

The implications were that bookstores were somehow inherently good while the vast majority of material on the internet was inherently bad. I reminded her that there were entire sections of the bookstore that had books about sex and sexuality, as well as Playboy and Penthouse magazines. “Well she said “I don’t allow him to go there. We go to the books that I think he will read and are good for him.”

“So you monitor what he is doing, and you make sure he goes the appropriately aged materials.”

“Yes, of course.” she agreed.

And that is exactly what we must do with children and their screen time. Schools cannot monitor children at home. That is the parent’s job. Not only to make sure that children limit screen time to what they think is appropriate, but also to make sure that what children are actually DOING on the screen is age appropriate and quality. Less entertainment, more education.

It is not about the amount of screen time. It is all about quality screen time. Whether it is in an iPad, a laptop or a Magnavox color console.


Author: Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback. Feel free to leave a comment.  Read his previous columns here.

KCOS Retro Closet Sale Details

Due to popular demand KCOS has decided to continue the post-Christmas Sales Spirit!

The sale has been held over and will now run through Friday, January 6th

Packed from floor to ceiling with all sorts of PBS goodies from shows and concerts from the last 25 years, you’re sure to find a deal.  All the songs you love or the documentary you missed, it’s sure to be in our retro closet and on sale.

Books, DVD’s and CD’s will go for only $5, VHS tapes for $2 and brand-new cassettes will be FREE with purchase!  There’s also a few albums, some arts & craft kits sprinkled in there – honestly as we move boxes more surprises pop up (Double album from Lawrence Welk, anyone?)

Our marvelous retro closet is located at our offices, right behind the Fountains at Farah. Check out the map for instructions on how to get there.

Red route: Go to Viscount, turn at the light ‘EPCC Admin Center;’ head downhill, turn RIGHT at the end of the wall. Go straight through the back of the building. Parking is by the door or alongside wall.

Green route: Via I-10, exit Hawkins, Turn RIGHT at Farah Mall entrance, turn LEFT at stop sign (before Best Buy) go straight at 2nd stop sign, Parking is by the door or alongside wall.

Courtesy Google Earth
Courtesy Google Earth


Soccer/Volleyball 728
Utep Football Generic 728
Mountains 728
EP ELEC 2019 728×729
STEP 728
Khalid 728
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
Amy’s Ambassadorship
Lucha 728