I would like to thank the many intelligent people of Grant County and Silver City who went to the USAF Flyover Meeting--on very short notice--and spoke their minds against the F-16 flyovers on March 9, 2018.
We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to Kyle Johnson of KURU, for taping the entire two and a half hours and for re-airing it--besides asking for and getting the agreement of the USAF representative managing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, Alan Shafer, that the entire audiotape be entered into the record as evidence in the on-going draft EIS statement preparation. We will be looking for that as evidence in draft EIS comments.
People often ask if NMBC supports Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP). Quite honestly, JTIP has rarely been a good thing for New Mexico. While NMBC can support the concept of what was designed to provide on-the-job and classroom training that reimburses for 50 to 75 percent of wages for newly created jobs, it seems we just have not found an effective way to manage it. New Mexico is really good at giving away taxpayer dollars, but we often get nothing for it.
Another case of failure was recently reported in the Albuquerque Journal. Convergys is laying off 151 full time employees by the end of April. This is the same company that received $200,000 in 2017 to provide 100 jobs with an average wage of 12.25 an hour. The company and the NM Economic Development Department said the company had met its obligations for the program.
By Gail E. Steuart
My husband Barry and I moved to Silver City from Tucson about 5 years ago when I retired as executive secretary to the owner of O’Rielly Motor Company. I love Silver City and have not been back to Tucson since I moved here.
I recently found that I needed a total hip replacement. I am 81 years old and had only experienced minor surgeries before. I was strongly advised by a friend to see a doctor in Las Cruces who had done her hip replacement. She went to Mountain View Hospital for her surgery.
By Paul J. Gessing
The Catholic archbishops of New Mexico have become the leading advocates of increasing the money taken out of the State's "Permanent Fund" in an effort to create a variety of early childhood programs, including "pre-K."
This has been a controversial issue in the Roundhouse for years, but things really heated up when Catholic Church lobbyist Allen Sanchez accused opponents of the measure of "racism" in the wake of the proposal's defeat during the 2018 Legislature.
Seldom are we impressed with our government's efficiency, but this was truly an exception.
In mid-January my son/brother and his crew of three left California on his 65-foot sailboat on a trip to Costa Rica. Under the best of circumstances, they should have reached their destination in mid-February. When we did not hear from him after forty-seven days we became concerned. The trip should have taken half that time. So, we called the Coast Guard.
The men and women at the Alameda Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center in California were courteous, professional, organized, and compassionate. They were able to coordinate efforts with 6 countries along a 2500-mile coast and locate the boat in under 30 hours! The boat and crew are safe and sound and have now reached their destination port.
We are very much relieved and everlastingly grateful to the Coast Guard for their fine work. And we send a great big thank you to these fine citizens.
Frances R. Day, mother
David A. Peck, brother
The 2018 Legislative Session and Priorities Moving Forward
By Senator Pete Campos
Although the 2018 legislative session has ended and campaign season has begun in earnest, the legislature's work is not done yet. The results of the session allow us to intelligently plan for the future and fully vet priority issues that will improve life for all New Mexicans. For the first time in several years, New Mexico received some good budget news beginning last fall. Instead of cutting programs and sweeping funds just to make ends meet, we were able to improve salaries for teachers, law enforcement and corrections officers and other state employees. We were also able to significantly increase funding for early childhood education, which should help our youngest residents immensely as they begin their journeys toward better education and eventually better-paying jobs.
The loss of Dr. Billy Graham leaves an enormous void in our public life. He was one of our greatest faith leaders, called to a life of service to God and fellow man. He shared a message of respect, inclusion, grace, forgiveness, unity and love that made our nation a better and stronger place.
Like every other issue facing us today, the Holloman AFB issue is extremely complex. We can't really blame Otero County and Alamogordo for wanting to create 638 new jobs, and when I get to what I want to say about economic well being you'll understand why I say this.
But first let me say that this is a public lands issue. The Gila Wilderness Area, the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area, the Gila National Forest belong to the public – that's us, all of us. The Native and Hispanic people who have been here for centuries, the many generations of ranchers and miners, the hunters and the hippies, the fishermen and hikers, the artists and the newbies and the people who travel from all over the country and all over the world to visit this pristine land.
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