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Front Page News

By Mary Alice Murphy

Gila Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees members didn't get great news, but it was better than in the recent past.

The meeting on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, began with a safety moment. Chief Nursing Officer Peggy White said her department had identified some trip hazards. "Maintenance will take up the carpet and replace it with tile this weekend. We appreciate any staff members bringing such things to their director who brings it to the safety huddle we hold every morning. Patients and their families are welcome to let us know, too."

 fort apache prescribed burns 112017

Fort Apache Agency in Arizona has several large prescribed fires in progress at this time resulting in smoke coming into the Gila area. The image is an screen shot from the following link:

https://haze.airfire.org/airtools/v1/pnw-smoke.html 

By Mary Alice Murphy

Gabriel Ramos, representing Grant County, has replaced, as chairman of the commission, Alex Brown, Silver City town manager, who has handed his role representing the town to James Marshall, assistant town manager.

Ramos said the main topic of discussion for the day was to hear opportunities for the remaining phases of the Grant County Regional Water Project, which will bring water to Hurley, and in the future, additional water as needed to Bayard, Santa Clara and on to Arenas Valley, Silver City and Tyrone.

[Editor's Note: This is the fourth and final of a multi-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission special meeting addressing the proposal to expand training airspace over the county. This portion will address public comment.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

Almost half the Grant County Commission special session to hear about airspace optimization on Nov. 14, 2017 was dedicated to public comment. Commission Chairman Brett Kasten had requested that public comment be added to the agenda, and it came last after the presentations and commissioners' questions.

The first to speak was Brett Myrick of Gila, who thanked the presenters for their service. "I served SEAL Team 5." He explained that any four-prop planes people see are C-130s, but he commented: "The sound of a jet over you in the wilderness at 500 feet is not good." In 1998, he called Fort Bliss because he had been brought to the ground by the concussion of sound when he was in a slot canyon in the wilderness. He was told it was done by German pilots.

[Editor's Note: This is the third of a multi-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission special meeting addressing the proposal to expand training airspace over the county. This portion will address what the County commissioners asked and the replies from the Lead Airspace Analyst for Headquarters Air Force Alan Shafer.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

Commissioner Harry Browne asked the first of many questions from the Grant County commissioners at the special meeting held on Nov. 14, 2017 to hear from Lead Airspace Analyst for Headquarters Air Force Alan Shafer.

"I hope you get out in the country we're so passionate about," Browne said to Shafer. "We appreciate your apology about leaving us out in the scoping. Can you explain how we got left out?"

"Our Alternative 1 was looking at the Talon Military Operations Area (MOA) near Carlsbad," Shafer said. "Because we fly near Truth or Consequences, that was our second location. For the Lobos MOA in this area, we went for a population area, which was Las Cruces. Three meetings are standard for this size of airspace. We sent a letter to the county administration and to state senators."

img 6164Photo of room filling up. All chairs soon had people sitting in them.

img 6165Photo of guests, from left, with back to the camera is Alan Shafer, speaking to an unidentified man. Next from left is Elliot Sanders, Donald Hathaway, Andrew Gomolak, Matthew McGovern and Juan Lavareda-Perez.

img 6167 1Alan Shafer at podium

[Editor's Note: This is the second of a multi-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission special meeting addressing the proposal to expand training airspace over the county. This portion will address what the Lead Airspace Analyst for Headquarters Air Force Alan Shafer had to say.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

People filled the Commissioners' Chambers in the Grant County Administration Center for the special meeting called by the Grant County Commission to address what members of the commission had felt was oversight on the part of the Air Force not to include Silver City in the scoping process. Commission Chairman asked those present to be respectful of the speakers. "These people here are our guests."

Commissioner Harry Browne asked for respect for everyone.

The Lead Airspace Analyst for Headquarters Air Force Alan Shafer introduced those who had accompanied him, Elliot Sanders from Langley Air Force Base combat command; and Andrew Gomolak, Matthew McGovern, Juan Lavareda-Perez and Donald Hathaway from Holloman Air Force Base.

img 6159Photo is of only one portion of the crowd at the rally.

img 6155Commissioner Harry Browne holds flashlight for Commission Alicia Edwards to read her remarks.

[Editor's Note: This is the first of a multi-part series of articles on the Grant County Commission special meeting addressing the proposal to expand training airspace over the county. This portion gives a brief overview of the pre-session rally outside the venue.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

At a pre-meeting rally, which drew about 200 people to the parking lot in front of the Grant County Administration Center on Nov. 14, 2017, speakers, including Commissioner Harry Browne and Commissioner Alicia Edwards, expressed opposition to the proposal by Holloman Air Force Base to expand its pilot training exercises over the Gila National Forest and Gila and Aldo Leopold wilderness areas.

Signs held by those at the rally showed the attendees' displeasure with the proposal.

The City of Bayard Council meeting on November 14, 2017 began at 2 p.m. after a work session that was approximately 25 minutes long. Councilors Chon Fierro, Raul Villanueva, and Adrian Ortiz attended as well as Mayor Charles Kelly.

During Public Input a concerned citizen asked for assistance paving the roadway to their home. Kelly explained the roadway in question is a private driveway on private property and the city is unable to assist.

Council approved Clerk Treasurer Kristina Ortiz to attend the Colonias Infrastructure Application Workshop. Attendance is required in order to apply for funding.

Live from Silver City

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Editor's Note

The Beat as a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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