Hummm — swat — slap. Did you get her? Slapping at that tiny vampire (with this newspaper that you are now reading) is the most common reaction to a mosquito — if you are lucky enough to see it, or feel it as it sucks your blood — but it’s the least effective.
This has been a rather wet summer season (at least up here in Arabela), one that favors mosquitoes. In past decades mosquito abundance has been comparatively light, but mosquitos do move around. They migrate into new areas and bring with them those infamous diseases like Dengue fever, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, Malaria and now Zika, all of which cause much human misery.
As our climate gradually warms, in the coming decades we will see more, not less of mosquitoes including some that will be new to the area. This is a call to action. Because we live in a desert environment we have the advantage of both a dry climate and cold winters, but we need to elevate our awareness as to what we can do to minimize their presence.
Moreover, and through a Zoo-man’s eyes, a great mosquito vector/asset is provided by our endearing pets. Dogs, cats and even birds kept indoors provide mosquitoes with meals on four legs. A dog (or cat) comes indoors and presto —hitch-hiking mosquitoes are now in your house, courtesy of Man’s Best Friend just waiting for us to go to bed.
While mosquito-swatting, citronella candles and DEET-loaded sprays will keep many mosquitoes away, the problem remains: each blood-filled mosquito abdomen will enable her to lay 100 to 400 eggs in a convenient, ephemeral body of water. In 24 to 48 hours, the eggs hatch into snorkel-equipped larvae and then a pupa after which, in less than a month it transforms into a new mosquito ready to embark on her hunt for blood. In fact, swarms of mosquitoes are mute and itchy evidence to their uncanny abilities to quietly sneak through or under our best defenses, find a tender spot between our fingers or toes and gorge on a blood feast.
So, let’s implement our greatest anti-mosquito weapon — getting rid of standing water. Not the large bodies or flowing streams of water or recirculating fountains, but the tiny little pools that surround us in abundance. Over a hundred little larvae can thrive in a half cup of water for the time it takes for them to become ravenous female mosquitoes looking for you, your child and the chinks in our armor.
We do have some assistance from the environment around us. dragonflies, bats, swallows and Hummingbirds eat mosquitoes. Bats continue the pursuit after birds bed down for the night.
Maybe we need to adopt the Chinese fly elimination program that took place near Beijing in the late 1900s when flyswatters were issued throughout the city. In a coordinated effort to eliminate what had become an enormous plague of flies, the populace proved that by working together, they could reduce the numbers of insect pests almost to the status of an endangered species — and within a week.
So do your part. Look around your yard (this won’t take long) and be sure that water receptacles are eliminated. Old discarded junk, crumpled plastic, tires, pool liners — anything that can collect and hold water for a month or so is an invitation for female mosquitoes to come to your place to lay their eggs. People often overlook the obvious such as those seldom-used French or blind floor drains in their utility rooms that may contain a water trap where mosquitoes can conduct their entire lifecycle in the security and protection of your home!
Drill holes in the bottom of old tires or wrinkled old sheet metal. Hang up some hummingbird feeders and keep them charged with sugar water for the summer. Put up bat houses and invite them to make their homes at your place. Attract butterflies (and mosquito-devouring dragonflies) with selected plants and recirculating pools. Begin the Great Mosquito Extermination War now. Together we can win this one.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed sale of the downtown Fisk Building.
The motion to hold a public hearing passed 8-2 during the Thursday night Roswell City Council meeting. The hearing will consider the sole bid received by the city, a $30,000 offer from Mason Holdings LLC.
Four councilors expressed concerns and disagreements about the current structure of the bid, but two of the four voted to hold a hearing anyway.
The hearing is expected to occur during the next City Council meeting, Sept. 14.
Mason Holdings, consisting of short sale specialist Amanda Mason and her husband, Roswell Police Officer Joe Mason, has offered $30,000 for the 114-year-old office building at the corner of Fourth and Main streets. Amanda Manson has said they intend to open a Southern-style ice cream and sweets shop in the downtown location directly south of the Chaves County Courthouse.
The Masons made a formal expression of interest earlier this year for a building that has been valued at about $165,000 but estimated to require $206,000 in repairs to bring the building up to code. The city advertised a request for proposals in early July, and the Mason’s bid was the only one received.
Some city councilors spoke of their support for the sale, but Councilors Steve Henderson, Jeanine Corn Best and Jason Perry also talked about their concerns with the structure of the offer, which proposes to give $21,500 to the city at the time of closing and to pay $8,500 to one of the tenants, the Hispano Chamber of Commerce. The money to the chamber would include $2,500 for rent relocation assistance and $1,000 a month after a move-out to help pay rent at another location.
Some objections were whether the situation was fair to both remaining tenants, as only the Hispano chamber would receive financial assistance. The other concern was whether the arrangement would violate the New Mexico Constitution’s anti-donation clause prohibiting government entities from making gifts of money, property or credit to non-government entities or individuals.
Both Henderson and Perry had voiced their concerns about the anti-donation clause at the Aug. 3 Finance Committee meeting.
“I still have those strong, strong, strong reservations. I would like this fixed even before it goes to advertisement, so I will not be supporting this,” Perry said. “I definitely support this building getting back on the tax rolls in a major way, but, there again, I go back to my reservations concerning the current RFP process because I don’t know what a lot of those particulars are that were discussed to allow me to say, ‘OK, I feel comfortable that this is going to be done at the end of the day,’ so I do not support.”
Perry referred to requirements for renovations among other contractual obligations the buyers and city would have to meet.
Perry was joined by Councilor Art Sandoval in casting a dissenting vote. Sandoval did not make any comments about the matter prior to his vote and did not return messages by press time.
Henderson also spoke of his worries about the money to the chamber, both because of his concerns that it would run counter to the anti-donation clause and due to issues of fairness.
“I got a call from one of the other tenants, saying, ‘If you are going to give money to the Hispano Chamber, why aren’t you going to give it to me?’ Well, that’s a logical question,” he said.
City Manager Joe Neeb said the actual legal agreement for the sale has not been drawn up yet but would address councilors’ concerns. City Attorney Aaron Holloman added that, when it came to the anti-donation concerns, councilors should remember that the city still has a legal obligation as a landlord to the Hispano Chamber.
Henderson indicated he was voting for the public hearing in the hope that concerns will be addressed prior to the meeting.
Best indicated her similar thoughts.
“I agree and echo the same as Mr. Henderson. Why should one tenant get paid off and not the others? … I am having a real issue with that, too,” Best said, “and I agree with Mr. Henderson. I’ll go ahead and vote just so we can bring it on next month, but we do need to figure this out because it is not fair.”
Christie Mann, president of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, chose not to comment on expressed concerns about the bid structure, but said, “We are sad to have to leave the building because we thought it was in pretty perfect location, right here in downtown, and we had a lot of success here, but we are happy for the city and that the building will be renovated.”
A representative with the other remaining tenant, the Chaves County DWI Prevention Program, was not able to be reached by press time. Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wally Holm’s life may not be a rags to riches story, but it is riveting. Holm grew up in a dangerous area of Chicago during the 1930s and ’40s. He had no intention of remaining there.
“Me and some friends decided to take an adventure to get out of Chicago,” Holm said. “One of my cousins and I wound up in San Francisco with no job and no money. My mother cried when I said we were going. My dad said, ‘They’ll be back when they’re hungry.’ My dad was right.”
His dad may have been right, but he couldn’t predict the turns their fortunes would take.
“We started hitchhiking back to Chicago,” he said. “We met a guy at a gas station. The guy working there was from Chicago. We hit it right off and he said, ‘You guys don’t need to go back. They’re logging up in Oregon. They’re hiring.’”
As the young men were on their way to sign their youth away, fate took yet another hand in the matter.
“We had found $20 in the federal building when we tried to join the service,” Holm said. “We were desperate, we hadn’t eaten for three days, we were sleeping in bus stations and train stations. So when we saw that money my cousin scooped it up. We went out and ate some hamburgers and spent the last of it getting to Oregon to get jobs in the logging business.”
They found jobs.
“We found a job at the U.S. Forest Service,” Holm said. “The guy at the employment agency asked if we wanted to work in a park. I said ‘No! We got parks in Chicago that are war zones. I don’t want to work in a park, but how big is it?’ He said it was about 250 miles long and about 80 miles across. We got jobs working with a fire crew. They had lookout towers. Each one of us took a lookout.”
For a brief moment, our heroes were flush with cash.
“We couldn’t spend our money up there on a mountain top,” Holm said, “so when we came back down we were fat with cash. We booked passage on the City of San Francisco. I had a new lever action rifle, we had new clothes.”
As they settled back in to life in Chicago they understood Thomas Wolfe’s admonition ‘You can’t go home again.’
“We came back to Chicago,” Holm said. “Nobody missed us. While we were there one of my buddies told me I ought to think about joining the Air Force. All I wanted was an education. I asked him why I should join the Air Force and he said they had every kind of school there you could think of. So I joined the Air Force, went to radio school, learned about electronics.”
Holm was finding an outlet to express and develop his ambitions.
“See, where I grew up to be a good guy, you had to be a bad guy,” Holm said. “You had to be a jerk, not pay attention in class and flunk tests. We took a smoke break one day in radio school. I wasn’t doing well in radio school. There was a guy over a bit talking and laughing and having a good time. He was a really nice guy and he was getting good grades. That was a turning point for me.
“Pretty soon I was getting good grades. School lasted 52 weeks. At the end of school they held him over and me over for instructors. We were both top of the class. I really got into electronics then.”
Holm left the Air Force about 1952 and started work at the Ford Aircraft Engine Plant in Chicago. It was there that he learned how to transcend his past.
“An engineer at the plant said I should go to college. My high school record was not good. No college would talk to me. He said he had the same problem, so he went to a junior college, got a good grade point average and then applied at a university. I went to Wilson Junior College in Chicago. They had to take me because I was a U.S. citizen. I was in pre-engineering.”
At the junior college, Holm began learning his way around higher education.
“My adviser looked at my class schedule and said I couldn’t handle 21 hours. I didn’t know anything about college. Twenty-one hours isn’t even a day. He sent me to see the dean. The dean had my transcript. He said, ‘You can’t do this, Mr. Holm.’ I was 21 at the time. I told him, ‘You’re looking at my high school records. I’m a married man now. I’ve got children.’”
Holm figured if he had a chance he could make it work.
“I told him, ‘Let me make a deal with you,” Holm said.’” “’Let me take these 21 hours and halfway through I’ll get a note from each instructor. If you don’t like what I’m doing I’ll drop whatever you say.’ He agreed. So at mid-term I got a note from each teacher, and I had a B+ average. He let me stay.
“I graduated from Wilson and went down to the University of Illinois. I took the mechanical engineering and the general engineering curriculum. By the time I graduated we had two children.”
As a science fiction fan, Holm had dreamt of working in rocketry.
“I used to read about the X-15,” he said. “We had companies come down and talk to us. A guy asked me if I’d like to work on the X-15. I’d have been happy to paint the numbers on it. The X-15 was the first manned rocket plane. After that mission petered out, I went to Rocketdyne. I worked on the Atlas rocket engines.”
The Holms have been in Roswell since 1968. They decided to settle down and give their kids a stable home, so he started teaching electronics.
Holm gestured toward his wife during the interview and said, “I want to tell you something about this beautiful lady.
“I got a call from Las Vegas, Nevada,” Holm said, “he asked me if I’d want to change my job. I said, ‘Not no, but hell no.’ Then they said, ‘How would you feel about a 30 percent increase in wages.’ I said, ‘Not yes, but hell yes.’
So I said to Ellen, ‘It looks to me like, if we’re going to stay with the rocket business, we’re gonna do a lot of moving. If you don’t think you can handle it, then I need to change jobs, and I’ll do that.’ We’d just bought a house in California and we loved it there. She said to me, ‘OK. I don’t want to leave here but I know you love the rockets.’ That’s my wife. 67 years.” Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at email@example.com.
Women now own 10.6 million of U.S. small businesses and more than 17,500 of small businesses in the state, people attending the Second Annual Go Latinas! Conference heard Saturday.
The event at the SOY Mariachi building on South Grand Avenue signed up more than 75 people to network and listen to six speakers talk about ideas and resources to help women achieve their aims.
The conference was coordinated by the Roswell office of WESST, Women Economic Self-Sufficiency Team, a statewide organization helping primarily women, minorities and low-income people start or build businesses.
WESST will serve anyone who wants help, but 65 percent of its clients are women, said Agnes Noonan, president of the organization, which also runs the six Women’s Business Centers in the state for the New Mexico District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
SBA District Director John Garcia started the day’s presentations.
“Hang on to that rope,” he told the audience, “Make It Happen.”
Garcia, a former business owner, current secretary of the New Mexico Economic Development Department and the member of a family of entrepreneurs, shared two anecdotes with the audience.
“Make It Happen” was an inscription on a bracelet given to him by his four-year-old daughter to help him with his consulting business, Garcia and Associates. It reminded him to do what it took to create business sales and contracts.
“Hang on to that rope” referenced a humorous story he told about a woman leading a group of nine men on a business location scouting trip. They got lost, finding themselves in a deep canyon, needing to be rescued by a National Guard helicopter crew. But not all 10 could be lifted out on the rope at the same time, so the woman volunteered to let go, but not without first telling the men her life story. She told them of being wounded in war, raising her children along with her husband, her high school sweetheart, and going back to school after her children were successful in their lives.
“She gave such a motivational speech that when she was done, all the men applauded,” he said, to the laughter of women in the room. “You guys are creative. You’re innovative. You are always thinking ahead.”
Garcia said that women now own 10 percent to 15 percent of the 175,000 small businesses in the state. Nationally, women represent 57 percent of the U.S. labor force. They also make up 74 percent of full-time employees, with 70 percent of working women having children under the age of 18.
“You can’t tell me that you aren’t playing a critical role in the nation’s economy,” he said. “In some cases, you are the driving force.”
He said that 10.6 million women are owners of the 28 million small businesses in the United States. He added that women generate $2.5 trillion in sales and employ over 18 million people.
He encouraged women to work with the SBA, WESST, SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), Small Business Development Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and other such organizations to get “counseling, capital and contracting” expertise to develop their business ventures.
The New Mexico SBA district makes about $181 million in loans a year, with a 30 percent increase seen in fiscal year 2015-16. Garcia said that was not due to a a great increase in bank lending but to technical expertise provided to business owners. “We are packaging our clients so the loan packaging is going in a lot stronger, more professional.”
Certain SBA programs aid women specifically, mentoring and advising them for up to 10 years, he added.
“You are moving into positions of authority and leadership that were male dominated over 50 years ago,” he said. “You are CEOs. You are taking over companies. You are growing. You are employing people.”
Pioneer Bank officer Susie Roe of Roswell talked about her life’s journey. At 21, she found herself unexpectedly a widow needing to raise two daughters, but she didn’t have a formal education or career experience. She worked her way up from a bill collector to a sales representative to a bank loan officer by striving hard, relying on family support and persisting. She also was willing to pay for her own self-improvement, taking out a $1,000 loan for a professional development course. Along the way, she remarried and has raised more children and grandchildren.
When she took her current position, she said, she replaced the man who had approved her for that $1,000 loan as he took retirement.
“Success to me is doing what you like to do and helping others,” she said, explaining that now she feels that she can help people stay or get back on track financially. “My message to you is to move on. You have to wake up every morning and move on and do the best you can do.”
Other speakers scheduled for the conference were Roswell paralegal and certified health coach Dora Paz, radio station sales representative Viridiana Leon, Roswell Independent School District Human Resources Director Mireya Trujillo and health care executive and volunteer Buffie Saavedra. Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Roswell Tourism Council, 1:30 p.m., Museum Archives Center, Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico, 208 N. Lea Ave.
Roswell City Council Outstanding Citizen Award Committee, 4 p.m., Roswell City Hall conference room, 425 N. Richardson Ave.
Sidney Gutierrez Middle School Governing Council, 6 p.m, Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, 409 E. College Blvd.
Dexter Consolidated School District Board of Education, 7 p.m., Central Office Board Room, 100 N. Lincoln Ave.
Colonias Infrastructure Board of Directors, 10 a.m., Hubbard Museum of the American West, 26301 Highway 70 West, Ruidoso Downs
South Park Cemetery Board, 4 p.m., South Park Cemetery conference room, 3101 S. Main St.
Roswell-Chaves County Extraterritorial Zoning Commission, 5:30 p.m., Chaves County Administrative Center, #1 St. Mary’s Place
Artesia City Council special meeting, 6 p.m., Artesia City Hall, 511 W. Texas Ave.
Chaves County Board of Commissioners, 9 a.m., Chaves County Administrative Center, #1 St. Mary’s Place
New Mexico Environment Department public meeting about uses of $18 million settlement from Volkswagen Group of America, Noon, Roswell Public Library, 301 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
New Mexico Military Institute Board of Regents, 1 p.m., Lusk Hall, Board of Regents conference room, NMMI campus
Summer is winding down and soon the leaves will begin to turn, which means local football teams are preparing for the upcoming season.
But it’s not just the boys that are strapping on pads and banging heads. For the past three years, the Roswell Destroyers women’s football team has been teaching local ladies to play, and succeeding, winning the New Mexico Adult Football League championship in 2016.
Megan Patterson is one of the Destroyers’ captains and is ready to take her squad to the next level as they join the Women’s Football Alliance, a national organization advertised as the top professional tackle football league for women in the country.
With a title under their belts and a tradition of winning, the Destroyers are now looking for more community support.
“When we approached some local businesses a couple years ago, they kind of laughed at us,” Patterson said. “All of our equipment is donated, which is hard on us because most of it is not catered to fit women, especially the helmets and shoulder pads. We very much appreciate those who donated, but with more support, we could buy better, safer equipment.”
The Destroyers have held three open tryouts in recent weeks and have one more planned for Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Cielo Grande. As a member of the WFA’s Division III, the team must have at least 25 players, meaning the small team must expand and bring on some newer, inexperienced players.
“My message to women who haven’t played before is to not be intimidated,” she said. “You don’t need to know how to play. We will teach you. Don’t let your fear hold you back, because women can play this sport and dominate. We want to show everyone that we can be equals to men on the athletic field.”
The Destroyers lost a few players to another recently formed women’s team in town, the Roswell Sugar Zombies roller derby squad, but Patterson said she’s glad there are more opportunities for women to compete and stay in shape without boring jogs on a treadmill.
“I started out on the offensive line and didn’t care for it much, but when I started losing weight, getting faster and more agile, I moved to the defensive line and I love it,” she said. “It’s also a nice hobby for women and a big stress reliever. And of course, it’s a lot of fun.”
Patterson has always been confident — she went out for her middle school team years ago even though she was a bit intimidated — but said others have noticed an even more self-assured person since she began playing football.
“My husband thinks I have more confidence than before,” she said. “Doing anything that you think you’ll be made fun of or bullied for can be intimidating, but once you go out there and do it, you can speak up for other women. It’s very fulfilling.”
Patterson expressed confidence in her team as well, which is still taking form, and her coaches — Bradley Bailey, Rick Melancon and Aaron Werts.
“We love our coaches and they are all back,” she said. “I don’t help coach yet, but I’d like to. Women from the WFA have moved on into NFL coaching positions and we’re very proud of them.”
After wearing mostly blue for the first three seasons, the Destroyers plan to add a lime, or “alien” green accent to their uniforms. The logo features the Zia symbol with an alien head in the center.
The Destroyers want to be a part of Roswell’s community fabric, which means connecting with the public and giving back. After the first tryout of the season a couple weeks ago, the team gave away four backpacks loaded with school supplies to local children.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have a truckload of backpacks to give away, but we did find some kids that were very in need,” she said. “We got to meet the kids, give them hugs and just seeing the smiles on their faces was really touching. The younger kids may or may not know the difference between a men’s or women’s team, but they know it came from people in their town that care.”
Papa John’s and Panda Express are on board, helping the Destroyers with a discount night once a month and donating part of the proceeds to the team. Patterson hopes to get other restaurants involved soon.
The season doesn’t start until April, which gives the team plenty of time to practice and get rookies up to speed. When the season arrives, the Destroyers hope to continue playing at DeBremond Stadium. Tickets will likely stay at their past prices of $5 for adults and $3 for kids ages 3-12.
For more info on the Roswell Destroyers, visit roswelldestroyers.com. For more on the WFA, go to wfaprofootball.com.
Richard Michael Jones, 49, loving father, husband, brother, uncle and friend, passed away Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
Richard was born and raised in Roswell, NM and attended Goddard High School. As a young man, Richard proudly served his country in the Army for over four years before being discharged. He then transitioned into restaurant management, honing his skills first in the casino restaurants, then was a dedicated manager of Village Inn Rio Rancho and Macs Steak in the Rough for over 15 years.
Richard is survived by his son, Matthew Jones; wife, Misty Jones; parents Harold and Linda Jones, of Roswell; mother, Molly Bazan; brother, Harold Jones Jr. and wife Angie of Phoenix; his sister, Darla Henderson and Husband Chris; his brother, Robert Jones and girlfriend Kelly Darnell; nieces and nephews, Jackie, Joshua, Austin, Alexia, Kristen, Spencer and Kit. Richard also leaves behind many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Richard was preceded in death by his daughter, Amelia Rose Jones, and mother Joyce Leonards. Also touching Richard’s life were Lenny and Linda Fresquez, who Richard didn’t just think of as employers, but friends.
A memorial and graveside services were held in Albuquerque, NM on July 31, 2017.
He passed away following a very brief illness and reunited with Christ and his precious daughter Amelia Rose way too soon. He was not prepared, no will and loose ends for his family to struggle with. Let us all learn from this and be prepared.
Services are pending at LaGrone Funeral Chapel for Peggy A. Frederick, age 66, of Roswell, who passed away August 10, 2017.
A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.
After a year and a half, Thomas Christian Berckes lost his battle with cancer, Thursday, August 10, 2017. A memorial service will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2801 W. Fourth Street, Roswell, NM on Saturday, August 19th at 1 p.m.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.
John Gray, 69, passed away on Saturday, August 11, 2017. His funeral service is pending, at this time. Further announcement will be published when arrangements are finalized. Services are under the direction of Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory.
Donald James Ford passed away Aug. 9, 2017, at home surrounded by family and loved ones. Donald was born September 24, 1955 in El Paso, TX, to Russell B. Ford and Margie N. Ford. Don married his soulmate Ruth Harper on November 9, 1974 and they were sealed in the Temple of the Latter-Day Saints on April 29, 1980.
Don was a man who did it all, he started his career in public service as a mechanic for the Roswell Police Department in 1974. He transferred to the city animal control where he worked until he found his true calling in life. In 1981, Don joined the Roswell Fire Department where he became an EMT and eventually worked up the ranks to Lieutenant. Don was known as, “Big Daddy” around the Fire Department. He retired from Roswell Fire Department in 1997 but did not retire from the fire service. He rejoined the fire service by becoming a volunteer firefighter with the Sierra Fire Department in 1997. He became Chief of Sierra Fire Department in 2005. Under Chief Ford, Sierra added two new stations and grew to the largest volunteer fire department in Chaves County. Don also started working for the Roswell Independent School District as a teaching assistant where he worked for 20 years until his death. Donald started TLC pet cremation in 1997 and started a service the community desperately needed for all our pets. In 2000, Don started fighting wildland fires for the government from 2000 to 2016. Don travelled from Florida to Oregon and everywhere in between fighting fires. Every December, since 1992, Don would put on his Santa suit and go around making every child happy as Santa Claus. Don worked For Office of Medical Investigator for 10 years and owned and operated First Choice cleaning service for 12 years.
Don loved serving the people of his community. In June of 2014, he was honored with the Red Cross hero of the year for his fire service. He was an avid blood donor and donated gallons of blood over his lifetime. Don touched so many people’s lives and was a father-figure to so many. He had the amazing ability to make everyone feel like they were his best friend and most special person. He will be missed by everyone that knew him.
Don was preceded in death by his father, Russell B. Ford. Don is survived by his mother Margie N. Ford of Ft. Sumner, NM; his wife Ruth Ford of Roswell; his children Elaine Gadbury and her husband Michael of Roswell, son Matthew Ford and his wife Mandy of Roswell, Samuel Ford of Roswell, Aaron Ford and Kait Alley of Santa Fe, NM, Tyler Ford and his wife Brieanne of Roswell and Brittney Rubio and her husband Mike of Lubbock, TX; sisters Patricia Prenatt of Ely NV, and Marjory Rascon of Roswell; 9 grandchildren Audrey, Michael, Loretta, Rylan, Patricia, Charlene, Aydan, Ethan, Max and 1 on the way; great-grandson Apollo; and numerous nieces and nephews. It would be impossible to list all the people that loved Don and thought of him as a father, brother or mentor.
Rest now my fallen brother Lay soft your suffering back. Rest well and forever Your memory shall not lack.
Rest your tired hands Wipe clean your weary brow, Rest with St. Florian Your spirit now endowed.
Rest here your breaking heart We know you gave your all, Rest easy, you’ve done your part You’ve answered your last call.
Rest knowing that in God we sought Oh lord, watch over another who just fell Rest assured your troubled thought As we ring the final bell.
Visitation will be held at Ballard Funeral Home on Monday August 14 from 8am to 5pm and on Tuesday August 15 from 8am to 4pm. The funeral service will be on Tuesday August 15 at 6pm at the Church of Latter-Days Saints located at 2201 W. Country Club Road in Roswell, NM. Immediately following the service Mr. Ford will make his final ride through town on the fire engine to Ballard Funeral Home. For anyone that would like to join the family in celebrating his life we will meet at Sierra station #1, 603 S. Brown Road, Roswell, NM, for food and happy memories following the service.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com.
Major Christopher A. Cortez, USA, Ret., 65, slipped away June 26, 2017, surrounded by his family in Roswell, New Mexico.
Born in 1951 at Ft. Bragg to an infantryman, 2nd Lt. Cortez broke with tradition and joined the field artillery to destroy, defeat or disrupt the enemies of the United States. His service took him from the plains of Oklahoma, the city crowned by the Acropolis, the DMZ on the peninsula of Korea, the forests of Washington and finally to Dow Hall at the New Mexico Military Institute.
After retiring, Major Cortez stayed on at NMMI. He taught military history, often in the garb of a Union Army private, coached drama with a penchant for the Bard of Avon, and, most importantly, spent 23 years mentoring the young men and women of the Corps of Cadets.
He is proceeded in death by his father Major Alvino Cortez. He is survived by his wife of 44 years Kathy Cortez, sons Christopher R. Cortez and spouse Jessica Atkins, Ryan Cortez, granddaughter Sofia Cortez, daughter-in-law Kathryn Quiett, mother Ann Cortez, sisters Elizabeth Robles and Lena Cortez, and brother Steve Cortez.
To keep watch on future generations of cadets, the Major will be inurned at the NMMI Columbarium.
Half way down the trail to hell, In a shady meadow green, Are the souls of many departed Redlegs Camped near a good old-time canteen. And this eternal resting place Is known as Fiddler’s Green
Though other must go down the trail To seek a warmer scene, No Redleg ever goes to hell, Ere he’s emptied his canteen. And so returns to drink again, With friends at Fiddler’s Green.
A Memorial Service will be held at Pearson Auditorium, NMMI at 13:00 (1:00 PM), Saturday August 19, 2017.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.
Joe B. Archibald, age 90, of Roswell, passed away August 8, 2017. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Monday, August 14, 2017 at LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Pastor John Joiner of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Hobbs, NM will be officiating. A luncheon will be served at the Roswell Adult Center, 807 N. Missouri Ave., Roswell, NM 88201. Inurnment will follow at a later date at South Park Cemetery.
Joe was born on June 9, 1927 in Green County, Alabama to Freemond and Lilly Archibald. He was a very giving man, active in his community in which he volunteered for various organizations: charity events for the VFW Bingo, The Boys and Girls Club, The Lions, The Masons, and The Leader Dogs. Joe was a big Dallas Cowboys fan, he also loved basketball, and sports of all kinds. He was a simple man and enjoyed the simple pleasures of life: playing Dominos, eating chocolate cake, peanut butter, sweet potato pie, cookies, and peppermint in his coffee.
He is preceded in death by his parents Freemond and Lilly Archibald, and his beloved wife Rosetta Archibald.
He is survived by his daughter Diane Gilford; brothers Reverend Billy Archibald of Las Vegas, NV and David Archibald of Tacoma, WA; sister Rose (Archibald) Williams of Alabama; two grandchildren Lisa Gilford and Joseph Gilford; and one great-grandchild Joshua Gilford.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.
After more than a year of debate and discussion, the Roswell City Council has decided to leave the management of the municipal golf course in the same local hands, seemingly foregoing grandiose plans for wedding ceremonies on the signature hole and other long-discussed, revenue-generating ideas such as alcohol sales.
The City Council voted 10-0 Thursday night in favor of an agreement with H. Carlton Blewett for him to continue managing the Nancy Lopez Golf Course at Spring River through Sept. 30, 2021. Blewett has managed the golf course’s day-to-day operations for more than seven years and prevailed over corporate firms that had presented proposals to both manage day-to-day operations at the golf course, as well as provide maintenance.
The city’s contract with Blewett, originally set to expire March 1, was extended until Sept. 30 while the long process to evaluate proposals played out.
City manager Joe Neeb said an out-of-state firm’s bid to manage the golf course scored the highest of all proposals received by a city evaluation committee, but he said the proposal from KemperSports of Northbrook, Illinois, created problems.
“We took the scenic route to get here, and we’re finally coming to the fruition of all of our hard work on this golf course management agreement,” Neeb told Mayor Dennis Kintigh and the City Council.
Neeb said he reached the terms of the four-year golf course operations agreement with Blewett on Tuesday. The new agreement, with the same fee structure as the current agreement with Blewett, takes effect Oct. 1.
“When you authorized me to start the negotiated agreement process, of course we were working with KemperSports, which was the top (company) from the evaluation committee,” Neeb said. “What we found, was when we were discussing with Kemper the negotiations, what they were proposing to do was very different from our current service model of how we’ve been operating the golf course. And that made it a little more challenging. So there was a potential impact to our general fund in order to cover certain costs within that agreement.
“While Kemper is a very qualified company and everything, the change in the service model would have caused us to potentially have impact to our general fund. And as you’re well aware through our budget process, our general fund has very little room for those kinds of adjustments. So that ended up with me bringing the second company within the evaluation committee, and that’s our current provider, Mr. Carlton Blewett.”
Cost reducing effort
More than a year ago, the city solicited proposals from firms interested in managing the golf course, in an effort to reduce the golf course’s costs to the city. Suggestions such as hosting weddings on the signature 14th hole of the golf course were met with strong opposition from local golfers, who also expressed concerns that a corporate entity might also raise green fees.
City officials said the goal of a new golf course contract was to reduce the golf course’s annual costs by 20 percent in two years, from $363,771 to $292,016. The golf course reaped about $276,000 in revenues in the 2015-16 fiscal year, when it was budgeted about $648,000 for maintenance, resulting in a net cost to the city of about $372,000.
The issue of city vs. corporate maintenance became an issue when the proposals of some firms included maintaining the 144-acre golf course that is open year-round. City employees currently perform the groundskeeping and facility maintenance.
Negotiations with firms begun anew when city elected leaders said they were only interested in an operations contract that would not displace city groundskeeping personnel.
The city currently reaps all of the greens fees at the course, membership fees, event fees and facility rental fees, and 22 percent of golf cart rentals.
“To cover costs associated with providing golf management services, Blewett will keep the bulk of the cart fees,” states a city news release issued Friday. “He will also retain the revenue from the pro shop, golf lessons, and other services such as concessions, although if alcohol sales are eventually established at the golf course, the revenue sharing for that will be negotiated.”
Blewett’s company, HCB Enterprises, collects 78 percent of golf cart rentals, all fees for lessons, the driving range and putting green, and revenues from the sale of merchandise and concessions.
The revenue-sharing terms of the new agreement are the same as Blewett’s current contract, Neeb said. The agreement requires a PGA golf pro to be maintained on staff. Blewett will be allowed to continue in his position as golf course pro should he choose to do so.
“The agreement includes an annual city evaluation of Blewett’s performance in managing the course as both parties are committed to providing a high quality level of service,” states the city news release. “The agreement outlines the city’s expectations, which include the highest and best use of the course and the revenue it generates. The expectations further call for Blewett to establish partnerships with schools, youth organizations, nonprofit entities and charitable groups and boost participation in golf tournaments and local school golf programs.”
City Councilor Jeanine Corn Best said she would like to see the golf course incorporate a UFO theme and initiate mentor programs with the PGA and local youth.
“I would also like to see a lot of females brought in, because, I don’t know how to say this nicely, I’ve heard that sometimes we don’t look highly upon females on the golf course, and we need to change that scenario,” she said.
Neeb said about 60 percent of the golf course’s costs are funded by the city’s general fund, while 40 percent is funded by user fees.
City Councilor Steve Henderson said the whole idea of a new golf course contract was to reduce the city’s costs.
“We’ve been at this almost a year, and the exercise when we started was to see if we could lower our costs in this operation some way,” Henderson said. “When I ran the numbers back a year ago or so, it was costing us $10.51 for everybody that teed up at our golf course. In other words, that’s the amount of subsidy that the citizens of Roswell were paying for golfers to play golf.”
Neeb said Henderson’s numbers were correct.
“So, I would say anything that we can do to improve, to reduce those costs, we ought to look at it very carefully. I’m hopeful that our new vendor will be aggressive in trying to identify some of those ways,” Henderson said. “If it looks like the liquor license idea will bring revenue to the city, and what the benefits and the costs are going to be, we need to look at that. We need to look at whatever is available to us to bring that $10.51 down.”
City Councilor Barry Foster agreed costs to the city must come down. He suggested tiered green fees, with city residents paying lower rates than county residents, and state residents paying less than out-of-state golfers.
Foster said only two public golf courses in New Mexico make a profit.
“It is a quality of life thing for us to have a golf course and to have places where people come in to retire,” Foster said. “I know friends from Albuquerque when they come here, they’re just amazed that we can go out and play golf without calling them five days in advance. I think it’s a good thing that we made this agreement, but I do think there are ways that we can maximize more income from it.”
“Agreed,” Neeb replied.
In May, the City Council voted 5-3 against a recommendation from city staff to award the golf course contract to KemperSports.
Best, Henderson and City Councilor Natasha Mackey voted in favor of awarding the contract to KemperSports, while Foster and city councilors Tabitha Denny, Caleb Grant, Jason Perry and Savino Sanchez Jr. voted against awarding the golf course management to KemperSports.
Three firms, KemperSports, HCB Enterprises and Milestone Management of Roswell, had submitted proposals to manage the golf course.
Project manager Kevin Dillon told the City Council in May a city committee weighted the three proposals, with a heavy emphasis on the interview portion of the proposals.
Dillon said the five-member committee gave KemperSports a total of 129 points, with 112 points for HCB Enterprises and 99 points for Milestone Management.
Based on the scoring, Dillon said the committee recommended awarding the contract to KemperSports.
The evaluation committee was formed in November to solicit and review proposals to manage Roswell’s municipal golf course, following the City Council’s rejection in October of the initial proposal from KemperSports to both manage and maintain the Nancy Lopez Spring River Golf Course.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Commission appointed Parks and Rec Commissioner JaneAnn Oldrup to the evaluation committee after criticisms that the prior evaluation committee lacked golfers.
On Oct. 13, the City Council voted 6-1 to table the first proposal from KemperSports, with several city councilors stating an intent to officially reject it at a future City Council meeting. If it had been approved, city staff would have moved forward with negotiations, cost analysis and contract terms for finalization.
At a subsequent special City Council meeting, Dillon said there was no further need for City Council action because the bid from KemperSports had been rejected by city staff.
KemperSports, HCB Enterprises and Milestone Management were three of the five companies that initially submitted proposals to assume management of the municipal golf course. KemperSports received the highest score from a committee of city officials at that time as well. Other firms initially interested were Oliphant-Haltom Golf of Madison, Wisconsin, and Landscapes Unlimited of Lincoln, Nebraska.
The golf course, named for Goddard High School grad and retired LPGA tour player Nancy Lopez, was established in 1930. Editor Jeff Tucker may be contacted at 575-622-7710, ext. 303, or at email@example.com.
The new fish water feature at the Spring River Park and Zoo now has a name, thanks to a 6-year-old first-grader at Dexter Elementary School.
The fish’s name of Bowie was the idea of Zeenah Sedillo Dixon.
Dixon’s suggestion was one of more than 30 entries submitted by children in the contest to name the metallic, water-spraying fish, which was unveiled in May at the zoo at the corner of East College Boulevard and North Atkinson Avenue.
Bowie welcomes kids to climb around on him. Now that Bowie has been named, a plaque will be installed near the colorful fish.
As the winner of the naming contest, Dixon will receive a bicycle and helmet. The prize is being provided by those who purchased and donated the fish to the zoo. That group, which also selected the winning name, is Gemini Rosemont Commercial Real Estate, a national firm that has properties in New Mexico, and Roswell residents Kyle and Yasine Armstrong and Jacque and Randy Miller. The two couples and Gemini Rosemont purchased the fish at the 2016 New Mexico Appleseed’s Parade of Playhouses fundraiser in Albuquerque. New Mexico Appleseed is an organization dedicated to addressing poverty in the state.
The fish water feature was designed by Mark Baker of Baker Architecture and Design of Albuquerque. It was built by AnchorBuilt Inc., also of Albuquerque, with financial support from New Mexico’s Southwest Capital Bank.
Although the owners of a commercial trucking business were told they could not operate their enterprise in the area, a smaller delivery service business has received permission to set up shop on East Crossroads near Old Dexter Highway in Chaves County.
The Chaves County Board of Commissioners voted during its July 19 meeting to grant a special use permit to Bryan Konichek that allows him to run his courier and business delivery service, Access Point Delivery Systems Inc., from the lot he owns at 3740 E. Crossroads, an area outside the city limits zoned as residential and agricultural.
The permit is slated to be reviewed by the county only “as needed.”
“We are a medical courier business, first and foremost,” Konichek said. “We pick up and deliver biopsies all over the state.”
An entrepreneur who has lived in Roswell 18 years, Konichek said his three-year-old delivery company also uses trailers hauled behind pick-ups to transport aircraft parts and materials for Aersale and Stewart Industries. A Facebook page for the business shows photos of some of the larger loads, including one billed as the first “oversized” load for the company in May 2016.
Now operating from an office on West First Street and using a nearby storage yard for the company’s vehicles and trailers, Konicheck said that he probably will not move the business and its four employees to the property south of the city for a year.
He first wants to renovate the dilapidated house into an office and garage and to construct a barn for the trailers and vehicles, which he said includes about four cars and two pick-up trucks.
Konichek told commissioners he has no intention of expanding the business much or of using the property for major repairs or maintenance of vehicles, two points that mattered to county staff and some Crossroads neighbors when it came to the other trucking business.
In January, the Chaves County Commissioners rejected Ignacio Campa’s request to rezone his property at 3768 E. Crossroads to light industrial and told him and his family members that they will need to find a new place for their trucking company or else significantly reduce the number of trucks.
The family has been using their Crossroads property, a little to the east of Konichek’s lot, for 13 years to park their trucks and trailers when not in use and do some maintenance of vehicles and equipment.
More than seven neighbors wrote letters or appeared in person to support the Campas, saying they are hard-working, epitomize the American Dream, keep their property well-maintained and are reasonable neighbors. They also said other large trucks, including those for nearby dairies, regularly travel in the area.
But, according to a couple of neighbors who lodged complaints with county staff and officials, problems were caused by the increasing number of trucks over the years — starting with just a few and growing to as many as 10 at times — and the size of the semi-trucks. One homeowner nearby said that the noise especially bothered him because trucks were rolling out as early as 5 a.m.
After initial complaints, the county intervened and issued a special use permit for a year in 2015, expecting Campa to look for a more suitable location for his business.
When the Campas sought to reapply for the permit in August 2016, the commissioners denied the request due to the continued objections of a couple of neighbors and the fact that the Campas had not attempted to find another property. The Campas told commissioners that they did not understand that was a condition of the original permit.
The Campas then filed in November 2016 to have the property rezoned to industrial. Commissioners, seeking a compromise, denied the rezoning request in January but extended the special permit for six months and told the Campas to use that time to find another property for the business.
The Campas and some of their supporters at the January meeting questioned the motivations of neighbors for complaining, saying that they wondered if objections were racially motivated.
However, the most vocal neighbor, Neil Binderman, speaking at several meetings, emphatically denied that the matter had anything to do with the family’s ethnicity. “I can assure you I am not a racist,” he said at the August 2016 meeting with commissioners.
Commissioners said the issue should not be turned into one about race or ethnicity, instead should be seen as a question whether a commercial trucking business should be allowed to operate in an area zoned agricultural and residential.
Asked to talk at a July 5 Chaves County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to address Konichek’s special permit, Binderman said that he would not oppose the business or permit.
He explained that he appreciated that Konichek had cleaned up the property and had taken the appropriate steps to obtain the permit before setting up his business at the Crossroads location.
Konichek said that most of the Crossroads neighbors he has encountered so far have been supportive, and, given current experiences, he is hopeful that problems will not occur.
“We are hooking up our trailers early in the morning next to residences now,” Konichek said about his current location, “including on Saturdays, and no one has complained.”
He added that he is building the barn for the vehicles in part because he does not want to have to build a fence that would obstruct his own or his neighbors’ views.
He said he feels for the Campas but is not involving himself in the controversy.
He also noted that the county is requiring him to meet seven different conditions to keep the permit, conditions such as keeping the business small, the property free of debris and the lighting unobtrusive to neighbors.
“It could change next year,” he said. “I hope not, but it could.” Senior writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Red Cross held disaster preparedness training in Roswell last weekend. David Chayer, Executive Director of the American Red Cross, El Paso and Southern New Mexico, said the training was intended to work in concert with efforts being made by government agencies to increase emergency preparedness.
“The state of New Mexico is doing a statewide disaster drill called Vigilant Guard,” Chayer said. “Chaves County Emergency Management was participating in it. We decided that it would be good, as part of an off-shoot of it to look at testing and strengthening our shelter capacity in Roswell and Chaves County.”
Vigilant Guard is a joint effort of the Department of Defense and other agencies designed to increase emergency preparedness from federal to municipal levels. New Mexico’s Vigilant Guard exercises are happening over the month of August.
The Red Cross filled the weekend with a number of classes.
“We worked on having a number of free disaster classes,” Chayer said. “We had 10 volunteers that came out from the surrounding area including Artesia, Clovis, Portales and Roswell. They took a class called Shelter Fundamentals beginning Saturday morning. This class teaches the basics about how to open a shelter. It’s a five hour class that includes a whole host of details that show why you don’t just open up a gym and say, ‘OK, everybody come in.’”
With expertise and supplies provided from all over the region, it was an informative weekend.
“A part of the shelter fundamentals class has an exercise where they bring in the cots, set up water, registration, signage; they decide where case workers are and where sleeping areas are,” Chayer said. “The volunteers went through all of that with support of other volunteers and staff from Red Cross offices as far away as Oklahoma and Phoenix. Our disaster program manager was there from El Paso along with me. We had seven Red Cross staff from across our region and division bringing support such as shelter trailers, equipment and a number of emergency response vehicles.”
The emergency response vehicles are central to the Red Cross’ efforts.
“As part of this weekend’s activities we trained five new volunteers to be certified to drive those response vehicles,” Chayer said. “Now we have five more people who can bring in one of those vehicles which help provide food and disaster relief supplies.”
Volunteers also learned how to assess damages after a disaster hits.
“We also had a class called damage assessment,” Chayer said. “Volunteers learn to go out following a disaster and make initial observations and judgments on whether a home has minor damage, major damage or is destroyed. The information we get from these volunteers helps us determine roughly how many families are affected. That helps us determine how much food, shelter and other resources we’re going to need.”
Along with learning how to set up a shelter, they learned how to assess established shelters.
“The volunteers took a shelter survey class,” he said. “With this knowledge they can walk into any shelter facility and determine whether or not that facility is going to meet Red Cross standards. There are a lot of things that go into making a shelter fit Red Cross standards, such as showers, water and a separate food area.”
Saturday was a 12-hour day. Chayer said Sunday was intense in its own way.
“We have a program called the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign,” he said, “where we go into neighborhoods and go door to door offering to provide and install smoke alarms in homes that don’t have them, or in homes where they are more than 10 years old. We installed 18 smoke alarms in homes near the college campus on Sunday morning.”
Of course a safe home needs more than smoke detectors, it also needs a plan.
“We also provide fire safety information,” Chayer said. “We give them a refrigerator magnet so that they can develop and post their own fire escape plan in their home.”
Another program the Red Cross has helps alleviate problems across cultures.
“We have a program called Latinos Preparados,” Chayer said. “With this program we’re recruiting bilingual volunteers to go into an affected area where the families don’t speak English, or don’t speak it well. By removing the language barrier we can get help to those families faster. We have four bilingual volunteers in Roswell who got more information on Sunday about the program.”
Chayer recently had an experience with a bilingual volunteer that illustrated the need for Latinos Preparados for him.
“I had the experience of helping to install smoke detectors in a neighborhood in El Paso where there had been a recent fire,” Chayer said. “This one lady, as we were installing the smoke detectors in her home, kept on repeating ‘gracias!’ over and over again. Through a volunteer, she told us that she felt safer in her home because of our help.”
Local emergency preparedness leaders were on hand to ensure full coordination of efforts and resources.
“We had the local emergency manager from Chaves County there along with the one from Artesia,” Chayer said. “They had the chance to visit with the regional disaster office and the division disaster director about the support that we can offer your community in the event of a disaster.”
Roswell’s American Red Cross office is located at 2708 N. Main St. and can be reached by phone at 575-622-4370. Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at email@example.com.