Home Blog

Locals observe MLK Day with annual Eracism Rally

0
Robert Bowman, retired Dean at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, stands on the steps of the Chaves County Courthouse Monday, one of several speakers at the 8th annual Eracism Rally organized by Church on the Move. (Alex Ross Photo)

Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision of a world free of racial hatred, area residents and community leaders converged on the Chaves County Courthouse lawn for the eighth annual Eracism Rally.

People stand holding signs along Main Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets Monday during the 8th annual Eracism Rally organized by Church on the Move. (Alex Ross Photo)

The hour-long rally organized by Church on the Move consisted of speeches by local elected officials and religious leaders, prayer and a barbecue lunch. Attendees afterwards lined up along Main Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets brandishing signs emblazoned with quotes by King, a display that passing traffic reacted to with honks of approval.

Two students from area high schools were each awarded a $500 scholarship from Church on the Move after writing essays about how King’s dream influenced them.

Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan in 1983 signed legislation that established the third Monday of January as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday. Had he lived, King would have turned 90 years old Jan. 15.

Many speakers at the event said King’s message of a world of racial harmony is one that is still relevant and deeply intertwined with principles outlined in the Bible. Savino Sanchez, a Roswell city councilor and associate pastor at Church on the Move, referenced King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.

“‘I have a dream, I have a dream,’ these are the words that echoed throughout the world in a time of chaos and confusion, but these were not mere words that were articulated, they cried inside a man of God,” he said.

“Reverend King had a dream that his children would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of our character, shouldn’t that be our dream too?” Sanchez continued.

Devin Graham, chief of the Roswell Fire Department, also spoke. He said that he recently read an article about a conversation that King had with actor Harry Belafonte in 1968, shortly before King’s death.

He said that King told Belafonte he was confident society would ultimately be integrated, but he was worried that America might have lost its moral vision, and that he might be integrating America into a burning house.

Graham added that King then told Belafonte that to combat this danger, advocates of integration and civil rights must take a stand and be the firemen seeking to extinguish that fire.

Although the burning house King spoke of 51 years ago might not be as fully engulfed as it was in the 1950s and 1960s, Graham said that house is still enveloped in fire. After a fire is put out, firefighters typically engage in an activity known as salvage and overhaul, to ensure there are no hot spots left smoldering that could reignite a structure, Graham said.

“I liken that to what we are called to do here today,” he said. “It is our duty to not only ensure the embers of prejudice and racism do not reignite into a free-burning fire, but to stomp it out completely,” he said.

Sheriff Mike Herrington also spoke. He said that as a Chaves County Deputy for 22 years, he saw how Roswell and surrounding communities have a history of coming together to bridge divides between race, religion, culture and economic status, especially in hard times.

He recalled how people have come together in trying times, such as in the wake of the Berrendo Middle School shooting in 2014 and the snowstorm known as Goliath that struck Roswell in 2015.

“I have been here a long time, and I have seen we have the ability to get along,” he said.

Church on the Move Senior Pastor Troy Smothermon said great strides have been made in combating the corrosive effects of racism and prejudice, work that is sometimes overlooked. Nonetheless, he said there is still more work that needs to be done to confront racism and bridge the divides of racism, including in churches.

Though crowds seem to grow each year at the Eracism Rally, Smothermon said each year pastors from other churches are invited to speak at the Eracism rally, but usually don’t attend.

He added that most churches continue to be made up of “85 or 90 percent one color,” something that he said makes Sunday the most segregated day of the week.

People can go a long way in combating racial prejudice by confronting it in their daily lives when they see it, and teaching the next generation of young people about King’s vision of a better world.

“We might not be able to impact the whole nation, but you can impact your family,” Smothermon said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

Kintigh discusses affordable housing, RFP process

0
Mayor Dennis Kintigh speaks from dais at one of the Roswell City Council monthly meetings. (Alison Penn Photo)

Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh visited the Roswell Daily Record office last week for a conversation with RDR staff, part of a series of interviews focused on issues impacting the city and its residents.

RDR reporters Alison Penn, Lisa Dunlap, sports editor JT Keith and editor John Dilmore asked Kintigh questions raised by RDR staff and the public.

The first part of this interview appeared in the Dec. 20 edition of the RDR. Part one can be seen here. The following are additional excerpts from the interview, edited for length and clarity:

Editor’s Note: The 2019 session of the New Mexico Legislature began last week. Among the measures lawmakers are expected to consider is legislation creating an independent airport authority to oversee operations of the Roswell International Air Center. Similar legislation passed overwhelmingly last session, but previous Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed it. Current Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has indicated she’ll support it. Last week, legislation that would allow creation of an air authority was included in the so-called “rocket docket” — a group of bills set to be fast-tracked through the legislative process.

RDR: In regard to the air authority bill, it has been said that just because the legislation creating the authority is enacted, that doesn’t mean the authority has to be formed. Could it be enacted — and then the nuts and bolts figured out later?

Kintigh: Well, the problem with that is, if it’s flawed, why even pass it? The numbers that we’ve had over and over again are that there’s revenue flowing from the city, whether it’s the general fund or the enterprise funds, to the airport to support its operations. In particular, the water enterprise fund.

If this creates an independent political subdivision, which is the wording in the bill, that’s not going to happen anymore. That can’t happen.

So, how are they going to make payroll? If you want to create something that’s not able to sustain itself — and candidly, I’m not saying “Don’t have an authority.’ I’m saying, “Don’t create one that’s going to starve.”

RDR: On the issue of affordable housing — the city is trying make it more attractive to developers to create affordable housing. Has there been any progress on that?

Kintigh: You know, it’s interesting. The term now, I’m told, is workforce housing.

Bill Moore is our city planner. This is something that’s near and dear to Bill’s heart, and he has been very aggressively looking at areas where we could develop this, and one of the more creative concepts I’ve seen come (from) Bill Moore is where the old Yucca (Recreation Center) was. The city owns that block. It’s not going to be vacant. What do you do with it?

Editor’s note: The Roswell City Council in August approved demolition of the 108-year-old Yucca Recreation Center, at 500 S. Richardson Ave. Crews are in the process of tearing down the building.

Kintigh: We’ve been watching different things kicked around, but I think the thing I found most appealing is an affordable workforce housing complex there. That is actually a residential neighborhood, and it would fit there. I think it would have a positive impact in that neighborhood because there’s parts of it, that’s a little bit rough, and those are the kinds of things we want to see fleshed out. I know Bill is very serious about trying to move that forward. Now, how you package this with all the appropriate incentives and benefits from the federal government for building that? I’m not the expert on (that).

But one of our challenges is this, and the city manager and I have talked about this over and over again: We have a lot of areas around town here that are empty lots, and how do you encourage infill, because right there at the curb is the sewer, there’s the water, there’s the gas, there’s electric. We don’t need to build a brand-new subdivision, they’re already there — and yet candidly, some of these are in rough parts of town. So, how does it become viable to build it … next to a property, or across the street from a property that is, shall we say, marginal at best? How do we overcome that?

I’m hoping to hear any great ideas, so that we can encourage the infill throughout this community. It’s cheaper than building a brand-new subdivision.

Editor’s note: Some members of the Extraterritorial Zoning Commission and Extraterritorial Zoning Authority, during meetings of those bodies last year, were vocal about the need to demolish dilapidated structures — or clean up properties containing debris — that are fronting major roads in and out of the city.

RDR: What is being done with the Extraterritorial Zoning (ETZ) ordinances? One goal that has been mentioned is trying to beautify some of those properties.

Kintigh: We need to revisit that and we just haven’t done it yet.

I agree with the idea of cleaning up those properties that are adjacent to the city in the classic areas along South Main, going down to the airport. Now, I’m a big advocate for removing derelict structures. I want to make sure there’s clarity as to the authority of city personnel to do any building inspection. I want to know clearly who has the authority to condemn, if it’s not inside the city limits. I don’t see us having that, even if it’s in the ETZ.

So, does the county do that? If the county does that and it’s demolished and hauled to the landfill, understand that revenue stream comes from customers of our landfill. In other words, our city trash you pay on your water bill — there’s a section for sanitation. So, are we providing a service to people outside the city limits who don’t pay into this? I don’t know.

I would like some clarity there. But, (if) we get those issues clarified, I’m supportive of the idea of cleaning things up, absolutely. It’s just, I worry about the city being left holding the bag, if you will.

RDR: Have there been any changes to policies at the animal shelter in regard to how many days animals are kept there awaiting either adoption, rescue or reclamation by owner before they’re euthanized?

Kintigh: I’ll be honest with you, I have not stayed up on it. Things seem to have smoothed out over there. We have a new facility manager, and it’s kind of pleasant to not gets lots of inquiries about the animal shelter because that tends to indicate things are going well. No guarantee, don’t get me wrong, but this tells me that things are being addressed and being worked on. Is it ever going to be perfect? No. The fundamental problem we have is this community has way too many animals that are not properly cared for — and how do we change people’s behavior towards their animals?

Changing people’s behavior is incredibly difficult and government does not do that well, but that’s the only real long-term solution here. …

RDR: In regard to the playground equipment at the Yucca Center — (was it damaged) or is it actually being moved to El Capitan?

Kintigh: The contractor was supposed to remove it in a way that it was usable at another location. That did not happen. The director of Parks and Recreation and myself and the city manager were not happy. We’ll call that the understatement.

I do not know what the resolution was with the contractor. I try to stay out of those, but that did not happen like it was supposed to. …

Editor’s note: The city recently awarded the contract for maintenance of its fleet to Ohio-based First Vehicle Services, after issuing the request for proposals (RFP) for a second time. Over the course of both RFP requests, representatives of some local companies — which also submitted proposals — have raised concerns about various aspects the RFP process.

RDR: Was the outcry around the fleet RFP situation indicative of a problem with the RFP process? Or was it something specific to that one?

Kintigh: I think there’s a little bit of an issue. The whole procurement process is dictated by the state law, and the potentials for penalties for government officials who do not follow the full letter are not just administrative, but could conceivably be criminal. That makes it challenging for staff, and we had some of the same type of issue with the golf course RFP. Where are the bright lines? Unfortunately, I feel the statute is ambiguous in too many areas. I know the staff struggles to try and provide information but they’re … very concerned about stepping across the line, and rightfully so.

We took two bites of this apple, and interestingly enough, the result was the same both times. I understand that the firm that did not succeed is not happy and has filed some complaints. Initially, those came to me and the council. That isn’t a proper path. That needed to go to the procurement office and some other individuals.

So now that has happened, and so that is in an appeal situation. This is where … especially an individual like myself, I keep my distance from procurement. I have no business being in the middle of it. We have staff. Those teams that do the evaluations are not known to me or the council. They are picked by senior staff members. In this case, Mr. (Mike) Matthews (director of public safety) stated at the council meeting that he was the one who picked the review team. I have tremendous respect for Mr. Mike Matthews and I trust his judgment in picking the right people. So, we will see in the appeal, if it hasn’t been completed yet, whether or not the city’s actions were appropriate. I’m confident that if there was any type of error, it was unintentional.

But this procurement is, in many ways, almost scary thing, so we tread very carefully.

RDR: You mean because of the trouble people can get into if it isn’t handled correctly?

Kintigh: Exactly.

Air authority bill clears House Judiciary Committee

0

A bill that would allow for the creation of an independent air authority to govern the Roswell International Air Center is among 17 bills on the “Rocket Docket” that passed out of the House Judiciary Committee Monday.

In a press release issued Monday evening announcing the bills had been voted out of committee, House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, said members on the Judiciary Committee had the chance to offer input and ask questions about the bills.

“These bills passed the House Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support, including support from Republican leadership,” Egolf said in the release. “It’s clear that these bills create opportunity for hard working New Mexicans, and I’m glad to see them moving through an open and transparent process.”

The release states that an 18th bill was sent to a future committee to be discussed further.

Bills that passed the Judiciary Committee will be read on the House floor Tuesday and then taken up and voted on by the full House Wednesday. There was no word on whether 30 bills on the Rocket Docket in the Senate had passed out of their committees.

The Rocket Docket is comprised of noncontroversial bills — 30 in the Senate and 18 in the House — that passed the New Mexico Legislature during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions with no more then five opposing votes in each chamber, but were vetoed by then-Gov. Susana Martinez.

All bills on the Rocket Docket will only go before one committee in each legislative chamber. Normally an individual bill would go before several House and Senate committees before being brought up for a full vote.

Among the House bills passed was the Regional Air Center Special Economic District or House Bill 229 (HB 229) introduced last session by State Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell. The legislation would allow the Roswell International Air Center to establish an independent air authority to govern the air center and adjacent properties.

The legislation would allow a city or county in which a former military airfield is located to establish a district and appoint five to nine non-elected members to an authority charged with developing, managing and marketing the air center and adjacent properties. The bill as written in 2018 would also have allowed the authority to issue revenue bonds, impose liens, hire employees and exercise eminent domain.

In a visit during her campaign last year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she would sign the legislation.

A second bill that had been introduced by Ezzell, the Muni Environmental Services Gross Receipts House Bill 257 (HB 257), also passed out of Committee. The bill would expand the uses of revenue from the Municipal Environmental Gross Receipts Tax.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

RPD releases information on Saturday night motorcycle accidents

0

The Roswell Police Department released additional information Monday about two motorcycle accidents that happened on North Main Street Saturday within about an hour of each other.

Todd Wildermuth, public information officer with the RPD, said in an email Monday that the first accident happened at 6:55 p.m. in front of K-Bob’s Steak House just north of 19th Street.

A motorcycle was going south on Main Street when it crashed into the rear of an SUV that had stopped at a traffic light.

The 44-year-old male driver of the motorcycle was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries and his current condition is unknown, according to the email.

A second accident happened at about 7:55 p.m. when a motorcycle heading north on Main Street sped past the scene of the first accident and rear-ended another SUV just north of the first accident, according to the email.

The second accident did not result in any injuries, however the 31-year-old male driver of the motorcycle was cited for reckless driving and other traffic offenses, according to the email.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

Aging Commission considers separating from city

0
Roswell lawyer and Commission on Aging Chair Bob McCrea (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Some members of the city of Roswell Commission on Aging are considering the possibility of becoming an independent group.

Only two of the six appointed members of the commission attended the Thursday meeting where the matter was slated as a possible action item. Without a quorum, no vote could be taken.

According to lawyer Bob McCrea, commission chairman, the topic of separating from the city is being considered after discussions with city staff.

He and Marifrank DaHarb, manager of the Senior Circle and a commission member, said that there have been concerns expressed by the city about the way in which agendas and minutes are being handled.

Roswell City Councilor Judy Stubbs explained that she had been on the council when the commission was first formed in 1997 and acted as the council’s liaison to the group for a while at that time. She encouraged the group to remain affiliated with the city, but she noted that city affiliation did bring some requirements.

“As a commission, there are certain Open Meeting Act (requirements) that the city needs to comply with and then, of course, any auxiliary organization of the city needs to comply with as well,” Stubbs said.

She explained that a commission is set up to serve as an advisory group to city staff, the mayor and the Roswell City Council and that there appears to be some disconnect at the current time between the group and the city.

“The city wants input from those involved with the elderly and those who are serving the elderly,” said Stubbs, adding that it was originally formed to hear concerns about elder care and elder abuse. “I think they are probably looking for a periodic, maybe even quarterly, maybe even twice a year, report, that you found transportation is a real need for Roswell, those kinds of things.”

A person attending the meeting as a speaker on health topics also mentioned that agendas, minutes and reports are often required by funding agencies and grant-making groups.

Stubbs added that she thinks the commission has more “clout” by being associated with the city and is able to utilize some of the city’s resources for publicity, events or facilities.

“It would give you a voice and I think that is the most important thing and why you were created,” she said.

The commission is planning to discuss the matter again at its next meeting, 3 p.m., Thursday, March 21, at the Senior Circle, 2801 N. Main St.

Public must get the attention of lock-step partisans

0

When we, the public, elect representatives and senators, we expect statesmen, not lock-step partisans. Differences in opinions are inherent in different people, so diversified objectives and manner of achieving them are normal. But what we expect (soon demanding?) is dialog between the opposing ideas. Dialog results in understanding, and understanding enables negotiation leading to compromise.

When key individuals refuse to dialog, the entire process breaks down. Boycotting President Trump’s invitations to meet with him does nothing for us. Offering a token dollar for border security and leaving the country instead of meeting for the purpose of achieving a resolution is akin to spitting in his face. The 800,000 workers furloughed are pawns. Separating the contentious issue for later may seem to be a simple temporary solution in order to move forward with the rest of government activities, but simply approving the border funding would open the government immediately, too. Also, there is no assurance the one issue will be addressed later. Dollar value is not the issue, for there are many approved government projects of dubious worth, and the amount is very small compared with the overall budget.

When the public who elect the representatives and senators show their concern sufficiently to get the attention of the lock-step partisans, progress will be made. For decades we have heard campaign promises for “comprehensive immigration reform.” Maybe this situation will finally give us just that.

Call your representatives and senators and tell them you want the dialog to begin.

Sen. Heinrich, 202-224-5521; Sen. Udall 202-224-6621.

Dick Bartlett
Roswell

Demand fix for immigration system, not a wall

0

In reply to Ralph Rivera’s request for proof of Trump’s xenophobia I would offer numerous comments made by Trump himself. Actually, I would have never dreamed it would be considered an insult to apply a xenophobe label to a person who has expressed an irrational fear and contempt for foreigners in every political speech for the past three years. I equate it to calling a person a liar who has made 7,645 false or misleading statements in 710 days. Just a simple statement of fact.

I remember reading about the cruelty, the costs and ineffectiveness of past mass deportations and thinking at least we have learned our lessons. Then along came Trump. When this is all over we will have dehumanized an entire race, we will still have some 12 million undocumented immigrants and we will have several billion dollars added to our deficit.

With $22 trillion in debt and a projected trillion-dollar deficit, it is time to demand responsible fiscal policies from our elected representatives. It is foolish to continue spending billions of dollars on the same failed immigration policies of the past.

It is time to demand our representatives fix our broken immigration system, and absolutely no more tax dollars wasted on another wall.

John Grogan
Roswell

Will New Mexico be another Wacky-fornia?

0

I for one find it distressing to hear that both the House and Senate in Santa Fe are proposing sanctuary status for the state of New Mexico.

Illegal immigration by definition is a crime, and the sanctuary proposals, which would block state agencies from assisting with enforcement of immigration laws, are nothing but a willful perpetuation of crime by leftist politicians who place advancement of their own sleazy agendas ahead of the well-being of the citizens they have pledged to represent.

I dearly love the state of New Mexico and would really hate to see it become another Wacky-fornia.

Donald R. Burleson
Roswell

Dancing the line between tradition and conceptuality

0
Christina Stock Photo Ready for transport to the Roswell Museum and Art Center.

‘A Splinter Forever’ exhibit shows the works of Roswell Artist-in-Residence Qwist Joseph

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

Usually, the lecture for Roswell Artist-in-Residence exhibits are on Fridays. RAiR Qwist Joseph’s exhibit, “A Splinter Forever,” is an exception and will be on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the Marshall and Winston Gallery of the Roswell Museum and Art Center, 1011 N. Richardson Ave. The members’ preview and reception for the artist follows the lecture. The exhibit will be on display until March 10.

For Joseph, his thought process travels through object creation, collection and composition, working intuitively to reveal the poetic nature of how something transitions from an idea to the physical world. He then freezes these ephemeral moments in permanent materials like ceramic and bronze to create a tension between the past, present and future. This record sheds light on the effects of life, encouraging vulnerability and self-reflection.

It is always an honor stepping into the studio of one of our RAiR participants. Joseph’s studio on the compound is orderly with the typical artist work chaos that speaks of an upcoming exhibit.

It turns out that Joseph’s place he grew up is only eight hours from Roswell. “I am from Fort Collins, Colorado,” he said. “I was introduced to art early on, growing up, my grandfather was a painter, sculptor and art professor; my dad is a sculptor and has a bronze foundry in Colorado.”

According to Joseph, he had visited New Mexico often accompanying his father with whom he worked since he was a child. “We would often bring things to Santa Fe, and he did some of his art projects, which would end up in New Mexico. It’s always been a special place to me and coming back now as an adult is really exciting. Something about it is really magical,” Joseph said. He considers himself lucky that he had been accepted at the residency the first time he applied.

Asked how he chose his profession as an artist and if he ever had a rebellious phase, Joseph said, “It was in my life, in my house. I was pretty young, working for my dad and helping him. Coming time when it came to decide what I would do with my life, it was clear I’d follow them. My biggest rebellious phase was when I switched from traditional sculpture background to ceramics in college, so I kind of (began) studying traditional modernistic sculpture when I took a class in ceramics in college and just got really consumed by the magic of the material. I was interested in making pottery vessels and I still came back to sculpture, maybe in a more conceptual way. Ceramics was my main material, but I try to utilize all my bag of tools that I have from growing up around casting and these more modernistic ideas.”

Joseph received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Colorado State University and his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Though moving toward ceramic sculptures, Joseph’s core belief is in the mastering of his art that was taught to him by his father. “I think people really respect something well-made,” he said. “I feel like it’s a good way to put the conceptual part into people’s life. Not tricking them, but saying, ‘anything goes.’ There is a loss of tradition of mastery I think in some regards. It’s something that I respect and try to keep with a contemporary narrative. I found myself dancing that line. I am really interested in the hierarchy of materials and those really old ideas as part of contemporary narrative. Together they can be a much richer experience for me.

“One of my pulls toward ceramics was that I was interested in really old inherent human creativity; how early we found that people discovered this material and created things. I certainly don’t make traditional, functional items anymore, but that’s always a part of that material. It’s in the conversation when they discover it’s a ceramic thing, that’s like the foundation — what that material is. It has this really interesting layering of information,” Joseph said.

In 2016, he was selected as an emerging artist by Ceramics Monthly and awarded a summer residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.

Most recently, he was living in southern California where he taught sculpture and ceramics at the University of Redlands and Chaffey College.

Joseph has shown nationally and internationally and last year was commissioned to create public works for the Davidson Sculpture Garden in Riverside, California and the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was selected as a 2019 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Emerging Artist.

Joseph has used this time in Roswell to “simultaneously excavate the pain of my past and dream about my future,” he said.

In June, he will marry his partner of 12 years, and the weight of this upcoming milestone has only deepened his need for quiet contemplation.

“I never made my work about her and us. It was curious that I didn’t do that very often. So, I am making this whole exhibition about her,” Joseph said.

The exhibit explores his relationships over time, examining the challenges and beauty inherent in uniting two distinct lives.

“There is this idea of forever that is in my thoughts a lot,” Joseph said. “All the materials I am drawn to are those permanent materials — forever comes in there. This idea to look inward in my work and to bring it outward. It has been a reflective time.

“She is in California finishing school, so we’ve been kind of bouncing back and forth doing long distance. And I have been here in this endless daze, missing her. I can work all day. It has been a really introspective time for me. Coming into this transmission called marriage. It’s authentically renewed and refreshed,” Joseph said.

Asked how he is planning the exhibit, Joseph said, “For me, it’s all about the experience in the studio and as much as I can try to transfer that energy into the gallery space. I think is a real tendency — especially for ceramic objects — they lose their energy in the sterile gallery environment. That is something I work with a lot, displaying and creating specific pedestals that speak to where the idea started or came from, sometimes referencing the studio and action of creating and then also thinking about that full life of a piece. From its conception to its display to ending in a home or some kind of domestic space.”

A Splinter Forever is a culmination of this search for a more honest and considered existence.

“I mostly work abstractly,” Joseph said. “More so in the past couple of years. I’ve been having these molded objects that are in the world, in a stage between real and fake and what is art and what is an object in the world.”

After finishing his residence, Joseph is planning to return to California and to pursue another passion of his, teaching sculpture and ceramics education. “My goal since graduate school is to get into academia,” he said. “I was an adjunct professor in California for a couple of years before coming here. I feel really engaged when I am working and teaching it. I feel it makes me honest in what I truly believe in and what to relay to the next generation of artists. I feel it really keeps me on my toes and honest.”

For more information about the artist, visit qwistjoseph.com or his new account instagram.com/qwistjoseph.

For more information about the exhibit, visit roswell-nm.gov/308/Roswell-Museum-Art-Center or call 575-624-6744.

 

Traditions reimagined

0
Alison Penn Photo Shannon Wooton and LaDonna Gammill oversee their handiwork on the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico’s “Double Aster” quilt block. The quilt square was displayed in September in time for the Pecos Valley Quilt Show, according to HSSNM’s executive director Amy McVay-Davis.

Stitching together the Hondo River Barn Quilt Trail

By Alison Penn

Roswell Daily Record

A new community development project called the Hondo River Barn Quilt Trail is making its mark around Roswell with colorful 4-by-4 square signs decorated with geometrical quilt motifs at local businesses. In addition, the Hondo River Barn Quilt Trail may be the first of its kind in New Mexico.

The Hondo River Barn Quilt Trail has 34 quilt squares at this time to “promote tourism, local businesses, preserve history and bring life to the buildings in Chaves County,” as declared on its Facebook page.

Twelve of the 34 quilt squares can be found at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, 2500 S. Main St. In Roswell and Chaves County, there are 16 squares and six other squares are placed around East Grand Plains.

Admirers and adventurers alike can use the Hondo River Barn Quilt Trail’s Facebook page, which provides a map to create a full quilt for visitors to follow. There is even a Google Maps link with all the locations available. Many of the quilt squares are visible from the road and the Facebook page encourages onlookers to be cognizant of other traffic if they decided to slow down and pull over to view a quilt.

“Whether someone is a quilter or not, the colors and patterns of quilt squares are something most people enjoy,” Connie Ford, vice president of the Quilt Squad, said. “As a way to bring people to Roswell, a barn quilt trail is something people from elsewhere can connect with and experience in our town, while being exposed to the different areas and businesses.”

Each square of the Hondo River Barn Quilt trail is personalized for the location they are displayed at — such as the burgundy wine glass quilt titled “Rotation” at Pecos Flavors Winery, 412 W. Second St., or the green and cream colored “Hunter Star” at the Greenery, 1501 N. Atkinson Ave. Chaves County Extension Office family consumer science agent Shannon Wooton said that interested businesses fill out a form, pay $100 for supplies and materials, and work with the Quilt Squad to design the quilt square. Wooton said businesses are responsible for hanging their own square, and it must be displayed for at least one year.

“This is not a fundraiser,” Wooton said. “It’s a community development (project) … We want people to be aware of the businesses, the sights that we have here in Roswell and to just enjoy the barn quilt trail.”

The idea for Hondo River Barn Quilt Trail originated from the Quilt Squad Extension Club from the New Mexico State University-Chaves County Extension Office according to Wooton and LaDonna Gammill, a Quilt Squad member and an extension volunteer.

Cheree Bilberry, the Quilt Squad president, said Wooton and Ford shared the idea of starting a local barn quilt trail with the 13 members at one of the club’s monthly meetings. Wooton said that the project was open to the five other extension clubs with 80 members total and grew from there. Wooton extended gratitude to all of the volunteers and sponsors who have helped with this project.

After the idea was sparked, the Quilt Squad began a two-year process of planning in 2017 and placing the quilt squares around Roswell and surrounding areas in the following year. Wooton attended a workshop on barn quilt trails in Montana and Gammill went to another one in Texas. Both of them brought their knowledge to inspire new ideas for the project and Gammill said a small workshop “lit the fire” of momentum for the project.

The other names considered for the local quilt trail were the Chisum, Pecos Valley, or Roswell/Chaves County quilt trail, but the group felt Hondo River Barn Quilt identified the project and won the vote.

“Barn quilts started back more in the east — kind of in Ohio,” Wooton said. “It was one person wanting to honor her grandmother’s quilts … Usually, they are just a block, not the whole quilt and then the trend just started. Trails popped up everywhere and you can go online and see different trails.”

According to the Barn Quilt Info’s website, Donna Sue Groves initiated the project to honor her mother Maxine and her grandmother, who were quilters. The first barn quilt square was hung in Adams County, Ohio, in 2001. Plans for 20 more quilt squares, visible along a pastoral driving trail, followed and Groves’ barn quilt trail spread across the country by news outlets. Eventually, a documentary on her barn quilt trail called “Pieced Together” was released in 2015.

“This is the first organized quilt trail in New Mexico that I am aware of,” Suzi Parron, author of “Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement” and “Following the Barn Quilt Trail,” wrote to the Daily Record.

At this time, 48 states — and some areas of Canada — are part of the growing quilt trail movement and more than 7,000 quilts are part of organized trails. On the Barn Quilt Trail Map, there are quilt squares in New Mexico, but no other formalized barn quilt trails are listed. The closest Southwest barn quilt trails are in Alpine, Arizona, and Terry County, Texas.

Bilberry said it was a good feeling to bring beauty and happiness to the community through the project — and that there are plans for it to continue to grow. Wooton and Gammill said new quilt squares will be landing at the park adjacent to the International UFO Museum & Research Center, in Dexter and four more are planned to welcome people to Roswell on the outskirts of town. Going beyond Chaves County, Wooton also said she spoke with someone who wants to start a quilt trail in Otero County after seeing the Hondo River Barn Quilt Trail.

“I love it,” Gammill said of the local quilt trail. “I love the bright colors. I love the sharp lines. That’s what I like the most about it — it’s so satisfying because you tape each section with painter’s tape. And when you pull that tape up and you have that straight line, it’s so cool …”

For more information on either joining the barn quilt trail or becoming a member of one of the clubs, visit the Chaves County Extension Office, 200 E. Chisum St., No. 4, or call 575-622-3210.

Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

 

From The Vault: ‘Ghost Dance’ by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

0
Submitted Art "Ghost Dance," 1981 by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, pastel on paper from the June Middleton Fund Purchase.

By Aubrey Hobart

Curator of Collections and Exhibitions

When I go to a contemporary art museum and fall in love with a work of art, the chances are pretty good that it will turn out to be by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Although her work is often academic, intellectually challenging and carefully controlled, it is never cold or unwelcoming. On the contrary, it is passionate and asks pointed questions of the viewer: “Are you paying attention?” she demands. “Is this how you want the world to be?”

Quick-to-See Smith is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana and was born on the Flathead Reservation in 1940, but she is also of Métis-Cree and Shoshone descent, and now resides in Corrales, New Mexico. Her father was an itinerant horse trader and rodeo rider, so the huge Smith family moved frequently up and down the West Coast, and Quick-to-See Smith herself often had to labor as a migrant farm worker when school was not in session. However, she took her education very seriously and although it took 16 years of hard work and perseverance, she was able to eventually complete her bachelor’s degree by working as a waitress, pre-school teacher, factory worker, housemaid, librarian, janitor, veterinary assistant and secretary. Her degree is in art education rather than art because her professors told her that a woman could never make a living as an artist, even as they acknowledged that she was the best artist in their classes. Undeterred, she got a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico in 1980 and began to work full-time on her art. She has since had more than 100 solo exhibitions, has given guest lectures all over the world, curated dozens of exhibitions of Native American art and received several honorary doctorates.

In the 1980s, Quick-to-See Smith’s art generally consisted of modernist landscapes juxtaposed with Native American pictographic symbolism. An example of this is the exquisite “Ghost Dance” from 1981, which is in the collection of the Roswell Museum and Art Center, and currently on display in our Made in New Mexico exhibition. If you mentally erase the deer and buffalo images from the work, what is left is a perfect understanding of Abstract Expressionist painting that would not be out-of-place anywhere in the contemporary art world. However, by including the jarring presence of the animal pictographs on the abstract background, the artist directs our attention to some important questions — how do Native American people (and their imagery) fit into the contemporary abstract world? Are they excluded by choice or circumstance? And given that both contemporary art and Native American art are typically interested in using simple, abstracted forms to convey ideas, are they really so different?

All this tension is underscored by the fragility of the medium. “Ghost Dance” was drawn on paper with pastels — a kind of deeply pigmented colored chalk. Pastels are not colorfast — they fade when exposed to light — and they are never permanently adhered to the paper. Even decades later, a single touch could smear the colors and leave chalk on your hands. This is why the museum protects the work with glass and cannot leave it on display for very long.

The title of this work, “Ghost Dance,” references a Native American religious movement from 1890. A spiritual leader named Wovoka (Jack Wilson) of the Nevada Northern Paiute Nation had a vision where he spoke with God, who explained that if every indigenous person in the Western United States performed a specific five-day circle dance, it would reunite the spirits of the dead with the living to fight the encroaching white colonists on behalf of all Native Americans, bringing peace and prosperity. Unfortunately, tensions were high at the time between the Lakota people of South Dakota and the U.S. government, and agents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs misunderstood the Ghost Dance as a ritual that was done before battle. This led to the deployment of thousands of U.S. Army troops to the reservation and ultimately the Wounded Knee Massacre on Dec. 29, 1890.

A century later, Quick-to-See Smith’s art became more overtly political in opposition to the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. In 1991, she produced “Paper Dolls for a Post-Columbian World with Ensembles Contributed by U.S. Government,” which depicted the fictional characters Ken and Barbie Plenty Horses as paper dolls with various outfits, such as a maid’s uniform for cleaning white people’s houses and matching smallpox suits. The work is intended to be shocking but demonstrates a dark humor, as well. It is angry yet resigned.

There’s so much depth to Quick-to-See Smith’s vision and I’ve barely scratched the surface. I think her work is thoughtful and brilliant, but I encourage you to judge for yourself. Just visit RMAC soon because it won’t be on view for very long. Then you can answer the artist’s questions: “Are you paying attention? Is this how you want the world to be?”

 

Mayor keeping an eye on Legislature’s actions

0
Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh (Alison Penn Photo)

Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh visited the Roswell Daily Record office last week for a conversation with RDR staff, part of a series of interviews focused on issues impacting the city and its residents.

RDR reporters Alison Penn, Lisa Dunlap, sports editor JT Keith and editor John Dilmore asked Kintigh questions raised by RDR staff and the public.

The following are excerpts from the interview, edited for length and clarity:

RDR: The latest session of the Legislature is getting started. What are some of the things you’re keeping a particular eye on?

Kintigh: Minimum wage has me concerned, minimum wage increase. The reality is, the cost of business and wages are different across the state, and we have, in the city, a number of positions that are less than $15 an hour. Now, if there’s a jump to that, then what does that do to the rest of the pay scale? Because you can’t just ignore people that were making more than that. You’ve got to do something for them. And, what does that do to our overall budget?

The point is this: We can’t, as a city, raise the price of a cheeseburger. Where we’re at as far as revenue coming in from gross receipts, we don’t have any way of changing rates or anything like that. …

Where I’m coming from as a mayor is, if the state’s going to do this to us, the state also needs to help us fund it. I don’t know what that looks like, but I’m just saying to our legislators … you need to be able to provide us either a revenue stream from the state (or) fix some other stuff.

You know, I’m not locked into one solution. I’m just saying, this is a concern.

Editor’s Note: Lawmakers are also expected to consider legislation creating an independent airport authority that would oversee operations of the Roswell International Air Center. Similar legislation was passed last session, but then-Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed it. New Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has indicated she’ll support it.

Kintigh: Airport Authority is up there. I’ve had a number of discussions with legislators. I’m concerned in two main areas. One is a revenue stream, because I do not see the airport able to function without the support of the city; and the second one is, if this doesn’t work, what’s the exit strategy? Is there a way out? Those are the two things that I have articulated.

RDR: Is there any means for the state to pass a measure that helps municipalities get more money back from purchases made online?

Kintigh: I think yes, I believe there is. I believe there should be. That’s an in-the-weeds discussion, but I truly believe that that’s appropriate, that the shift from — how do I want to put this? … to the internet, from brick and mortar, is significant and is not going to shift back.

Some things will never go to the internet. For example, a restaurant or repairing your furnace where a guy has to come out and work on it. But, a lot of stuff has shifted.

Now, that’s not necessarily bad for our quality of life because the upside is that you can now get in Roswell, in two days, anything that somebody in Manhattan can get. I mean, you got it all. So, that’s good. How does that impact local merchants? Well, things have to evolve.

RDR: What kind of communication do you have with members of the local delegation? Is that an ongoing thing ?

Kintigh: … They’ve got my cell phone, I’ve got theirs. I’ve been up there, you know. I will go up there at some point. I didn’t last session — I was involved with something called … an election. That’s what it was.

But this time I will make some trips up there. In the end, let’s be real frank. The party I’m affiliated with is not a significant player right now. I mean … when I was there (Kintigh is a former two-term state representative), I think there were 25 Republicans in the House of Representatives. Now there’s 24. So, this is very similar to 2009, when we had a Democratic governor, Bill Richardson, small numbers in the House, small numbers in the Senate.

But, there’s also been a change in the political philosophy of the majority of the party. The Democrat Party has become increasingly progressive. At least, that’s my impression of it. And, how does that impact? It will be interesting to see.

RDR: Do you think the imbalance between the two parties … how does that impact our area, with our lawmakers on the Republican side, in the minority?

Kintigh: I think what’s difficult is that we are truly different from much of the rest of the state, you know. My comment I make is that we’re more like Amarillo, Lubbock and Midland than we are like Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and I’m not being facetious. In many ways, we are very much like that, so we are different … And too many of those folks, legislators, have not been south of Clines Corners …

This is an area that is producing tremendous wealth. Whether it continues to produce wealth is a concern, and by that I mean new regulations, new requirements, changes in the oil market.

If you’ve been here for any more than five years, you’ve seen the ebb and flow in the price of oil and the impact on the state. So, I am concerned that people will make decisions without fully understanding what this part of the state is like, and that they won’t understand the true flow of the finances. In other words, the money we’re talking about here — the quote “new money” of $1.1 billion — there is no assurance it will be there next year.

So by adding programs, and we can have a different debate on whether these programs are appropriate or not — my point is that if you build in programs that are recurring from year to year to year without having an assurance that there will be the money, year to year to year, you run the chance of having some serious meltdown in later sessions and that’s going to get ugly.

A lot of individuals I spoke to who are more familiar with the ebb and flow of oil and gas are of the opinion that this money should be treated as one-time money and used for infrastructure projects. So, going back to your initial point, I think the state suffers because those individuals don’t understand how we (this part of the state) are producing the wealth.

RDR: What’s the most important and immediately needed infrastructure project in this part of the state?

Kintigh: I would have to say roads. And I would say the road systems south of Carlsbad. You talk to anybody in the oil patch who goes down there, and they’re talking about (Highway) 285, south of Carlsbad … They’re beat up so bad it’s down to the caliche. …

This is what needs to have the attention. We’ve got our own infrastructure issues, aging water lines. We would love to have help replacing those. So that’s, from a mayor’s perspective that’s (the greatest need). But looking at the region, as you asked, the roads.

Editor’s note: The city on Jan. 7 posted notices at the Town Plaza Apartments on West McGaffey Street that the apartments would be condemned Jan. 17 if the owners did not reach agreement with the city to address various problems that had been brought to light.

RDR: Has the city heard from Town Plaza?

Kintigh: Apparently, there has been a call from Town Plaza to code enforcement. I don’t know who spoke to the owner. I was told this today (Jan. 15) at lunch, by the city manager. I know no details of that conversation, but at least there was a conversation.

RDR: Are there other properties in town that perhaps aren’t that dilapidated, but where there are concerns approaching that level?

Kintigh: I would say there are some properties, and I’m not going to be able to name them, but this is a serious problem and that, once again, goes to aging facilities. If you do not maintain stuff — a house, apartments, duplexes, whatever — over time they fall apart, and the biggest victims in this are those poor people who are stuck living there.

The city manager and I drove through that apartment complex, with water flowing. I mean, it hadn’t rained for a week or more, and there’s water. Where does that come from? Then there’s the sewer issues, just the disrepair of the roof and all of that. It’s not acceptable.

RDR: What are your thoughts on Devon Energy planning to locate employees here? (It was recently announced that the Fortune 500 oil and gas producer would open an office here in 2019.)

Kintigh: Some of them, not all of them. … It’s funny because one of the other local companies here … they’ve actually done the reverse. They moved their operations to Artesia, and now Devon (is) looking at coming up here.

I think what you’re seeing is one of the challenges that organizations have to deal with … how do you balance consolidating operations in the field and your office operations with an area in which quality of life issues and affordability of housing and space are acceptable?

It’s interesting. We have two companies, different sizes but in the same industry, going in opposite directions. I think that it shows you the struggle that the oil and gas industry is going through right now to try and figure out — what’s the best? We offer certain advantages over Artesia and Carlsbad, more affordable housing, more options on housing. I would argue we have more amenities than those communities, but we’re further from the heart of the oil patch. So, you make up for that by driving further for your operational people.

There have been oil and gas people in this town for 70 years. There are companies … that are still here, significant players, and it’s just going to be a function of individual organizations’ assessment of what’s more important. I’m thrilled to death to have Devon Energy in Roswell. …

RDR: How has the federal government shutdown affected Roswell?

Kintigh: Well, we’ve actually put out an announcement … The city manager and I have spoken on this, actually Monday (Jan. 14) … we will be waiving water bill payments for furloughed federal employees. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s something that we can do. It’s within our scope of services. When I say waive, what that means is, we will postpone payment and we will work out a payment plan in the future whenever this is resolved. There are a number of people that live in Roswell that work at the law enforcement training center in Artesia. There are people that work for the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) office here. We have folks working at the federal courthouse. We have federal employees all over the place.

Now, my understanding is our TSA (Transportation Security Administration) folks here are contract TSA, and my understanding is the contract TSA folks have not experienced any delays in their paychecks because they have a contractor that is going to be paid by the federal government, or will eventually be paid by the federal government. The (airport) control tower, I don’t know where those guys fall in all this. …

There’s not a whole lot of options we have.

This interview will be continued in a later edition of the Daily Record.

‘Eracism’ rally set for MLK Day

0
Roswell City Councilor Savino Sanchez, at left, and other community members attend the 2018 Eracism Rally. This year's event in commemoration of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. is scheduled to start at noon Monday. (File Photo)

Monday is not just a day schools are closed or a day some adults get time off work.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the third Monday in January each year, has been a U.S. federal holiday since 1984 and a day intended to promote “community service, interracial cooperation and youth anti-violence initiatives” nationwide, according to federal legislation passed in 1994.

In Roswell, the day will include the eighth annual Eracism Rally sponsored by the Church on the Move. It will occur from noon to 3 p.m. at Pioneer Plaza.

The event typically includes speeches by Church on the Move leaders, city elected officials, local educators and the heads of local law enforcement and public safety agencies, as well as prayers and music.

Born in 1929 and assassinated in 1968, King was the son of a Baptist preacher who earned a doctorate in theology and became a Christian minister. In 1955, he organized the first major protest of the civil rights movement, the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He became known for his commitment to non-violent methods to prompt social change for the poor, minorities and international victims of violence, and was known as a powerful community organizer and a gifted writer and orator. His efforts helped lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned segregation in public places and prohibited employment discrimination, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed racial barriers to voting. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

“Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood,” King wrote in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. “If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

Longhorn steers get their (pen) names

0
Spring River Park and Zoo visitors and city staff, including Parks and Recreation Director Jim Burress, right, and zookeepers Aryin Meeks and Scott Sherwood, gather at the Longhorn exhibit Saturday afternoon to learn which names the public chose for the two Longhorn steers that arrived about two months ago. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Otis and Pancho, it is.

After a public naming contest for two new arrivals at the Spring River Park and Zoo, Susan Weston, president of the Friends of Spring River Zoo, which bought the animals, announced Saturday afternoon that Otis had been chosen as the name for the black-and-white steer, while the red-and-white yearling will be called Pancho.

Marge Woods, zoo superintendent, said about 160 people submitted suggestions after the steers arrived in December. Zoo staff then narrowed the possibilities down to five for each one.

Four people voted for Pancho, and one person voted for Otis. All five participants will receive zoo calendars with photos of the zoo’s animals. A naming contest for two new elk is now occurring as a fundraiser for the Friends group, with people able to cast a vote for $1.

Woods said the 1-year-old steers, originally from Texas, have meant a lot to Geronimo, the 19-year-old bull.

“He lost his pen mate about a few years ago and he was just kind of existing,” she said. “Then right after the other two got here, he started jumping and running around. And they usually hang around him, kind of think of him as dad.”

An advocate for equality of all kinds

0
Lee Sides has let her love fuel her fighting spirit for 76 years and has no intention of stopping. (Curtis Michaels Photo)

Hard-nosed political activists often have marshmallow soft hearts that reinforce their toughness. That’s the case with Lee Sides. Compassion has been her motivation from early childhood.

“When I was 5 years old,” Sides said, “my family lived in a converted coal shack about 50 feet from the railroad in Indianapolis. There was this little black girl who would come across the tracks to the white neighborhood and we would play. One day it was hot and I suggested we go swimming. She liked that idea so she went to ask her mom if she could go and I went to ask my mom.

“Imagine my mother who’s got to try to explain to a 5-year-old why she can’t take her friend swimming. I looked at my mom and said, ‘But that’s not fair.’ I knew it then. Kids know.”

Sides remembers 60 or more years ago learning what it means to stay safe as a woman in society.

“My dad taught me if I’m out at night, to carry my keys between my knuckles,” she said. “I was in middle school or high school. I grew up in the ‘50s and came to adulthood in the ‘60s. Women’s liberation started and I was ready. I have been a feminist longer than I had thought.”

Sides has lived in Roswell for almost 22 years. It was family that brought her. She never stopped her activism.

“I moved to Roswell in March of 1997,” she said. “I moved here because my mother was battling emphysema (and) needed my help and asked me to come. I moved here from South Lake Tahoe. I’ve been involved with the Democratic party almost since I got here.”

Shortly after moving to Roswell, Sides met the love of her life.

“I met Frank Sides,” she said. “He was exactly what he appeared to be. He didn’t put on any sort of front. He was Texas Cowboy, Oilfield Worker, Truck Driver. We met at the adult center. I decided to have some fun and I’d heard about a western dance going on there. It was Friday night, Nov. 7, 1997. I’d never done any kind of western dancing.

“He walked over and asked me to dance. I said I’d never learned to dance it. He grinned and said, ‘I’ll teach ya.’ I spent the whole time dancing with him, laughing my head off because I kept missing the steps and stepping on his foot and tangling up with mine. We had a blast. It was great fun.”

Frank made a good impression that evening.

“At the end of the dance, he accompanied me to my car,” she said. “He was an old-fashioned gentleman. He opened doors, pulled out chairs, he did all of the good old-fashioned respectful things.”

It didn’t take long for the lady and the gentleman to find a spark worth kindling.

“When I first started feeling serious about Frank, I was scared to death,” she said, “because I was looking at a third marriage. But I couldn’t get away from how I felt about him. What did it for me was how I felt seeing him drive off to Carlsbad where he lived with his mom and sister. By Christmas of the same year, we were unofficially engaged.”

While it can be debated if fate was involved, there’s no question it was love.

“I’d gone down to Carlsbad to visit him and meet his mom and his sister,” Sides said. “He asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I knew he didn’t have a lot of money, but I made him a list. Anything that sparkles, purple, ring size 6. I thought that was downright brazen.”

That holiday season was the beginning for Frank and Lee. It didn’t go quite as planned, though.

“He was coming down to see me on Christmas,” she said, “and I knew he had a ring for me. But that’s the year we had that really bad storm and he couldn’t get through. I cried myself to sleep because I’d wanted to get engaged on Christmas. But he came the next day when we had the road clear.”

The following years were happy ones.

“We celebrated almost 20 years,” Sides said. “He was the love of my life. He loved me completely. He never tried to control me or restrict me in any way. I took off to lobby in Santa Fe a few times. He didn’t want me to go, but he knew it was important for me, so he’d just tell me to call him when I got there. I lost him Feb. 13, 2018.”

Since losing Frank, Sides has faced tribulations with the same hard-nosed resilience she has fought for civil rights with.

“2018 was a horrible year for me,” she said. “My house is in foreclosure because when he passed, my income was cut in half. His income took care of the mortgage and some other things. The bank doesn’t care that I’m a widow of 76. I’ve decided to let it go and try to find housing that I can afford on Social Security. Because of inequity in salary that’s been allowed all these years, my Social Security isn’t as much as it should be.”

She got sick at one point, and it may have saved her life.

“Then in November,” she said, “I stepped outside to get the paper — it was cold that day. I had the most awful shivers I’d had in my life. Turns out I was sick. I had sepsis. When they were about to discharge me, they told me they had found some things to be concerned about. My right carotid artery was blocked. So I had surgery on Dec. 6. It’s healing now.”

With most of her troubles behind her, Sides is optimistic about her future.

“I’m looking forward to 2019,” she said. “This year, I’ll get out of the house. I’ll find an apartment I can afford, and I won’t have extra stress on top of mourning my husband. I don’t know how long that’ll last. Nobody can predict grief. It’s strange being a widow. I spent a lot of my life being married. Fifteen years with the first one. Fifteen years with the second one, and almost 20 with Frank. To have known true love is powerful.”

She won’t be sitting at home suffering though. Sides has plans and a vision.

“I’m going to get a whole lot more involved in local politics,” she said. “Living here in Roswell, you get a taste that everything is controlled by the Republican party, and that’s not right. There’s no equality of power here.”

After more than a half-century of fighting for equality, Sides has a message for the women coming up behind her.

“I want the young woman reading this to know how much power she has, that she doesn’t know she has,” Sides said. “This country started waking up with the #METOO movement. I’m a member of that movement.”

It’s a safe bet that Lee Sides will be fighting for equality of all kinds in Roswell for many years to come.

Moon stars in astronomical show with eclipse tonight

0
This time-lapse photo by Rami Daud of the National Aeronautics and Space Administartion shows a September 2015 supermoon eclipse. (Submitted Photo)

Something rare and intriguing occurs tonight, something not expected to be seen in North America again until 2058, a supermoon total lunar eclipse.

Or, if you prefer its nickname, the Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse of 2019.

Roswell residents are in a great spot to observe the intragalactic exhibition.

“It’s location, location, location, and we’re fortunate. A lot of the United States will see the total lunar eclipse,” said Peggy Bohlin, a local educator who heads several science-related organizations in the community, including the Roswell Astronomy Club.

The club is holding a viewing event, weather permitting, from 7:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. in the lawn area of the Roswell Convention and Civic Center, 912 N. Richardson Ave.

At least three telescopes will be available for people who want a close-up look at the phenomenon, although it can be seen safely with the naked eye. People are invited to bring chairs or blankets as they watch the various stages of the eclipse.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the moon will begin to enter partial shadows (the penumbra) about 7:36 p.m. local time (Mountain Standard Time).

It will start to enter the full shadow, or umbra, when it will start to take on its reddish hue, at about 8:33 p.m.

A total eclipse is expected around 9:41 p.m., with the moon being at its greatest eclipse at 10:12 p.m. The moon will stay in the full shadow for about an hour. It will be completely out of both the umbra and penumbra by 12:50 a.m.

While it is certainly possible for people to view the celestial show on their own, joining the members of the Astronomy Club will provide some benefits, Bohlin said. Those at the event will not only have access to telescopes, they also can learn about the eclipse and astronomy from club members.

“It is a rare occasion,” said Bohlin. “It doesn’t happen often. It is not only a super blood moon — yes, there are lunar eclipses — but this is a total eclipse.”

A full moon is visible each month, but a supermoon typically occurs only a few times a year. It’s when a full moon is closest to the earth during its orbit. A supermoon appears noticeably larger and brighter than a typical full moon. Supermoons also will be seen on Feb. 19, when it will be closest to the earth this calendar year, and March 21.

But, as Bohlin points out, tonight is also a total lunar eclipse, when the earth is positioned between the sun and the moon, causing the earth to block out most of the light. The next total lunar eclipse will not occur until May 26, 2021, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, but people in the United States won’t be in a position to see one until May 16, 2022.

The total eclipse causes the sun’s rays to scatter and be filtered through dust, ash and other particles, causing the moon to have a reddish — or blood — color.

Now that most of the words in the nickname are explained, where does the “wolf” part of the nickname come from?

“In Native American and early Colonial times, the full moon for January was called the Full Wolf Moon,” according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac website. “It appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages.”

The supermoon lunar eclipse will be visible to people in the central Pacific, North America, South America, Africa, northern Europe and northern Asia.

The Roswell Astronomy Club meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Roswell Adult and Recreation Center, 807 N. Missouri Ave. The youth group, the Roswell Junior Galaxy Club, meets at 1 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month at the Roswell Adult Center. The Astronomy Club also sponsors public moon-gazing and stargazing events about once a month when weather conditions allow, and members also bring telescopes to local festivals and educational events.

Bohlin also leads Camp Invention, a science workshop for youth, which is scheduled for June 3-7 at the New Mexico Military Institute.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

012019 Week Ahead

0

Monday

Martin Luther King Day. Government offices and public schools closed.

City of Roswell Tourism Council, 10:30 a.m., Museum Archives Building, Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico, 208 N. Lea Ave.

Tuesday

Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents Special Telephonic Meeting (concerning chancellor’s residence), 4 p.m., Regents Room, Administration Building, ENMU campus, 1500 S. Avenue K, Portales

City of Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission, 6 p.m., Basset Auditorium, Roswell Museum and Art Center, 1011 N. Richardson Ave.

Wednesday

Chaves County Health Council, noon, Bondurant Room, Roswell Public Library, 301 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

Roswell City Council General Services Committee, 4 p.m., Large Conference Room, City Hall, 425 N. Richardson Ave.

Thursday

Roswell Public Library Board of Trustees, 4 p.m., Administrative Meeting Room, Library, 301 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

Roswell City Council Legal Committee, 4 p.m., Conference Room, City Hall, 425 N. Richardson Ave.

Two crashes on North Main

0

A damaged motorcycle lies on a median at the 2000 block of North Main Street shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday, as police divert traffic. The accident which occurred in the southbound lane of Main Street, was one of two collisions involving motorcycles and vehicles on North Main Street within 35 minutes of each other. Another occurred on the northbound shoulder at the 2100 block of North Main Street, according to Roswell Police officers at the scene. No other details were available before press deadline Saturday. (Alex Ross Photo)

Advance Directives provide patients a voice when they can’t speak

0
Tom Wulf, MD

Most people don’t like to think about being severely ill or incapable of making decisions about their own health. Yet, accidents can happen to people of all ages. You could suddenly become incapacitated by an accident or illness, or by a condition that could render you unable to make decisions. This is why it’s so important that adults of all ages have advance directives in place.

An advance directive is a legal planning tool to express your preferences for medical treatment and the handling of your affairs, in the event that you’re unable to make decisions due to a serious illness or injury. It speaks for you in the event that you’re unable to speak for yourself (for example, a coma), and will greatly help in decision-making during times when making a choice may be difficult for your family.

Information in advance directives cover the types of treatment you want – or don’t want – if you become unable to make or communicate lucid medical decisions. Advance directives can be short and simple statements, and they can be changed or canceled at any time. These documents are usually prepared in conjunction with an attorney and your family. Your doctor can also help answer questions and aid in your advance decision-making process. Your attorney may recommend that your advance directive be notarized. If you do make changes, be sure to notify your doctor and family. You can also make verbal changes while you are in the hospital.

An advanced directive can take several forms.

Living Will

A living will is a legal document stating your wishes for – or against – life-saving medical treatment or intervention if you were to be seriously or terminally ill. These interventions may include artificial nutrition through tube-feeding, prolonged maintenance on a respirator if you are unable to breathe on your own, diagnostic tests, palliative care, and organ or tissue donation. A living will protects the patient’s rights and removes the decision-making burden from family, friends and physicians.

An important distinction to understand about a living will is that the decision not to receive “aggressive medical treatment” is not the same as deciding to forgo all medical care. A patient can elect to receive palliative care – antibiotics, nutrition, pain medication, and radiation therapy – with the goal of helping the patient remain comfortable, rather than focusing on a cure.

Most states require that a living will be witnessed and notarized when signed. It’s a good idea to make copies of the document and keep the original in a safe place, and to consider carrying a card in your wallet that states that you have a living will.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney for health care, also called medical power of attorney, allows you to select someone to make health care decisions – designated in your living will – in the event you are unable to do so. It goes into effect any time you are not conscious or unable to make your own medical decisions. The DPA gives another person the right to make only medical decisions for you, not legal or financial decisions. However, a person can appoint someone to manage their finances for them through a durable power of attorney for finances.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

A do not resuscitate (DNR) order communicates your wishes not to be revived if your breathing or heartbeat stops. Unless hospital staff has orders from the patient that states they do not want to be revived, they will always attempt to help patients whose heart has stopped or who have stopped breathing

Laws about advance directives differ in each state, so it’s a good idea to seek legal advice, or at least have your advance directive reviewed by an attorney.

Tom Wulf, MD is the medical director for Eastern New Mexico Medical Center’s emergency department. The advice offered in this column is that of the author.

Goddard seniors win on Senior Day

0
Goddard senior basketball players, from left: Josh Dominguez (5); Jonah Chavez (3); Derek Carrica (50) and Jon Carrillo (23). (Scott Stevenson Photo)

Maybe it was the emotions of being recognized in front of their fellow students and thanking their parents. On Saturday, four senior Goddard Rockets basketball players: Jonah Chavez, Josh Dominguez, Jon Carrillo and Derek Carrica were honored for their contributions to the basketball team.

Goddard’s Jon Carrillo goes for a layup against Chaparral defenders during Saturday’s game at Ground Zero. (Scott Stevenson Photo)

With the emotion of acknowledging that heavy feeling hanging over the seniors and the basketball team like a Pigpen cloud in a Charlie Brown cartoon, the game was supposed to be easy and Goddard played great defense, but on offense, they had trouble putting the ball in the basket in the first quarter.

The Rockets missed a lot of layups and jumpers and were up 4-2 with a minute to go in the first quarter. Both teams were foul happy and it turned into a free throw shooting contest early in the game.

It could have been that Goddard was out of synch on offense because they were playing without shooting guard Brandon Montanez who broke his thumb in the Roswell game on Tuesday and was held out of the Chaparral game as a precaution. He should be able to return next week.

The Rockets, (10-8), looked like a different team on Saturday than the one that hung tough against Roswell on Tuesday. Goddard played uninspired basketball, but it was enough to defeat non-conference foe the Chaparral Lobos, 47-29 non-conference at Ground Zero.

“We did not look like the same team we looked like on Tuesday,” Goddard coach Anthony Mestas said. “Two completely different teams. I don’t know if the boys weren’t mentally prepared because we were playing Chaparral, but if we come like that against Clovis, it is going to be a long night.”

Goddard’s cerebral big man Derek Carrica, who at 6-foot-5, was effective enough inside the paint to score 10 points and to win his battle with Lobos’ big man Brandon Sanchez.

Sanchez is 6-foot-7 and doesn’t have an array of offensive moves, nor did he play with the savviness of Carrica, yet he altered Goddard’s shots inside the paint and blocked three of their shots before he gave way to tiredness and foul trouble.

“We’ll throw this one (game) away,” Goddard center Derek Carrica emphasized.

Mestas referred to the grisly two-for-five shooting in the first half and five-for-30 overall from three-point land. In the game, the Rockets would go two-for-15 on three-pointers and seven-for-35 on two-point attempts.

“It wasn’t a pretty win,” Mestas said, “but we’ll take it. I think us not having Brandon (Montanez) out there hurt us.”

However, the Lobos didn’t shoot much better either in this game. Both teams virtually ignored going to their big men inside, to Goddard’s Carrica and Brandon Sanchez of the Lobos.

The Rockets managed enough perimeter shooting to outdistance the Lobos. Goddard got out to a 7-4 first-quarter lead.

“Even though we didn’t shoot well in this game, our defense kept them (the Lobos) from overtaking us. We hustled for loose balls, we got steals and shut them down. This is not a game we played well in,” Chavez said.

However, the Rockets were not able to put away the Lobos until the third period when they went on a six-three run when Noah Nunez stepped back to the three-point line and nailed the three-pointer, which gave Goddard their first double-digit lead of the game, 23-11.

The fourth quarter belonged to the Goddard seniors. On a fastbreak, Chavez found John Carrillo on a pretty pass for a lay-up to give them a 34-19 lead. Carrillo finished with 16 points.

Later in the quarter as one of the Goddard players chased down the ball and passed it to Carrica who looked at the Lobos’ defender and hoisted a three-point bomb that found nothing but net. The crowd rose to their feet and went crazy as Carrica raised his arms and smiled.

“That was for our fans,” Carrica said with a wink.

Coach Mestas knows there is still a lot of basketball to be played as the team will face Clovis next week. Mestas hopes the team that showed up on Tuesday is the team that shows up for the rest of the season.

With two games to play before they start district games, Mestas hopes the win and good feelings will continue as they get Montanez back.

In the upcoming game against Clovis, Goddard has faced a team like this in Roswell on Tuesday. Clovis wants to push the ball and get up and down the court and play fast basketball.

Clovis has some big guys at the power forward spots and center spot, so they will have to be ready to play. Clovis also has some guards that have some quickness to them, so Goddard has to be ready to play when they get off the bus.

“We won, but we can’t play this way in Clovis; they’ll run us off the court,” said Mestas.

Mestas talked about his second graduating class after the game.

Jonah Chavez: “I feel so happy and fortunate that he came to Goddard and he came to play for us. It is kind of like winning a prize. He comes from a good family. He’s just an overall good kid, and he’s very coachable.”

Josh Dominguez: “He’s a team player, he’s coachable and he’s been with the program since he was a freshman. He’s been to practice every day and he’s a hard worker. We’re just happy to have him.”

Jon Carrillo: “He came from Roswell, again; we’re fortunate to have a kid like him. He’s a great defender. Today (Saturday) he made 10 of 11 free throws, he’s really improved his game offensively in the last two years. He’s just a hard worker.”

Derek Carrica: “He’s a good kid, he works hard, as well.”

The Rockets travel to Clovis on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. game.

Charlie’s Angels win in Las Cruces

0

Charlie’s Angels won 1st place in Pom and Grand Champions Saturday at the NMSU competition in Las Cruces. (Silvia Hernandez Photo)

Dexter edges Mesilla Valley, 48-46

0

The Dexter Demons won the 52nd annual John Reid Dexter Invitational Tournament over the Mesilla Valley SonBlazers on Saturday, 48-46. Dexter senior Jaime Chavira (11) was selected as the most valuable player. Dexter would survive a last second shot to win their first tournament since 2014. (David Rocha Photo)

Local air traffic controllers working without pay

0
The Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge north of Roswell is open but largely unstaffed during the shutdown. Only emergency and law enforcement personnel are working. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

From being required to work without pay to an largely unstaffed Bitter Lake refuge, the federal government shutdown is being felt in Chaves County in a number of ways.

Frank Beeton IV, left, president of a local union chapter representing air traffic controllers, receives pizzas Friday provided by the Civil Air Patrol and delivered by Air Center Manager Mark Bleth. The organization provided the food for the federal employees, who have been required to work without pay since the partial U.S. government shutdown began Dec. 22. (Submitted Photo)

The city’s 22 managers and staff of the Federal Aviation Administration who work in air traffic control at the Roswell International Air Center have been deemed essential workers and required to work since the shutdown began Dec. 22, but they are not receiving pay, said Frank Beeton IV, the president of the local unit of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

“We have to come to work and provide the same level of professionalism. However, we are not getting paid,” he said.

Beeton said the consequences for many workers are significant. For example, he is considering a loan to cover bills and expenses until pay resumes.

He also said that people who had been granted leave for the holidays were told all paid leave had been canceled, so they either took their scheduled time off with the risk of not being paid for that period or they canceled their holiday plans and went to work, assured that they will eventually be paid for time on the clock once the shutdown ends and paychecks are issued.

Beeton said union representatives have participated in a rally in Washington, D.C., and have visited every member of Congress to urge them to agree to legislation that will reopen all branches of the federal government.

“This is completely non-partisan for us,” he said. “We just want the shutdown to end.”

New Mexico has about 21,954 federal employees, which represent about 1.17 percent of all U.S. government workers, according to September 2017 data published by the federal Office of Personnel Management. In 2017, there were about 816,700 employed people in the state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The shutdown has closed the local offices of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with the exception of people working for the National Resources Conservation Service, which was previously appropriated funding. Some staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has two operations in the area, have been furloughed.

Other federal entities with local employees remain open, including the federal circuit court, the Social Security Administration and law enforcement entities. Other entities, such as the U.S. Post Office and Transportation Security Administration screeners at the airport, are employees of independent companies.

Local government agencies and businesses have responded with some offers to help those furloughed or going without pay. The city of Roswell will defer payments for water bills, and Xcel Energy is offering payment options on electric bills. And some area businesses and groups are providing free meals or interest-free loans for a certain period of time. Friday, a local Civil Air Patrol group provided pizza for local air traffic controllers.

Another consequence of the shutdown is that Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is only staffed for emergency and law enforcement purposes. Visitors can continue to travel through the grounds of the refuge northeast of Roswell, but the visitors center is closed and guides are unavailable. Signs posted indicate that entry is at the “visitor’s sole risk.”

Genevieve Roy of Quebec is among those affected.

Shortly before the shutdown, she obtained a pass for all national parks for her five-month trip through several U.S. states. She was in Roswell and at the Bitter Lake refuge on Thursday morning, sitting with her dog on the second-floor patio of the visitors center.

“I like hiking,” she said. “Most of that is still available, so it not a big problem for me.”

She was disappointed that she has not been able to enter some parks, such as the Bandera Monument near Grants, New Mexico, and that some people are not thinking about their role in helping parks that are open.

“There is a lot of trash (at open parks),” she said. “That is the bad part. Not everyone is aware of the environment. You know it is closed, so take care of things.”

The shutdown entered its 28th day Friday. Nationally, 800,000 workers are affected. Most, about 420,000, are required to work without pay, while about 380,000 have been furloughed. Federal workers affected missed their first paycheck on Jan. 11. Legislation was signed this week to ensure that even furloughed workers will receive back pay once appropriations are restored.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

City addresses ‘seven-day rule’ for Animal Services

0
Police Chief Phil Smith, Fire Chief Devin Graham and Public Safety Director Mike Mathews during the Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday. Captain Fil Gonzales and Fire Division Chief Eric Mann can be seen in the far left corner. Gonzales and Mathews presented updates on the activities of Roswell Animal Services at this meeting. (Alison Penn Photo)

City officials recently addressed questions raised about whether Roswell Animal Services (RAS) is shortening the length of time it retains animals before euthanizing them.

“The city of Roswell greatly appreciates all the great work our rescue groups do working to get a new home for our local pets,” Mike Mathews, director of public safety, wrote in a statement to the Daily Record. “The city has not changed any ordinances as it relates to the length of time animals can or will be held at Roswell Animal Services. What we are asking is if a group has an interest in a pet, to please tag that animal as soon as possible …”

The seven-day rule refers to a seven-day period explained in the unclaimed animal section of the current city code. Mathews explained that, according to the seven-day rule, days zero to four would be the ideal timeframe for owners to reclaim their animals. Beginning with day five and ending on day seven, Mathews said the dog is up for adoption by the public. Mathews clarified that from day one through seven, rescue groups can tag an animal for potential rescue — they will be informed if they can rescue the animal, and there is an option to request a two-day extension contingent on space at the shelter. Mathews said it costs $1 for the rescues to collect animals.

“Any dog or cat impounded by the city which is not redeemed or adopted within seven days following the date of its impoundment shall be disposed of in any humane manner as shall be prescribed by the American Veterinary Medical Association,” the city code reads. “The city manager or the manager’s designee shall have the discretion to retain any animal beyond the seven days for such period of time that the city manager or designee deems reasonable, but not to exceed 21 days.”

Mathews said it has become a problem allowing animals to remain in the shelter for 21 days — due to increased risk of animals being exposed to diseases, and the cost for holding them. From now on, Mathews said the city can work with the rescue groups depending on the situation, but Animal Services will not make it standard to hold animals for the rescue groups for the full length of time.

At the Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, Captain Fil Gonzales of the Roswell Police Department and Mathews presented information on the Animal Services facility at 705 E. McGaffey St. In the last year, Gonzales said RAS has had 4,690 intakes with 2,947 animals adopted, reclaimed by owners or collected by rescue organizations. Gonzales said 1,122 animals were euthanized, which cost approximately $72,000. Gonzales attributes the low number of animals euthanized to social media efforts since a Facebook page for the shelter was launched in September.

Gonzales said the city pays $65 for a dog and $23 for a cat to be euthanized.

Gonzales said the city’s facility receives animals picked up in the county, and by county officers. Giving an example, Gonzales said when the county brings in feral cats, the city pays for it. The plan is to decrease costs with the county paying for animals collected under such circumstances. Mathews said it made “no sense” for the city to assume the cost and liability of having county animals.

Councilor Jeanine Corn Best agreed that the county needs to “cooperate and play ball” with the city on the matter.

“I’m still working with rescues,” Gonzales said. “I’m getting the word out and getting them rescued out of there. I’m trying to implement the seven-day rule where us keeping these animals for 21 days is — we had one today, been there 14 days. One the 14th day, they finally tagged it and picked it up on the 21st day. We paid for the upkeep of that animal 21 days to have a rescue come get it for $1. That’s just not cost effective. We’re in the negative already and there’s no sense for us to be doing this ever …”

Gonzales said “keeping every animal there for 21 days in hopes that a rescue would take them” is not feasible, or cost-effective, and prevents the RAS from doing proactive law enforcement when the shelter is full.

The city’s legal office is drafting agreements with the Humane Society and another one with Sheriff Mike Herrington, Mathews said. He said these agreements may be ready for the committee’s review next month. In addition, Mathews announced that several amendments to the city’s animal control ordinance will be coming before the committee throughout the year.

When Best asked about current tracking methods, Mathews said “tracking is being done better than it ever has,” because since the first of the year, the RAS staff has been recording details about the locations of the animals when collected, where the owners live, etc.

Foster said the euthanasia numbers have decreased since 2014 and approved of this. He said 1,100 is still “too many,” but added the Animal Control staff is “doing a great job.”

Mathews said a shelter in Santa Fe — which takes some of the animals from the local shelter — agreed with the seven-day rule. Best agreed with imposing the time limits. Councilor Angela Moore commented that animals should not be prejudged since these animals are often family pets who are loved. Moore said she understood the fairness and the costs influencing the seven-day rule.

“The city’s desire is to get these pets out of the environment of the shelter, where they could be exposed to sicknesses and diseases from other animals, and into a good forever home,” Mathews said. “Animal Services will continue to work closely with our rescues and values the work that they do in our community and looks forward to providing the best possible service to its citizens and pets.”

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

Airport restaurant plans resuming after delay

0
The Pecos Flavors Winery and Bistro location planned for the airport terminal is now expected to open in about three months after delays in the renovation effort. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The effort to open a Pecos Flavors Winery and Bistro location in the airport terminal building is “back on track again” after some delay, according to city staff.

“I think we have overcome most of the obstacles that we had,” said City Manager Joe Neeb. “We believe it will pick up the pace here real soon.”

Pecos Flavors, which has a location on West Second Street and has been in the city since 2004, entered into an agreement with the city in March to open a location at the terminal after city efforts to secure bidders through a Request for Proposals process did not turn up viable prospects.

The city approached Pecos Flavors after the RFP attempts, with city staff saying that Pecos Flavors had expressed interest in the concept but had decided not to submit a bid.

“What we were really looking for as a type of business to put in here was something that is New Mexico, something with local flair and something that was diverse enough that it could become a destination-type place,” said City Manager Joe Neeb. “We think Pecos will fill that need, that people will travel down here just to go to the facility.”

The plan had been for the airport restaurant and bar to open before the winter holidays, but delays involving designs and engineering plans occurred, including a need to develop mechanical engineering drawings.

Then, in November, the general contractor, Holloway Construction, opted to withdraw from the project, according to Air Center Director Scott Stark. The company has since agreed to return.

Jason Holloway, an owner of the company, confirmed that information but chose not to provide any other comment.

City Project Manager Kevin Dillon said the city’s current budget to renovate the restaurant space — about $160,000 — will not meet all the design ideas that the restaurant owners have, but that it will bring the space, about 1,685 square feet, up to code as a kitchen and a bar.

“It is going to be basic for now just to get it up and running,” said Dillon. “Then we can review the budget later to see if we can fulfill all that they would like it to be.”

Neeb indicated that the city is still working to obtain a liquor license for the operation as well, and Dillon said that the plan now is for the restaurant to be open in about three months.

Cindy Ragsdale said she and other Pecos Flavors owners are “waiting patiently” for the city work to be done so that they can begin operations.

She said she could not comment about the specifics regarding the delays.

“We are excited about the opportunity,” she said, “and we are just waiting for the city to give us the go-ahead.”

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

Top Republican lawmaker opposes ‘rocket docket’

0

A streamlined process designed to fast-track a series of noncontroversial bills through the New Mexico House is being met with opposition by the top House Republican.

Forty-eight bills — 30 in the Senate and 18 in the House — are included in what has been referred to as “the rocket docket.” Instead of an individual bill going before two or three committees for approval, each bill will get a single hearing in one committee before going to all members for a full vote.

Bills in the House will be sent to the House Judiciary Committee Monday, read on the floor Tuesday and debated before a vote by the full chamber Wednesday, House Minority Leader Jim Townsend, R-Artesia said Friday.

Townsend said the House has 19 newly elected members who have not had the chance to familiarize themselves with the bills and how they will affect both their constituents and the state.

“Twenty-seven percent of the House has never seen those bills,” he said. Instead, each bill should be taken up by the committees they would usually go through, which are made up of members well-versed in the subject matter of a given bill.

House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, and the House Democratic caucus have defended the rocket docket procedure.

“The bills included in ‘the rocket docket’ are bipartisan pieces of legislation that are important to improving the lives of New Mexico families,” Shaya Torres, press secretary for Speaker Egolf, stated in an email Friday.

Bills on the docket include bills from Democrats and Republicans that passed with five or fewer votes in opposition before they were vetoed by then-Gov. Susana Martinez during the last two legislative sessions, Torres said.

Bills on the rocket docket include the Regional Air Center Special Economic District or House Bill 229 (HB 229) introduced last session by State Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell. The legislation would have allowed the Roswell International Air Center to establish an independent air authority to govern the air center and adjacent properties.

Torres said the Democratic leadership looks forward to working with all lawmakers, including Republicans and members of the Senate, and members would have the chance to review, debate and vote on the bills when they are considered in the House.

Townsend said it is not the bills themselves, but how they will be taken up that concerns him.

“I am not saying there aren’t some good bills on the rocket docket, I am saying the process is bad,” Townsend said. He added many of the Republicans in his caucus feel the same way.

Ezzell was one of four members of a bipartisan panel on the House side charged with looking at all the legislation Martinez vetoed that had five or fewer votes. She said in all, the panel reviewed 25 bills, some of which were not included on the docket.

Many of the bills that did go on the docket — members did not have any qualms with, Ezzell said. Even so, she does share some of the reservations Townsend has expressed.

She said she hopes the majority and minority caucuses discuss the bills on the rocket docket with new members. Ezzell, who is chair of the House Minority Caucus, said she hopes to facilitate that discussion among Republicans.

“We have many new members, but I want them to be very aware what these bills actually do,” she said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

Man threatens grandmother with knife, makes Most Wanted list

0

A man accused of threatening his 70-year-old grandmother with a machete or large knife is the latest addition to Roswell’s Most Wanted, according to a press release Friday from the Roswell Police Department.

Linares

Kalistro Francisco Linares, 18, faces charges of robbery, aggravated assault and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

Linares is accused of threatening his grandmother during a Jan. 15 argument between the two about his failure to clean up after himself in the house the two shared.

The release states Linares allegedly took his grandmother’s vehicle without her permission. The vehicle was later discovered abandoned in Artesia.

Linares is 5 feet 2 inches tall and 135 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information pertaining to the whereabouts of Linares or other pertinent information is asked to contact the RPD at 575-624-6770 or Chaves County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-594-8477. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward in the event information leads to an arrest or conviction.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

Roswell embarrasses Santa Teresa on Parents’ Night

0
Coyote senior basketball players stand before Friday night’s game against Santa Teresa. From left: Tarren Burrola (30); Nate Dutchover (5); and team manager Javier Herrera. (David Rocha Photo)

Now that’s how you do it. If you’re going to have any kind of Parents Night, Family Night or Senior Night as a basketball program and send your team off with a good feeling and great memories, then go to Webster’s Dictionary and you’ll see a photo of the Roswell’s boys basketball team.

Roswell’s Taymon Burrola takes it to the glass for a layup Friday night at the Coyote Den against Santa Teresa. (David Rocha Photo)

The Warriors could not execute the simplest of plays or get the ball inbounds, or make a shot as the Coyotes took a 17-0 lead with 4:36 left to play in the first quarter before they finally scored. Santa Teresa would score four points in the quarter to trail 34-4. Roswell continued to keep their foot on the gas pedal as they cruised to an 89-34 win at the Coyote Den Friday night.

“We came out to play,” Roswell coach Moses “Dude” Burrola said. “We have to play no matter who it is. I can’t take anything away from Santa T, but we shot the ball pretty good. We got after them and the pressure got to them and we just played. We wanted to recognize all the parents tonight on Parents’ Night for letting their kids play with us because they trust their kids with us. It’s a family program we developed and we want to recognize them for letting their kids play for us. We want to recognize them.”

It seemed like coach Burrola just rolled the ball out and told his team to go get them and just stood on the sidelines with his hands in his pockets and watched his team score, and score and score until it was 55-16 at halftime.

During a timeout, Warriors player Joshua Melendez was so frustrated that he got into an argument with his coach, Whelton Richardson over being embarrassed by the Coyotes in the second quarter. When Warriors coach told the team during that same timeout that Roswell was not that good and they were making them look better than they were.

Warriors’ coach Richardson told his team they acted liked they (Santa Teresa) had never seen a press before. With that, he changed their defense to a 1-2-1 and wanted them to trap more. Richardson should not have done that because it just made the game all the easier for Roswell.

In this game, coach Burrola worked on some different things offensively for when they play different teams and they run different presses on them or change defenses. He also played every player on his bench that was in uniform. Roswell guard Rhett Stokes is starting to get comfortable playing basketball and shooting the three as he hit another three-pointer in consecutive games. Stokes hit one against Goddard on Tuesday night.

“He’s going to be pretty good,” Burrola said. “He shoots the ball really well. Again, his basketball IQ with that sophomore group is unreal. Just the way they move the ball, they are very smooth and very good last year, they got to the Border Conference championship last year. They ended up losing, but we had Taymon ( Burrola) up with us last year on varsity. That group is going to be pretty good and hard to handle.”

Roswell, (14-4), will look to get sophomore guard Talon Sanders back on Monday. Sanders adds quickness and defense to their press and is able to set his teammates up for their shots. One of the surprises on the evening was the athleticism and scoring of sophomore Alonzo Acosta who scored eight points and was able to grab some offensive boards and take the ball coast-to-coast.

As soon as the whistle blew for the start of the third quarter, the clock began running, which was the most humane thing to do for Santa Teresa. Clearly being down 39 points, the Warriors had no shot of winning the game and if they had not run the clock, Roswell would have scored over 100 points on them, even with their junior varsity players in the game.

“My guys have been struggling all year,” Richardson stated. “We didn’t come to play today, we can’t take anything away from Roswell. They are young and tough and they get after it. But we didn’t do what we needed to today.”

Tarren Burrola led all scorers with 27 points, senior Nate Dutchover added 20 points. Dominic Nava has continually improved his offensive game as the season has gone along and added 14 points in a variety of ways. Taymon Burrola and Acosta each had eight points. Miguel Baray scored six points and Stokes had three points. Juan Ybarra put in two points and Cristian De la O had one point.

Roswell will be on the road this upcoming week when they face Artesia and Portales.

Roswell will travel to Artesia for a 7 p.m. tip against Artesia on Tuesday.

011919 Alton’s Power Block Athletes of the Week

0

Alton’s Power Block Athletes of the Week are Roswell wrestlers from left: Xavier Hernandez; Alton Shields, owner of Alton’s Power Block Gym; Jaymon Cherinko and Nathan Sanchez. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

Dexter speeds by Jal, 75-43

0

Dexter’s David Miramontes goes up for a shot during Friday night’s game versus Jal. Dexter won, 75-43, and will face Mesilla Valley tonight at 6:15 p.m. at Lewis Arena for the John Reid Dexter Invitational Tournament championship. (Jeannie Harris Photo)

STAY CONNECTED

21,759FansLike
1,358FollowersFollow
1,205SubscribersSubscribe
Translate »