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Let’s have an honest conversation about immigration

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In his letter saying there’s no need for a wall on our southern border, the writer called President Trump a xenophobe and a fascist without citing evidence because Democrats call people they disagree with “ists”, “phobes” or whatever without proof. When Hillary Clinton called Republicans deplorables, my Republican friends urged me to respond, and when I said Democrats were elitist snobs, my Democrat friends cringed.

Name-calling hurts, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. If you call someone a liar, prove it.

We’re getting a wall because the president keeps his promises. When Trump asked Pelosi if she’d fund a wall if he opened government, she said no. If Democrats back her, he’ll declare a national emergency to build it. Democrats will take him to court and lose.

To influence the ignorant and supply talking points to faithful Democrats, the press said Trump manufactured a border crisis. Most people see the humanitarian and security mess and ignore them. Propagandists dishonor their first amendment right.

If there’s no suffering, why do Democrats and their lapdogs in the press get upset when aliens die? Why don’t they show the same outrage when our citizens are killed by the illegal aliens they protect? When our Democrat neighbors won’t enforce immigration laws, are they complicit in the death of aliens and Americans?

We wouldn’t need walls, except for keeping out drugs, if we took away the incentives for illegal immigration. Democrats and like-minded Republicans put the profits of people who hire illegal aliens over legal immigrants and our poorest citizens who are cheated of an honest wage. These lawmakers traded our good-paying manufacturing jobs for the same goods made by foreigners.

There’ll be no bipartisanship on important matters until Democrats quit demonizing Republicans.

There’s talk of trading walls for amnesty. Congress can pay for the wall’s construction or Trump can use money meant for other projects to build it.

As for the welfare of illegal aliens, the only aliens who deserve our compassion are DACA Dreamers who were brought here by their parents.

I’d give Dreamers renewable work permits, and a path to citizenship for Dreamers who stand in line, in exchange for e-verify, a credible fear factor for asylum seekers, and closing the visa over-stay loophole. Take names of lawmakers who won’t, so you can vote for their opponents in 2020. Today, tell local officials to take away business licenses from people who hire illegal aliens.

Ralph Rivera
Roswell

New energy policy will ‘spite the hand that feeds’ state

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Governor’s State of the State for Energy 2019: “And I will direct each state agency to participate in developing a comprehensive climate plan for New Mexico that responds to the threat of a warming planet by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution,” stated Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham. “I have committed to increasing our renewable portfolio standard — 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 and 80 percent 10 years after that, and I ask you to fulfill that commitment with me. Not as a ceiling but a starting point, with an ultimate goal of even greater renewable production. This is our promise to future generations of New Mexicans.”

What does that really mean? It means that the governor is proposing the low power density of wind and solar farms that require large masses of land to generate a few megawatts of electricity. The governor’s plan makes no mention of high density energy like nuclear or natural gas sources. Her focus is on spending money (subsidies) on construction jobs, building materials, hauling transportation and, of course, land leases for siting all this wind and solar equipment — along with necessary road and power grid infrastructure to get a few megawatts of electricity to sell to other markets, like California.

The governor is going along to get along with what is trending on the national scene for her energy policy. The Democrats in the new 2019 Congress are proposing a program dubbed the Green New Deal. There is nothing green about it, except that it will cost a lot of hard green cash (or more likely, credit).

The path of least resistance right now is to support renewable energy in the form of wind and solar farms to save the planet from the alleged climate change (aka, global warming). She is doing this to spite the hand that feeds her state budget — the O&G (oil and gas) industry.

After the last election, we have a whole new batch of Democrats that are ill-informed about how safe and clean nuclear energy really is. Their knowledge is either left over from the 1960s, or they bought into the propaganda carried forward in your education system.

Martin Kral
Roswell

Andre Louis Buonaiuto

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June 30, 1955 — January 14, 2019

Andre Louis Buonaiuto, 63, passed away on January 14, 2019. Andre was born to Andrea and Elizabeth Buonaiuto on June 30, 1955 in Flushing, New York. He was a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather and a very successful business man. He touched the lives of so many people with his kind smile, his generous spirit and his love for life.

Andre Louis Buonaiuto, husband of Yvonne, Beloved father of Kristin, her husband Darren Gange, Morgan and her husband Andrew Zammitto, and Alexis Buonaiuto. Loving grandfather of Milania, Andrew IV, Kevin III, and Evelyn. Dearest brother of Peter, Carol and Frankie. Adored uncle and friend of many. There is no one Andre wouldn’t look after.

Preceded in death by parents Andrea J. Buonaiuto & Elizabeth Buonaiuto, brother-in-law Jeffrey W. Wilson, Cattle Baron CEO.

He is survived by sister-in-laws Michele Wilson, Antoinette Giangrasso and brother-in-law Philip Giangrasso; mother- and father-in-laws Benedetto Giangrasso and Diana Giangrasso.

Viewings will be on Friday, January 18, 2019, from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Fairchilds Funeral Home in Manhasset, New York.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Andrew Avellino Roman Catholic Church in Flushing, New York. Interment will follow at First Calvary Cemetery, in Long Island City, New York.

Alaska company starts Roswell operations

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“Now the building is being occupied by a business in the aviation eco-space,” says Air Center Director Mark Bleth about the airfield’s new tenant. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

An Alaska aviation business has opened a Roswell location.

PAC Blue Aerospace, owned by a company based in Fairbanks, Alaska, has leased Building 755 of the Roswell International Air Center to begin parking and repairing McDonnell Douglas 80 (MD80) aircraft that are or will be used in Everts Air freight and passenger air service operations.

The business is the fifth MRO (maintenance and repair organization) at the air center, said Air Center Manager Mark Bleth.

PAC Blue joins General Airframe Support (GenAir), Cavu Aerospace, Stewart Industries and Aersale Inc. as companies involved in various aspects of aircraft maintenance. Dean Baldwin Painting LP also is an airfield tenant, but it specializes in painting airplanes.

Bleth said that the company is occupying a facility that previously had been leased by a non-aviation business.

“That is kind of the nice thing about this,” said Bleth. “Now the building is being occupied by a business in the aviation eco-space.”

Bleth said that the company has signed an interim lease and that the city’s elected officials are due to review the permanent lease during February meetings.

A manager with Everts Air said that the company started its local operations Jan. 1 after several years of working with another MRO at the airfield.

“We just bought 14 aircraft from a company out of Miami and we have those airplanes stationed there,” said Ken Long, a manager with Everts. “We are intending to bring a limited number of employees to part our aircraft out.”

He said he expects to hire about three or four airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanics within six months.

“The location, the good climate for the aircraft to sit, the number of people who have the aviation background in the area to hire, that’s what brought us to Roswell,” Long said.

Long said the company has signed a five-year lease.

“The number of times I have been to Roswell, it has been a great community and we look forward to working with the community and growing a business there,” he said.

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

Airport commission discusses expansions, finances

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Progress on the airport terminal study and conceptual ideas regarding a future wide-body hangar at the Roswell International Air Center were shared with members of the City of Roswell Airport Advisory Commission during the group’s Thursday morning meeting.

An overview of finances for air center operations also was provided.

• The city’s airport consultants, Armstrong Consultants Inc., presented some preliminary information on developing cost estimates and conceptual drawings for a future wide-body hangar to house 777 or other modern aircraft that are too large for existing hangars or that require more updated capabilities than found in the commercial hangars on the airfield now. A contract to do the study was approved by the Roswell City Council as a way to provide plans and cost information to future investors, government agencies or legislators.

Mayor Dennis Kintigh, chair of the commission, expressed concern that the current concept being developed — for a large facility on the south side of the airfield off of Y-O Road that would require the extension of sewer and water lines and the construction of new roads and ramps — was unrealistic for either the city or potential investors to build. “I would like to see an option … that would be a doable project,” he said. But other commission members as well as some staff and consultants said that the hangar study has two main purposes. The first aim is to develop plans and financial estimates for a large project that could be pitched to the federal government or international and national developers or corporations. The second use would be scaleable, allowing the cost estimates and plans derived to be scaled down to smaller facilities or for new hangars placed near existing buildings and ramps.

• The airport terminal expansion study has developed three concepts that would enable the 43-year-old airport building to prepare for increased passengers and visitors and additional commercial airline service. The city received a New Mexico Department of Transportation grant in July to analyze ideas for expansion, and Gensler, a company specializing in airport design, is preparing the study. Stark said air center staff are leaning toward a “middle” choice of the three options presented, considering the idea of an entirely new terminal outside budgetary options. Recommendations are expected to be presented at the next commission meeting as well as at future City Council and council committee meetings.

• The city’s internal auditor, Juan Fuentes, presented some financial information about air center finances. The issue has bearing on the question now before the legislature about forming an independent air authority to govern the air center. If placed under an independent authority, the city’s subsidies of airport operations would not continue as it does now. The summary estimating fiscal-year 2019 revenues and expenditures showed $5.036 million in revenues and $8.93 million in expenditures in the main fund for the air center, one of three funds. But with cash-on-hand of more than $5.116 million at the start of the year and grant funds, the air center is projected to end fiscal year 2019 on June 30 in the black. A commission member also noted that the FY 2019 rent revenues have been projected at lower than 2018 actuals even though the economy is improving and air center staff are working to raise rents. City staff noted that they are continuing their efforts to analyze the air center finances.

The next meeting of the Airport Advisory Commission is scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 21 in the airport terminal building, 1 Jerry Smith Circle.

McIlroy talks special school election with Republican women

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Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy speaks to a crowd at the January meeting of the Chaves County Federated Republican Women, Wednesday at the Elks Lodge, about the GO bonds and mill levy renewal on the ballot. All ballots must be returned by Feb. 5. (Alex Ross Photo)

Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy, superintendent of the Roswell Independent School District (RISD), spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the Chaves County Federated Republican Women about the General Obligation (GO) Bond and SB-9 mill levy questions that will go before voters in the all-mail ballot special school election.

McIlroy said she is prohibited from telling Chaves County residents how to vote, but is just educating them about the questions on the ballot.

“I can’t tell you how to vote, I just want you to vote,” she told the audience.

Ballots for the election went out this month and must be returned by mail by Feb. 5.

Chaves County voters will decide in the election whether to authorize up to $14 million in general bonds for the next four years for the improvement of school facilities and grounds, school construction, renovation and upgrades at RISD schools, McIlroy said.

McIlroy added that in the past, bonds have been used for renovations to schools as well as the construction of new facilities.

Chad Cole, assistant superintendent of finance and operations, also at the meeting, said that this year because the taxable valuation of the county has gone down due to oil and gas revenue, RISD is asking voters for $2 million less in bonding authority than they had previously.

A second question, if approved, will allow for the continuation of an existing mill levy to cover expenses related to cleaning supplies, technology upgrades and the maintenance of school buildings and grounds, McIlroy said.

The resolution and proclamation calling for the special election, approved by the RISD School Board in October, says the mill levy imposes a property tax of $2 per $1,000 of net taxable value of a property that will go towards RISD from 2019 through 2024.

The money is needed to maintain RISD’s buildings, many of which are quite old, McIlroy said.

“We have some buildings that are over 100 years old,” she said.

As an example of the antiquated nature of some of the buildings, McIlroy said that this winter, two of the RISD boiler systems went down.

Neither question would increase the property taxes of voters, just allow for another cycle of bonding and extend the life of an existing mill levy.

“This is not a new tax, it is just time to renew our GO bonds and our mill levy,” she said.

Without the levy, McIlroy said RISD would need to use money the district receives from the state for maintenance. She later said money from the levy cannot be used for salary increases.

Beyond individual schools and the RISD budget, the bonding has allowed the wider community to benefit. McIlroy said local contractors are used for the RISD construction projects.

“As a result of those construction projects, we generated over $139 million in gross receipt taxes in our community,” McIlroy said.

Bonding also allows area residents to keep more of their tax money.

People in southeastern New Mexico often complain that they send their tax dollars to Santa Fe but don’t see any benefits from it locally.

“I can tell you that by supporting the GO bond you will get money back,” she said.

The Public School Capital Outlay Committee and Public School Facility Authority review projects submitted by school districts across the state, who then decide whether to enter partnerships with districts when it comes to paying for school construction and upgrades, McIlroy said.

She added that recently the state has paid for 71 percent of all construction costs associated with projects.

“So that means for every dollar that you as taxpayers give to us — 29 cents of that is used in the construction, they pay 71 cents,” she said.

Having the bonding authority has allowed RISD to do more at a lower cost.

If not approved, McIlroy said the matching funds they are able to get through bonding could be less and go to other districts.

“So if you don’t want to leave those monies on the table, we need to constantly remember that GO bonding is an important thing and we get those dollars back,” she said.

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

Airport authority bill makes it onto ‘rocket docket’

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A bill that would allow for the establishment of an independent air authority to govern the Roswell International Air Center is one of a series of bills vetoed by then-Gov. Susana Martinez, that lawmakers hope to fast-track through the legislative process.

The Regional Air Center Special Economic District, or House Bill 229 (HB 229), is one of 18 House bills listed in a press release issued by House Democrats that will be included in a legislative package known as the “rocket docket.”

The docket consists of bills passed by the Legislature but vetoed by Martinez during her administration. The bills will be combined into one package and taken up by a single committee before being voted on by the full House.

HB 229 was introduced in the last legislative session by state Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, and has been supported by city and county officials as a means to enhance economic development of the air center.

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 would also allow 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.

Lawmakers in both houses passed the legislation, but it was later vetoed by Martinez.

During a visit to Roswell last year, Martinez said she vetoed the legislation because the members of the authority would be appointed and not elected.

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

Lunar eclipse viewing Sunday

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The Astronomy Club of Roswell will host a free viewing party for the “super blood wolf moon” on Sunday night, weather permitting, from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Telescopes will be set up on the lawn of the Roswell Convention & Civic Center, 912 N. Main St., near the sidewalks.

Sunday night’s total lunar eclipse — which is called a blood moon because of the color the moon turns during an eclipse — is a rarity because it will be paired with a supermoon in January, according to accuweather.com

For more information, contact Peggy Bohlin, president of Roswell’s Astronomy Club, at 420-9955.

Dexter Demons speeds past Lordsburg, 56-31

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Dexter’s Sergio Ramirez drives toward the basket Thursday night against Lordsburg during the 52nd annual John Reid Dexter Invitational Basketball Tournament. (Jeannie Harris Photo)

For Dexter, this is not the season they had imagined after making it to the quarterfinals last season. With a 5-9 record coming into the 52nd annual John Reid Dexter Invitational, they hope to gather momentum toward the last part of the season by winning their tournament and getting ready for district play.

Dexter’s Jaime Munoz goes up for a shot Thursday night against Lordsburg. (Jeannie Harris Photo)

Dexter started the season by going 1-3 because the football players were still playing for the championship and they were shorthanded. The Demons played younger players to fill in for the football players. Since the season was over with on Dec. 2, it has taken about a month to get back in shape and some of the players are still getting their legs into basketball shape.

“Coming from football to basketball is a big switch,” Dexter power forward Jaime Munoz said. “Just knowing that I’m in basketball shape and not getting so tired helps a lot, especially at the end of games. I feel like the air outside is easier to breathe than the air in a gym. There’s a lot of people in the gym and it takes a lot to breathe.”

Dexter’s seniors have a lot of pride and want to win this tournament. They have not won the Invitational since 2014. The team is looking to get on a roll and start the momentum for a deep run into the playoffs. As they played fastbreak basketball Thursday night, Dexter ran past Lordsburg, 56-31, at Lewis Arena.

“We are very young,” Mavericks coach DJ Saucedo said. “Their speed and pressure are enough to beat anybody.”

There are two things coaches can’t coach and that is speed and height. Dexter’s basketball team is the closest team to playing street ball. They will throw full-court passes one-handed, skip passes over zones and any of their players will lead the fastbreak by either dribbling out of traffic or throwing it over the top, as they scored numerous times over the Mavericks.

On defense, they have the speed to overcome mistakes from gambling for steals. One of the hidden gems is guard Jaime Chavira — who may match Goddard’s Jonah Chavez and Roswell’s Jasia Reese in quickness and top end speed. Chavira was able to penetrate Lordsburg’s zone defense and score at the rim or kick it out to Sergio Ramirez for an open three-point shot.

“I try to make plays for everyone,” Chavira said. “I try to get everyone involved.

Dexter’s coach Arthur Cobos doesn’t mind miscues as long as his team is being aggressive. Not only does Dexter play an exciting brand of basketball, but as soon as the ball comes through the net, Cobos is yelling at his team to get it up the court and shoot it. Very rarely in the game against Lordsburg did Dexter run any set plays.

“We basically play transition basketball,” Cobos said. “We work on that a lot — if they score, it’s no big deal. Let’s get up and down the court and get another possession. We still have to get used to getting faster up and down the court. We are finally getting everybody included again.”

Against Lordsburg’s zone defense, they would throw it into the middle to 6-foot-7 Bryan Cano, who would look over the defense and either put up a shot or throw it to the wing to open shots. Cano is a transfer from Mexico and is adjusting to the physical play of American basketball and has to have a translator communicate for him because he does not speak English.

Dexter, (6-9), will face Jal at 6:15 p.m. today at Lewis Arena.

Lady Coyotes defeat Santa Teresa

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The Roswell Lady Coyotes beat Santa Teresa on Thursday night, 50-16. Cheyenne Martinez (34) scored 23 of her 25 points in the first half while adding 13 rebounds. Skylair Lopez pulled in 11 rebounds to help the Coyotes improve their record to 5-12. The Lady Coyotes go to Hatch Valley Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (Shawn Naranjo File Photo)

Charlie’s Angels camp on Monday

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Charlie’s Angels will be going to Orlando, Florida on Feb. 20 to defend their national title. They will be hosting a Kiddie Camp on Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Roswell High. For more information, call Kim Castro at 910-6464. (David Rocha File Photo)

John Reid Dexter Invitational Basketball Tournament schedule

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The matchups for Friday during the 52nd annual John Reid Dexter Invitational Basketball Tournament will be as follows:

In the consolation bracket, the Hobbs junior varsity team will face the Eunice Cardinals at 1 p.m. Immediately following that game, the Hagerman Bobcats will play the Lordsburg Mavericks. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 2:45 p.m.

In the championship bracket, the Tularosa Wildcats will face the Mesilla Valley Christian SonBlazers at 4:30 p.m. After that game is finished, the hometown Dexter Demons will face the Jal Panthers in the nightcap. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.

Thursday’s scores

Tularosa 50, Hobbs JV 36

Mesilla Valley 62, Eunice 35

Jal 39, Hagerman 37

Dexter 56, Lordsburg 31

Andre Louis Buonaiuto

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June 30, 1955 — January 14, 2019

Andre Louis Buonaiuto, 63, passed away on January 14, 2019. Andre was born to Andrea and Elizabeth Buonaiuto on June 20, 1955 in Flushing, New York.

He was a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather and a very successful business man. He touched the lives of so many people with his kind smile, his generous spirit and his love for life.

Andre Louis Buonaiuto, husband of Yvonne; Beloved father of Kristin, her husband Darren Gange; Morgan and her husband Andrew Zammitto; and Alexis Buonaiuto. Loving grandfather of Milania, Andrew IV, Kevin III, and Evelyn. Dearest brother of Peter, Carol and Frankie. Adored uncle and friend of many. There is no one Andre wouldn’t look after.

Preceded in death by parents Andrea J. Buonaiuto & Elizabeth Buonaiuto, and brother-in-law Jeffrey W. Wilson, Cattle Baron CEO.

He is survived by sister-in-laws Michele Wilson, Antoinette Giangrasso and brother-in-law Philip Giangrasso; mother- and father-in-laws Benedetto Giangrasso and Diana Giangrasso.

Viewings will be on Friday, January 18, 2019, from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Fairchilds Funeral Home in Manhasset, New York.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Andrew Avellino Roman Catholic Church in Flushing, New York. Interment will follow at First Calvary Cemetery, in Long Island City, New York.

Public records bill could increase costs, limit access

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A pre-filed bill in the 2019 legislative session would change public records law and has been opposed by open government and news media groups. The New Mexico Capitol building in Santa Fe is shown in this Friday photo. (AP Photo / Morgan Lee)

Open government, news media groups oppose measure

 

Proposed state legislation that would increase fees that could be charged for public records and could limit access in certain cases is being called a “terrible anti-transparency” action by an open government advocacy group.

Sen. Pat Woods, of Broadview, said that the main purpose of his proposed legislation, Senate Bill 232, is to allow public entities a way to recover the costs associated with fulfilling records requests.

“Essentially this law would increase service charge fees, not to exceed the actual costs. But if there was an extensive use of technological resources or labor, then they could recover those costs,” said Woods, a Republican representing District 7, which represents parts of Curry, Quay and Union counties.

Existing state law, the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA), allows public bodies to charge for the costs of copies or digitally transferring files, not for the costs of compiling the records.

But Woods’ bill deals with more than costs. It also contains provisions that would restrict access in certain cases.

Journalists and judicial or quasi-judicial bodies would continue to have the same access as allowed now, but the proposed bill would require entities intending to make money off the information to identify the reasons for their requests. Public bodies then would able to charge fees based both on the cost of fulfilling the records request as well as on the “reasonable value of the reproduction on the commercial market,” as determined by the public body.

The bill also would allow public entities to request gubernatorial authority to deny requests by commercial interests if they considered the request a “misuse or an abuse” of public records and to obtain court injunctions against incarcerated individuals if public agencies can prove that inmates’ public record requests are meant to harass or intimidate.

Woods said that he drafted the bill after hearing the complaints of some state agencies, but he chose not to identify those agencies and said he was not able to provide a specific example of a problematic request.

He added that he thought the bill could help curb companies from obtaining email addresses or phone numbers used for solicitations or “spoofing” scams.

Five other states, including Texas, California, Washington state, Arizona and North Carolina, have similar statutes, he said. 

Those laws do have some provisions that are contained in Woods’ bill. Texas does prohibit public record requests by the incarcerated, but otherwise grants access without explanation for the requests. The California law allows fees to be charged for such things as the prorated costs of duplicating equipment, for example. The law in Washington state prohibits public records requests for commercial purposes. The Arizona law contains provisions regarding requests for commercial purposes that is similar to Woods’ bill, while North Carolina statute allows requestors to be charged for labor or information technology costs associated with locating or compiling records.

Woods said that he doesn’t know if the bill will make it out of its first committee assignment, which had not been made by press time.

“But at least it will shine a light on a problem that I think exists,” he said. “Not many people have much empathy for state government, but there are some cases that this deal is being abused in my opinion.”

The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (FOG) and its member organizations the New Mexico Broadcasters Association and the New Mexico Press Association are opposing the bill.

“We have already paid for that (public records access) as taxpayers,” said FOG Executive Director Melanie Majors. “Those materials have already been created and existed, are already paid for by taxpayers. We are just asking for access to them.”

She termed any type of restrictions on who has access as a “slippery slope.”

“We think it is bad legislation,” she said. “It doesn’t do anything to move the state along. If anything, it puts the state back into the dark ages. We want the state to be progressive and move forward and for citizens to have access to their information because that is what is done in a democracy.”

She said that concerns about personal identifiers such as phone numbers and home addresses being released should be handled by agencies following current law regarding redactions and that the solution to burdensome requests is to make more information available on websites.

“One of the ways to avoid this, ‘Oh, we are getting so many requests’ — well, the response to that is go ahead and let’s put some of this information online and make it easily accessible so people can get it and you don’t have to sit there and monitor all of that.”

She added that she is willing to meet with any legislator who thinks the current law needs to be changed.

“FOG has worked with legislators to protect the public’s right to information,” Majors said, “and FOG is more than willing to meet with Sen. Woods to discuss his issues to see if there are some things we might work on that might improve IPRA.”

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

Public safety revisits proposed nuisance ordinance

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Deputy Chief Mike Stanton, center, said the Roswell Police Department also responds to a majority of the same “nuisance properties” as the city of Roswell’s code enforcement department at the Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.  (Alison Penn Photo)

With feedback from Roswell Police Department officers, the Roswell City Council’s Public Safety Committee made revisions to the proposed nuisance properties ordinance and the item will go before the Legal Committee later this month.

Councilors Jeanine Corn Best, Barry Foster and Angela Moore were present at the meeting on Tuesday afternoon. Another committee member, Councilor Steve Henderson was absent.

Councilor Judy Stubbs, chair of the Legal Committee, attended Tuesday’s meeting to “wordsmith” some of the language in the proposed ordinance and to ask questions before it is presented at the Legal Committee. Stubbs offered suggestions with minor language changes with feedback from city staff and other committee members. Since Stubbs is not a committee member of Public Safety, she gave input but did not formally cast a vote. 

Councilor Best, chair of the committee, made the motion to send the revised drafted ordinance with the suggested changes to the legal committee and Councilor Moore seconded. The final vote was 2 to 1 with Councilor Foster voting in opposition.

Foster said he voted against the measure because the ordinance is “unrefined” and needs to be concise if passed by council. However, Foster said he believes the city needs a nuisance ordinance, but added the listed nuisance offenses are not “equitable.” As the ordinance reads now, Foster said it equates an offense of yard weeds with a drive-by or drug offense. 

 

Background

and clarifications 

At the public hearing on Dec. 13, City Council unanimously decided to send the proposed nuisance ordinance back to Legal and Public Safety committees to additionally examine and potentially revise the proposed ordinance. Prior to Tuesday, the proposed ordinance was also reviewed in city committees in September and October. 

The proposed ordinance would modify current city code and adding a new article pertaining to nuisances properties. Bill Morris, the city’s community development director, said a premise is deemed a “nuisance property” when three nuisance activities occur on that property during a 12-month period. It would provide a pathway for the city to cite property owners of nuisance properties for the city to recover costs spent when the RPD and code enforcement respond repeatedly at those properties, Morris explained. 

Morris said the idea behind the proposed ordinances is to resolve instances of multiple nuisance offenses by implementing the fines and creating an abatement plan between the city and the property owner. As an example, Morris said the city has responded to one property that had 26 violations in one year. City Manager Joe Neeb added that three arrests had also been made at this property. 

At the previous meeting, councilors were concerned about citizens being cited for three violations in one day. Morris said the language now reads that in a 24-hour period, many nuisance activities would count as one violation. After the 24 hours passed, Morris said a subsequent violation would be counted as a second offense.  

Neeb said even in the event that the city is called out three times to one property, or three separate incidents are found, these do not automatically qualify as nuisance offenses. Neeb said when a written citation is issued, this determines a true offense. 

 

Police input 

“I don’t see this as a real gray area for the police department,” Police Chief Phil Smith said of the proposed ordinance. “I see it as an additional tool that we can use after we’ve had police action. We’re not going to go in there and go, ‘Hey, I need you to pull your weeds up,’ and you know that … There are certain residences — I can think of one off the top of my head — we are continually there. We continually take action. This is just an additional (tool) from the city and the ability to retrieve some of the loss for the cost of services because of these nuisance households. But the police department is going to do what they’re going to do …” 

Deputy Chief Mike Stanton said the abatement plan would be educational for the property owner to hold them accountable in understanding the city code. Stanton said documentation of the education would be available if the RPD responded to the property again.

As an officer in the field, Stanton said a “vast majority (of) properties” interacting with the city’s code enforcement are the same properties the RPD visits. He said the proposed ordinance could provide “education and preemptive study” for these properties. 

“In the abatement plan, we’re trying to achieve compliance,” Morris said. “We want to fix the problem. We’re not looking to try to punish people. We just want the problem to go away …”

 

Other questions 

Councilor Best asked if this ordinance would have assisted with the Town Plaza Apartments and Morris confirmed this. In support of the measure, Best said in her “little pea brain,” all the city departments would be involved with the “common sense” ordinance. 

Councilor Moore said, in her opinion, that three violations is different than 26, adding the situation needs to depend on the offense. Moore also voiced potential issues of neighbors abusing the ordinance against other neighbors and brought up domestic violence. Morris said there has been discussion that the ordinance could be “weaponized,” but said the offenses would be noncompliant with city code. 

Morris and Neeb clarified that domestic violence is not included in the city’s nuisance activity list. In addition, Smith said genuine instances of domestic violence are “beyond a nuisance” and are crimes with associated police procedures. 

Finance Director Monica Garcia asked how the fines would be billed and Morris said original intent was to have the fines on the property owner’s utility bill. Garcia asked for the city’s legal team to ensure the possibility of including nuisance fines with utility bills. 

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

Local lawmakers issued committee assignments

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New Mexico House Minority Leader Rep. James Townsend, R-Artesia, prepares for the start of the New Mexico Legislative session on Tuesday in Santa Fe. (AP Photo / Russell Contreras)

Lawmakers were issued their committee assignments Wednesday, the day after House lawmakers convened for Opening Day of the 54th Legislative session.

The membership of each committee was announced Wednesday in a press release.

In the House, the Speaker assigns representatives to committees, based on their individual interests and schedules, with each member assigned to two committees, according to Shaya Torres, press secretary for Speaker Brian Egolf and the House Democratic Caucus.

The committees are tasked with crafting, reviewing and approving legislation before it heads to the floor to be voted on by the entire House.

As a member of the House Leadership, Minority Leader Jim Townsend, R-Artesia, will be on the House Rules and Order of Business Committee.

Townsend, whose House District includes parts of Chaves, Eddy and Otero counties, will also be on the House committees on Enrolling and Engrossing; Printing and Supplies; Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources; and Judiciary committees, according to the release.

Townsend said in an interview Wednesday he is satisfied with his assignments.

“These suited me just fine,” he said.

After being re-elected to a second term in November, state Rep. Greg Nibert, R-Roswell, will again be on the House Judiciary Committee, and be a new member on the State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee.

The Judiciary Committee will play a major role in the legislative process, with about two-thirds of substantive bills coming before the committee, Nibert said in a text message conversation Wednesday.

Phelps Anderson, a Republican from Roswell elected in November, and whose district includes portions of Chaves, Lea and Roosevelt counties — will be on the House Finance and Appropriations; Energy, Environment and Natural Resources; and Enrolling and Engrossing committees.

State Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell — chair of the House Minority Caucus — will return to her seat on the House Agriculture and Water Resources, and House Consumer and Public Affairs committees.

Unlike in the House, where committee assignments are doled out every year, state senators remain on their committees for four years, according to Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales.

Ingle serves on the Committee’s Committee as well as the Rules and Public Affairs committees.

A senator since 1985, Ingle said he has served on every committee, including 18 years on the coveted Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, will continue on the Senate Rules and the Indian and Cultural Affairs committees; while State Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, will keep her seat on the Senate Finance Committee.

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

Groups release MLK schedule

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The city of Roswell and Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell have announced closures or adjusted schedules for Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

City of Roswell

The Roswell Public Library and the Adult and Recreation Center will each be closed Monday. The Roswell Museum and Art Center is closed every Monday. The Spring River Park and Zoo will be open, as will the Roswell Visitors Center.

Pecos Trails Transit will have buses in operation only on Main Street that Monday. The buses will run from 7:10 a.m. to 10:03 p.m.

The Sanitation Department’s trash pickup for the week has been adjusted. Areas south of Alameda Street, plus areas east of Garden Avenue between Alameda and Second Street (normally picked up on Monday and Thursday), will have their trash containers picked up Tuesday and Thursday. Other areas north of Alameda (normally picked up on Tuesday and Friday) will have their trash containers picked up Wednesday and Friday.

Residents with individual roll-out containers must have them placed by the curb the night before the day of service or by 4 a.m. the day of service.

The landfill will be closed Monday.

ENMU-R

No classes will be held Monday. However, campus offices will be open for normal business hours, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For campus information, call 575-624-7000.

Josefina Olivas Martinez

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Josefina was 89 years old who passed away at Sunset Villa Nursing Home on Friday, January 11, 2019 surrounded by her family.

Viewing will begin Thursday, January 17, 2019 from 9 am to 7 pm at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Hagerman with a Rosary to follow at 7 pm. Viewing will continue at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Hagerman on Friday, January 18, 2019 from 9 am to 2 pm with Mass to follow. Deacon Jesus Herrera will officiate. Burial will follow at Hagerman Cemetery.

Josefina Martinez was born March 11, 1929 in Nonoava, Chihuahua-Mexico, to Jesus Maria Olivas and Teresa Villagran.

On January 25, 1950, Josefina married Miguel Martinez Sr. in Mexico. They both lived in Rio Grande by Nonoava, Chihuahua where they started their family. Bertha, Maria, Julio, Miguel Jr., Mauro, Roque and Delfino were born through 1969. They moved and lived in Cardenas, Chihuahua till February 1974. They then moved to Hagerman, NM in February 1974 and their last son Rodrigo was born in March 1974. Josefina raised their family while her husband Miguel Martinez Sr. worked with Richard and Danny Harshey on their farms for about 22 years. When Miguel Martinez Sr. passed in September 2005, Josefina moved to Carlsbad to be under the care of her daughter Maria Villa through July 2013. For the last 5 1/2 years of living came under the care of her sons Julio Martinez and Rodrigo Martinez till her passing on January 11, 2019.

Those left to cherish and carry on her memory are her sons Miguel Martinez, Jr. and wife Maria De Jesus of Roswell, NM, Jose Julio Martinez and wife Micaela of Hagerman, NM, Mauro Martinez and wife Leticia of Las Cruces, NM, Roque Martinez and wife Alma of Pasco, WA, Delfino Martinez of Albuquerque, NM and Rodrigo Martinez and wife Elvira of Roswell, NM; daughter Maria Villa and husband Martin of Carlsbad, NM and brother Jesus Maria Olivas of Chihuahua, Chihuahua-Mexico. Also surviving her are many, many grandchildren.

Josefina Martinez was preceded in death by father Jesus Maria Olivas and Mother Teresa Villagran of Nonoava, Chihuahua- Mexico; husband Miguel Angel Martinez Holguin (lived in Hagerman, NM); daughter Bertha Lilia Martinez De Reyes of Chihuahua, Chihuahua-Mexico; sister Casilda Olivas De Martinez and husband Ulfrano Martinez “Fano” of Rio Grande, Chihuahua-Mexico; sisters Andrea Olivas De Caro and husband Manuel Caro of Chihuahua, Chihuahua-Mexico and Susana Olivas De Quesada and husband Eufebio Quesada of Chihuahua, Chihuahua-Mexico; brother Jenaro Olivas Villagran and Casilda Villalobos of Nonoava, Chihuahua- Mexico and grandson Armando Villa of Carlsbad, NM.

Serving as pallbearers will be her sons Miguel, Julio, Mauro, Roque, Delfino and Rodrigo.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com.

 

Carolyn Ann Stiff Nunnally

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On Friday, January 11, 2019, Carolyn Ann Stiff Nunnally passed away at the age of 63 surrounded by family.

Carolyn was born on July 1, 1955 in Roswell, NM.  On January 6th she celebrated 35 years of marriage with Jay Ray Nunnally at their home in Glen Rose, TX.  Together Carolyn and Jay raised their children Katie and Jay C.

Carolyn was a free spirit with an infectious smile and a generous heart.  She enjoyed the outdoors, painting, and playing with her grandchildren.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her mother Juanita Singer, father Glenn G. Stiff, and brother Garland G. Stiff.

She is survived by her husband Jay, daughter Katie and husband Josh Gill, son Jay C and wife Jessica Nunnally, and grandchildren Korey, Adleigh, and Ryder.

A celebration of life will be held on Friday January 18, 2019 at Grace Community Church in Southlake, TX at 1 p.m.  Flowers may be sent to Wiley Funeral Home in Glen Rose, TX.  In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to LUNGevity or The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in memory of Carolyn.

 

Nickie C Archuletta

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Nickie C Archuletta, 87, passed away on Monday, January 14, 2019, in Roswell, NM. Please take a moment and share a fond memory or kind expression of sympathy for Nickie’s family at www.andersonbethany.com.

Services: A Viewing for Nickie will be on Thursday, January 17, 2019, 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home. A Rosary will be recited immediately following Visitation, at 6:00 PM, also at Anderson Bethany. Mass will be at Assumption Catholic Church on Friday, January 18, 2019, at 2:30 PM. Burial to follow at South Park Cemetery.

On May 9, 1931, Nickie was born to Juan and Maria Pena Chavez in Tinnie, NM. Nickie was good at everything she attempted. She was a member of Assumption Catholic Church in Roswell, NM. Nickie was known as “Honey” by friends, family, and all those who loved her.

Surviving: Those blessed to carry on Nickie’s legacy are her children: Ramona Fernandez, Christine (Benjamin) Rodriguez, Henry (Elizabeth) Archuletta, Robert Archuletta, and Nadine (Alex) Laffoon; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and close friends.

Preceding: Nickie was preceded in death by her father and mother, Juan Chavez and Maria Ageda (Pena) Chavez; sisters: Epifania Gallegos, Beatrice Gallegos, Maria Inez Mendoza, Chris Colacion, and Inez Marquez; brothers, Domingo, Gregorio, and Isidro.

Honored to be chosen as pallbearers are: Benjamin Rodriguez, Alex Laffoon, Vincent Beltran, Gabriel Youngquist, Emilio Archuleta, and Christopher Whalin.

Honorary Pallbearers are: Xavier Laffoon and Joseph Abril.

 

Area legislators support US 380 changes

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Several area state legislators are supporting a bill prefiled for the 2019 session that seeks $15 million over five years to address safety concerns with a portion of U.S Highway 380 that have resulted in restrictions on large trucks and, according to some, hampered Chaves County businesses and Lincoln County ranchers and farmers.

“There are local merchants and local ranchers who depend on that highway to sell their goods and supplies and to ship their cattle to market,” says New Mexico District 59 Rep. Greg Nibert (R-Roswell). (Submitted Photo)

“It is not a route that would see a lot of interstate traffic, truck traffic in particular,” said District 59 Rep. Greg Nibert (R-Roswell). “But there are local merchants and local ranchers who depend on that highway to sell their goods and supplies and to ship their cattle to market.”

Nibert is part of a legislative group that includes District 66 Rep. Phelps Anderson (R-Roswell) supporting House Bill 223 and House Joint Memorial 3 sponsored by District 58 Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell (R-Roswell).

The bill requests $15 million from 2020 to 2025 to pay for studies, engineering designs and reconstruction of curves in the road from Carrizozo to Hondo so that trucks greater than 65 feet could travel on them. Any money not used for the project would be returned to the state’s general fund.

Their efforts follow years of controversy over the road, but received impetus from an August resolution passed unanimously by the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners to support legislation to “correct safety issues” for the portion of the road passing from Carrizozo to Hondo while also “maintaining preservation steps for historic Lincoln.”

Since at least 2001, New Mexico Department of Transportation has placed restrictions regarding that stretch of the highway, which in total — as it runs through the state — is about 687 miles long. A July “geometric and safety analysis” confirmed the continued need for restrictions, said Transportation Department spokesperson Manon Arnett.

“I believe there are nine curves between (Carrizozo) and Hondo that they (Transportation Department staff) believe are deficient in allowing trucks exceeding 65 feet in length to negotiate,” Nibert said, adding that not everyone agrees with that assessment.

Nibert said that some Roswell business people, including those who have store locations in Capitan and those involved in livestock auctions, have said that the restrictions make it difficult and more costly to do business. Lincoln County and Socorro County ranchers and farmers also have told Nibert that they have been cited by police when trying to ship their livestock or goods to market.

He said one cattle rancher was advised of alternate routes that would entail “only” about 80 more miles.

“Well, there were three cattle trucks,” said Nibert. “That’s $80 per cattle truck … that is a pretty substantial amount of money that would be out of the rancher’s pocket to increase that distance. Not only that, but you have additional time and, I guess, shrinkage of the cattle because they don’t eat or drink during the trip.”

He added that there have been complaints that smaller haulers have a difficult time obtaining the same permits that commercial truckers have received to allow them to use the route.

Elaine Allen, a Lincoln County commissioner who voted for the ordinance, said she also wants to ensure that whatever occurs in no way harms the historic buildings and the tourism economy of the town of Lincoln, which is well known for being the origin point of the Lincoln County wars and for the site of the jail where Billy the Kid was imprisoned and from which he escaped.

The town has an official historic district with several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

Allen said that excessive truck traffic could harm the older buildings, but Nibert said that the curves identified as safety concerns are not in Lincoln, so no reconstruction of U.S. 380 would occur there. He also said that studies have indicated that truck traffic will not harm the buildings as long as the trucks obey the slower speed limits in effect for the town.

“We are trying to be responsive to the requests of the folks in Lincoln County” he said, “and trying to be responsive to the folks here in Chaves County who are trying to keep their stores open and trying to keep prices from being increased if they have to send their trucks through Ruidoso and other points.”

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

Measure to create air authority among bills pre-filed

Roswell Daily Record

Another pre-filed bill for the 2019 legislative session seeks once again to give the city the ability to create an independent air authority to govern the Roswell International Air Center.

House Bill 229, the “Regional Air Center Special Economic District,” is sponsored by District 58 Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell (R-Roswell), one of the lead sponsors of the 2018 legislation that passed both the House and Senate with large margins before being vetoed by then-Gov. Susana Martinez, who had concerns with several provisions of the bill.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said in prior interviews that she intends to support such legislation if it reaches her desk.

The second push for the legislation, initially propelled by a task force created by the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp., has received the support of both the Roswell City Council and the Chaves County Board of Commissioners.

But Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh has expressed concerns about whether the air center can support itself financially if governed separately from the city and if appropriate “exit strategies” have been developed should the independent authority prove untenable.

Two economic feasibility studies in 1998 and 2017 on Roswell’s air center, which became city-owned in 1967 after the closure of the Walker Air Force Base, have recommended an independent governing board separate from the city government so that marketing, business development and organizational decisions would be untied from political processes.

As currently written, the 2019 legislation would apply to any city or county in New Mexico with an airfield that once belonged to a U.S. military branch.

The bill would allow for the formation of an air authority comprised of five to nine non-elected officials from the cities and counties surrounding the airfield. It also would give the air authority several rights, including the ability to issue revenue bonds, impose liens, hire employees and exercise eminent domain authority to take ownership of private property within its jurisdiction in exchange for payment.

Local lawmakers react to governor’s speech

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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gives her State of the State address during the opening of the New Mexico legislative session at the state Capitol in Santa Fe on Tuesday. (AP Photo / Craig Fritz)

Some area Republican lawmakers responded to New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s State of the State address by expressing hope about her desire for input from all state lawmakers, but expressed concerns about the price tag of her ambitious agenda.

With a surge in state revenue and Democrats in full control of state government for the first time in eight years, Lujan Grisham struck an optimistic note in her 40-minute speech, as she laid out a sweeping agenda on issues ranging from education and minimum wage hikes to gun safety, renewable energy and climate change.

“I believe this is an opportune moment, perhaps the greatest moment of opportunity in the history of the state, because we have the strength, and the vision and the willpower to deliver together,” Lujan Grisham said. “The state of our incredible state is enthusiastic, ambitious and ready.”

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, also expressed a desire to work with lawmakers on both sides of the partisan divide and for their input in shaping policy, something that area lawmakers welcomed.

“I was pleased to hear Governor Grisham promise to listen to all the legislative voices on the upcoming challenges of a balanced budget,” State Rep. Phelps Anderson, R-Roswell, said in a phone interview after the speech.

“Best of all, she spoke about working together on a host of issues,” he added.

State Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, said the level of spending Lujan Grisham is seeking is unrealistic. Last week, Lujan Grisham released an executive recommendation for a $7.1 billion budget in FY 2020, a 13 percent increase from existing levels.

“She has a very lofty agenda and we don’t have enough money in the state to pay for everything that she wants,” said Ezzell, who is chair of the House Minority Caucus.

New Mexico has seen a surplus in money coming into the state of about $1.1 billion this year, a break from recent years when the state struggled just to balance the budget.

The additional revenue is mostly due to increased oil and gas production in southeast New Mexico. Nibert said that while he does have some concerns, the additional money will provide the state with more latitude to restore funding to areas that had to be cut to keep the state budget balanced.

However, some of the state spending would not just be one-time infusions of cash, but new programs and obligations that would need to be funded each year going forward.

Democrats now hold a 46 to 24 majority in the New Mexico House and a 10-seat majority in the Senate, but Nibert said Republicans will likely continue raising questions about how the state will pay for policies that require investments each year, especially in years when the state does not see an influx in money.

Republicans will likely be a voice of spending restraint, and remind their colleagues that not too long ago the state faced a budget crunch, where it was a struggle to maintain existing programs and services in the state.

“How do we make these expenditures in lean years, if we add to the size of government in New Mexico,” Nibert asked?

Much of Lujan Grisham’s address emphasized the need for increased education funding.

“We are going to deliver a moonshot for public education in the state of New Mexico: A half billion dollars for our classrooms, new money, put to its best possible use, right now,” Lujan Grisham said in her speech.

Her proposals include a $500 million increase in public education funding, raising salaries for teachers across the board by 6 percent on top of raising by 10 percent the salaries of educators at every level, and a $12 minimum wage for all education personnel.

Lujan Grisham in her budget also calls for $60 million for universal pre-kindergarten, $5 million for pre-k classrooms from the state capitol budget, a nearly 200 percent increase in the state Indian Education Fund and $55 million for billingual and multicultural programs.

Nibert said that although he thinks there need to be dynamic changes in education, he thinks dollars also have to be spent more carefully.

He said he thinks many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are going to look critically at the numbers Lujan Grisham has stated in her address and budget recommendation, and ask whether such investments are sustainable.

Ezzell also objected to some of Lujan Grisham’s proposals on philosophical grounds, such as calls for universal pre-k.

“Three-year-olds going to school, are you kidding me? Do they not have anything to learn from their parents?” she asked.

“Where are the parents in the upbringing of this child?” she asked.

Area lawmakers were also critical of initiatives proposed by Lujan Grisham that would expand renewable energy.

In her address Lujan Grisham put forth the goal that the renewable energy sources be used for 50 percent of energy production in the state by 2030, and 80 percent by 2040.

Ezzell said such a proposal does not take into account the long term ramifications for southeast New Mexico, where oil and gas production is a major source of jobs.

“What does that do for the jobs that have been created by the oil and gas industry, by the agricultural community — do those just go away? What then?” she asked.

Nibert said he is also suspicious of Lujan Grisham’s claim that increasing renewables and other measures to lighten the state’s carbon footprint will bring in more money to the state. He said he is eager to see her plans, as to how increasing renewable energy sources will translate into more revenue for the state than what fossil fuels bring in.

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

City allows federal employees to postpone water bill payment

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In light of the ongoing partial governmental shutdown, the city of Roswell has implemented an interim program allowing federal employees to catch a break on their water bills during the current billing cycle.

A news release from the city stated that payment for these bills can be postponed for up to six months.

“During this period of time, these accounts will not be shut off for non-payment or receive any penalties for missed payments,” City Manager Joe Neeb said in an emailed statement to the Daily Record. “At the conclusion of the six-month period, the affected customers will be provided up to 12 months to bring their accounts current.”

A full implementation of the program is planned to be considered by the Roswell City Council’s Legal and/or Finance Committee later this month and early next month, according to the city manager. Neeb said the council may disagree with his position, halting the interim programs and “a catch-up process for those affected in this billing cycle will be implemented.”

Neeb said city customers wanting to participate in the program are required to provide identification and have their federal employee status verified. After this, interested customers can sign up at the Water Department at 415 N. Richardson Ave. and may call 624-6711 for information, as presented in the news release.

The news release stated that it will be mandatory for the customers taking advantage of the interim program, “to enter into a written plan for repayment similar to what is used with utility customers participating in other deferred-payment programs.”

“It’s not a huge huge amount, but it is something we can do that’s within our scope of services … “ Mayor Dennis Kintigh said.

Kintigh said there are federal employees who live in Roswell that work for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, Bureau of Land Management, the federal courthouse and more.

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

Cordless skill saw, camera among items reported stolen

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The following public records are from the Roswell Police Department and can be viewed at rpdp2c.org. All people arrested or cited are presumed innocent.

Arrest/arrest citations

Luzelia Romero was arrested Jan.1 at 1:03 a.m. at the 1600 block of Juniper Street and South Wyoming Avenue for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

Chase Daniel Potts was arrested at the 500 block of West Second Street and North Missouri Avenue Jan 1. at 11:51 p.m. for possession of marijuana.

Angelica Coronado was arrested for aggravated driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor at 1:14 a.m. Jan. 4 at the 2000 block of North Union and Karabella Way.

Dessirae Madrid was arrested for possession of marijuana at 1:52 p.m. Jan. 4 at the 500 block of East 2nd Street.

Bronson Clark was arrested at 4:06 p.m. Jan. 2 at the 3000 block of South Atkinson Street for bribery, intimidation of a witness and retaliation against witnesses.

Andres Rodriguez and Jessica Limon were arrested for possession of marijuana Jan. 2 at 10:15 p.m. at the 300 block of East Frazier Street.

Alex Sanchez was arrested for reckless driving Jan. 3 at 2:57 p.m. at the 100 block of East Bland Street and South Virginia Avenue.

Maria Aguero was arrested after she shoplifted $102.03 of merchandise at 7:09 p.m. Jan. 3 from a 1700 block of South Main Street business.

Lilly Chavez was arrested for robbery at the 1100 block of South Virginia and East McGaffey Street at 4:37 p.m. Jan. 6.

Joshua Bragg was arrested at 11:28 a.m. Jan. 7 at the 500 block of West 13th Street and North Missouri Avenue for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Alexandra Garcia was arrested for possession of marijuana at 9:18 a.m. Jan. 8 at the 200 block of South Main and East Alameda Street.

Alfredo Garcia was arrested at 11:20 a.m. Jan. 8 at the 3000 block of South Lea Avenue for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Larceny, theft

A 2017 gray Toyota and a handgun with a combined value of $25,500 were reported stolen from the 1600 block of East Alameda Street Jan. 1 at 1:27 a.m.

A white 2000 Ford pickup truck with a value of $5,000 was reported stolen Jan 2. at 11 a.m. from the 2200 block of South Sunset Avenue.

$400 in cash was reported stolen and a combined $500 of damage was done to a green 1996 Sierra GMC pickup and a cellphone at 11:16 a.m. Jan. 2 at the 800 block of North Ohio Avenue.

A compact saw, a drill with batteries, a framing gun, a staple gun, an air compressor, an air compressor hose and a skill saw with a combined value of $1,115 were reported stolen from the 900 block of South Elm Avenue Jan. 3 at 9:25 p.m.

Four firearms with a combined value of $1,000 were reported stolen at 3:25 p.m. Jan. 5 from 300 East Summit Street.

A 2001 silver Chevy Blazer was reported stolen from the 500 block of West New Mexico Drive at 12:43 a.m. Jan. 5.

Body spray, DVDs, two Newberry dolls, underwear and a hat with a combined value of $110.41 were reported stolen during a 6:06 p.m. shoplifting call, Jan. 5, from a 1700 South Main Street business.

Costume jewelry and underwear with a combined value of $141.21 were reported stolen at 7:02 p.m. Jan. 5 from a 2000 block of North Main Street business.

A Nylon tool bag, an M18 cordless drill, an M18 cordless skill saw, a corded saw, various tools, vise grips, Channel Locks, medical scissors, medical tweezers, a screwdriver, wire cutters, a Grinder box set, a stream light, a propane tank, a burner heater, a snap-on socket set, a ratchet extended handle and a wrench ratchet set with a combined value of $1,717 were reported stolen at 8:18 a.m. Jan. 7 from the 100 block of South Main Street.

An Apple iPhone with a value of $700 was reported stolen at 10:40 p.m. Jan. 6 from the 1200 block of West 2nd Street.

A white Samsung camera valued at $100 was reported stolen at 5:34 p.m. Jan. 7 from the 2000 block of Emerald Drive.

Four bras with a combined value of $150 were reported stolen from the 4500 block of North Main Street at 8:07 p.m. Jan. 7.

An officer responded to a call at 11:27 a.m. Jan. 10 from a 4000 block of North Main Street business in reference to an embezzlement of shoes and candy with a combined value of $114.78.

A sum of $185 in cash along with a wallet, a multi-tool chain, a social security card and a debit card with a combined value of $22 were reported stolen from the 1900 block of North Main Street at 3:36 p.m. Jan. 10.

Land Office seeks funding for more managers, renewable energy office

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The newly elected commissioner for the New Mexico State Land Office is asking for funding for four new oil and gas district resource managers and to establish an Office of Renewable Energy.

Due to increased oil and gas operations in the southeastern part of the state, additional personnel are necessary to handle the workload and provide adequate oversight, according to a press release by Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard.

The release also stated that the formal creation of an Office of Renewable Energy within the Commercial Division will enable the Land Office to develop a more diverse and sustainable revenue source for the state land trust.

The budget requests total $452,000 and would be paid through revenue the Land Office generates each year.

“With hundreds of thousands of acres of state trust land prime for renewable energy projects, New Mexico has an opportunity to become the leader in wind and solar,” Garcia Richard said. “I ran on a promise to advance renewable energy projects throughout the state, and creating the Office of Renewable Energy is just the first step in bringing that to fruition.”

With the 2019 legislative session beginning today, the fiscal year 2020 Land Office budget request will be up for debate and consideration for the next 60 days.

Goddard pushes Roswell to the limit

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Roswell’s Nate Dutchover takes it to the hoop against Goddard Tuesday night. The Coyotes won the rivalry game, 80-71. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

No one expected the effort that was given by the Goddard Rockets against their nemesis, the Roswell Coyotes. In a game that started with a frantic pace, with both teams diving on the floor for loose balls and bodies flying all around to steal passes and grab rebounds, most fans were surprised at the fight shown by the Rockets as they led at the end of the first quarter, 16-15.

The game was nip and tuck with the lead being exchanged several times. In the first half, both teams had players playing with three fouls as Goddard’s Jonah “Little General” Chavez was fearless in breaking Roswell’s press. After he would break the press, he would drive the lane and make a shot or set up his teammate for a three-pointer or a layup.

Matching Roswell score for score was Goddard big man Derek Carrica, who neutralized Roswell’s inside game and was a force in the first half.

The game was tied 24-24 when Chavez was diving for a loose ball and called for a foul. Chavez had two fouls on him and then was called for a personal foul and a technical with 4:30 left in the second quarter. Chavez had to sit for the rest of the half and all of the third quarter.

“When I got that foul they were pulling me down,” Chavez said. “I said to the referee that’s a foul both ways and then he T’d me up, which hurt us because that was my fourth foul.”

Goddard coach Anthony Mestas had to alter his aggressive strategy when that happened. With his floor leader on the bench it was a game changer — and no matter how many comebacks the Rockets made it wasn’t enough to stop the Coyotes Dominic Nava and Taymon Burrola as they led the way to a Coyote victory, 80-71, at Ground Zero Tuesday night.

“We just didn’t play very good,” Roswell coach Moses “Dude” Burrola said. “We didn’t play very good and they were ready for the press. They were prepared and they did a good job, it’s hard to win on the road. We were able to get it done.”

Roswell (13-4) was shorthanded Talon Sanders, who did not dress for the game, and their bench was depleted. The Coyotes were in foul trouble but managed to get scoring from Rhett Stokes, who hit a big three-pointer and was aggressive at the front of their press. In the second quarter after the call on Chavez, Xavier Garcia dominated, hitting a 3 three-pointer in the quarter. Brandon Montanez would drive the length of the court and score an uncontested layup against Roswell’s defense — and then on a stolen pass and a basket to tie the score 36-36 with 1:35 until halftime.

“We played a good game,” Montanez said. “We just couldn’t make bunnies or free throws. We should have shot way better on free throws. I had to get the team back on track after the technical foul. We have to regroup for Saturday’s game.”

Goddard (9-8) had no answers for Roswell’s point guard in Burrola, as he scored four points in a row to give the Coyotes a 42-37 lead at halftime.

In the second half, Goddard’s team continued to press and closed the gap to 63-58 when Garcia hit a three — it was as close as they would come as Roswell would spread the floor and go four corners, forcing Goddard to foul.

“If we can play like we played tonight,” Mestas said. “If we can play like that against Chaparral, and the play like that against Clovis at the Rock and get a win over there and try to get one against Santa Teresa and go into the district on a little win streak, that’s what we want to do.”

Goddard returns to action on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against Chaparral at Ground Zero.

Roswell is at the Coyote Den at 7 p.m. against Santa Teresa.

Goddard dominates rival in final meeting

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Goddard’s Bailey Beene goes up for a shot Tuesday night against Roswell High. The Lady Rockets defeated the Lady Coyotes, 53-39. (Steve Notz Photo)

It has taken some time for the Lady Rockets to find their big three, but it is beginning to take shape. Let’s see, you have all-everything senior Bailey Beene doing her best LeBron James impression as she comes from behind and swats shots away preventing an easy two points.

Then, Beene is not afraid to lead the fast break or give an assist out to a teammate — and none more impressive than when she drove the lane and threw a behind-the-back pass to teammate Lacie Schooley for an easy two points with 35.8 seconds left in the game against rival Roswell.

What the Lady Rockets did to Roswell wasn’t right, they had their way with them and forced them into an almost desperate state at times in running their offense.

Roswell had trouble passing the ball and getting into their offense. Goddard’s defense was so dominant that they held Roswell to four points in the first quarter, setting the tone for the game. When they were able to get free looks they would miss easy layups or hurried their jumpers as Goddard suffocated the Coyotes with their defense on the way to a 53-39 win.

“We have to play better to start the game,” Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez said. “Can’t dig out of a hole like that against a quality opponent. We are going to have to learn to finish around the rim better too. We had some opportunities to cut into the lead and we didn’t take them. I thought Goddard shot the ball extremely well to start the game and we took some shots that may have been a little too deep to start. So we were settling too quickly. I’m gonna be real happy to see Bailey Beene graduate, she’s a hell of a player.”

The other big two are starting to come together nicely as sophomore Lacie Schooley has become a dominant rebounder and is able to give the team extra opportunities by keeping the ball alive, and she will even look to score. One of her biggest assets is she can get out and run the floor, causing mismatches for the other team’s center.

Alexis Sandoval is starting to get comfortable and find her groove as a freshman, with the way she is handling the ball and taking the big shots when she has an open look. As with all of Neighbors’ teams they are starting to hone in and play their best basketball when it comes to district and playoff time. Not only are those three players starting to stand out, but coach Neighbors is getting good defense from Tanya Ueland and Alma and Cielo Salinas as well. The quarterback of the team getting them into the right sets is senior PJ Villareal.

“Two years ago we won state,” Neighbors said, “ last year we won the district. This program feels a responsibility to carry on the tradition. One thing unique about our program is everyone cares about each other and does their best everyday. We have 13 kids on this team and no one is more important than the next. People only see the ones on the court, but our bench is amazing in practice and keeping the energy in games. We are lucky to have people that care so much about the tradition we are building here. To sweep a program like Roswell is a testament to these girls and the preparation they put in every day. Bailey played like the dominant player she is, having Lacie (Schooley) and Alexis (Sandoval) step up in scoring was amazing. PJ, (Villareal) Tanya, (Ueland) and Cielo’s (Salinas) defense and poise was tremendous … total team effort.”

Goddard will be off until they play at Hereford Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Roswell will travel to Santa Teresa on Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.

‘Wall’ would have same shortcomings as existing fence

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In a previous letter I identified Donald Trump’s mental deficiencies as personality disorders. After reading Mr. Burleson’s letter in the Tuesday edition of the RDR I realized I was wrong. If insanity is defined as doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results, Trump is definitely a bona fide mental case.

Using drones with artificial intelligence and existing detection and tracking technologies we could provide almost foolproof border protection for hundreds of dollars per mile. Trump’s “wall” — which is actually just a taller fence — is projected to cost some $25 million dollars per mile. The Trump “wall” would have the same shortcomings as the existing fence, so would require the same electronic surveillance in order to provide any measurable improvement in the level of security.

Under the guise of protecting the lives of Americans Trump has shut down our government in an attempt to force funding for a “wall” that would be just as easy to go over, under and around as the existing border fence.

If Trump were indeed interested in protecting American lives I would think he would focus on our 70,000 overdose deaths, our 40,000 gun-related deaths or maybe the high veteran suicide rate.

To spend taxpayer dollars on a duplicate border fence that would provide virtually no improvement in our security is insane.

John Grogan
Roswell

McIlroy talks with Sertoma about school district election

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Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy, superintendent of the Roswell Independent School District, and Roswell Sertoma Club President David Gomez at a recent club meeting. (Submitted Photo)

Dr. Ann Lynn Mcllroy, Roswell Independent School District superintendent, spoke to the Roswell Sertoma Club about the upcoming election concerning the general obligation bond issue and the SB-9 mill levy, which would provide continued funding to the school district.

These periodic elections provide for renovating and furnishing school facilities, as well as meeting other needs. The state will add funds for the local district to the GO bonds if locals support the effort. The SB-9 mill levy will be a renewal of the current one, no tax increase.

This is the first time a “mail-in” ballot will be used for the election. All registered voters should receive a ballot in the mail and must return signed and completed ballots postmarked no later than Feb. 5.

The Roswell Sertoma Club encourages a student’s further education by providing 25 $500 college scholarships each semester. To support these activities, the club conducts a Bingo operation on Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at 303 N. Virginia Ave.

Anyone wishing to join the club is welcome to attend one of its Friday meetings at noon at the Elks Lodge. Forms to apply for assistance can be found on the club’s website, roswellsertoma.org.

Need help navigating digital resources?

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Did you recently get a new mobile device or laptop? Having trouble with an old one? Still not sure how to use the library’s digital resources? Come by the Roswell Public Library every Tuesday from 2-3 p.m. to get help from our knowledgeable staff on navigating the basics of your device and learning about the digital resources the library has to offer.

For more information, you can visit the website at http://roswell-nm.gov/405/, call 575-622-7101 or like us on Facebook.

‘Book Talk’ by Robert Briggs,
circulation supervisor

Now that the holidays are over and people have finally gotten over the sugar rush of Christmas goodies and jolly good times with friends and family, one might realize that they are basically hungover from the effects of all that joy and cheer. Having no contact with anything that isn’t cute or happy from the end of Thanksgiving to the first of the year can wear on a person, and they may wish to explore things that aren’t so gag-inducing. The library is the perfect place to explore the more macabre side of human imagination.

Anne Rice’s vampire books have always been a bloody good time, and “Blood Communion” is no different. Prince Lestat has risen to become monarch of the vampire world. His charisma has granted him devotion from the vampire masses, though he is not without his enemies, and being an Anne Rice book set in a universe that includes spirits, witches, and yes, vampires, his enemies are not bound by the normal rules of reality.

Still, even though it may seem that the rules of nature are bent for Lestat’s reality, it is not without its rules. Lestat himself means to make his kingdom less of a complete dictatorship and more of a constitutional monarchy. This is not to say that this book is only about Lestat’s political turmoil, though political turmoil with vampires is fascinating, in and of itself.

“Blood Communion” still has the darker setting that readers have come to expect from Rice’s work, and they will be every bit as pleased with this book as they were when they picked up “Interview with the Vampire” decades ago. Check this book out from the Adult Fiction section of the library, under “Rice.”

Stephen King is, in fact, king of horror. One of his newer novels, “The Outsider”, demonstrates this with its mix of murder-mystery intrigue and supernatural suspense.

In this novel, the grisly murder of a young boy in Flint City, Oklahoma upheaves the community, sending the public into a panic as a well-respected little league baseball coach, Terry Maitland, is arrested in front of a crowd during a baseball game. In spite of Maitland having an alibi, almost all evidence points to his guilt, and his family is ill-prepared for the following harassment from reporters looking to turn the tragedy into a media circus. Even more horrifying is the influence of “The Outsider” — a man (or entity) who seems to be able to manipulate people by exploiting their worst fears and promising to grant their wishes.

This book starts off detailing the procedures police take when investigating a crime, but it soon becomes clear that more than a simple murder took place. It takes the natural fears of harm coming to children, and being accused of something horrible, to create an intense experience that all Stephen King fans have come to expect. This book may be checked out from the Large Print section of the library, under “King,” or it may be downloaded as an audiobook through Overdrive.

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