Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Dear Friends,

We have finally completed the transition to the new blog site at www.roncamunez.com. As you can see we have really updated the features and now offer advertising to business, individuals, candidates and others.

I am very pleased how my blog has been received by you, the faithful readers and sponsors.

I will be trying to provide the latest in city and county news and views with additional guest columns posting in the future.

As always, I welcome comments and suggestions and would ask that even if you have something negative to say, please keep it respectful and factual.

The intent is keep Las Crucens and county residents informed and providing some light-hearted stories and historical data as well.

Again, I thank you and look forward to keep on blogging!

Monday, September 14, 2009


As was mentioned last week, The Las Cruces Connection was planning to move to it's new location at www.roncamunez.com starting today, however my administrator is still trying to complete the transition.

I will keep my readers informed as to when the move will take place.

In the meantime, I want to thank all of you who have supported this blog and I ask that you continue to support it by telling family and friends about it.

I will continue to provide insight to city and county government forever stressing "What is the legitimate role of government?"

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to email me at wroncamunez@yahoo.com or ron@roncamunez.com.

Friday, September 11, 2009


"A USA Today poll found that more than two thirds of Americans view 9/11 as the most memorable news event of their lifetime. Far from pressing it neatly between the pages of a heavy book, to be retrieved only on special occasions, the day in memory has gained in power and urgency. Nearly one third said the event changed the way they lived — which is up from 18% five years ago, as though it was possible to see the change, or at least safe to admit it without having to swat away charges that "the terrorists win" if you do anything differently.

"The mass murder remains, more than ever, a collage of personal tragedies. The names are read out one at a time, people march with buttons bearing the face of the one they lost, lay a wreath at a memorial. Thirteen candles lit in the church that lost 13 members. People make mourning small enough to capture and coax into service: myGoodDeed.org was launched as the micromemorial, a vehicle for people to use the day to do something for someone else. So far 284,185 people have pledged a good deed, to donate blood, take clothes to the Goodwill, knit socks for soldiers, skip lunch and give the money away.

"There are many people, of course, who don't need to be reminded to remember. There are the moms sending children who never met their fathers off to their first day of kindergarten. There are the first responders who are discovering that they are sick and in need of treatment, including 2000 New York City fire fighters. There are the presidential candidates who regularly patrol the sacred ground; Giuliani goes there in every speech, Edwards talked about confronting terrorism a few blocks from Ground Zero, and the entire political debate this week is wrapped around the progress of a war that magnifies memory and distorts it. The 9/11 attack united us; the response to it divides us.

The homefront remains on alert, but in a leisurely, one-eye-open kind of way. Police at the Pentagon scrape the air for signs of radiation or chemical attack, track the wind direction to guide escaping employees. But 9/11 Commission chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton used the anniversary to remind people that security remains a shield with holes. Most air cargo is still not screened, the high-tech bomb detectors are indefinitely delayed, and Congress demands tighter standards for drivers' licenses but won't fund them. The broadcast industry has until 2009 to turn over the spectrum that rescuers need to beam signals through concrete and steel.

"Some people fear complacency; others fear forgetting. Others have only limited space in memory, and the day is overwritten by the events that followed, by war and hurricane and every family's private trials. But the record can't be erased, any more than a year can have 364 days, and anything can bring it back full screen, like a glance at a skyline, a siren in the distance, a prayer that comes as reflex as you walk to work and remember the day they never came home. (Time Magazine)

Friends, today as we mark the 8th Anniversary of that "imfamous" day that forever changed America, let us never forget this tragedy and the loss of lives. Please remember our men and women in uniform who are defending our interests around the world and our devoted Police and Fire personnel who vigilantly watch over the citizens of Las Cruces.

Let me encourage everyone to attend the City of Las Cruces memorial ceremony this evening at 5:00 p.m. at Apodaca Baseball Field located on Madrid off of Solano.

May God continue to bless the United States of America!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


On Monday, September 14th the Las Cruces Connection will be moving to its new site at www.roncamunez.com. The change will afford my readers ease of searching for articles and blog links utilizing the latest technology. We will be offering advertising space for local businesses, during political season to candidates, and other advertising opportunities as well.

A special thank you to Robert Paggett with "The Market Store" for his services in making this move possible.

I also want to encourage readers to submit articles, questions or special requests for information you would like to see on my blog.

Thanks to all of you who have supported my efforts to bring information regarding the great City of Las Cruces.

We look forward to your continued support and share the "Connection" with those on your email lists.

W. Ron Camunez

Tuesday, September 8, 2009



The Las Cruces City Council will meet today at 1:00 p.m. at City Council Chambers. The meeting scheduled today is to make up for the Labor Day holiday.


In a press release issued by the Office of the Public Information Officer for the City of Las Cruces:

"State Taxation and Revenue Secretary Rick Homans and Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima announced on Friday, September 4th the release of a special license plate in recognition of New Mexico’s second largest city and to help fund Las Cruces’ recreation programs.

"The new license plate featuring sunrise over the Organ Mountains will be available to Las Cruces city residents only. The Las Cruces license plate will be issued at all MVD offices and private contractors in Las Cruces and the surrounding areas.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase one of our beautiful cities that has a storied history, culture and tradition,” said Secretary Homans. “We are also making history as this is the first time ever the Motor Vehicle Division has issued a license plate named for a city in New Mexico.”

“Having our own license plate is significant in two very important areas,” said Mayor Miyagishima. “First, it would be unique only to Las Cruces, helping the community brand itself. And secondly, it would generate much needed revenue for the city’s recreation programs.”

"The New Mexico Legislature passed a bill to create a Las Cruces license plate that was signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson during the 2008 Legislative session. State Representative Nathan Cote, of Las Cruces, sponsored the bill in the House and State Senator Mary Jane Garcia, of Dona Ana County, carried the legislation in the Senate.

In February, the Las Cruces City Council approved the design for the new City of Las Cruces license plate that features both the Organ Mountains and the City’s three crosses logo. Las Cruces artist Leesa Mandlman designed the license plate.

The plates would only be issued to Las Cruces residents. Each license plate will cost $37 each, and $25 of which will go towards the City of Las Cruces’ recreation fund. MVD would retain $10 for the manufacture and issuance of the plates and $2 is for transaction fee."


The City of Las Cruces will mark the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States with a Patriot Day ceremony Friday, September 11th from
5 – 6 p.m. at the Apodaca Park baseball field, 801 E. Madrid in Las Cruces.

The ceremony will consist of patriotic music by the Mayfield High School Varsity Singers, and a keynote address by Col. Bruce Lewis (Retired), former commander of the White Sands Test Center, who was at the Pentagon on the day of the attacks.

Represented at the ceremony will be members of the Las Cruces Police and Fire Departments, local dignitaries and Boy Scouts of America.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on Sept. 5, 1883

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Please have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend!

Source: Wikepedia - U.S. Department of Labor

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Memorial Medical Center will offer "Seasonal Flu Shots" on October 10th. The annual immunization drive will be on "a first come" bases.

The immunization for the H1N1 (Swine Flu) in late October or early November. This inoculations will be given in a series of two (2) shots when available.

The priority for H1N1 distribution of the shots will be: 1) Pregnant Women, 2) Chronically ill individuals, 3) Caregivers, 4)First Responders, and 5) Medical/Clinic/Hospital Personnel. Continual updates will be given by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as the flu season progresses.

Memorial Medical Center is now restricting patient visitors to only individuals over 13-years of age. MMC discourages any individuals who may have any flu/cold symptoms to not visit patients.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


"We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd like better.

"I'd really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

"I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

"I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.
And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

"It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

"I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

"I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room,but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him.

"When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him/her.

"I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

"On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

"If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.

"I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

"When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

"I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy\girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

"I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it.. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend

"I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing with them.

"May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

"I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

"These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

"Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I'm here for you. And if I die before you do, I'll go to heaven and wait for you.

"We secure our friends, not by accepting favors, but by doing them."

Friday, August 28, 2009


Today marks the 47th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" that he delivered on the Mall of Washington, D.C.

His powerful words began a movement which has lead to opening the doors for blacks, Hispanics, women and others who were discriminated due to color, religion, etc.

"I have dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal."

Martin Luther Luther King concluded his famous "I have a dream" speech with the following words:

"Let freedom ring from every hill and molehil of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

"When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty we are free at last."

With government taking control business, our health, the future of our children and their children, I would ask today, "How free are we today?" What will be next...religion, speech, personal liberty, the right to bear arms?"

My friends, we are living in a very trying period of American history and we need more men and women to speak out against governmental intrusion. We need to take back the citadels of power from the local and state levels to Washington, D.C. We must continue to the battle cry, "Let freedom ring" from the North, South, East and West, "Let freedom ring" from "shore to shining shore."

May the song we sing "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrims' pride, from every mountainside,let freedom ring."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the "liberal lion" of the United States Senate and haunted bearer of the Camelot torch after two of his brothers fell to assassins' bullets, has died at his home last night in Hyannis Port at the famous Kennedy Compound, after battling a brain tumor. He was 77.

For nearly a half-century in the Senate, Kennedy was a steadfast champion of the working class and the poor, a powerful voice on health care, civil rights, and war and peace. To the American public, though, he was best known as the last surviving son of America's most glamorous political family, the eulogist of a clan shattered again and again by tragedy.

Sen. Kennedy was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1965 where he assumed the same seat as his brother, President John F. Kennedy.

His family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday.

"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," the statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all."

No matter what one's political view, the country has lossed a "political giant" who took upon himself to speak for those who had no voice and lead the charge on domestic social issues such as education, health care, welfare, etc. He was the third longest serving Senator in the history of Congress.

The real question will be who will be selected to replace him?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Early voting begins today, August 25th in Doña Ana County for a special election to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 22nd to decide on whether to continue a 1/4%sales tax that supports the county’s volunteer fire department.

Early voting begins today and will continue from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through Sept. 18, and there will be voting available on on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to a news release from the county. All early voting will be done at the Doña Ana County Government Center.

The deadline to register to vote is 5 p.m. today. The deadline to request an absentee ballot has already passed.

If you are a resident of the City of Las Cruces, the Village of Hatch, the Town of Mesilla and the City of Sunland Park you are not eligible to vote in this election. Only voters whose registered addresses are in unincorporated areas of the county will be allowed to votes.

On Election Day, polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. For a list of consolidated polling places contact the Bureau of Elections at (575) 647-7428.


"Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ablility to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.

"More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.

"Primarily, this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed through their own stubborness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

"True, they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit,they have proposed only the lending of more money.

"They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish."

"The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

"Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort."

This is part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's First Inaugural Address delivered on March 4, 1933 in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Governor Bill Richardson addressed community, education and business leaders at the Quarterly Luncheon sponsored by the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce.

Richardson, became his comments by saying that he was excited that in joint cooperation with Dona Ana Community College / NMSU and the Las Cruces Public Schools will be offering college level courses to local high school students during their final semesters in the hopes of retaining them for university education.

The Governor made reference to the State's budget shortfall and the impact it will have on school districts in NM.

Earlier, Las Cruces School Superintendent Stan Rounds has said that the local district would lose $10 Million in cuts if the State didn't ensure some funding this year.

Richardson said that he has met with State Legislative leaders to discuss a date and agenda for a special session to be held sometime in October 2009.

Though Richardson said that it was important for the future of NM schools and other critical projects to maintain their funding levels, has failed to answer the question on every ones mind...."How is he going to pay for this and where is the funding source coming from?"

At times the Governor was reluctant regarding the possible cuts, he still said that he wants the special session to only address the financial shortfall facing the State's economy and would only provide items to the legislature to address the budgetary shortfall.

The Governor continued to address the audience in various issues and projects facing Dona Ana County and took the opportunity to speak about the transportation system in New Mexico including the RailRunner and the possibility to have a rail system in Las Cruces to El Paso. He also stated that he has had meetings with the Governor's of Texas and Colorado to discuss a joint ventures in joining the three States in a rail commuter system in the future. However, during his presentation, he continually referred to education. He said that education would be the priority of his final year and a half in office.

Richardson spoke for about 45 minutes and there were no opportunities for the attendees to ask the Governor questions.

I believe that the Special Session will be a challenging one and that there will be opposition regarding any tax increases under the current turbulent economic crisis.


Friday, August 21, 2009


"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help little men by tearing down big men. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves." Abraham Lincoln, 1861

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Governor Bill Richard will be speaking at the Third Quarterly Luncheon today hosted by the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Days Inn & Suites Columbus Conference Center, 901 Avenida de Mesilla.

Admission is $15 for Chamber members for those who RSVP, $17 without RSVP or $20 for non-members and is payable at the door or in advance with credit card. Check-in begins at 11:15 a.m. For information contact the Chamber office at (575)524-1968.

Governor Richardson, will be giving the first State Update for the Chamber. Richardson will speak about stimulus monies that are coming into the state, the budget shortfalls, the possibility of a special session and development opportunities that are growing throughout the state, including Spaceport America and the Rail Runner.

I will be reporting on his remarks later on this blog.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The Las Cruces City Council voted 4-2 Monday to indefinitely table the El Paso Electric Company franchise agreement even though Councilor Nathan Small who made the motion to indefinitely table the item, fully understood the implications of his action that this would lead to having to renegotiate.

Let me state that I was appointed by City Council to serve on the AdHoc Committee to provide direction on the agreement. The AdHoc Committee worked for over 5-months to provide subsitive and innovative ideas which were never included in the franchise's before.

The Franchise Agreement was the result of long and hard negotiations by the City's negotiating teams that went beyond the traditional Franchise issues and included the following unique provisions:

1. The Franchise would establish a unique "rental of right-of-way" calculation instead of the flat 2% flat fee. This could have raised additional revenue for the City and help the City with a more predictable income stream.

2. Involve the City in El Paso' Electric Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) process and long term planning.

3. Establish a Joint Committee between the City of Las Cruces and El Paso Electric to review and discuss technological advances, plans for transmission corridors, prototype rate design, energy conservation and education and other issues that might arise during the term of the agreement.

4. Provide priorities for "critical" infra-structure to be targeted if there is a wide spread and lengthy power outage.

These are just to name a few of the unique changes in the agreement.

What is so disturbing to me and others is that Councilors Nathan Small,Sharon Thomas and Dolores Archuleta, and Mayor Ken Miyagishima - who was quoted in the Las Cruces Sun-News prior to Monday's meeting that he would "recommend a vote to table of the agreement" voted to indefinitely postpone a council decision on a franchise agreement with the utility. Councilors Miguel Silva and Gil Jones voted against the motion to table, and Councilor Dolores Connor, whose husband works for El Paso Electric, abstained.

I believe that in making his decision via the media, the Mayor, sent a clear message to the Council of his decision to table the issue, thereby raising a legal question if this constitutes a "rolling poll" in an indirect mannner.

Mayor stated that while he was pleased with many of the issues worked out in the proposed agreement, he was concerned that the City's ability to take advantage of purchase-power agreements was not included.

"This is leverage, plain and simple. It's all we've got," the Mayor stated directly to me when presenting my comments to Council. He continued, "It would be irresponsible not to investigate it (purchase-power agreements). ...We owe it to our residents to take the time and examine all of the opportunities."

Mayor Miyagashima stated that there could be possible substantial savings to the City and customers if the City and El Paso Electric could develop purchase power agreements. Currently the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission (PRC) is reviewing the matter and will determine if State laws allows or prohibits such agreements.

Mayor Miyagashima expressed that he was confident that the process would not take more than six months.

However, City Attorney Fermin Rubio, and City Clerk Esther Martinez told the council that an indefinite table can only last as long as the current council remains in office. Municipal elections for three of the seven council seats will be conducted Nov. 3, and any pending action by the current council would only be allowed until Nov. 16, when a new council begins it duties.

"Anything after that would have to be introduced as a completely new matter," said Martinez, referring to Nov. 16.

State Senator Steve Fischmann said, "I believe what we have now doesn't quite get us there," referring to the Franchise Agreement. "This is a good chance to take six months, (and) reach a good agreement. I don't think we're sacrificing anything."

However, Dan Townsend, a fellow member of the AdHoc Committee disagreed with the proposal to table the matter and with Fischmanns arguments.

As stated in the Las Cruces Sun-News by Steve Ramirez in this morning edition he quoting me..."Winter is coming and we don't know how long the PRC is going to take," Camunez said. "Delaying this may hurt the citizens. They (El Paso Electric) have acted in good faith and we (the city) have acted in good faith. We need to go in the right direction."

Dan Townsend added, "I'm afraid some of the objections are peripheral items that do not belong in the franchise agreement." Dan further stated that this could hurt the City economically. "I really think a delay is not in the public interest," Dan concluded.

What does City Councils actions mean for the Citizens of Las Cruces:

1. If no formal action is taken by the second meeting in November, when a new Council will be seated, the franchise agreement would have to be reintroduced.

2. El Paso Electric could seek to have a franchise agreement renegotiated with the City.

3. A majority of the council appears to want more clarification about purchase power agreements before deciding on a franchise agreement. Only the NM Public Regulations Commission (PRC)can provide guidance and legal clarification.

4. The city will continue to operate on a month-to-month agreement with El Paso Electric for at least the next two years or as defined by state statute or legal rulings (Moongate Water Case).

In conclusion, the City Council appointments committees, boards, adhoc committees, etc. however, they won't take there recommendations from this groups, which include City Councilors and decide to make up their own rules as they go along. This is unacceptable. There were 9 open meetings of the AdHoc Committee for public input, however only one member of the public attended most of the meetings. It was not until the June public meeting to present the Franchise Agreement for public review, did detractors appear and participated in my opinion in "grandstanding" tactics. My question to them "Why wait until the last minute.?" The AdHoc Committee would have been willing to work and address, if possible, some of their issues and concerns.

I now question the effective of City Boards, Committees, etc. and the need to waste citizen's time and staff resources on acts of futility if Council doesn't take direction and guidance from it's own Citizens.

I feel that a tremendous about of time, human resources and staff resources to have Council table and important issue as utility issues is very troubling and should raise some serious questions about the motivations of the majority of City Council.

Weren't they elected the "represent" all the citizens of Las Cruces, not just a small vocal minority as we see they do on a regular basis?

I just hope that we haven't lost the wonderful provisions that we were able to add to the unique Franchise Agreement with El Paso Electric Company.

Come November 4th with Municipal Elections, maybe we can use the ballot box to make some clear changes.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember, or over throw it. I cannot be ignorant of the fact that many worthy and patriotic citizens are desirous of have the constitution amended. While I make no recommendation of the amendments, I fully recognize the rightful authority of the people over the whole subject, to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should, under existing circumstances, favor than oppose a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it..."

These words were spoken by President Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1861 in Washington, D.C. at his first Inauguration. President Lincoln fully understood the rights of Americans and he sided with their right to disagree with government.

I wonder what the media would do to him for uttering these words?

This week we have seen and heard Americans expressing their Constitutional right of "Freedom of Speech and Assembly." Yet, the media and others have "be cried" the public right to voice their objections to their elected representatives concerning the Healthcare Bill.

Though I don't agree in violence or criminal threats, I do agree that we all have a right to express our dissatisfaction with our government....no matter how vocal or loud the dissent may be.

Our elected "representative" or to represent us, their bosses. They are to hear the concerns of their constituents and provide meaningful answers to serious questions.
I am concerned when those "representatives" fail to meet with the people and try to correct their mistakes in failing policies.

The issue is not Republican or Democrat...is about a government "of the people, by the people and for the people."

This week I had the opportunity to attend several meetings in the area including the Border Security Conference sponsored by UTEP and attended the keynote given by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano whose remarks were eye-opening to say the least.

Congressman Harry Teague attended a joint meeting of the Las Cruces Home Builders Association, Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce and Las Cruces Association of Realtors Boards of Directors and community leaders. There were strong questions asked but there were "no shouting matches" going on. Just democracy in action.

How soon we forget the "rioting in Watts," "the Democratic National Convention in Chicago," "The Million Man March on Washington," "Civil Rights Demonstrations," "Bra Burnings," "Anti-War Demonstrations," and other highly emotionally charged issues that Americans have "LOUDLY AND VIOLENTLY" voiced their dissatisfaction with current Administrations.

When we forget the past, we lose our future. We are a Republic Government formed by our Founding Fathers who understood the "right to object." They lost life, property and all for the freedom to assembly and freely speak.

Let us never lose sight of what makes America Great...our Constitutional Rights of Free Speech, Assembly, Religion, the Right to Bear Arms, etc. We should rejoice in the fact that we can oppose our Government as is our right.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Congressman Harry Teague spoke to local leaders representing the Home Builders Association, Las Cruces Association of Realtors and the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce who were invited to ask the Congressman about the proposed Health Care Plan Bill.

A number of local business and community leaders gathered at the Las Cruces Home Builders Association yesterday afternoon to express their concerns as to how the Health Care would impact their businesses and employees.

Congressman Teague stated from the beginning in his opening remarks that he has some serious concerns with the legislation and he had addressed his concerns in a letter to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

When asked if he had read the Bill (which is over 1000 pages) he answered, "I sat for seven (7) hours as it was read to me." He further stated that "no Congressman has the excuse that they didn't know what is in the Bill as they had the Bill read also."

Congressman Teague answered very tough questions from the various leaders in attendance and answered their questions, however some still didn't agree with them.

John Hummer, President of the Chamber of Commerce and owner of Steinborn Realty moderated the question and answer session.

One interesting point raised by Isaac Chavez, Governmental Affairs Director of the Las Cruces Association of Realtors was that there is a provision in the plan to have "surprise" home visits to verify if children are being properly cared for and meet the "parenting guideline" as defined by Congress. For example if you have a child who is overweight, the government can take your child and place them under their "protective services" to assess the child's health, diet, etc.

Congressman Teague responded that their are parents who need to be visited as this area has a high child abuse rate.

At the end of the Question and Answer period, John Hummer polled the attendees as to whether they wanted to have the Health Care Plan passed without any "Tort Reform" legislation in it? The overwhelming majority voted no. When asked if they wanted the Health Care Bill currently proposed, again the majority voted against.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will participate in the 6th Annual Border Security Conference: Fostering a 21st Century Relationship of Cooperation and Shared Responsibility taking place August 10 - 11, 2009 at the University of Texas at El Paso.

The Honorable John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs, John Morton, Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Kenneth Melson, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, David Aguilar, Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, and Roger Garner, USAID Mission Director for Mexico will also participate in this year's conference. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I personally don’t like labels. However, when recently asked the question as to how I define myself let me state from the beginning that first and foremost I am an American.

When we try to place ourselves in a box of labels, we diminish who we are. I am “liberal” in some areas and very “conservative” in others. Though I am a registered Republican and have been active in official roles in the past, I don’t hold fast to all Republican doctrines, just as I do not hold fast to all my faith doctrines.

Does this mean I am less a Christian or Republican? Absolutely not! So what does all this mean?

Let me start by using the favorite political "buzz word" today - CHANGE.

The word change has been cheapened today, just like the word love. We talk about change, yet where is it? Change means different things to different people.

To me change means moving forward in a positive direction with common goals, which brings out the best in people. Today’s change is not clearly defined; we have political change, meaning what? The politicians are the same, so where is the change?

The rhetoric is the same. Our members of Congress are still fighting one another. The conflicts are still waging in the world. The economy is still bad. So where is the change?

The real change is us… “We the People.” We bring about the changes through our active participation in the electoral process. We must hold our elected officials accountable and responsible to bring about true changes like ethics reforms and efforts to stop voter fraud and tax-and-spend politicians who have no regard for the long-term consequences of their actions.

Labels are used to warn us of dangers… medicines, poisons, traffic,etc. However,the labels we use are dangerous too, but even more importantly they are divisive.

The next time you call someone a name (label) think about what you are really saying not only about the individual you are labeling, but what it says about you.

God created us to be freethinking and with the ability to reason. However, today we live in a society with very few free-thinking men and women. Instead, many are satisfied with the status quo and are oblivious to what changes are being made that are destroying the moral fiber of this nation. More and more of our civil liberties and rights are being taken from us. Why? Because we just don’t care and are OK in our little comfort zones.

The greatest threat to this country is apathy. This is the true label of who we are as a nation. We have no will to stand up and fight for what is right. We want to depend on others to defend our rights. This is very sad and discouraging.

So, let me conclude in saying that if you want to label yourself and are satisfied with mediocrity, just continue to be apathetic and eventually you will be left without anything. As for me, I will continue to be a proud American and will continue to defend my rights as an American.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


The Las Cruces City Council approved a Resolution to hold Municipal Elections on Tuesday, November 3, 2009.

The following schedule was approved for the voting process:

• Sept. 22 - CANDIDATE filing date

• Sept. 29 - BALLOT positions will be drawn

• Oct. 3 - LAST DAY for a voter to register

• Oct. 7 - ABSENTEE paper ballot voting begins

• Oct. 14 - IN-PERSON EARLY VOTING begins at City Clerk's office

• Oct. 17, 24, 31 - SATURDAY VOTING AVAILABLE, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the City Clerk's office

• Oct. 31 - last day to vote early

Candidate packets are available at the City Clerk's office.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


The City of Las Cruces,Las Cruces Police Department in partnership with Target Stores invite the community to attend the 26th ANNUAL NIGHT OUT better known as "Take Back the Night" event this evening on Main Street-Downtown at 6:0p.m.

The events are designed to: (a) heighten crime, gang and drug prevention awareness; (b) generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs; (c) strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (d) send a message to criminals and gang members letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

This is an opportunity for families to participate and visit with local law enforcement and fire personnel, as well as other community organizations of the community. There will be informational booths, food and entertainment during the event.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Las Cruces City Council will meet today at 1:00 p.m. at City Hall.

They will be voting on a Resolution to set the date for Municipal Elections. The date proposed will coincide with National and State elections, November 3, 2009.

The following City Council seats are up for election: District 3 - Dolores Archuleta; District 5 - Gil Jones and District 6 - Sharon Thomas.

This years election will be an interesting as there is much speculation as to possible candidates to challenge Councilors in each district. There will be some hot campaign issues that all candidates will have to address including "Red Light Cameras," "Public Safety," and "Quality of Life" issues.

I would encourage you to consider serving our community and think about running for City Council. Candidate Election packets are available from the City Clerk's office at City Hall or contact Esther Martinez at 575.541.2118.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


The United Way of Southern New Mexico will host the LIVE UNITED campaign kick-off BBQ from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at Young Park.

Attendees will help the organization celebrate the successes of 2008, and welcome the 2009 funded agencies thereby helping the United Way of SNM to build a stronger community.

Cost for the BBQ is $5 per person. Guests are asked to RSVP by Monday, Aug. 3, to 524-7561.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The following information was distributed to the membership of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce:

"The Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the existing City of Las Cruces Lighting Ordinance , Ord. No. 1813, which was adopted Aug. 7, 2000.

"The city will hold a meeting about the lighting ordinance from 5 to 7 p.m. at City Hall, 200 Water St. All Chamber members are encouraged to attend to show their support for the existing ordinance.

"According to (former Mayor) Bill Mattiace, Chamber vice president of governmental affairs, the board decided to support the existing ordinance because it has been adequately received from business owners, residential housing and astronomers for the past 10 years.

“We feel the current ordinance has generated good, steady business for Las Cruces,” Mattiace said.

"The decision of support comes after a recommendation by the Chamber’s Issues and Governmental Affairs Committee that took several months to study the issue.

“We’ve worked on this over several meetings, and we’ve met with Mark Eisler and Councillor Sharon Thomas as well as Oscar Andrade about the pros and cons,” Mattiace said. “In this current economic climate, this would be the worst regulatory thing we could do to business owners.”

"Mattiace added that beyond to additional costs to existing businesses, a more restrictive ordinance would make Las Cruces less desirable to new businesses considering the area. Former Las Cruces Police Chief Pete Hampton, who also serves on the committee, cited safety issues that many businesses might face without proper lighting for their staff and customers as another reason to support the existing ordinance.

"The current lighting ordinance can be found at the City of Las Cruces website at http://www.las-cruces.org/legal/city_clerk/codes/Development%20Code/CH039%20-%20Chapter%2039%20%20OUTDOOR%20LIGHTING.htm.

For more information on this call the Chamber, call 524-1968 or visit www.lascruces.org