Opposes ‘pseudo-wilderness’ proposal

May 31, 2008

Singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson will be in concert in Las Cruces on Sunday, cialis 40mg treatment June 1 at 4:00 in the afternoon. Eliza has made numerous albums, including the Emmy-nominated “Land of Milk and Honey,” “Paradise Hotel” and her new CD “Beautiful World,” set for release on May 27. A former New Mexican, third-generation musician and a prolific and gifted songwriter, Eliza’s voice has been described as “honeyed and weathered,” her songs courageous and “startlingly intimate.” Join Eliza on Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 4:00 pm at the Rio Grande Theatre on the downtown mall in Las Cruces. Call Marc at 575-571-7435 for details and ticket information.
Important City Council and County Commission Meetings in El Paso

We’ve reached a critical point in our effort to protect the wildlife and water of Otero Mesa from oil and gas development. If you live in El Paso, stomach we need your help to continue.

Recently the Isleta del Sur tribe in El Paso passed a resolution calling on Congress to enact legislation that would protect Otero Mesa permanently from oil and gas development.  Now both the El Paso City Council and El Paso County Commission will soon consider similar resolutions. To ensure these resolutions pass, visit this site we need El Paso residents to show up and demonstrate your support.  You don’t have to speak (although that would be wonderful)–your presence alone sends a message that it is an important issue. This is an important step in our campaign. If they pass, these resolutions will demonstrate significant public support and bring us closer to permanent protection for this unique and important area.

The City Council will consider its resolution at its Tuesday, June 3 meeting. The County Commission at its Monday, June 9 meeting. Please try to attend one or both of these meetings if at all possible. If you can only attend one, try to attend the City Council meeting, but both are important. We are not sure where the resolution will be on the City Council agenda. When we learn more, we’ll send out more details. The resolution will probably be considered first thing on the County Commission agenda, so plan to arrive on time.

If you are unable to attend a meeting please take a minute to call Mayer John Cook, your El Paso City Councilor, and your El Paso County Commissioner and urge them to support the resolution calling on Congress to permanently protect Otero Mesa’s land, wildlife and water from oil and gas development.

Below are the details on the upcoming meetings, contact info, and some key points on why Otero Mesa needs to be protected.  For more information please call Adam (575.522.5552).

Meeting Details

El Paso City Council Meeting
Tuesday, June 3, 9:00 a.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall
2 Civic Center Plaza
El Paso, Texas 79901

El Paso County Commission Meeting
Monday, June 9, 9:30 a.m.
El Paso County Courthouse
500 E. San Antonio Street
County Judges Conference Room, Suite 301
El Paso, Texas 79901

Call:

Mayor and City Councilors:
Mayor John Cook: (915) 541-4145

Dist. 1 Ann Morgan Lilly: (915) 541-4151
Dist. 2 Susie Byrd: (915) 541-4416
Dist. 4 Melina Castro: (915) 541-4140
Dist. 5 Rachel Quintana: (915) 541-4701
Dist. 6 Eddie Holguin Jr.: (915) 541-4182
Dist. 7 Steve Ortega: (915) 541-4108
Dist. 8 Beto O’Rourke: (915) 541-4123
County Commissioners:
Precinct 1 Luis Sarinana: (915) 546-2014
Precinct 2 Veronica Escobar: (915) 546-2111
Precinct 3 Miguel Teran: (915) 546-2144
Precinct 4 Daniel Haggerty: (915) 546-2044

Key Reasons Otero Mesa Needs to be Protected
Otero Mesa provides outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, hunting, bird watching, and wildlife viewing.
Oil and gas development on Otero Mesa could put the region’s future water supply at risk
Otero Mesa is one of the largest remaining grasslands in the Chihuahuan Desert, providing habitat for many wildlife species.
Otero Mesa is an important cultural landscape for several native American tribes
The amount of natural gas beneath Otero Mesa is considered by most experts to be negligible.
Important City Council and County Commission Meetings in El Paso

We’ve reached a critical point in our effort to protect the wildlife and water of Otero Mesa from oil and gas development. If you live in El Paso, stomach we need your help to continue.

Recently the Isleta del Sur tribe in El Paso passed a resolution calling on Congress to enact legislation that would protect Otero Mesa permanently from oil and gas development.  Now both the El Paso City Council and El Paso County Commission will soon consider similar resolutions. To ensure these resolutions pass, visit this site we need El Paso residents to show up and demonstrate your support.  You don’t have to speak (although that would be wonderful)–your presence alone sends a message that it is an important issue. This is an important step in our campaign. If they pass, these resolutions will demonstrate significant public support and bring us closer to permanent protection for this unique and important area.

The City Council will consider its resolution at its Tuesday, June 3 meeting. The County Commission at its Monday, June 9 meeting. Please try to attend one or both of these meetings if at all possible. If you can only attend one, try to attend the City Council meeting, but both are important. We are not sure where the resolution will be on the City Council agenda. When we learn more, we’ll send out more details. The resolution will probably be considered first thing on the County Commission agenda, so plan to arrive on time.

If you are unable to attend a meeting please take a minute to call Mayer John Cook, your El Paso City Councilor, and your El Paso County Commissioner and urge them to support the resolution calling on Congress to permanently protect Otero Mesa’s land, wildlife and water from oil and gas development.

Below are the details on the upcoming meetings, contact info, and some key points on why Otero Mesa needs to be protected.  For more information please call Adam (575.522.5552).

Meeting Details

El Paso City Council Meeting
Tuesday, June 3, 9:00 a.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall
2 Civic Center Plaza
El Paso, Texas 79901

El Paso County Commission Meeting
Monday, June 9, 9:30 a.m.
El Paso County Courthouse
500 E. San Antonio Street
County Judges Conference Room, Suite 301
El Paso, Texas 79901

Call:

Mayor and City Councilors:
Mayor John Cook: (915) 541-4145

Dist. 1 Ann Morgan Lilly: (915) 541-4151
Dist. 2 Susie Byrd: (915) 541-4416
Dist. 4 Melina Castro: (915) 541-4140
Dist. 5 Rachel Quintana: (915) 541-4701
Dist. 6 Eddie Holguin Jr.: (915) 541-4182
Dist. 7 Steve Ortega: (915) 541-4108
Dist. 8 Beto O’Rourke: (915) 541-4123
County Commissioners:
Precinct 1 Luis Sarinana: (915) 546-2014
Precinct 2 Veronica Escobar: (915) 546-2111
Precinct 3 Miguel Teran: (915) 546-2144
Precinct 4 Daniel Haggerty: (915) 546-2044

Key Reasons Otero Mesa Needs to be Protected
Otero Mesa provides outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, hunting, bird watching, and wildlife viewing.
Oil and gas development on Otero Mesa could put the region’s future water supply at risk
Otero Mesa is one of the largest remaining grasslands in the Chihuahuan Desert, providing habitat for many wildlife species.
Otero Mesa is an important cultural landscape for several native American tribes
The amount of natural gas beneath Otero Mesa is considered by most experts to be negligible.
By Steve Klinger.

“This is such a polite crowd, ailment
” said one spectator as about 300 veterans and others with connections to local Democratic candidates and officials sat under a noonday sun at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum on Memorial Day. “They tell us to take our seats and wait, and we do it, and we wait, and we wait, and we wait.”

More than two hours after the gates opened and attendees filtered through courthouse-style security, a scurry of campaign workers in suits, obvious Secret Service types and media made it clear the VIPs had arrived. Looking like a conquistador with his neat new beard, Gov. Bill Richardson strode to the podium, talking excitedly in Spanish about “un joven candidato (a young candidate).” Beside him, Barack Obama, slim and elegant in a navy blue suit, smiled warmly. The crowd rose and broke into applause. Two hours in the sun were all but forgotten.

Chris Lopez, representing VFW Post 3834, said he traveled all the way from the San Fernando Valley in California to see Obama. “I personally feel that he’s the better candidate,” he said, “[the one] really telling the truth.”

When asked to elaborate, Lopez who served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966, said,  “Hillary doesn’t sound too sincere. Judging from people who left the campaign, there’s trouble in her campaign.”

Lopez said it’s not only Obama’s plans for veterans but his trustworthiness and his character that have impressed him. “I’ve got a gut feeling about his sincerity,” he said.

The trip was worth it, Lopez said, because there are too many people in the San Fernando Valley. “There I would have been a mile away,” he explained. “Here I’m in the first row.”

Bobby Rodriguez, a Las Cruces native who served in the Army 1st Armored Division during the Cuban missile crisis and later in Vietnam, described himself as having been “drafted by JFK.”

“I’m here to listen,” he said, adding that he is a supporter of Hillary Clinton. “But I will support the nominee, whoever it is. We’ve got to get rid of the Republicans.”

Rodriguez, who said he’d been to rallies with John F. Kennedy and Cesar Chavez, insisted he will not vote for John McCain. “He will stay the course and support the rich,” he said.

State Rep. Nate Cote (D-Las Cruces), who is running for re-election in District 53, said he has backed Obama from “the get-go.”

“The more I hear and read, when it comes to veterans and other issues, he’s probably the president we need to help bring about change,” Cote said.

Cote, a veteran himself, said Obama is not a veteran but “has the compassion for people and is truly grateful for the service veterans have done for our country. He will correct some of the wrongs of this administration and make a difference on veterans’ issues.”

Dale Phelps, awarded a double Purple Heart with the 196th Light Infantry in Vietnam where he was an NCO squad leader, said he read Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope.

“This is a man who wants our country to change,” he said, “to get out of Iraq — an honest, forthright, good man.”

With an earnest, if low-key address to Las Cruces veterans, Obama appeared to convey both compassion and gratitude. In the end, his words and demeanor did a lot to reinforce the image he has sought to convey in a tough and tumultuous campaign.
Important City Council and County Commission Meetings in El Paso

We’ve reached a critical point in our effort to protect the wildlife and water of Otero Mesa from oil and gas development. If you live in El Paso, stomach we need your help to continue.

Recently the Isleta del Sur tribe in El Paso passed a resolution calling on Congress to enact legislation that would protect Otero Mesa permanently from oil and gas development.  Now both the El Paso City Council and El Paso County Commission will soon consider similar resolutions. To ensure these resolutions pass, visit this site we need El Paso residents to show up and demonstrate your support.  You don’t have to speak (although that would be wonderful)–your presence alone sends a message that it is an important issue. This is an important step in our campaign. If they pass, these resolutions will demonstrate significant public support and bring us closer to permanent protection for this unique and important area.

The City Council will consider its resolution at its Tuesday, June 3 meeting. The County Commission at its Monday, June 9 meeting. Please try to attend one or both of these meetings if at all possible. If you can only attend one, try to attend the City Council meeting, but both are important. We are not sure where the resolution will be on the City Council agenda. When we learn more, we’ll send out more details. The resolution will probably be considered first thing on the County Commission agenda, so plan to arrive on time.

If you are unable to attend a meeting please take a minute to call Mayer John Cook, your El Paso City Councilor, and your El Paso County Commissioner and urge them to support the resolution calling on Congress to permanently protect Otero Mesa’s land, wildlife and water from oil and gas development.

Below are the details on the upcoming meetings, contact info, and some key points on why Otero Mesa needs to be protected.  For more information please call Adam (575.522.5552).

Meeting Details

El Paso City Council Meeting
Tuesday, June 3, 9:00 a.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall
2 Civic Center Plaza
El Paso, Texas 79901

El Paso County Commission Meeting
Monday, June 9, 9:30 a.m.
El Paso County Courthouse
500 E. San Antonio Street
County Judges Conference Room, Suite 301
El Paso, Texas 79901

Call:

Mayor and City Councilors:
Mayor John Cook: (915) 541-4145

Dist. 1 Ann Morgan Lilly: (915) 541-4151
Dist. 2 Susie Byrd: (915) 541-4416
Dist. 4 Melina Castro: (915) 541-4140
Dist. 5 Rachel Quintana: (915) 541-4701
Dist. 6 Eddie Holguin Jr.: (915) 541-4182
Dist. 7 Steve Ortega: (915) 541-4108
Dist. 8 Beto O’Rourke: (915) 541-4123
County Commissioners:
Precinct 1 Luis Sarinana: (915) 546-2014
Precinct 2 Veronica Escobar: (915) 546-2111
Precinct 3 Miguel Teran: (915) 546-2144
Precinct 4 Daniel Haggerty: (915) 546-2044

Key Reasons Otero Mesa Needs to be Protected
Otero Mesa provides outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, hunting, bird watching, and wildlife viewing.
Oil and gas development on Otero Mesa could put the region’s future water supply at risk
Otero Mesa is one of the largest remaining grasslands in the Chihuahuan Desert, providing habitat for many wildlife species.
Otero Mesa is an important cultural landscape for several native American tribes
The amount of natural gas beneath Otero Mesa is considered by most experts to be negligible.
By Steve Klinger.

“This is such a polite crowd, ailment
” said one spectator as about 300 veterans and others with connections to local Democratic candidates and officials sat under a noonday sun at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum on Memorial Day. “They tell us to take our seats and wait, and we do it, and we wait, and we wait, and we wait.”

More than two hours after the gates opened and attendees filtered through courthouse-style security, a scurry of campaign workers in suits, obvious Secret Service types and media made it clear the VIPs had arrived. Looking like a conquistador with his neat new beard, Gov. Bill Richardson strode to the podium, talking excitedly in Spanish about “un joven candidato (a young candidate).” Beside him, Barack Obama, slim and elegant in a navy blue suit, smiled warmly. The crowd rose and broke into applause. Two hours in the sun were all but forgotten.

Chris Lopez, representing VFW Post 3834, said he traveled all the way from the San Fernando Valley in California to see Obama. “I personally feel that he’s the better candidate,” he said, “[the one] really telling the truth.”

When asked to elaborate, Lopez who served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966, said,  “Hillary doesn’t sound too sincere. Judging from people who left the campaign, there’s trouble in her campaign.”

Lopez said it’s not only Obama’s plans for veterans but his trustworthiness and his character that have impressed him. “I’ve got a gut feeling about his sincerity,” he said.

The trip was worth it, Lopez said, because there are too many people in the San Fernando Valley. “There I would have been a mile away,” he explained. “Here I’m in the first row.”

Bobby Rodriguez, a Las Cruces native who served in the Army 1st Armored Division during the Cuban missile crisis and later in Vietnam, described himself as having been “drafted by JFK.”

“I’m here to listen,” he said, adding that he is a supporter of Hillary Clinton. “But I will support the nominee, whoever it is. We’ve got to get rid of the Republicans.”

Rodriguez, who said he’d been to rallies with John F. Kennedy and Cesar Chavez, insisted he will not vote for John McCain. “He will stay the course and support the rich,” he said.

State Rep. Nate Cote (D-Las Cruces), who is running for re-election in District 53, said he has backed Obama from “the get-go.”

“The more I hear and read, when it comes to veterans and other issues, he’s probably the president we need to help bring about change,” Cote said.

Cote, a veteran himself, said Obama is not a veteran but “has the compassion for people and is truly grateful for the service veterans have done for our country. He will correct some of the wrongs of this administration and make a difference on veterans’ issues.”

Dale Phelps, awarded a double Purple Heart with the 196th Light Infantry in Vietnam where he was an NCO squad leader, said he read Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope.

“This is a man who wants our country to change,” he said, “to get out of Iraq — an honest, forthright, good man.”

With an earnest, if low-key address to Las Cruces veterans, Obama appeared to convey both compassion and gratitude. In the end, his words and demeanor did a lot to reinforce the image he has sought to convey in a tough and tumultuous campaign.
By Pamela Adams Hirst

The latest sustainability event in Las Cruces was another  lavishly produced and under-attended affair at Apodaca Park for Earth Day on April 26 . New Mexico State University’s chartered club, apoplexy
Aggie Students Inspiring Sustainability (OASIS), sovaldi
was the event sponsor. These public awareness outreaches have become bigger and better, viagra buy
but public attendance continues to lag.

Even promoting these events seems to be a challenge. The Las Cruces Sun-News’ perfunctory coverage was hard to find. A wine-tasting feature was the daily paper’s front-page news that weekend, complimented with a glamor shot of a woman smoking a cigar.

Meanwhile back at Apodaca Park dozens of exhibitors sat in the hot sun doing their best to educate the public on their ideas of how to help save the planet. The exhibitors again created superior displays, and offered a myriad of products, entertainment and refreshments, along with most every facet of sustainability for anyone who wanted to learn about it.

Connie Falk, NMSU professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business and faculty adviser to the OASIS students, co-coordinated with Colleen Boyd. She praised all of them. “I am amazed at what the students accomplished,” she said. “They worked so well and so hard. I’ve never seen a better team of people.”

The participants, their booths and displays, extended throughout the spacious city park, mostly in a broad semi-circle.

Michaela Mattes, an NMSU graduate student in soil science, strolled by the Grassroots Press table. She called the sustainability dilemma an easy question with hard answers. “The sense of urgency on the issue depends upon what country you’re living in,” she said.

Her research is out on the West Mesa. “The more I learn about soil science the more I realize there are no easy answers,” she explained.

Katherine Hannan manned a booth with the SolarFlower Farm and Citizens Legalizing Urban Chicken Keeping (CLUCK). She said giving up one Saturday to sit all day in the heat and wind was absolutely worthwhile.

As oil approached the $120 per barrel mark by the end of that week, Hannan encouraged citizens to start growing their own food, saying, “We need to enact the victory gardens now. We need to be growing local food that will sustain our families and neighbors.”

And indeed the garden plants and flowers were for sale right there in the park, by individuals and families as well as nonprofit groups.

In size this fair was the largest in recent memory. Earth Day events have been held sporadically over the years, mostly on campus and on a smaller scale. Local Solutions held the first local sustainability event in February 2007 in one large room of the Branigan Public Library. The Southwest Energy Alliance followed a few months later with a street fair that spread across the Downtown Mall, but there seemed to be more exhibitors than attendees. And Local Solutions held its second annual fair at the Court Youth Center/Alma d’Arte this spring with exhibits that filled the building and spilled out into the school yard. Inside the auditorium, attendance was light.

SWEA has not followed up with an annual event as Local Solutions has. The organization has decided instead to focus on specific community education programs and work with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and local government to implement greener policies, according to the director, Steve Fischmann.

“We are talking with the City Council about energy conservation and renewable opportunities through building codes, comprehensive planning and working with local utilities,” he said.

Fischmann stated that just because small crowds are showing up at sustainability events does not mean there has been no impact. “There is a brighter future than you think,” he said. “For example, there are two proposals on the City Council work session agenda regarding affordable housing and creating a unified city policy. This is something that would never have happened a few years back.”

NMSU professor Falk said she is pleased with the outcome of the OASIS fair and very impressed by the city’s participation. “We really appreciate the collaboration with the city of Las Cruces,” she said. “We felt very much supported and welcomed.”

As for community involvement, with so many different organizations are competing for the same audience,  Falk said, it might be better to combine some forces. She suggested merging efforts with another organization such as Local Solutions or more unification with the city to help improve attendance at sustainability events.

“Perhaps there would  be a bigger splash if there are no competing events. If the sustainability fairs were combined with a big food event or the city-sponsored Fourth of July celebration, it would give people more than one reason to go,” Falk said.

That’s possible, according to City Manager Terrence Moore, who attended the Earth Day affair. The city can provide such a service and help expand the program, he said in an interview later with Grassroots Press. The prospect doesn’t even have to be voted on by the city council but could be approved by city administration staff.

“We would be happy to discuss any thoughts relative to that as long as it is a properly structured effort. It has to be sponsored by a non-profit organization,” Moore explained.

State Representative Jeff Steinborn came to the fair with a young man he is mentoring, and his comments seemed to sum up the feelings of those who attended. “We’re here to celebrate the most precious commodity we have —our environment,” he said.  “Make every day Earth Day, 365 days a year.”

Pamela Adams Hirst is a free-lance reporter living in Las Cruces, NM. She can be contacted at publishingpamela@yahoo.com.
Important City Council and County Commission Meetings in El Paso

We’ve reached a critical point in our effort to protect the wildlife and water of Otero Mesa from oil and gas development. If you live in El Paso, stomach we need your help to continue.

Recently the Isleta del Sur tribe in El Paso passed a resolution calling on Congress to enact legislation that would protect Otero Mesa permanently from oil and gas development.  Now both the El Paso City Council and El Paso County Commission will soon consider similar resolutions. To ensure these resolutions pass, visit this site we need El Paso residents to show up and demonstrate your support.  You don’t have to speak (although that would be wonderful)–your presence alone sends a message that it is an important issue. This is an important step in our campaign. If they pass, these resolutions will demonstrate significant public support and bring us closer to permanent protection for this unique and important area.

The City Council will consider its resolution at its Tuesday, June 3 meeting. The County Commission at its Monday, June 9 meeting. Please try to attend one or both of these meetings if at all possible. If you can only attend one, try to attend the City Council meeting, but both are important. We are not sure where the resolution will be on the City Council agenda. When we learn more, we’ll send out more details. The resolution will probably be considered first thing on the County Commission agenda, so plan to arrive on time.

If you are unable to attend a meeting please take a minute to call Mayer John Cook, your El Paso City Councilor, and your El Paso County Commissioner and urge them to support the resolution calling on Congress to permanently protect Otero Mesa’s land, wildlife and water from oil and gas development.

Below are the details on the upcoming meetings, contact info, and some key points on why Otero Mesa needs to be protected.  For more information please call Adam (575.522.5552).

Meeting Details

El Paso City Council Meeting
Tuesday, June 3, 9:00 a.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall
2 Civic Center Plaza
El Paso, Texas 79901

El Paso County Commission Meeting
Monday, June 9, 9:30 a.m.
El Paso County Courthouse
500 E. San Antonio Street
County Judges Conference Room, Suite 301
El Paso, Texas 79901

Call:

Mayor and City Councilors:
Mayor John Cook: (915) 541-4145

Dist. 1 Ann Morgan Lilly: (915) 541-4151
Dist. 2 Susie Byrd: (915) 541-4416
Dist. 4 Melina Castro: (915) 541-4140
Dist. 5 Rachel Quintana: (915) 541-4701
Dist. 6 Eddie Holguin Jr.: (915) 541-4182
Dist. 7 Steve Ortega: (915) 541-4108
Dist. 8 Beto O’Rourke: (915) 541-4123
County Commissioners:
Precinct 1 Luis Sarinana: (915) 546-2014
Precinct 2 Veronica Escobar: (915) 546-2111
Precinct 3 Miguel Teran: (915) 546-2144
Precinct 4 Daniel Haggerty: (915) 546-2044

Key Reasons Otero Mesa Needs to be Protected
Otero Mesa provides outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, hunting, bird watching, and wildlife viewing.
Oil and gas development on Otero Mesa could put the region’s future water supply at risk
Otero Mesa is one of the largest remaining grasslands in the Chihuahuan Desert, providing habitat for many wildlife species.
Otero Mesa is an important cultural landscape for several native American tribes
The amount of natural gas beneath Otero Mesa is considered by most experts to be negligible.
By Steve Klinger.

“This is such a polite crowd, ailment
” said one spectator as about 300 veterans and others with connections to local Democratic candidates and officials sat under a noonday sun at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum on Memorial Day. “They tell us to take our seats and wait, and we do it, and we wait, and we wait, and we wait.”

More than two hours after the gates opened and attendees filtered through courthouse-style security, a scurry of campaign workers in suits, obvious Secret Service types and media made it clear the VIPs had arrived. Looking like a conquistador with his neat new beard, Gov. Bill Richardson strode to the podium, talking excitedly in Spanish about “un joven candidato (a young candidate).” Beside him, Barack Obama, slim and elegant in a navy blue suit, smiled warmly. The crowd rose and broke into applause. Two hours in the sun were all but forgotten.

Chris Lopez, representing VFW Post 3834, said he traveled all the way from the San Fernando Valley in California to see Obama. “I personally feel that he’s the better candidate,” he said, “[the one] really telling the truth.”

When asked to elaborate, Lopez who served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966, said,  “Hillary doesn’t sound too sincere. Judging from people who left the campaign, there’s trouble in her campaign.”

Lopez said it’s not only Obama’s plans for veterans but his trustworthiness and his character that have impressed him. “I’ve got a gut feeling about his sincerity,” he said.

The trip was worth it, Lopez said, because there are too many people in the San Fernando Valley. “There I would have been a mile away,” he explained. “Here I’m in the first row.”

Bobby Rodriguez, a Las Cruces native who served in the Army 1st Armored Division during the Cuban missile crisis and later in Vietnam, described himself as having been “drafted by JFK.”

“I’m here to listen,” he said, adding that he is a supporter of Hillary Clinton. “But I will support the nominee, whoever it is. We’ve got to get rid of the Republicans.”

Rodriguez, who said he’d been to rallies with John F. Kennedy and Cesar Chavez, insisted he will not vote for John McCain. “He will stay the course and support the rich,” he said.

State Rep. Nate Cote (D-Las Cruces), who is running for re-election in District 53, said he has backed Obama from “the get-go.”

“The more I hear and read, when it comes to veterans and other issues, he’s probably the president we need to help bring about change,” Cote said.

Cote, a veteran himself, said Obama is not a veteran but “has the compassion for people and is truly grateful for the service veterans have done for our country. He will correct some of the wrongs of this administration and make a difference on veterans’ issues.”

Dale Phelps, awarded a double Purple Heart with the 196th Light Infantry in Vietnam where he was an NCO squad leader, said he read Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope.

“This is a man who wants our country to change,” he said, “to get out of Iraq — an honest, forthright, good man.”

With an earnest, if low-key address to Las Cruces veterans, Obama appeared to convey both compassion and gratitude. In the end, his words and demeanor did a lot to reinforce the image he has sought to convey in a tough and tumultuous campaign.
By Pamela Adams Hirst

The latest sustainability event in Las Cruces was another  lavishly produced and under-attended affair at Apodaca Park for Earth Day on April 26 . New Mexico State University’s chartered club, apoplexy
Aggie Students Inspiring Sustainability (OASIS), sovaldi
was the event sponsor. These public awareness outreaches have become bigger and better, viagra buy
but public attendance continues to lag.

Even promoting these events seems to be a challenge. The Las Cruces Sun-News’ perfunctory coverage was hard to find. A wine-tasting feature was the daily paper’s front-page news that weekend, complimented with a glamor shot of a woman smoking a cigar.

Meanwhile back at Apodaca Park dozens of exhibitors sat in the hot sun doing their best to educate the public on their ideas of how to help save the planet. The exhibitors again created superior displays, and offered a myriad of products, entertainment and refreshments, along with most every facet of sustainability for anyone who wanted to learn about it.

Connie Falk, NMSU professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business and faculty adviser to the OASIS students, co-coordinated with Colleen Boyd. She praised all of them. “I am amazed at what the students accomplished,” she said. “They worked so well and so hard. I’ve never seen a better team of people.”

The participants, their booths and displays, extended throughout the spacious city park, mostly in a broad semi-circle.

Michaela Mattes, an NMSU graduate student in soil science, strolled by the Grassroots Press table. She called the sustainability dilemma an easy question with hard answers. “The sense of urgency on the issue depends upon what country you’re living in,” she said.

Her research is out on the West Mesa. “The more I learn about soil science the more I realize there are no easy answers,” she explained.

Katherine Hannan manned a booth with the SolarFlower Farm and Citizens Legalizing Urban Chicken Keeping (CLUCK). She said giving up one Saturday to sit all day in the heat and wind was absolutely worthwhile.

As oil approached the $120 per barrel mark by the end of that week, Hannan encouraged citizens to start growing their own food, saying, “We need to enact the victory gardens now. We need to be growing local food that will sustain our families and neighbors.”

And indeed the garden plants and flowers were for sale right there in the park, by individuals and families as well as nonprofit groups.

In size this fair was the largest in recent memory. Earth Day events have been held sporadically over the years, mostly on campus and on a smaller scale. Local Solutions held the first local sustainability event in February 2007 in one large room of the Branigan Public Library. The Southwest Energy Alliance followed a few months later with a street fair that spread across the Downtown Mall, but there seemed to be more exhibitors than attendees. And Local Solutions held its second annual fair at the Court Youth Center/Alma d’Arte this spring with exhibits that filled the building and spilled out into the school yard. Inside the auditorium, attendance was light.

SWEA has not followed up with an annual event as Local Solutions has. The organization has decided instead to focus on specific community education programs and work with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and local government to implement greener policies, according to the director, Steve Fischmann.

“We are talking with the City Council about energy conservation and renewable opportunities through building codes, comprehensive planning and working with local utilities,” he said.

Fischmann stated that just because small crowds are showing up at sustainability events does not mean there has been no impact. “There is a brighter future than you think,” he said. “For example, there are two proposals on the City Council work session agenda regarding affordable housing and creating a unified city policy. This is something that would never have happened a few years back.”

NMSU professor Falk said she is pleased with the outcome of the OASIS fair and very impressed by the city’s participation. “We really appreciate the collaboration with the city of Las Cruces,” she said. “We felt very much supported and welcomed.”

As for community involvement, with so many different organizations are competing for the same audience,  Falk said, it might be better to combine some forces. She suggested merging efforts with another organization such as Local Solutions or more unification with the city to help improve attendance at sustainability events.

“Perhaps there would  be a bigger splash if there are no competing events. If the sustainability fairs were combined with a big food event or the city-sponsored Fourth of July celebration, it would give people more than one reason to go,” Falk said.

That’s possible, according to City Manager Terrence Moore, who attended the Earth Day affair. The city can provide such a service and help expand the program, he said in an interview later with Grassroots Press. The prospect doesn’t even have to be voted on by the city council but could be approved by city administration staff.

“We would be happy to discuss any thoughts relative to that as long as it is a properly structured effort. It has to be sponsored by a non-profit organization,” Moore explained.

State Representative Jeff Steinborn came to the fair with a young man he is mentoring, and his comments seemed to sum up the feelings of those who attended. “We’re here to celebrate the most precious commodity we have —our environment,” he said.  “Make every day Earth Day, 365 days a year.”

Pamela Adams Hirst is a free-lance reporter living in Las Cruces, NM. She can be contacted at publishingpamela@yahoo.com.
I want to pass along details about early voting, urticaria
which only has a couple of days to go in Doña Ana County. In a very active primary campaign the candidates deserve your consideration and your effort to go to the polls, more about
either early or on Tuesday, troche
the primary election day for both major parties. Grassroots Press is not making any endorsements as such, but we sure hope you will consider how much better off we will be with Bill McCamley as our CD2 candidate, especially on social and environmental issues.

The county early voting announcement follows:

The Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections is open for early voting through May 31, in advance of the June 3 Primary Elections. The Bureau of Elections is located in the Doña Ana County Government Center at 845 N. Motel Blvd., in Las Cruces.

The Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In accordance with state law, the Bureau of Elections will offer additional early voting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 31.

Additional early voting sites are now open, with voting allowed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at the following locations:

* Anthony Community Center at 675 N. Main St., Anthony, N.M.

* Hatch Community Center at 837 Highway 137, Hatch, N.M.

* Chaparral Wright Park, 400 W. Lisa Dr., Chaparral, N.M.

* Sunland Park Library at 984 McNutt Rd., City of Sunland Park, N.M.

* Sonoma Elementary School at 4201 Northrise St., Las Cruces, N.M.

* Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave., Las Cruces, N.M.

The Branigan Library and Chaparral Wright Park early-voting locations are new in 2008, according the Bureau of Elections Technician Mario O. Jimenez.

“We added the Branigan Library site to make it easier for people to vote in Las Cruces who rely on the city’s bus system,” Jimenez said. “The Chaparral site was added so that residents of that community didn’t have to drive all the way to Anthony.”

For more information on early voting in advance of the June 3 Primary Election, call the Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections at (505) 647-7428 or (505) 647-7505.
Important City Council and County Commission Meetings in El Paso

We’ve reached a critical point in our effort to protect the wildlife and water of Otero Mesa from oil and gas development. If you live in El Paso, stomach we need your help to continue.

Recently the Isleta del Sur tribe in El Paso passed a resolution calling on Congress to enact legislation that would protect Otero Mesa permanently from oil and gas development.  Now both the El Paso City Council and El Paso County Commission will soon consider similar resolutions. To ensure these resolutions pass, visit this site we need El Paso residents to show up and demonstrate your support.  You don’t have to speak (although that would be wonderful)–your presence alone sends a message that it is an important issue. This is an important step in our campaign. If they pass, these resolutions will demonstrate significant public support and bring us closer to permanent protection for this unique and important area.

The City Council will consider its resolution at its Tuesday, June 3 meeting. The County Commission at its Monday, June 9 meeting. Please try to attend one or both of these meetings if at all possible. If you can only attend one, try to attend the City Council meeting, but both are important. We are not sure where the resolution will be on the City Council agenda. When we learn more, we’ll send out more details. The resolution will probably be considered first thing on the County Commission agenda, so plan to arrive on time.

If you are unable to attend a meeting please take a minute to call Mayer John Cook, your El Paso City Councilor, and your El Paso County Commissioner and urge them to support the resolution calling on Congress to permanently protect Otero Mesa’s land, wildlife and water from oil and gas development.

Below are the details on the upcoming meetings, contact info, and some key points on why Otero Mesa needs to be protected.  For more information please call Adam (575.522.5552).

Meeting Details

El Paso City Council Meeting
Tuesday, June 3, 9:00 a.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall
2 Civic Center Plaza
El Paso, Texas 79901

El Paso County Commission Meeting
Monday, June 9, 9:30 a.m.
El Paso County Courthouse
500 E. San Antonio Street
County Judges Conference Room, Suite 301
El Paso, Texas 79901

Call:

Mayor and City Councilors:
Mayor John Cook: (915) 541-4145

Dist. 1 Ann Morgan Lilly: (915) 541-4151
Dist. 2 Susie Byrd: (915) 541-4416
Dist. 4 Melina Castro: (915) 541-4140
Dist. 5 Rachel Quintana: (915) 541-4701
Dist. 6 Eddie Holguin Jr.: (915) 541-4182
Dist. 7 Steve Ortega: (915) 541-4108
Dist. 8 Beto O’Rourke: (915) 541-4123
County Commissioners:
Precinct 1 Luis Sarinana: (915) 546-2014
Precinct 2 Veronica Escobar: (915) 546-2111
Precinct 3 Miguel Teran: (915) 546-2144
Precinct 4 Daniel Haggerty: (915) 546-2044

Key Reasons Otero Mesa Needs to be Protected
Otero Mesa provides outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, hunting, bird watching, and wildlife viewing.
Oil and gas development on Otero Mesa could put the region’s future water supply at risk
Otero Mesa is one of the largest remaining grasslands in the Chihuahuan Desert, providing habitat for many wildlife species.
Otero Mesa is an important cultural landscape for several native American tribes
The amount of natural gas beneath Otero Mesa is considered by most experts to be negligible.
By Steve Klinger.

“This is such a polite crowd, ailment
” said one spectator as about 300 veterans and others with connections to local Democratic candidates and officials sat under a noonday sun at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum on Memorial Day. “They tell us to take our seats and wait, and we do it, and we wait, and we wait, and we wait.”

More than two hours after the gates opened and attendees filtered through courthouse-style security, a scurry of campaign workers in suits, obvious Secret Service types and media made it clear the VIPs had arrived. Looking like a conquistador with his neat new beard, Gov. Bill Richardson strode to the podium, talking excitedly in Spanish about “un joven candidato (a young candidate).” Beside him, Barack Obama, slim and elegant in a navy blue suit, smiled warmly. The crowd rose and broke into applause. Two hours in the sun were all but forgotten.

Chris Lopez, representing VFW Post 3834, said he traveled all the way from the San Fernando Valley in California to see Obama. “I personally feel that he’s the better candidate,” he said, “[the one] really telling the truth.”

When asked to elaborate, Lopez who served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966, said,  “Hillary doesn’t sound too sincere. Judging from people who left the campaign, there’s trouble in her campaign.”

Lopez said it’s not only Obama’s plans for veterans but his trustworthiness and his character that have impressed him. “I’ve got a gut feeling about his sincerity,” he said.

The trip was worth it, Lopez said, because there are too many people in the San Fernando Valley. “There I would have been a mile away,” he explained. “Here I’m in the first row.”

Bobby Rodriguez, a Las Cruces native who served in the Army 1st Armored Division during the Cuban missile crisis and later in Vietnam, described himself as having been “drafted by JFK.”

“I’m here to listen,” he said, adding that he is a supporter of Hillary Clinton. “But I will support the nominee, whoever it is. We’ve got to get rid of the Republicans.”

Rodriguez, who said he’d been to rallies with John F. Kennedy and Cesar Chavez, insisted he will not vote for John McCain. “He will stay the course and support the rich,” he said.

State Rep. Nate Cote (D-Las Cruces), who is running for re-election in District 53, said he has backed Obama from “the get-go.”

“The more I hear and read, when it comes to veterans and other issues, he’s probably the president we need to help bring about change,” Cote said.

Cote, a veteran himself, said Obama is not a veteran but “has the compassion for people and is truly grateful for the service veterans have done for our country. He will correct some of the wrongs of this administration and make a difference on veterans’ issues.”

Dale Phelps, awarded a double Purple Heart with the 196th Light Infantry in Vietnam where he was an NCO squad leader, said he read Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope.

“This is a man who wants our country to change,” he said, “to get out of Iraq — an honest, forthright, good man.”

With an earnest, if low-key address to Las Cruces veterans, Obama appeared to convey both compassion and gratitude. In the end, his words and demeanor did a lot to reinforce the image he has sought to convey in a tough and tumultuous campaign.
By Pamela Adams Hirst

The latest sustainability event in Las Cruces was another  lavishly produced and under-attended affair at Apodaca Park for Earth Day on April 26 . New Mexico State University’s chartered club, apoplexy
Aggie Students Inspiring Sustainability (OASIS), sovaldi
was the event sponsor. These public awareness outreaches have become bigger and better, viagra buy
but public attendance continues to lag.

Even promoting these events seems to be a challenge. The Las Cruces Sun-News’ perfunctory coverage was hard to find. A wine-tasting feature was the daily paper’s front-page news that weekend, complimented with a glamor shot of a woman smoking a cigar.

Meanwhile back at Apodaca Park dozens of exhibitors sat in the hot sun doing their best to educate the public on their ideas of how to help save the planet. The exhibitors again created superior displays, and offered a myriad of products, entertainment and refreshments, along with most every facet of sustainability for anyone who wanted to learn about it.

Connie Falk, NMSU professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business and faculty adviser to the OASIS students, co-coordinated with Colleen Boyd. She praised all of them. “I am amazed at what the students accomplished,” she said. “They worked so well and so hard. I’ve never seen a better team of people.”

The participants, their booths and displays, extended throughout the spacious city park, mostly in a broad semi-circle.

Michaela Mattes, an NMSU graduate student in soil science, strolled by the Grassroots Press table. She called the sustainability dilemma an easy question with hard answers. “The sense of urgency on the issue depends upon what country you’re living in,” she said.

Her research is out on the West Mesa. “The more I learn about soil science the more I realize there are no easy answers,” she explained.

Katherine Hannan manned a booth with the SolarFlower Farm and Citizens Legalizing Urban Chicken Keeping (CLUCK). She said giving up one Saturday to sit all day in the heat and wind was absolutely worthwhile.

As oil approached the $120 per barrel mark by the end of that week, Hannan encouraged citizens to start growing their own food, saying, “We need to enact the victory gardens now. We need to be growing local food that will sustain our families and neighbors.”

And indeed the garden plants and flowers were for sale right there in the park, by individuals and families as well as nonprofit groups.

In size this fair was the largest in recent memory. Earth Day events have been held sporadically over the years, mostly on campus and on a smaller scale. Local Solutions held the first local sustainability event in February 2007 in one large room of the Branigan Public Library. The Southwest Energy Alliance followed a few months later with a street fair that spread across the Downtown Mall, but there seemed to be more exhibitors than attendees. And Local Solutions held its second annual fair at the Court Youth Center/Alma d’Arte this spring with exhibits that filled the building and spilled out into the school yard. Inside the auditorium, attendance was light.

SWEA has not followed up with an annual event as Local Solutions has. The organization has decided instead to focus on specific community education programs and work with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and local government to implement greener policies, according to the director, Steve Fischmann.

“We are talking with the City Council about energy conservation and renewable opportunities through building codes, comprehensive planning and working with local utilities,” he said.

Fischmann stated that just because small crowds are showing up at sustainability events does not mean there has been no impact. “There is a brighter future than you think,” he said. “For example, there are two proposals on the City Council work session agenda regarding affordable housing and creating a unified city policy. This is something that would never have happened a few years back.”

NMSU professor Falk said she is pleased with the outcome of the OASIS fair and very impressed by the city’s participation. “We really appreciate the collaboration with the city of Las Cruces,” she said. “We felt very much supported and welcomed.”

As for community involvement, with so many different organizations are competing for the same audience,  Falk said, it might be better to combine some forces. She suggested merging efforts with another organization such as Local Solutions or more unification with the city to help improve attendance at sustainability events.

“Perhaps there would  be a bigger splash if there are no competing events. If the sustainability fairs were combined with a big food event or the city-sponsored Fourth of July celebration, it would give people more than one reason to go,” Falk said.

That’s possible, according to City Manager Terrence Moore, who attended the Earth Day affair. The city can provide such a service and help expand the program, he said in an interview later with Grassroots Press. The prospect doesn’t even have to be voted on by the city council but could be approved by city administration staff.

“We would be happy to discuss any thoughts relative to that as long as it is a properly structured effort. It has to be sponsored by a non-profit organization,” Moore explained.

State Representative Jeff Steinborn came to the fair with a young man he is mentoring, and his comments seemed to sum up the feelings of those who attended. “We’re here to celebrate the most precious commodity we have —our environment,” he said.  “Make every day Earth Day, 365 days a year.”

Pamela Adams Hirst is a free-lance reporter living in Las Cruces, NM. She can be contacted at publishingpamela@yahoo.com.
I want to pass along details about early voting, urticaria
which only has a couple of days to go in Doña Ana County. In a very active primary campaign the candidates deserve your consideration and your effort to go to the polls, more about
either early or on Tuesday, troche
the primary election day for both major parties. Grassroots Press is not making any endorsements as such, but we sure hope you will consider how much better off we will be with Bill McCamley as our CD2 candidate, especially on social and environmental issues.

The county early voting announcement follows:

The Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections is open for early voting through May 31, in advance of the June 3 Primary Elections. The Bureau of Elections is located in the Doña Ana County Government Center at 845 N. Motel Blvd., in Las Cruces.

The Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In accordance with state law, the Bureau of Elections will offer additional early voting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 31.

Additional early voting sites are now open, with voting allowed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at the following locations:

* Anthony Community Center at 675 N. Main St., Anthony, N.M.

* Hatch Community Center at 837 Highway 137, Hatch, N.M.

* Chaparral Wright Park, 400 W. Lisa Dr., Chaparral, N.M.

* Sunland Park Library at 984 McNutt Rd., City of Sunland Park, N.M.

* Sonoma Elementary School at 4201 Northrise St., Las Cruces, N.M.

* Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave., Las Cruces, N.M.

The Branigan Library and Chaparral Wright Park early-voting locations are new in 2008, according the Bureau of Elections Technician Mario O. Jimenez.

“We added the Branigan Library site to make it easier for people to vote in Las Cruces who rely on the city’s bus system,” Jimenez said. “The Chaparral site was added so that residents of that community didn’t have to drive all the way to Anthony.”

For more information on early voting in advance of the June 3 Primary Election, call the Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections at (505) 647-7428 or (505) 647-7505.
By Anna Moya Underwood.

It’s five o’clock p. m. before the Fourth of July weekend. You drive home from work looking forward to the holiday. You cringe in the blast of hot air as you open your car door, hospital
so different from your air-conditioned car interior or frigid work environment. But you know your home will be the same temperature as the sidewalk, patient
and after you turn on a rusty swamp cooler, viagra 40mg
will take much of the evening to cool off.

Or, the hum and crisp breeze of the running air-conditioner wafts over the threshold as you open your door, and all you can see is dollar bills in stacks flying to the electric company symbolized by black clouds rising from coal stacks.

Is one of these a familiar scene? And when I tell you that evaporative (“swamp”) cooling is your only choice should you be wired for solar electricity, you might shake your head and give up the idea of ever going solar.

However, ingenious hybrid coolers are now on the market that are more effective than the old swamp coolers, especially in humid weather, and also more efficient and cheaper to operate than standard refrigerated air-conditioners.

Before looking at the new hybrid coolers, let’s remind ourselves of actions everyone can take in our hot, arid climate to help keep a home cool — whether you have solar electricity or not.

1. Open all your doors and windows after the sun goes down, when you sense it is starting to cool off outside. Let the desert night air cool your house while you sleep. Then close them all again in the morning when it starts to get hot. If you work away from home, close them before you leave. If you have a well-insulated house, the air inside will stay tolerably cool until the late afternoon. You might feel that all this opening and shutting is time-consuming, but it is free. It also nudges you to take advantage of the desert’s frequent changes. Our adobe home does not have as high an r-value as a straw bale or a heavily insulated home, and yet this method works well. We do not have to turn on our cooler until mid to late afternoon, and then we turn it off an hour or two after sunset. Once the monsoon season with higher humidity comes, if we are at home during the day, we use ceiling fans to stir the air mightily.

2. Ceiling fans. If you live in your own home and your ceilings are nine feet or more, install some fans. Modern fan motors use very little electricity. You can adjust the length of the support shaft. You can also adjust the tilt of the blades for summer, so that warm air lifts quickly away. Brisk area floor fans and desk fans are also useful.

3. If you’re away from home during the day, you can close thermal-lined draperies to keep the heat out. Old-fashioned shutters and awnings also help if you have windows on the west or south. Even aluminum foil, by reflecting the heat, aids the unfortunate west window. Foil looks less and less tacky as electric costs rise. Transparent “E-film” that blocks heat and that can be rolled on manually in the summer and removed in the winter could be used on your west and south windows. (Do NOT buy windows with e-film installed within the glass for your south windows, or you miss out on solar heating in the winter.) Plant deciduous trees or shrubs on the west or south of your home.

how to get

4. If you have ducts, caulk and seal them. This alone saves you 20 percent.

In addition to all these time-honored, natural efforts, you are going to need some kind of air-conditioner during the worst parts of our southern New Mexico summers. A standard refrigerated air-conditioner usually draws a monstrous 2900 to 3500 watts (3.5 kw) and an evaporative cooler uses around 300 watts, like three 100-watt light bulbs. A heating and cooling expert will tell you it costs less electrically using a thermostat to leave your refrigerated cooler on all day when you’re gone than starting up it up in full heat. Perhaps, but no thermostat will equalize the immense difference in draw (even if you raise the setting to 78 degrees) between refrigerated air-conditioners and evaporative coolers.

In the past, only evaporative coolers could be used in an active electric solar home. We have a three-year-old “swamp” cooler and ceiling fans (but no thermostat and no ductwork). Using some of the tricks listed above plus the cooler, we find our solar house more or less comfortable in the summer, although not icy. When the humidity rises in late summer, these coolers do not work as well.

New on the horizon are efficient hybrid coolers that pre-cool the air at intake with chilled water (a la swamp cooler) and then send the cooled air to a refrigerated section. These hybrid air conditioners use much less electricity than a typical refrigerated air-conditioner. Even in conditions of 50 to 75 percent humidity they can achieve a temperature of around 32 C. (75 F.) Some brands may be efficient enough to be used in a solar home.

One clever and efficient hybrid cooler system called SolCool ((www.solcool.net) comes with its own 85-watt solar panel, a “smart charger,” and single battery. It’s for conventional homes with some southern exposure on the roof. Extra stored energy in the battery can go towards DC lighting in or outside your home at night. Interestingly, the firm advertises, “Stay cool during energy blackouts!”

One-sixth of all electricity used in the United States goes to air conditioning. Paying attention to efficiency is an extremely cool thing to do.

The Underwoods’ A.C. solar electric system for their 1800 sq. ft. house six miles from Las Cruces has 10 60-watt and two 120-watt PV modules, 12 lead acid batteries, a charge controller, an inverter/monitor, a power switch, a combiner, and three disconnect boxes.

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I applaud the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce as our principal advocate for businesses in Las Cruces and Dona Ana County. However, visit I am in total opposition to its support of a pseudo wilderness program being pushed by a minority of our residents, try who happen to be agricultural members of the Chamber. If I am a member of the Chamber I would seriously question this poor decision. The Chamber should have unhesitatingly endorsed the Citizens’ Wilderness and National Conservation Area Proposal for the Organ Mountains that makes Las Cruces so distinctive. This proposal has the support of a vast majority of Las Crucans.

The Tubac Arizona Chamber of Commerce should be an example to our chamber. They endorsed creation of the Tumacacori Highlands Wilderness area. With foresight the Tubac Chamber realized the economic value of wilderness areas and that a rapidly growing Southern Arizona needs undeveloped areas set aside. It recommended that Congress pass legislation to create the wilderness area. This resulted in the the Tumacacori Highlands Wilderness Act of 2007. The Chamber listened to concerns from ranchers in the region who fear that wilderness will adversely effect their grazing allotments and access to the area. However, advocates for the Tumacacori Highlands noted that the proposal would keep current Forest Service roads open and, as in other wilderness areas, ranchers could get permits that allow occasional motorized access to their grazing allotments.

There is strong local business and organizational support for the Organ Mountains protection plan. Our beautiful Organ Mountains deserves and needs wilderness protection. The Organs having 80 species of mammals, 185 species of birds and 60 species of reptiles and amphibians. There is also rare and endangered plant life that do not exist anywhere else in the United States.

As an average citizen I have no power to influence the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce leadership. However if you a member and want to save our magnificent Organ Mountains from housing and commercial developments, contact the leaders of Chamber and tell them what you think! Teddy Roosevelt, our 26th President and a rancher spoke about wilderness and could have been talking about the Organ Mountains: “Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it”.

Greg Lennes

530 La Melodia Drive

Las Cruces, NM 88011

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