EARLY VOTING UNDERWAY; COMMUNITY SITES CLOSE SATURDAY, MAY 31

May 29, 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.

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