Welcome to News @ Noon for Friday 31 August 2012 brought to you by Gila / Mimbres Community Radio in a landmark community media collaboration with The Grant County Beat – your daily newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County.
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Cobre School Board approves use of facilities and a bus
Created on Thursday, 30 August 2012 19:46
By Margaret Hopper
The Cobre school board met on August 28 however not all members were present. Board President Frank Cordova called the meeting to order, Toy Sepulveda came late and Frances Kelly was totally absent due to family needs at this time. A closed session preceded the meeting and Cordova said they had discussed student identifiable issues, limited personnel, hiring and resignation topics.
Interim Superintendent George Peru requested that the board approve a request of facilities from Artie Sanchez for Senate Series Fall League activity. This included the Rominger Field and others for baseball training, including some time at Bataan Park for games. The board approved the request.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Department had asked the use of a bus to help with training purposes. Peru said the district had a bus that was over 20 years old, which could no longer be used to transport students, so the board could honor that request and not interfere with any of the buses needed for regular use.
The Cobre High School Handbook needed an addition of certain cell phone and other communications technology usage to cover present needs in the district’s effort to reduce bullying and other potential abuses. At Peru’s request, this addendum was approved.
Cordova said teachers were now being trained in the Sonday Program, which was designed for dyslexic children, but it appeared that it would also help the district’s non-readers and it appeared that of the programs available, this one fit Cobre best. Vickie Chavez was doing the training. She was associated with EPSS, Educational Publishers for Student Success.
Title IX – regarding equal access for women in sports – is still proving difficult to resolve in Cobre. The district has retained an Albuquerque lawyer named Sanchez of the Cuddy Law Firm, who is working with coaches and students to make this work, according to Peru.
At the next meeting a new student representative for the year should be introduced to the board.
Town Council last week met in rescheduled regular meeting
Created on Thursday, 30 August 2012 17:34
The Silver City Town Council met in a rescheduled regular session Thursday, Aug. 23, to address amendments to ordinances, notices of intent and to make appointments to town committees.
Councilors Pauline “Polly” Cook addressed the speed tables that had been placed around town. “People don’t like them, but I think anything that slows down traffic is good.”
Mayor James Marshall said: “Numerous openings remain on several town committees, including the Grant County-Silver City Extra-Territorial Subdivision Committee, the Mayor’s Climate Advisory Board, the Museum Board, Incentive Review Board, Planning and Zoning Commission, and Parks and Recreation. He advised those interested to contact the town clerk, Ann Mackie, for application forms. “It is critical the Planning and Zoning Commission be complete, so we can address citizens’ requests.”
He announced a meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Grant County Administration Center for the Essential Air Service respondents to the request for proposals to present their plans.
“Right now, Silver City is tied into the Clovis airport, which if people in Washington D.C. had an atlas, they could see makes no sense,” Marshall quipped. “We are objecting strenuously to the tie-in. The two proposals from Seaport and Great Lakes airlines are completely different.”
He explained Seaport would use one of two single-engine, non-pressurized nine-seat airplanes and fly only to Albuquerque and back twice a day. Great Lakes proposed routes to Phoenix or Denver, with the latter having a stop in Santa Fe.
Marshall also reported the meeting in Silver City of the Interim Legislative Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, which gave local veterans a chance to speak to legislators about their concerns.
The first ordinance discussed was Ord. 12-09 to increase water and sewer rates by three percent across the board for those within the city limits and those served outside the town boundaries.
“This will tie the rates into the budget process,” Marshall said. “The manager will provide estimates each year so the water fund pays for itself, without it being subsidized by gross receipts. The budget process is the most published and transparent process of the year.”
He pointed out that water pumped during water breaks and for fighting fires is not billed to residents. “A reserve is needed in the fund.”
Marshall also noted that the state average for water basic rates is $36, with Silver City’s being $19.
The ordinance was approved.
In other business, the council approved a notice of intent to amend the Museum Board ordinance to promote efficiency among the museum, the Museum Board, which serves in an advisory position, and the Museum Society, which accepts monetary donations to the museum.
The board is advisory to the town council and does not set policy, but is in place to provide the community view to the town manager and council.
Another notice of intent to create term limits for the Lodgers’ Tax Committee was approved to stagger terms beginning in January, with two of the present committee members being named to two-year terms and three to three-year terms. After the first two-year terms end, the terms will be for three years. Applicants may reapply for the committee.
Carl Allen Waterman was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Marshall said the application process had required more disclosure and the commission members will be considered public officials of Silver City and must conform to state conduct standards.
Waterman was also appointed to the Grant Count/Silver City Extra-Territorial Subdivision Commission.
Marshall appointed Gale Simmons to the Mayor’s Climate Advisory Committee.
Whitewater-Baldy Closure Area Shrinks, Trails Still Closed for Safety
Created on Thursday, 30 August 2012 11:17
As the burned area rehabilitation for the Whitewater-Baldy fire comes to an end, Forest officials, in cooperation with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, have lifted the closure for most of the fire area. Public safety remains a high priority and selected trails will remain closed until a thorough assessment of trail conditions can be completed.
“We are currently dealing with the effects of monsoon rains and we are concerned with the stability of the trail beds,” states Forest Supervisor, Kelly Russell. “Some of these trails are in steep terrain and high volumes of rain can destabilize the trail tread quickly, particularly after a fire.” Snags, specifically, are an issue. Even a slight wind or a mild rain storm can bring down standing dead trees across trails, creating a potentially hazardous situation. An assessment of trails impacted by fallen trees will be completed next spring.
Willow Creek, Ben Lilly, and Gilita Creek Campgrounds, as well as the access roads into them, will remain closed for public safety due to high water flows in the streams. No parking or overnight camping will be allowed on either side of Catron County Road 73 (formerly known as Forest System Road 507) into Willow Creek. National Forest System Lands on both sides of New Mexico State Road 159 are closed between the south fork of Mineral Creek and Gilita Campground and Trailhead. Land owners and residents in Willow Creek will continue to have access to their private lands. The Catwalk National Recreation Area and Trail also remains closed, although a reassessment of the Catwalk after monsoon rains diminish may allow partial opening later this fall. The New Mexico Department of Transportation is currently working on New Mexico 159 (Bursum Road), and will provide information to the public regarding road restrictions.
While the wilderness will be open again to the general public, under an Emergency Area Closure effective Friday, August 31st, at 1:00 p.m. MST, multiple trails will remain closed.
There continues to be a hazardous situation in areas affected by fire. Taking precautions to ensure personal safety will provide forest visitors with a memorable wilderness experience.
For additional information, please contact
- Gila National Forest at 575.388.8201
- Reserve Ranger District at 575.533.6231 or
- Glenwood Ranger District at 575.539.2481
Gila San Francisco Water Commission
addresses absent membership problem
Created on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 20:37
The Gila/San Francisco Water Commission met on Aug. 21 in Silver City. Because a quorum was present, the members were able to approve the agendas and corrected minutes from the March, April, May and June meetings, which did not have a quorum.
Under continuing New Business, Gerald Schultz, who is affiliated with the state Resource, Conservation and Development districts, reported that funding of about $15,000 was turned over to the Black Range RC&D to pursue a dam on the Gila River. He had proposed the funding be turned over to the Water Commission. Schultz traced the funds by speaking to several people who were once a part of the Black Range RC&D and determined the approximate amount. However, the BR RC&D has not met in almost two years, so there is no real way to access the funding.
GSFWC Chairman Vance Lee said the item would be taken off the agenda until the issue can be resolved.
Lee also reported he had written a letter, as requested by the membership, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asking for representation from the water commission on the Stakeholder Committee of the Recovery Team for the spikedace and loach minnow.
“I had a conversation with a Steve Spangler, who showed interest in having a representative from among those who live and work on the Gila River,” Lee said. “He told me that in the interest of keeping the group small, and because he had also received a request from the Gila Basin Irrigation Commission, he wondered if we could come up with one representative from the two groups.”
Billy Webb, representing the San Francisco Soil and Water Conservation District, said he had no objection to having only one person.
Topper Thorpe, alternate on the commission for the GBIC, said that to his knowledge, Dave Ogilvie, GBIC chairman had received no response.
“I suggest you and Dave visit on the issue,” Thorpe said. “I think it is essential for us to have representation on the recovery team.”
Anthony Gutierrez, who represents Grant County on the water commission, said he had put his name in as a possible representative, because in his job as Grant County planner, he is required to represent the county.
“I’ll talk to Dave and see whether you or Dave is the better choice,” Lee said.
Webb said he expected to see a decline in the spikedace and loach minnow population, especially on the San Francisco and its tributaries, as a result of the Whitewater-Baldy Fire this summer, because of the ash coming down the river.
Lee said the Gila is “black, too.”
Webb asked if the group was interested in being involved if the USFWS designates jaguar habitat in southern New Mexico and Arizona.
Lee opined that the commission is for addressing water needs, but if the Gila River is in the habitat, perhaps the issue should be addressed. No one had seen a map of the proposed designated area.
Nepotism issue not going away
Created on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 10:58
The Grant County Beat learned recently that the New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission, at its next meeting on October 8, will be considering two “Complaint Against A Judge” filings concerning Judges J.C. Robinson and Henry R. Quintero of the Sixth Judicial District Court in Silver City.
The formal complaints were submitted July 18 by Peter Burrows of Silver City, and request the Commission investigate “the appearance of impropriety” in the hiring of Judge Robinson’s daughter-in-law as Special Master, a contract position paying $67,000 per year.
The Beat also learned that a letter signed by the chairs of the Grant County Democratic, Republican, and T.E.A. parties was sent to New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Petra Jimenez Maes requesting her attention on “what appears to be a brazen case of nepotism.” The Judicial Standards Commission reports the results of their investigations to the New Mexico Supreme Court, which takes further action, if any.
Individuals or organizations wishing to file on this situation need to have their submissions in to the Judicial Standards Commission three weeks before hearings are held. No emails, all hard copy, and signatures must be notarized. Visit http://www.nmjsc.org for details or call 505. 222.9353