PVA Meeting Recap – June 24, 2010

Persistence!

Terri and Al McBrayer—aka “The Recycle Couple”—brought us up to date on the history and status of recyling in Las Cruces. Highlights included the following:

1990 Miguel Silva and others bring curbside recycling to Mesilla
2004 Jeff Steinborn and others begin a pilot recycling project in District 6
2007 The McBrayers arrive in Las Cruces (They meet Bri Hines at PVA and pledge to carry on her work.)
2010 Las Cruces is on the brink of signing a contract for single-stream recycling
2011 Curbside recylcing for all begins in January 2011

For more information send email to Terri or Al or call them at 575-541-9667.

Unified Action—May Update

The May action was to sign a petition in support of the citizens of Lomas del Poleo. Charlotte Lipson, a sponsor of the action, reported that she received 230 signatures and sent them on to the relevant Mexican and U.S. officials but has not yet received an acknowledgment. The petition signers came from 8 states, the Distirct of Columbia, and 16 additional countries: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Spain, Turkey, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Full details are here.

June Unified Action—Remove 2017 from the Health Reform Law

For the June UA participants contact our Senators Bingaman and Udall and Representative Teague and ask them to remove the 2017 deadline from the Affordable Care Act. Full details are here for this UA, which is sponsored by Cathilia Flores.

Andy Segovia for County Assessor

Andy Segovia, currently deputy tax assessor for Doña Ana County, asked for our support as he runs for assessor. He cited his professional credentials and his experience with the assessor’s office in Bernalillo County, where he worked before returning to his native Las Cruces.  As deputy assessor he initiated the GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping and made those maps available to the public on the county Web site.

For more information send email to Andy or call him at 575-640-5675.

Three-legged Wolves

Jean Ossorio, just back from a hike in wolf recovery territory, called our attention to the traps that are allowed in New Mexico. The traps can cause unnecessary injuries to the animals, including the loss of the trapped leg. Conservationists have petitioned the U.S. Forestry Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ban the traps in New Mexico. (Arizona already bans them.) Click here to watch the KRWG video with Jean and the Sierra Club’s wildlife chair. You can learn more and get involved by visiting the Mexican Wolf Web Site and the Facebook page.

For more information send email to Jean or call her at 575-644-7389.

Judge Mannie Arrieta

Judge Arrieta asked for our support in the November election, noting that he ran unopposed in the primary but has an opponent [Richard Wellborn] in November. He reported a problem with about 50 cars in the parking lot—no Arrieta bumper stickers—and supplied the solution.

For more information send email to Judge Arrieta.

Lessons from China

Greg Sowards reported on a recent trip to China where he worked on a sewage line project and saw abundant evidence of new construction and free market activity. “The people are excited,” he said.

For more information send email to Greg, call him at 575-649-7400, or visit him on the Web.

Green Chamber

Gary Camuñez invited new members to join the Green Chamber of Commerce, which is offering free memberships for a limited time.

The Green Chamber sponsored Major Eaton’s June 23 talk in Las Cruces. Gary reported that the speech was good and well attended and added that the Army is doing “lots of green stuff”—a hybrid  Humvee, for example. You can read Eaton’s NY Times op-ed piece here and watch a recent video clip here.

For more information send email to Gary or call him at 560-702-3772.

Las Cruces Has a Plan

City Councilor Sharon Thomas, a tireless advocate for smart planning, revealed the city’s brand new strategic plan for the next two years. The plan is organized around seven themes (briefly: ensure a safe community, promote community identity, plan land use and infrastructure proactively, protect natural resources, foster economic growth, operate accountable government, be the employer of choice). Each theme has an array of specific focus areas. Click here to view the entire plan.

The city intends to have an interactive Web version of the plan that allows city employees to enter their progress toward fulfilling goals and allows the public to view progress as the work evolves. (See the accountable government theme, above.)

For more information send email to Sharon.

Herding Cats

Alice Anderson spoke of the problem of feral and free roaming cats, urging cat owners to keep cats indoors to protect birds. (Click here for ways to keep cats happy indoors.) She spoke of the shortcomings of trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs designed to control the millions of feral cats in the U.S.

For more information send email to Alice.

NM Education Needs You

Michael Hays, a writer for the Sun-News and a blogger, observed that he has attended several PVA meetings without hearing much at all about the topic of education. He urged us to be aware of the serious problems of education in New Mexico—the dropout rate is 50%, for just one example.

For more information send email to Michael or call him at 575-523-5533.

Karen Perez, County Commissioner, District 3

Karen Perez asked for support as she runs for reelection to the county commission. [Her opponent in November is Elvin K. Vickers.] She welcomed people to talk with her about her work on the commission including the issues of immigration, wilderness, and flood control. She expressed her support for Billy Garrett, running for commissioner in district 1, and her hope that they will be working together following the November election.

For more information send email to Karen or call her at 575-525-5807.

National Security Is Everywhere

Chuck Tyler, regional field director with Operation Free, noted, with disappointment, that the Sun-News did not get around to covering General Eaton’s recent talk in Las Cruces on the subject of national security and sustainable energy.

On the up side, he reminded us that Las Cruces has a full-time sustainability officer (Tom Schuster), and the soon-to-be-revealed sustainability plan includes a national security component—the idea being that communities are safer when they have local sources of energy and are not solely dependent on the Hoover Dam, say. “Whatever you’re doing, include a national security component,” he urged and offered his expertise to anyone developing a plan.

For more information send email to Chuck or call him at 413-606-4398.

Billy Garrett for County Commission, District 1

Billy Garrett thanked the group for the support and energy he got from PVA during the primary campaign. He will spend the next two months meeting with people, learning, and preparing himself to serve on the county commission. In September he will resume active campaigning for the November election. [His opponent in November is John Zimmerman.]

For more information send email to Billy, call him at 575-915-5755, or visit his Web site.

News from Representative Teague’s Office

Ginette Magaña thanked all those who attended the Re-Energize America Conference sponsored by Teague. Click here for agendas, speakers, and links.

She invited everyone to attend a birthday party for Teague on Saturday, June 26, at the home of State Representative Joni Gutierrez. (Teague turns 61 on June 29.)

Ginette introduced Dominic Gabello, Teague’s newly-appointed campaign manager.

For more information send email to Ginette.

Commissioner Duarte-Benavidez on Perez and Garrett

Leticia Duarte-Benavidez, Doña Ana county commissioner for district 5, spoke in support of Karen Perez and Billy Garrett in their bids for seats on the county commission. She praised Karen’s work on the commission and had equally positive things to say about her meetings with Billy.

For more information send email to Leticia or call her at 575-523-5712.

Senator Fischmann on Energy and McCamley

Steve Fischmann—newly appointed chair of the Science, Technology, and Communications Committee of the NM Senate—announced that their focus would be on green energy and energy efficiency. Concerning efficiency, he made the point that it costs twice as much to create energy as it does to save the same amount of energy. The public is invited to attend all committee meetings. The next meetings are July 19 and 20. The full schedule and work plan should be posted here by Wednesday, June 30.

After noting that his science and technology committee oversees portions of the work of the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) he gave a strong endorsement to Bill McCamley, candidate for the PRC, District 5. “He’s doing his homework,” Steve attested.

For more information send email to Steve or call him at 575-635-9582.

Get Out the Vote …. Or Else!

“The June primary turnout? Pathetic!” Cheryl Frank gave an impassioned plea, urging us to take responsibility for getting out the vote in November. “Do whatever it takes,” she implored.

For more information send email to Cheryl.

[Karen Tumulty has a piece about the Democrats’ midterm election strategy here. Check out election returns for all the races in Doña Ana County here for evidence that Republicans showed up and Democrats stayed home.]

PVA takes a break in July
Our next meeting will be
August 26, 2010, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite

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