After having just read a very favorable editorial in the Albuquerque Journal in support of Bond C, it would be difficult to describe my shock and amazement in seeing Keith Bell’s cartoon in the Sunday, Oct. 13, Roswell Daily Record.
Keith seems to imply that if Bond C fails, property taxes will go down. The bond proposal failed in 2010, and property taxes did not go down.
The cartoon made me wonder if Keith really understands how the state institutions of higher education receive money to maintain their facilities. These bonds are the primary source of funds to maintain those facilities. NMMI is not a taxing authority and thereby has a very limited ability to raise revenue to attempt substantial projects. All of the funding for capital improvement of our facilities switched to these bonds. In addition, NMMI’s state apportioned instruction and general (I&G) funding has been cut 16.5 percent in the last four years.
The Albuquerque Journal article of Oct. 13 describes the deplorable conditions at what should be our flagship institute of higher education in New Mexico, The University of New Mexico. The same conditions exist here in Roswell at NMMI and ENMU-R. Allowing taxpayer-owned facilities to continue to deteriorate does not make good economic sense. We are all aware of the exponentially higher cost of funding projects in the future that could be funded now.
Should Bond C pass, NMMI will receive $5 million toward the renovation of Lusk Hall to which NMMI will add $3.5 million from its strategic reserves. Lusk Hall was built in 1941 and has not had a refurbishment since opening. As such, no applicable life safety code or use code, such as fire, electrical, plumbing or ADA code exists within Lusk. Electrical wires run outside of walls and over the top of door frames. In some parts of the building, an employee cannot turn on a piece of equipment that has a high voltage usage without tripping the breaker and losing basic lighting to an entire section of the building. The same situation exists for plumbing; water pipes from the boiler run are exposed in the basement hallways.
Should Bond C pass, ENMU-R would receive $1.5 million to repair roofs and boilers. The boiler in the Occupational Training Center is 40 years old and cannot maintain heat in the winter. The workers in the building must wear coats. The ENMU-R building is a Walker Air Force Base-era building and workers have to walk around with buckets catching water from the leaks in the roof. High-cost, high-risk issues result, such as mold, if these repairs are not made.
Look at the benefits from prior bonds: refurbishment of Dow Hall and Pearson Auditorium on the NMMI campus and the new student services building at ENMU-R. Also, look at the jobs created by passing those prior bonds. All of the projects I mention saw the money stay in the state of New Mexico and primarily in Roswell. Knowing that NMMI, through a recent economic impact study, positively impacts the local economy by $42.5 million, which benefits the same tax payer. Mr. Bell seems to portray them as getting a never-ending bad deal.
This year’s bond package has been structured in a manner to ensure that voters will see absolutely no increase in their property taxes while providing the funds to repair and maintain our educational facilities.
I would be glad to have Keith work out of an office in Lusk Hall where he might be drawing at his desk only to have the lights go out because someone turned on a coffee pot. I am sure Dr. Madden would offer him an office in either of his buildings. Keith would need to wear a winter coat in one building or a raincoat in the other.
To say I am disappointed in Keith’s portrayal of the impact of the bonds is an understatement. New Mexico and Roswell need to pass these bonds to protect our investment in the infrastructure that exists at our institutions of higher education. New Mexico and Roswell need to pass the bonds to create $120 million in construction related jobs.
For that matter, taxes will not go down if the bonds fail; taxes will not go up if they pass.
Jerry W. Grizzle, PhD
Major General, USAR (Ret)
I wanted to thank the community for attending the kick off celebration of the 2012 Roswell Reads on Oct. 4 at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art. We were serenaded by Headquarters Live, the NMMI Jazz Band, and treated to a book sampler read by two NMMI students. The High Plains Writing Project has sponsored this community literacy program for more than ten years.
This year’s selection is “Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories,” edited by Jorge F. Hernandez. I hope you each had the chance to see our Dia de los Muertos float in the Eastern New Mexico State Fair parade, and our booth at the fair. Special thanks to Jenny Ward, Nancy Fleming, Leslie Lawner and the students at Sidney Gutierrez Middle School for their work on the fair activities.
We have already had our first book talk. Mr. Romo Villegas, vice president of the Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce, presented his analysis of “The Mist” in Mabee Lecture Hall in the NMMI Library on Oct. 9. The conversation that began with Mr. Villegas’ presentation continued on for several days in classrooms around Roswell.
Wednesday, Oct. 17, Maj. Kyle Chaney presented Short Stories, Surrealism, and Postmodernism at Mabee Lecture Hall. LTC Heidi Huckabee will present on “Chac-Mool” and Frankenstein next Thursday, Oct. 25. Copies of the collection are still available in English and Spanish at the Roswell Reads events.
Saturday, Oct. 20, Roswell teachers and home-school parents participated in Art and Writing Workshops at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art. Participants learned how to use zines and tableaux to enhance comprehension and strengthen learning in their classrooms.
Please join us for the upcoming activities. Remember, we will close the month with a visit from La Peregrina, Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. in the NMMI Chapel. The community is invited to a rosary at 5 p.m. at the NMMI Alumni Chapel, or join us later that evening on the patio for dancing by Roswell Folklorico, and our presentation on La Conquistadora and Dia de los Muertos. We hope to see you there.
Liz Boese and Leslie Lawner
Co-Chairs 2012 Roswell Reads
Lies about Obama
I am amazed at the accusations being made and the outright lies that are being told about President Obama. Yesterday a man said that he was not an American. That is patently ridiculous. If he were not born in the U.S. he could not have even been nominated for the presidency. Some are saying that he is a “secret Muslim”; more idiocy.
He has been called a Socialist, Marxist and even compared to Hitler. He is none of these things, simply a man with dark skin and some liberal views. One woman being interviewed said Obama did not look like the president should. I am an old man and have lived through 13 presidents and have not heard such misinformation since the “Swift Boat Veterans for Bush.”
Response to attack was deplorable
Where is the outrage? Bloody hand prints on the wall! Four murdered American patriots. A burned to the ground consulate. A definite act of war!
A terrorist attack? Oh no, it was a 10-minute video no one had seen or heard until Obama and Clinton mentioned it and spent $70,000 to apologize for it.
When Obama heard about the attack, he calmly jetted off to Vegas and Colorado to campaign. He also stated a few days ago Bin Laden is dead and Al Queda is on their way out! Out where?
The State Department knew from the very beginning that this was a terrorist attack. So why the cover up?
It appears we have nincompoops in this administration and the lame stream media standing by to cover up all their lies.
One can only wonder what will happen when the movie about the killing of Bin Laden is released in December!