5 March, 2014
Collaboration Wins It!
So the new Mayor, Dan Barrone (1104) smashed the incumbent Darren Cordova (453) and former mayor Fred Peralta (210). New Town Councilors Fritz Hahn (893) and Judi Cantu (714) beat the pants off Rudi (583), Pavel (381), Amy (288), Cindy (159), and Darien Fernandez, write-in (62). Adios Los Vendidos: Darren, Rudy, Fred. You won’t be poaching gross receipts tax and property from the County anytime soon. BTW Dickie at (1155) out-maneuvered Cyndee Perez (492).
Cordova can get all the celebrity endorsements he wants down south, from Governors to Mayors, but Fritz turned north and got his benediction from one Virgil Martinez of Cerro and Mr. Suitors Martinez of Valdez, among others, including the Chicano Chamber of Commerce in El Prado. The barbershop quartet still sings, “Down by the old Acequia, running clear and deep, down by the old acequia, ...
28 February, 2014
On Thursday, Feb. 27, campaign ads in The Taos News as well as campaign ads on radio really spelled out the issues in the Town of Taos mayoral and council race. Nothing less than a shift in local culture is at risk. The customs of El Norte are being challenged and demeaned.
Let’s look at yesterday’s ads in The Taos News. Mayor Cordova’s team paid for ads that show Governor Susanna Martinez and Mayor Berry of Albuquerque, two Republicans, endorsing the incumbent mayor. Further, Mayor Coss, the alleged “progressive” mayor of Santa Fe, has endorsed Mayor Cordova—despite the latter’s record of opaque government and public misdeeds re: contracts for cuates i.e. privatizing the public purse.
Gov. Martinez herself lost Taos big time in her gubernatorial election. Her “oil and gas” and “Tejano” values are at odds with about 85% of Taosenos. Recently, ...
24 February, 2014
FEMA indicated that Taos County was nominated for the honor by other agencies who were asked for recommendations, including federal partners that work with the County, such as the US Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the FEMA Region 6 Office overseeing New Mexico, the NM Department of Homeland Security and other disaster relief, mitigation, natural resource management and first responder agencies.
FEBRUARY 24, 2014
TAOS COUNTY, NM - Taos County was contacted today by representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and informed that the County has been selected as one of a handful of federal, state, county and municipal governments nationwide to be recognized for its work over the past decade in hazard planning, mitigation and the subsequent proactive implementation of measures to protect public health, safety ...
23 February, 2014
Headlines: Despite the TCHA scandal, the County has recovered over $700,000 from HUD for Section 8 applicants. See Press below.
Southern Colorado Counties and Taos County Meet to Consider areas of mutual interest. Water, Monument, and Tourism on the agenda.
New Land Use Regulations Could be Passed. Will County Preserve or Deny the Right to raise Chickens? Let the Developers Loose with new height limits? Or save the view from smokestacks? Eh? Will they Preserve or Sell the Water Rights?
We’re only asking. Visit on Tuesday Night at 6 PM on Feb. 25. It’s a secret meeting but you’re invited and its your last chance to upset everybody.
COUNTY RECOVERS OVER $700,000 FOR LOCAL HOUSING
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
TAOS COUNTY, NM - Taos County was contacted today by the Office of the Inspector General for Housing and Urban Development and it was confirmed that over $782,086.14 ...
21 February, 2014
Our local weekly, The Taos News, engages in the mysterious practice of unsigned editorials and endorsements, the tried and true if hoary practice of virtual neutrality, which masks the motives of corporate journalism. Let us see if we can understand, not the clarity, but the ambiguities of the corporate mind. Below the Friction italicizes excerpts and follows with a critique.
(1) The March 4 town of Taos election has races for mayor, council and municipal judge. Many are seasoned politicians. In the future we would like to see more new faces.
Darien Fernandez and Fritz Hahn are new to politics and campaigning for office.
For Taos mayor, we have three candidates: the incumbent Darren Córdova, town councilor and former mayor Fred Peralta and county commissioner Dan Barrone. Of the three, we endorse Darren Córdova, but with suggestions for his next term if he wins.
20 February, 2014
For months Taos Friction has been saying the issues in this year’s Town of Taos election are crucial. The current mayor and council have taken extreme positions, ignoring the law, violating common ethical standards, while retaliating against their critics. The town government displays a lack of “respeto” for their own taxpayers and exhibits outright contempt for the safety, health, and welfare of citizens of Taos County.
In what might seem like a silly feud, compared to the life-threatening decisions surrounding the Command Center, town government has set meter minders against local merchants. Each day Robert and Eric stand on the Plaza waiting for meters to expire. Then there’s a footrace between merchants with their quarters and the cops with their twenty-dollar tickets. Do you interrupt a potential sale to feed the meter? Meanwhile, dozens of parking places are vacant, especially ...
18 February, 2014
Despite the repetitive nature of the Monday night, Feb. 17, forum for town council candidates, there were moments of levity and what appeared to be a consensus on the troubling Command Center issue and some light shed on the airport controversy.
Four candidates, Judi Cantu, Fritz Hahn, Pavel Lukes, and Amy Quintana all agreed that one Command Center at the County made sense. Rudy Abeyta and Darien Fernandez said the town and county should enter “binding arbitration.” Pavel himself, who said he considers Rudy or Darien, the candidates he’d like to work with most, said he considered the intervening private organization (KCEC) a “weak link” in the current structure but repeatedly referred to his “lack of facts.”
Rudy said eleven years ago all the local entities supported the Command Center concept from KCEC. When the KCEC CEO presented the idea of a ...
16 February, 2014
Tonight, Monday, Feb. 17, a forum, sponsored by KTAO and TEN (Taos Entrepreneurial Network), at 5:30 pm will introduce seven candidates for town council at the old County Courtroom as the historic frescoes watch! The event will differ from a previous event in terms of style and substance. The public is hoping for a debate on the issues. Will questions from voters be allowed? Or must we keep la gente in check? We're only asking.
The Town of Taos incumbents have made a number of false claims about the operations and security of the E911-Dispatch Command Center or why they choose to annex the airport. As well, the actual costs of parking meter administration and its effect on local merchants has become increasingly controversial.
Many folks question the marketing program that seems to offer little in the way of help to retail ...
12 February, 2014
Early Voting begins at Town of Taos town hall on Camino de la Placita.
On Thursday, February 13, 2013, the New Mexico Senate and House will memorialize and honor Taos Water Activist, Trudy Healy, for ten years of service to the state on the Water Trust Board. Trudy served as treasurer and on the review committee, vetting applicants and working with NMFA to make sure communities, municipalities, counties, water and sanitation districts, the tribes, irrigation districts, acequia parciantes, and watersheds got a fair shot at phased in water projects. She formed relationships on both sides of the aisle and gained respect from farmers and ranchers in the north and the south due to her even-handed treatment and advocacy for all New Mexicans.
The Martinez administration summarily dismissed her and replaced her with Greg Alpers of Roswell, a representative of DowAgro Sciences, which ...
10 February, 2014
Regular Meeting Summary
February 4, 2014
Hospital Committee Report
In November, 2013 The Town and County passed resolutions to form a committee of representatives from Town and County governments, the Holy Cross Hospital Board, the hospital workers union and informed citizens to examine the finances and management of Holy Cross Hospital. The formation of the committee was the result of public concern about recent hospital reductions in staff and services due to large financial losses from hospital operations. The committee has met twice per month since its formation in November. Taos County Financial Director, Leandro Cordova and I are the County’s representatives, and we presented the Board with the following information.
Holy Cross Hospital and numerous other small rural hospitals throughout New Mexico suffered large reductions in annual payments for indigent care beginning in 2011. As a direct result of these reduced payments, ...
In a crisis, government needs to be able to manage the flow of information, coordinate the efforts of numerous responding agencies, and allocate scarce and competing resources appropriately — “triage the response” is the term professionals use. From experience, I can tell you that successful societies, organizations and communities always have single centralized control and one response manager. Not two, not three, but one place through which everything flows to manage the crisis: one command center. —David Torres (from The Taos News)
I couldn’t agree more with KCEC Trustee Torres remarks on advocating for a single emergency center. Taos needs a single E911—Dispatch and Command Center. The current County Complex is designed for E911-Dispatch. Broad public parking lots and a variety of meeting rooms, large and small complement the facility. The emergency medical facility and kitchen set up for the adult ...
6 February, 2014
Characters And Issues
By Bill Whaley
At the County Commission meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 4, Chairman Gabriel “The Good” Romero opened the meeting by asking for a moment of silence for “Huevo Dave” Salazar, an eccentric character, who recently got whacked in a median on local streets. Huevo Dave, unkempt dark hair, tall and slender, always wore short pants (winter or summer) and frequently frowned, which frown concealed a sly smile. He could be seen at the old Blinking Light intersection and around the Plaza or as far away as Santa Fe as he made his rounds.
Huevo Dave might be a stand in for other characters like newsies Paulie and Felipe, and Doncito, who wore a badge and a fedora. Some say Doncito is the inspiration for Ed Sandoval’s recurring figure in his paintings. Sandoval himself, aka Zorro, who paints out in ...
31 January, 2014
Let’s take a look at events in the greater community as we consider The Taos News forum for council candidates at KCEC on Thursday night, Jan. 30. In contrast to previous Chamber forums of the last few years, Editor Joan Livingston did a darn good job of keeping candidates on message, the tone light but the questions serious. Congratulations to her and the seven candidates for an informative public event.
If a single theme emerged as a consensus for economic development and public safety, it was the theme of “collaboration.” Candidates repeatedly referred to the need to collaborate with the County on the Command Center, the expansion of the airport, marketing the Arts and Cultural District, rejuvenating and repairing infrastructure (streets, acequias, sidewalks, the Plaza). While doing away with parking meters seems like an obvious fix to make the downtown more ...
29 January, 2014
Sam’s Beauty Spot
Last night, Tuesday, Jan. 28, Taosenos met for the first BLM public scoping meeting on the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (Monument) aimed at developing a Resource Management Plan (RMP).
Coincidentally, the BLM issued a press release saying “the BLM has decided to defer all 16 parcels from leasing in the October 2014 lease sale” affecting “13,300 acres of Federal mineral estate underlying mixed surface ownership in the vicinity of the community of Cebolla” in eastern Rio Arriba County. For now there won’t be any “fracking” in Rio Arriba County just up and over the pass from Tres Piedras. The BLM will require a further study taking at least two years out of its San Juan Farmington Field office. Sam DesGeorges signed the notice to the public.
In terms of the “Monument,” mineral extraction, sand and gravel operations, and ...
27 January, 2014
The Big Gringo
Big News in Town Council Race: DMC Broadcast Entertainer, aka The Legend, has his team in place for a run at the roses: Darren Cordova, Mayor, Rudy Abeyta, Councilor No. 1, and The Big Gringo, Pavel Lukes as Councilor No. 2. The latter, endorsed by The Taos News last time, finished last last time but this time he’s got the blessing of the “Good Old Boys.” Whether he’s a vendido or pendejo remains to be seen. He and Rudy do the deals for condos, keep brother Alex busy, and the cash registers ringing for real estate commissions.
In its editorial, The Taos News of Jan. 23-29, laments “the silent treatment from the Taos school board.” After the last school board was attacked and bitten by biased reporting for “speaking out” in story after story by bulldog Matt Van ...
21 January, 2014
Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 9:53 AM, Bonnie Korman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
We appreciate your affirmative vote on the Santa Fe Resolution yesterday. You listened to us respectfully and you were open to re- considering your approach-- commendable qualities in a public official.
In my understanding the approved Resolution is not really a plan, but a proposal for meaningful cleanup of Area G, and a statement of solidarity among affected communities.
We are sending the strongest message possible to the NMED about our need for a liveable environment, and our demands for a cleanup project commensurate to the dangerous levels of toxicity at LANL.
To my knowledge the RCLC has not been more than a PR tool for LANL until recently. The economics of jobs provided just does not show value for northern NM, aside from the outsized wealth of Los Alamos itself, and ...