Great Thanksgiving dinner
On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Hub City Brewing, Rutilio’s and Po Boy BBQ came together to serve just under 100 smoked turkey dinners at the brewery, located at the Belen RailRunner station.
It was a “pay-what-you-can” event that for most attending was a free Thanksgiving dinner. But at the same time, more than $500 was donated to our cause of ending veteran homelessness in Valencia County, where we are paired up with several other organizations including Legion Riders Chapter 25 in Belen.
Our heart-felt thanks also goes out to Old Mill Farm and Ranch Supply, Cross Country Propane, Smith’s, Walmart, Home Depot, the Valencia County News-Bulletin and our individual “angels” — Eilene “Peanut” Maez and Dixie Pankotai.
And a special thank you to the 20 volunteers who came together to serve the meals.
Hub City Brewing Co.
No help during hard time
Kudos to Mayor Cordova for putting his money where his mouth is. It is a very magnanimous offer — one year of the mayor’s salary to help support a museum in downtown Belen.
Oh, wait. In 2010, Jerah Cordova was first elected as a city councilor, shortly afterward the city was facing a financial crisis. It was a struggle sometimes to meet payroll.
Some long-time employees were furloughed while the remaining city employees had their hours cut back to 32 hours a week. This short-fall lasted for several months.
The finance director, at the time, was hard pressed to find funds to continue important city services, such as police and fire protection, not to mention recreation and utilities.
Administration, along with department managers, brainstormed on how to raise revenue or save money in their respective departments. Everything was on the table, including the stipend or salary paid to the governing body for attending council meetings.
However, not one of those elected officials, including Mr. Cordova, offered up their salary to help city employees get through those hard times.
(Editor’s note: The Belen City Council approved a resolution on June 21, 2010, regarding an Involuntary Furlough Day, which included “The Mayor and each member of the City Council agrees to take one (1) voluntary furlough day each month for fiscal year 2010/11 by donating to the City of Belen the equivalent of one day’s pay.” The resolution also stated that each employee of the city shall take one involuntary furlough day each month for the fiscal year 2010/11. )
More money, more needs
This holiday season, oil and natural gas development in our state is giving New Mexico two gifts: lower heating costs for our homes and economic opportunity.
The price to heat a home with natural gas has decreased 68 percent since 2008, helped by the production happening right here in our very own state. This cost savings is especially impactful for the many New Mexicans who are living at or below the poverty line.
It’s not just keeping energy prices low, oil and gas production is driving revenues for our state to new highs. For the next fiscal year, it is estimated we will have a $1.1 billion surplus, a far cry from the $300 million deficit we faced just a few years ago.
This means legislators will have 17 percent additional funding for priorities like schools, roads and public safety.
A strong education system in New Mexico will be critical to long-term prosperity, and oil and gas development — particularly on state lands — is helping to strengthen it.
In fiscal year 2017, oil and natural gas generated $934 million for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities across the state. In Valencia County, that meant more than $26.8 million for K-12 schools and UNM-Valencia. It will likely be even higher in the next budget year.
As New Mexicans, we have much for which to be thankful in our great state. When you pay your heating bill or send your child off to school, add our abundant natural resources to the list.
Nothing is free in life
Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la.
Free health care and we’ll all be jolly, fa la la …
What, it’s not free? Well of course somebody has to pay for it, but it won’t be me. I’m just an average Joe. The evil corporations and filthy rich will have to cough up the dough.
If you believe this, you are suffering from a serious medical condition known as economic dementia, or ED for short. Fortunately, the cure is quick, simple and inexpensive. It involves a shot of some basic knowledge of economics. Roll up your sleeve, here it comes.
Businesses, even evil corporations, must earn enough to cover their costs, plus a reasonable profit, and let’s face it, businesses aren’t in business to lose money. Taxes are an expense to a business, which they must pass along to the consumer. That means you and me, the average Jane and Joe.
So we pay those taxes in the form of higher prices. Sort of like a hidden sales tax. Not free to me after all. Everyone knows that sales taxes are the most regressive form of tax, meaning that the poorest pay a higher percentage of their income in tax than the rich. Still sounds like a good idea? Not to me.
As for the filthy rich, they have a number of options for tax avoidance. They can move their money to another state or country. They can make sizeable campaign contributions to those selfless defenders of the poor in return for special treatment.
Our selfless defenders need lots of campaign cash if they are to stay in power so they can continue to give us free goodies. Or they can just stop providing the goods and services that made them filthy rich.
This is not meant to be a condemnation of all government programs. It is not. There are many government programs that are essential and must be funded. This is just to stop you from falling for the “why should you be against it — it is free to you” argument.
So the next time someone is selling you a free-to-you government program, whether it is free health care for all or a wall, you have been vaccinated. Vote accordingly.
Keep Los Lunas clean
We have recently moved to Los Lunas from Albuquerque. We are appalled at the lack of pride and respect that some of our neighbors and area Los Lunas individuals who throws volumes of trash on the sides of the road everywhere.
We were taught differently about care of the land and the animals. Plus the people who abandon their dogs!
It’s just disgusting to see the large volume of trash. Where is your pride in your community?