Controlled by outsiders


Valencia County residents and taxpayers: What items would be on your wish list if the county regained about $2 million?

I can think of a few: additional sheriff’s deputies, improved code enforcement, added personnel to virtually every department in county government to ensure better overall service for the public.

There are many more one can mention. This could happen if VIA would pay their taxes, which have been in arrears for decades. This is a long-standing problem in Valencia County and in New Mexico.

Recently, an opportunity to ease the tax burden was thwarted by the Cibola Land Co. and VIA when they filed a lawsuit preventing land grants in New Mexico from exercising their first right of refusal status as mandated by HB 88.

If they were out to hurt the Town of Tomé Land Grant, they succeeded, but the collateral damage in fact was to hurt all land grants in New Mexico.

Last year, Mr. Paul Baca, of VIA, approached the Tomé Land Grant in what appeared to be a panicked situation. He indicated to the grant that he had been approached by Cibola Land Co. to purchase land on the old commons. Mr. Baca indicated that he was afraid there would be oil and gas exploration and fracking. That’s how it was presented.

Mr. Baca was adamant that he would never sell to anyone who was going to destroy the land in that manner. The proposal was that he would donate to the land grant a major part of the old commons to avoid the destruction of the land.

A few months later, he, in fact, sold substantial parcels to Cibola Land Co. The fear of fracking became extinct. This is yet another example of the power of money and how it can leverage any business deal or moral ideology. And again, the Town of Tomé Land Grant was being used for the purpose of personal and individual gain. Hurtful and devious history revived. When will it end?

When the Cerro de Tomé (Tomé Hill) was returned to the people, that was greatly appreciated and it was the right thing to do. The most recent collaboration between VIA and Cibola Land Co. makes it clear that the old common lands that once nurtured and gave life to a historic community will now be controlled by outsiders and individuals who have absolutely no knowledge of the land grant history in New Mexico.

Yes, the land was lost, but that doesn’t make it right to continue the abuse of land speculators. Again, a good question to ask is why have these taxes not been paid?

Rita M. Padilla-Gutierrez


Taking care of himself


Donna Crawford’s letter sounded like a Trump White House press secretary dishing out alternative facts.

Trump’s own words and actions paint a much more troubling picture of his caring for the American people. Trump will not admit any failures and keeps lying to attempt to shift the blame to others.

He says he inherited bare shelves and empty cupboards but when asked why he hadn’t restocked those shelves and cupboards for three years, he replied he was too busy with Russia and Ukraine hoaxes.

Next, he attempts to blame the Chinese and WHO and now we have this big China/WHO/United Nations conspiracy thing being spread, only to take the attention from Trump’s failures.

On Dec. 30, 2019, China informed the WHO of an atypical pneumonia. On Jan. 5, 2020, WHO notified all member states about the new outbreak of an unknown pneumonia virus. On Jan. 10, the WHO warned of the risk of human-to-human transmission, contrary to Ms. Crawford’s alternative facts.

By the end of January and beginning of February, a majority of the intelligence contained in Trump’s daily briefings was about the coronavirus. At the same time that he was getting those briefings, Trump was publicly down-playing the risk of the virus.

A couple of his many mis-statements, on Jan. 22, he said it was totally under control; on Feb. 10, he said we’re in great shape; it will go away by April. Trump disbanded the U.S. Pandemic Response Team, fired the China based U.S. pandemic expert and ignored intelligence reports.

The whole month of February was typical Trump not working. Spent three days flying to Mar-a-Lago, spent three days golfing, spent three days holding fundraisers and spent four days holding ego rallies while calling it a hoax.

Now add in his tweeting time and time being interviewed on Fox News and he spent over half of February too busy to resupply or prepare. In January, he spent 13 days doing the same.

Yes the presidents’ job is to first take care of the people but Trump only takes care of himself. Period.

William Lumsden

Rio Communities

We need better updates


For several months, our nation has been in turmoil from the COVID-19 pandemic. Shelter in place, social distancing, quarantine, self-isolation, face coverings, essential are all terms with which we have had to become both quickly accustomed and all-too familiar.

Firstly, I commend our leaders for navigating these uncharted waters to their best abilities, and I certainly commend the citizens of Valencia County for patiently and attentively doing their parts for safety. I would like to also recognize the media, for the daily updates and instructions; they have done a stellar job of communicating the states’ mandates, directives and orders; however, one thing is missing.

In the midst of our daily updates of COVID-related deaths and positive tests by county, the number of recoveries by county is somehow missing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate knowing that every day, recoveries are on the rise, but what is that number in Valencia County? Why doesn’t the state provide that information to the public?

Curiosity got the best of me, so I made a call to the Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline. I was told that recoveries by county could not be given to the public. When I questioned that, I was told that recoveries are difficult to track because a recovery requires two consecutive negative tests results.

Again, when I asked if the number of recoveries being tracked was accurate, I was told yes, however the number by county could not be released to the public. My emails to the governor and lieutenant governor requesting the same numbers have also gone unanswered.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but I do appreciate a bit of transparency. As we continue to move forward towards reopening, I feel as though everyone reading this deserves to have a clear picture of the number of active cases in Valencia County; being honest, I feel as though every person in the state deserves an accurate depiction of recoveries in their communities.

People are scared, people are apprehensive and that’s to be expected. Perhaps, knowing the true number of active cases, rather than a blanket number of those who are positive may slightly ease the nerves of some, including business owners. Perhaps not, and that’s okay, too; we all need to move at our own comfort level back into life.

In closing, again, I thank our communities for the many sacrifices made as well as the tremendous support for our local businesses. As we continue on into reopening, ask questions and be educated as to the real numbers in our county and why they are being withheld.

Stay safe and I look forward to seeing you soon, enjoying yourselves at your favorite restaurant or relaxing in the park.

Robert Noblin


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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.