Editorial content.

Nov. 13, 2017

According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, the average age of a New Mexico producer is 60.5 years, which is the second highest age, only behind Arizona. These producers, and for that matter, the entire state of New Mexico, will undergo a transition in the near future which will shape our destiny for years to come. The next generation of agriculturists, with their energy, dreams and drive, will soon be in a position to take on the challenge of feeding their communities, the state and the world.

Or will they?

Congress is currently debating tax policy. Among the discussion is the estate tax. Proposals to raise the estate tax exemption or delete it all together will have a profound impact on the next generation of agriculturists. Farming and ranching enterprises are asset rich and cash poor. These enterprises operate as a unit, one part relying on the other. They are valued as a whole, and splitting them up may cause the entire business to fail, which is a position that many in agriculture face when dealing with estate tax situations.

To the Editor:

WNMU the highest cost of attendance in the state:

You wouldn’t think that a small liberal arts school like WNMU would have the highest cost of attendance of any state school. But the Legislative Finance Committee has issued a report “Program Evaluation: Higher Education Cost Drivers and Cost savings” Oct. 24, 2017 that says it is.

Silver City, NM (November 7, 2017) — In response to public outcry about a proposal that could put the Gila Wilderness and surrounding communities at risk, Holloman Air Force Base (HAFB) has agreed to host a public meeting on Nov. 14th at 6:00 pm at the Grant County Administration Building regarding their “Special Use Airspace Optimization Project.” While the public is invited to attend the meeting, public comments will not be allowed to be submitted either verbally or in writing. A public rally is planned at 5:00 pm at the Grant County Administration Building to show strong public concern over this proposal and process. This public rally will include local elected officials, business owners, sportsmen organizations, outfitters, veterans and conservation groups.

The 6:00 pm meeting in the Grant County Commission Chambers will focus on recently announced plans to conduct 10,000 fly-overs annually above the Gila National Forest, including the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness Areas. Trainings will include low altitude overflights, at 500 feet above the national forest and 2,000 feet above wilderness. The proposal would drop 30,000 magnesium flares and toxic “defensive chaff” each year.

By New Mexico State Senator Howie Morales (D-28-Catron, Grant & Socorro)

Nov. 6, 2017

Residents of southwest New Mexico are just now finding out that big changes to their quality of life are being planned by the United States Air Force. Thousands of new training flights by supersonic F-16 fighter jets may soon be on the way over Silver City and other populated parts of Grant and Catron Counties, and also the pristine Gila and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas, if Holloman Air Force Base has its way on a proposed major expansion of its training airspace. The problem is, residents have had no say in the decision, nor did they even receive any prior notice of these far-reaching changes, even though federal law requires it.

To the Editor:
Compensation of WNMU President over half a million dollars

As part of his new employment contract the Regents paid President Shepard for all of his accumulated annual leave, 800 hours at $129.80 per hour a total of $103,842.16 paid on October 12, 2017.

To the Editor:
Comments on article “WNMU Dual Enrollment numbers contribute to overall enrollment drop”.

Western had a 10% drop in enrollment this semester, the largest ever. They contribute this to a new regulation from the Higher Learning Commission effecting Dual Credit Classes.

Eastern New Mexico has about the same number of Dual Credit students as Western and must abide by the same regulations as Western but this year its enrollment has actually increased. What is Eastern doing different than Western?

Dear Editor:

Just so people know, rotenone is not a "selective treatment" for invasive species of fish as stated in the subject piece, which can be read at http://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-releases/40049-temporary-closure-order-native-fish-restoration-activity-for-catwalk-recreation-area .

Rotenone kills fish, period, whether native, non-native, or invasive. Rotenone also affects other gill-breathing organisms such as immature amphibians and immature forms of aquatic insects. Working as a fishery biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game between 1960 and 1971, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, from 1971 through 1979, I was involved in many rotenone applications. I'm a little surprised that rotenone and potassium permanganate are still being used.

Roger Lanse

Silver City

By Brian Etheridge, MD, FAAP

New Mexico’s Human Services Department (HSD) wants to make changes to its Medicaid program that would not only hurt our state’s children and families, but would also place financial burdens on its healthcare workforce. As both a pediatrician and the president of the New Mexico Pediatric Society, I must voice my concerns. The draft plan, which is open for comments until November 6 and must be approved by the federal government, has some strong points, including pilot projects for Medicaid-funded home visitation, improved coverage for young adults who have aged out of foster care, and increased access to long-acting reversible contraceptives. These proposals not only make sense but have sound data supporting their efficacy.

There are, however, several elements in the plan that are not in the best interest of New Mexico’s children, would limit access to care, damage an already fragile health system, may actually cost more than they are supposed to save, and should be withdrawn prior to submission.

Live from Silver City

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Editor's Note

The Beat as a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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