American Legion Riders Chapter 13 hosts state convention 101522

Most photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy

The weekend of Oct. 15-16, 2022, the American Legion Riders Chapter 13, a part of the Allingham-Golding American Legion Post 18 in Silver City, NM, hosted for the first time the state convention of American Legion Riders.

Tim Maxon, Chapter 13 director, said the American Legion Riders welcome and invite all veterans who ride to take part in the group and its events.

Maxon said about the American Legion: "It was created prior to World War I to convince American soldiers to go fight in the war. Now it's a veterans' organization."

He said the convention began that morning, with breakfast, and then the ride. "We expect 20 from Albuquerque, one from Santa Fe, several from Deming and elsewhere. Altogether, with our local riders, we expect about 50 to attend."

The ride had been planned for the Trail of the Mountain Spirits up NM 15 into the Gila National Forest and back around through Mimbres. However, road construction and the asphalt spill on NM 15 had changed their plans.

A motorcycle police escort led the 15 riders, four of whom were from Silver City and the rest from elsewhere, through town. They then headed eastward toward Faywood Hot Springs and around through Faywood and returning on NM 152. Maxon noted a truck with trailer would follow the riders in case someone broke down.

He said as part of the convention, the Riders would donate $5,000 to the Friends of Fischer House, which is a place in Albuquerque for families of veterans to stay while their veteran is undergoing medical treatment at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Albuquerque.

The donation to Fischer House, one of the donees of the organization, was made possible by a donation from Betty Gorski-Leslie, who made the gift to honor her deceased husband, who had been a Rider.

Maxon said Chapter 13 had already donated $1,500 to the Fischer House this year.

The group would also donate $3,000 to Operation Wounded Warrior, New Mexico chapter.

Maxon emphasized that the donations would stay in New Mexico for New Mexico veterans.

After the riders took off, Maxon retired to the kitchen to make lunch for the convention participants.

SH15 Spill Update - October 23, 2022

Today R. Marley folks arrived on-site at about 7:30. Because of the rain last night, the drainage was flowing pretty good today, so we focused more on moving rocks and cobbles rather than using shovels to remove sediment and tar material that could migrate down-drainage. Thirty bags of rocks were retrieved and brought to the rolloff bin along with 30 other bags filled in previous days. Due to stream conditions, we expect to perform the same kind of work tomorrow.

Inspection and maintenance of the check dams was conducted, which were functioning as designed (i.e., they were retaining sediment and material), but the amount of flow today caused overtopping of many of the check dams by mid-afternoon. We'll inspect again tomorrow, and if conditions allow, we'll deploy one or two more check dams in strategic locations to capture more sediment and material.

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Golf course popularity and programs increasing

By Lynn Janes

Silver City held a regular council meeting October 11, 2022. The meeting started with Mayor Ken Ladner calling the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance and salute to the New Mexico state flag. Council members attending the meeting included Lucian Farmer, Jose Ray, and Guadalupe Cano. Nicholas Prince did not attend.

The council approved the agenda.

Ceremonies none currently.

Proclamations none currently.

Council comments

Ray wanted to remind everyone that early voting had started. He had gone to vote but had a concern about the ballot. The area for write in candidates does not allow enough room to write a name in because the area provided is too small. He went on to express some concerns about the country. He said "We must change things in America, we are going backwards. The borders are wide open, and we all know. They are trying to squeeze America in the middle. Just a point to ponder. Nothing can be done from either side. We must ask God for forgiveness for what we have done." Those who believe no explanation would be required and those who do not no explanation would be possible. He asked everyone to please vote but to remember what this administration has been doing to divide the country in all kinds of ways. "God bless America."

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Grant County commissioner district 2 forum

By Lynn Janes

On October 17, 2022, Silver City Daily Press held a Facebook forum for Grant County commissioner district 2. It took place at the Besse-Forward Global Resource Center auditorium at WNMU (Western New Mexico University). Questions came from the virtual audience, attending audience and Jordan Archunde for the Silver City Daily Press. Publisher Nicholas Seibel moderated the forum. Each candidate had three minutes for an opening statement and for each question two minutes would be allowed. The forum took place between Armando (Mando) Aguilar and Eloy Medina.

Opening statements

Aguilar said he would be considered a rural candidate. His experience has been everything everyone else has and is going through. He told the audience he stood for conservative values as far as the border, support of the police, crime, and inflation. "We need to change some things. I look forward to building a great rapport with the other county commissioners and see what they could do together to make the county better."

Medina said he was born and raised in Bayard, graduated from Cobre, and received a bachelors degree from NMSU (New Mexico State University), "I am currently engaged to a wonderful woman who supports me 100 percent." Between the two they have six kids and believe in secondary education. Medina has been in city politics for six years as councilman for Bayard. "I believe in the greatest good for the greatest number." He said he supports public safety and wanted to help the county move in the right direction.

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District 2 Commissioner Candidate Eloy Medina attended meeting.

By Lynn Janes

The town of Hurley held a regular meeting October 11, 2022, beginning with the roll call and the Pledge of Allegiance. Attendance to the meeting included Mayor Ed Stevens, Mayor pro tem Richard Maynes, councilors Mateo Madrid, and Freddie Rodriquez. Nanette Day did not attend.

The council approved the agenda for the meeting.

Public input

Eloy Medina attended the meeting and is running for district 2 county commissioner. He said he wanted to let them know he would work for them if he were elected, and his goal will be to make life better for the residents. "I am not a politician but have been traveling all over talking to the people." He said currently he sits on the Bayard City Council and has experienced how to work with budgets and staff.

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SH15 Spill Update - October 22, 2022

Today the first of the four R. Marley folks arrived at about 7:30 and focused on using shovels to remove sediment and tar material, and using the screen stands to sift through shovelled sediment. Through this operation 29 bags of sediment with asphalt were retrieved; we estimate that asphalt comprised less than 10% of the total retrieved today (i.e., over 90% of the retrieved material was sediment). The on-site coordinator also conducted his daily inspection and maintenance of the check dams, which were functioning as designed. The water in the drainage has significantly receded in recent days. As in previous days, nothing appears to have breached the uppermost check dam since October 8.

Cleanup in the immediate release site area (i.e., the top 30 yards or so) is largely complete, with the work today concentrated in the drainage between 30 and 60 yards from the release site. Tomorrow and Monday (a full laborer crew is expected Monday) we're focusing on completing the shovel and screening operations, retrieving rocks, cobbles, and boulders with tar smeared on them, picking up visible bits of tar, and returning screened sediment to where it was extracted.

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GRMC Governing Board met Sept. 22, 2022

By Mary Alice Murphy

To begin the regular Governing Board meeting on Sept. 22, 2022, the board members recognized several Gila Regional Medical Center staff members for their years of service to the hospital.

Board Chair Alicia Edwards recognized Yolanda Travers for 10 years of service, now serving in Neuro Diagnostics; Ann Pavlakovich for her five years of service, now in the recovery room; Celina Shannon for five years of service in the emergency room; Dana Andazola for five years of service in the Family Practice; and Laurie Tavonatti for five years of service in emergency medical services. Each awardee will receive a certificate of appreciation.

With no public input, board members went into executive session for the next three plus hours.

Edwards noted that the only items discussed in closed session were agenda items and no decisions were made.

Board members approved the consent agenda of minutes from the Aug. 25, 2022 regular meeting.

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Gila National Forest advises caution against flooding, road, and trail hazards

Silver City, NM, October 21, 2022 – Flooding and road and trail damage have been common themes on the Gila National Forest this summer. Areas across the forest have received nearly double the normal amount of moisture compared to monsoon seasons over the past 30 years. Recharged water tables and often-saturated soils result in elevated streamflow for up to a week after each rain event.

"In the arid Southwest, rivers fed by rain and snow are our lifeblood," said Camille Howes, Gila National Forest Supervisor. "However, the sheer amount of precipitation this summer has raised rivers and streams to flood levels, washing away road surface and trail tread both within and outside of burn scars."

High water made crossing impossible on the Gila River, resulting in the recent rescue of a group of Boy Scouts from the Gila Wilderness, and some visitors to Catwalk National Recreation Area found Whitewater Creek flowing too high and fast to safely cross. Visitors have become stuck on flood-damaged roads for days at a time, even in high-clearance vehicles.

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