Thursday, September 30, 2010

On The Road Again...

Yesterday $450 arrived from Robert Huckins, the payment due before or on the 10th of September, which now makes his total payment somewhere around $1,750.

He only owes me $80,400 plus $15% interest, or thereabouts.

Benchmark Engineering is phoning the state to see what, exactly, they need and hopefully that problem will be rectified pretty quickly, and without any further confusion.

I located a pressure tank for $80. And prayerfully, if all goes well, we can go to Carrizozo this week-end and pick up the metal for the roof. Some of the pipe, $600 worth, arrived last Sunday, and another load is being brought in this week-end, so everything should be on-site when we start again. If it's not in the dead of winter by that time.

There are still downed tree's to move, fencing to do, more tree's to cut down. If I could get some help there is enough work to do until those permits are obtained, but then I have to face the daunting task of trying to get the power poles and electricity/plumbing.

During normal times this is a simply gorgeous time of year. Right before the colors change on the tree's the weather turns brisk with a distinct difference in the air. You can "feel" winter coming and it's an exhilarating feeling to wake up at dawn and walk out to feel the cold mountain air.

According to the National Weather Service we may not have a tough winter to face this year, and for me that is both a blessing and a curse.

Dry winter forecast

A strong La Niña forming in the Pacific replaces El Niño

The region could be setting up this coming winter for a 180-degree turnaround from last year when winter lived up to its name.

A rapidly strengthening La Niña has taken shape, the National Weather Service (NWS) office at Albuquerque said in a special briefing this week.

Many people are familiar with El Niño, and its typical increase in precipitation, often felt in southern New Mexico. The El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) de-scribes sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and its affects on weather.

"When we go from an El Niño to a La Niña, what's actually happening is we're getting changes in the sea surface temperatures," said NWS meteorologist Deirdre Kann. "So with this present La Niña we have temperatures that are colder than normal in the sea surface temperatures in the eastern portion of the tropical Pacific."

The temperatures are monitored by an array of buoys in the ocean. The readings show La Nina conditions are increasing.

"And what we have seen lately is that the El Niño of the winter we just came out of, 2009-2010, faded rapidly in the spring of 2010 and now we have, just as rapidly, preceded down in the La Niña portion of the ENSO cycle here in the early fall of 2010," said NWS hydrologist Ed Polasko. And you have to go back to about 1955 before you find a stronger La Niña condition for this early in the fall."

I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights. ~Bishop Desmond Tutu, quoted in You Said a Mouthful edited by Ronald D. Fuchs

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oh, Boy, Big Brother

Erma Bombeck asked, "If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?"

I'd be grateful for the pits right now.

I phoned the Construction Industries Department of the State of New Mexico early this morning. It soon became apparent that every time I opened my mouth the situation went from bad to worse.

The secretary remembered me from the day before. She said, "You told me that you were going to add a room or something."

I told her that I said nothing of the sort. What I had said was that this was a temporary situation and I hoped to make the single wide into a tack room down the road. There was no mention of building, or adding additions, or modifying the original design. I simply said that the long term plan was to use the building as a tack room.

She put me on the phone with an inspector. I explained to him, "Look, I was the victim of Robert Huckins, I need to restore the single-wide to serviceable condition which simply means that I have to replace the broken windows, some molded or missing flooring, put in new doors so I can live in it quickly. I would, eventually like to drop the building onto a foundation, stucco it and make it into a tack room. But that may be 2-3 years from now."

He put me back on the phone with the secretary so I could obtain the permit. She immediately said, "Seeing as you are going to stucco the building we need an engineers report."

Is something wrong here.. permits only last a certain amount of time and I have to hire an engineer to get a permit for something I am going to do "down the road?" On a SINGLE WIDE?

That inspector phoned the inspector who red tagged the trailer and shut the work down. He returned to me and said, "The inspector who red tagged you wants an engineers report."

This is what I learned thus far:

If you replace 45 x 43 windows with 48x48 windows you need an engineers report AND a permit.

If you replace 2x2 rotten molded wood from around the window and replace it with 2x4 "frame house quality studs" you need and engineers report AND a permit.

If you build a roof over the top of a single wide you need a SEPARATE permit.

I asked how much the permits cost. $65.00 was the answer.

In fact no matter WHAT you want to do WITH YOUR OWN PROPERTY you need to spend money on the New Mexico State Government so that they can give a nod of the head and leave you alone.

Where WAS the Construction Industries Division of the State of New Mexico when Robert Huckins was stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients, building without insurance/bond, without blueprints, engineers reports, permits, or inspections and NOT ONE person from CID stopped him? In fact.. they HELPED him!

Sally Canning, Laughing Sheep Restaurant, Old Lincoln, NM
I contacted CID (Construction Industries Division) in Santa Fe. They came down and inspected and wrote Huckins a letter stating he had 30 days to make repairs and bring my construction up to code or they would bring him before the "board" for a hearing and could possibly reject/void his license to operate. Robert Huckins ignored the letter, and CID did nothing, either. I have the inspectors names and their letters. - Sally Canning

I telephoned the newspaper and gave an update of what was happening NOW. They put me in contact with a local engineer.

“When we give up our rights that we have in the Constitution to privacy, to know that Big Brother is not looking over our shoulder, we give up a valuable entity in this country.” - Dave Robertson

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fifteen Days Late - Again

The payment due on or before the 10th of the month has not yet arrived from Huckins.

Perhaps it's the recession. I know that we are all feeling the pinch. Employment is getting virtually impossible to find and so many people are experiencing hard times. Why not a convicted felon who has a court judgment demanding "expedient" repayment.

Yesterday afternoon the probation officer, who has been in the hospital for surgery, did say that she thought she had seen an envelope from Huckins on her desk when she returned to work, so all may not yet be lost.

The horrendous situation with the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack is still causing righteous indignation from a large percentage of the population in Lincoln County. It's good to see some have still the ability to know right and wrong.

Conservatives sold their souls
To the editor:

Small town America is a microcosm of Washington, D.C. It is incredible that those who profess to be conservative would advocate public funds to bail out a private enterprise. There are those who have compromised their principles and sold their souls on a future sale of their homes and voted for a serf tax.

They have drunk the Kool-Aid and now we all will pay tribute to the Lord of The Rings of the Wannabees.

Marybeth Samuels


A weird brand of feudalism

To the editor:

So 3,719 Lincoln County voters were frightened or bamboozled into consenting to behave like vassals paying tribute to the local lord. This doesn't feel like democracy, just some weird brand of feudalism. Now Hubbard perhaps can get the gold plating renewed on the fixtures in his jet.

Those who opposed this extortion need to resist and see to it that the demanded $750,000 is not generated.

The nobailouttax website should become (perhaps) Suggest-ions for avoiding paying the Hubbard tax could be posted, such as what items should be bought outside Lincoln County once the tax goes into effect. Business could be steered away from the lawyers and realtors behind this abomination. Since they apparently have bottomless pockets, based on the massive expenditures they used in scaring voters into supporting the tax/tribute, they don't really need the business anyway.

Definitely urge visitors not to go to the Billy the Kid Casino; friends who have gone there report that it's dirty and the food is lousy anyway.

The taxpayers of Lincoln County already subsidize horse racing. Racehorses are a tax write-off for the wealthy, as are the private jets, effectively subsidized by those who don't have that option. Now that the PAC has had their way, it seems likely that all the talk about diversifying the local economy will remain just that. We'll all go back to sleep, (a little less) fat, dumb and happy, until Mr. Hubbard decides he needs to mobilize his flunkies to extract more tribute from the peasantry.

I'm up for kicking in for a legal challenge on the grounds that the tax violates the anti-donation clause of the state constitution.

Heal? How can I heal when I know I'll feel degraded every time I have to pay tribute to Hubbard? This rubbish of obligating the poor and less-well-off to subsidize the obscenely wealthy has got to stop. For greater depth of understanding how we're being ripped off, read Free Lunch: How the wealthiest Americans enrich themselves at government expense and stick you with the bill. (And don't worry, the author David Cay Johnston is a registered Republican.)

Joyce Westerbur


No shame in losing election

To the editor:

Well, we lost. But let's hold our heads high. There's no shame in taking a position, defending it honorably and giving it your best shot.

Let's give the opposition their due. The Hubbard organization is an awesome machine. From Commissioner Tom Battin carrying Hubbard's water at the state and county level all the way down to Tim Keithley parroting the Hubbard party line on a minute-to-minute basis behind the microphones, R.D. is able to hammer home pretty much whatever he wants.

Let's take a minute to look at the positives. By taking almost $4 million from the taxpayers of Lincoln County, Hubbard has increased the value of his racino by a like amount. In doing so, he has made it more valuable to a potential buyer. It would be the best thing that ever happened to Lincoln County for the racetrack to have a new owner.

If you have ever been to a track in California, Texas or Kentucky, then you know comparatively, Ruidoso Downs is a third-rate dump. The infrastructure has been neglected for decades. The casino is a smoke pit. The food served there is barely edible and the service is worse.

Let's keep our fingers crossed [that] Hubbard uses this opportunity to sell out and allow our beloved track to be owned and managed by those capable of making it the very best it can be.

J Williams

Hubbardville (Ruidoso), NM

3 commissioners get cozy

When three Lincoln County commissioners ended up sitting together at a celebration party for passage of a business retention gross receipts tax late Tuesday, some eyebrows were raised.

While commissioners conversing at the same table during a social function is not illegal, the practice is not advisable, says the head of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.

In this case, because the three commissioners voted in favor of conducting a special election sought by supporters of passage of a business retention tax, the image carried more punch.

A special election in September allows the tax aimed at offsetting a portion of the Ruidoso Race Track and Casino's state tax debt for five years, to take effect in January. Delaying until the general election would have moved the effective date to July 1, 2011.

According to unofficial results, voters approved the tax by a margin of 420 ballots out of more than 7,100 returned in a mail-in election.

"Its not illegal on the face, but it is not advisable," FOG Director Sarah Welsh said of the three commissioners sitting together at a table in the Billy the Kid Sports Bar at the casino on election night. "The attorney general tells people that in his road show (when he visits counties to brief officials and the public on the Open Meetings Act). Your constituents assume you are talking county business. It is inadvisable to sit together any time (even at social functions). It is illegal to discuss public business, so if someone overhears such a discussion, they could file a complaint."

Commissioner Dave Parks said Thursday that commissioners, some times all five, frequently eat together during the lunch break in Carrizozo at the once-at-month commission meetings.

As for the election night party, Parks said, "We sat together part of the time and wandered around most of the time. It occurred to me after people started taking pictures (that sitting at the same table might not be a good idea). Absolutely no policy was discussed.

"We're all three good friends and we know better than to talk business."

Battin said when he saw the photograph of the three appear in the newspaper, he thought someone might object.

"I arrived about 7:45 p.m. and spent about 40 minutes going around the room visiting everybody," Battin said. "Dave invited me to sit down and I did, but not for long. Unfortunately, people jump to conclusions. It would have been difficult to conduct business with four or five other people at the table. It didn't occur to me it would be offensive to anyone at the time. If I had thought that, I would not have joined him."

Commissioner Don Williams said he and wife Misti arrived at the party first.

"Dave and his friend came over and sat with us and later, Tom arrived by himself and sat down," Williams said. "Yes, it did occur to me (they should not sit together), but it wasn't planned. In my case, you can't say 'No, don't sit there,' but I wasn't that concerned. Tom spent most of the time mixing and eventually he came back and sat down. I did point out we had a quorum."

A former colleague of Williams, Michele Rebstock, who served with him on the Ruidoso Village Council before resigning earlier this year, saw the photograph and offered her opinion based on information received during a completed Municipal Official Leadership Institute course, where she received a certification.

"Don Williams was my classmate," she said Thurs-day. "We were taught by an attorney to avoid being seen with any other elected official from our council or commission. A public entity is supposed to have all discussions and votes in public (to comply with New Mexico's Open Meetings Act and Government in the Sunshine law).

"To be a purist, there should not be any private meetings with developers even with one elected official. (The attorney) did state that there could be times, especially in a small town, that two or more officials could be present at a social event. I took this to mean church, theater, fund raisers and the like. He was quick to warn that one should leave, if there was a quorum, if possible. But, at least stay far away from each other and do not speak to each other as this could lead to suspicious concerns from the public."

Rebstock said at the village's Holiday parties, sometimes two councilors sat at a table, "But we always had plenty of employees and family members at the table to witness there was not any 'official' conversations going on," Rebstock said.

"The definition of a quorum for the county commission is three members present. To have three members of the county commission present at the same table at a political celebration funded by the private entity that requested a 'special election' for their private gain, which these commissioners endorsed and voted for, may be considered a violation as well as a serious breach of public trust. There was an appearance of impropriety to say the least."

The triumph of fear over anger

Hubbard arrives at his moment of truth

Two emotions collided in the run-up to Tuesday's vote on the Business Retention Tax to help subsidize Ruidoso Downs Race Track & Casino.

And fear triumphed over anger. Concern for jobs and the economy beat opposition to horse racing/gambling or a taxpayer bailout for the richest man in the territory.

Because fear is a more visceral emotion that quickly dissipates once the threat passes, and because anger fuses into a slow burn that must run its course, this Lincoln County "community" will not quickly heal after the most divisive election in its history.

We can all sing kumbaya and dance as one, but the divisions were revealed by the day-to-day grind of a civic "debate" steered by scare tactics and based on phantom numbers and conjecture.

Those divisions materialized in the closeness of the mail-in vote. Consider: If just one out of every 35 "Yes" voters had reversed their decision, this would have been a tied ballgame.

On paper, this David vs. Goliath match-up offered a rout for the "Yes" side.

  • The political action committee (PAC) that supported the tax got the special election from the county commission it so coveted. The timing coincided with the racing season and isolated the issue from the November general election.

  • The "Yes" PAC raised some $82,000 compared to the "No" PAC's $2,000. That's 40 bullets to one, an overwhelming advantage in advertising firepower.

  • The "Yes" side rode a ready made alliance comprised of, among others,the Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Ruidoso Valley Economic Development Corporation, the real estate/housing industry, Rotary, ENMU-Ruidoso and the Spencer Theater (both of which stand to reap "overage" windfalls after the track cap is reached), merchants and their employees, and the far-reaching racino enterprise that attracted out-of-state support.

  • The "Yes" side had a glib attorney as its spokesman who polished his arguments in numerous speaking engagements. It had in-house organs with the Ruidoso Free Press and KRUI radio.

  • The alliance's strategy doubtlessly wrung out every last "Yes" vote on the rolls, while opponents probably left a number of "No" votes on the table through apathy and access to fewer resources.

    So, what happened? Adherence to the principles of low taxes and free markets. Aversion to corporate bailouts and an arrogant sense of entitlement. The blowback was sufficient to make it a horse race. And it suggests racino owner R.D. Hubbard will undergo unparalleled scrutiny - for the condition of his facilities, for his promise, made in an interview with the Ruidoso News, to remain five more years should the tax pass.

    As we have stressed, Hubbard is hardly bound by any legal document with the county, but we expect him to honor that pledge, unless he sells the racino to someone who would fix it up and keep it here.

    Another fissure that developed in the body politic during this campaign occurred between urban and rural interests.

    Consider that the three commissioners who voted in the special election - and, appearances be hanged, attended a victory party Tuesday at the track - all have Ruidoso addresses; the other two are from Carrizozo and Glencoe.

    The "Yes" campaign crystallized in Ruidoso-Ruidoso Downs, papered with "Fight Back" posters up and down the street. Out in the county, the topic was placed on the back burner - always simmering but never boiling over.

    It could even be argued that horseracing concerns in Texas and Colorado cared more about the result than did ranchers from Carrizozo and Corona or artists from Nogal.

    This split could reopen old wounds that festered as recently as five years ago between the population center "up the hill" and far-flung areas less dependent on tourism. The resentment is fresh and palpable.

    Even talk of boycotts has a rural edge, though it remains to be seen how shopping and dining habits will be altered.

    This saga began in November 2009, when R.D. Hubbard made noises - again - about leaving Ruidoso Downs if he didn't achieve tax parity in the state Legislature with Indian casinos.

    He didn't get parity, but he got his referendum. With this Pyrrhic victory, we feel Hubbard has exhausted his relocation threats to this community. Whatever transpires during the five-year life span of this tax, people here have lost their appetite for another such exercise.

    We are worn out, and maybe that's a good thing.

    Perhaps we've grown up, as well. In an effort to function once more, residents, politicians, civic leaders and business people must pick up the pieces and arrange them in a new order, seeking opportunities while accepting both our liabilities and our strengths.

    Never again should we be guided by insecurities that hang like loose threads from the emperor's coattails.

    The people have spoken; we must buy time for our economic future, they clamored. Now, presumably, they've got it. This is their moment of truth.

    And in 2015, should the track stay and tax parity with Indian casinos not be achieved, we must be vigilant that the sunset clause on this bitterly fought tax not be extended, that it bids a colorful farewell over Western skies.

  • “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Red Ticket Day

    There are times when life is stranger than fiction. You simply couldn't make this up if you tried. And I'm at a point where I no longer know if I should be deeply hurt or bloody furious.

    Over the years I have watched churches do some deplorable things but a few years ago a local church group did the totally unexpected. Having purchased horses to use in a "dude" program they found them cost inefficient, so they let them starve through an entire winter.
    In the spring, when my mother was in Ruidoso staying with me, the church phoned me and asked if I would sell all 13 horses for them.

    When we went to see the horses we were met with a horrifying sight. 13 emaciated horses.
    I knew all of these horses and had worked with them an entire year, but I could hardly recognize them.

    Anger just couldn't cover what my mother and I felt. I tend not to be vocal, and I am fairly passive, so it's often hard to see how upset I am. But my mother with her strong Yorkshire traits simply came unglued, and even I had some harsh words to say. We were thoroughly disgusted that people would walk into the front door of the church, walking distance from hungry horses, and not have one iota of conscience nor caring.

    Despite the fact that I was losing my own home I did as I agreed to do, I hauled in feed for these pitiful animals and I sold all 13 horses, and their tack, for the church group.

    Some weeks before my husband had returned to alcohol and drugs, and I had asked him to leave the home unless he signed himself into a rehabilitation center. He just happened to have been working on the building of a Christian camp for 12 months previous, so when he left 4 weeks prior to tax time I had the unfortunate job of approaching the owner of the Christian camp, an elder in the church, to ask for the earning statement I needed to file the joint taxes for the year.
    To say that my request was declined is putting it lightly.

    I limped away like a wounded animal to hide. It left a bitter taste in my mouth and I stopped attending that church - or any church. For my mother, an unbeliever, it was an infuriating
    Situation. She just couldn't understand what I was doing with these people or why I was involved with them at all. Fellowship didn't seem an appropriate answer to her.

    So when Huckins stole my mothers building fund I was already estranged from the church, having "crossed swords" with two of the largest denominations in Lincoln County, I was pretty hurt about the behavior I had seen and felt.

    My inherent desire to say nothing but go into hiding to lick my wounds was about ready to bite me harder than anything in life.

    Only one person knew that I had been deeply hurt, and that person represented herself to be the "fund raiser" even though that title also belonged to others.

    As her behavior became more erratic, threatening people, bullying, going from threats to syrupy sweet, my employer started to get more and more upset, at one point telling me to leave. He claimed that she went from house to house "getting into everyone's business" and I was encouraging her to get into his.
    I started to defend her but soon found myself on difficult ground.

    Then she started peeping through his windows and he put newspaper up trying to block her view, asking me to get some drapes that would prevent her from seeing into the living room. I did exactly what I normally do. I went into hiding terrified that she was going to lose me my job. Trying to protect my job, protect my boss, yet trying not have hard feelings while trying to distance myself from someone who had become harder and harder to deal with.

    When I suggested that we drop the idea of getting a roof on the barn, drying it in, and perhaps look for an old trailer to renovate I was told that "there was something wrong with my self esteem." When I drew a line and said, "enough is enough" I was told that I was mental. When she threatened to bring the health department in to harass my boss if he didn't give her $35k to build the house I said "enough is enough" so loud and clear I think it threw her for a loop.

    By that time she had wanted my medical records, had wanted contact with my husband and his family, had gone through my property records at the title company.. She had tried to give away my grand-children's ponies and couldn't understand why I couldn't take someone else's property. She wanted me to file not-for-profit to get money to build, and no amount of explaining seemed to make her understand that was illegal. She wanted me to build and sell it - but not tell anyone. It was twisting & distorting truths and coming up with one after another threat.

    She literally turned me into a nervous wreck at a time I was getting subpoena's served almost weekly. I had to put some distance between us if I was going to survive this because all I found myself doing was desperately and very unsuccessfully trying to do damage control.

    She promptly went to my boss and told him that she was dying. (Then later told me that she was joking.)

    Yet I never took into consideration the consequences even though when Susie Stockton and I drove to Carrizozo one day I made the comment, "I wouldn't want THIS woman as my enemy for the threats and behavior are unsettling me deeply. Wonderful one minute, spitting venom the next."

    Suzie had done everything within her power to find me help, and that brought in a THIRD church denomination. The denomination that sent an e-mail from one church group to another that was nothing short of the most extreme defamation of character I have ever read. The fact that it was 100% false - and was established as such seems not to matter, the fact that it did unbelievable harm not even a consideration.

    When the article was published in the September 8th newspaper correcting all the rumors and lies I expected a reaction because I was no longer willing to hide and lick my wounds. By afternoon of the 8th my miniature dachshund, my best friend of 5 years was laid dead. The only vehicle I could see or hear was being driven by the one person I knew that I didn't want as my enemy.

    I was inside Sonney's putting up the new curtains, to replace the newspaper, and I head a yelp. When I ran outside poor Oscar was just laid there, and I could hear the Polaris going back towards it's home.
    I was simply numb. So deeply hurt I couldn't even speak to Sonney or talk to anyone about my loss with the exception of my daughter, whom I phoned, and Suzie and George, whom I e-mailed.
    Yet, I didn't see the event. It left me in a strange place. Wondering but not knowing.

    Today I went to the trailer to do some work and it was "red tagged." All work has to stop on it because, I was told, I need an engineer and permits to replace the windows and put a new roof on an old trailer. I had never heard of anything so ludicrous in my life. A convicted felon built a 2,000 sq foot concrete barn over a period of 8 weeks, he had no permits, no building inspections - nothing. And not a soul bothered him.
    But I bring in a single wide trailer and replace two windows in it and I'm shut down by the very same government department that couldn't protect me from a licensed builder.

    Now, despite all the struggling, I can't even put a roof on the trailer to prevent more damage due to the constant rain.
    An inspector just "happened" to drive up from Las Cruces and just "happened" to see that we are renovating the trailer.
    Yet I didn't see the event. I have no idea if one of the numerous threats materialized or if it's coincidence. It's left me in a strange place. Wondering but not knowing.

    The "only" concrete proof I have that malicious intent, character assassination and deception is on-going is within that one e-mail - from one church group to another. So I contacted the Methodist Church to find out if they could lead me to their "source" of the infamous libel e-mail.

    The local pastor was wonderful, the Albuquerque headquarters were wonderful, but the head of our district hung up on me, refusing to speak to me no matter how polite I was, despite my pleading. He was simply horrible.
    What is the world coming to when you have to fight a church to get TRUTH?

    This time hell will freeze over before I go into hiding and lick my wounds. I'm tired of being hurt.. it's about time I tried being angry.

    “I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” - C.S Lewis

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Still Falls the Rain

    Still falls the Rain--- Dark as the world of man, black as our loss--- Blind as the nineteen hundred and forty nails Upon the Cross. Still falls the Rain With a sound like the pulse of the heart that is changed to the hammer-beat In the Potter's Field, and the sound of the impious feet On the Tomb: Still falls the Rain In the Field of Blood where the small hopes breed and the human brain Nurtures its greed, that worm with the brow of Cain. Still falls the Rain At the feet of the Starved Man hung upon the Cross. Christ that each day, each night, nails there, have mercy on us--- On Dives and on Lazarus: Under the Rain the sore and the gold are as one. Still falls the Rain--- Still falls the Blood from the Starved Man's wounded Side: He bears in His Heart all wounds,---those of the light that died, The last faint spark In the self-murdered heart, the wounds of the sad uncomprehending dark, The wounds of the baited bear--- The blind and weeping bear whom the keepers beat On his helpless flesh... the tears of the hunted hare. Still falls the Rain--- Then--- O Ile leape up to my God: who pulles me doune--- See, see where Christ's blood streames in the firmament: It flows from the Brow we nailed upon the tree Deep to the dying, to the thirsting heart That holds the fires of the world,---dark-smirched with pain As Caesar's laurel crown. Then sounds the voice of One who like the heart of man Was once a child who among beasts has lain--- "Still do I love, still shed my innocent light, my Blood, for thee."

    There was a time when I would be thrilled to see this amount of rain but today it's simply making my stomach turn over and tie in knots.

    I have so much building material exposed to the elements, barely any roof on the trailer, new appliances and oak bathroom suite sat in an open trailer .....

    And still it rains. It may not be the end of the world but it sure feels like it.

    Last Sunday I gave John the $600 he needed to get the metal pipe to build a frame for the roof of the trailer and I pray he does what he has promised to do, but he's mourning the loss of a short relationship and getting his attention is so difficult.

    Still I pray, pray that God nudges him and makes him aware that if I don't get a roof on this house all will be lost. Again. And here we are in the last part of September with the weather almost winter like.
    So frustrating.

    The roof or lack of, has become an especially pressing dilemma and the urgency to get it fixed a month ago seems to have no start or finish date. "Getting a roof over my head" is an almost ironically funny statement these days.

    Jesse said that the metal I brought in from Roswell is not suitable for the roof, trust a woman to buy something that can't do the job. So I'm waiting for Don Spencer to tell me how much I owe for the remaining commercial metal on his ranch. Then I can go pick it up..

    Lord, let me see the rainbow through this.

    The contention between the citizenry of Lincoln County over the special election to keep Hubbard & Allred in our midst continues to cause a rift. With racetracks the world over going bankrupt, with the state of New York having to take over the Horseman's Association to prevent the "Triple Crown" from facing financial failure before 2011. With Las Vegas and all the gambling communities facing unparalleled decrease in activity leading to record breaking foreclosures and bankruptcies the mindset of those who expect Ruidoso Downs Racetrack to survive, with or without a tax, is beyond my comprehension.

    When I first came to this region there was barely 13,000 residents in the 400 square miles of Lincoln County. It was a close knit community with deep ranching roots.
    We rarely asked people where they were from, because we knew their entire family.

    So many people have gone to be with the Lord, and some may not have gone that direction. We will have to wait and see. Others born and raised here have relocated. I miss them all.
    Working ranches have been sub-divided and planted in houses and people from all over the world have moved here.

    It's difficult to know your neighbor anymore. They came from New York, Texas, California, Mexico, Germany, Great Britain, Michigan. A representation of every region in the world seems to have come to live in Lincoln County to find their own piece of paradise.

    But if you don't have peace, caring and compassion for your fellowman what good is that wonderful Sierra Blanca view?

    Lord, come quickly. But please make it stop raining until you do.

    “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.” - Albert Einstein

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them; The Good Is Oft Interred With Their Bones.

    Lincoln County Sales Tax Increase Passes

    By Rene Romo
    Copyright © 2010 Albuquerque Journal
    Journal Southern Bureau

    LAS CRUCES — Lincoln County voters approved a three-sixteenths of 1 percent sales tax increase touted as a critical step in keeping the Ruidoso Downs racetrack and Billy the Kid Casino operating in the area as mail-in ballots were tallied Tuesday.

    Racino owner R.D. Hubbard vowed to move the track to Las Cruces or some other New Mexico city, if voters failed to approve the tax increase in a special election paid for by a local political action committee called the Committee for Lincoln County Economic Development.

    According to unofficial results from the Lincoln County clerk's office, the tax measure was approved by 52.9 percent of 7,018 votes counted, a 54-percent turnout. Votes in favor of the tax increase totaled 3,719, with 3,299 votes against, according to unofficial results.

    The special election fueled a divisive debate. Boosters argued the sales tax increase was a small price to pay to support a major tourism draw touted as critical to the local economy, while opponents balked at having to help bail out a millionaire racino owner.

    The estimated $750,000 generated annually over the tax increase's five-year term will be used to offset gaming taxes the state collects from the Billy the Kid Casino at Ruidoso Downs. The increase will cost consumers $18.75 on purchases of $10,000, and supporters said much of it will be paid by tourists visiting the town in the Lincoln National Forest where many Texans own second homes.

    Since 2008, Hubbard and his backers have lobbied the state Legislature for what was called "tax equity," a reduction of the tax on the racino's net that would compare more favorably to that imposed on Indian casinos. Net win represents the amount of money bet on slot machines, minus payouts and regulatory fees.

    The state taxes net profits at Indian casinos on a tiered basis from 3 to 9 percent, depending on the volume of revenue, but non-Indian casinos, like Hubbard's, pay a flat 26-percent rate.

    The racino claimed it lost $1.2 million in 2009 and $2.2 million in 2008, mainly due to competition from two casinos operated by nearby Mescalero Apache.

    The pro-tax PAC, headed by the attorney for the city of Ruidoso Downs where the track is located, characterized the sales tax increase as a "business retention" tax and campaigned with the slogan: "Fight Back — Vote Yes for Lincoln County." The PAC was opposed by another group of locals called the No Bail Out Tax Committee.

    An amazingly close David vs Goliath special election that gave us some hope that we may have honest and honorable people in our midst, despite the manipulation and bullying of the well heeled and politically connected.
    We owe sincere gratitude to the "No Bail Out" group who devoted so much time and effort, and withstood some serious retributions & threats against them.

    Ms. Moore, who headed the "No Bail Out" group received threats against her, including those who contacted her place of employment demanding that she be fired.

    So much for living in a "free" country.

    Meanwhile Robert Huckins, who fits in perfectly in this community, has not paid the money he was supposed to pay on or before the 10th of September.

    The judicial system is now being seen with stark reality as being totally useless, and without one iota of merit in it's defense.
    If we could put the American judicial system on trial I am thoroughly confident that it would be given life without parole. Perhaps it could use an insanity defense. It has certainly earned that diagnosis.

    We are at a stand still with the trailer renovation, running short of funds to buy building material, utility poles and metal for the roof.

    It is now officially autumn and the weather is turning cold. Still it rains. I don't think I have seen this amount of precipitation out of the monsoon season and the continual dampness is making building and renovating difficult.

    Yesterday I spoke to a pastor concerning a very libel e-mail that was sent through his denomination in the spring of 2010. I actually like this pastor and it's terrible watching people being pulled into a deceitful maelstrom. It's terrible being pulled into one oneself.

    The fact that it was libel sent through the denomination emergency conference, with serious consequences, doesn't seem to be important to the person who sent it.
    Throughout the e-mail the person, in official capacity, kept mentioning her "sources" but refused to come forth and reveal the name of her sources and thus far has not had a change of heart.

    The e-mail, sent from one church group to another, detailed communication between a state senator and this particular local pastor, that both say never took place. In fact both said that they have never met one another, spoken to one another on the phone, or e-mailed one another.

    It mentioned another pastor of another denomination and he said that he had NO involvement and had no idea what the person who wrote the e-mail was talking about.

    It gave an account of my own situation that was 100% fiction.
    Even after it was made clear that the e-mail was 100% deceptive no apology came forth, and no retraction was made. I was simply asked NOT to show anyone the e-mail.

    And it made references that were hurtful, malicious, libel and seriously damaging defamation of character.
    How damaging didn't hit home until I spoke to a local business owner a few weeks ago and some of the information within that e-mail was repeated to me.

    The e-mail was clearly intended to prevent anyone from helping me, to severely hurt me, and it was very successful in harming me, but WHY was a question that no-one could answer or did not want to answer.

    Churches are supposed to be a place of refuge, where honesty and hope are a foundation stone. When they depart from that and become social predators it's a difficult thing to handle. The local pastor is just as much a victim as I am, and when he told me yesterday that his heart bled for me I became more frustrated that so many individuals can be hurt by one or a few who don't seem to care whom they hurt.

    I don't know how much hurt any human being can have inflicted upon them. This desire to hurt others seems contagious and I'm unsure if it's a sign of the latter days or something prevalent only in this region where one can be viewed as food for the vultures.

    I have kept quiet about this event, but no longer. I'm hurt so much.

    “However many holy words you read,However many you speak,What good will they do you If you do not act on upon them?” - Buddha

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Fix Or Repair Daily

    F.O.R.D: Fix Or Repair Daily

    Yesterday my Ford350 broke down while cruising down Sudderth. There is an almost surreal feeling when you see the entire dashboard go dead, registering no speed or temperature, and a few seconds later the motor shuts down in the middle of rush hour traffic.

    It cost $85 to have it put on a tow truck and hauled to Mountain Tech Automotive and a $600+ repair bill to get it back on the road. Money doesn't seem to go as far as it used to go, but I feel blessed that it cost $700 and not $7,000.

    I spoke to John Boyd who said that he was working on the single wide Saturday, Sunday and Monday - but quickly changed those plans and didn't know for sure .
    I spoke to Jesse Gordiola this morning and he announced that he's going to Mexico for a week.

    Praying that we can get a considerable amount of work done through the upcoming week-end.

    The Ruidoso Racetrack dilemma is causing so much bitterness between those who want to vote for the additional tax, and those who don't that I am starting to wonder about man's inhumanity towards man.

    It's so sad when a different opinion causes people to threaten, manipulate, step over boundaries that should never be crossed and I am starting to wonder about the Freedom of Speech that is so prized.

    What happened to "agreeing to disagree" without the fear of reprisals?

    Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith. ~Author Unknown