Letter to the Editor
Lawsuit shows poor judgment
The lawsuit that is being filed against the members of SEC, the press and specifically Charlene West shows the poor judgment of the majority of trustees. Their action is to thwart the bylaws that overwhelmingly passed by the majority of SEC members in the April annual meeting. They are doing this at great expense to all members of SEC. They are wasting the resources of the Capital Credit Fund of the Co-op. Am I the only one who would like to see a reduction in my electric bill or a larger capital credits check?
First of all, I think Mr. (Charlie) Wagner was right when he insisted that the U.S. flag be posted in the board meeting room to remind people of what country they are in. Apparently, the majority of trustees believe we are in a country that doesn’t permit free speech such as China, Cuba, North Korea, Mexico, and others, without fear of death or imprisonment.
I have been to several of the monthly SEC meetings and I have never seen the press that was present say one word at the meeting. The reporters sit there quietly and take notes with no outbursts or disruption to the meetings. The last time I heard, America still permits freedom of the press (First Amendment to the Constitution) and it is the reporters’ duty to the members of SEC to report the outlandish things that go on at these meetings.
Shouldn’t specifically singling out Charlene West be illegal? The case is closed on her since she hasn’t been to a single meeting since they last took her to court, where she prevailed. Trying to fulfill a vendetta against her for leading the reform group is a gross, frivolous lawsuit. This whole darn lawsuit is insane.
When Mr. (Dennis) Francish and majority board trustees “the titular dictators” do not prevail in court, they should all resign for failure to comply with the bylaws of the co-op.
Citizens need solutions
On June 8, I brought a discussion item to the commission in order for there to be a dialogue on the topic of the county vacating county roads that do not physically exist, particularly in the area of Rio Grande Estates in Socorro County. These roads were either never built by the original developer or never properly constructed and residents were left with open land and no roads.
The challenge is this: How do we provide the most services to the most residents with a very limited budget in our predominantly rural county?
Vacation of roads that do not physically exist was one suggestion for discussion. Such action would allow our staff and road department to develop better maps and road management plans for the area. The downside, however, is that the county would lose any future claims and access to those roads.
During that discussion, the Board of County Commissioners stated that they would rather commit resources to the roads we currently maintain in Rio Grande Estates and try to meet the signage needs as best we can within our limited budget.
As a rural county, we are very much aware of the need for road signs and road maintenance in several areas in order to best meet the needs of our residents. The Board of County Commissioners even passed a resolution, at their June 22 meeting, requiring employees to report missing or damaged road signs should they notice the need in any area of the county and establishing a system for citizens to report damaged or missing road signs. As a matter of fact, we’ve just recently launched a missing-damaged sign reporting tool for county employees and citizens on our website at www.co.socorro.nm.us.
In May, following a phone call and request for street signs from a constituent in Rio Grande Estates, I met with our road department staff, who committed to working with the County Manager’s Office to order and install road signs at the beginning of our new fiscal year, when we would have funds available in the new budget. We have ordered those supplies and have been printing signs to meet these early requests made by constituents. It was this action that led me to explore how the county has addressed roads that do not physically exist.
In spite of Mr. (Tom) Kimball’s assertion (Letters to the Editor, El Defensor Chieftain, July 10) that you can find any parcel of the Rio Grande Estates subdivision using a system of pipes and survey markers, it is a simple fact that many roads were never built on these easements. That you need a map, pipes and survey markers to find an easement demonstrates that although a road may legally exist in the County Clerk’s Office, it does not physically exist on the ground. Arial photographs of the area demonstrate how some residents have even created their own roads by driving the easiest path to their home.
It has been the focus of this administration and this office to correct several issues of the past in the northern part of our county, particularly in Rio Grande Estates; from illegal tire dumps to poor signage. Quite frankly, correcting 40-year-old problems in less than 18 months is an accomplishment that should be heralded rather than condemned.
Mr. Kimball’s accusation of tiring of complaints is baseless and unwarranted. My office is always receptive to constituent concerns and complaints. Due to our limited funds, it may take us some time to implement correction and action, but we are committed to addressing all issues.
Further, my office will continue to explore solutions that meet and address the needs of County residents as a whole and not only the financial advantages of a few speculators in Rio Grande Estates. If this includes vacation of roads that do not physically exist, we will discuss those options as we will discuss all options, with input from residents.
I hope that Mr. Kimball can understand that open dialogue about such topics is the only way a community can work out the best way to protect citizen with serious problems. Problems caused by unscrupulous land developers — not the county. Those developers long ago returned back East with their profits leaving the county to solve the problems they created. We will continue to work to solve those problems.
I welcome Mr. Kimball’s comments as we welcome the comments and suggestions of all residents. However, threat of lawsuits only stifles dialogue and impedes the county’s ability to help our residents; our citizens need solutions not threats.
Socorro County Manager
Humiliation under the law
By now most people have probably heard of Arizona’s new immigration law, which has become quite controversial. The essence of the debate is that the law requires police officers in Arizona to check the immigration-citizenship status of anyone subject to “any lawful stop, detention, or arrest” if they suspect that those who are stopped are in the U.S. illegally. (The full text of the law can be found in a few minutes on Google.)
So, what’s the big deal?
I invite you to consider the following scenario: A U.S. citizen not carrying his driver’s license or other identification is a passenger in a car stopped at a DWI check point by a local sheriff’s deputy. Everybody in the car is sober. No crime has been committed, but this is a STOP according to the law, and the police officer is obliged to check the status of the car’s occupants if he suspects someone is in the U.S. illegally. Perhaps the passenger has a dark complexion; perhaps he speaks English with a Mexican accent; perhaps the officer doesn’t like the way he combs his hair; or perhaps the officer has just had a really bad day.
As a result, the officer takes the passenger into custody. Furthermore, the driver’s car is impounded on suspicion of transporting someone illegally (another part of the same law), and the driver (and probably the other passengers) are also arrested. The passenger cannot be released until his citizenship has been confirmed according to the law. How long will this take? Hours? Days? What about the inconvenience and humiliation?
According to the law, racial profiling cannot be applied in cases like this, but nobody has yet invented a means of determining what the officer was thinking at the moment of the encounter. He will certainly conjure up legitimate-sounding reasons for the arrests after the fact, and police officers tend to receive the benefit of the doubt in such cases.
The real story about this law is not its effects on those in the U.S. illegally; it is about American citizens who might be mistaken for illegal immigrants. (In reality this could apply to any U.S. citizen. However, the law is clearly a response to the large influx of people from south of the border.)
Why should any American citizen be subject to such humiliation?
No doubt most police will strive to apply the law fairly, but the law puts them in a difficult position; how can they balance the immigration mandate with the stress it may place on innocent people? It also provides too much opportunity for the “bad cops” to harass people they don’t like. If you think that this can’t happen, just look up on the Internet what Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been doing under existing law.
In America you traditionally need not provide identification to the police nor give a reason for your presence in a public place as long as no crime has been committed. If a minority of Americans must always carry proof of citizenship or else live in fear of police and immigration authorities, then shame on all of us.
David J. Raymond
Is prophecy fulfilled?
Recently several scholars have sought the impetus for the development of gnosticism not in culture but in specific events or experiences.
Some have suggested that gnosticism emerged as a reaction to the shattering of traditional religious views — Jewish and Christian — after the Romans destroyed Jerusalen in A.D. 70. (Elaine Pagels, “The Gnostic Gospels,” discovered in 1945, in upper Egypt)
I suggest that this may actually have been the case. The Bible suggests that prophecy was fulfilled from the book of Daniel, Chapter 9, the last part of verse 24: “… and to seal up the vision and prophecy, an to anoint the most Holy.”
Couple this with Luke in the New Testament, Chapter 21, verse 20: “And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation there of is nigh” and verse 22 — “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”
If you examine very closely the prophecy of Daniel — “the seventy weeks,” in my opinion it points directly to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which is a historical fact, which brings me back to my original point. The author of the Gnostic treatise on resurrection says “The Savior swallowed death” and “For we are personally acquainted with the son of man, and have come to believe that he arose from the dead” and “For if the dying part (flesh) knows it self, and knows that since it is moribund it is rushing towards this outcome (death) even if it has lived many years in this present life, why do you (the spirit) not examine your own self and see that you have arisen? And you are rushing towards this outcome (separation from the body) since you possess resurrection.”
And he mentions the gospel where Jesus appears with Elias and Moses on the mountain. He also mentions the apostle or Paul. (Bentley Layton, “The Gnostic treatise on resurrection”).
The people who translated the work from Coptic Greek determined this work to be in the second century.
My question is, why did the orthodox church condemn the Gnostic writings during the first and second century?
My opinion again, but it may have been by design, I don’t know. But I do know at the time, if there had not been some kind of organization and stability, Christianity as a religion would not have survived.
And, for nearly 10-1/2 centuries, the orthodox or universal church reigned supreme.
It was only after Martin Luther nailed his thesis on the church house door that the reformation started. Now there are several different denominations, all with differing views on Christianity.
Although, today it seems the orthodox church and almost all the denominations have one view and purpose in common, which would be that “prophecy is still not fulfilled.”
But, if something has been buried for nearly 2,000 years, I want to know why.
Question: Is prophecy fulfilled?