Perhaps America has had too much civilizing

Freedom Newspapers In mid-April of each year, anyone with more than a modest income must make a reckoning with the federal and state governments. Most of us groan about it, but how often do we contemplate why we must pay such high taxes — which for most people range from 40 percent to 50 percent […]

It’s time to privatize the Power Marketing Administrations

Freedom Newspapers Politicians and interest groups already seem to have snuffed out one of the more sensible money-saving recommendations in President Bush’s fiscal 2006 budget — his proposal that four Department of Energy-run utilities start charging closer-to-market rates for electricity generated by federal dams. The episode illustrates how difficult it is to win Congressional backing […]

Ute Water Project body wants to illustrate future without project

By Tony Parra CLOVIS — The governing body of the Ute Water Project hopes this spring to have an analysis that would show what would happen if the project is not completed. Clovis Mayor and Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority Chairman David Lansford told the project’s engineering consultants that meetings to distribute federal funds […]

Nursing home residents caught in middle of bed tax battle

By Mike Linn A battle between state and federal governments over a bed tax is putting nursing home residents in the middle. At stake is a nearly $9 a day tax on all occupied nursing home beds in the state. The tax was instituted in 2004 in hopes of drawing extra Medicaid funding. But the […]

NMFA helps fund Ute Water Project

Freedom Newspapers TUCUMCARI — The New Mexico Finance Authority and the governing body of the Ute Water Project reached an agreement Wednesday for a $2 million grant to help fund the initial stages of the proposed project. Much of the money will go toward engineering services, which include rounds of public meetings at towns and […]

City officials commit to Ute Water Project

By Tony Parra Mayor Orlando Ortega and city officials approved a Portales commitment to the Ute Water Project during Tuesday’s city meeting. Ortega said senators and federal government officials have heard verbal commitments from eastern New Mexico communities but they do not have documentation of each community’s commitment. Ortega advised city councilors to review water […]

Village officials asked how much water they need

By Tony Parra How much water do you need? That’s the question Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority Project Manager Scott Verhines asked ENMRWA members on Wednesday in Portales. Verhines said he wants the information so engineering consultants have an idea on the specifications of the pipes leading to each community involved in the Ute […]

Mayors testify regarding Ute Water Project

By Tony Parra Mayor David Lansford of Clovis and Mayor Orlando Ortega of Portales wanted to send a clear message to Congress that federal funding is vital and necessary now for the Ute Water Project. “There is no viable alternative to this project,” Lansford said. “We will not have the adequate water to sustain the […]

Q&A, Jeff Bingaman

Freedom Newspapers U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., was in Portales last week. He sat down with Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico staff for about 30 minutes. Q: What are the chances the Ute Water Project will receive 80 percent funding from the federal government, with 10 percent from the state and 10 percent from local […]

Further delays could drive up pipeline price

By Darrell Todd Maurina Local officials told an interim committee of the State Legislature on Wednesday morning that any further delays in building the Ute Water pipeline will hike costs by about $3 million per year. Total capital and enhancement costs for the proposed Ute Water system are now estimated at $310.2 million, according to […]

Portales schools to receive Internet funds

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer The federal government will pick up a portion of the tab for Portales schools’ Internet and telephone services again this year — and that could save the district tens of thousands of dollars. U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., recently announced the potential award from the federal E-Rate program. The […]

The states can handle issues on their own

Freedom Editorial The Great Dissembler, former president Bill Clinton, was in Denver on Tuesday hawking his hagiography, “My Life,” and he couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a few cheap shots at the sitting president. We understand this was all part of the promotion, a way to pump up book sales by making his appearance […]

Relying too much on Social Security might tarnish golden years

It seems Americans have caught a break on Social Security. According to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, the program isn’t going broke as fast as people thought. CBO estimates the so-called trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2052. That’s a decade beyond the estimates of Social Security trustees. Unfortunately, the most likely outcome of […]

Water project may seek other funding

By Mike Linn A member of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority believes there is a 50 percent chance the funding formula for the estimated $307 million Ute Water Project will change. ENMRWA board member Catherine Haynes, who was in Washington, D.C., last week lobbying for federal funding of the project at 80 percent, […]

Udall: Timing wrong for water project

By Jack King U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici told members of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority last week that he will not support federal funding of the Ute Water Project for at least two years, an ENMRWA official said Wednesday. Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega said Domenici told ENMRWA members — who were in were […]

Committee approves funds for CSC

By Tony Parra Portales finance committee members approved applications from the Community Services Center for two new 15-passenger vans at the finance committee meeting on Tuesday. City Manager Debi Lee said she spoke with Community Services Center Executive Director Pamela O’Malley on trying to fit the funds needed to match the federal grants from the […]

Ute Water bill in trouble

By Jack King The commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation told members of a U.S. Senate subcommittee Thursday the Bush administration does not support authorization legislation for the Ute Water Project as it is written. And in a press release Thursday, Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said he also would not support the bill as […]

Ute Water Project going to Senate floor

Federal authorization legislation for the Ute Water Project will be submitted to the U.S. Senate in June, a spokeswoman for Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said Thursday. Officials have said authorization legislation is required before the project can be eligible for federal funds. Jude McCartin, Bingaman’s Washington press representative, said authorization legislation will not appropriate funding […]

Getting a foot in the door

Jack King A conference for business owners on how to obtain government contracts will be held Thursday in Clovis Community College’s Town Hall. Titled “How to Get Through the Government Contracting Door,” the conference will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Topics will include the state of New Mexico’s procurement assistance program, Small Business […]

‘Feel good’ laws make for confusing interpretations

A narrow court ruling upholding one small aspect of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act highlights the problems that ensue when Congress passes feel-good legislation that turns out to be imprecise and more sweeping than in keeping with the constitutional ideal of limited government. Sloppy language in laws allows — sometimes requires — the courts […]