ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Two articles in the Daily Times bring some thoughts to mind. First is the slow economy of the area and the related budget concerns. Most of the local leaders agree we need to diversify our economy and provide other options besides the oil and gas industry and the coal mines and power plants. Since I live in Kirtland I frequently drive by the large metal recycling facilities on Highway 64. I can't help but wonder if a scrap steel mill would work in San Juan County.

We not only have the steel at the Highway 64 facilities that could be turned into rebar, T-posts and other products, but there is a huge amount of steel at the old refinery across from McGee Park and the old Thriftway refinery south of Bloomfield. I don't know if these facilities are spoken for but there are many tons of steel sitting there not being used.

In the near future both APS and PNM tentatively plan to demolish as many as five coal-fired units. I would hope a lot of the structural steel and pipe in those plants can be used somewhere else but there will likely be a lot of steel that is considered scrap that could be recycled. The oil and gas industry provides another large source of scrap steel.

One of the major costs of recycling is shipping, so having a steel mill locally to process the scrap will make recycling more attractive. We also have plenty of natural gas available to fire the furnaces.

The second item is the discussion of rail service to San Juan County.

In the late 1980's when I was a reservoir engineer for El Paso Natural Gas I was contacted by someone from the State of New Mexico. He told me he was evaluating the feasibility of building a railroad spur from Thoreau to Farmington. He was interested in how many undeveloped wells we had at the time for the San Juan Basin so he could estimate the amount of steel casing, tubing, well heads, cement, frac sand and other materials that could be shipped by rail instead of on the highways when those wells were drilled.

I thought it was a great idea then but it did not get built.

I am glad to see a renewed interest in the rail line. When the Mancos Shale drilling program gets going it will require tons of casing, tubing and other well materials that will need to be shipped into San Juan County. It will be a lot cheaper to ship those materials by rail and that will save a lot of wear and tear on our highways.

When the SCR pollution controls are installed on the remaining coal-fired units at the power plants and operating they will require a constant supply of ammonia. I would much rather see that ammonia, which is a hazardous material, shipped by rail than by trucks on our highways. Currently both power plants use a lot of lime for their sulfur dioxide scrubbers that could be delivered by rail also. If we have the rail line then we could also ship the steel products from our steel mill to markets, and possibly ship coal from the coal mines to other power plants.

San Juan County needs economic help. These ideas will not bring immediate relief, but they are something to consider for the future. I hope they get some serious thought.

Jeff Peace

Kirtland, N.M.



 

MASONS IMPROVE COMMUNITIES

I would like to enlighten a lot of misinformed people to the truth about the Masonic order.

Just the other day, a young man in Albuquerque stabbed a man because he thought he belonged to the secret mystic order of the Masons.

In the first place, what is meant by and defines a secret society? If the term refers, as perhaps in strictly logical language it should, to those associations whose designs are concealed from the public eye, and whose members are unknown, that produces results in darkness, and whose operations are carefully hidden from public gaze -- a definitition which will be appropriate to many political clubs and revoultionary combinations in despotic countries where reform, if it is at all to be effected, must be effected by stealth, then clearly Freemasonry is not not a secret society. Its design is not only publicly proclaimed, but is vaunted by its disciples as something to be venerated. For membership is considered an honor to be coveted. (They) work for a result that boasts the civilization and refinement of man. It is a society that makes good men better men and protects those who cannot help themselves. We as Masons produce the many shriners hospitals, schools for artistic children and support many charitable organizations.

What is meant by Freemasons (is for someone) to be able to choose for themselves what church they go to, what political beliefs they want, not to be ruled by any tyrant or anyone else, and to be a free man.

Jerry Billings

Flora Vista

 

Editors Note: Lawrence Capener has been charged in a multiple stabbing at an Albuquerque church in April. Capener has been quoted as saying he feared a Masonic conspiracy.



 

FLY YOUR FLAG

I just drove eight miles on Farmington's Main Street, east to west, and I counted three American flags in view from the street. The most prominent flag flew over an auto dealership.

There is millions of dollars worth of businesses in Farmington without a flag. Have we all forgotten the 400,000 young boys and men who gave their lives for American in World War II alone? And, the thousands more who have given their lives since then?

Flags are flying in residential yards all over the city and you can bet that 98 percent of them belong to veterans who are proud of their flag and what it stands for.

Just stop and think ... you would not have what you have today if the American Flag was a thing of the past?

Jim Clark, WWII veteran

Farmington



 

WHISTLEBLOWERS PUNISHED

Everyone is frightened.

Being scared to speak out is endemic in all of Farmington city government, not just (Centeral Consolidated School District). Investigations are stymied like the Gallegos investigation and some vanish with the hope the public will forget about them.

Some people who are bold enough to step up to the plate like Sgt. Perez are castigated and called liars then fired. Farmington City Hall calls bad good, and good bad, a real twist on proper ethics.

Then Farmington City Hall will look to defame the whistleblower. they use anything like financial records, (Internal Revenue Service) disclosures or in Sgt. Perez's case maybe talking about an investigation into (disclosing information) to someone you're not supposed to disclose information to, like the mayor.

There is nothing the city of Farmington will not do to whistleblowers. If you are an employee of the city of Farmington, whistleblow at your own peril.

Wayne H. Magi

Farmington