Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lil Benny's Service On Second Street

Had some work done by "Lil Benny" at his place of business, the service station, on 2nd Street right here in Raton. I was pleasantly surprised at the service. Quick, friendly, done right and the price was reasonable. They have never tried to sell me something I did not need. I have been there before and his work has always been good. If you need work that he is in the business for, I recommend them if you need work done on your vehicle. He does good work, at least he has done good work for me.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 to Zip Votes

Not zero to 5 ..... but 5 to zero votes on the city commission, over and over again, a love fest to end all love fests. Sort of odd after all of the contentions of the past. Mayor Mantz has has divvied up the "work" of presentation of awards that the mayor presented in the past. She has a big heart to do this and share the limelight. So now we have the commissioners lining up to read the "proclamations" and making the presentations to the different groups every time the commission meets.

I will have to admit that Mantz is not acting like a spoiled preteen girl since she was named by the commission to be "Mayor". Maybe there is enough "air time" as the mayor that she does not need to jump up and down on the sidelines to get attention or to have something to say. She also does not have her cheering section. They have been absent for a while. maybe they all ended up at the Shady Acres "retirement home" playing bingo. They were all about that age.

One other possible explanation for Mayor Mantz modified demeanor is the video that is being taken and put on Youtube by KRTN. She probably goes home and watches it again and again. If so she would know how dumb she used to look and now can look at the video and make adjustments.

Chavez seems to be taking on the role of asking the questions he feels the audience does not understand or that he feels need further elaboration. He better be careful of this, some could take offence. Chavez may be asking the questions because he does not understand the discussion, but if this is the case we have problems. I hesitate to inform him that, regardless of what he has heard, there are some questions that are dumb.

Anyway, all seems to be hunky dory at city hall, and that is not all bad.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Another Idea On "Economic Development".

Click on the image to make it larger.

More on economic development, this time by the organization known as Grow Raton. They want "community residents who are willing to sacrifice their time to participate creating this Economic Development Plan". Well I am volunteering my efforts right here, no pay for this person, ink stains all over and without benefit of a single dime.

Clean up the town ought to be on the top or very close to the top of their list. And it is free, or as close to free as they will get. Have the city fathers and mothers commit to cleaning up the place. Now is the time, we have a new city commission.

Appearances in and around the community are impacts that folks look at. Folks willing to invest time and effort in the town. But if the city fathers and mothers are uninterested or lack the intestinal fortitude to act on it...... Well what can you expect? Raton needs bold leadership, I mean really BOLD.  And I am sorry to say that the mayor, the figurehead of our community, is not up to the task. The new commission probably made one of their biggest mistakes with one of their first votes, that of reorganizing. But we cannot say we did not ask for what we got. We, the citizens of Raton, voted for them, we ousted others, recalled others, let other snake oil salesmen sell us the puffery that is small town politics. This is the result. We may be over it, who knows?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Is The City Council Stuck And Not Able To Do Anything.

Maybe the city has slid into disrepair over so long a period of time and the city has done nothing to stop it over the same period that to try and stop the decay now is not possible. The city council has not enforced ordinances for so long that starting now would be almost impossible. Where to start would be the biggest question

They have not enforced ordinances dealing with pets. Just look at the dog problem. They have not enforced ordinances dealing with all of the stuff that contributes to urban decay. And they have not enforced them for such a long time.

I do appreciate Commissioner Chavez scrubbing graffiti of off the sidewalk in front of the post office. But what we really need is leadership that has the gall, the intestinal fortitude, to lead and enforce the ordinance on the books.

We will soon have a new city manager, will he get the tough marching orders the city needs from the commission?

Or will the confusion on the council continue unabated? Is it too late to start cleaning up the place? Will they continue on the path of useless "economic development" when what they need most is to clean up the town! They need to do it now, not later!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! Will it be more of the same?

The Raton City Commission needs to do something to show citizens it is different, if just a bit, from previous commissions. They promised to do something! They said they were concerned about Raton. Do something, propose something. Did you not have some ideas on what needed to be done to move the town forward? Or will you vote to do the same old?
There is so much to do to clean up the town, and it will cost nothing to take action, so do something. The citizens are watching and waiting.
The excuses for doing nothing are and will be many. But Chavez and Giacomo promised change. Promised action. Promised and promised. Now is the time to do something. At the very least they ought to garner 3-2 votes.

There is no better time to do something than the here and now.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

City Commission Meeting March 25, 2015... No Heartburn Yet.

Very "quiet" meeting. Even Mayor Mantz seems to have learned to behave and not grandstand. Trying to act grownup and not like an adolescent girl. But, and this is a big but, I am told that the old DREGS were no where to be seen. None, zero, nada zilch. Maybe one in the audience at the meeting, my source could not confirm that for sure. So Mantz has no one in the audience to grandstand for. That has to be good. Sparsely attended meeting.

The commission is again, or still, in a "training" mode, has been for a very long time. We have not had an up and running city commission in over 4 years. Too, too many changes each recall or regular election. This has kept the citizens with a "trainee" city commission.

Water conservation measures are being recommended by Raton Water Works, a small grass fire on the east side of I-25. News that the Economic Development Coordinator, or whatever his title is, is leaving the job but still wants to be considered for the city managers job. By the sounds of the fawning by current city manager Mr. Butch McGowen, he is his favorite for the position. McGowen could not say enough about him.

There was a report on the city trying their hand at code enforcement. I understand they had some examples of some action on this front.

All business coming up for a vote passed on 4 to zip votes, commissioner Fanelli being absent. Nothing even coming close to controversy. The city manager did make note that the city could not continue with business as usual at the Raton Aquatic Center. That the commission would have a tough decision to make. My guess is that they will shut it down for some specified period of time in the winter. Costs will not justify keeping it open all winter. That decision may be tough, but in these economic times that is the only decision possible, another 5-zip vote when it comes up.

The big tough votes will be associated with RPS, lets see if they go 5-zip. RPS bought and paid for the last election. We will have to wait on this. But we do know it will always go RPS' way, at least 3-5.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Vultures are Back!!!!! 2014 Version, Welcome Home

Click on the image to make it larger.
They are back for 2014. Back today March 24th, finally. Roosting on the evergreens on the corner of 5th and Pecos. That is their home, nothing much can be done about that. The paragraph in red below was added in 2012. Am just adding this paragraph for 2014. And by the way, Says Phoebe's were here on Friday last. Hardy little birds.
Says Phoebe
This post was first used on March 22 in 2011. The birds were 3 days later this year, 2012. Probably delayed by the snow storm last week. They usually signal the annual spring bird migration but this time the swallows beat them to it. One lone swallow was spotted yesterday, March 24, 2012.

The Turkey Vulture is a native of New Mexico, but it migrates in and out of the northern part of the state. It leaves the area the last week in October and returns the 21-25 of March. These big birds are not as predictable as the swallows of Capistrano, but they come close.

Here in Raton they roost on a couple of very tall Colorado Blue Spruce trees on the corner of South 5th and Pecos. They are there every evening and every morning while they are in the area. I am not sure how the owners of the property feel about the summer visitors. But they are there.

There is no bird that flies quite like the Turkey Vulture, the ugly ballerina's of the skies. But they can soar for hours and hours. So as of today the Crows and Common Ravens no longer own the skies over Northern New Mexico. The Vultures are back.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Selling Your House In Raton

Costs, hidden or otherwise, with selling your house in Raton.

  • Real estate agents are a problem. No cooperation between them. It has been this way a long time and used to be a big problem when things were going good. Now they are that much worse. There are a couple of good ones but do your research. The cost associated with this runs to at least 5% of the value of the house. Add what they charge you to sell and list and you are talking upwards of 12%.
  • Junk neighbors. There are plenty, and these can detract thousands and thousands from your property. The more in the neighborhood the more they detract.
  • Junk/abandoned house next door or in the neighborhood. Ditto here, add about $10,000.00 per junk house visible from the place you want to sell.
  • Junk vehicles. Detract about $1,000.00 per vehicle visible.
  • Toppped or dead trees in the yard. At least $2,500 per unsightly tree.
  • Dirt front yard. No grass or landscaping? Deduct about $2,500.00
  • Dogs in the house, barking dogs next door. Same here deduct about $5,000.00 and even more if the house is being used as a kennel. Which many are today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Real Good Idea

A Comment that makes a whole lot of sense from a reader "Just paid over $800.00 for new tires. One of my tires had 11 slashes. We need to establish a reward fund at a local bank to be paid upon the arrest and conviction of the creeps that cost so many so much."

The proposed "Raton Crime Stoppers" would have to be run by an organization that has the capability to collect and bank funds. Maybe Grow Raton, maybe Raton Main Street or maybe The Chamber of Commerce or the City of Raton. someone has to have the capability.

If the project were to be a brand new entity it would have to go through too many hoops just to get it started.
Consider this a call to service, a challenge to all, maybe someone will step up to the plate.

Someone in town has to have some experience at this. Crime Stoppers, now nation wide, started in Albuquerque earlier. Maybe Ratonians can figure out how to start the program here.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Time For The Raton City Commission To Do Something Is NOW

The time for the Raton City Commission to do something about cleaning up the town Is NOW! Not next week, not next month. The town has options on this. No commission has ever taken aggressive action, they pay lip service and spend our money on dubious "economic development" schemes. Cleaning up the town would be the very best they can do instead of sitting on their hands. All they have to do to see the damage this trashy look can do is to go look a bit north and across the street from Motel 6. Cleaning up the old El Portal was good, now get on the ball and enforce the ordinances on the book.



Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Ambiguous They And Ambiguous Pronouns In General

Ambiguous Pronoun Example 1:

"There was a farmer who had a dog, and Bingo was his name-o."

a) Question? Whose name was Bingo, the farmer or the dog?

Ambiguous Pronoun Example 2:

Wait. Drugs can kill kids. Keep them locked up.

b) Question? Who do we lock up, the kids or the drugs?

You just read two examples of Ambiguous Pronouns. But you really know the meaning of the sentence because you are experienced in thinking in English.

We use a lot of ambiguous pronouns when talking about the city fathers....

The ability to comment anomalously here on this weblog allows folks a certain amount of that is unavailable in other means of spreading the word. 

Personally I do not usually edit comments unless there is something personal and the comment is relevant and I feel the need to post it. I usually do not delete them unless they are way out, and the way out commentators have figured out that they will not make it on the weblog comments. So in the last 6 months or so I have only deleted 3 and one was by mistake, by the time I knew it it was off and gone in cyberspace with the other cyberspace junk.

The folks who post comments know this.

 Anyway I hope "they" the ambiguous "they" keep it up. And if you want to sign your name to it, by all means do so. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Raton Finance Advisory Committee

The Raton City Council agreed to "field" another advisory committee at its regular meeting last Tuesday March 11, 2014. This one for advice on city finances, at least that is what I got out of the discussion. I am not sure which aspect of Raton city finances it will be asked to look at. I imagine the council will figure this out. It was mentioned that the folks applying to this committee should have a financial background... A financial background like who? Like Mr. Mantz, the mayors husband? Like Chuck Henry, the "King of Raton Wannabe" or the guy who runs the local Dow Jones office?

I bet Mantz will want to be the City Commission oversight person on this advisory committee because of her vast knowledge of finances. I will bet my crow salad sandwich on that one.

Now I think this advisory committee is a good idea. I am just wondering who the "educational requirements" assigned by the city commission will EXCLUDE. Watching ones pennies is always a good thing. I might put in for this one and see how my credentials match up against Mayor Mantz. (There I said it, Mayor Mantz). Damn, that hurt.

The city will have to be careful to not end up with some kind of a conflict of interest here. Advisory committees are a good way to take advantage of citizen talents and at the same time allows citizens to participate in city government. And I do understand that citizens have to make a living and not all have the leisure time needed to participate. And leisure time it is, make no mistake about it.
Lets see what they consider the appropriate level of "financial background" for members of this committee.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The One Responsible Will Never Sleep Comfortable

The individual(s) who started the Track Fire won't if they have any brains, if the individual(s) is/are halfwit(s) they are sleeping ok. They will be caught eventually and will be made to pay. The closer this individual(s) stays to Raton the better the chances of catching the culprit. Someone knows who started the fire and who ever did has to keep quiet and hope that whoever else knows stays quiet too. Someone ought to start a reward to apprehend this criminal. And they are criminals now for sure, just because they have not come fourth.

Whoever knows and is not talking is a criminal also. If they are Christians they are going to burn in hell for sure.  My guess is that there are 3-5 or so folks that know. But it will come out.
I am not sure how they can bear the weight of knowing what they caused. It takes a mind that is numb, a person with no sense of guilt. This is a type of person no one wants in their community.

Raton City Commission Reorganizes

KRTN has been posting commission meeting minutes AND video on their website. A great addition for all, now you can watch the commission in action from the comfort of your home. With a Google flash drive you can watch them on your television set. The KRTN video on the commission meeting and some good notes are at the website below:

Well, for me, it is back to the table for more crow for my meals. I do have to say I have developed a taste for the bird after eating so much of it. The crow population in the Raton area is in danger of being listed on the endangered list.

The commissioners elected Sandra Mantz as mayor of the city at their regular meeting on March 11, 2014. She took to the mayors microphone like a duck takes to water. The woman loves to hear the sound of her voice and this allows her to talk as much as she wants. Lets see how she handles that. Now we have a Chuck Henry cohort leading the commission with pretty much a 3-2 vote majority, as a minimum.
Now we can all look at her picture every week giving an award to someone or another or making proclamations. This is what she aspired to, no doubt about it.

Like someone commenting on this blog previously indicated the mayor is just one of the commissioners, BUT a very important one as the mayor is the figure head of the city. I for one cannot believe that one of the first votes of this council was to elect her. Like it or not, Sandra Mantz is now the public face of Raton.

In other 5-0 votes the commission approved or tabled other "business". All on 5-0 votes. We will see what happens when an RPS vote comes before the commission and see who says what.

Finally the city landfill will close, watch the city itself fill up with trash . Starting in the alleys, pretty soon we will not be able to get through them.

And looks like city businesses that are closing are willing to give the city the vacant properties if the old City Market is any indication. They probably do not want to pay taxes and cannot sell the property, so giving it to the city makes sense. City Manager McGowan is thinking right on this issue.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vandals In Raton And What Ever Happened To Whoever Started The Track Fire

Stop the vandalism in Raton, we do not have a lot nor as much as other places but any vandalism is to be stopped. The police better catch whoever slashed the tires and broke the windows last week. That is one whole lot of damage caused by a few uneducated low intelligence persons. Someone knows something. Look at Facebook pages, they will be bragging on there. I see where the graffiti is starting to increase, maybe those low intelligence folks are back, someone is causing this graffiti.
 The image above is the Track Fire when it was uncontrolled.
 Nothing has been heard of the ATVer who started the Track Wildfire that threatened Raton a couple of years back. Maybe the new City Commission can light a fire under someone to get after this. The individual was more than likely not alone when they trespassed onto the railroad property and started the fire. Someone knows who started this. I hope the police have not given up looking for them. We do not need this in the cold case files to figure out who did this long after they are gone.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Boys (And Girls) Of Summer Are Back

 I saw s game being played last week and I know there will be some games this weekend. The high school boys and girls will be in action. I love the game and Raton is a number one baseball town. We have the best fields in the area and folks just love to come here to play.
 The Raton Osos (Mousy Bears) played a full season last year and hopefully they will be back this year. I will have to make sure and catch some games.
The girls softball team is a great one and the folks who help the kids play and who organize the teams are true citizens who need our support. It has to take a lot of effort to do this and they deserve out thanks.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The New Pharmacy Is Set To Open

The new Mesa Pharmacy at the shopping center is set to open. I am told that it will open for business this coming Saturday, the 15th of this month. A friend was by there earlier today and told me the paper is of off the windows and it looks like it is ready. He said that the place is huge. He said he talked to someone in there and  that they told him that all you have to go do is give them your name and doctor and they will see that your prescriptions are transferred from where ever they are now to the new place.

I hope the service starts out good from the get go. They ought to do good here. Raton serves a huge area. Someone said that drug store in Springer just closed up. So the closest drug stores are in Las Vegas to the south, Taos on the west, Clayton on the east and Trinidad, CO on the other side of Raton Pass on the north. I am glad we have an option in this critical field. I bet that the service at the Medicine Shoppe improves in a hurry.

Now it is up to the folks who live in the area to give them enough business so they stay here. I wish them luck and will give them some business real quick.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Another Week Another Mayor/City Manager!

Do the poll on the upper right, lets see who folks think will be the one.

Who will it be? I had a nightmare that it was Mantz, but even the new commissioners know she is a flake. She may be needed for a vote, but mayor? I think not. Segotta? Been there, done that. Fanelli? Can they sucker him into it? Giacomo? Ya think? Chavez? Really?

Segotta can do it, he has done it before, will he do it again? Who knows. Mantz is a flake and everyone knows it, I doubt they would vote for her, I do not think anyone would even nominate her. Fanelli? He has been around to understand what it takes. Is he interested? Chavez and Giacomo know nothing about the job. Do any of the two have an ego large enough to want the job when they clearly do not know enough about it? Neither Chavez nor Giacomo would be specific on questions at the Shuler because they "did not know enough about the situation". Would they take a job they know nothing about?

And do not believe that the mayor is a figure head, not in Raton, NM. Remember Chuck Henry and how much he wanted the job? Remember Starkovich? He wanted it so bad, the only thing he wanted more was to help "Hispanics". He should have been out there campaigning for Ledoux.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Time To Govern

The new City Commissioners have to produce. And they will have to produce quick, real quick. Expectations are super high right now, super high. They promised, now they have to deliver. They went after Ledoux as soon as they could and now eyes will be on them. Now they have to produce, they will not be throwing the darts now, they will be the target of the darts.

We know that on a small town scale these folks can run and win an election. Let us see if they can govern. I am sure it is a lot different being the dart thrower than the objects of the darts. And, as we all know, small town politics can be fickle, very, very fickle.

Raton Public Service is happy, at least 800 voters are happy and Sandra Mantz, Giacomo and Chavez are happy. Lets see how long the happy lasts. Let us see what improvements come our way and how long we have to wait for them. There is now a 3-2 majority for tough votes, whenever the tough votes come. Watch for those 3-2 votes, especially dealing with RPS.
Bears? Trashy yards? Stray dogs? Streets that need fixing? High trash rates? The landfill? Economic development? The Amtrak, Multimodal area? The aquatic center? Empty buildings on 2nd street? The new City Manager? Cohesiveness on the commission? Will all of these things be in the past real soon?

Where Do We In Raton Get Up To Date Local News?

Where do Ratonions get up to date local news? Not here, not KRTN, nor their Facebook page. Not the Raton Comet nor whatever presence they have on the internet. Surely not the TV Stations, they are too far away. We are just not getting anything close to up to date local news. Not everyone can listen to ole Billy and his morning show "This That and The Other" on KRTN.  You will not find it here, and the Raton Comet comes out only once a week. All kinds of folks have Facebook pages with bits and pieces, mostly personal stuff, so that is not the place nor is it reliable.

All kinds of things are going on and no one knows about them till it is all over. It was brought to my attention that Ron Chavez and Giacomo had a get together where they invited the public. I heard about it yesterday or the day before. I really do not know where nor when they had it. You will not see it on KRTN because you need to purchase an ad to advertise the fact, same goes with he Comet and there you have to purchase the ad way in advance.

Another example of this lack of up to date information is a comment on the previous post that states that Ledoux and Candelario failed to show up to today's City Commission meeting? Is that true? I do not know. I also heard that the whole kit and kaboddle of the election officials had congregated at city hall late this morning and early afternoon. Is that correct? If so why? I heard the judge was there, the city clerk was there, all election officials were there and even that the Chief of Police was there. Inquiring minds wonder.
The missing link is a newspaper that is published more than once a week. I am not sure that the Raton Comet is structured where they can or want to provide that service. The Chronicle News out of Trinidad was, but in all reality they have pulled back in the last few years. Their opportunity probably passed them by when the Raton Range closed up shop and before the Raton Comet kicked in.

A whole lot more questions than answers.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Preliminary Unofficial Raton City Election Results, March 4, 2014

Thanks to KRTN for the information listed below.

Sandra Mantz - Ran unopposed - 790 Votes Total

Giacomo - 684
Ledoux - 286
Simpson - 104

Chavez - 866
Candelario - 209

Municipal Judge

Manfredi - 658
Zuflacht - 316

They tell me crow tastes best when eaten fresh with a lot of humility. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all for your service and/or willingness to serve.

I will eat the crow tonight, and like the turkey after Thanksgiving, I will be eating crow left overs for a while.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Who Paid For The Flier? Questions And More Questions!

Who paid for this flyer? Who is making the accusations? Who are the people behind "Restore Raton"? Who are the "Friends of Raton". Why the secrecy? Why did they go to Albuquerque to print it? Was it because they did not want anyone knowing who they are?

Does anyone know? Is anyone willing to fess up? Is it the Raton Public Service behind the flyer? Why the half truths? Who is putting up all of the signs for Chavez and Giacomo? Better yet who paid for the signs? Were they published in Albuquerque like the flier? Why so sneaky? Why haven't Chavez and Giacomo said a thing?

There seems to be no doubt that Chavez and Giacomo are running as a team with the hope of being a majority on the commission along with Sandy Mantz. We don't know about the commissioners not up for reelection as they have not stated their positions in public. And why would you want a simple majority.

This effort at building a majority is the second time, here lately, that it has been tried. The other time was when former commissioner Chuck Henry tried to stack the commission. If you  recall, Sandra Mantz was part of that effort. We knew then why Henry was doing it. We do not know what "Restore Raton" or the so called "Friends of Raton" are all about.

This race has been interesting for sure. We will soon know the outcome.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What About Ira Simpson?

Ira Simpson is the invisible man in this election. People know the incumbents and the Restore Raton/RPS candidates are being pushed hard by the "Friends of Raton" and the friends of the Raton Public Service. RPS wants them out so that guarantees publicity. But ole Ira is all alone out there on his own.
He is virtually invisible in what debate there is. He was not present at the Shuler so am not sure that even the other candidates know who he is. That is too bad, I did hear him on KRTN, but that was a while ago. The outcome will be interesting.

Raton Public service had been working overtime to get their 2 men in there. Signs in tandem all over town. It will show how successful a group can be in buying an election in Raton. The price might be cheap for Raton Public Service but expensive for shmucks like you and I. We do not have the sacks of cash stashed in the basement.

Anyway, back to Ira Simpson, I do not know what type of numbers will show up for him. Incumbents will get their share for sure.

It will all be over soon.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's All About Name Recognition, Or Lack Thereof

Linda Zuflacht who is running against Municipal Judge incumbent Roy J. Manfredi has some neat political signs out there. They have the mark of Zuflacht, a bright red Z on them. It caught my eye and I had to stop and see what the signs were all about. A very eye catching political sign. Great idea. Pretty hard to come up with a good yard sign, but she did. I read the "grilling" the Raton Rocket asked all of the folks running for office. She is definitely qualified but not real sure folks know who she is.
Rode in from from Texas no less. If ever there was someone running for political office riding a dark horse, she is the one. The questions posed by the Raton Rocket gives us an idea that she is qualified for the position and interested in the community. We know both her and Manfredi are up to date on their taxes. I heard that at the Shuler she stated she has never been a judge and wants to be one, as compared to Manfredi who has been a judge for a long time and wants to remain one.
One way or another I wish her well and hope that if she is not successful she won't give up on Raton. Seems she might make a good City Commissioner.

Manfredi has done an excellent job and Raton has no better citizen. Zuflacht (La Zorra) is new in town and is willing/wants to serve. Sort of a tough call when this situation presents itself. We Ratonions are lucky for this.