NPF All-Stars Defeat Aggie Softball 10-1

Las Cruces, N.M. - The softball team of New Mexico State University fell to the National Pro Fastpitch All-Star team 10-1 Tuesday night at the NM State Softball Complex.

The Aggies came through at the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning. Freshman right fielder Valerie Swedberg singled up the middle for the first hit of the game for NM State. After sitting out much of the game while attending class, sophomore infielder Tehani Kaaihue singled into shallow left field to score Swedberg for the first Aggie run of the game.

The NPF All-Star team consisted of players from professional softball teams across the country, including four Olympic athletes. The All-Star team has been pesky about allowing runs to their collegiate opponents during their fall tour and tonight was no different.

"We'll use this game to assess how we measure up at this point early in the fall season," said NM State head coach Kathy Rodolph. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play a team of All-Stars and former Olympians now that softball is no longer part of the Olympic Games.
"We played everyone tonight and used all of our pitchers so each of our players got the chance to go up against their talent. I think we fought hard this evening. We never got down. We kept fighting and got a couple hits and a run late."
The All-Stars put three runs on the board early after errors on behalf of the Aggies. After a single by the leadoff batter Vicky Galindo, two consecutive errors by the infield let Caitlin Lever and Andrea Duran to load the bases. A couple of succeeding singles scored the All-Star base runners, putting the All-Stars up 3-0 before the Aggies' first at-bat.

The NM State lineup faced Jamee Juarez in her first appearance this fall. No. 6 batter Teresa Conrad reached base on an error, but the Aggies struggled against Juarez.

The All-Stars put two more runs on the board during the third inning. First baseman Angie Ouiocho hit a solo homerun to cap off the first run of the inning.

The All-Stars added three runs to their lead during the fourth inning. All-Star left fielder Francesca Enea hit a two-run homerun over the left field wall to bring the score to 7-0. All-Star right fielder Tayrne Mowatt followed up with a triple and later scored.

In the bottom of the seventh, NM State third baseman Ashley Maroda smashed a near-homerun down the left field line, but was narrowly called foul. Aggie First baseman Hoku Nohara was picked off at first base on the next pitch to end the game.

The Aggies continues their home fall schedule Friday, Oct. 16 with a doubleheader against Midland College and Eastern Arizona College at the NM State Softball Complex.

China Bashing - Ignores Leadership Failures in U.S.

Kevin Hassett
From Bloomberg - China bashing is all the rage in Washington, as politicians of both parties blame the world’s fastest-growing major economy for high jobless rates in the U.S. Such a popular target is China that the U.S. House of Representatives, all but paralyzed by the prospect of next month’s election, easily passed a bill last week that might impose tariffs on China in retaliation for currency manipulation. Blaming China is fun for the political and intellectual elites because it allows them to ignore their own failures. Gridlocked politicians on both sides of the aisle are equally attracted to the claim.
The problem with U.S. growth isn’t that we have an out-of-control government and the second-highest corporate tax rates on earth; it’s all China’s fault. As political scapegoating goes, this is easy -- too easy. In truth, the impact on the U.S. economy of a change in Chinese currency policy could well be so small that it would be almost impossible to detect. Read more here:


Dennis Praeger - Tackles Realities of Immigration

Dennis Praeger
From - I am writing to you as a concerned and sympathetic American who is a Republican. My sentiments do not represent every American -- that would be impossible. But I believe the following represent most Americans. First, a message to those of you here illegally: You may be very surprised to hear this, but in your position, millions of Americans, including me, would have done what you did. If I lived in a poor country with a largely corrupt government, a country in which I had little or no prospect of hope for an improved life for me or my children, and I could not legally get into the world's freest, most affluent country, the country with the most opportunities for people of any and every background, I would do whatever I could do to get into that country illegally. Mexico and many other Central and South American countries are largely hopeless places for most of their people. America offers hope to everyone willing to work hard. Who could not understand why any individual, let alone a father or mother of a family, would try to get into the United States -- legally preferably, illegally if necessary? Read more here:


Harbison: An Ethics Blueprint for Elected Officials

Jim Harbison
This column is based on an article written by Jeff Carlton, Grand Lodge of Arizona and originally titled “How can Freemasonry be like a candle burning in the darkness dispelling ignorance?” It is not meant to be an endorsement of Freemasonry but serves as an example of how the moral and ethical principles taught by the various fraternal organizations within our community could contribute to better local, state, and national government attitudes, conduct and policies. Freemasonry has often been misunderstood and criticized because it is a “secret society”. It is not a secret society because its meeting places, times and members are public knowledge. While there may be some secret passwords or handshakes it has a well established code of ethics. This code is developed and expanded as each degree is taught to the new Mason in the Masonic lodge. By the time a brother has completed the degrees to become a Master Mason, he has been instructed in an ethical code of behavior that includes morality, equality and rectitude of conduct.
Masonry teaches that these principles are to be equally applied to all mankind and emphasizes its tents and the cardinal virtues of temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice. Perhaps this is a code that should be adopted by our elected officials.
Freemasonry is moral philosophy that educates men in these principles in nearly every country around the world. Over the course of world history, these Masonic principles have been, at times, contradictory to societal norms. When this occurred, Freemasonry became a vehicle to create reform and correct injustices. It does this very quietly by convincing all who become brothers to struggle against tyranny and strive for the higher ideals of justice and equality.
Currently, in our society large portions of our citizens depend on the government for everything from cradle to grave. They have been taught that they are entitled to free benefits, not as a result of honest labor, but just because they are citizens. Freemasonry teaches that work has value to the individual doing it as well as to the society. The idea that work is honorable and should be pursued as its own reward is not unique to Freemasonry, but it is a major platform used to teach men that it is their duty to themselves, their families and to their country that is the most important. Masons are instructed to provide for their families and that it is their duty to help the less fortunate. This duty is not a government responsibility but is the duty incumbent on all men. Wouldn’t it be amazing if this simple concept that benefits of society are earned by honest work was adopted by society as a whole instead of it being the expectation that it’s the role of government to provide them?
Freemasons hold justice as the foundation of all societies. The Lodge, being a microcosm of the society at large, is an example of how society could and should function when its members share a commonality of beliefs and goals. It also teaches that Masons should take all the moral and ethical lessons they learn in the Lodge and use them in their daily lives. If we, as a society, could treat each other with integrity and honesty and practice the principles tenets of brother love, relief, and truth in our daily lives, we would enjoy a much more rewarding life experience. Isn’t it time for our politicians to go about their daily lives with the same level of commitment to ethical, moral and compassionate conduct?


Your Tax Dollars at Work - City Council Notes for Monday

City Council meeting held on Monday, October 4, 2010.
Presentations and Proclamations:
· The “Pets of the Week”, two young “pugs” were presented.
· A proclamation was read in the memory of Emily Silverstein that declared October 2010 to be Domestic Violence Awareness month.
· A proclamation was read that declared October 2010 as Polish American Heritage month and NMSU President Barbara Coulture and Artist Virginia Romero were recognized for their Polish heritage.
Barbara Couture
· October 3-9 was recognized as National 4H Awareness week.
· National Fire Prevention Week was proclaimed for October 3-9. All fire Stations will be hosting an open house.
· US Navy Training Air Wings 4 & 5 were recognized and the Mayor declared Monday, October 4th as Navy Pilot Training Day. He also recognized the positive financial impact that the training has here in Las Cruces.
Mayor Miyagishima recognized artists Noah McDonald and Michael Grant for the mural they painted at Lions Park.
Public Participation: None
Resolutions and/or Ordinances for Consent Agenda
1. Item #10 was removed by Councilor Silva from the consent agenda and all others were approved by a vote of 7/0
2. Item #10 concerned a zoning change for the property at the corner of N.Valley Drive and W.Picacho Ave to allow the construction of a Tractor Supply Co store. Councilor Silva wanted to know if this was actually a store or an internet business. He was informed it was a retail store. He then asked what the sales projections for the next three years were. The representative said that this was information that he did not have access to. Councilor Sorg wanted the property located closer to the street with the parking in the rear. He was informed that the farm equipment would need to be displayed in front of the business similar to an auto dealership. It was approved by a vote of 7/0.
Resolutions and Ordinances for discussions
1. Item #11 concerned the selection of a voting delegate and alternate to the annual National League of Cities business meeting in Denver, CO December 4, 2010. Councilor Connor was selected as the delegate and Councilor Silva was selected as the alternate. it was approved by a vote of 7/0
2. Item #12 concerned an amendment to the Community Development Block Grant to secure $84,000 in additional funding for mortgage buy down for the affordable housing located at 1843-1845 Sexton St. It passed by a vote of 7/0
3. Item #13 allowed the City to accept a Cash-In-Lieu of Commodities agreement from the State of New Mexico for the Nutrition Service Incentive Program (similar to meals on wheels). Councilor Pedroza mentioned that she has concerns that the Community Food Bank may not be able to continue (this was not part of the resolution and is a separate issue). Councilor Connor said she understood that there were discussions to turn the food bank over to “Roadrunner Food Bank” base in Albuquerque for management. It was approved by a vote of 7/0
4. Items #14 concerning the contract for the design of the Museum of Nature and Science. After some discussion the resolution was amended to correct the contract to reflect the approved amount of $407,942. This is only one of many contracts of the $5.3 million project which is funded by Federal and State grants. The resolution was passed by a vote of 7/0.
Board Appointments or review of any proposed ordinances
Mayor Ken Miyagishima
· The Mayor appointed Diane Lions and Irene Oliver Lewis to the Downtown Revitalization Board.
· He also appointed Ali Amad, Ryan Dailey, Christopher Cruise and Tom Whatley to the 4th of July Celebration Committee.
Status/Updates on Current Project List
· There was no discussion on any items on the project list
· Mayor Miyagishima read an unsolicited proposal to purchase artwork. There are no federal funds available and none budgeted by the City. Councilor Thomas thinks local art should be displayed in the Convention Center and wanted the Mayor to appoint a committee to consider this. Robert Garza, Assistant City Manager reminded the Council that the Contract with Global Spectrum for operations of the Convention Center allow the contractor to obtain sponsorships to help fund Convention Center operations and that the City must discuss this with them. The Mayor also mentioned that the Whole Enchilada Softball Tournament was held in the City last weekend and there were 256 teams that played more than 500 games. It is the largest softball tournament in the nation and thinks it brought in between #25-30,000 directly to the Convention & Visitors Bureau fund. He underscored the need for the City to do a better job in cleaning and maintaining the ball field complexes. He suggested that there be a separate budget line item specifically for this tournament. Las Cruces competes with Tucson and Phoenix for this tournament and he doesn’t want the City to lose it. He suggested that City employees be allowed to take 1 to 1½ hours off (with pay) each week to mentor young people. He also wants to pursue flex-time scheduling for City employees to save money(?). Finally, he mentioned that Public Safety is the most important issue and that they cannot sustain any more budget cuts.
· Councilor Thomas stated the El Paseo Corridor project meeting last weekend was very successful. The next meeting will be Oct 18-19. She mentioned that Secretary of Transportation LaHood will be here for the October 13 Transportation Summit.
· Brian Denmark led a general discussion on the maintenance status of the soccer fields. The Council was flooded with emails from irate and concerned citizens about their poor condition. He stated he has repeatedly informed the Council that he does not have the staff or financial resources to maintain all the City owned recreational facilities. This year’s budget for field maintenance is $125,000 less than last year. One of the solutions he recommended is to decrease the use of the fields to allow his staff to make some intermediate repairs which will cost approximately $60,000. They plan to close the Field of Dreams fields 6 thru 16 and establish temporary use fields at PAZ, MAAG and Legends West. To do a total renovation of all the athletic fields will cost more than $650,000 which is not in any budget. Additionally he wants control over the management and scheduling of all fields. Finally, he recommends a split season so that they can work on the field in the summer.
· Councilor Small praised the City staff for implementing some of the recommendations to resolve the recreational facilities issues. He thanked everyone who participated in the El Paseo workshops and stated the City needs to find new ways to get the public involved even if it means going door to door.
· Councilor Sorg requested the City Council consider a resolution condemning trapping of animals on public lands. He feels that it is a cruel practice and the loss of livestock does not justify allowing trapping. Mayor Miyagishima informed there is currently an ordinance within the City prohibiting trapping of animals. He also expressed his pleasure that the Attorney General’s office would make a presentation on the Open Meeting act because he believe the resolution passed by the Council to prohibit the use of cell phones, texting and emails (he voted against it) was poorly worded and not needed. Finally, he announced that there was an open position on the Public Utilities Board and encouraged the public to apply if interested. Councilor Thomas stated that someone in her District had already applied for the position. Dr Garcia informed the Council that all positions are appointed by the Mayor and that there are only two positions that can filled by City Council recommendations. The other vacant positions are recommended by the Public Utilities Board. (Fortunately this precludes Councilor patronage)
· Councilor Pedroza who also voted against the cell phone/texting/email ordinance also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to revisit this ordinance with the Attorney General. She stated her pet project is school gardens and is looking for Federal funding to support them and expand the goals to include “food production.”
· Councilor Connor expressed concerns about the next State legislative session in regards to preserving the “Hold harmless Tax provisions”. If the legislature eliminates this the City may lose up to $7 million in revenue annually. She also asked the staff to review a new State regulation that has forced apartment complexes to close their swimming pools. Both she and the Mayor agreed that it should be an URGENT priority for the Municipal League to preserve the “hold harmless” provisions. In anticipation of budget reductions she suggested that any future proposed budget cuts must not be across the board but by individual project or line item. Robert Garza concurred that the staff must come up with contingency plans in anticipation of any reversal of the “hold harmless” provisions.
· Councilor Silva reminded everyone of Breast Cancer Awareness month and that the Aggies will be participating in this program this weekend. He also announced that we are the number one contributor nationally and last year contributed more than $750,000 and that the second place contributor only contributed slightly more than $100,000.


Aggie Basketball on ESPN Five Times

DENVER-The WAC has announced its 2010-11 men’s basketball ESPN television schedule, a slate that includes 21 total WAC games to be broadcast by the television sports leader. Each of the WAC’s nine schools will be featured by the network.

In all, six regular season games will be shown on ESPN2, six on ESPNU and five on ESPN Regional Television (ERT). In addition, the WAC Tournament championship game and one semifinal contest will also be shown on ESPN2, while ESPNU will broadcast both WAC Tournament quarterfinal games.

Additionally, games determined by ESPN’s BracketBuster could increase the number of WAC games broadcast by ESPN.

Jan. 13             Hawai‘i at New Mexico State               7 p.m. MT        ERT
Jan. 22             New Mexico State at Utah State           9 p.m. MT     ESPNU
Feb. 12            New Mexico State at Louisiana Tech    3 p.m. CT        ERT
Feb. 23            New Mexico State at San Jose State    8 p.m. PT       ESPN2
Mar. 2           Utah State at New Mexico State           9 p.m. MT        ESPN2


Teague a NO-Show - KOB-TV Will Give Pearce the Debate Air Time

Harry Teague
Republican 2nd Congressional District candidate Steve Pearce will get 30 minutes of free air time on KOB-TV in Albuquerque after his Democratic opponent, Harry Teague, declined an invitation to debate. The candidates were invited to debate “well over a month ago,” KOB’s Tom Joles reported Thursday evening. Week before last, Teague’s campaign said he could not commit “because of his very busy debate schedule,” Joles said. “To be fair, we are still giving his opponent Steve Pearce a half hour to address the issues,” Read more here: 


Chandler: A.G. King Protects Herrera Not NM

Matt Chandler
Attorney General Gary King is becoming notorious for protecting Secretary of State Mary Herrera’s best interests, not New Mexicans. This week, Attorney General King once again backed scandal-plagued Secretary Herrera by agreeing with her that a write-in candidate for governor of New Mexico is constitutional “on its face.” It isn’t. Our Constitution is not a mere suggestion. It’s a mandate adopted by the people, for the people. The Constitution of New Mexico, in article V, contains two separate provisions on this issue. First, “The Governor and Lt. Governor shall be elected jointly by the casting … of a single vote.” Second, “The joint candidates having the highest number of votes cast for governor and lieutenant governor … shall be declared duly elected.” Read more here:


Column: The Waste of Recycling

From the Boston - by Jeff Jacoby - I generally see her after dark: an old woman in a conical Vietnamese hat, making the rounds in my neighborhood the night before our weekly trash pickup. She is out in all kinds of weather, checking the bins that residents have set out on the curb, helping herself to the aluminum cans. I've smiled and nodded hello once or twice, but she looks right past me and moves on. I figure she's too busy working to lose any time on pleasantries. The woman engages in one of mankind's oldest means of employment: picking through rubbish, looking for things of value in other people's discards. Winslow Homer portrayed such scavengers — recyclers, we'd call them today — in "Scene on the Back Bay Lands, Boston," an 1859 engraving of trash-pickers sorting through the landfill that eventually became one of Boston's most elegant neighborhoods. Such "private sector recycling is as old as trash itself," notes Clemson University economist Daniel K. Benjamin, who reproduces the Homer image in "Recycling Myths Revisited," a new monograph for PERC, the Montana-based Property & Environment Research Center. Homer's Back Bay foragers were poor people who sifted through rubbish not because it was politically correct or required by law, but because it was a productive use of their time. It left them better off. Similarly, the woman I see in my neighborhood pulls beverage cans out of trash bins not because she believes recycling is virtuous, but because there is a 5 cent deposit on them and behind that a natural market demand for aluminum cans. By contrast, she doesn't take the toothpaste tubes, or Styrofoam cups that people have thrown out, because there is no natural market for them. That doesn't mean those items couldn't be recycled. It means that they're not worth recycling. To put it in environmental terms, recycling such rubbish would be a waste of resources. Most of the stuff we throw out — aluminum cans are an exception — is cheaper to replace from scratch than to recycle. "Cheaper" is another way of saying "requires fewer resources." Green evangelists believe that recycling our trash is "good for the planet" — that it conserves resources and is more environmentally friendly. But recycling household waste consumes resources, too. Extra trucks are required to pick up recyclables, and extra gas to fuel those trucks, and extra drivers to operate them. Collected recyclables have to be sorted, cleaned, and stored in facilities that consume still more fuel and manpower; then they have to be transported somewhere for post-consumer processing and manufacturing. Add up all the energy, time, emissions, supplies, water, space, and mental and physical labor involved, and mandatory recycling turns out to be largely unsustainable — an environmental burden, not a boon. "Far from saving resources," Benjamin writes, "curbside recycling typically wastes resources — resources that could be used productively elsewhere in society." Popular impressions to the contrary notwithstanding, we are not running out of places to dispose of garbage. Not only is US landfill capacity at an all-time high, but all of the country's rubbish for the next 100 years could comfortably fit into a landfill measuring 10 miles square. Benjamin puts that in perspective: "Ted Turner's Flying D ranch outside Bozeman, Mont., could handle all of America's trash for the next century — with 50,000 acres left over for his bison." Read more

Senator Tim Jennings Weighs in on State Budget Woes

Tim Jennings (D-Roswell)
From - Governor Richardson has been in the news a lot in recent weeks on a variety of issues that I have found to be both entertaining and disturbing. First came the revelation that the governor had developed a concern for the plight of New Mexico wildlife, traveling to Alamogordo to address the plight of 80 or so research chimpanzees owned by the federal government and his efforts to keep them in a permanent sanctuary so they could live out their days without being subjected to further research activities. Then the governor announced that he was designating almost $3 million of his dwindling federal stimulus money to purchase land for a wild horse sanctuary. The sanctuary would accommodate 25-30 wild mustangs that are under the care of the Federal Bureau of Land Management at a cost of approximately $96,000 per horse. While concerns for these animals may be well intended and worthwhile, other recent events lead me to believe that the governor’s priorities are misplaced. Read more here:


Sowell: False Issues versus Real Ones

Thomas Sowell
In an election year, this is the time for an "October surprise"-- some sensational, and usually irrelevant, revelation to distract the voters from serious issues. This year, there are October surprises from coast to coast. There are a lot of incumbents who don't want to discuss serious issues-- especially their own track records.

Former Ebay C.E.O. Meg Whitman
This year's October surprise that is getting the biggest play in the media is the revelation that California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman once employed a housekeeper-- at $23 an hour -- who turned out to be an illegal immigrant. It is great political theater, with activist lawyer Gloria Allred putting her arm protectively around the unhappy-looking woman. But why anyone should be unhappy at getting $23 an hour for housekeeping is by no means clear. Maybe she is unhappy because Meg Whitman fired her when she learned that her housekeeper was an illegal immigrant, despite false documents that indicated she was legal when she was hired. What is Meg Whitman supposed to be guilty of? Not being able to tell false documents from real ones? Is that what voters are supposed to use to determine who to vote for as governor of California? A far more important question is whether voters can tell false issues from real ones. Read more here:

A Tale of Two Rallies

Compare crowd sizes for two rallies held on the mall in Washington one month apart. Then check out the site links below for pictures from last weekend's "One Nation Working Together" rally. Sometimes pictures are worth thousands of words. We found some websites that attended this weekend's "One Nation Working Together" rally. There were many sites that featured signs and videos of what transpired in the small crowd.  
The Directorblue Blog posted fairly typical photos though some of the must profanity laced signs are omitted. The signs and banners at the rally offer interesting insights into the tendencies of those in attendance. According to locals who live nearby the trash left behind by those calling for socialism view here suggest perhaps being against "pollution" only goes so far after a party.


Kathleen Sebelius - Secretary of Approved Speech

Kathleen Sebelius
By Michael Barone for Townhall - "There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases." That sounds like a stern headmistress dressing down some sophomores who have been misbehaving. But it's actually from a letter sent Thursday from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans -- the chief lobbyist for private health insurance companies. Sebelius objects to claims by health insurers that they are raising premiums because of increased costs imposed by the Obamacare law passed by Congress last March. She acknowledges that many of the law's "key protections" take effect later this month and does not deny that these impose additional costs on insurers. But she says that "according to our analysis and those of some industry and academic experts, any potential premium impact ... will be minimal." Well, that's reassuring. Er, except that if that's the conclusion of "some" industry and academic experts, it's presumably not the conclusion of all industry and academic experts, or the secretary would have said so. Read more here: