Our Responsibility for the Soul of the GOP

Republican Party at a Crossroads

The struggle for the heart soul and the future of the Republican party is real and is divisive. The Republican party is at one of its most difficult crossroads since its founding. Two factions are fighting for control of the party and its future. Some question rather the party has a future based on its present trajectory given the demographic shifts taking place in the US and the radicalization of Trump loyalist that have controlled the direction of the party the last 4 years.

But four years after winning the presidency, Trump and Republicans are now on the outside looking in, having lost control of the House, the Senate, and the White House. A fight to define the future of the Republican Party is playing out among a small, but influential, group of Republicans, even as Trump remains central to the party and to its identity. He keeps trying to assert his influence, but it is waning as time passes from his presidency.

The heart and soul of the party is in conflict by the two competing sets of ideology – Trumpian ideology and true conservatism. Groups and old guard party leaders like the Bushes, Cheney’s, McCains, the Lincoln Group, George Will, and others represent the old guard conservatives. What those on the outside and within are viewing is a war for the go forward path for the party.

That infighting is a war that is very visible to the outside world, and many believe the Trumpian ideologists are winning the war. Are they?

At first peak it would appear they are as they are loud, radicalized, utilizing visuals and demonstrations in radical formats, and gaining media attention. What is being fought is a war of ideology, but the tactics are changed from ideological wars of the past.

To an outsider it would appear the old guard is fighting the war using 19th Century ideals and wanting to fight a gentleman’s war verses the Trump ideologs fighting with guerilla tactics. To an outsider is almost appears and has been compared to the American Revolution.

The old guard British fought at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, using the standard tactics of war used on the battlefields of Europe.  This called for large formations of men to be lined up three deep.  They engaged the enemy in open fields and exchanged fire.  Part of the British strategy required the use of certain battlefield weapons.  The most used weapon for a British soldier during the war was consisted of Brown Bess (75 caliber 3/4 of an inch in diameter), cannons, and bayonets.

The tactics of the British were not designed to shoot down the enemy until retreat, but to break up the organized lines so your side could then march forward, in an organized and linear fashion, and charge with the bayonet. A disorganized unit cannot stand against an organized bayonet charge.

The war for the soul of the Republican party by the old guard some would argue is a fight like the British colonial fight. They are using old school tactics and trying to fight a gentlemanly war for the ideology of the Republican party.

On the other hand, we see the Trump ideologs. They are fighting the public relations war verbally, loud and in an obnoxious and rambunctious format some would say they are fighting using guerilla war tactics.

Francis Marion, otherwise known as Swamp Fox, was a Revolutionary officer during the Revolution. He is well known today as the Father of Guerrilla Warfare for introducing and bringing guerrilla fighting tactics into the war.

 The British had a much greater advantage in terms of weapons, abilities, and numbers. Militias had no change against them with their lack of supplies and military experience. However, commander Francis Marion changed that by planning secret guerrilla attacks against the British. While the British troops had supplies, strength, and order, the American rebels compensated with their creativity and wits. Compared to large, fully armed armies, guerrilla groups are generally small packs of fighters. They are not equipped with any uniforms, weapons, or other useful resources; instead, they scavenge for whatever weapons they can find. They use the land around them for resources like food and shelter, whereas professional soldiers are provided with all these necessities.

The traditional fighting tactics of the time meant meeting the enemy in open field ready to battle. Marion and his men, however, knew they could not do this because they would not stand a chance against such well trained and equipped soldiers. Marion took a different approach and fought his enemy using stealth and secrecy. The British never expected these attacks because it went against the unwritten rules of war. Secret ambushes were not something anyone during the war could expect. For this reason, guerrillas could do a lot of damage to their enemy. And because the groups were always moving, it was exceedingly difficult for the enemy to catch them.

Some say that Donald Trump and his team are the guerrilla fighters in the war for the ideology of the Republican party. His team and his followers have become the master of disruption and manipulation. They learned to make up facts and to craft and spin a story on social media and if it is repeated loudly and enough then it becomes the storyline and assumed as factual by the masses.

From a romanticization of history and the ideals of the founding of the republic one would think at first glance that the guerilla methodology will win the war, and that the fight they are fighting, is just and noble, but broad public opinion is turning against the cause. The more silent majority is tiring of the hysteria, conspiracies, and lack of intellectual dialog.

An underestimated element, within the ideological fight for the soul, and go forward path of the Republican party is what most political scientists and polished politicians know, that is the party has within it the “silent majority.” What is the silent majority?

The headlines in the ideological fight for the party are crafted by those that scream loud, stage rallies, post crazed memes’, proclaiming extremist statements on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms.

What is not always recognized is most of the party is made up of centrist, traditional conservatives, and independents.

During the presidential election cycle the mouthpiece of the party was the Trump ideologs.

Now, in the post Trump era that “silent majority” is becoming more and more uncomfortable with the divisive actions and speech and the nonsense of science deniers by this element as the true conservatives are working to claw their way back and save the party.

The Mitt Romney’s and Liz Cheney’s of the party are being portrayed by Trumpian ideologists as out of step with the party and out of step with the populist ideals the party represents. But are they?

The party is a party of with a history of conservative ideology. Few, of the Trump influenced leadership that now controls many of the nations’ central committees and the ideology of the party even understand the roots of the conservative movement or what true conservatism is.

Polling shows that Trump enthusiasts actually only represent fewer than 30% of register Republican voters, but their media presence makes it appear, they are the majority, versus the fact that there is a more silent responsible majority.

A history lesson on conservatism:

Conservatism is an aesthetic, cultural, social, and political philosophy, which seeks to promote and to preserve traditional social institutions. The Republican party has traditionally held the political views that favor free enterprise, private ownership, and socially traditional ideas.

At least that was until the Trump machine took the lead of the party. Now the fight that exists between the Trump ideology and true conservatism. But how did conservatism and its marriage to the Republican party begin?

In 1955, William F. Buckley, Jr., wrote that the purpose of his newly founded magazine National Review was to “stand athwart history yelling stop.” The phrase belongs to modern conservatism, which defies the dark, incoming tide of liberalism. Interestingly, only one of the conservative heroes mentioned in this essay, Edmund Burke (1729-1797), had the self-conscious idea that he was standing athwart the tides of history. That is one reason why he was the first truly modern conservative.

Burke looked at the French Revolution and realized that the tide of the times was flowing in the wrong direction. Before the Revolution, France had a brilliant culture and provided cultural leadership to the West. The Revolution inflicted such profound damage to the culture and social fabric of France that French society and culture never entirely recovered its former glory and brilliance. For those who cared about civilization and high culture, the French Revolution was a catastrophe.

Although Burke pronounced bitter anathemas on the French revolutionaries – who destroyed a culture in the name of abstract theory – he was sympathetic to the American Founding Fathers, who fought to preserve the rights of Englishmen. He used his influence as a member of parliament to promote conciliation with the American colonies.

When William F. Buckley burst onto the national scene in 1955, conservatism was a dead letter in American politics, as some would argue it is dying now, under the ideology of Trumpism trying to suppress it.

“Lots of people thought that it was outdated, anachronistic, prehistoric, foolish, not very intelligent,” Carl Bogus was once quoted on All Things Considered by host Guy Raz.

Bogus is the author of a biography, Buckley: William F. Buckley and the Rise of American Conservatism. He says that back in the 1950s and ’60s, there really was an established liberal elite in America, which controlled both political parties.

Buckley set out to change that. As a Yale graduate, he published a book called God and Man at Yale, which took the university to task for failing to promote Christianity and free market economics.

He collapsed in that book religion, economics and political ideology,” producing the mix of ideas we recognize today as conservatism: free-market capitalism, support for American military actions, libertarianism, and social conservatism.

“It was Buckley who made that coalition. He held within him all … of those beliefs. He was what today we call a neoconservative, a social conservative and a libertarian.”

Building on the prestige of his first two books, Buckley founded National Review in 1955. He staffed the journal with talented intellectuals. Buckley’s and National Review’s articulation of an intellectually coherent conservatism, as well as its sharp and often witty criticism of the eccentricities and intellectual laziness of the dominant liberalism of the era, soon earned it a large audience on the right as well as massive hostility from the left. By the end of the 1950s, National Review was easily the preeminent journalistic voice of conservatism and one not easily dismissed by liberals.

Buckley and The National Review acted as gatekeepers of conservatism, excluding those ideas and groups they considered extremist, nutty, or dangerous. Among those considered unworthy of inclusion in modern conservatism were anti-Semites, white supremacists, the extremist anti-communists of the John Birch Society, and Ayn Rand and her ideology of hyper-capitalism combined with hyper-atheism. Note each of those groups were embraced into Trumpian ideology of the modern era thus the clash of the old guard Republican Conservativism verses the Trumpian ideologs of today.

Within national Republican politics, Buckley supported the 1964 candidacy of Senator Barry Goldwater, first for the Republican Party nomination (successfully) and then in the general election for the presidency (unsuccessfully). Buckley was only mildly enthusiastic about Republican Richard Nixon, initially supporting his presidency in 1969 but breaking with it in 1971, over Nixon’s pursuit of detente with the Soviet Union and Communist China and his attempt to establish a government-funded national minimum income.  

(Note a government funded national minimum income is not a new Democratic nor Biden creation of socialism but was first introduced in concept by Republican President Richard Nixon.)

In 1973, Nixon appointed Buckley to the post of American delegate to the United Nations.

Buckley was an early backer of Ronald Reagan for the presidency, first in Reagan’s unsuccessful campaign for the Republican nomination in 1976 and then in his successful campaign for the nomination and the presidency in 1980. Buckley later wrote a book about his long friendship with Reagan: The Reagan I Knew (2008). Some view the Reagan presidency as the pinnacle of the conservative movement and that there has not been conservative leadership in this nation since and as such the Republican party has lost its way thus opening the door to Trumpian ideology due to it being a party that lost its way.

Regardless of what factions eventually take the leadership of the Republican party as it limps along to the 2022 mid-terms one this is for sure; Americans waiting for the Republican Party to return to “normal” by historical standards, waiting for “traditional” Republicans to be guided by the better angels of their nature, that party of yesterday is NOT going to happen. And if playing a waiting game to sit back watch and remain silent then that wait is going to be lengthy.

In his 2012 book “Coming Apart,” conservative sociologist Charles Murray portrays the white poor in terms he once reserved for African Americans, describing them as a socially disorganized, economically dependent, culturally deficient, and even genetically debased population. It is no coincidence that Trump’s strongest support comes from working-class Republicans who feel their whiteness no longer protects them and that is the honest root to Trumpian ideology.

What now for the GOP?

Per Joseph Lowndes, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon

“In every polarized era, one or two key problems become the lens through which all others are viewed. In this Second Gilded Age, these are perhaps the twinned issues of excessive wealth and economic abandonment. Yet unlike the leaders of past populist revolts however, Trump seems less a champion of working people than a figure who confirms their debased status. Having titled his campaign memoir Crippled America, the then candidate reveled in such terms as “disgust,” “weakness,” “losing,” and “pathetic.” And of course he was the star of a reality show whose tag line was “You’re fired.”

Trump’s followers respond less to appeals to their value as producers, which in a financialized economy seems nostalgic anyway, than to brutal rage against immigrants and Muslims, who along with establishment elites are seen as the authors of their misery.

Delegitimizing elections, authoritarianism, cult of personality, white supremacy, destroying trusted institutions, ignoring the Constitution, flouting the rule of law. That is Trumpism. That is the Republican Party at present but several do hold out hope that the silent majority has about had enough from the 30% that Trump has indoctrinated and that the middle, the true conservatives the real American Patriots that get up every day go to work, raise a diverse and respectful family that those diverse patriots of the silent majority will again rise up and say, enough is enough and reassert their base of power.

Most Americans are now decades into an era of stagnant or declining wages. A Princeton study on rising morbidity and mortality rates among non-college-educated whites is merely one indicator of the physical and psychic costs of this abandonment. Yet these white middle and working-class Americans who are getting left behind are dismissed by conservative elites and thus the divide of the Republican party that allowed the opportunity for Trumpism it exist and thrive. And thrive it does primarily in rural and poor or depressed areas. Alamogordo, Mexico peaked in the 1960s and early 70’s due to the investments and technologies in Space and missile defense. Since then, it has slipped and is just of hundreds of examples of towns that were once centers of innovation, science and technology and now are strongholds of Trumpian ideology despite its progressive history.

Time and circumstance can yet move Republicans in new directions. Demographics could shift the GOP to the wayside. Time and demographic trends favor the Democrats over the next decade. But rejuvenating the party will depend on examples of leadership, vision and a base ready to reembrace conservatism’s highest ideals. There are groups trying to mobilize those conservative ideals of a proud party that represents the big tent of George Bush Jr. and the optimism of Ronald Reagan. Groups such as the Lincoln Group, Retake Republicanism and others are fighting for the soul of a GOP to ensure that demographics and extreme ideology of Trumpism to not move it to irrelevance over the next 2 decades.

In 2016, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild, whose book “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right” documented her journey deep into conservative country, Louisiana, and said that a key to understanding the tea party and later Trump voters was that many felt “dishonored” and “disrespected” by those in power. They saw in Trump a warrior to battle on their behalf, someone who would bring a gun to a cultural knife fight.

But Trump’s most profound imprint on the Republican Party is in effect, in disposition, in temperament. Republicans, time and again, accommodated themselves to Trump’s corruptions; as a result, they became complicit in them. By the end of the Trump administration much of the Republican Party was animated by cultural and class resentments, gripped by fear and implicated in Trump’s brand of politics.

In some cases, Republicans have been led down strange and dark paths. For example, nearly 30% of Republicans believe the fantastical claims by QAnon that “Donald Trump has been secretly fighting a group of child sex traffickers that include prominent Democrats and Hollywood elites.” It is no surprise that with the help of powerful Republicans like Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right conspiracy theorist, was elected to the House of Representatives.

“They just legitimized a person that used tactics I would say 10 years ago, even five years ago, would have been abhorrent to the Republican Party,” Elizabeth Neumann, a former assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security in the Trump administration, observed. “But … they know they can’t condemn that behavior because they know the base loves it.”

The danger for the GOP is that those who hope to succeed Trump could lead the party into even more appalling places, since there are indications from focus groups that post-2020 election, a sizable group of Trump voters are more inclined to embrace conspiracy theories and they are becoming more, not less, extreme.

Importantly, there are several influential figures within the Republican Party who are determined to see the GOP move beyond Trump, and they have this argument on their side: The Republican Party at the national level has been shut out of power after a single Trump term. Today Democrats enjoy a rare double-digit lead over Republicans in party favorable ratings, and a recent Gallup poll found the largest Democratic lead in party affiliation over Republicans in nearly a decade (49% compared to 40%).

Alamogordo New Mexico and Every Depressed Community in America…

The road forward for the GOP starts with leaders and voters who show integrity, act courageously, and speak words of truth in the face of political mediocrity. Guerilla Warfare does not win political wars, it just causes dissention in the hive. Old school debate, and local activism changes the hearts and minds of neighbors with responsible dialog. It starts with us holding local political leaders accountable. Does Couy Griffin serve the best interest as a commissioner for Otero County or is there someone who has leadership, vision, and courage. Is Evette Herrell effective or will she grow into the position beyond Trumpian ideology and represent the diversity that is New Mexico? Do local commissioners have vision to build a diverse economy and expand upon local tourism and cultural opportunities within Alamogordo and Southern New Mexico? Is the Republican Party in rural America capable of embracing a solutions-based platform and lead the people or does it want to rest on its laurels and play victim? The answers to what is next for the Republican party will NOT begin in Washington, nor in a think tank in New York or at Harvard or Princeton. What is next for the Republican party begins here and now with you, me, and every concerned citizen at the local and state level and with that participation and leadership then the national party will fall in line.

The GOP was once a great party of great ideals. It still can be again, if it turns away from the ideology of white victimhood and accepts its role as a leader of a diverse multi-cultural country where every person is valued regardless of skin color, nation of origin, education level, sexual orientation and the party embraces its responsibility to plan, lead and not always do what is easy for now but what is right for future generations.

The party must turn away from the corruption of money and greed and join the effort to lead on term limits, responsible investment in infrastructure, jobs and education and turn away from social issues and yet again engage on issues of strength and fiscal power.

 As a citizen are you up to the challenge of sacrifice today to show leadership for tomorrow? Republican conservatism calls for you to place the good of those around you above your personal comfort. The greatest generation did it during WWII now can you step up to the plate? Its on you to turn away ideology of ignorance and embrace the ideology of diversity, economic prosperity, and strength.

Sources: Bill of Rights Institute, Wikipedia, The National Review Archives, The Biography of Willam F Buckley, American Conservatism, Time, People, NPR, Firing Line, Duluth Tribune, The Conversation, The Desert News, Peter Wehner Ethics and Public Policy Center, The Washington Post, The Congressional Review, The White House Archives, Retake Republicanism.

Commentary by Author, Political Activist, Business Leader and Registered Republican Chris Edwards.

Chris Edwards New Mexico Bestselling Author and Executive Coach. Fitness, Sports History, Healthy Life Balance make up our core values. We focus on physical, mental, and spiritual fitness for a healthy lifestyle. We provide tips an offer A Social Perspective, Philosophy and participate in Political Activism for societal change as a Writer, Businessman, Lover of Life Experiences, Ambassador and Proponent of the Cultural Arts, Advocate in Exploring The Best In Humanity and the Celebration of Life Experience.

Author of the Coach Robert Sepulveda Book Series and the 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle 2 Hours Unplugged series offered at fine independent book sellers and on amazon.com.

Honey & Eggs, why buy local verses at Walmart? Alamogordo Town News Special Business Report

Honey & Eggs, why buy local verses at Walmart? Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo New Mexico sells local La Luz honey and local free-range farm raised eggs but why buy local? This is why!

Why would I want to purchase eggs and honey at Roadrunner Emporium verses the convenience of Walmart?

  1. Supporting local businesses and keeping money in the local economy
  2. You are getting local quality honey and eggs verses what may not be pure honey and the eggs are not industrial produced eggs from industrial farms.
  3. Health benefits to purchasing local products
  4. Local purchased Honey is better for the environment

Local Honey and Eggs verses Industrial Walmart Honey and Egg, The Story Economics of Local Purchases:

Roadrunner Emporium on New York Avenue is partnered with 40 small business owners, artists, farmers, and antiques vendors. Each are local small business professionals. The farms in La Luz, the Naturally Balanced Farms products and others are all local and purchasing supports the local economy.

When one purchases a container of honey from Walmart let us review the travel path to get to your home. Much of the honey at Walmart and other big chain retailers and big chain drug stores originated in China and technically is not honey at all. More on that in a few minutes.

Its safe to assume a large percentage of the product marketed as honey in the big chain stores originated in China and as such travels thousands of miles to a Walmart or similar distribution center via ship, train and then eventually to your local store via truck.  That product was purchased for pennies in China, the major expense is not the product but the shipping to eventually get it to you.

You then purchase the product at Walmart or your big chain retailer and 90% of the money from the sale goes to the companies headquarters and then overseas. A purchase from Walmart of honey or other items does not help the local community and does not help the American economy.

Here are the facts per the Alliance on American Manufacturing specific to Walmart:

95 Percent vs. 20 Percent

Walmart China “firmly believes” in local sourcing with over 95 percent of their merchandise coming from local sources. In America, estimates say that Chinese suppliers make up 70-80 percent of Walmart’s merchandise, leaving less than 20 percent for American-made products.

Source: Walmart ChinaFrontlineThe Atlantic

$3.9 Trillion vs. $250 Billion

Walmart’s financial records show it collected $3.9 trillion in net sales between 2005 and 2014. In 2013, the company committed to purchasing $250 billion in American-made goods by 2023 – just 6 percent of its net sales over the past decade (5% in 2014). If Walmart continues to grow at the same rate, in 2023 the company will spend just 3.2 percent on American-made goods.

Source: Walmart Stores Inc. Annual Report 201420102005

5 hours for $10 million

Walmart makes $34,985 in profit every minute, meaning that Walmart makes $10 million in profit approximately every five hours. For several years, Walmart has been the single largest U.S. importer of consumer goods, surpassing the trade volume of entire countries. According to the Journal of Commerce, Walmart remains the top U.S. importer.

Source: Journal of Commerce: 2012201320142015        

2.7 million Jobs Lost Between 2001-2011, 2.7 million jobs were lost to China with 2.1 million in manufacturing.

Source: Economic Policy Institute

100 For Every One More than 100 U.S. jobs were displaced for every actual or promised job created through Walmart’s Investing in American Jobs initiative.

Source: Economic Policy Institute

When you purchase your honey from a local supplier or local store such as Roadrunner Emporium then you are supporting local small business owners and not a large corporation and as such you create local jobs and the money stays in the local economy.

When you buy local honey, you are getting authentic honey:

According to the FDA (as well as the food safety divisions of the World Health Organization and the European Commission), the one test that authenticates honey is the presence of pollen. If the liquid gold does not contain pollen, it is not honey. This prompted Food Safety News to test more than 60 different samples of store-bought honey for pollen. The results were damning:

76% OF GROCERY STORE “HONEY” HAD NO POLLEN IN IT!

When buying from drug stores like Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS, the failure rate went as high as 100%!

However, the FDA is not checking honey sold here to see if it contains pollen. Ultra-filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey – some containing illegal antibiotics – on the U.S. market for years.

Food Safety News decided to test honey sold in various outlets after its earlier investigation found U.S. groceries flooded with Indian honey banned in Europe as unsafe because of contamination with antibiotics, heavy metal and a total lack of pollen which prevented tracking its origin.

Food Safety News purchased more than 60 jars, jugs, and plastic bears of honey in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

The contents were analyzed for pollen by Vaughn Bryant, a professor at Texas A&M University and one of the nation’s premier melissopalynologists, or investigators of pollen in honey.

Bryant, who is director of the Palynology Research Laboratory, found that among the containers of honey provided by Food Safety News:

•76 percent of samples bought at groceries had all the pollen removed. These were stores like Safeway, Giant Eagle, QFC, Kroger, Metro Market, Harris Teeter, A&P, Stop & Shop and King Soopers.

•100 percent of the honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had no pollen.

•77 percent of the honey sampled from big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target, and H-E-B had the pollen filtered out.

•100 percent of the honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonald’s and KFC had the pollen removed.

•Bryant found that every one of the samples Food Safety News bought at farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen.

Purchasing honey at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue means you are getting real honey that is full of pollen and has the health benefits of local grown honey.

Health Benefits to Purchasing Local, Honey Eggs and Products:

Local bees make local honey, which means the pollen they collect and bring back to the hive is all sourced from local plants. Since many seasonal allergies are caused by these same plants, eating honey that contains that pollen can possibly combat those allergies, the idea behind trace-exposure to allergens to desensitize patients to food allergies is one that is gaining steam.

In addition to potentially fighting allergies, one of the great benefits of local honey is that it is unprocessed and pure. The stuff you find in the grocery stores is often filtered, a process that removes the trace amounts of pollen it might contain and as detailed above is not pure and real honey. The purer the honey, the stronger its medicinal benefits, like potential anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Local honey is known to be the best remedy for cough. This may be the best health benefit of honey. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend honey as the best natural remedy for cough. Honey is even better than some of the common medications for cough. Research shows that a tablespoon of honey can reduce the irritation in the throat. In addition, it reduces cough symptoms and helps in better sleep more than cough medications.

Good-quality and pure local honey contain some important antioxidants that are beneficial for your health. Antioxidants are your body’s natural defense against diseases and promote good health. They reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks and some types of cancer. Antioxidants basically slow down the dangerous disease processes in your body. They work by destroying the free radicals in your body – compounds that can damage healthy cells. Research shows that honey contains variable amounts of polyphenols. These are powerful antioxidants that help in reducing the risk of cancer and heart diseases. Polyphenols are also present in fruits, vegetables, green tea, and olive oil.

The sweet taste of honey makes it a natural replacement of sugar. It contains about 38% of fructose and 31% of glucose which makes it sweet in taste. Sugar has a lot of harmful effects on your health and contains no nutrients, but only empty calories. Due to this reason, honey is supposed to be a better option than sugar.

Another major health benefit of local honey is its healing effects. Since ancient times, people are using it to heal burns and wounds and it is still common today. These healing powers of honey come from its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Studies show that honey is most effective in healing partial thickness burns and infected wounds after surgery. Another study published in The Cochrane Library says that “topical honey is cheaper and better than other interventions like antibiotics – which may have other side effects.” In addition, honey can also be used in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, which can have serious complications. On top of that, it can nourish skin tissues and can help in treating other skin conditions.

So rather the convenience of purchasing honey at Walmart or the big box retailers, take 5 more minutes and stop by a local store such as Roadrunner Emporium and purchase your local produced honey to ensure you are getting a local product that is pure and have the health benefits of real honey verses an over processed honey like product.

Local Purchases of Honey, Eggs and other products are Better for the Environment:

Different flavors of honey are available at Roadrunner Emporium and the flavors are based on the plants pollinated. Local plant life in La Luz and other honey producing farms factors into the local honey-making process. The honey produced at the farm comes in different flavors, including the traditional wildflower, orange etc. These flavors do not come from additives, however. Instead, they are created based on the plants from which the bees draw pollen. Releasing the farm-raised bees into select local plant life not only creates some incredible honey flavors, but it also helps pollinate the plants, which is beneficial to all local wildlife.

Besides benefiting the plant life, supporting local honey helps the bee population as well. Since bees are now endangered, it is more vital than ever to support local bee farmers in New Mexico and beyond who are helping raise and maintain healthy bees.

Another benefit of local verses the large store purchases is the carbon footprint. A jar of honey produced in China, shipped over on an ocean liner, carried by train to a warehouse and then trucked to the local store consumes lots of gas and spews lots of carbon into the air to get you that little jar of honey. However, is you purchase local La Luz honey or honey from your local community you are further reducing the carbon footprint and helping the environment.

So drop by and purchase your fresh eggs or honey, natural soaps and oils and artwork and antiques and other repurposed goods from, Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue. Roadrunner Emporium is a local Main Street Alamogordo business, that is committed to enhancing the local community, providing alternatives to a healthier lifestyle, and enriching our community with offerings fine arts, antiques and locally procured products in a safe engaging environment that brings value to the Alamogordo community. Drop by Roadrunner Emporium and meet the 40 artisans and partner small businesses that offer unique and engaging products and are a vital part of the Alamogordo small business community.

Author Chris Edwards Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/31910/alamogordo-business-spotlight-honey-eggs-why-buy-local-roadrunner-emporium

Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/, Food Safety News, Texas A&M University Palynology Research Laboratory, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/most-store-bought-honey-i_b_1118564,  Source: Walmart Stores Inc. Annual Report 201420102005,  Journal of Commerce: 2012201320142015, Economic Policy Institute , Economic Policy Institute

Don’t Blame the Governor, Local Government and Business Leaders Own the Economic Recovery Alamogordo Town News Special Report A Microcosm of the Nation on Jobs Creation

The economy within Alamogordo, Otero County and New Mexico was damaged by the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 and into the beginning months of 2021. Productivity plunged, new business development, licensing, and recruitment all but stopped and unemployment spiked. Mandated shutdowns, social distancing, and altered consumption patterns has resulted in many businesses adjusting work hours, some closing permanently and several laying off workers, modifying working conditions to include more automation and less need for employees.

Do not blame the governor and those outside of Alamogordo the issue of the thousands of square feet of vacant and not rented retail space began in Alamogordo long before Covid-19. Self-reflection and holding local political leaders accountable are where solutions begin. We can blame the Democrats; Democrats blame the Republicans, but the fact is the ownership of local jobs and education issues and the solutions to each can only come from within Alamogordo and Otero County. Help in the form of Federal Grants and State Grants can assist but first the local political and business machine must own up to creating a roadmap, accept responsibility for past sins, quit blaming others and remedy the issue with a collaborative, solutions driven resolution towards jobs growth and long-term economic prosperity. Call center recruitment is a 20th Century solution that is a failed path to jobs growth. Tourism, specialty retail, arts, culture and fitness that takes advantage of the local features of nature are the key to local prosperity.

Just look at the expanded self-check checkout lines at Lowes Grocery Store, Albertsons, Walmart, and McDonalds. Jobs are not being lost locally due to immigrants taking low wage jobs, jobs are being lost due to automation, a business community that is not adapting to changing retail trends and political leadership that must collaborate with small business owners via incentives, tax rebates, and state and federal block grants.

For Alamogordo and Southern New Mexico to move forward and replace lost jobs and incomes, the region needs small business entrepreneurs to fill the void with business startups of businesses that can capitalize on the local resources, tourism, fitness, arts and culture.

During the economic downturn a decade ago, the business startup rate fell and never fully recovered, which contributed to a slow recovery. Alamogordo had its business peak during the 70’s and has had a slow drain and a lack of consensus among the political leadership and the business community to end the economic drain.

The business community also suffers in recruiting due to the downward spiral of the public school system in rankings. In the 1960’s Alamogordo ranked in the top 10 school systems in the US in achievement pay and rankings. Today Alamogordo High ranks in the bottom 1/3 of US High Schools, no longer offers most vocational educational training programs of the 60’s and 70’s and the poverty rate among students is at a record high. The high school is feeling additional pressure and a loss of students and community support due to the proliferation of religious based private educational institutions that pull students from the public system, offer inconsistent curriculums and compete thus lowering even more the pull of funds available to the public education system and further depressing jobs recruitment of large corporate jobs into the area.

The startup rate of small business growth has trended downward since the 1980s. That is troubling because startups play crucial roles in the local economy and the sales tax base that funds local services. Small business entrepreneurs create the most net new jobs in most communities and Alamogordo would not be unique. They are a key source of innovation because new products and services offerings are often pioneered by new companies. And they challenge dominant firms, which helps to restrain prices and expand consumer choices as witnessed locally by the growth of Walmart and the closure of so many small businesses to include more recently several at the local mall such as Penny’s etc.

This Alamogordo Town News spotlight suggests that state and local policymakers should slash regulatory barriers to startup businesses. The state of New Mexico State should repeal certificate of need requirements, liberalize occupational licensing and restaurant alcohol licensing, liberalize licensing requirements of ex-felons and quick start the business licensing of legalized marijuana and hemp businesses.

The Alamogordo city and county government should collaborate on reducing small business owner property tax rates and provide sales tax holidays to small business owners to encourage business growth, sales, and entrepreneurship. The city should implement online permitting and licensing application for new businesses and make a commitment to turn licenses within 5 business days of application. The cities of Southern New Mexico should also liberalize zoning rules for home‐​based businesses and encourage their growth and that of food trucks and locally crafted arts, crafts, and food items.

US trends that are trickling into New Mexico, Ortero County and Alamogordo.

In recent years in the United States, entrepreneurship and business growth and adaptability have trended downward. An indicator of this is the decline in the startup rate for employer businesses, as calculated from the Census Bureau’s “business dynamics” data.

During the economic downturn that began in 2008 and we clawed out of by 2010, the startup rate for new businesses fell below the shutdown rate for several years. Alamogordo was not immune to that trends and the bounce back has never materialized in Alamogordo’s retail sector as witnessed by the many empty retail storefronts on 10th Street, the New York Avenue District and on the White Sands inner city corridor.

The new business startup rate has not fully recovered from the decline, which is one reason why it has taken many years for the unemployment rate to fall to its pre‐​recession low and is now spiked during Covid with questions of its rebound.  Political leaders and struggling business recruitment like to point blame for unemployment on liberal unemployment compensation, closures mandated by the governor and deflect responsibility locally for the lack of incentivizing business development and lack of commitment to small business entrepreneurship incubation.

Per the CATO Institute, business permitting, and licensing is a challenge for startups in the restaurant industry, which is the largest industry for new businesses aside from professional services. There are about 650,000 restaurants in the United States and about half are not part of chains. Restaurants employ more than 12 million people. In 2020, the industry was hit hard by the pandemic and government‐​mandated shutdowns. A September 2020 survey found that more than 100,000 restaurants may close permanently.

State fees for alcohol licenses range from about $100 to more than $6,000. But there are 18 states that impose on‐​premises license caps, which limit the number of licenses for each municipality generally based on per capita formulas. Such caps create shortages — often severe shortages — with the result that licenses sell on the secondary market for vastly inflated prices, often hundreds of thousands of dollars. The restrictions on hard alcohol licenses are typically more severe than restrictions for beer and wine licenses. In big cities, full liquor licenses can cost up to $250,000 in California, $750,000 in Florida, $400,000 in Indiana, $320,000 in Montana, and $975,000 in New Mexico. If Alamogordo wants to get serious about catering to tourism and creating real jobs it needs to work with the state assembly and the governor on a process to better procure liquor licenses for Southern New Mexico at a more affordable rate. Further collaboration in efforts begin with the City Commission addressing the concerns of liquor license costs and the few numbers available to Southern New Mexico via the assembly and via the state Liquor Control Board. A resolution of concern is a first step and needs to be taken by the mayor and the city commission.

The complexity of permitting, licensing, and zoning rules, and the discretion it gives to officials, makes it a breeding ground for corruption in many municipalities. Corruption is exacerbated by artificial caps that limit the supply of valuable permits and licenses and by slow bureaucracies that incentivize businesses to bribe officials in order to speed approvals.

Corruption favors incumbent and politically connected and existing businesses at the expense of new and independent businesses. One expert noted on marijuana licenses that “A statewide cap tends to benefit well‐​connected and well‐​capitalized applicants such as large publicly traded companies while excluding smaller entrepreneurs and resulting in less choice and availability in the marketplace.” The lessons from alcohol licensing and the abuse seen needs to be noted as the regulations around marijuana are being debated at the state and local levels.

The 2020 pandemic caused the shutdown of many businesses and threw millions of people out of work nationwide and thousands in southern New Mexico. As the economy rebuilds in 2021, it needs startup new businesses especially in services, tourism, fitness and the arts to create jobs and pursue new post‐​pandemic opportunities.

Startup businesses in the arts, fitness and tourist related realms add value to Alamogordo and Southern New Mexico as well as the state and nation.

To speed economic recovery and support long‐​term growth, governments should remove regulatory barriers to startups.

State and local governments should review all occupational licensing rules and regulations and repeal those that fail cost‐​benefit tests. States should accept licenses issued by other states, explore whether licenses can be replaced by private certification, and reduce the costs and time requirements for needed licenses. States and local governments should repeal most licensing boards as they are detrimental to new business growth. The state and local governments should repeal laws around licensing of ex-felons and encourage them to gain full professional employment rather than punitive long term punishment post incarceration.

Bureaucratic processes should be much faster and more transparent, and most licensing should be done online, automated with status updates available online for transparency reasons. It makes no sense that entrepreneurs burn through cash for months on end waiting for government approvals before they can open their businesses. There is no excuse in small towns and cities in New Mexico nor anywhere in the US that business licenses should take more than two weeks to be executed given the real time data that is in front of everyone via the interconnected web of the internet we live in today.

Sources:

“Business Dynamics Statistics,” U.S. Census Bureau, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/bds.html “Federal Policies in Response to Declining Entrepreneurship,” Congressional Budget Office, December 29, 2020. The CBO estimates are based on data from “Business Dynamics Statistics.” The CATO Institute, Elizabeth Weber Handwerker, Peter B. Meyer, Joseph Piacentini, Michael Schultz, and Leo Sveikauskas, “Employment Recovery in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Monthly Labor Review, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2020. And see Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker, https://tracktherecovery.org

Positive News – Daily Affirmation from a dogs perspective: 6-2-21, 28 Days A Habit, 90 Days A Lifestyle

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:
“THINGS MONEY CAN’T BUY: A DOGS LOVE, A DOGS LOYALITY, A DOGS JOY IN GREETING YOU, A DOGS FAITH IN HUMANS.” – TUDY


Beginning of Day
: How’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading the quote above?

End of day: Re-read the quote. Did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote above? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset?

We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on today’s quote.

“Things money can’t buy: A dogs love, a dogs loyality, a dogs joy in greeting you, a dogs faith in humans.” – Tudy

It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.

Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries.

Listen to our report and positive affirmations via our podcasts:

Memorial Day May 31, 2021 The history, the numbers and how you can honor those fallen heros memories…

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/31374/alamogordo-remembers-memorial-day-may-31-2021-history-and-how-you-can-honor

L-R Catherine Trevino, son Edward Balli, killed in Afghanistan 2014; Nadia McCaffrey, son Patrick killed in Iraq 2004; Martha and Daniel Garcia, son Juan killed in Iraq 2005; Kathleen Chappell, stepson Jason killed in Iraq in 2004: and Sandra Aceves. son Fernando, killed in Iraq 2004 at Gold Star Manor on Thursday, May 27, 2021. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

World War II lasted nearly four years for the United States and during that time, 49,579 New Mexican men volunteered or were drafted into military service. New Mexico had both the highest volunteer rate and the highest casualty rate out of all the forty-eight states which were then in the Union.

Soldiers from New Mexico were some of the first Americans to see combat during the war. Hundreds of soldiers from the 200th Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard, were in the Philippines manning the anti-aircraft guns at Clark Field and Fort Stotsenburg when it was bombed by the Japanese aircraft just ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The New Mexicans found their job frustrating because their shells could not hit high-flying Japanese bombers, although they did manage to shoot down a few fighters, which were flying at a low altitude. After the Japanese launched their main offensive to conquer the Philippines, the 200th Coast Artillery and New Mexico’s 515th Coast Artillery covered the withdrawal of Filipino and American forces during the Battle of Bataan, which ended on April 9, 1942.

The New Mexicans then took part in the Bataan Death March, in which thousands of Allied prisoners of war were killed during a forced march from the battlefield to camps at Balanga, where they remained until the end of the war. Of the 1,800 New Mexican troops serving in the Philippines, only 800 returned to their home to New Mexico.

The History of Memorial Day:

Before it became a federal holiday in 1971 and its observance moved to the last Monday in May, Memorial Day was called Decoration Day and took place on May 30th.

The roots for Decoration Day go back to shortly after the Civil War when citizens paid local tributes to those who had died. In 1868, Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued an official proclamation for a nationwide Decoration Day observance. After World War I, the observance was expanded to honor all those who had died in service during any American war.

Since its transfer to make it part of a three-day weekend, however, Memorial Day has also become synonymous with the unofficial start of summer. Over the last 45 years, trips to the beach to kick-off the vacation season or local mall to take advantage of holiday sales have vied for attention with more traditional observances.

In keeping with day’s more solemn purpose, here are a few things you could do this Memorial Day to honor our nation’s fallen heroes.

We remember those soldiers killed in the many American military conflicts…

During the Korean War according to the Department of defense over 200 soldiers were killed while in active duty…

A complete listing of those 200 New Mexican heroes’ can be found at https://www.archives.gov/files/research/military/korean-war/casualty-lists/nm-alpha.pdf

During the Vietnam War over 395 New Mexican soldiers died in service per the national archives the complete recognized list includes…

Even as the perceived major wars have ended our military has continued to serve in war zones and those heroes get less attention via the press than those from the great wars however each deserves equal respect…

In Operation Enduring Freedom, the name for the war in Afghanistan, which began in October 2001 and officially ended December 2015, 2,351 Americans were killed. More have continued to be killed since the official end to the war as we draw down. A complete list of all 2351 solders that died through 2015 can be found at

Operation Iraqi Freedom, the initial name for the war in Iraq, lasted from 2003 to 2010, during which 4,412 Americans were killed. A list of the solders that died through 2015 can be found at https://cms.qz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/oifnames-of-fallen.pdf

Operation New Dawn, as the campaign was renamed after the US reduced its troop presence, has claimed 66 deaths on the American side. A list of the solders that died through 2015 can be found at

As the draw down from Afghanistan and Iraq continues the number of fallen soldiers reported continues to grow and more concise records of those fallen are committed to be released via the National Archives by the end of 2021. We honor all that have fallen and apologize for the missing names of those more recent deaths in the service to our country.

This statistic shows the fatalities of the United States’ military in Iraq and Afghanistan as of February 02, 2021, has grown. As of February 02, 2021, the United States had lost total 7,036 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, with 128 coming from New Mexico.

A May 24th release by the Department of Defense tell the story of death by the numbers in presently active war zones…

What can you do to honor the sacrifice of those who died serving our country?

Attend the Memorial Service in Tularosa on Memorial Day or if not in Southern New Mexico attend a service in your community. The Tularosa Memorial Day Service details

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/e/31355/tularosa-veterans-memorial-day-observance

The public is invited to the Tularosa Veterans Memorial Day Observance to be held in Tularosa Veterans Park, 1050 Bookout Road, along Highway 70, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 2021, at NOON. We honor the fallen, those who served and those who are serving today. This observance is dedicated to the memory of Major Wm Guthrie.

Wear or display a red poppy.

Around Memorial Day, you usually can find Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) members selling paper red poppies in front of shopping centers. Now a widely recognized memorial symbol for soldiers who have died in conflict, the red poppy tradition grew from the World War I poem, “In Flanders Field,” by Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. The poem refers to the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers in the lines:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row by row.”

Pause at 3 p.m.

In accordance with the National Moment of Remembrance resolution, which was passed in 2000, pause from whatever you are doing at this time to reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom to all. https://www.usmemorialday.org/national-moment-of-remembrance

Read the original Decoration Day proclamation.

Less than 500 words in length, Logan’s proclamation, officially titled General Orders No. 11, is a sobering call-to-duty for all U.S. citizens. https://www.usmemorialday.org/general-order-11

Display the U.S. flag.

Do you have an American flag for your home? Since Memorial Day is a day of national mourning, fly the flag at half-staff from sunrise until noon to commemorate those who have died. The flag is raised back to full staff at 12 p.m. to honor living veterans.

Volunteer and Commit Your Time to Veterans

Agencies and organizations that work with veterans or active military and their families need volunteers the local hospital, USO center or homeless shelter, senior center and commit to volunteer your time on a regular basis.

What do you plan to do this Memorial Day to honor our nation’s fallen heroes?

Take a moment reflect and honor those fallen today as you move forward this holiday with family, shopping or continuing your day-to-day routine. At the Alamogordo Town News and 2nd Life Media and Boutique this weekend we pause a moment, remember and celebrate the sacrifice.

Article Sources: Wikipedia, The Department of Defense, The National Archives, Memorial Day.org, USA Today, CMS.QZ.com, New Mexico History Archives

Author Chris Edwards, 2nd Life Media & Alamogordo Town News. Published books and bio found at

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/

Alamogordo Town News Investigates: Why do homeowners have to pay for repairs to sewer connections that are in the city street and not the city?

Dear Mayor Richard Boss and Susan Payne District 3 City Commissioner and member of the Commission,

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/31293/alamogordo-town-news-investigates-why-do-homeowners-have-pay-repairs-sewer

We are writing this letter as one of several concerned citizens who have experienced damage to their water or sewer pipes or foundation damage as a result of actions by the City of Alamogordo and the contractors working on the McKinley Channel Project. The City of Alamogordo Department of Public Works has notified homeowners that they must repair the damaged sewer pipes connecting into their homes but that are in the public street beyond the sidewalk due to street damage that was caused by the McKinley Channel Project large equipment mismanagement under the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Alamogordo.

Throughout the project over the last several months the streets adjacent to the project and homes adjacent to the project have suffered damages due to the rumblings, shaking and use of the heavy equipment used for this project.

While the citizens of the streets of Juniper and McKinley are appreciative, that after so many years, the city finally found funding for this important Channel Project. However, that project that benefits the city in whole, should not be done at the peril of the residence of Juniper and McKinley Avenues without consequences.

Several homeowners had complained to no avail until the last 2 weeks about the heavy equipment damaging the foundations of the homes when the equipment was running along the McKinley alley way. Primarily the weight of the industrial size earth dump truck. When driving along the ditch its vibrations were significant enough to cause considerable cracking to the foundations of multiple homes. See photo below as example 1 of damages caused by use of equipment from this project.

Under the stress of normal circumstances with natural earth vibrations one would agree with that thinking however this is not normal circumstances. The streets of Juniper and McKinley have been bombarded with extreme vibrations by heavy industrial grade earth moving equipment for months and these continued vibrations have caused unwarranted extra stress on these properties resulting in damages that the homeowners are having to cover and insurance refuses to cover.

The heavy dirt dump trucks were going up and down Juniper Drive and causing significant damage to that street. A local plumber reported multiple homes on that street had called him out for street repairs to their plumbing connections that all began during the time the dump trucks were driving up and down Juniper and the homeowners were forced by the city to pay for the repairs as the damage was on the streets at the connection points to the sewers and water mains. When asked why they must pay for damages of which they did not create they were told it was city code by city personnel.

City personnel also reported that they, “don’t believe the homeowner should be responsible once the line is in the street or sidewalk which is public domain but that their hands were tied. They claimed they have reported the issue many times to department heads and the commissioners, and they were told the code is the code and the person is liable.” What is most alarming is that not only did the residents NOT create this issue, but they were also forced to absorb the expense and Alamogordo is one of few cities in the state of New Mexico that forces homeowners to pay for damage to piping and connections from the sidewalk to the street, why?

A city worker also reported that, “the city is aware of the issue and the contractor and FEMA was actually compensating the city to repair the pavement that has been cracked and destroyed on Juniper Drive as a result of this heavy equipment. So here we have a real concern that raises a question of corrupt intent? The city is aware of the issue but has kept it quiet in admitting that the issue exists. The city forced homeowners on Juniper do conduct repairs to piping and infrastructure on public lands, yet the city was paid off or is in the process of being paid off for damages on Juniper. Is the city then going to reimburse those homeowners for “out of pocket expenses” or has the city enriched itself with this “payoff” and not reimbursed the homeowners? The homeowners who are out of pocket deserve answers.

NOW COMES MCKINLEY AVENUE, the giant earth moving dump trucks have been driving up and down McKinley for the past month and guess what? McKinley Avenue is now cracking even after being newly paved just 2 years ago…

The typical residential road in a small town of less than 50,000 residence costs on average $1.5 Million per mile to properly pave and that residential road should have a life of 30 years.  McKinley Avenue was repaved just 2 years ago and should not be seeing the cracking that is now showing up. That cracking was however a direct result of heavy equipment from the McKinley Channel Project.

Per the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning, University of California at Berkeley there are specific weight limits in place for what a typical residential road can handle verses a main through fare and a US interstate. Obviously the later has heavy weight limits and most residential roads are not designed for repeated use by heavy machinery such as the industrial dump trucks carrying dirt for the McKinley Channel Project. In a nutshell, McKinley or Juniper were not designed for the month of heavy industrial traffic that has been going up and down the roads. As such the vibrations and weight has cracked the roads and has cracked the sewer pipes and water pipes in the roads going into the homes.

The construction company admitted as such these past few weeks to some homeowners and then came in and fixed the issue at their expense not the homeowner on 5 damaged residences this past week. While we are happy, they did, the question remains what happens to those homeowners where the issue may not be immediately apparent, and the issue pops up over the next year as a result of the recent damage? The construction company said when they are gone, they will no longer accept responsibility.

Photos of damage and recent repairs during May on McKinley Avenue.

In any other city in New Mexico, the city would assume responsibility as the connector to the sewer city is beyond the sidewalk in the street and in most cities in New Mexico the city assumes responsibility for those connections. The City of Alamogordo’s Public Works Department however notified several residences that the city is NOT responsible, and that the homeowner is responsible no matter where the connection to the sewer lies rather in middle of the road or nearer the homeowner’s property line. When the insurance companies were contacted several said they will NEVER pay a claim that is at the sidewalk to the street and that the city should be responsible and city code is contrary to that of almost every other city in the state.

In reviewing the city code for Alamogordo, it says the homeowner is responsible for repairs to the connection period and that liens are placed on homeowners’ properties for damages fixed by the city and not paid by the homeowner. So, in a nutshell, the city may allow damage and large oversized vehicles to trapse a residential road, that road may be damaged, and the damage may also happen to the homeowners piping and lead to their foundation. The city claims no responsibility and lands it with the homeowner. The city says the average fee is around $2,000.00 for these types of repairs that go into the sidewalk and city street. Alamogordo is the only known city that forces homeowners to absorb the cost of repairs that are beyond the homeowner’s property line into the sidewalk and street.

We propose this ordinance needs to be changed to be consistent with every other major city in the state of New Mexico or the city needs to reach an agreement with all the various homeowners insurance companies and pass an ordinance that makes them liable to cover such damage as they would if it were within the bounds of the property line of the home or business owner. The existing ordinance on the books is punitive and unjustifiably passes an unwarranted burden onto the property owner to fix and repair piping that is in the city domain.  As citizens we request the city to modify the city ordinance to be consistent with that of other cities in New Mexico immediately. The ordinance as written raises questions of constitutionality and property rights questions. By way of this letter and public statement we are requesting the city to place this letter into the public record in the public comments of the next city council meeting. Further we are requesting that this item be placed on the docket for review and discussion and finally request a vote be taken within 90 days on modifying the ordinance so that it is consistent with every other major city in New Mexico and that the city assume responsibility for all pipes, and connections outside of the property line of the homeowner or business owner meaning past the sidewalk and into the city street.

Concern Citizens of McKinely and Juniper Avenue, Alamogordo New Mexico

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/31293/alamogordo-town-news-investigates-why-do-homeowners-have-pay-repairs-sewer

New Mexico History & Politics- 1910 to 2020: On the back Soledad C. Chacón climbs the New Mexico Round House and the Congressional Delegation of Rep. Deb Haaland, Yvette Herrell and Teresa Leger Fernandez

On the back Soledad C. Chacón climbs the New Mexico Round House and the Congressional Delegation of Rep. Deb Haaland, Yvette Herrell and Teresa Leger Fernandez

Was 2014 the flashpoint for women in executive leadership and politics for the state of New Mexico? A lot of dialog has been created about the number women in politics in New Mexico of recent but not much has been published about the pathway that led to the success of women in power. There are a few key leaders, key organizations and the path fell on the backbone or foundation of some strong and determined women to get New Mexico to where it is now. Not only is it a leader in the number of women in political power it is also the national leader of women of color in political power. Let us look at a little insight into the history of what created the pathway to female equity in New Mexico political leadership.

The history of women impacting New Mexico politics begins in excess of 100 years ago…

New Mexico during its founding had been among the more politically conservative states in the West when it came to women’s suffrage, refusing to extend women the right to vote until after the passage of the 19th Amendment. The fight for women’s suffrage in New Mexico was incremental and had the support of both Hispanic and Anglo women suffragists. When New Mexico was a territory, women only had the right to vote in school board elections. Women under the Republic of Mexico in the land that became New Mexico had more rights than women in the United States did at the time. During the time that New Mexico was a territory of the United States, women were allowed to vote in school board elections.

The New Mexico State Constitutional Convention of 1910…

In 1910, New Mexico was eligible to become a state and a state constitutional convention was held. Just before the convening of the convention, the New Mexico Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) held a public debate on women’s suffrage. This debate took place in August in Mountainair, New Mexico and featured the president of the University of New Mexico and a socialist.

Most delegates to the convention did not women participating in politics. Nevertheless, during the convention which began on October 3, librarian, Julia Duncan Brown Asplund, attended each day and petitioned delegates to provide partial suffrage for women in the right to vote in school elections Delegate Solomon Luna, uncle of prominent New Mexican suffragist, Nina Otero-Warren, and H.O Bursum were both pro-suffrage.

Delegate Reuben Heflin, a Democrat from Farmington introduced the school election provision early on during the convention. On November 8, the convention’s Committee on Elective Franchise sponsored a “motion to strike out the limited franchise for women.” Two of the delegates were very opposed to women voting even in school elections were Delegates Dougherty and Sena. Dougherty stated that he didn’t believe women in New Mexico wanted to vote and Sena claimed that voting would lead to harm for women.

After this, the Woman’s Club of Albuquerque presented a petition for partial suffrage to the convention through Delegate Stover. The provision to allow women to vote did pass and was adopted in the final draft of the constitution which was passed on November 21. However, the constitution was also written in such a way that adding other voting rights would be difficult. The constitution required that three-fourths of all voters in each county in New Mexico would have to approve any changes to suffrage in the state.

When New Mexico created its state constitution in 1910, it continued to allow women to vote only in school elections. Upon creation of the state constitution, it was deemed impossible to modify the constitution to extend the voting rights of women any further.

Women in the suffrage fight in the state of New Mexico chose to pursue advocating for a federal women’s suffrage amendment. They organized among both English and Spanish speaking groups from the Alfred M. Bergere House which is on the National Register of Historic Places. That house was the flashpoint and the origin of the suffrage movement in New Mexico. The home originally built in the early 1870s on the Fort Marcy Military Reservation became the home of the Otero Bergere family, including Adelina (Nina) Otero Warren, a noted suffragist, author, and businesswoman. Her suffrage work in New Mexico caught the attention of suffrage leader Alice Paul, who tapped Nina in 1917 to head the New Mexico chapter of the Congressional Union (precursor to the National Woman’s Party). Nina insisted that suffrage literature be published in both English and Spanish, in order to reach the widest audience. Under their leadership in galvanizing women of color to unite with Caucasian women pressure then was put on the many male New Mexico politicians who then were forced to support suffrage on a federal level. Continued advocacy on behalf of suffragists in the state allowed New Mexico to become the 32nd state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment on February 21, 1920.

The Nations First Female Statewide Office Holder A New Mexican and a Woman of Color…

In 1922, two years after the 19th Amendment guaranteed women the right to vote, the people of New Mexico elected Soledad Chávez de Chacón (August 10, 1890–August 4, 1936) as the first woman elected to be the Secretary of State of New Mexico, and the first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office in the United States.

She served as acting Governor of New Mexico for two weeks in 1924, becoming the second woman to act as chief executive of a U.S. state.

The Growth Curve and Roadblock to Women In Politics…

The trend of women in political power continued to grow in New Mexico. The trends favored a growth of women in political office nationwide. In New Mexico and nationally the proportion of women among statewide elective officials had grown substantially during the 1960s to 1971. From 1971 to 1983 the increases were small and incremental. Then, between 1983 and 2000, a period of significant growth, the number and proportion of women serving statewide almost tripled, reaching a record of 92 women, constituting 28.5 percent of all statewide elected officials, in 2000. Since 2000, the numbers and proportions dropped notably. As a result, dialog began on what to do to help train and groom women for leadership and into political office.

The decline in women statewide elected officials continued following the 2010 elections. Despite the election of three new women governors, the number of women serving in statewide elective offices nationwide actually decreased by two, and fewer women, 69 held statewide offices in 2011 than in 1995 when there were 84 women.

A review of the 2010 election results in 2011 showed some major issues of concern, women held 21.8 percent of the 317 statewide elective positions nationwide. In addition to the six women governors, 11 women (four Democrat, seven Republican) served as lieutenant governors in the 44 states that elect lieutenant governors in statewide elections. This was considerably fewer than the record number of 19 women who served as lieutenant governors in 1995.

Other women statewide elected officials included: 11 secretaries of state (eight Democrats, three Republicans), seven state auditors (five Democrats, two Republicans), six state treasurers (five Democrats, one Republican), seven attorneys general (five Democrats, two Republicans), five chief education officials (two Democrats, two Republicans, one nonpartisan), four public service commissioners (three Democrats, one Republican), four state comptroller/controllers (one Democrat, three Republicans), two commissioners of insurance (one Democrat, one Republican), three corporation commissioners (one Democrat, two Republicans), one commissioner of labor (Republican), one railroad commissioner (Republican), and one public regulatory commissioner (Democrat).

In addition to the two women of color who served as governors, the women serving in statewide elective office included four African-Americans (the lieutenant governor of Florida, the attorney general of California (Kamala Harris), the state treasurer of Connecticut and the corporation commissioner of Arizona); three Latinas (the secretary of state of New Mexico, the attorney general of Nevada and the superintendent of public instruction for Oregon); and one Native American (the public regulatory commissioner of New Mexico).

The decreases of women in politics became and alarming trend not only in the US but south of the border in the country of Mexico as well. However, they took an interesting approach and made it the law of the land to engage more women into leadership…

The country of Mexico approved a political reform package that, among other things, included new measures aimed to ensure the greater participation of women in politics in 2014. The law now requires gender parity, which means that at least fifty percent of the candidates fielded by a political party in either federal or state legislative elections must be female.

Mexico had a history of encouraging the participation of women in politics and has impressive rates of participation in the federal Congress. Women in 2014 accounted for 38% of the legislators in Mexico’s lower house and 35% of the senators, rates in line with the Nordic countries (in 2014 the US, 18% of the seats in the House of Representatives and 20% of the Senate seats are filled by women). Mexico’s high rate of female participation is due in large part to previous affirmative action policies, which included several loopholes that the new law closes. Formerly, in order to comply with established quotas, women who were put on the ballot were later encouraged to cede their place to a male listed as a reserve replacement (oftentimes their husband) –the political party’s preference in the first place. Furthermore, women were included on the list to be assigned by their party under proportional representation but were so far down in the pecking order that they were rarely tapped to serve.

The new reform increased the quota requirement for candidates to 50%, with more stringent rules related to how the quota is implemented. Now, for example, the candidate and her replacement will have to be female.

Demographics favor women and most especially women of color in New Mexico…

The state of New Mexico took notice of what was happening in the country south of her border and of the trends within the United State. It was determined demographics actually work in the favor of women in key states such as New Mexico. As such women especially the Democratic leadership reviewed options in keys states such as New Mexico.

New Mexico’s population is a majority Latino or Hispanic and an additional 11 percent American Indian or Alaska Native, making it one of the few states, in which most of its residents, are non-white. The Latino population has grown over the past few decades, meaning a Chicanx or Latina candidates share a similar ethnic background now with a majority of the population.

The percentage of racial and ethnic minorities — people who identify as Hispanic, black, Asian, or “other” — in New Mexico eclipsed the percentage of white residents’ way back in 1994. California, New Mexico, and Texas were not far behind.

And by the year 2060, a total of 22 states are projected to have what demographers call, somewhat oxymoronically, “majority-minority” populations.

Four states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey — are set to tip in the 2020s. In the 2030s, Alaska, Louisiana, and New York will follow. Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Virginia will obtain race-ethnic majority-minority status in 2040s. And Colorado, North Carolina, and Washington are on track to make it in the 2050s.

New Mexico as one of the first majority-minority states is the trendsetter into the future of politics…

New Mexico politics has also become increasingly dominated by Democrats, which may have helped some women of color, as women of color are disproportionately likely to run — and win — on the Democratic side of the ticket. But recruiting women of color has also become a higher priority for groups that aim to propel more women into elected office, like Emerge, a national Democratic organization that opened an office in New Mexico in 2005. Emerge New Mexico, claims that over the past 14 years, 350 women have gone through their six-month training program. Of those, over half have run for office and over half of the program members are also women of color. 98 Emerge New Mexico Alumnae are actively in Public Office per their 2020 data on their website to include…

U.S. Cabinet Secretary

Deb HaalandU.S. Secretary of the Interior, ENM ’07;

New Mexico Statewide Office

Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard Commissioner of Public Lands, ENM ’08; Chair Marg Elliston Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, ENM ’13

New Mexico Supreme Court

Justice Barbara VigilNew Mexico Supreme Court Justice, ENM ’12Justice Julie VargasNew Mexico Supreme Court Justice, Statewide, ENM ’14Justice Shannon Bacon New Mexico Supreme Court Justice, ENM Founding Board Member

New Mexico Court of Appeals

Judge Jennifer Attrep New Mexico Court of Appeals, Statewide, ENM ’15: Judge Kristina Bogardus New Mexico Court of Appeals, Statewide, ENM ’17Judge Megan Duffy Mexico Court of Appeals, Statewide, ENM ’18; Judge Shammara Henderson New Mexico Court of Appeals, Statewide, ENM ’10Judge Jacqueline Medina New Mexico Court of Appeals, Statewide, ENM ’14Judge Jane Yohalem New Mexico Court of Appeals, Statewide, ENM ’18

State Senate

Senator Shannon Pinto Senate District 3, Tohatchi, ENM ’20;
Senator Katy Duhigg Senate District 10, Albuquerque, ENM ’11; Senator Siah Correa Hemphill Senate District 28, Albuquerque, ENM ’19Senator Carrie Hamblen Senate District 38, Albuquerque, ENM ’15

State House

Rep. D. Wonda Johnson House District 5, Gallup, ENM ’14; Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero House District 13, Albuquerque, ENM ’07; Rep. Dayan “Day” Hochman-Vigil House District 15, Albuquerque, ENM ’18; Rep. Debbie Armstrong House District 17, Albuquerque, ENM ’12; Rep. Meredith Dixon House District 20, Albuquerque, ENM ’20; Rep. Debbie Sariñana House District 21, Albuquerque, ENM ’16; Rep. Liz Thomson House District 24, Albuquerque, ENM ’09; Rep. Georgene Louis House District 26, Albuquerque, ENM ’10; Rep. Marian Matthews House District 27, Albuquerque, ENM Bootcamp ’19; Rep. Melanie Stansbury House District 28, Albuquerque, ENM ’17; Rep. Joy Garratt House District 29, Albuquerque, ENM ’16; Rep. Natalie Figueroa, House District 30, Albuquerque, ENM ’16; Rep. Angelica Rubio House District 35, Las Cruces, ENM ’13; Rep. Joanne Ferrary House District 37, Las Cruces, ENM ’13; Rep. Kristina Ortez House District 42, Las Cruces, ENM ’20; Rep. Christine Chandler House District 43, Los Alamos, ENM Bootcamp ’18; Rep. Linda Serrato House District 45, Las Cruces, ENM ’18; Rep. Andrea Romero House District 46, Santa Fe, ENM ’18; Rep. Tara Lujan House District 48, Santa Fe, ENM ’12; Rep. Karen Bash House District 68, Albuquerque, ENM ’18

Judges

Judge Maria Sanchez-Gagne 1st Judicial District, Div II, ENM ’16; Judge Shannon Broderick Bulman 1st Judicial District, Div III, ENM ’19; Judge Sylvia Lamar 1st Judicial District, Div IV, ENM ’15; Judge Kathleen McGarry Ellenwood 1st Judicial District, Div X, ENM ’20; Judge Catherine Begaye 2nd Judicial District, Children’s Court, ENM ’14; Judge Beatrice Brickhouse 2nd Judicial District, Div IV, ENM ’10 Judge Nancy Franchini 2nd Judicial District, Div V, ENM ’14; Judge Lisa Chavez Ortega 2nd Judicial District, Div XIII, ENM Bootcamp ’19; Judge Marie Ward 2nd Judicial District, Div XIV, ENM ’06 Judge Erin O’Connell 2nd Judicial District, Div XVII, ENM ’19; Judge Amber Chavez Baker 2nd Judicial District, Div XXII, ENM Bootcamp ’19; Judge Debra Ramirez 2nd Judicial District, Div XXIV, ENM ’15; Judge Jane Levy 2nd Judicial District, Div XXV, ENM ’17; Judge Clara Moran 2nd Judicial District, Div XXVIII, ENM ’16; udge Melissa Kennelly 8th Judicial District, Div IX, ENM Bootcamp ’19; Judge Amanda Sanchez Villalobos 13th Judicial District, Div IX, ENM Bootcamp ’19; Judge Rosemary Cosgrove Aguilar Metropolitan Court, Bernalillo County, ENM ’08; Judge Brittany Maldonado Malott Metropolitan Court, Bernalillo County, ENM ’19; Judge Courtney Weaks Metropolitan Court, Bernalillo County, ENM ’13; Judge Elizabeth Allen Municipal Judge, District 32, ENM Bootcamp ’18; Judge Cristy Carbón-Gaul Probate Court Judge, Bernalillo County, ENM Founding Board Member

Municipal

Councilor Diane Gibson Albuquerque City Councilor, District 7, ENM ’11, Councilor Tessa Abeyta-Stuve Las Cruces City Councilor, District 2, ENM ’18; Councilor Johana Bencomo Las Cruces City Councilor, District 4, ENM ’18; Councilor Renee Villarreal Santa Fe County Councilor, ENM ’18; Councilor Guadalupe Cano Silver City Town Councilor, ENM ’11

County

Assessor Tanya Giddings Bernalillo County Assessor, ENM ’14; Assessor Linda Gallegos Sandoval County Assessor, ENM Bootcamp ’18; Clerk Linda Stover Bernalillo County Clerk, ENM Bootcamp ’19; Clerk Amanda López Askin Doña Ana County Clerk, ENM ’19; Clerk Katharine Clark Santa Fe County Clerk, ENM ’17; Clerk Naomi Maestas Los Alamos County Clerk, ENM ’20; Treasurer Nancy Bearce Bernalillo County Treasurer, ENM ’14; Treasurer Jennifer Manzanares Santa Fe County Treasurer, ENM ’19; Commissioner Charlene Pyskoty Bernalillo County Commission, District 5, ENM ’18; Commissioner Adriann Barboa Bernalillo County Commissioner, District 3, ENM ’17; Commissioner Diana Murillo-Trujillo Doña Ana County Commissioner, District 2, ENM ’15; Commissioner Alicia Edwards Grant County Commissioner, District 3, ENM ’15; Commissioner Sara Scott Alamos County Councilor, Position 1, ENM Bootcamp ’18; Commissioner Katherine Bruch Sandoval County Commissioner, ENM Bootcamp ’18; Commissioner Anna Hansen Santa Fe County Commissioner, District 2, ENM ’14; Commissioner Anna Hamilton Santa Fe County Commissioner, District 4, ENM ’16; Commissioner Anjanette Brush Taos County Commissioner, District 4, ENM ’19

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission

Commissioner Cynthia Hall PRC District 1, ENM ’15

New Mexico Public Education Commission

Commissioner Melissa Armijo PEC District 1, ENM ’19; Commissioner Glenna Voigt

PEC District 3, ENM ’18

New Mexico County/Municipal School Boards

Yolanda Cordova APS Board of Education, District 1, ENM ’18; Elizabeth Armijo APS Board of Education, District 6, ENM ’09; Nancy Baca CNM Governing Board, District 5, ENM ’10; Teresa Tenorio Las Cruces School Board, District 4, ENM ’18; Chris Bernstein Los Alamos School Board, District 3, ENM ’18; Mara Salcido Lovington School Board, District 3, ENM ’15; Hilda Sanchez Roswell School Board, District 4, ENM ’17; Jody Pugh Santa Fe Community College Board of Trustees, Position 3, ENM ’18; Carmen Gonzales Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education, ENM ’18; Kate Noble Santa Fe Public Schools Board of Education, District 3, ENM ’17; M. Paulene Abeyta To’hajiilee School Board, ENM ’17

Democratic Party

Flora Lucero Bernalillo County Democratic Party, Chair, ENM ’19; Laura Childress Lincoln County Democratic Party, 1st Vice-Chair, ENM ’20; Leah Ahkee-Baczkiewcz Sandoval County Democratic Party, Vice-Chair, ENM ‘18

Middle Rio Grande Conservation District

Stephanie Russo Baca MRGCD Board Director, Position 5, ENM ‘19

Soil and Water Conservation District

Teresa Smith De Cherif Valencia Soil & Water Conservation District Board Supervisor, ENM ‘14

New Mexico Women by the Numbers after 2020…

Many women are now being elected as witnessed by this training of groups like Emerge and the training paid off in strong numbers in 2020. After the election of 2020, the real story in New Mexico is, it was the year of the woman and the year of the woman of color. Women made state history by winning most seats in the New Mexico State House of Representatives. Though still in the minority in the New Mexico Senate, women set a record in that chamber, too, with 12 seats. Out of 70 State Representatives, women now make up 37 of them on the house side, and of course the Governor is a woman.

New Mexico now ranks fourth in the nation for the ratio of women to men who will hold House chamber seats in January, said Jean Sinzdak, associate director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey, per the Santa Fe New Mexican publication.

New Mexico continued to make its mark in political history by becoming the first state in history to elect an all-female delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. It also made history as the first state in the continental US to elect all three members of this historic delegation as also women of color. Incumbent Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., Yvette Herrell (Republican) and Teresa Leger Fernandez (Democrat) in New Mexico’s three congressional districts were the three women elected. (Note Deb Haaland has since been appointed to the US Secretary of the Interior as the first Native American to hold that title, her seat is now up for special election) The first U.S. state to have an all women of color House delegation was Hawaii in 1990, when Rep. Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Pat Saiki (R-Hawaii) took office, however New Mexico is the first state to do so in the continental US.

Haaland is an enrolled citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna and made history in 2018 when she became one of the first Native American congresswomen. Herrell is a member of the Cherokee nation and former N.M. state representative. Leger-Fernandez is the first woman and Latina to ever represent northern New Mexico in U.S. Congress.

Our hope our future New Mexico…

Each of the proud and deserving women have a long difficult road ahead of them to represent a diverse population within New Mexico. Much has been said about the poor rankings of the state in academics, the reliance upon the oil industry to keep the state budget afloat and the many challenges with crime and poverty within the state. The men proceeding these women have not made it an easy job for them to step into. However, the editorial staff of the publication has the hope that each of these 3 elected women and the 98 others in the variety of offices showcased above will step up to the challenges ahead. Our hope is they will reach across the isle and put partisan ideology aside and work together as women with compassion and strength to craft policy that carries New Mexico forward into jobs creation for the 21st Century.

Each woman highlighted in this article is a woman of convictions and of talent to gain the position they have ascended to. Our hope is they will read this, remember the battles of suffrage fought by Julia Duncan Brown Asplund, Alice Paul, Nina Otero-Warren and others from 1910 that gained them the right to hold the office they are in today and the right to vote. Our hope is they will honor the memory of Soledad Chávez de Chacón by leading, not pandering to special interest and money like the men have for so many decades but by honestly leading and listening to the diversity of constituents to put them there.

Are you up to the challenge?

Rep. Deb Haaland and her ultimate successor, D-N.M., Yvette Herrell (Republican) and Teresa Leger Fernandez (Democrat) the baton was handed to you. Now are you listening? Will you reach across the diversity that is New Mexico and represent all of the diverse opinion’s ideas and constituencies? Will you step up and above the fray and show that women can lead differently and with more compassion than men? History will be judging you and we hope it will be a kind judgement in the years ahead!

Author Chris Edwards

Follow Executive Coach and Author, Chris Edwards via the Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media or his Podcast, 2nd
Life Media Present. Published books by Author Chris Edwards include Coach Bob Sepulveda: The Early Days, 2 Hours Unplugged Unplug and Reconnect, 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle, and has published essays on criminal justice reform Removing Barriers to State Occupational Licenses to Enhance Entrepreneurial Job Growth: Out of Prison, Out of Work.

Research for the story above sourced from:

Soledad Chávez Chacón: A New Mexico Political Pioneer. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Printing Services. Retrieved August 27, 2020, “Woman Wielding Power: Pioneer Female State, Legislators”. nwhm.org. National Woman’s History Museum. Retrieved 23 March 2015., “National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Salvador Armijo House”. National Park Service. October 8, 1976., knowledgecenter.csg.org, Vox Media- Here’s when you can expect racial minorities to be the majority in each state, Five Thirty-Eight Why New Mexico Elects More Women of Color Than the Rest Of The Country, EMERGE, Ballotpedia, Wikipedia, NCLS.org, nmlegis.gov, AP News, MSN.com, US.gov

Young School Board Leaders with fresh ideas, making a difference, challenging the status quo…

In the 1960’s, Alamogordo High School ranked in the top 10 in the nation and attracted teachers from around the nation. According to US News and World Report School rankings the school now ranks #40 in New Mexico High Schools and 6754 in national rankings.  In school districts around the nation with problems, youth are stepping into leadership roles within school boards, with fresh ideas and insights and making a difference in challenging the status quo and making change.

Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” That is the mantra of Anthony X. Vigil the 19-year-old elected school board president of Mesa Vista Consolidated School District in New Mexico. This quote seems to be a similar mantra for several other young people from a diverse spectrum of cultures who are grabbing ahold of American Democracy, and not only participating, but seeking elected office and winning at the level of school board.

There are those in life that complain about the political system and the world around us, and then there are those that do something about it. Age does not determine one’s ability to have a positive impact and to make a difference in the world. One’s ability to go after a goal, and get it done, is what determines success, no matter age or experience.

Photo of Anthony X. Vigil Swearing in to School Board Mesa Vista Consolidated School District in New Mexico. (Photo Courtesy of Mesa Vista Consolidated School District, Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media)

Anthony X. Vigil was a graduate of Mesa Vista High School in 2019, he was elected to the Mesa Vista Consolidated Schools’ Board of Education on November 5, 2019. Anthony ran for the school board to give the students, who are his contemporaries, a voice. He knows that since students are directly impacted by district shortfalls, they may be able to offer valuable outside-the-box solutions. At age 19 he would be one of the youngest elected school board leaders in the nation, and one of the youngest in the nation at age 19 to be named as the school board president.

Anthony X. Vigil appears to be one of several young student activists, turned candidate being elected as representatives of their school system. There is a trend toward student activism and entering politics at a young age. The school board appears to be an excellent entry point for these young citizens to enter the profession of politics.

A trend toward diversity and youth…

Photo of Kelly Gonez (Photo Courtesy Los Angeles Unified School District Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media)

In 2020 the nation’s second largest school system in the US, the Los Angeles Consolidated School system, elected its youngest school board president ever at age 32. Kelly Gonez became the youngest-ever female president of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Gonez, 32, was also the first of the millennial generation and one of only four women of color and one of three Latinas to lead the board that sets policy for the nation’s second-largest school district, which serves a student population that is currently 80% Latino or Black, according to LAUSD officials. Kelly Gonez, 32, is the only parent on the school board with young children, and she grew up in an immigrant family in the district she now represents, encompassing much of the East San Fernando Valley.

But the trend is showing an interest of those even younger getting involved and making a difference

Photo of Bushra Amiwala, the youngest elected Muslim official in the United States. (Courtesy Busha Amiwala twitter Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media)

Meet Bushra Amiwala, she is the youngest elected Muslim officeholder in the United States. Amiwala’s age and status as the youngest elected Muslim official and the only one wearing a hijab in the state of Illinois have brought her fame not normally associated with being elected to a school board. Among the diverse membership of the Skokie School District Board of Education, Bushra Amiwala stands out. She is also a former student in the school district and is featured in a Hulu documentary, “Our America: Women Forward,” which began streaming this March 2021. She is up for re-election to the school board in April 2023 but openly admits she is keeping her eye on other potential offices.

Photo of Ty’Relle Stephens (Photo Courtesy of Channel 10 WJAR Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media)

Out of the ashes of the Rhode Island state takeover of the Providence Public School system, comes a fresh voice. The city’s youngest school board member ever. Meet 20-year-old Ty’Relle Stephens, one of the newest, and the youngest ever Providence School Board member, sworn it at City Hall Wednesday. Stephens started his freshman year at the Juanita Sanchez Education Complex on Thurbers Avenue in South Providence in 2015, getting the lay of the land. Stephens says the voices of the students who have gone through the failed school system are invaluable to fixing what is broken. His plate is full working full-time at Kent Hospital in patient access, and now Providence School Board member, but he is up to the challenge. When asked if he would like to advance in the profession of politics. He leaves that answer to his supporters that believe he has a strong future ahead of him.

Photo of Musab Ali. (Photo Courtesy of NJ.com Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media)

Mussab Ali, 23, became the youngest trustee to ever to named Board of Education President following a 5-2 vote during the board’s reorganization meeting for Jersey City, New Jersey’s Board of Education, earlier this year. He is the youngest trustee and is its new president for 2021. Ali, a law student at Harvard University, won his first year-long term on the school board in 2017 and was later re-elected to three-year term. He is the youngest person ever elected to the nine-member Jersey City school board and the youngest elected official ever in Jersey City. In 2018, Ali was accepted into a prestigious master’s degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The board’s counsel approved Ali’s request to continue serving on the board while studying in China. Ali, a 2015 graduate of McNair Academic, was one of 147 people chosen for the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua University. He studied biology and economics at Rutgers University-Newark.

And back to New Mexico, where we began this article, we have the youngest school board president in the state and quite possibly the US, Anthony X. Vigil, age 19.  At age 19 he is making an impact on his district in leading it based upon his high school experience. We reached out to Mr. Vigil and asked him about how he got his start in the political process in New Mexico and he responded, “I attended board meetings since I was in middle school and since then I knew I wanted to become a part of the board. Shortly after my first board meeting, I acknowledged my passion to make a real change in society. I always had a strong support system and am compelled to create more opportunities for the generation to follow. The year I graduated was an election year and I didn’t want to waste any time on creating a better tomorrow.”

We mentioned a few of the other young leaders referenced above and asked if he felt participation and leadership by younger adults was becoming a trend and what was the catalyst for that trend? We also asked if he considered himself liberal or conservative in his political leanings. His response, I believe there is a combination of factors leading to the up-tick in the younger generation running for elected positions. I think more and more people are realizing that age is not a barrier and young people offer outside-the-box solutions to world-wide challenges. I am thrilled to see younger people becoming involved in the democratic process. Whereas I am more liberal, I firmly believe educational growth should be a bipartisan consensus. After all, education yields innovation across all industries.”

We would happen to agree with Mr. Vigil wholeheartedly. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of New Mexico. Additionally, Mr. Vigil is an intern with the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Engineering Services Division. Before joining the National Labs, he served as an intern Medical Assistant at Las Clinicas del Norte, a non-profit health center which serves the local community. In high school, he led several student organizations and was a runner for the 2015 and 2016 cross country state championship teams. In 2019, he was part of the state championship medley relay team for track and field.

Under his leadership as the president of the board of education he is championing those issues that are important to the students and partnering with leaders in the state to make that happen. As a former track and field and cross-country athlete he knows that a well-maintained track is critical to a team’s success. As such he and the board have partnered to get capital funds from the state of New Mexico to assist in getting much needed track maintenance done at his former high school. In partnership with New Mexico State Senator Leo Jaramillo, $75,000 in capital outlay funds were secured for a new track and field.

The money comes from Capital Outlay funds. School Board President Anthony Vigil says the track needs repaving, and the field needs new grass. “We will be redoing the track and making those repairs so that way it can be used to host track meets,” Vigil said. Vigil says they hope to have the work completed by the next track season.

Anthony X. Vigil, age 19 of New Mexico; Ty’Relle Stephens, age 20 of Rhode Island; Bushra Amiwala, age 22 of Illinois; Mussab Ali, 23 of New Jersey; Kelly Gonez, age 32 of California each represent true diversity and action.  Each is of a diverse generation of young, aggressive and determined individuals that respect the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, team activities and active participation in the system of civics. Each represents a diverse collection of ideas from a broad section of our country representing school districts large and small. Through their actions and their rise into political power they demonstrate as a truth, Mark Twain’s quote, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Getting started they have done indeed! We will be watching each of these youthful young adults as their careers move forward over the decades ahead. Inspired we are, in their youthful approach to stepping up, acting and owning the future by offering solutions by their personal actions today.

As we conclude, we wonder, are there any inspired youthful leaders in Southern New Mexico, and more directly in Ortero County or in Alamogordo, ready to take on the challenge and the example set by these youthful leaders? Alamogordo, who is the next generation of leaders ready to step forward today?

Salute’!

Follow Executive Coach and Author, Chris Edwards via the Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media or his Podcast, 2nd Life Media Presents.  Published books by Author Chris Edwards include Coach Bob Sepulveda: The Early Days, 2 Hours Unplugged Unplug and Reconnect, 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle, and has published essays on criminal justice reform Removing Barriers to State Occupational Licenses to Enhance Entrepreneurial Job Growth: Out of Prison, Out of Work.

Research for the story above sourced from:

KRQE NEWS, ABC 7 News Los Angeles, Los Angele’s Unified School System, The Hudson County View, www, NJ.com, Baca, Stacey (2021-03-09). “Skokie’s Bushra Amiwala is the youngest Muslim elected official in US”. ABC7 Chicago, Wikipedia, Providence Schools, Mesa Vista Consolidated Schools, Alamogordo Public Schools, US New & World Report

Removing Barriers to State Occupational Licenses To Enhance Entrepreneurial Job Growth: Out of Prison Out of Work An Essay and proposal by Author Chris Edwards

IMPACT ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP & THE FORMERLY INCARCERATED

 Chapter 1

This Book speaks from the point of view of criminal justice reform and there are significant references to the impact on post incarcerated individuals of the existing framework of Occupational Licensing and how reform will assist in job creation. However as a reader, please also review the proposed reforms from a standpoint of job creation and improving entrepreneurial opportunities within California and beyond.

For those outside of the state of California, this is a model position paper and applicable to what every state and the Federal Government should do, to reform Occupational Licensing and to enhance job creation opportunities across the nation.

From a criminal justice standpoint: most individuals that were formerly incarcerated want to work.

Many have acquired professional skills while incarcerated especially those in the Federal Prison Programs, that would add significant value to most professional organizations; if allowed to pursue the profession of choice, without governmental sanctioned barriers to entry.

Many individuals, while incarcerated receive college degrees through community college partnership programs. Others have in depth skills training on legal system filings through experience, others have gained skills in cosmetology, literacy teaching and other trades, of which they were proficient in learning while incarcerated. However, these skilled individuals are blocked from gaining fair pay employment due to governmental sanctions barriers in licensing them preventing them from entering those fields.

Historical perspective as related to jobs creation and protectionism within industries…

Interestingly state licensing for all but the most technical professions of medicine and law has expanded significantly in recent decades. Per the Goldwater Institute in a study by Morris Kleiner and Alan Kreuger, two of the foremost scholars on state licensing, have noted, “in the early 1950s only about 5 percent of workers were covered by state licensing laws. Today, that number exceeds 20 percent of workers.”

State policymakers play a critical and longstanding role in occupational licensing policies, dating back to the late 19th century when the Supreme Court decision in Dent v. West Virginia established states’ rights to regulate certain professions. Shortly after, states began developing their own systems of occupational regulation and licensing.

State policymakers play a central role in developing and shaping these systems by:

•             Establishing licensing requirements for specific occupations authorizing regulatory boards to license applicants and oversee compliance • Reviewing the merits of existing and proposed licensure requirements

•             Proposing strategies or guiding principles to improve the state’s overall approach to regulating professions

“Of the 1,100 occupations that were licensed in at least one state in 2016, a small number (less than 60), were licensed in every state, illustrating the considerable differences in licensure requirements from state to state”, according to the same source.

Every state licenses emergency medical technicians, bus and truck drivers, and cosmetologists, while three or fewer states license professions such as home entertainment installers, nursery workers, conveyor operators and florists.

Morris Kleiner, economics professor at University of Minnesota’s Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies, asserted that, “With growth of licensing laws has come a national patchwork of stealth regulation that has, among other things, restricted labor markets, innovation, and worker mobility.” Kleiner further asserted that,  “licensing resulted in 2.85 million fewer jobs nationally, with an annual cost to consumers of $203 billion.”

The Institute of Justice’s 2012 License to Work Report ranked states based on the burdens imposed across 102 low and moderate income licensed occupations. The state comparisons revealed “several inconsistencies across states: Many occupations are licensed in a small number of states, the same occupations have significantly different training requirements across states, and licensure requirements do not always align with public health or safety concerns.

The inconsistency in licensing and the misnomer that the structure is in place to protect the public is what has created this anti-competitive layer of bureaucracy.

 Researchers point out that “cosmetologists require an average of 372 training days, significantly higher than emergency medical technicians, who need an average of 33 training days.”

Researchers find little evidence that licensure improves the quality of services or protects consumers from harm.

                In fact, evidence suggests that the most onerous licensure laws may lead to lower-quality services and increased public safety risks.

Licensing reduces the supply of service providers while simultaneously increasing the average operating costs for professionals.

The result of limited consumer choice and increased prices can be a provision of licensed services at a rate below true market equilibrium; in other words, consumers forego necessary services because prices are too high, or no one is available for hire.

This situation can pose a threat to public safety in certain occupations. For example, the inability to legally hire an electrician for repairs may lead to electrocution or fire. Similarly, licensing that limits the supply and increases the cost of veterinarians may prevent animal owners from vaccinating against contagious diseases like rabies.

According to a 2015 paper published by the Brookings Institution, “economic studies have found little impact of occupational licensing on service quality in occupations that are not widely licensed; even in occupations that are widely licensed, studies have found few impacts of tougher requirements for licensing on health measures or quality outcomes.”

Further, a 2014 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on the safety of professionals in licensed industries concluded that “the impact of occupational regulation on deaths and injuries is statistically insignificant.”

Economic research on professions that directly provide health and safety services has shown that licensing requirements may not achieve their intended goals.

A study on dental licensing found that dental office visits were reduced, and dental health outcomes were hindered because of “licensure restrictions reducing employment.”

Similarly, a study of private security guard licensing found that lowering licensing burdens increased the supply of private security guards and was related to a significant drop in violent crime.

According to a 2015 brief published by the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, “civic leaders, elected officials, and courts have struggled to balance legitimate interests in protecting public health and safety with the preservation of free practice.”

Striking the right balance represents an opportunity for executive and legislative policymakers in California and beyond to achieve important public policy goals, including consumer protection, job creation, criminal justice reform, workforce mobility and economic growth.

Removing employment barriers for unique populations, such as immigrants with work authorization, military families, and people with criminal records, offers a powerful lever to achieve multiple policy goals. These include employment growth, reduced recidivism for employed ex-offenders, enhanced geographic mobility, and economic stability and opportunity for individuals and their families.

The Goldwater Institute findings go further; “Policymakers over the past few decades have rationalized that the growth of government licensing is necessary to protect the health and safety of the public at large. But the most robust explanation—which also explains the persistence of state licensing regimes—is that occupational licensing serves the purposes of keeping out new competitors.”

As such, it is favored mainly by incumbent businesses for that sole purpose.  Note that any change as proposed will be a battle and the lobby dollars will come from business interests that are attempting to limit competition not for what is best for the state economy or job creation.

The Goldwater Institute findings continue; “in  truth, the health and safety justification rarely holds up under scrutiny. In cases where the policies have been studied, there is scant if any evidence that they enhanced the public’s safety.”

From a criminal Justice Perspective: Structural barriers to securing employment, particularly within the period immediately following release are rampant for good paying jobs, when indeed they are most eager in their search, and the need for gainful employment is at its greatest.

For individuals, especially BIPOC individuals, women and members of the LBGTQ communities with a status of “formerly incarcerated,” their chance for fair paying employment are further hampered.

 This perpetual labor market punishment creates a counterproductive system of release and homelessness in urban cores or significant poverty, hurting everyone involved: employers, the taxpayers, and certainly formerly incarcerated people looking to break the cycle of crime and become productive engaged citizens again. This additional burden hits rural communities disproportionately as well due to fewer job opportunities. Thus the rural states of the mid-west and the south and poorer inland communities of California carry these jobless opportunities burden in a more visible manner, then wealthier communities. However the homeless numbers in urban cores is increasing drastically of late as these individuals flee the rural areas in hopes of urban opportunities

Criminal justice research suggests that finding and maintaining a legitimate fair paying job can reduce a former prisoners’ chances of reoffending.  The higher the wage, the less likely it is that individuals will return to crime. The three years following release from prison is the window in which ex-prisoners are mostly likely to re-offend. Successful entry into the labor force has been shown to greatly increase the chances that a prisoner will not recidivate. Yet government imposed barriers to reintegration into the labor force, particularly occupational licensing requirements, can be among the most harmful barriers faced by ex-prisoners seeking to enter the workforce.

According to one estimate, there are currently over 12 million ex-felons in the United States, representing roughly 8% of the working-age population.(Uggen, Thompson, and Manza 2000).

 It is estimated that roughly 2 Million ex-felons live within the state of California.  Reintegration of released prisoners back into the workforce will be crucial to the eventual success of any criminal justice reform effort.

A first of its kind of study was commissioned by the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty to explore the relationship between three-year recidivism rates for new crimes and relate it to occupational licensing burdens by combining data from the Institute for Justice, the Pew Center on the States, and the National Employment Law Project. This study estimates that “between 1997 and 2007 the states with the heaviest occupational licensing burdens saw an average increase in the three-year, new-crime recidivism rate of over 9%. Conversely, the states that had the lowest burdens and no such character provisions saw an average decline in that recidivism rate of nearly 2.5%.”

Some staggering statistics are to be found in a research document titled The Growth, Scope, and Spatial Distribution of People With Felony Records in the United States, 1948–2010 by Sarah K. S. Shannon1 & Christopher Uggen & Jason Schnittker & Melissa Thompson & Sara Wakefield & Michael Massoglia…

 “…15 % of the African American adult male population has been to prison; people with felony convictions account for 8 % of all adults and 33% of the African American adult male population.”

 The report further explains…

“People with any kind of criminal history experience wide-ranging penalties and disruptions in their lives, especially given the widespread availability of criminal background information (Lageson 2016; Uggen et al. 2014).

 Nevertheless, people convicted of felonies face more substantial and frequently permanent consequences (Ewald and Uggen 2012; Travis 2005; Uggen and Stewart 2015).

 A felony is a broad categorization, encompassing everything from marijuana possession to homicide. Historically, the term “felony” has been used to distinguish certain “high crimes” or “grave offenses” from less-serious, misdemeanor offenses.”

People with felony records are set apart not only by the stigma and collateral consequences that come with a criminal conviction but also by the extreme concentration by sex, race, and socioeconomic status.

Current prison and community corrections populations are overwhelmingly male: 93 % of prisoners, 89 % of parolees, and 76 % of probationers (Carson and Golinelli 2013; Maruschakand Bonczar 2013).

Recent estimates have shown that 30 % of black males have been arrested by age 18 (vs. 22 % for white males) (Brame et al. 2014). This figure grows to 49 % by age 23, meaning that virtually one-half of all black men have been arrested at least once by the time they reach young adulthood (vs. approximately 38 % of white males) (Brame et al. 2014).

Western and Pettit have shown that incarceration has become a routine life event for low-skilled black men—more common than serving in the military or earning a college degree (Pettit and Western 2004; Western 2006).

The cumulative risk of imprisonment for black men ages 20–34 without a high school diploma stands at 68 % compared with21 % of black men with a high school diploma and 28 % for white men without a high school diploma (Pettit 2012).

According to a report by PrisonPolicy.org formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of over 27% — higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period, including the Great Depression.

The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 109 federal prisons, 1,772 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories.

(The number of state facilities is from Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2005, the number of federal facilities is from the list of prison locations on the Bureau of Prisons website (as of March 14, 2019), the number of youth facilities is from the Juvenile Residential Facility Census Data book (2016), the number of jails from Census of Jails: Population Changes, 1999-2013, and the number of Indian Country jails from Jails in Indian Country, 2016)

Roughly 95% will eventually be released. Over 600,000 people make the difficult transition from prisons to the community each year according E. Ann Carson. 2018. Prisoners in 2016. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Another startling statistic is every year, over 600,000 people enter prison gates, but people go to jail 10.6 million times each year. Via The Jail Reentry Round-table, Bureau of Justice Statistics statistician Allen Beck estimates that of the 12-12.6 million jail admissions in 2004-2005, 9 million were unique individuals.

Per PrisonPolicy.org more recently they analyzed the 2014 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, which includes questions about whether respondents have been booked into jail; from this source, they estimate that approximately 6 million unique individuals were arrested that year.

In a PrisonPolicy.org research document it was found that; “among working-age individuals 25-44 the unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people was 27.3%, compared with just 5.2% unemployment for their general public peers during the study period. That such a large percentage of prime working-age formerly incarcerated people are without jobs but wish to work suggests structural factors — like discrimination — play an important role in shaping job attainment.”

While I personally have witnessed discriminatory practices in the hiring and interview process; they are also prevalent once individuals are employed in relation to promotions, pay equity and task assignments. However that is not the primary focus of this book it is worth noting and its impact on fair wage employment of those formerly incarcerated.

In a paper titled The Mark of a Criminal Records by Devah Pager, Northwestern University, he examined the effect of a criminal record in the labor market by sending out paired job testers (two white testers and two Black testers) where one tester in each pair was given a fictitious felony record. Pager’s audit methodology allowed her to examine the independent effects of race and criminal records. Importantly, Black job testers without criminal records were less likely to receive callbacks from employers than white job testers with criminal records.

Although employer’s express willingness to hire people with criminal records, evidence shows that having a record reduces employer callback rates by 50%. What employers say or believe they are doing contradicts what they actually doing in practice per another research report by Devah Pager and Lincoln Quillian titled,  Walking the Talk? What Employers Say versus What They Do. American Sociological Review.

Based upon my experience with Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay, who’s mission was to help place formerly incarcerated; I found that individuals want to work. A majority of the unemployment among this second chance population is a matter of public policy, and practice, biased hiring practices and not in the lack of aspirations for a better life.

Statistically, Black women who were formerly incarcerated are hit especially hard with severe levels of unemployment, whereas white men experience the lowest. Formerly incarcerated Black women experience an unemployment rate 7 times that of the general population. Formerly incarcerated Black men experience unemployment 5 times that of the general population.

When formerly incarcerated people do land jobs, they are often the most insecure and lowest-paying positions according to Gretchen Purser. 2012.

“Still Doin’ Time:” Clamoring for Work in the Day Labor Industry. The Journal of Labor & Society.

According to an analysis of IRS data in a report by Adam Looney and Nicholas Turner. 2018 Work and opportunity before and after incarceration , “the majority of employed people recently released from prison receive an income that puts them well below the poverty line.”

This is even though many of these individuals have skills or experience in higher paying and professional occupations of which they are barred from due to government supported barriers to entry into those higher paying or more professional jobs.

So what have we learned in this chapter?

•             Governmental sanctions via barriers in licensing harm job creation and economic growth

•             In the early 1950s only about 5 percent of workers were covered by state licensing laws. Today, that number exceeds 20 percent of workers.

•             Licensing does not necessarily create a safer workplace nor safeguards to the public good. • Rural communities are especially hard hit in job creation due to the over-reach of licensing boards

•             12 Million people are ex-felons clamoring for work, 2 Million within the state of California.

•             The staggering numbers of Black individuals and especially Black Women that struggle the most in re-entry. We’ve seen the workplace, due to governmental sponsored barriers and ingrained bias, both racially and due to the stigma of incarceration, is not generally conducive to hiring formerly incarcerated individuals. • Th pathway out of poverty is stymied by these roadblocks which further harms socioeconomic development of these impacted individuals and thus their families and their communities.

Good Intent Poor Results Chapter 2

Fact: Nearly 2 in 5 workers in the U.S. need State or Federal government permission just to do their jobs.

The intent of occupational licensure is to:

•             Safeguard public health and safety.

•             Protect consumers by guaranteeing minimum educational requirements and industry oversight.

•             Support career development and pathways for licensed workers and enhanced professionalism for licensed workers.

•             Step in when competitive market forces (e.g., litigation or reputation) fail to achieve desired outcomes.

However, unnecessary licensing requirements have been found to:

•             Reduce employment in licensed occupations.

•             Reduce geographic mobility.

•             Reduce wages for unlicensed workers relative to their licensed counterparts.

•             Reduce market competition and innovation.

•             Increase the price of goods and services.

•             Disproportionately burden low income and military veterans and families, people with a criminal history, immigrants with work authorization, and dislocated and unemployed workers.

The Federal Trade Commission has asserted that unnecessary licensure regulations “erect significant barriers and impose costs that cause real harm to American workers, employers, consumers and our economy as a whole, with no measurable benefits to consumers or society.”

Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhauser, recently asserted that “occupational licensing disproportionately affects those seeking to move up the lower and middle rungs of the economic ladder, as well as military families and veterans, those with criminal histories and those that have vocational skills but may not be college educated.”

She noted that licensing requirements “can prevent individuals from using their vocational skills and entering new professions, as well as starting small businesses or creating new business models.”

State policymakers play a critical and longstanding role in occupational licensing policies, dating back to the late 19th century when the Supreme Court decision in Dent v. West Virginia established states’ rights to regulate certain professions. Shortly after, states began developing their own systems of occupational regulation and licensing. State policymakers play a central role in developing and shaping these systems by:

•             Establishing licensing requirements for specific occupations

•             Authorizing regulatory boards to license applicants and oversee compliance

•             Reviewing the merits of existing and proposed licensure requirements

•             Proposing strategies or guiding principles to improve the state’s overall approach to regulating professions

According to a 2015 brief published by the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, “civic leaders, elected officials, and courts have struggled to balance legitimate interests in protecting public health and safety with the preservation of free practice.”

Striking the right balance represents an opportunity for state legislatures and those of the executive branches to achieve important public policy goals, including consumer protection, job creation, workforce mobility and economic growth. Removing employment barriers for unique populations, such as immigrants with work authorization, military families, and people with criminal records, offers a powerful lever to achieve multiple policy goals.

These include employment growth, poverty reduction in rural areas and urban inner cities, reduced recidivism for employed ex-offenders, enhanced geographic mobility, economic growth and increased tax base and economic stability and opportunity for individuals and their families.

One study in New York conducted by the National Institute of Justice showed ex-offenders were 50 percent less likely to receive callbacks or job offers. Employers are understandably reluctant to hire someone if they have a reason to think, right or wrong, that a job applicant could be untrustworthy or would somehow put customers at risk.

But what many may not know is that the law makes many occupations off-limits for people with a criminal record, even if an employer is willing to give them a chance.

Numerous licensing laws have morality clauses that (1) bar automatically and permanently ex-offenders from working without any individualized review or (2) require the ex-offender to prove a negative—that the ex-offender’s past crimes will not cause him to harm customers in the future.

Such provisions ironically may decrease public safety. States with prohibitions and high burdens on entry have increasing criminal recidivism. Conversely, states that have no such bars and low burdens have seen declines in recidivism, according to Professor Stephen Slivinski’s landmark study, Turning Shackles into Bootstraps.

Occupational licensing for individuals with criminal records face additional challenges finding and maintaining fair pay employment which is a critical aspect of reducing recidivism. Individuals with criminal records face many barriers to licensing including both those codified in federal and state law as well as implicit biases.

The National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction (the NICCC), catalogs over 15,000 provisions of law in both statute and regulatory codes that limit occupational licensing opportunities for individuals with criminal records.

According to Barriers to Work: People with Criminal Records Report from the National Counsel of Legislatures July 18, 2017: “occupational licensing statutes in a number of states have blanket prohibitions on awarding of licenses to those with a criminal record. Some states’ laws contain an automatic disqualification which prohibits a person with a felony conviction from obtaining an occupational license, regardless of whether the offense is directly related to the practice of the occupation or poses a substantive risk to public safety. In addition, licensing laws often contain “good-character” or “good moral character” provisions that grant licensing boards broad discretion to deny applications due to an applicant’s criminal history, including convictions for minor offenses and sometimes arrests that never led to a conviction.”

The net result or negative side effect of these regulations or licensing requirements prevent people from starting a business and creating their own opportunity when no one else will hire them.

There is an effort the change the trend of the abuse or overreach of the rules from the prevailing war on crime during the most recent few legislative sessions across the US.

State legislatures across the country are moving more quickly and creatively to repair some of the damage done by the War on Crime, which left a third of the adult U.S. population with a criminal record. In the second quarter of 2019, 26 states have enacted an eye-popping total of 75 separate new laws aimed at addressing the disabling effects of a record – bringing the first-half total to 94 new laws enacted by 36 states. By way of comparison, in all of 2018 there were 61 new restoration laws enacted in 32 states and two territories, which was then a record, according to

Collateral Consequences Resource Center http://ccresourcecenter.org/

Most legislative attention was on facilitating access to record-clearing, although a significant number of new laws regulate consideration of criminal record in the occupational licensing process such as California SB2138 which was enacted into law in 2018 but does not take full effect until January 2021.

California under Jerry Brown attempted to make changes under SB2138.

This was a good, first step.

Assembly Bill 2138 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. According to the bill, a licensing board cannot take away, or deny, a license on the basis of a criminal conviction if the following is true:

1.            The conviction is seven years or older; and,  (FLAW)

2.            The conviction is not substantially related to the job details the applicant will perform. (FLAW Open to broad interpretation)

Please note, however, that these rules do not apply if a conviction is for a serious felony. That loophole is vague and allows for abuse and is a compromise that makes the intent of the law ineffective of its original charge.

This was a first step however, there are significant flaws in the law that need to be tweaked or addressed.

•             The law still allows a ban on licenses when there was a conviction for “any act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with the intent to substantially benefit himself or herself or another.” If the applicant was convicted of a financial crime currently classified as a felony that is directly and adversely related to the fiduciary qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or profession for which the application is made” then a license may be denied. If the idea behind justice is rehabilitation and not punitive long term punishment, then once the sentence has been completed the individual should not be prohibited from entry or re-entry into a profession. However most criminal justice advocated would concur, that if after a second time, individuals, make a mistake and are convicted again of an offense, then they should have a lifetime ban.

•             “A person shall not be denied a license solely on the basis that he or she has been convicted of a felony if he or she has obtained a certificate of rehabilitation”, however this certificate s not issued in California or in many states for individuals that had cases in other state courts or in the Federal System.

•             7 Year Time frame Concern: “…revise and recast those provisions to instead authorize a board to, among other things, deny, revoke, or suspend a license on the grounds that the applicant or licensee has been subject to formal discipline, as specified, or convicted of a crime only if the applicant or licensee has been convicted of a crime within the preceding 7 years from the date of application…”  The 7 year time frame creates significant disadvantages to those re-entering the workforce or those attempting to move forward post incarceration with a fair-pay employment opportunity. The

timing of good job availability individuals post incarceration is critical to the reduction of recidivism.

We want convicted felons to overcome their criminal past. We want them to become productive members of the community. Yet we brand the with a “Scarlet F” that makes rehabilitation increasingly difficult.

Twenty-nine states allow occupational licensing boards to reject outright the application of someone with a criminal record

Ex-convicts can’t become school bus drivers, peace officers or employee at a children’s treatment facility in most states. Even if the state licensing board must not automatically reject an ex-convict, there may be little to no restriction in state law to prohibit a licensing board from denying, at their discretion, a license based on the mere presence of a criminal record.

Eleven of the states  can be called “prohibition states,” that is, they either automatically penalize ex-prisoners in the licensing processor have no other legal restrictions on the power of licensing board to base denial of a license on anything other than the presence of a criminal record, even for non-violent offenders or if the ex-prisoner’s conviction; according to 2016 study from the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

Ex-convicts are usually unable to possess, obtain or maintain most professional licenses, certifications, or registrations. They’re typically restricted from credentials for occupations in the Department of Public Health’s jurisdiction or in real estate, the distribution of drugs or pharmaceuticals, pest control, embalming and insurance sales.

In California, you are not going to get a license or credentialed if you are a doctor, athletic trainer, dentist, pawnbroker, psychologist, massage therapist, barber, nail salon operator, cosmetologist, contractor, veterinarian, social worker, physician’s assistant and radiographer, physical therapist, and the ability to obtain a California alcoholic beverage license may also be affected by a prior felony conviction inhibiting job creation in the wine industry impacting many counties that have a significant employment base in that industry such as Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and those in the middle of the state.

Ex-convicts are not actually barred from practicing law in all states, but candidates are typically required to go through a waiting period, usually a minimum of five years, after being released from prison before restoring their civil rights. In Florida, this means candidates can attend law school but can’t take the bar exam. Candidates in Texas wait five years before registering to take the bar – but the state notes that registering doesn’t mean you will be allowed to practice.

At the federal level, a felony conviction may also result in the loss of a license, such as a customs broker’s license; export license; license to export defense articles and services; merchant mariner’s document, license, or certificate of registry; locomotive engineer’s license, transportation worker identification credential (TWIC); and any other license, if the conviction is for a drug offense.

People convicted of a felony are ineligible to enlist in the Armed Forces unless they receive a waiver from the Secretary of Defense.

Ex-felons with tax consequences cannot even get a passport to leave the country or for employments with cruise lines or overseas with rare exception.

Recidivism Chapter 3

The revolving door of American’s prison systems have proven very costly. The highest rate of “recidivism” (a relapse into crime and often, as a result, a return to incarceration) occurs within the first three years after release, nearly 68% of released prisoners recidivate during this time per Matthew R. Durose, Alexia D. Cooper, and Howard N. Snyder. “Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010.”

Estimates of how much can be saved in State and Federal budgets simply by helping these individuals avoid a return to prison reaches an average of at least $15.5 million annually. The total estimate of $635 million in budget savings resulting from a 10 percent decrease in the total recidivism rate comes from the Pew Center on the States, “State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons,” April 2011. This estimate is based on data from 41 states, hence the estimate quoted here of $15.5 million on average.

“This would be even higher for states that maintain a high per prisoner cost. Meanwhile, the costs to society, the economy, and to the former prisoners themselves, in the form of lost hours of labor, the social cost of higher crime rates, and the lost potential of the individual ex-prisoner, are immeasurable.”

The greater the legal restrictions to working in a state, the higher the likelihood that an ex-prisoner will be turned away from entering the labor force and will return to crime hitting urban centers and the rural areas of a state hardest, thus increasing poverty and individual reliance upon government support programs.

A key component to Criminal Justice reform is to lower the rate of  recidivism. Gainful employment is a key component post incarceration in making that happen.

Policy Recommendations & Considerations Chapter 4

Occupational licensure requirements can have a range of effects on individuals with criminal records and policymakers across the country are considering ways to address those barriers. The policy options reviewed below focus specifically on those relevant to this population, but it is important to note that broader reforms can also affect individuals with criminal records. Information on broader tools and frameworks that can be used to help refine a state’s regulatory approach are outlined in The State of Occupational Licensing: Research, State Policies and Trends.

It is worth noting that specific to this population as defined in statute, a states’ policies should focus on the goals of seeking to encourage rehabilitation of criminal offenders while also protecting public safety and enhancing job creation within the state.

Modification of Morality Clauses

In order to create more transparency and fairness in the licensing process and, provide licensing entities more guidance in their treatment of criminal records, some states have chosen to remove vague and broad standards, such as “good moral character” and restrictions against “moral turpitude” offenses and provide more clarity on exclusionary convictions. This also allows potential applicants, with the specified offenses, to be more prudent in selecting occupations where those disqualifications are clear.

•             As part of broader efforts on criminal justice reform, lawmakers in Kentucky disallowed licensing boards in the state from requiring that applicants possess vaguely defined “good moral character.” Establish Pre-qualification Standards

Some states have mandated licensing entities to allow people with criminal records to petition the board for a “per-qualification” opinion. Pre-qualification allows an applicant to get a determination on eligibility before going through the licensing application process. In these cases, licensing boards are required to explicitly list disqualifying offenses and are able to notify applicants if their particular offense will disqualify them from licensure. This process helps ensure that people with criminal records, can devote their time and resources into occupations that will lead to gainful employment.

•             In 2018, Arizona enacted legislation giving licensure applicants the authority to seek a predetermination from an agency as to whether the criminal record is a disqualifying offense for an occupational license.

Certification of Rehabilitation

Another policy option chosen by some states offers people with criminal records the opportunity to secure certificates of rehabilitation or certificates of employ-ability that would open the door to receiving occupational licenses.

Although the application of these certificates varies from state to state, they “may be used to provide a way for qualified people with criminal records to demonstrate rehabilitation or a commitment to rehabilitation, ”and to relieve barriers to jobs and licenses. Certificates of rehabilitation may also be a viable option for states that have yet to adopt comprehensive record closure laws (expungement/sealing) since some are able to “directly limit the application of collateral consequences” while not removing information from a person’s record or limiting public access.

•             At least 12 states now make certificates of rehabilitation available through the court system and a few others through administrative agencies including California, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington.

•             Note California offers this option only or those convicted of a state crime. There is no offer or consideration for those that were convicted in Federal Courts within the jurisdiction of California. The recommendation is that the existing law be modified to also include a Certification of Rehabilitation to those under-served individuals that are presently exempted from the benefits of the existing laws.

•             Offering certificates of rehabilitation, which remove some of the employment restrictions imposed by occupational licensing statutes is an option

Another is a “Certificate of Good Conduct” which can be issued for anyone who goes either one year after release for a misdemeanor or two years after release from certain felonies without committing further crimes. These certificates also exempt employers from any “third-party liability” when they hire former offenders in some states.

Petitioning the court for any of these certificates can cost a lot of money. In California, which only Offers A Certificate of Rehabilitation for state offenses can cost from $1499 to $10,000 to gain once all legal fees and attorney fees are paid and again there is no such offering for those convicted of Federal Crimes within California and their pathway is further limited.

That kind of money is something many newly released and unemployed offenders don’t have and further shows the inequity in the criminal justice system that negatively impacts those on the lower end of the economic spectrum in finding a way out.

Furthermore, people in this situation can’t just wait a year or two for a certificate of good conduct when they need to support themselves and their families immediately upon release from prison.

Other states have enacted changes …

Occupational licensing was the second most frequent area of law reform. Seven states, five in the South or Southwest, emerged from their legislative seasons this quarter having adopted proposals intended to give people significant new opportunities to join a regulated occupation or profession despite a criminal record, without unfair exclusions on vague “moral character” grounds:

•             Arkansas went the farthest with the first revision of its licensing  laws in 10 years, eliminating “good moral character” as a licensing criterion and prohibiting consideration of felony convictions after  5 crime-free years, sealed convictions, and pardoned convictions.

•             Mississippi, Nevada and West Virginia for the first time imposed general procedural and substantive limits on their licensing boards.

•             Texas further restricted its boards’ discretionary authority to deny a license based on a conviction more than five years old, absolutely prohibited consideration of non-conviction records, and created a new “restricted license” in air-conditioning and electrical work aimed at people returning to the community from prison;

•             Arizona made significant modifications to its licensing laws for the third year in a row, prohibiting consideration of felonies after 7 years, without regard to whether they have been set-aside.

•             Alabama created a process allowing individuals to avoid mandatory bars on licensing via a court order of relief.

•             New York eliminated statutory licensing barriers in many occupations.

Per the http://ccresourcecenter.org/2019/07/09/new-restoration-lawstake-center-stage-in-second-quarter-of-2019/#more-20013

As states consider occupational licensing policy options, data collection can also be an important piece of the governing language. Collecting applicant demographic data can help identify who is excluded from licensed work. Data collection also allows states to understand the effects of the licensing policy and be able to identify and address any gaps that may arise. However, a significant limitation to data collection is the inability to determine who is not applying for a license due to existing regulations or uncertainty of how standards are applied. Recognizing the barriers people with a criminal history face to entering the labor market, state policymakers across the country are actively addressing the challenges through legislation and executive orders.

 Blanket bans, “good moral character” requirements and licensing fees can all be particularly difficult barriers for this population to overcome, which may ultimately be restricting a significant portion of workforce supply. Through policy options that include ensuring convictions are recent and relevant, the modification of statutory morality clauses and the implementation of prequalification standards or certificates of rehabilitation, policymakers can reduce unintended barriers to the labor market for individuals with criminal records. 

Conclusion & Legislation Proposal or Revision Chapter 5

One of the primary concerns for people being released from prison is finding a job. But as our analysis illustrates, formerly incarcerated people are almost five times more likely than the general public to be unemployed, and many who are employed remain relegated to the most insecure jobs.

Note to Congressman Mike Thompson and Senators Kamala Harris and Senator Diane Feinstein; Congress has not attempted to deal with the problem of reintegration for more than a decade either by reducing federal collateral consequences or by restoring rights to people with federal convictions.  It is time to act on behalf of those charged within the Federal System.

As more states and California explores reforming their criminal justice systems, much of the attention is likely to be paid to liberalizing sentencing laws, how and when to incarcerate someone and when probation or alternative means of punishment will suffice. Those reforms are extremely important and overdue.

Yet those reforms, while valuable, don’t address how best to reintegrate someone into the labor force once they have served their sentence.

Programs that have been aimed at helping formerly incarcerated increase their levels of educational achievement can be helpful, but these programs only overcome one aspect of re-integration into the labor force.

The government imposed hurdles for the formerly incarcerated will remain, regardless of education attainment or skill level, if the so-called “good character” provisions remain.

Moreover, while removing the “good character” provisions in occupational licensing laws will certainly help labor force reintegration, it will not deliver the biggest impact.

Liberalizing the occupational licensing burdens themselves and/or the skill level required and even the requirement that a license be required at all to work in a chosen occupation, will be the most likely to lead to widespread employment success for former prisoners and anyone with a criminal record.

A good source of information for consideration of the economic benefits to a state is a sunset process to licensing. A source study for  a “sunset process” for occupational licensing regulations and insight on how such a process could work, see Stephen Slivinski, “Bootstraps Tangled in Red Tape: How State Occupational Licensing Hinders Low-Income Entrepreneurship,” Goldwater Institute Policy Report No. 272, February 23, 2015, available at: http://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/en/work/topics/freeenterprise/entre preneurship/bootstraps-tangled-in-red-tape/

Entrepreneurship among low-income households and those of formerly incarcerated individuals has been shown in numerous studies to be an effective means of alleviating poverty and encouraging income mobility and reduce recidivism.

Legislators and regulators would be well advised to advance a course of action that increases the potential for low-income entrepreneurship as one important tool in increasing prosperity and reducing poverty.

Broad-based reform of occupational licensing is a good idea from this perspective of job creation and state economic growth, not just from the perspective of its impact as a part of Criminal Justice Reform.

Incremental reforms can help achieve part of this goal.

Requiring a review and potential sunset of most occupational licensing laws would put the burden of proof on those who advocate extending them and require them to prove the benefits of the regulations outweigh the costs, which should include the lower level of new business creation that results from these regulations.

Over time, it may become more obvious through such a review process that the health and safety regulations have outlived their usefulness, particularly in the face of new technologies, internet training and use of modern virtual educational systems. Sun setting entire classes of occupational licenses could provide an economic boom to California especially rural areas and urban inner cities and to any other state which implements these reforms. The side benefit to the criminal justice debate and might be the longer term goal.

There’s no single remedy to fix the problem of ex-offender unemployment and the need for more job creation within states or the need to increase economic growth for entrepreneurs.

A simple blueprint modeled from the Institute on Justice includes the following actions…

•             Repeal needless licenses—and refuse to adopt new ones.

 Examine current licenses: Is there empirical evidence of significant, widespread, and permanent harm in the field?

 Are there less restrictive alternatives to licensing?  Repeal needless licenses and replace them, if necessary, with less restrictive regulations.  Apply the same analysis when new licensing laws are proposed.

•             Scale back anti-competitive licensing laws and policies  Identify and eliminate “licensing creep”—anti-competitive licensing regulations, often imposed by licensing boards, which encroach on competing fields or outlaw innovative services. • Codify in statute the right to engage in a lawful occupation

 Give aspiring workers and entrepreneurs the chance to take unnecessary, anti-competitive licensing restrictions to court—and win.

•             Implement meaningful sunrise and sunset reviews of licensing laws

  • Charge a non-partisan, independent agency with producing written reports evaluating the need or proposed and existing licenses.

 Give it a mandate to use the inverted pyramid process to recommend less restrictive regulatory alternatives to licensing.

•             Rein in anti-competitive behavior by licensing boards  Establish an oversight body to actively supervise licensing boards.

 Give the oversight body a mandate to promote competition and favor less restrictive regulatory alternatives, curbing boards’ tendency toward anticompetitive behavior and reducing the risk of federal antitrust liability.

•             Strengthen the rights of people with a criminal record to gain meaningful employment

                Curtail license denials based on irrelevant or long-past criminal records.

 Require case-by-case decisions on license applicants, demand substantial proof of risk of harm to deny a license, and allow applicants to seek a decision before investing in costly education, training, or testing

. • Improve interstate mobility first by eliminating licensing barriers

 Before establishing reciprocity agreements or standardizing licensing requirements, ask whether there is substantial proof that licensing addresses a real problem. If not, tearing down licensing barriers is a better way to improve geographic mobility and expand economic opportunity.

•             But part of the solution it is simple: let people work without asking the government’s permission first.

This may not fix the ex-offender unemployment problem overnight. But government shouldn’t be in the business of keeping people out of gainful and fair paying employment.

As citizens we are tasked with a responsibility to hold our government officials accountable to act in the best interest of the public for economic and personal liberty and security.

For our public legislator’s nationwide and those within California mentioned in the introduction, the task before you is not an easy one but a noble one. You have the authority, there is public support for reform, the question before you is do you have the will-power against protectionism and lobbyist that use fear mongering to do what is right for more job creation?

On a more personal note, within California; Governor Gavin Newsom, State Senator Bill Dodd, Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry & Congressman Mike Thompson you each can champion these changes and be examples to the nation. 

What will be your legacy? Now the ball is in your court…

Barriers to State Occupational Licenses To Enhance Entrepreneurial Job Growth: Out of Prison, Out of Work by Author & Executive Coach Chris Edwards” This work is a comprehensive review of the flaws of the legislative process in which felons are penalized post incarceration with punitive laws that prevent gainful employment. The judicial system was crafted to create justice and once an individual has served their time or paid their debt to society then they should be able to rebuild their lives and regain employment without a lifetime of punishment. The policy recommendation contained in this book is an outline of the cause and effect of a broken system and a policy recommendation to remove the barriers of licensing in a variety of businesses to allow ex-felons to return back to work and become productive contributing members of society. This book is timely, needs to happen and every legislative representative at the state and national level of every state and the federal level should be required to read this recommendation. Every civics class in America should have a copy and discuss. Get a copy today and let’s achieve legitimate jobs security for all Americans.”  – Martha Robinson’s Judicial Justice Report Recommended Reading

Complete Book and details is available: https://www.amazon.com/Removing-Barriers-Occupational-Licenses-Entrepreneurial/dp/1081556544

Removing Barrier to State Occupational Licenses To Enhance Entrepreneurial Job Growth; Out of Prison, Out of Work by Author Chris Edwards 2nd Life Media

History of Alamogordo New Mexico, White Sands Proving Ground and the Missiles that blew up in Alamogordo and Juarez, Mexico

Alamogordo has a vast history and was a city of significant and strategic importance to the US Military establishment in the 1940’s through the 1970’s. During that time some would say that was the peak of Alamogordo. It was the center of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Following Hitler’s fall in 1945, the United States brought 177 German rocket scientists and technicians to White Sands Testing Range under Operation Paperclip. Some would say this “Operation Paperclip” is what put Alamogordo on the world map and brought about a period of peak prosperity. From the 1940’s to the 1970’s Alamogordo was a prosperous city with a lively nightlife full of nightclubs, cultural arts, live theater, and a robust retail environment. The school system at that time was ranked in the top 10 in the nation and it paid its teachers better than almost any school system in the country. Science, education and prosperity reigned on the city of Alamogordo and it loved its relationship with the scientist and the military. However, there was temporary fear in the air due to an incident in 1947. But a little history before we get there…

 Following Hitler’s fall in 1945, the United States brought 177 German rocket scientists and technicians to White Sands Testing Range under Operation Paperclip. White Sands Missile Range is the largest overland military test range in the United States, occupying some 3,200 square miles of southern New Mexico. With more than 80 years’ experience in rocket and weapons system test and development, it has earned the title “Birthplace of America’s Missile and Space Activity.”

First known as White Sands Proving Ground (renamed White Sands Missile Range in 1958), this installation was established on July 9, 1945, as the place to test rocket technology emerging from World War II.

The first atomic bomb (code named Trinity) was test detonated at Trinity Site near the northern boundary of the range on 16 July 1945, seven days after the White Sands Proving Ground was established.

After the conclusion of World War II, 100 long-range German V-2 rockets that were captured by U.S. military troops were brought to White Sand Proving Ground. Of these, 67 were test-fired between 1946 and 1951 from the White Sands V-2 Launching Site. (This was followed by the testing of American rockets, which continues to this day, along with testing other technologies.)

A launch complex, now known as Launch Complex 33, was built in the desert sand dunes six miles east of the post. It featured a concrete blockhouse with 10-foot-thick walls and a 27- foot-thick roof. A WAC Corporal launch tower was also erected. A year later, a gantry was added.

The first rockets crafted by Americans to blast off from the launch complex, the nation’s first large-scale launch facility, were WAC Corporals. Built by the fledging Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the 16-foot, 660- pound rockets were designed to carry a 25-pound weather package to an altitude of 20 miles. Since the WAC Corporal was under-powered, JPL engineers used a solid-fueled rocket booster dubbed “Tiny Tim” to get the rocket out of its launch tower and up to speed. The booster generated 50,000 pounds of thrust for a half second. By the time, the WAC Corporal was out of the 100-foot tower it was going almost 275 mph. During a series of tests in 1945 and 1946, the WAC Corporal was phenomenally successful, ultimately attaining an altitude of 43 miles. However, there were incidents. Documents in the New Mexico Museum of Space History archives detail the classified project, and how the military also sent 300 railroad boxcars crammed with V-2 parts into southern New Mexico and as the Germans began building the United States Army’s rocket program many early launches either blew up on the pad or crashed on base.

After multiple successful tests one with over 100 Newspaper reporters present and news around the world floating of US gaining in rocket research a series of crashes occurred. The first crashed May 15, 1947 in the city of Alamogordo. The crash occurred on the site of what is now New Mexico State University and the Space Hall of Fame.

After the May 15 disaster, the May 22 Alamogordo News reported “the people of Alamogordo got a thrill and incipiently a scare as some sort of body flew over the town in erratic flight and exploded at least once before dropping to earth.”

The book “We Develop Missiles, Not Air!” by Mattson and Martyn Tagg, (Air Combat Command, USAF/Cultural Resources Publication No. 2/June 1995) said the launch took place at 4:08 p.m. from Launch Complex 33. The liquid fuel was programmed to burn for 63.6 seconds and thrust the 9,827-pound rocket to 4,696 feet per second or 3,202 mph, attaining 76 miles in altitude. However, technicians noted “steering was a trouble from liftoff,” and “We Develop Missiles, Not Air!” said the V-2 “began tumbling end over end through the atmosphere. The pressure broke the missile apart.” Pieces fell near 13th Street and Cuba Avenue, and along the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks.

The Alamogordo News reported residents “got into cars and hastened to the vicinity” of the crash above Indian Wells Road, about 35 miles from LC 33. Citizens also “guarded a portion of the apparatus the rocket was carrying” that had plummeted down to First Street.

Bob Callaway, a high school freshman in 1947, said in a 1995 NMMSH oral history that he and a friend were tossing a ball at Michigan Avenue and 15th Street when the power lines “started shaking violently. About that time, we got the sound wave from the explosion of the V-2.” Callaway and four friends rushed to the scene in a truck and watched personnel load wreckage onto a trailer. He said security permitted them to take non-hazardous material, and they carted off a “bonanza” of wiring and steel tanks. They used the wires to build model airplanes, and the tanks to make “portable welding units,” he said.

Callaway knew of one person who found cameras. That night “OSI started knocking on doors, and believe it or not, by midnight had recovered all five cameras,” Callaway said.

An Army release stated the payload was benign: “scientific equipment” for the Naval Research Laboratory, “two spectrographs and four 16mm gunsight aiming point cameras a cosmic ray count recorder camera and two other aircraft cameras.” Also aboard was “a quantity of rye seed, which will be tested for effect on fertility of exposure to the upper atmosphere.”

An international incident nearly occurred when the V-2 plowed into a cemetery south of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The El Paso Times reported the incident:

V-2 Rocket, Off Course, Falls Near Juarez May 30, 1947

El Paso and Juarez were rocked Thursday night when a runaway German V-2 rocket fired from the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico crashed and exploded on top of a rocky knoll three and a half miles south of the Juarez business district.

The giant missile burst in a desolate area of jagged hill, gullies and bondock.

No one was injured.

Lt. Col. Harold R. Turner, White Sands commanding officer, said failure of the rocket’s German-made gyroscope caused it to swerve from its set northerly course.

He said there was an error in judgment on the part of the safety control department in not shutting off the rocket motors as soon as it was determined the missile had swerved off course.

The violent blast, which shook virtually every building in both El Paso and Juarez, startled citizens of the two cities, who swamped newspaper offices, police headquarters and radio stations with anxious telephone inquiries.

The missile, of the type which terrorized wartime England, landed about a half-mile south of Tepeyac Cemetery.

CRATER 50 FEET

WIDE, 24 FEET DEEP

The terrific impact of the rocket, which contained only telemetering equipment, scooped out a perfectly rounded crater, about 50 feet in diameter and 24 feet deep. Only a few scraps of metal were around the crater when nearby residents reached the scene.

Army authorities form White Sands and Fort Bliss rushed to the spot as soon as they learned of the rocket’s fall and expressed to Mexican officials their regret at the rocket falling on Mexican soil.

Colonel Turner said the missile was fired at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. He said the rocket reached an altitude of 40 miles and was in flight five minutes.

He said the V-2 was being used to test certain component parts in American-made rockets.

Colonel Turner explained that the explosion actually was concussion caused by the force of the four and a half ton V-2 ramming the earth at 12 miles per minute.

The alcohol and liquid oxygen with which the rocket is fueled would only burn and would not explode, the colonel explained.

Mexican soldiers were ordered in the rater to mount guard. They were stationed on the rim, aiding American Military policemen to keep sight-seers and souvenir hunters from the area.

The site is half a mile from Buena Vista airport, where 13 planes were shaken by the blast, and a mile and a half from an oil plant. Many Juarez citizens at first believed the oil plant had exploded.

Wild rumors circulated in El Paso before cause of the blast was ascertained. One man said a “box car full of dynamite” had exploded in South El Paso, devastating the section, while another was certain “an underground gasoline storage dump” had blown up.

Many El Pasoans spotted the rocket’s vapor trail after the missile was fired at White Sands, about 500 airline miles north of El Paso, and a few minutes later heard a terrific explosion and smoke rising in the direction of Juarez.

Lt. Col. John Carroll, former R.O.T.C. commander of El Paso schools was just leaving Fort Bliss when he saw both the vapor trail and the blast.

SAW ROCKET FLIGHT,

WATCHED CRASH

Morris J. Boretz, who was en route to Southwestern General Hospital to visit his daughter, said he was at Brown street and Rim Road when he saw the rocket leaving White Sands and saw the crash south of the Rio Grand, looking like a miniature atomic bomb explosion.

Others who saw the spectacle were R.E. Nelson, 5801 Auburn street; Frank Moltans of the Times circulation staff; Wencis Tovar, 3703 Pera Street; Mrs. S.C. Cox, 3660 Douglas Street.

Lt. Col. George F. Pindar, commanding officer, First Guided Missile Battalion, White Sands, made the first official investigation into the rocket crash. He sped to the scene at about 8 p.m.under orders of Major Gen. John L. Homer, Fort Bliss commander.

Colonel Pindar was in El Paso at the time of the firing. He said he watched the rocket rise with a long tail of flame. Then the rocket appeared to hesitate and almost fade from view. Colonel Pindar looked away for a moment and when he next looked at the rocket it was moving overhead at a high rate of speed, traveling south toward El Paso. A moment later he heard the explosion that rocked the city.

Meanwhile Thursday night an emergency squad of eight Fort Bliss soldiers were searching the western slope of Mount Franklin for evidence of a second explosion reported seen by General Homer.

He told Colonel Pindar that he Saw a smaller explosion just prior to the Juarez blast several miles over the crest of Mount Franklin on the west side. Colonel Pindar said it was possible that a portion of the rocket had sheared off and dropped on Mont Franklin.

SHOCK FELT IN ANTHONY, FABENS

Detective W.D. White of El Paso Police Department, another eyewitness to the explosion, was at the corner of Mesa Avenue and Ninth Street looking in the direction of Juarez when the rocket landed.

“Flames shot into the air like a mushroom,” White said. “It looked just like a haystack on fire.”

Victor Robinson, 3907 Fort Boulevard said, “I saw the rocket go right over our house. It looked like it was going to land in the middle of town.”

Three windows were broken in Fire Chief Joe Boone’s office by the concussion. An electric clock in the Sheriff’s was stopped at exactly 7:32 p.m. by the shock.

Sheriff’s Deputy William Stoddard reported that the shock was felt as far west as Anthon, N.M. and south to Fabens.

The May 29 disaster was never listed in “the official White Sands firing summary,” What occurred with the second crash was it launched from LC 33, the rocket was supposed to fly north, but instead turned south. “The missile ultimately arced over El Paso and landed” (impacted) south of Juarez near a cemetery. “A few hours after the wayward missile landed (impacted), the U.S. Army showed up and found that enterprising Mexicans were selling any old piece of scrap metal they could find and claiming it was V-2 debris. The United States ultimately apologized to Mexico for the incident and paid for all damages incurred.

Subsequently, V-2 launches resumed in July 1947 after safety procedures had been developed to prevent the rockets from endangering civilian populations again.

Article Sources: Wikipedia, White Sands Military Archives, Department of Defense Records, University of New Mexico, US Space Hall of Fame, Alamogordo Town News, El Paso Times, Oral Accounts of Bob Calloway per the Space Hall of Fame and the Alamogordo Daily News.

Positive News – Daily Affirmation: 5-22-21, 28 Days A Habit, 90 Days A Lifestyle

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:
“THE UNIVERSE IS SO WELL BALANCED THAT THE MERE FACT THAT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM ALSO SERVES AS A SIGN THAT THERE IS A SOLUTION.” – STEVE MARABOLI


Beginning of Day
: How’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading the quote above?

End of day: Re-read the quote. Did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote above? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset?

We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on today’s quote.

“The universe is so well balanced that the mere fact that you have a problem also serves as a sign that there is a solution.” – Steve Maraboli

It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.

Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries.

Read our positive affirmations via

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/30641/positive-news-daily-affirmation-5-22-21-28-days-habit-90-days-lifestyle

Commitment to Alamogordo’s Fine Arts: Local Coach & Artist Rene Sepulveda Releases “Angelica” at Roadrunner Emporium and Fine Arts Gallery, New York Avenue (Reprint from Alamogordo Town News)

Award Winning retired NCAA Track & Field Coach turned Author, Fitness Coach and Artist, Rene Sepulveda has released “Angelica” A sculpture dedicated to his aunt as part of the 3rd phase of his Valley of the Fires Collection, along with 13 other new and original creations. These among other original creations are on exhibition and for sale at 2nd Life, Fine Arts Boutique, at the Roadrunner Emporium and Fine Art Gallery, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Artist Rene Sepulveda and his business partners are committed to the revitalization of the New York Avenue business district. As sports, business and cultural arts leaders they believe revitalization begins with a personal commitment to the business zone. As such they bringing attention to the district via the arts. This release is a part of a multi-pronged approach to build awareness of the New York Avenue, its historical significance and to build an interest in investment and reinvention of the zone into a culturally diverse business zone that serves locals, attracts tourism and increases tax revenues to the benefit of the broader community.

This commitment began with the publishing of books of historical significance to Alamogordo created by Executive Coach, Publicist and Author Chris Edwards, such as Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1 which tells the history of Alamogordo interscholastic sports from 1912 to present. The second in the series covering sports records from 1977 to 1996 will soon be released with significant coverage of football, the Coach Hveem years and his influence and more.

The second phase of this awareness building within the New York Avenue enterprise zone is to create works of art that are interesting and unique and to  market them as showcased on New York avenue and then highlighting the many artists and cultural opportunities within the zone and the stories behind the small business owners located at Roadrunner Emporium and other locations within the district thought to enhance the longer term vision. This phase includes the release of the interesting art creations showcased in this article.

The third phase of their goal to assist in revitalization is to partner with the Alamogordo Main Street, Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce, Alamogordo City, County and State Government and with potential investors to invest dollars, time and commitment to the district. The duo has crafted a  policy position paper soon to be released to local leaders and to a group of significant investors they have been in conversations with as a starting point of “real dialog” to rebuild stronger and better the core business district with a sensitivity to the changing demographics, tourism trends and ecology of which we will live in the next 50 years of economic transition as a nation.

The key to the plan has been a commitment this past year during Covid-19 to explore the business climate of Alamogordo, to see which small business leaders believe in progress and which will fight for the status quo and to see if businesses in the arts could grow in Alamogordo. The conclusion is yes they can and are needed to grow tourism in the city core. 

With each release of new artwork by artist Rene Sepulveda and with each exhibition, photo on the web and sale from around the country and internationally, more awareness of the artistic talents of Southern New Mexico come to bare to the public. As such the next release of his artistic creations are now released for public viewing and purchase.

One of significant importance to the artist is entitle “Angelina” and is dedicated to his 80 year old aunt, Bertha Angelina Sepulveda Rommel. The story dedicated to the crafting of this unique sculpture and it’s significance follows…

“Angelina” Flowing Ivy, Abstract Wooden Basket and Lava Rock Natural Native American Inspired Sculpture by Artist Rene Sepulveda

The historic symbolism of ivy, central to the sculpture by Rene Sepulveda as it reaches out of the wooden basket deals with connections of family, because of its propensity to interweave in growth. Ever furrowing and intertwining, the ivy is an example of the twists and turns our relationships and family connections take – but also a testimony to the long-lasting connections and bonds we form that last over the years. Ivy is further considered a symbol of survival and determination for the same reasons. It seems to be virtually indestructible and will often return after it has suffered damage or has been severely cut back symbolic of the indestructability of family.

This is an example of the human spirit and the strength we all have, to carry on regardless of how harrowing our setbacks may have been.

The basket is one of humankind’s oldest art forms, and it is certainly an ethnic and cultural icon filled with myth and motif, religion and symbolism, and decoration as well as usefulness. Taping in the artist Native American heritage of his ancestors he felt a wooden pieced basket was an essential part of this sculpture due to its symbolism and history as a not to his family roots. The Native Americans may well have left the greatest legacy to the world of baskets. The Indians of Arizona and New Mexico made basket-molded pottery from 5000 to 1000 B.C. as part of the earliest basket heritage. Their baskets (many of which have survived in gravesites) are heralded as a pure art form and one that was created not only by a primitive people but also by women. Basketry extended into the making of many other materials the Indians used daily including fishing nets, animal and fish snares, cooking utensils that were so finely woven that they were waterproof, ceremonial costumes and baskets, and even plaques. The Hopi, Apache, and other Pueblo tribes made coiled baskets with bold decorations and geometric patterns of both dyed and natural fibers. Thus, the bold geometric coloring and shape of the basket crafted into this artistic sculptured work by Rene Sepulveda.

The wood of which the basket hangs is of fallen branches that were gathered near the Apache Mescalero tribal basin and symbolize the strength of eternity. This strength lives on and transcends life and death representing the timeless strength of family.

The 5000-year-old lava rock of which is the sculptures base is composed of rock from the Valley of the Fire lava flow originating at Little Black Peak in Southern New Mexico. The selection of this material as the base was to signify the strength of the earth from deep within, as lava flows deep within the earth and periodically erupts, so do the emotional ties of a family. Those ties and emotional connections are buried deep and carry from one generation to the next, and on occasion erupt to show their true inner strength and strong bonds as the foundation of family.

Finally, the piece is capped with a metal Zia symbol. Given that this artistic creation was conceptualized, crafted and created with natural elements of New Mexico, Artist Rene Sepulveda found it only fitting to cap the piece with the Zia symbol which is sacred to the original people of New Mexico, from the Zia Pueblo and who regard the sun as sacred. Four is a sacred number of the Zia and can be found repeated in the points radiating from the circle.


The number four is embodied in:
The compass (north, south, east, and west)
The seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn and winter)
The periods of each day (morning, noon, evening and night)
The stages of life (childhood, youth, middle years and elderhood)
The sacred aspects one must develop (a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the well-being of others)

That final aspect in symbolism of the Zia is what ties this artistic creation of Rene Sepulveda, entitled Angeline, together in each of those characteristics that speak of his aunt. She has always been one from youth to age 80 of strong body, clear mind, pure spirit and devotion to her family as well as the well-being of others.

Each component of this work of art independently is of beauty, but when combined into a sculptured work named “Angelina,” from the heart and mind of the Artist, Rene Sepulveda; one sees it spiritual relevance and reverence to family, presented as a visual piece of artistic beauty.”

To learn more about the artist and the other 39 small business cultural partners, pop into Roadrunner Emporium and Fine Art Gallery at 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo 10 to 5 daily.

Rene Sepulveda art creations are priced for any lover of art. Prices are discounted significantly to local purchasers at the gallery 928 New York Avenue and sell online from $25.00 to $25,000.00 depending upon the detail and demand of the piece. Mr. Sepulveda has sold selections locally and recently to London, Mexico and Canada and is recognized as the preeminent artist using Cholla Cactus, Tree Trunks and Lava as his canvas of creation.

One art critic recently said of his works that they are “incisive meditations of colorishis designs, shapes and composition complimenting natures wonders using lava rocks, tree roots, tree trunks, bark, cholla desert cactus as components of his canvas.”

To learn more about Artist Rene Sepulveda himself visit his online sites such as:

https://artistrenesepulveda.com/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/2ndLifeBoutiqueStore

Some interesting facts around arts and their impact on business:

America’s nonprofit arts industry generates $135 billion in economic activity every year – $61 billion in spending by arts organizations and an additional $84 billion in event-related spending by arts audiences. The Fitness Community generates roughly $24 Billion in economic activity in the US. Together the economic impact of fitness and the arts is $159 Billion annually on the conservative side. The arts and fitness communities together generated over $34 Billion for local state and federal tax coffers in 2019. 

Including full and part time positions, arts and fitness related businesses employ 5.2 million full time equivalent jobs. The arts and fitness account for about 8.2% of the U.S. gross national product. Annually the arts and fitness community generate $108 Billion in household incomes nationwide.

New Mexico has a vibrant art, cultural, movie, entertainment and fitness community in Northern New Mexico. Southern New Mexico towns such as Alamogordo have an opportunity to tap into that wealth for 21st Century livable wage job creation.

As close as Las Cruces, a focus on the arts has an impact. In fiscal year 2015 the Las Cruces Arts Community generated $19.1 Million in revenues, paid $10.6 Million in wages to Las Cruces citizens and generated $1.9 Million in state and local tax revenue and fees paid to the city, county and state. 

330,000 people attended a cultural event or visited an art gallery, an additional 75k participated in a fitness related event and followed with a cultural event. In 2015 and the average visitor that was in the city of Las Cruces that visited a gallery, performance venue or participated in a hosted fitness event pumped or spent 3 times more dollars than locals spend on average, benefiting the business community and government coffers due to tax collection.

Cultural activities the arts and fitness attract tourists and spur the creation of additional facilities such as restaurants, hotels, and the services needed to support them. The Travel Industry of America estimates that “cultural tourists” spend one more day at their destinations and 50% more money than other tourists.

Available museums, Zoos, art Galleries and facilities of historic significance are factors 42% of the time on rather a traveler will stay in a community on their travels. Other cultural activities Americans enjoy while on trips away from home include live theater (23%), performance art galleries (21%), heritage or ethnic festivals (20%), and music concerts (19%).

Cultural facilities and events enhance property values, tax bases, and overall profitability. In doing so, the arts directly contribute to urban revitalization.

LOCAL ASSETS & OPPORTUNITY:

Alamogordo is a known tourist destination recognized around the world for the Space Hall of Fame, the beauty and proximity to White Sands and Lincoln National Forest and for its connection to White Sands Missile Range and the Military. Art, cultural activities and fitness focused business developments goes hand in hand in keeping tourist in our hotels, extending business growth and contributing to our local economic base.

Alamogordo has several amazing parks such as the Washington Avenue Corridor and the Briggs Park Complex. There are opportunities for more. As an example, the alleyway on McKinley Avenue, post McKinley Channel Construction completion, could be enhanced into a Fitness and Cultural Trail combining fitness, community art with bike and walking trails to enhance that neighborhood with approachable fitness and cultural access.

Numbers alone cannot tell the whole story of improved quality of life in urban neighborhoods resulting from arts, fitness and cultural activities and institutions: increased foot traffic brings safety resulting from “eyes on the street,” enrichment of community service options such as outreach programs to public schools and youth centers, and a greater sense of community identification and pride.

THE ROLE OF THE ARTS IN THE ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL VITALITY OF ALAMOGORDO

Impact numbers also cannot adequately conceptualize the “creative capital” that attracts a skilled workforce and new businesses thus jobs and tax payments. Cities that invest in urban centers focused on arts and fitness support diverse lifestyles and cultural amenities that enhance community value. A better educated and more financially sound community is a secondary benefit. Crime is traditionally lower in cities with a focus on art, fitness and community wellbeing. According to the Arts & Business Quarterly“the arts stimulate the economic revitalization of communities, develop skilled and motivated employees, foster a civil society, and can benefit businesses through increased brand-name recognition, product sales, community goodwill and positive visibility.”

The bottom line is that cities need an arts and fitness focus even more today than just a pure business focus. “Business thrives where a community is focused on arts and fitness, as communities with an art and fitness leaning; tend to be healthier physically, mentally and economically
“per the Carnegie Foundation.

As former Seattle mayor Paul Schell once said, “success in business and community growth lies in creating a community where the creative experience can flourish. When that occurs a community, can prosper.”

In order to support local art, fitness and cultural initiatives, we must build local support and nurture that support of the arts and fitness communities in partnership to fill our hotel rooms with guest that will stay in Alamogordo. We must give them a reason to stay and eat in our city restaurants, shop in our local stores and market to visitors to stay in the city of Alamogordo.

As business, arts, fitness and government leaders we must set deadlines and demand action from the political establishment to implement real support for a renaissance of New York Avenue into a lively, robust economic engine and creates livable wage jobs and fills the city and county coffers with tax revenue rather than the quiet, desolate zone of abandoned and unkempt buildings that exist today.

The arts community, new business interests and government partnering with compatible business interests such as Flickinger, Roadrunner Emporium and others can lead the charge to rebuild, rebrand and revitalize the New York Avenue business district and Alamogordo retail business, city wide. Small local artist and interested individuals such as Rene Sepulveda in partnership with others showing a commitment to the city, even during Covid-19 is what it takes

We each own the success of Alamogordo today, to ensure it is an economic engine tomorrow. Now let’s enjoy the arts, shop local and let’s get started today.

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/30393/commitment-alamogordos-fine-arts-local-coach-artist-rene-sepulveda-releases

New Sculpture Release by Artist Rene Sepulveda: “Angelina” Flowing Ivy, Wood and Lava Rock Natural Native American Inspired Sculpture

Angelina Flowing Ivy, Wood and Lava Rock Natural Native American Inspired Sculpture Artist Rene Sepulveda available at artistrenesepulveda.com or at Roadrunner Emporium & Fine Arts Gallery Alamogordo New Mexico

“Angelina” Flowing Ivy, Abstract Wooden Basket and Lava Rock Natural Native American Inspired Sculpture by Artist Rene Sepulveda

“Angelina” A Flowing Ivy, Abstract Wood Basket and Lava Rock Natural Sculpture by the Artist Rene Sepulveda was crafted as a piece to honor his 80-year-old aunt Bertha Angelina Sepulveda Rommel.
The historic symbolism of ivy, central to the sculpture by Rene Sepulveda as it reaches out of the wooden basket deals with connections of family, because of its propensity to interweave in growth. Ever furrowing and intertwining, the ivy is an example of the twists and turns our relationships and family connections take – but also a testimony to the long-lasting connections and bonds we form that last over the years. Ivy is further considered a symbol of survival and determination for the same reasons. It seems to be virtually indestructible and will often return after it has suffered damage or has been severely cut back symbolic of the indestructability of family.

This is an example of the human spirit and the strength we all have, to carry on regardless of how harrowing our setbacks may have been.

The basket is one of humankind’s oldest art forms, and it is certainly an ethnic and cultural icon filled with myth and motif, religion and symbolism, and decoration as well as usefulness. Taping in the artist Native American heritage of his ancestors he felt a wooden pieced basket was an essential part of this sculpture due to its symbolism and history as a not to his family roots. The Native Americans may well have left the greatest legacy to the world of baskets. The Indians of Arizona and New Mexico made basket-molded pottery from 5000 to 1000 B.C. as part of the earliest basket heritage. Their baskets (many of which have survived in gravesites) are heralded as a pure art form and one that was created not only by a primitive people but also by women. Basketry extended into the making of many other materials the Indians used daily including fishing nets, animal and fish snares, cooking utensils that were so finely woven that they were waterproof, ceremonial costumes and baskets, and even plaques. The Hopi, Apache, and other Pueblo tribes made coiled baskets with bold decorations and geometric patterns of both dyed and natural fibers. Thus, the bold geometric coloring and shape of the basket crafted into this artistic sculptured work by Rene Sepulveda.

The wood of which the basket hangs is of fallen branches that were gathered near the Apache Mescalero tribal basin and symbolize the strength of eternity. This strength lives on and transcends life and death representing the timeless strength of family.

The 5000-year-old lava rock of which is the sculptures base is composed of rock from the Valley of the Fire lava flow originating at Little Black Peak in Southern New Mexico. The selection of this material as the base was to signify the strength of the earth from deep within, as lava flows deep within the earth and periodically erupts, so do the emotional ties of a family. Those ties and emotional connections are buried deep and carry from one generation to the next, and on occasion erupt to show their true inner strength and strong bonds as the foundation of family.

Finally, the piece is capped with a metal Zia symbol. Given that this artistic creation was conceptualized, crafted and created with natural elements of New Mexico, Artist Rene Sepulveda found it only fitting to cap the piece with the Zia symbol which is sacred to the original people of New Mexico, from the Zia Pueblo and who regard the sun as sacred. Four is a sacred number of the Zia and can be found repeated in the points radiating from the circle.


The number four is embodied in:
The compass (north, south, east, and west)
The seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn and winter)
The periods of each day (morning, noon, evening and night)
The stages of life (childhood, youth, middle years and elderhood)
The sacred aspects one must develop (a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the well-being of others)

That final aspect in symbolism of the Zia is what ties this artistic creation of Rene Sepulveda, entitled Angeline, together in each of those characteristics that speak of his aunt. She has always been one from youth to age 80 of strong body, clear mind, pure spirit and devotion to her family as well as the well-being of others.

Each component of this work of art independently is of beauty, but when combined into a sculptured work named “Angelina,” from the heart and mind of the Artist, Rene Sepulveda; one sees it spiritual relevance and reverence to family, presented as a visual piece of artistic beauty.

Available to be seen as part of the Valley of The Fire Collection Exhibition of Works of Artist Rene Sepulveda at 2nd Life Boutique and Gallery at Roadrunner Emporium and Fine Art Gallery, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and is available online to ship for free anywhere in the US at https://www.etsy.com/listing/1007837864

Who was the fastest man on earth, was responsible for the Murphy’s Law “whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and championed the seatbelt you wear daily?

A resident of Alamogordo, who worked at Alamogordo New Mexico’s Holloman Air Force Base, made history in the U.S. space program and history for travel at a speed faster than a .45-caliber bullet in an experiment to test the limits of human endurance.

That same Alamogordo resident was known as the “fastest man on Earth” during the research phase of the US space program to the moon. He accelerated in five seconds from a standstill to 632 m.p.h. The New York Herald Tribune called this Alamogordo resident “a gentleman who can stop on a dime and give you 10 cents change.”

He won what will perhaps be even more lasting fame in a test five years earlier, when he suffered injuries owing to a mistake by a US Airforce Captain Murphy. The result was the phrase “Murphy’s Law, Whatever Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong .”

Who was this remarkable Alamogordo resident? Seven years before the US sent the other famous Alamogordo resident Ham, (the three-year-old chimpanzee) into space aboard the Mercury Capsule Number 5, this Alamogordo resident, was himself a live monkey, in many speed and endurance tests that tested the limits of man verses speed and gravity.

This individual of remarkable endurance was John Paul Stapp. Dr. Stapp was a flight surgeon in the U.S. Army Air Forces at the end of World War II, continued in the field of aviation medicine after the war, and transferred to the U.S. Air Force when it was established in 1947, to continue his work on the human response to flight.

His interests from the beginning were in the limits of the human body, when subjected to the increasing forces provided by faster and faster aircraft. In the early 1950s, no one knew what humans could withstand when it came for g-forces, rapid spins, oxygen deprivation, and exposure to cosmic rays.  Stapp began a program of human testing to determine those limits, becoming chief of the Aeromedical Field Laboratory at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico and living in Alamogordo.

Dr. Stapp made history aboard the Sonic Wind I rocket sled on December 10, 1954, when he set a land speed record of 632 mph in five seconds, subjecting him to 20 Gs of force during acceleration.

Although he had many individuals, available from a group of volunteers for this dangerous test ride, Dr. Stobb chose himself for the mission. He claimed he did not want to place another person into such a potentially hazardous position.

When the sled stopped in just 1.4 seconds, Dr. Stapp was hit with a force equivalent to 46.2 Gs, more than anyone had yet endured voluntarily on the planet to that point. He set a speed record and was a man of much scientific study. Upon ending the ride, he managed half a smile, as he was pulled from the sled. Dr. Stapp was in significant pain, and his eyes flooded with blood from the bursting of almost all of capillaries in his eyes. As Dr.  Stapp was rushed to the hospital, his aids, doctors, scientist and he all worried that one or both of his retinas had detached, leaving him blind. Thanks to a studious medical team ready with treatment on the standby, by the next day, he had regained enough of his normal vision to be released by his doctors. His eyesight would never fully recover back to the status prior to the tests but he felt the test was well worth the risk and was happy that he did it verses sending one of the volunteers due to the risk. A less strong man might not have survived the test intact.

Acclaimed by the world press as “The Fastest Man on Earth,” Dr. Stapp became an international sensation, appearing on magazine covers, television, and as the subject of an episode of “This is Your Life!” He appeared on the cover of Time Magazine…

Dr. Stapp was a modest man, in person and was approachable. He lived in Alamogordo after leaving the Air Forece and till the end of his life. He used his public acclaim not for personal gain but to pursue his dream of improving automobile safety. As a proponent for public safety, he felt that the safety measures he and his teams were developing for military aircraft should also be used for civilian automobiles.

Dr. Stapp understood the power of celebrity. As such he used his celebrity status to push for the installation of seat belts in American cars. He understood how to politic, navigate the government bureaucracy and use his public persona to push the Department of Transportation to review and eventually implement many now standard safety features. The success of his campaign efforts for public safety is measured in thousands of lives saved and injuries lessened every year by the safety precautions he championed during his lifetime not only in the US but around the world as his measures were adopted as standard world-wide.

In those early years of the mid 1950’s Dr. Stapp had hoped to make more runs on the Sonic Wind, with a goal of surpassing 1000 mph, however in June 1956, the sled flew off its track during an unmanned run and was severely damaged beyond appropriate repair.

Dr. Stapp would later ride an air-powered sled known as the “Daisy Track” at Holloman, but never again would he be subjected to the rigors of rocket-powered travel.

Dr. Stapp as an Airforce Colonel next planned and directed the Man-High Project, three manned high-altitude balloon flights to test human endurance at the edge of space. Conducted in June and August 1957, the project’s highlight was the second mission, during which Lieutenant David G. Simons reached an altitude of almost 102,000 feet. Project Man-High was a tremendous scientific success and helped prepare for America’s initial manned space which of course did not happen until after Alamogordo’s other famous resident “Ham” the three-year-old chimpanzee had successfully been launched and returned safely.

Dr. Stapp retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 1970. He went on to become a professor at the University of California’s Safety and Systems Management Center, then a consultant to the Surgeon General and NASA.

He next served as the president of the New Mexico Research Institute in Alamogordo, New Mexico, as well as chairman of the annual “Dr. Stapp International Car Crash Conference.”

 In 1991, Stapp received the National Medal of Technology, “for his research on the effects of mechanical force on living tissues leading to safety developments in crash protection technology.” He was also honorary chairman of the Stapp Foundation, underwritten by General Motors to provide scholarships for automotive engineering students.

Dr. Stapp was a well-regarded Alamogordo resident and spoke often at the public high school, in lectures at NMSU Alamogordo and as a guest lecturer at the Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo.  He was always open to talking with young impressionable individuals encouraging the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Colonel Dr. John Stapp died in Alamogordo on November 13, 1999, at the age of eighty-nine. His many honors and awards included enrollment in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the Air Force Cheney Award for Valor and the Lovelace Award from NASA for aerospace medical research.

Alamogordo, New Mexico has been called the cradle of America’s space program and offers a museum that applauds our exploration of the heavens with a mix of high-tech entertainment and dramatic exhibits. The United Space Hall of Fame and Space Museum in Alamogordo, New Mexico continues to honor Dr. John P. Stapp naming the Air & Space Park after him. Named after International Space Hall of Fame Inductee and aeromedical pioneer Dr. John P. Stapp, the Air and Space Park consists of large space-related artifacts documenting mankind’s exploration of space. Examples of exhibits include the Sonic Wind I rocket sled ridden by Dr. Stapp and the Little Joe II rocket which tested the Apollo Launch Escape System. At 86 feet tall, Little Joe II is the largest rocket ever launched from New Mexico. Many major breakthroughs in technology occurred in the Alamogordo area, and the museum offers a variety of exhibitions to showcase those milestones. Other features showcased are a tribute to the Delta Clipper Experimental; and the Clyde W. Tombaugh Theater and Planetarium, featuring a giant dome-screen and state-of-the-art surround sound to fully immerse the audience. If in the Alamogordo area or in Southern New Mexico this is a do not miss stop for anyone with an interest in space or the history of space exploration.

New Mexico Museum of Space History

LOCATION: Next to the New Mexico State University, Alamogordo at the Top of NM 2001, Alamogordo, NM

PHONE:(575) 437-2840

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, closed on Monday and Tuesday

ADMISSION: Adults are $8, Senior/Military/NM Resident $7, Children (4-12) $6, Tots (3 & Under) Free. New Mexico foster families are admitted free. Additional fees for theater and planetarium.

On the Web: www.NMSpaceMuseum.org

Article Author Chris Edwards, Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media.

Excerpts and Source of Information: New Mexico Museum of Space History, The History Channel, Time Magazine September 12, 1955, The Discovery Channel, “Space Men: They were the first to brave the unknown (Transcript)”. American Experience. PBS. March 1, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2019. “Building 29: Aero Medical Laboratory”. Historic Buildings & Sites at Wright-Patterson AFB. United States Air Force. August 12, 2002. Archived from the original on June 22, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2008. Spark, Nick T. “The Story of John Paul Stapp”. The Ejection Site. Stapp JP (August 1948). “Problems of human engineering in regard to sudden declarative forces on man”. Mil Surg. 103 (2): 99–102. PMID 18876408.  Aviation Week for 3 January 1955 says he accelerated to 632 mph in five seconds and 2800 feet, then coasted for half a second, then slowed to a stop in 1.4 seconds. It says the track was 3500 feet long. Spark, Nick T. (2006). “

A resident of Alamogordo, who worked at Alamogordo New Mexico’s Holloman Air Force Base, made history in the U.S. space program and history for travel at a speed faster than a .45-caliber bullet in an experiment to test the limits of human endurance.

That same Alamogordo resident was known as the “fastest man on Earth” during the research phase of the US space program to the moon. He accelerated in five seconds from a standstill to 632 m.p.h. The New York Herald Tribune called this Alamogordo resident “a gentleman who can stop on a dime and give you 10 cents change.”

He won what will perhaps be even more lasting fame in a test five years earlier, when he suffered injuries owing to a mistake by a US Airforce Captain Murphy. The result was the phrase “Murphy’s Law.”

Who was this remarkable Alamogordo resident? Seven years before the US sent the other famous Alamogordo resident Ham, (the three-year-old chimpanzee) into space aboard the Mercury Capsule Number 5, this Alamogordo resident, was himself a live monkey, in many speed and endurance tests that tested the limits of man verses speed and gravity.

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This individual of remarkable endurance was John Paul Stapp. Dr. Stapp was a flight surgeon in the U.S. Army Air Forces at the end of World War II, continued in the field of aviation medicine after the war, and transferred to the U.S. Air Force when it was established in 1947, to continue his work on the human response to flight.

A picture containing outdoor, transport, aircraft, old

Description automatically generated

His interests from the beginning were in the limits of the human body, when subjected to the increasing forces provided by faster and faster aircraft. In the early 1950s, no one knew what humans could withstand when it came for g-forces, rapid spins, oxygen deprivation, and exposure to cosmic rays.  Stapp began a program of human testing to determine those limits, becoming chief of the Aeromedical Field Laboratory at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico and living in Alamogordo.

Dr. Stapp made history aboard the Sonic Wind I rocket sled on December 10, 1954, when he set a land speed record of 632 mph in five seconds, subjecting him to 20 Gs of force during acceleration.

Although he had many individuals, available from a group of volunteers for this dangerous test ride, Dr. Stobb chose himself for the mission. He claimed he did not want to place another person into such a potentially hazardous position.

When the sled stopped in just 1.4 seconds, Dr. Stapp was hit with a force equivalent to 46.2 Gs, more than anyone had yet endured voluntarily on the planet to that point. He set a speed record and was a man of much scientific study. Upon ending the ride, he managed half a smile, as he was pulled from the sled. Dr. Stapp was in significant pain, and his eyes flooded with blood from the bursting of almost all of capillaries in his eyes. As Dr.  Stapp was rushed to the hospital, his aids, doctors, scientist and he all worried that one or both of his retinas had detached, leaving him blind. Thanks to a studious medical team ready with treatment on the standby, by the next day, he had regained enough of his normal vision to be released by his doctors. His eyesight would never fully recover back to the status prior to the tests but he felt the test was well worth the risk and was happy that he did it verses sending one of the volunteers due to the risk. A less strong man might not have survived the test intact.

Acclaimed by the world press as “The Fastest Man on Earth,” Dr. Stapp became an international sensation, appearing on magazine covers, television, and as the subject of an episode of “This is Your Life!” He appeared on the cover of Time Magazine…

A magazine with a person's face on it

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Dr. Stapp was a modest man, in person and was approachable. He lived in Alamogordo after leaving the Air Forece and till the end of his life. He used his public acclaim not for personal gain but to pursue his dream of improving automobile safety. As a proponent for public safety, he felt that the safety measures he and his teams were developing for military aircraft should also be used for civilian automobiles.

Dr. Stapp understood the power of celebrity. As such he used his celebrity status to push for the installation of seat belts in American cars. He understood how to politic, navigate the government bureaucracy and use his public persona to push the Department of Transportation to review and eventually implement many now standard safety features. The success of his campaign efforts for public safety is measured in thousands of lives saved and injuries lessened every year by the safety precautions he championed during his lifetime not only in the US but around the world as his measures were adopted as standard world-wide.

In those early years of the mid 1950’s Dr. Stapp had hoped to make more runs on the Sonic Wind, with a goal of surpassing 1000 mph, however in June 1956, the sled flew off its track during an unmanned run and was severely damaged beyond appropriate repair.

Dr. Stapp would later ride an air-powered sled known as the “Daisy Track” at Holloman, but never again would he be subjected to the rigors of rocket-powered travel.

Dr. Stapp as an Airforce Colonel next planned and directed the Man-High Project, three manned high-altitude balloon flights to test human endurance at the edge of space. Conducted in June and August 1957, the project’s highlight was the second mission, during which Lieutenant David G. Simons reached an altitude of almost 102,000 feet. Project Man-High was a tremendous scientific success and helped prepare for America’s initial manned space which of course did not happen until after Alamogordo’s other famous resident “Ham” the three-year-old chimpanzee had successfully been launched and returned safely.

Dr. Stapp retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 1970. He went on to become a professor at the University of California’s Safety and Systems Management Center, then a consultant to the Surgeon General and NASA.

He next served as the president of the New Mexico Research Institute in Alamogordo, New Mexico, as well as chairman of the annual “Dr. Stapp International Car Crash Conference.”

 In 1991, Stapp received the National Medal of Technology, “for his research on the effects of mechanical force on living tissues leading to safety developments in crash protection technology.” He was also honorary chairman of the Stapp Foundation, underwritten by General Motors to provide scholarships for automotive engineering students.

Dr. Stapp was a well-regarded Alamogordo resident and spoke often at the public high school, in lectures at NMSU Alamogordo and as a guest lecturer at the Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo.  He was always open to talking with young impressionable individuals encouraging the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Colonel Dr. John Stapp died in Alamogordo on November 13, 1999, at the age of eighty-nine. His many honors and awards included enrollment in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the Air Force Cheney Award for Valor and the Lovelace Award from NASA for aerospace medical research.

Alamogordo, New Mexico has been called the cradle of America’s space program and offers a museum that applauds our exploration of the heavens with a mix of high-tech entertainment and dramatic exhibits. The United Space Hall of Fame and Space Museum in Alamogordo, New Mexico continues to honor Dr. John P. Stapp naming the Air & Space Park after him. Named after International Space Hall of Fame Inductee and aeromedical pioneer Dr. John P. Stapp, the Air and Space Park consists of large space-related artifacts documenting mankind’s exploration of space. Examples of exhibits include the Sonic Wind I rocket sled ridden by Dr. Stapp and the Little Joe II rocket which tested the Apollo Launch Escape System. At 86 feet tall, Little Joe II is the largest rocket ever launched from New Mexico. Many major breakthroughs in technology occurred in the Alamogordo area, and the museum offers a variety of exhibitions to showcase those milestones. Other features showcased are a tribute to the Delta Clipper Experimental; and the Clyde W. Tombaugh Theater and Planetarium, featuring a giant dome-screen and state-of-the-art surround sound to fully immerse the audience. If in the Alamogordo area or in Southern New Mexico this is a do not miss stop for anyone with an interest in space or the history of space exploration.

New Mexico Museum of Space History

LOCATION: Next to the New Mexico State University, Alamogordo at the Top of NM 2001, Alamogordo, NM

PHONE:(575) 437-2840

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, closed on Monday and Tuesday

ADMISSION: Adults are $8, Senior/Military/NM Resident $7, Children (4-12) $6, Tots (3 & Under) Free. New Mexico foster families are admitted free. Additional fees for theater and planetarium.

On the Web: www.NMSpaceMuseum.org

Article Author Chris Edwards, Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media.

Excerpts and Source of Information: New Mexico Museum of Space History, The History Channel, Time Magazine September 12, 1955, The Discovery Channel, “Space Men: They were the first to brave the unknown (Transcript)”. American Experience. PBS. March 1, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2019. “Building 29: Aero Medical Laboratory”. Historic Buildings & Sites at Wright-Patterson AFB. United States Air Force. August 12, 2002. Archived from the original on June 22, 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2008. Spark, Nick T. “The Story of John Paul Stapp”. The Ejection Site. Stapp JP (August 1948). “Problems of human engineering in regard to sudden declarative forces on man”. Mil Surg. 103 (2): 99–102. PMID 18876408.  Aviation Week for 3 January 1955 says he accelerated to 632 mph in five seconds and 2800 feet, then coasted for half a second, then slowed to a stop in 1.4 seconds. It says the track was 3500 feet long. Spark, Nick T. (2006). “Whatever Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong”: A History of Murphy’s Law. Periscope Film. ISBN 9780978638894. OCLC 80015522″: A History of Murphy’s Law. Periscope Film. ISBN 9780978638894. OCLC 80015522

Congratulations to the new owner of Artist Rene Sepulveda’s Abstract Sculpture titled “High Desert Bloom”

Congratulations to the new owner of Artist Rene Sepulveda’s Abstract Sculpture titled “High Desert Bloom.” This original abstract was showcased on exhibition at the Roadrunner Emporium & Gallery at the 2nd Life Art Gallery, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and is SOLD and enroute to a collector of fine art in Austin, Texas, USA.

About the Piece: “High Desert Bloom” Artist Rene Sepulveda created this one-of-a-kind nod to the New Mexico high desert and white sands located near Alamogordo New Mexico. The piece was crafted with 5000-year-old Lava Rock from the Valley of the Fire Lave Flow, combined with ancient fallen driftwood and replicas of desert flowers that create a unique and inspiring view of natures “High Desert Bloom”. This one-of-a-kind piece is heavy, crafted from ancient lava flow rich in iron and heavy metals. The wood is ancient from the Lincoln Forest and the flowers are replicas of flowers colorized to the artists imagination and found in the High New Mexico Desert.

About the Collection: Artist Rene Sepulveda reaches from his Native American Tarahumara tribal roots and creates works of art from 5000-year-old New Mexican Volcanic Lava Rock paired with recycled metals fallen driftwoods to create art of nature for home, office or outdoor spaces. Highly prized and highly collectable. Approximately 5,000 years ago, Little Black Peak located in Southern New Mexico erupted and flowed 44 miles into the Tularosa Basin, filling the basin with molten rock. The resulting lava flow is four to six miles wide, 160 feet thick and covers 125 square miles. From a distance, the region appears as barren rock but when you visit the nature trails there are many varieties of flowers, cactus, trees, and bushes typical of the Chihuahuan desert. Animals include a variety of desert ants, bugs, bats, roadrunners, quail, cottontails, mule deer, barberry sheep, lizards, great horned owls, burrowing owls, turkey vultures, hawks, gnat catchers, cactus wrens, sparrows, and golden eagles and more.

This collection of works crafted by Artist Rene Sepulveda is inspired by his Tarahumara tribal roots as a tribute to the wildlife, flowers, cactus, and beauty of the region, crafted from recycled lava, woods and metals found from the Tularosa Basin and Sacramento Basin. The molten lava rock is repurposed rock pulled from abandoned homes and abandoned locations; repurposed into a “second life” as an “artistic sculpture” to bring joy and value to the owner of each unique piece.

#2ndLifeMedia#2ndLifeBoutique#LocalArts#AlamogordoArts#ArtistReneSepulveda#RoadrunnerEmporium#AlamogordoTownNews#AlamogordoMainStreet#NewMexicoArts#NativeAmericanArt#AbstractArt#DesertArt#2ndLifeGallery#RoadrunnerEmporiumArtGallery#NaturalArtSculptures

Where in New Mexico would someone go to see original Root Art, Cholla Desert Cactus Art, Sculptures of Recycled Metals combined with 5000 year old lava rock, original paintings and more? Santa Fe? NO, Alamogordo Of Course! Alamogordo Town News Showcase Roadrunner Emporium Art Gallery…

Where in New Mexico would someone go to see original Root Art, Cholla Desert Cactus Art, Sculptures of Recycled Metals combined with 5000 year old lava rock, original paintings, New Mexico Photography and more? Santa Fe? Albuquerque? No, to see these original works of art and much much more one must travel to Alamogordo New Mexico’s Main Street, Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo…

Original Rene Sepulveda Carrousel Horse Sculpture
Artist Rene Sepulveda Presents at Roadrunner Emporium Alamogordo
1000 Sunflowers a Window Display to Bring Joy Roadrunner Emporium Alamogordo
Awesome window displays by local artist to inspire Roadrunner Emporium Alamogordo

Roadrunner Emporium hosts 40 partnered vendors,  Artist Rene Sepulveda showcases his works that have been purchased by individuals in Europe, Mexico, Canada and throughout the United State. Rene Sepulveda does not take his art work too serous and approaches with whimsical insights but serious in their color, texture and use of natural elements procured from the natural environment.

Rene Sepulveda is credited with starting the “colorlicious styling & textured design’s” trend for in home, patio decor and fine art piece designs. His captivating sculptures crafted of Cholla Art, 5000 year old Lava Rock and/or recycled metals are being received to much acclaim and are bringing a little touch of New Mexico’s Desert in the form of artist sculptures using Cholla Cactus Skeleton, lava and metals to homes and offices throughout America.

His rootart (tree root art) offerings have been showcased in haunting displays, window displays by galleries and retail establishments in New Mexico, California and the western US and have been known to shock and to inspire.

Rene Sepulveda’s newest released collection released 3/14/2021 is “The Valley of the Fires Sculpture Collection” highlights the use of natural wonders from the Tularosa Basin combining recycled 5000 year old lava rock with recycled metals and/or distressed driftwood to create one of kind unique artistic wonders ideal for the home, patio or professional office spaces. His items ship around the world but are hosted at Roadrunner Emporium, Alamogordo.

Per the artist, “I believe that the artistry of Cholla Art, Tree Trunk Art, Root Art or Lava Rock and Metal works are unique and not well understood, in that most homeowners or business owners don’t have the knowledge of the beauty these pieces can bring to their environment. Most people have not been exposed to these kinds of sculptured works, very few artists create art with these mediums as a canvas. Most people don’t know the sense of Zen or harmony that is created by including these pieces into the home, office, or business environment. However those that venture south to Alamogordo are in for a treat. A treat of the senses. When they visit downtown Alamogordo they will find a gem of a art gallery that is part art gallery, part antiquing paradise, and more. One never knows what surprise awaits the customer that strolls into Roadrunner Emporium, Alamogordo. “

Delia Lopez Holloway showcases her works of wonder, complex design and interpretative expression on canvas. A Fine Arts Major of New Mexico State University. Her artistic creations are an expression of love, joy, beauty, calm and on occasion the exact opposite. She believes art show provoke and inspire.

A Collection of the Beauty of Women Expressed and on Exhibition at Roadrunner Emporium, Alamogordo New Mexico
The Beauty of Women A collection of Works by Delia Lopez Holloway Roadrunner Emporium & Gallery, Alamogordo New Mexico ( Alamogordo Town News 2nd Life Media
An Expression of Exquisite Color and Complexity on Exhibition Roadrunner Emporium & Art Gallery, Alamogordo New Mexico by Delia Lopez Holloway
An Expression of Exquisite Color and Complexity on Exhibition Roadrunner Emporium & Art Gallery, Alamogordo New Mexico by Delia Lopez Holloway ( Alamogordo Town News 2nd Life Media)

Photography such as from the infamous California nature photographer Janet Thornton. Scenes from California, New Mexico and the natural environment around us…

Moss A Photograph in Nature Janet Thornton Gallery Roadrunner Emporium
“Moss” A Photograph in Nature Janet Thornton Gallery Roadrunner Emporium
"Wisteria" A Photographic expression of color by Janet Thornton Galleries at Roadrunner Emporium Alamogordo
“Wisteria” A Photographic expression of color by Janet Thornton Galleries at Roadrunner Emporium Alamogordo (Alamogordo Town News, 2nd Life Media)

The photography of history and abandon of New Mexico by Author, Display Artist and Photographer Chris Edwards 2nd Life Gallery, Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo.

Photography of Author Chris Edwards Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days
Photography of Author Chris Edwards Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days
Photography of Author Chris Edwards Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days
Photography of Author Chris Edwards Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days
Photography of Author Chris Edwards Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days
Photography of Author Chris Edwards Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days

The Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo is owned by Debra Reyes and is dedicated to the enrichment of the cultural arts and downtown redevelopment of the Alamogordo Main Street District. It is located in a historic building that is clean, fresh and historic. Come check out the best art gallery in Alamogordo for art and more 10 to 5 daily. Closed Sundays. 

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/29559/southern-new-mexicos-must-go-art-gallery-more-roadrunner-emporium-new-york

Alamogordo Sport History: A Look Back at the 1973 Alamogordo Tigers Track and Field Team with District & State Results – Alamogordo Town News & Sports

A Look Back at the 1973 Alamogordo Tigers Track and Field Team brings us to the first of many track and field state trophies to be awarded to Alamogordo High School under the leadership of Coach Bob Sepulveda who led the team from the late 60’s to the mid 90’s. Under his leadership the track and field team won 5 state title, 4 in a row in the mid 90’s and countless 2nd, and 3rd place state trophies as well as district titles. 1973 was a defining year in the path upward for Alamogordo High Track and Field.

The 1973 Alamogordo Tiger Track and Field felt the pressure of District Wins each of the 3 preceding years. From a team of only 13 just 3 years ago, the 1973 squad consisted of 32 team members.

(Photo above 1973 Alamogordo High Track and Field Team Fieldsmen L-R: Norman Avila, Terry Rich, Bob Tuttle. Backrow: Ron Gourley, Steve Fredrick, Carl Hutchison, David Burch & Tim McMurry.)

Photo Above 1973 Alamogordo High Track and Field Team Sprinters  front row: Will Henley, Paul Najera, Ken Washington, David Finley. Back row: Dale Norman, Dennis Baca, Larry Vorquez, Pat Telles, Jim Sanders. Third Row: Joe Wright, Scott Hutt and Chuck Wood.

Photo Above: 1973 Alamogordo High Track & Field Distance Runners front row: David Dunlop, Russell Golightly, Tom Woolworth, Brad Person, Charles Racoosin. Second row: David Sanchez, Steven Garcia, Terry McLean, Eddy Garcia, Robert Golightly and Ken Burns.

Photo in story above Coach Bob Sepulveda in 1973 with the stopwatch checking his teams times. His saying prevails today, “the stopwatch never lies, run, run, run”

The Alamogordo Tiger Boy’s took several medals at the White Sands Rolla Buck Invitational Meet of 1973. At that time girls did not participate in interscholastic sports but all of that was in the process of changing as GAA was phasing out and interscholastic sports for girls would begin the next year via title IX at Alamogordo High.

Alamogordo Boy’s who placed at the 1973 Rolla Buck White Sands Invitational Sponsored by the Lions Club included:

  • Terry Rich, 3rd Place Pole Vault
  • Chuck Wood, 1st Place, 220 Yard Dash
  • Dale Norman, 2nd Place 120 High Hurdles
    • 3rd Place Low Hurdles
  • Will Henley, 2nd Place, 100 Yard Dash
    • 2nd Place, 220 Dash
  • Robert Golightly, 3rd Place, Mile Run
  • Steve Frederick, 3rd Place, Shot Put
  • Mark Taylor, 2nd Place, 440 Yard Dash
  • Scott Hutt, 3rd Place, 880 Run
  • Art Keller, Ken Washington, Chuck Wood, Jimmy Sanders, 4th Place, Medley Relay

School records were established in the mile relay and the 180- yard low hurdles Saturday during the White Sands Relays sponsored by the Tiger Track Team and the Evening Lions Club of 1973.

Art Keller flashed over the hurdles in 19.6 in the preliminaries and went on to win the event and he was named the “Outstanding Athlete” for the Relays.

The Tiger mile relay team ripped off that distance in 3.24.7 to break the school record set by Bowie in 1972 during the Relays when they ran it in 3.26.2. Relay team members were Ken Washington, Dennis Baca, Mark Taylor and Jimmy Sanders.

The Tiger 440 Relay Team took first when they ran it in 43.6 Art Keller, Ken Washington, Chuck Wood and Jimmy Sanders were on the team. Keller also took first in the 100- yard dash. Chuck Wood took 1st in the 220 dash. Jimmy Sanders took 1st in the 440 dash. Carl Hutchison tied for1st in the High Jump. Steve Frederickson took 1st in the discus. Robert Golightly placed 1st in the two-mile run….

Meet results showed the Tigers with a team 1st place win with a final total of 112 ½ Bowie came in 2nd at 46 ½ and Cobre came in 3rd with a 41 ½.

The District Title in 1973 went again to the Alamogordo Tigers for a 4th consecutive year in a row. The local paper of the time the Alamogordo Daily News Reported:

1972/73 District Track & Field Results  May 6th, 1973 Headline Alamogordo Sports Section…”Thinclads Get 135 Points to Cop 4th District Win”

“Tiger Thinclads walked… or ran… jumped or threw further and faster than anyone else in the district 3AAAA at Las Cruces on Saturday, to take their 4th District Win in a row under Coach Bob Sepulveda. 12 of the Tigers placed 1st
Place in the meet competitions as the Tigers Topped 135 points for a 1st Place finish. Mayfield scored 94 points for a 2nd Place Finish and Las Cruces scored 75 points for a 3rd Place Finish.”

1973 Alamogordo High School Boys Track and Field District Medalist included:

  • Carl Hutchison, 1st Place, High Jump
  • Steve Frederick, 1st Place, Discus
  • 1st Place, 440 Relay Team
  • 2nd Place, Shot Put
  • Art Keller, 1st Place, 100 Yard Dash
    • 1st Place, 880 Relay Team
  • 1st Place, Mile Relay Team
  • 2nd Place,120 Low Hurdles
  • Jimmy Sanders, 1st Place, 440 Relay Team
  • Larry Vazquez , 1st Place, Mile Relay Team
  • Dale Norman, 1st Place, High Hurdles
    • 1st Place, Low Hurdles
  • Mark Taylor, 2nd Place, 440
  • Scott Hutt, 1st Place ,880
  • Chuck Wood, 1st Place220
    • 2nd Place, High Hurdles
  • Robert Golightly, 1st Place, 2Mile
    • 2nd Place, 1 Mile
  • Dennis Baca, 2nd Place,220
    • 5th Place, 120 High Hurdles
  • Brad Pierson, 2nd Place, 2 Mile
  • Charlie Racoosin, 4th Place, 2Mile
  • Art Keller, Ken Washington, Chuck Wood, Jimmy Sanders, 3rd Place, Medley Relay
  • Will Henley, 3rd Place,220
    • 4th Place, 100 Yard Dash
  • Terry McClean, 5th Place, Mile
  • Terry Rich, 5th Place, Pole Vault

13 Tigers qualified to attend the state meet in Albuquerque May 11th and 12th, 1973.

May 12th, 1973 is a day that will live in the memories of most of the class of 1973 as that is the day the Boys brought home a state trophy. The headlines across the state raged on about the upset and surprise that Alamogordo pulled off a 2nd place showing at the state level.

“The Alamogordo Tiger Thinclads surprised most of the track experts when they pulled into the 2nd Place position during

the State Track Meet to capture a big trophy at Albuquerque”

Photo Above 1973 2nd Place State Track and Field Trophy and Winning Team: Back L-R: Coach Dick Strong, Coach Jack Geron, Dale Norman, Steve Frederick, Carl Hutchison, Jimmy Sanders, Scott Hutt, Mark Taylor, Coach Jack Narrell, Head Coach Bob Sepulveda. Front L-R: Manager Pat McMurry, Art Keller, Robert Golightly, Brad Pierson, Dennis Baca, Ken Washington and Chuck Wood. (Photo Courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1- Alamogordo News 5/17/73)

Defending State Champion Hobbs took an early lead and placed 1st to win the state. Alamogordo Tigers placed second in the state meet with 48 points followed by Carlsbad in 3rd place and Clovis closing out with a 4th place win.

Individual State Medalist for the 1973 State Track Meet from the Alamogordo Tiger’s Track and Field Team included:

  • Steve Fredericks, 1st Place, Discus, 159’10”
  • Robert Golightly, 1st Place, 2 Mile Run ,10.31.1
  • Ken Washington, Larry Vazquez , Mark Taylor & Jimmy Sanders 1st Place, Mile Relay, 3.25.4
  • Jimmy Sanders, 3rd Place, 440,49.8
  • Dale Norman, 5th Place, 180 Low Hurdles, 21.3
  • Art Keller, Ken Washington, Chuck Wood, Jimmy Sanders, 3rd Place, 440 Relay, 48.4
  • Scott Hutt, 4th Place, 880,2.00
  • Chuck Wood, 3rd Place, 220, 22.6
    • 5th Place, 100, 10.2
  • Carl Hutchison, 3rd Place, High Jump, 6’.0
  • Art Keller, 4th Place, 100,10.1

(Photo Above Art Keller Team Member 1973 Track & Field State Medalist Alamogordo Tiger Track Team of 1973.)

(Photo Above Jimmy Sanders at the New Mexico State Track Meet Placing 1st in the 1 Mile Relay with team members Ken Washington, Larry Vazquez and Mark Taylor. (Photo courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda Collection)

Alamogordo High School Girls competed in the state GAA event that same weekend. 59 Girls attended the 6th annual GAA track meet representing Alamogordo. Seventh to Twelfth graders took part in three classes: Senior, Junior and Intermediate. 31 Junior High, 21 Mid High and 7 High School girls entered.

The Alamogordo Girls took 2nd in the Senior High level, 3rd in the Junior Division and 3rd in the Intermediate Division.

The coaches were Marilyn Sepulveda, Fran Stirman and Helen Reed.

Source and certain Excerpts from Alamogordo News referenced in Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1 from 1973 Available Locally at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, Tularosa Basin Historical Society on White Sands Blvd, and on Amazon in 36 Countries.

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/29443/alamogordo-sport-history-look-back-1973-alamogordo-tigers-track-and-field

Building Awareness Press Freedom Day,  Alamogordo, May 3, 2021 Alamogordo Town News & Second Life Media Author Chris Edwards

Amendment One: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

World Press Freedom Day in collaboration with the World Journalist Alamogordo Town News 2nd Life Media

Building Awareness Press Freedom Day,  Alamogordo, May 3, 2021

Press Freedom is a fundamental requirement for a free and informed Democracy. We don’t always agree with opinions expressed, we may not like much of the news we hear and we may feel all news is negative. It doesn’t have to be. A record amount of censorship, unprecedented attacks on journalists, a consolidation of news outlets by big corporations and the collapse of small town local newspapers and online papers all threaten the freedoms and foundation of our fragile democracy.

Even here in Alamogordo the primary newspaper is owned by a media conglomerate resulting in diminished local coverage and opinions expressed directed from far off corporate offices. Local free citizen journalism is more important now than at any time in our county’s history with a focus on local sports, business successes and positivity. That is where we fill a void. We are here to inform, inspire and encourage. We ask for you to support our advertisers, share our pages and daily posts, sign up for our free daily newsletter and share our vision of positive news and affirmations to a more positive community.

Journalists uncover the truth, check the abuse of power, and demand transparency from those in power. They are indispensable to the functioning of democracy. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists and media workers have been on the front lines to keep the public informed, at significant risk to their own health. And, at a time when the truth is increasingly under attack, our need for accurate, fact-based reporting, open public conversation, and accountability has never been greater.

We collaborate and honor World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

After 30 years, the historic connection made between the freedom to seek, impart and receive information and the public good remains as relevant as it was at the time of its signing. Special commemorations of the 30th anniversary are planned to take place during World Press Freedom Day International Conference.

May 3 acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. It is an opportunity to:

  • celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
  • assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
  • defend the media from attacks on their independence;
  • and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind. The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting on our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.

While governments harass, detain and silence journalists there are organizations around that work to protect your freedom of information around the world in order to keep you as citizens of the world informed.

American reporters are at risk at times at home but more so when reporting overseas. As an example Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian was arrested in Iran last July with his wife, who also is a journalist. She was later released, but he is on trial on charges that include spying, which he has denied. His trial is closed to the public.

The One Free Press Coalition acts as a voice for all journalists under attack for pursuing the truth. Media outlets worldwide, including Voice of America, unite to give voice to their stories and hold power figures to account.

The One Free Press Coalition publishes a monthly list of the world’s “10 Most Urgent” press freedom abuses, and the cases of journalists who cover human rights topics. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) determined that 55% of journalists imprisoned in 2020 write about human rights, and 306 journalists reporting on human rights have been killed since 1992.

CPJ and the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) maintain safety resources and provide support to ensure these professionals can carry out their work for the public good, and do so as safely as possible.

The 10 Most Urgent, May 2021 At Risk Journalist in the World Include:

1. Ibraimo Abú Mbaruco (Mozambique)

Mozambican radio reporter and human rights advocate in Cabo Delgado has been missing for over a year as conflict in the region escalates. Family and colleagues still have no information on his whereabouts after he sent an SOS text saying he was “surrounded by soldiers.” 

2. Kasra Nouri (Iran)

Journalist, serving a 12-year sentence related to his coverage of religious protests in 2018, has spent a significant amount of time in solitary confinement, been moved multiple times, and his family is currently unable to communicate with him. 

3. Pham Chi Dung (Vietnam)     

Freelance internet reporter and founding chairman of a civil society organization advocating for press freedom is serving a 15-year prison sentence on anti-state charges after calling on the EU to postpone trade agreements until Vietnam improves its human rights record.

4. Ahmed Humaidan (Bahrain)

Photographer covering protests in Bahrain was arrested while documenting protesters attacking a police station in 2012, and sentenced to ten years behind bars in 2014. He recently contracted and recovered from COVID-19 while imprisoned.

5. Esraa Abdelfattah (Egypt)

Longtime blogger, journalist and activist reporting on human rights has been held on false news and anti-state charges since 2019, and has had her pretrial detention extended. She has gone on hunger strikes multiple times to protest her sentence and treatment.

6. Leonardo Sakamoto and the team at Repórter Brasil (Brazil)

Leonardo Sakamoto is the president of Repórter Brasil, an investigative reporting organization, focused on issues from human trafficking to workers’ rights to environmental degradation. The outlet has faced online attacks, attempted break-ins and anonymous threats.

7. Sandhya Ravishankar (India)

Freelance journalist reporting on elections, politics and corruption, including on Tamil Nadu’s sand mafia and beach sand mining, has faced years of threats and harassment, including death and rape threats, doxing, and a 2018 attempt to sabotage her motorbike.

8. Agnieszka Pikulicka (Uzbekistan)

Freelance correspondent threatened publicly by Uzbek Interior Ministry with potential lawsuits in relation to her reporting on the attack of an LGBTQ activist.

9. Katsiaryna Barysevich (Belarus)

Correspondent for the independent news website Tut.by was sentenced earlier this year to six months behind bars for her coverage of protests in Belarus in 2020.

10. Daria Komarova (Russia)

Russian journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has been put on three trials in relation to her coverage of pro-Navalny protests, facing potential fines and administrative detention.

Today, on World Press Freedom Day, we, as independent community journalist, authors and publishers with 2nd Life Media and Alamogordo Town News celebrate the awesome bravery of journalists everywhere; locally, within the US and worldwide that standup to popular opinions, the power structure and an informed public. We recognize the integral role a free press plays in building prosperous, resilient and free societies. We recommit daily to protecting and promoting free, independent, and diverse media around the world and always when possible inform, inspire, educate and promote the positivity life has to offer.

Today we celebrate a free press and a free Alamogordo that in unity with all celebrates freedom!

Commentary by Chris Edwards, Author Alamogordo Town New, 2nd Life Media.

Sources:  One Free Press Coalition,  Forbes, Wikipedia and United Nation Press Freedom Information Pages

Coaches Bill Aldridge & 28 year veteran Tommy Standefer have set the standard for Southern New Mexico Golf in a program with roots to the 1950s

Alamogordo has a long history of golf success dating back to the 1960’s under coach Billy Aldridge. To learn more and to hear coach Billy Aldridge’s story check our story archives or listen to our podcast on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/episode/3RNff9f7XPuS6pMcZJBb4l

the New Mexico Activities association offered State Tournaments in Golf for boys beginning in 1933. The first Boy in the state of New Mexico to win a State Golf Title was Ralph Petty of Carrizozo in 1933.

Alamogordo High School Boys Golf program began to gain some tracking in the 50’s was was not recognized as truly competitive until the 1960s and 1970s under the leadership of Billy Aldridge. He was credited with creating a legitimate program that was a model high schools and community colleges around the country. The Alamogordo Boys Golf program has won 3 state titles and 4 individuals titles in the boys division since inception. 

State Individual Boys Title holders include:

  • 1966 AA Bruce McKenzie
  • 1971 AAAA Brad Bryant
  • 1973 AAAA Brad Bryant
  • 2008 AAAAA Jeffery O’Dell with scores of 76-73 total 149

State Boys Gold Team Titles were won in:

  • 1965 AA Alamogordo Coach Bill Aldridge
  • 1971 AAAA Alamogordo Coach Bill Aldridge
  • 1972 AAAA Alamogordo Coach Bill Aldridge

Girls Golf was not sanctioned as an interscholastic sport until 1973. The first girl to wine a state title was Nancy Romero of Socorro in 1973.

State Individual Girls Title holders include:

  • 1995 AAAA Dianne Overstreet
  • 1999 AAAA Tiada Lane with a total score of 160
  • 2003 AAAAA Destini Esquero  with scores of 78-78 totaling156
  • 2011 AAAAA Kacey Dalpes  with score of 79-77 totaling 156
  • AAAAA Kacey Dalpes with a score of 69-76 totaling 145

State Boys Girls Team Titles were won in:

  • 1996 AAAA Alamogordo Coach Scott Summers 
  • 2001 AAAAA Alamogordo Coach Tommy Standefer
  • 2002 AAAAA Alamogordo Coach Tommy Standefer 
  • 2003 AAAAA Alamogordo Tommy Standefer

Coach Tommy Standefer won 3 girls golf state titles in a row between 2001 and 2003. Coach Standefer has coached for Alamogordo for almost 28 years and is still coaching and assisted by Coach Billy Hays. The Alamogordo Girls have attended a state tournament 28 times in the last 30 years. Fifteen times, the girls have finished with a trophy, either first, second or third, at state a record to be very proud of.

The Alamogordo Golf Teams most recent play was Wednesday at the Chaparral Invitational.

 The Alamogordo Boys finished 2nd at Chaparral on Wednesday. 

  • Boys Tyler Cullers – 82
  • Michael Overstreet – 92
  • Bradley McMillen – 92
  • Colin Silva – 93
  • Marco Terrazas – 100

In Girls Golf competition the girls did not have a complete team at Chaparral.

  • Sophia Fredrick – 100
  • Chloe Johnston – 110
  • Kylie Rideout – 133

Both teams next compete at Deming Tournament May 7th, 2021.

History Made 11/14/1960 & 4/28/21 “One Small Step” Ruby Bridges & Kamala Harris

One small step, by one brave little girl helped make it possible for one of the most striking historical images of President Biden’s state of the union address. The little girl in the top photos is that of Ruby Bridges, the first African American, to attend a white elementary school in the deep South, 1960.

The image of two women below; one a woman of color, the other the daughter of Italian Immigrants, both for the first time -women- in the chairs behind the president. The chairs historically are filled by the vice president and speaker. Tonight, 4/28/2021 is the first time both roles are held by women; a woman of color and the daughter of an immigrant — Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi.

Ruby Bridges and her place in our history

Judge J. Skelly Wright’s court order for the first day of integrated schools in New Orleans on Monday, November 14, 1960

At the early age of only six years old, Ruby Bridges advanced the cause of civil rights in that November 1960, she became the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South.

Born on September 8, 1954, Bridges was the oldest of five children for Lucille and Abon Bridges, farmers in Tylertown, Mississippi. When Ruby was two years old, her parents moved their family to New Orleans, Louisiana in search of better work opportunities. Ruby’s birth year coincided with the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka Kansas, which ended racial segregation in public schools.

Nonetheless, southern states continued to resist integration, and in 1959, Ruby attended a segregated New Orleans kindergarten. A year later, however, a federal court ordered Louisiana to desegregate. The school district created entrance exams for African American students to see whether they could compete academically at the all-white school. Ruby and five other students passed the exam.

Her parents were torn about whether to let her attend the all-white William Frantz Elementary School, a few blocks from their home. Her father resisted, fearing for his daughter’s safety; her mother, however, wanted Ruby to have the educational opportunities that her parents had been denied. Meanwhile, the school district dragged its feet, delaying her admittance until November 14. Two of the other students decided not to leave their school at all; the other three were sent to the all-white McDonough Elementary School.

Judge J. Skelly Wright’s court ordered the first day of integrated schools in New Orleans to be Monday, November 14, 1960. The historic day was documented in newspapers and magazines around the US.

Bridges described her first day of school, “Driving up I could see the crowd, but living in New Orleans, I actually thought it was Mardi Gras. There was a large crowd of people outside of the school. They were throwing things and shouting, and that sort of goes on in New Orleans at Mardi Gras, however I was soon to find out this demonstration was not a celebration and certainly was not the party atmosphere of the Mardi Gras.”

Retired, former United States Deputy Marshal Charles Burks recalled, “She showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She did not whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier, and we’re all immensely proud of her.” She was escorted and supported by the Federal US Marshals Service for over a year till things finaly stabilized and the people of New Orleans accepted integration as the law of the land.

Little Ms. Bridges spent her first day in the principal’s office due to the chaos created as angry white parents pulled their children from school. Ardent segregationists withdrew their children permanently.

Barbara Henry, a white Boston native, was the only teacher willing to accept Ruby, and all year, she was a class of one. Ruby ate lunch alone and sometimes played with her teacher at recess, but she never missed a day of school that year.

On the second day, however, a white student broke the boycott and entered the school when a 34-year-old Methodist minister, Lloyd Anderson Foreman, walked his five-year-old daughter Pam through the angry mob, saying, “I simply want the privilege of taking my child to school …” A few days later, other white parents began bringing their children, and the protests began to subside.

Every morning, as Bridges walked to school, one woman would threaten to poison her, while another held up a black baby doll in a coffin; because of this, the U.S. Marshals dispatched by President Eisenhower, who were overseeing her safety, allowed Bridges to eat only the food that she brought from home.

Child psychiatrist Robert Coles volunteered to provide counseling to Bridges during her first year at Frantz. He met with her weekly in the Bridges home, later writing a children’s book, The Story of Ruby Bridges, to acquaint other children with Bridges’ story. Coles donated the royalties from the sale of that book to the Ruby Bridges Foundation, to provide money for school supplies or other educational needs for impoverished New Orleans school children.

While some families supported her bravery—and some northerners sent money to aid her family—others protested throughout the city. The Bridges family suffered for their courage.

The Bridges family suffered for their decision to send her to William Frantz Elementary: her father lost his job as a gas station attendant; the grocery store the family shopped at would no longer let them shop there; her grandparents, who were sharecroppers in Mississippi, were turned off their land; and Abon and Lucille Bridges separated. Bridges has noted that many others in the community, both black and white, showed support in a variety of ways. Some white families continued to send their children to Frantz despite the protests, a neighbor provided her father with a new job, and local people babysat, watched the house as protectors, and walked behind the federal marshals’ car on the trips to school.

It was not until Bridges was an adult that she learned that the immaculate clothing she wore to school in those first weeks at Frantz was sent to her family by a relative of Coles. Bridges says her family could never have afforded the dresses, socks, and shoes that are documented in photographs of her escort by U.S. Marshals to and from the school.

In 1964, artist Norman Rockwell celebrated her courage with a painting of that first day entitled, “The Problem We All Live With.” The commemorated painting by Norman Rockwell titled The Problem We All Live With was published in Look magazine on January 14, 1964.

Bridges, now Ruby Bridges Hall, still lives in New Orleans with her husband, Malcolm Hall, and their four sons. After graduating from a desegregated high school, she worked as a travel agent for 15 years and later became a full-time parent.  She is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote “the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences”. Describing the mission of the group, she says, “racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it.”

Bridges is the subject of the Lori McKenna song “Ruby’s Shoes”. Her, childhood struggle at William Frantz Elementary School was portrayed in the 1998 made-for-TV movie Ruby Bridges. The young Bridges was portrayed by actress Chaz Monet, and the movie also featured Lela Rochon as Bridges’ mother, Lucille “Lucy” Bridges; Michael Beach as Bridges’ father, Abon Bridges; Penelope Ann Miller as Bridges’ teacher, Mrs. Henry; and Kevin Pollak as Dr. Robert Coles.

Like hundreds of thousands of others in the greater New Orleans area, Bridges lost her home (in Eastern New Orleans) to catastrophic flooding from the failure of the levee system during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hurricane Katrina also greatly damaged William Frantz Elementary School, and Bridges played a significant role in fighting for the school to remain open.

In November 2007, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis unveiled a new permanent exhibit documenting her life, along with the lives of Anne Frank and Ryan White. The exhibit, called “The Power of Children: Making a Difference”, cost $6 million to install and includes an authentic re-creation of Bridges’ first grade classroom.

In 2010, Bridges had a 50th-year reunion at William Frantz Elementary with Pam Foreman Testroet, who had been, at the age of five, the first white child to break the boycott that ensued from Bridges’ attendance at that school.

On July 15, 2011, Bridges met with President Barack Obama at the White House, and while viewing the Norman Rockwell painting of her on display he told her, “I think it’s fair to say that if it hadn’t been for you guys, I might not be here, and we wouldn’t be looking at this together”. The Rockwell painting was displayed in the West Wing of the White House, just outside the Oval Office, from June through October 2011.

In November 2020 there was an image created of Bridges as a child and Kamala Harris that went viral and made a powerful statement to all that witnessed it. The image is simple: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, clad in a dark suit and heels, strides past a wall with her eyes locked on the horizon. The shadow she casts is that of then-6-year-old Ruby Bridges, who integrated her New Orleans elementary school in 1960. The artist behind the widely shared image is Bria Goeller, who graduated with highest honors from Emory College of Arts and Sciences in December 2019. She designed the artwork in October for Carl Gordon Jones, founder and owner of the satirical clothing group WTF America-Good Trubble.

Goeller’s design showcasing the parallels between two Black women’s strength in the face of opposition took off Saturday, shared tens of thousands of times after media outlets projected Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election and Harris was declared the vice president-elect. Bridges, herself shared it on her personal Instagram, as did Kara Walker, the Black artist best known for her work with silhouettes. Bridges thanked Goeller, and Good Trubble “for the inspirational and beautiful artwork.” Tagging Harris and Biden in her post, she wrote, “I am honored to be a part of this path and grateful to stand alongside you, together with our fellow Americans, as we step into this next chapter of American history!”

On this evening as President Biden presents his state of the union address the memory of his speech may not be so much the content of his speech or the proposals to move America forward but the speech will go down historically as significant to the history of the US with the two women on the platform behind the president. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House and a child of an immigrant and Vice President Kamala Harris, the first person of color to sit in that prestigious seat.

We wonder as Vice President Harris looked at her shadow from the camera lights on the wall this historic evening; did she indeed pause for a moment, and see her own reflection, or did she see the reflection of Ruby Bridges and her small step from 1960 that paved the way for Ms. Harris spot in history today.

These two women- bright, committed, positive and successful demonstrate the power of action and how, small actions we do today, may impact the history of an unconnected stranger decades down the road. The historical significance of 11/14/1960 and 4/28/21 shows the destiny of the two amazing passionate women of color intertwined and bound by destiny.

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/28597/history-made-11141960-42821-one-small-step-ruby-bridges-kamala-harris

28 Days A Habit 90 Days a Lifestyle Affirmation for 4-25-21

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:
“POSITIVE THINKING WILL LET YOU DO EVERYTHING BETTER THAN NEGATIVE THINKING WILL.” ZIG ZIGLER

Beginning of Day: How’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading the quote above?

End of day: Re-read the quote. Did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote above? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset?

We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on today’s quote.

“POSITIVE THINKING WILL LET YOU DO EVERYTHING BETTER THAN NEGATIVE THINKING WILL.” ZIG ZIGLER

It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.

Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries.

Listen to our report and positive affirmations via our paper:

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/28261/positive-news-daily-affirmation-4-25-21-28-days-habit-90-days-lifestyle

History: Golf Coach Billy Aldridge, “Mr. Irrelevant” a title given to the last player picked in the NFL draft was relevant!

The title of “Mr. Irrelevant” is given annually to the last player picked in the NFL draft. 1960 brought a change in leadership of the Alamogordo football and the track and field program. The new program leader was Coach Ralph Tate. Coach Tate had a connection to the Alamogordo school system, via his college friend, Alamogordo Golf Coach Billy Aldridge. 

Photo Coach Billy Aldridge New Mexico Golf (Photo Courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book Series 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News)
Photo on Blog of Mr. Relevant Coach Billy Aldridge New Mexico Golf – (Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book Alamogordo Town News 2nd Life Media)

Both were alumni of Oklahoma State University, both were competitive and avid golfers; (competing in many tournaments together and against each other) and both were drafted to the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. 

Neither actually had play time in the NFL instead; Aldridge pursued his passion of Coaching Golf and Tate followed his passion into Coaching Track & Field and Football primarily Track and Field. 

For a brief time Tate coached in Alamogordo for the 1960/61 Track & Field Season, while Aldridge had a long career in Alamogordo as a recognized winning coach.

Tragedy shook the boys and coaches competing at State in 1976. Concurrent to the State Track and Field meet is also competition of other athletic events, Golf being one of them. Alamogordo had one of the winningest and most successful high school golf programs on the west coast. 

The Golf Program was under the Coaching leadership of Billy Aldridge. Aldridge and Coach Tate had a very strong bond and strong relationship in the early 1960’s. Tate moved on from Alamogordo but Aldridge built a reputation unsurpassed in Alamogordo even in more modern times. 

Coach Aldridge’s program was unique in that it was coached by him and he had exclusive control of that program. He collaborated in PE and was respected by all the other athletic coaches. He produced the 3 and only three State Golf Titles Alamogordo has ever won per the NMAA. The Tigers won the team state title in 1968, 1971 and 1972 under Coach Bill Aldridge.

Alamogordo High School has had 4 male golf champions win the state golf title 3 were under Coach Aldridge.  Under Coach Aldridge in 1966, Bruce McKenzie won the title and the title went to Brad Bryant in 1971 and 1973. Bryant attended the University of New Mexico for three years, but turned professional and qualified for the PGA Tour in 1976, a year before his scheduled graduation.

May 13, 1976 Alamogordo News Headline Page 1 Article by Rick Wright: “Team Playing for Coach, Aldridge Hit by Car on Duke City Street”

“ Alamogordo High School Golf Coach was listed in critical condition…after being struck by a car Wednesday night… Aldridge 53, was struck by a car while walking across Albuquerque’s Central Avenue… A medical center spokesman said Aldridge was in critical condition and suffered a broken back, broken ankle, broken leg, broken ribs and collapsed lung…

Aldridges 5 man golf team competing at state was badly shaken up by the event. Alamogordo’s individual leader Dan Koesters spoke for the team and said,”We are trying to win for him. He’d like for us to win for sure. We are trying to put the accident out of our minds for a few hours and win it for him.”

Per the Alamogordo News, May 14, 1976; “the Alamogordo Tigers Golf Team was 3rd after the first round and only 3 strokes behind Sandia and Santa Fe.”

Coach Bob Sepulveda was asked to step in to console the boys and fill in as the tournament coach during the final phase of the golf tournament. Coach Sepulveda said, “the boys were obviously shaken up as was I. I was there to console the team and provide support. We were all shocked and broken hearted.”

Coach Billy Aldridge did not recover and died of complications from the accident with the announcement of his death on May 16th, 1976.

Jimmy Tramel, World Sports Writer did an interview with Aldridges wife in 2006 and outlined a great highlight of his life…

1945’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant,’ a former OSU player, was relevant to many people during short life. The title of “Mr. Irrelevant” is given annually to the last player picked in the NFL draft. The label doesn’t fit Billy Joe Aldridge…

Aldridge, an Alma, Okla., native and former Oklahoma State football player, was the final player picked in the 1945 NFL Draft. He was selected in the 32nd round — 330th overall — by the Green Bay Packers. Aldridge never played a lick for the Packers, but he was relevant to many people during a life cut short 30 years ago this month.

Aldridge was a successful high school golf coach in Alamogordo, N.M., for more than two decades. He accompanied his team to Albuquerque for the state tournament in 1976 and the fatal accident occurred before the event concluded. His grief-stricken players got the worst kind of wake-up call the next morning, but teed it up nonetheless.

“He would have kicked us in the a– if we didn’t play,” said former player Dan Koesters, who is now director of golf at New Mexico State University’s course. “It was definitely one of those deals. There was never a day when you weren’t going to play some golf.” Aldridge coached Alamogordo teams that won multiple state championships. By Koesters’ count, at least seven Aldridge pupils played major college golf and five were All-Americans. Brad Bryant is fourth on  the Champions Tour money list this year and younger brother Bart Bryant is on the PGA Tour.

Billy Joe Aldridge died a month shy of his 54th birthday. He lived a long time in comparison to a younger brother, Bennie, a five-year NFL veteran who died in a 1956 plane crash, and a brother who died at age 3.

Another brother, Hubert, flirted with the grim reaper while in Iwo Jima. He took a sniper’s bullet and was unable to walk after he was transported to a military base.

Billy Joe Aldridge played football at Oklahoma A&M from 1941-42. His college career was interrupted by World War II. He spent three years in the Marines and his primary wartime duty was entertaining troops via athletic feats. He boxed and suited up for a Marine football squad alongside Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, an NFL Hall of Famer who was picked 325 spots before Aldridge in the 1945 draft.

Aldridge once spotted a pretty female Marine, Bonnie Pedigo, in a dance hall. He told buddies he was going to marry that gal, and he was true to his word. Said Bonnie, “He called home and said ‘Mom, sell my 4-H calf. I’m going to get married.’ ” He had to pay a whopping tab (more than $30!) for a multiday honeymoon stay at the Statler Hotel in Washington, D.C.

After his military stint was over, Aldridge returned to his home state because he wanted to fulfill his dream of being a star runner at Oklahoma A&M. Problem was, a lad named Bob Fenimore already had that job.

Aldridge and his wife took advantage of the G.I. Bill to earn degrees and, while in Stillwater, golf became a passion. He soon was playing or practicing every day, regardless of weather.

If it rained, Aldridge would go out after the downpour stopped and hit balls until “dark-thirty,” said his widow. She recalled the time she made a hole-in-one and it was so cold that when she reached in the cup to grab her ball, she came away clutching a handful of ice. Aldridge burned a pile of leaves on the next hole so he and his wife could get warm.

Billy Aldridge wanted to coach and was determined to find a way to coach and was soon enroute to Alamogordo via teaching hitch in Carnegie. His first job was a $2,400-per-year gig in Carnegie. He and Bonnie took jobs in Idabel the next year because two incomes would allow them to be better providers for a son, Kent. Oklahoma teachers weren’t getting rich back then and Aldridge doubled his salary when he drove sight unseen to take a teaching and coaching job in Dexter, N.M. He left after one year to go to Alamogordo. “I heard they were building a golf course here and decided that since I liked golf better than any of the other sports I had been connected with, I would come here,” he once told an Alamogordo sports writer.

Aldridge coached nothing but golf at Alamogordo. Dan Koesters said Aldridge was ahead of his time as a high school coach, including the use of yardage books. Koesters said Alamogordo golfers “did things as a high school golf team that college teams didn’t do and things that I still have never seen a high school team do. We would meet at the park at 6:30 every morning and hit golf balls . . . and when we would get out of school, we would go to the course and play until dark.”

During Aldridge’s coaching career seven people came out of Alamogordo High and played Division I golf, that was really pretty amazing,” per Dan Koesters.

Koesters is in New Mexico State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. “There is absolutely no question that my whole career hinges around a couple of people — coach Aldridge and my college golf coach, another guy I would put in that same classification. I guarantee you that Brad Bryant would say the exact same thing,” said Koesters of Aldridge.

Aldridges wife Bonnie, in an interview in 2006 acknowledged her husband’s contributions and his imperfections…

The late Billy Joe Aldridge was not perfect (no golfer is — imperfection is what makes golfers always come back for another round).” She acknowledged, “he battled the demon in the bottle.”

Bonnie found out what others thought of her husband after his death. She said “people I didn’t even know sent cards and letters.” She takes solace in the fact her husband made a difference. “I would like to think that every individual did good things for other people,” she said.

So the 1975,76 Alamogordo Tiger graduating class moved forward with tears and also great memories. The decade was a period of great change. Change did come to Alamogordo over the decades but the history and contributions of Coach Billy Aldridge are certainly relevant to this sports history of Alamogordo and of New Mexico. His impact on so many youth within New Mexico was relevant and is relevant today.

To learn more stories of the relevance of Coach Aldridge, Coach Tate, Coach Sepulveda and 100s of athletes. For more stories purchase Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days book series available on Amazon in 46 Countries or in the US also on Amazon and at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico or your local independent book seller. 

28 Days a Habit, 90 Days a Behavior Todays Affirmation

Blanco ” I breath courage, I exhale doubt.” (2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News)

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:
“I BREATH IN COURAGE, I EXHALE DOUBT.”

Beginning of Day: How’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading the quote above?

End of day: Re-read the quote. Did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote above? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset?

We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on todays quote.
“I breath in courage, I exhale doubt.”

It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.

Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries.

Listen to our report and positive affirmations via our podcasts:

5 Questions An Interview with New Mexico Abstract Natural Sculpture Artist Rene Sepulveda Roadrunner Emporium

Rene Sepulveda former NCAA Award winning Track and Field Coach, Rehabilitative Coach turned artist creates sculptured works. One art critic recently said of his works that they are “incisive meditations of colorishis designs, shapes and composition complimenting natures wonders using lava rocks, tree roots, tree trunks, bark, cholla desert cactus as components of his canvas.”

Artist Rene Sepulveda’s carefully constructed sculptures and art installations are abstract interpretative works that rely heavily on the influence of nature for texture and symmetry, for rural to urban spaces.

We sat down with the man who wears many hats; Former Award Winning NCAA Coach, Rehabilitative Fitness Coach, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda, to find out more about his processes, inspiration, and his unique artistic journey with the release of his most recent exhibition the “Valley of The Fire Collection” With this interview he is also releasing two sculptured works, a tree trunk abstract sculptured piece called “Baily Canyon” which is a stunning blend of a hallowed out tree trunk textured, preserved and intriguingly colored then placed on a bed of lava rock and combined with local treated and colored natural cactus to make a stunning visual display.

The second piece to be released today he calls “Stark NM” it is a combination natural wood, recycled metals and woods crafted into a one of a kind abstract piece sitting on a Zia stone with lava. This intricate piece is a dazzling array of colors that inspires awe in its bold colors and unusual textures.

How would you describe the sculptures and artwork you create?

“My goal is to create compelling works that draw the viewer in to explore the underlying structure of color, texture and the natural elements created by mother nature. My hope is that the initial reaction is an emotional response to the color relationships, the contrasting textures between the flat and fluid paint and the hard edges and gestural marks that are embedded in the pieces as marks of nature. I want the person to enjoy my sculptured pieces and to be rewarded as they soak into the piece so that the placing of each element, the precise color balance, the textures, and carefully calibrated proportions of my sculptures are revealed to our inner senses. The inspiration comes from both natural and man-made elements and share my preoccupation with patterns, colors, textures, and the natural elements of nature.”

What message do you want to get across with your artistic works?

“I tap into my Native American roots. I believe I’m empowered by my grandfather’s ancestors in how I commune with nature to bring harmony and balance to my art pieces. I believe nature is complex in texture color. I know that harmony can be achieved to create an appealing and interesting work of art when we reconcile vastly different and contrasting colors and textures using techniques and processes that I’ve created to enhance natures work to be placed into an urban or rural household, office, or place of business.

I believe that the artistry of Cholla Art, Tree Trunk Art, Root Art or Lava Rock and Metal works are unique and not well understood, in that most homeowners or business owners don’t have the knowledge of the beauty these pieces can bring to their environment.

Most people have not been exposed to these kinds of sculptured works, very few artists create art with these mediums as a canvas.

Most people don’t know the sense of Zen or harmony that is created by including these pieces into the home, office, or business environment.

I’ve created works where chance takes over as the prominent sense and caused me to be fluid with colors and textures. The colors and textures then take over my mind and through my hands flows the wonder of color and texture. Sometimes it flows through me like a force of gravity down the surface of the art piece showing a series textures and colors from my mind that are then frozen in time to create a timeless piece of art.

Several of my creations become art dense in color and texture with very defined creations begun my nature that eventually show a high degree of control but are complex in their inspiration of color. I see this as the human impact on the natural world that is expressed with the culmination of taking objects from nature such as complex root art systems, tree trunks, unique fallen forest wood pieces, 5000 year old lava rock, unique cholla desert cactus skeletons and using them as the canvas for human expression of color and texture.

Patterns of all kinds fascinate me, including the hidden structures of living things. Tinting, repeat sequences, geometric shapes and grids, pre-historic symbols and pottery designs and the underlying laws that dictate how the natural world evolves influences my craft. The influence of all of that finds a way into my work, which I don’t really consider to be pure color or texture abstraction. Maybe interpretative abstract sculpturing is a better term for my works. I use very defined textures but counterbalance with color and the canvas of nature in my sculptured works. My work is all inspired by something I have seen or felt which has sparked my imagination. Nature is the foundation of hope for the world we live. That hope comes with a responsibility to acknowledge natures role in our daily lives, to embrace it and to appreciate its influence, by its placement, through art into our homes, offices, or businesses.”

How did you come to mixing texturing and color design in your natural art sculptures?

“Textures and colors of all kinds have always intrigued me, most especially the colors and textures of nature. When I was young and an Olympic Trials Athlete, I would run 100s of miles weekly in the mountains, the desert floor and in the woods and always along those runs, I could almost feel the colors and the textures of the natural elements around me.

So when I began exploring my artistic side, the ideas of color and texture were a natural expression of what I had absorbed from my time outdoors. On my travels around the world, I’m always attracted to the colors and textures of our ancient ancestors. The geometric abstraction in colors and shapes of the Inca’s in Peru, the geometry of the Pyramids in Egypt, my travels to my mother’s homeland of Ireland, the imaging of my grandfather’s ancestral tribes of the Tarahumara; each imprinted on my mind. Those influences’ flow through me into each art piece I create with color, textures, and design.”

Do specific colors and forms hold definite meanings in your work?

“For me color complemented with texturing is the most important part of creating art to be enjoyed. The relationship between the size, shape, texture, and color of each art form to ensure it compliments natures handiwork is of highest priority to me. The dominance of each color, the warmth or coolness, flatness, or texture, as well as denseness and fluidity, are hopefully resolved so that there is a restless balance that is appealing to the eyes and inspires the heart of those who are viewing my creations. My appreciation for color and texture began with me, in appreciate of Georgia Totto O’Keeffe’s paintings of enlarged flowers and New Mexico landscapes. O’Keeffe recognized as the Mother of American modernism certainly had an influence on me. Similarly Antoni Gaudi of Barcelona remarkable for his range of forms, textures, and for the free, expressive way in which these elements of his art seem to be composed have always inspired my own appreciation for colors and textures.

The colors and textured in each piece have symbolic meaning for me. The earth colors are often mixed directly with the piece to form the landscaped base and then the real creativity begins. I see color and texture as an evolutionary process, building up layers and design elements to reflect light and darkness differently with each vantage point. In some designs the colors of the urban world show though as they are attached to a piece created in the natural environment of forest or deserts. What is crafted is a contrast that is appealing and inspiring to the observer. Colors of reds and yellows remind me of the sunsets within nature and the natural elements of sunflowers which bring joy. The various grays, blacks and coppers define a more commercial manufactured world but when combined with the textures of nature they then bring meaning of wholeness with nature to me and hopefully the observer.”

Have the goals of your work changed during the Covid-19 lockdown and do you have advice for an aspiring artist?

“I have a hard time viewing myself as an artist. My business partner jokes with me and tells me once I began selling my works, I became a professional artist. I don’t know if I’d ever view myself as an artist, certainly not a professional artist, as I have a Masters in Epidemiology and a Master’s in Public Health. I Coached for over 20 years at the university level and competed professionally. I continue to coach as a rehabilitative coach today. However, the Covid lockdown did provide me an opportunity for reflection and a period of isolation without distractions to explore and expand on the artist within. With the support of family and my business partner, I’ve created some fun pieces that I am immensely proud to have been able to craft. Some people seem to enjoy my work. Some pieces are a bit eccentric, abstract, and sometimes confusing but overall the reaction has been incredibly positive, and we have sold several hundred pieces even with a pandemic going on. For that I am humbled and surprised. Each art piece I create is almost like a child to me. I nurture it and collaborate with it and want to ensure each piece goes to a good home or business where it will be cared for and cherished for years to come.

I can see preoccupations, moods and themes running throughout my artistic journey. My aim is to create a balanced work that is balanced between color, and texture and complimented by the canvas of nature. Those are competing forces which are the canvas that work as the inspiration in my work.

My advice for an artist starting out would be, just do it. It doesn’t matter if you are an art major or an art novice, it doesn’t matter if you are 12, 18, 25, 55 or 70 everyone has art within themselves, but few will ever express the art they have the potential to create. The world needs art, color, complex designs, and simple beauty. If its within you, do it, put it out there and just do it. Everyone of us wants to express ourselves from within, in some way; some write, some create art, some craft music, or performance arts. Whatever is within you, just believe in yourself and just do it.”

Learn More About Coach, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda. Several of his pieces are showcased online via the 2nd Life Boutique and an Etsy Store. Rene Sepulveda’s more exclusive pieces are showcased on the artist website ArtistReneSepulveda.com. Many of his pieces are showcased and can be seen in person at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico. A few of his largest installation pieces are showcased on exhibition in the yards and homes in and around Northern California and Southern New Mexico. His recently released 9 foot by 8 foot complex root art piece he calls “Ventricle” and his extraordinary 9 Foot Tall sculptured abstract tree trunk artistry sculpture called, “Bailey Canyon” and his other awesome piece called “Stark NM” can be found on exhibition at 2 private residences on McKinley Street in Alamogordo, New Mexico and are available for viewing. All are sold via his website ArtistReneSepulveda.com or at a discounted price when purchased in person and for pickup via the 2nd Life Boutique at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo New Mexico.

To schedule a viewing in person and a discussion with the artist or for more information contact Mr. Sepulveda’s publicist coachedwards@2ndlifemedia.com or call 707.880.6238

New Mexico Olympic History: The 1950’s, Alamogordo High Schools First State Track & Field Title & New Mexico’s First Native Born Olympian Marvel

The 1950’s and Alamogordo’s First State Track & Field Title in New Mexico History

Photo on Blog and in original article posted to 2nd Life Media’s Alamogordo Town News courtesy of Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book Series and Archives. To see more photos of sports from the 50’s, 60s and 70s, visit 2ndlifemedia.com

The 1951/52 Track & Field Season was very historic for Southern New Mexico and for Alamogordo, with a state medal win from some very distinctive athletes.

The results of the State Competition winners include…

  • Bobby Lee, 1st Place, 100 Yard Dash, 9.8
    • Bobby Lee, 1st Place,220 Yard Dash, 21.21.6
    • Bobby Lee, 1st Place, Long Jump, 21’-01.375
    • Norman Kinder, 1st Place, Pole Vault, 10’-10.50”
    • Benny Garcia, 1st Place. Javelin, 193’-01.325

The Alamogordo Tigers Track and Field Team of 1951/52 smashed the competition at the state finals of that year.

They took and won the state competition with 48.5 points. Albuquerque High, the 1951 State Champion scored 21.5 points less for a 2nd place finish of 27 points.

  • Lee in addition to setting 2 state records personally scored 24 ¾ points. He broke the state records in the 100-yard dash by .2 seconds and the 220 by .8 seconds better than the record.
    • Lee was also 3rd Place in Shot Put
  • Benny Garcia shattered the state record in Javelin 11’ 3 ⅛” of 5 state records; the Tigers broke 3 of them.
  • Norman Kinder Placed 1st in Pole Vault with 10’-10.50”
  • Ed McAlpine, 2nd Place. in the state competition in Javelin behind Garcia.
  • Bobby Fritz, 3rd Place, Broad Jump
  • In the sprints in addition to the 1st Place wins of Bobby Lee, Oliver Lee, 4th Place 180 Low Hurdles.
  • The 880 Yard Relay Team consisting of Henderson, Fritz, O Lee and Bobby Lee placed with a 3rd place medal.
  •  Benny Garcia shattered the state record in Javelin 11’ 3 ⅛” of 5 state records; the Tigers broke 3 of them.
  • Norman Kinder, 1st Place, Pole Vault, 10’-10.50”

Coach Rolla Buck was incredibly pleased that year with his team having won both the state football title and the state track and field title. He said his boys; “overperformed and beat his expectations.”

 Coach Buck viewed Bobby Lee as “the best high school overall athlete the state of New Mexico had ever seen” to that point.

He also said that Garcia was the best Javelin player ever to come out of New Mexico’s high school system.

Two incredibly special athletes and their legacy is an honor to Alamogordo from that seasons track and field team of the early 1950s. Both athletes go down into the sports history of the United States, New Mexico and certainly of the Alamogordo community for their achievements.

Bobby Lee, after the amazing team results at Ysleta, (7 first place finishes out of 10 competitions) and winning the District Meet several athletes went to Albuquerque and competed at University Stadium in the State Competition. It was here that Bobby Lee set the state record on the 100 Yard Dash with a 9.8 which stood for 20 years and of course this strong team won Alamogordo’s first State Track and Field State Title.  

Bobby Lee also won the 220 Yard Dash and the Long Jump garnering enough points by himself to win the track meet for Alamogordo High School beating favored Highland High School which placed second.

In 1951 there was no class system in competitions, so all size schools and teams competed.

Bobby Lee kept his competitive spirit going as an adult and became a recognized political cartoonist and eventual New Mexico State Senator.

Coach Bob Sepulveda Alamogordo High Schools winningest Track and Field Coach in its 108 year history of the program  said of Bobby Lee; “Bobby Lee remained a strong supporter and advocate for the Alamogordo High School Track & Field Program as an adult. He attended many of the state meets. Bobby would come by and visit my student athletes in the 70’s and the 80’s for support of our team. He was a true leader on the field and as an adult for decades beyond.”

                                Also, of note from the 1951 competition was the amazing Javelin Talents of Benny Garcia with a distance of 193’-01.325.

The next year of 1952 brought Alamogordo High School Track & Field back to the winner’s circle with Benny Garcia winning for the second consecutive year in the Javelin competition.

  • Javelin Benny Garcia medalled with 186’-03.50”

Benny Garcia was an excellent Football kicker. He was on the B team. After some injuries and with the objection of his father concerned about him being injured, he became the primary starting kicker. Albert Romero sprained his ankle and Benny became the primary kicker after that. He had a reputation for making it between the goal posts when it mattered most.

Coach Buck saw Garcia’s talents and made concessions to ensure he was able to take part in the school athletic programs.

Benny would walk or run 6 miles home in the dark after practice to La Luz.

 At the request of Coach Rolla Buck, Superintendent Barnie arranged the use of a driver education vehicle for Benny to use so that he could take part in Sports.

The extra effort paid off for the High School and was life changing for Benny.

His real notoriety came from the Javelin throwing. He set the state record that stood from 1951 to 1966. That record got the attention of the Arizona State University Track and Field Coach that awarded him a full ride scholarship.

He is the only graduate of Alamogordo to make it to the Olympics taking part in the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. He was the first native-born New Mexico athlete to ever compete in the Olympics.

His name is displayed at the Tigers Hall of Fame, Arizona State Hall of Fame, Drake Relays Hall of Fame, and US Navy Hall of Fame.

At the 1956 Olympics he finished 8th place, disappointing Garcia but making his hometown exceptionally proud.

Garcia went on to live a phenomenally successful life as a high achieving Tiger Alumni and a respected businessman in Arizona.  He died in 2015.

Special Note on Alamogordo New Mexico:

Alamogordo High School and the region of Southern New Mexico has a rich history in sports and academic achievement. In the 1950’s and 60’s Alamogordo High School ranked in the top 10 High Schools for athletic and academic achievement in the United States. The region has a rich history in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is home to the International Space Hall of Fame and is the testing ground for the latest in drone and military technology via Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Testing Grounds.

Today, Alamogordo is also the home to New Mexico State University, Alamogordo and is recognized for its pistachio farms, proximity to White Sands National Park and the Lincoln National Forest. As an oddity, Alamogordo is home to the largest Pistachio Sculpture in the World at the McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch just outside Alamogordo.

For photos and more visit https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/27497/1950s-alamogordo-high-schools-first-state-track-field-title-new-mexicos

For the complete sports history of the founding of interscholastic sports to its impact on a small town check out Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days 1912 to 1976 on Amazon and fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogord, New Mexico and fine independent book sellers nationwide. Coach Bob Sepulveda The Golden Years 1977 to 1995 coming soon.

Positive Affirmation for 4/16/2021 Alamogordo Town News 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle – Author Chris Edwards

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:

“ I am unaffected by the judgement of others. I am strong, I have courage, I’m amazing.”

Beginning of Day: How’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading the quote above?

End of day: Re-read the quote. Did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote above? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset?

We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on todays quote.
“ I am unaffected  by the judgement of others. I am strong, I have courage,  I’m amazing.”

It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.

Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries.

Sign up for our Alamogordo positive affirmations and more newsletter:

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What is the story of HAM, his connection to Alamogordo New Mexico and how did he become one of the most famous chimps in history? – 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News Celebrating The Positives of Alamogordo

On January 31, 1961, a three-year-old chimpanzee and resident of Alamogordo New Mexico’s Holloman Air Force based named HAM, made history in the U.S. space program and history for world space travel in Mercury Capsule No. 5.

Photographed as seen in the online blog and accompanied video Ham listens to his doctors heart with a stethoscope (2ndLifeMedia NASA Archives Alamogordo Town News)

What is the story of HAM, his connection to Alamogordo New Mexico and how did he become one of the most famous chimps in history?

By the end of January 1961, the technical outlook for Project Mercury America’s Space Program was improving. The end of the qualification flight tests was in sight, if only the Little Joe, Redstone, and Atlas boosters would cooperate. The highest priority at the time was to make sure the Mercury-Redstone combination was prepared for the first manned suborbital flights. Now, according to the plan, the reliability of the system required demonstration by the second Mercury-Redstone (MR-2) flight, with a chimpanzee aboard, as a final check to man-rate the capsule and launch vehicle.

Preparations for the MR-2 mission with a chimpanzee aboard had begun long before the actual flight. Between manufacturing the capsule and flight readiness certification, many months of testing and reworking were all necessary at the McDonnell plant, at Marshall Space Flight Center, and at Cape Canaveral.

Capsule No. 5, designated for the MR-2 flight, had been near the end of its manufacturing phase in May 1960. When it was completed, inspectors from the Navy Bureau of Weapons stationed at St. Louis, in cooperation with STG’s liaison personnel at McDonnell, watched it go through a specified series of tests, and the contractor corrected all detected deficiencies.

After capsule systems tests and factory acceptance tests, capsule No. 5 was loaded into an Air Force cargo plane and shipped to Marshall Space Flight Center. In Huntsville, Alabama Wernher von Braun’s team hurried through its checkouts of the compatibility of capsule No. 5 with Redstone booster No.2.

On October 11, 1960, the capsule arrived by air at the Cape, where the first checkout inspections, under the direction of F. M. Crichton, uncovered more discrepancies, raising to 150 the total of minor rework jobs to be done. Because of the complexities of the stacked and interlaced seven miles of wiring and plumbing systems in the Mercury capsule, however, each minor discrepancy became a major cost in the time necessary for its correction.

Capsule No. 5 contained several significant innovations. There were five new systems or components that had not been qualified in previous flights: the environmental control system, the attitude stabilization control system, the live retrorockets, the voice communications system, and the “closed loop” abort sensing system. Capsule No. 5 also was the first in the flight series to be fitted with a pneumatic landing bag. This plasticized fabric, accordion-like device was attached to the heatshield and the lower pressure bulkhead; after reentry and before landing the heatshield and porous bag were to drop down about four feet, filling with air to help cushion the impact. Once in the water, the bag and heatshield should act as a sort of sea anchor, helping the spacecraft to remain upright in the water.

On big fear from space travel was heat at re-entry. Since the anticipated re-entry temperature would reach 1000 degrees F. Temperatures on the conical portion of the spacecraft might approach 250 to 300 degrees F, but, compared with about 1,000 to 2,000 degrees for an orbital mission, the ballistic flights should be cool in comparison. But can a living soul be protected from those high levels of heat?

And here steps in HAM, our historic Chimpanzee. Publicity once again focused on the biological subject in the MR-2 experiment. The living being chosen to validate the environmental control system before committing a man to flight was a trained chimpanzee about 44 months old. Intelligent and normally docile, the chimpanzee is a primate of sufficient size and sapience to provide a reasonable facsimile of human behavior. Its average response time to a given physical stimulus is .7 of a second, compared with man’s average .5 second. Having the same organ placement and internal suspension as man, plus a long medical research background, the chimpanzee chosen to ride the Redstone and perform a lever-pulling chore throughout the mission should not only test out the life-support systems but prove that levers could be pulled during launch, weightlessness, and re-entry.

A colony of chimpanzees including Ham were key to mission success. Ham’s name is an acronym for the laboratory that prepared him for his historic mission—the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center, located at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, southwest of Alamogordo. His name was also in honor of the commander of Holloman Aeromedical Laboratory, Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton “Ham” Blackshear.

Ham was born in July 1957 in French Cameroon (now Cameroon), captured by animal trappers and sent to Rare Bird Farm in Miami, Florida. He was purchased by the United States Air Force and brought to Holloman Air Force Base in July 1959. There were originally 40 chimpanzee flight candidates at Holloman. After evaluation, the number of candidates was reduced to 18, then to six, including Ham. Officially, Ham was known as No. 65 before his flight, and only renamed “Ham” upon his successful return to Earth. This was reportedly because officials did not want the bad press that would come from the death of a “named” chimpanzee if the mission were a failure. Among his handlers, No. 65 had been known as “Chop Chop Chang.”

Beginning in July 1959, the two-year-old chimpanzee was trained under the direction of neuroscientist Joseph V. Brady at Holloman Air Force Base Aero Medical Field Laboratory to do simple, timed tasks in response to electric lights and sounds. During his pre-flight training, Ham was taught to push a lever within five seconds of seeing a flashing blue light; failure to do so resulted in an application of a light electric shock to the soles of his feet, while a correct response earned him a banana pellet.

Ham and the group of “Astro-chimps” were transferred from Holloman as the flight neared and were re-stationed and further trained, in a building behind Hangar S on January 2, 1961. There the animals became acclimatized to the change from the 5,000-feet altitude in New Mexico to their sea level surroundings at the Cape.

Separated into two groups as a precaution against the spread of any contagion among the whole colony, the animals were led through exercises by their handlers.

Mercury capsule mockups were installed in each of the compounds. In these, the animals worked daily at their psychomotor performance tasks. By the third week in January, 29 training sessions had made each of the six chimps a bored but well-fed expert at the job of lever-pulling.

On January 31, 1961, Ham was secured in a Project Mercury mission designated MR-2 and launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a suborbital flight. Ham’s vital signs and tasks were monitored by sensors and computers on Earth. The capsule suffered a partial loss of pressure during the flight, but Ham’s space suit prevented him from suffering any harm. Ham’s lever-pushing performance in space was only a fraction of a second slower than on Earth, demonstrating that tasks could be performed in space. Ham’s capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and was recovered by the USS Donner later that day.

The capsule containing Ham was recovered via splashdown and a “hand-shake” welcome after his flight on a Mercury-Redstone rocket, was his greeting by the commander of the recovery ship, USS Donner.

His only physical injury was a bruised nose. His flight was 16 minutes and 39 seconds long.

The results from his test flight led directly to the mission Alan Shepard made on May 5, 1961, aboard Freedom 7.

The space program continued and of course we eventually did indeed make it to a moon landing.

As for Ham. He eventually retired. On April 5, 1963, Ham was transferred to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. where he lived for 17 years before joining a small group of captive chimps at North Carolina Zoo on September 25, 1980.

After his death on January 19, 1983, Ham’s body was given to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for necropsy. Following the necropsy, the plan was to have him stuffed and placed on display at the Smithsonian Institution, following Soviet precedent with pioneering space dogs Belka and Strelka.

However, this plan was abandoned after a negative public reaction.  Ham’s remains, minus the skeleton, were buried at the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Colonel John Stapp gave the eulogy at the memorial service. The skeleton is held in the collection of the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Details of Ham’s story more photos and of course his grave is visible to all to see on the grounds of the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo and is a must see for animal lovers and space and history buffs alike.

In final follow-up to Ham’s story. Ham’s backup, Minnie, was the only female chimpanzee trained for the Mercury program. After her role in the Mercury program ended, Minnie became part of an Air Force chimpanzee breeding program, producing nine off-spring and helping to raise the offspring of several other members of the chimpanzee colony. She was the last surviving Astro-chimpanzee and died at age 41 on March 14, 1998.

Mankind owes a debt of gratitude to Ham and to all the pioneering chimps that were part of the NASA space program that lifted man from earth to the stars above.

Watch our quick video on Ham on You tube and on our written blog with photos of Ham, his rocket, his handlers and more.

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/27413/alamogordo-history-story-ham-his-connection-alamogordo-new-mexico-and-how

Daily Affirmation for 4/9/2021 – 28 Days A Habit, 90 Days A Lifestyle Author Chris Edwards

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in this book how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:

“Are you having a rough morning or day? Place your hand on your heart. Feel that? That is called PURPOSE. You are alive for a reason. Don’t give up.” – Chris Edwards

As we begin today: Take a moment and think how’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading or hearing the quote? Again the quote is: “Are you having a rough morning or day? Place your hand on your heart. Feel that? That is called PURPOSE. You are alive for a reason. Don’t give up.”

As we end our day: Re-read the quote and ask yourself, did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote or affirmation of today? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset? Did I find my purpose for today?

We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on todays quote. It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.

Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries. Alamogordo Girls Track Team in 1979 Showing “Purpose” At the State Track Meet Photo Courtesy Marilyn Sepulveda Collection 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News

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History and A Spotlight on Women’s Entrepreneurship – New Mexico Leads the Nation-Author & Positivity Coach Chris Edwards

A spotlight on women’s entrepreneurship and the changes in business over the last several decades nationally, in New Mexico and in Alamogordo.

Per Wendy Diamond who is CEO and Founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization“Today, women account for 85 percent of consumer purchases and control $20 trillion in global spending. At the same time, they perform 66 percent of the world’s work (both paid and unpaid) yet only earn 10 percent of the world’s income. In the U.S., there are approximately 10 M woman-owned businesses, generating $1.3T in revenue and employing 7.8 M people. This number is expected to increase by 90 percent in the next five years, with 500,000 new businesses being created each year in the U.S. alone. At the same time, 1 in 3 women in America lives in poverty and of the 1.3M people living in severe poverty globally, 70 percent are women and girls.

Women in developed and developing nations alike are becoming increasingly active participants in local and global economies at a rapid rate. Today, in the United States, 38% of new businesses are founded by women, but only between 2-6% of them receive VC funding. One recent survey of 350 woman-owned tech startups revealed that 80% of founders used their own savings to launch their businesses. At the same time, an increase of women in leadership positions from zero to just 30% is associated with a 15% increase in profitability. Women are the world’s most responsible borrowers, paying back microloans worldwide today at a 97% rate of return. 90% of the money they earn is used to educate their children and to provide for their families.”

Terry Powell ofForbes Coaches Council reports, “In 1972, women-owned businesses represented just 4.6% of all businesses, but today, that number has skyrocketed to 42%, according to a 2019 American Express report.”

With the world of Covid-19 small businesses and female owned businesses took a huge hit. However research is showing female owned businesses are bouncing back and were quicker to adapt to the changes in the market.

Today more than 11.6 million businesses are owned by American women. That’s according to the National Association of Women Business Owners. Those firms employ almost 9 million people and, generate around $1.7 trillion in sales.

In 2019, 1,817 new women-owned businesses were created every day in America. While we don’t yet know how many women-owned businesses were formed during the Covid-19 pandemic yet, it seems likely that the numbers continued to increase. Some evidence suggests that far more startups were created than usual; applications for employer identification numbers, a sign that new people are starting companies, also increased.

Women are increasingly turning to franchises as a way to start a business. It has become commonplace for women to be interested in buying a franchise. Women own or co-own about 265,000 franchises, which is about 35% of all U.S. franchises. That’s about a 24% rise from ten years ago.

Female Entrepreneurship and empowerment is not just limited to business in New Mexico it began in government and led to leadership in business.

In New Mexico, women have broken glass ceilings throughout history. Women have served in elected office since before statehood: The first Hispanic female legislators in the United States served in New Mexico’s territorial legislature in 1895. Soledad Chávez Chacón was elected secretary of state in 1922 and was the first woman to serve as acting governor in the United States. Following statehood in 1912, Fedelina Gallegos and Porfirria Hidalgo Saiz, who both served in the New Mexico Legislature from 1931 to 1932, were the first Hispanic women state legislators in the United States.

New Mexican women continue to be history makers and influencers. According to Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics, two of the three women of color who have been elected governor are from New Mexico, including our current governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham. U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., is one of two Native women to ever be elected to Congress and is now the first Native American to be named to the Cabinet Post as the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

There have been recent leaps in women’s representation in the Legislature — 35 percent of the state legislators are women and nearly 50 percent of the New Mexico House members are women.

New Mexican women have held commanding roles in other sectors, too. New Mexico ranks first in the nation for female-owned businesses, with nearly 52 percent of New Mexico businesses owned or co-owned by women, in comparison to the national rate of 42 percent.

Within Alamogordo in 1997 only 29.1% of the businesses registered were female owned, more recently that number of female owned verses male owned or public companies has elevated to 41.4%. Still lagging the state average and more inline with the national average. The number shows progress but also shows the city, county and state can do better in partnering and fostering growth and support of female entrepreneurship.

Alamogordo is in a transitional state. There are 1000s of square feet of retail space that is vacant, yet there was a recent upgrade to White Sands National Monument to National Park Status. Now is the opportunity as the city and region comes out of a Covid-19 dark winter to bring some light, to work with women, POC and the minorities communities to expand the business community and bring about a huge economic turnaround to the city, state, region and nation.

Our congressional leaders, state, county and city government leaders must partner with the business community to nurture women into business within Alamogordo and Southern New Mexico.

The goal of the women entrepreneurship education and training should be to:
• Empower women through entrepreneurship to enable them achieve economic self –
sufficiency;
• To help women gain strong business and life management skills that will enable
them to become leaders in their work and personal lives, and become strong role
models;
• To spur the growth of locally controlled business and create new jobs within
neighborhood;
• To provide business experience;
• To promote entrepreneurship by emphasizing the importance of small business as
the creator of jobs, leading to prosperity;
• To enable to potential entrepreneurs to emerge by assisting them in evaluating
their training program;
• To encourage business start-ups by offering a comprehensive entrepreneurship their
training program;
• To develop new markets and help mobilize the capital resources needed; and
• To introduce new technology, industries and products and to create new
employment opportunities.

Entrepreneurship among women, no doubt improves the wealth of the city, state and nation in
general and of the family in particular. Women today are more willing to take up activities
that were once considered the preserve of men, and have proved that they are second to
no one with respect to contribution to the growth of the economy. November 19th is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day; today, as we begin the Spring and awaken from the Covid-19 Winter, let’s each in a position of responsibility commit to mentor, encourage, support and empower more females into business leadership and business ownership and then on November 19th reflect on the good opportunities this partnership led to and the prosperity that will soon follow.

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/26999/history-and-spotlight-womens-entrepreneurship-new-mexico-leads-nation

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The Journey Toward Positivity The Power of The Possible by Author & Positivity Coach: Chris Edwards

“The Journey toward positivity. Don’t expect everyone to understand your journey, especially if they have never walled in your path. Learn, grow and find your own POWER of the POSSIBLE with each New Day.” Quote by Author & Positivity Coach, Chris Edwards from his book 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Life Style. Lessons for positivity excerpt: 

“Our lives are a journey. The journey we take can lead to periods of great joy and amazing experiences. A life lived in full also can lead us onto pathways and encounters that are not pleasant and can lead to memories that can be painful and may take one into darkness and despair.

A life in full follows a variety of paths. How we react to those circumstances both joyous and painful is what defines our character and our legacy. Our legacy is our footprint on the pathway of life imprinted for future generations.

Our reactions to situations and people and our actions daily impact those around us; friends, family, love ones, enemies, acquaintances, co-workers, social media followers and strangers we may not be even aware of.

Our perspective of how we manage ourselves and the stresses of daily life ultimately manifest into who we are and who we become. In reality we are subjective creatures of life. We see our daily circumstance through a filter of self-perceptions. We have biases, prejudices and opinions formed from our environment, our circumstances, and our histories. Those biases, prejudices, opinions, or experiences do not have to determine our lot in life. We have the power of positive self -determination if we just embrace what is truly within each of us.

Everyone has a personality; good, bad, indifferent, engaged, disengaged, introverted, extroverted, consistent, and calm and or extreme. That personality or mindset and the control of how we manifest our histories and experiences internally can alter our perceptions and our reactions to others, our surroundings, and events around us.

We each see life differently and through the lens of our experiences…

  • ● Introverts see things differently than do extraverts.
  • ● Pessimists have a different take on life than optimists.
  • ● If one has a leaning toward depression, then the sense of our past experienced events can take on a very gray, black, or very dark sheen when sizing up or reacting to people or events in the present.
  • ● If our personality is anxious, everything hits us at a higher speed and possibly a more dramatic impact.
  • ● If we are passive or we just look at events and perceive it as just fate; then we may manifest thoughts of what happens just happens, it’s out of my control or my ability to manage or comprehend. We may just shut down or cut off engagement with people or events around us.

If we approach the daily events in our life with positivity, we then look at a glass as half full and don’t allow situations or others to negatively impact us or allow ourselves to feel totally out of control.

We may not control the person or event before us, but we can control how we approach a situation, how we react externally by how we control our own internal thinking. Negative energy and negative thoughts create negative responses and create dread, negativity, sickness. Negativity can eventually destroy us and our relationships with those around us.

When we take “a glass is half full” more positive approach, then anything or anyone put in our pathway is positioned as not so traumatic or dramatic. With the process of positivity, we can approach situations with a more calming mindset and actually think through a reaction or response in a calm, civil and thoughtful way.

A glass is half full mindset allows us to step back for a moment and look for positive inspiration in most any situation, person, or event. Breath seek positivity and move forward. Discrete daily affirmations or inspirations carry us forward and to not allow the darkness to enter our minds, hearts, or souls.

With daily affirmations, we decide how we feel and don’t allow others or circumstances to drive our feelings, beliefs, attitudes, or emotions. With a glass half full mindset, we control our minds then, our reactions and we are better equipped to manage the person, event or situations more rationally, more poised and more affirmatively than we might have otherwise.

Let’s get started, now this moment today to find the pathway to positivity!”

Next steps and affirmations to the path of positivity will appear in future stories, posts and podcasts

Stay Tuned on Alamogordo Town News, Author Chris Edwards Blog, Via Podcasts and on the 2nd Life Media You Tube Channel.

This story was excerpted fromAuthor & Positivity Coach Chris Edwards Book Series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle found a fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and also available in 36 countries and throughout the US via Amazon.

Follow the podcasts of Author Chris Edwards, Fitness Tips and Artistic updates from former NCAA Fitness Coach, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda and the other 2nd Life Media affiliated partners at 2nd Life Media on SpotifyGoogle Podcast and Anchor Podcast by Spotify

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New Mexico History- The Founding of Alamogordo and the evolution of High School Athletics 1912- 1950’s.

Alamogordo, (Alamogordo means “fat cottonwood.” Gordo = fat; alamo = poplar or cottonwood), New Mexico founded in 1898 embraced education and the idea of interscholastic sports with an open mind for one selected group.

In 1898 Alamogordo was split into two cities: Alamogordo a primarily Caucasian enclave and Chihuahua a primarily Mexican/Latin American enclave. The two were merged in 1912 and became the incorporated city of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Alamogordo is in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahua Desert, it is bordered on the east by the Sacramento Mountains and to the west by Holloman Air Force Base. Alamogordo in modern times is known for its connection with the Trinity test, the first explosion of an atomic bomb.

Alamogordo was founded as a company town to support the building of the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad, a part of the transcontinental railway that was being constructed in the late 19th century.

Initially its main industry was timbering for railroad ties. The railroad founders were also eager to find a major town that would persist after the railroad was completed; they formed the Alamogordo Improvement Company to develop the area, making Alamogordo an early example of a planned community. The Alamogordo Improvement Company owned all the land, platted the streets, built the first houses and commercial buildings, donated land for a college, and placed a restrictive covenant on each deed prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, or sale of intoxicating liquor. Education was a priority and the city founders, Charles Eddy and brother, John Arthur Eddy. The brothers were both strong willed, and constantly battled over the decisions that had to be made. Ultimately, they agreed that interscholastic sports and a strong educational foundation as part of the progressive educational movement of the time would fuel the business interest they were developing.

Tourism became an important part of the local economy from the creation of White Sands National Monument in 1934.

Local businessperson Tom Charles, grandfather of the 1950’s Alamogordo High School Women’s PE Coach Margaret “Markie” Rutz, was instrumental in pushing for recognition of White Sands as a National Monument and eventual National Park.

Local Construction began on the Alamogordo Army Airfield (the present-day Holloman Air Force Base) in 1942, and the Federal government has been a strong presence in Alamogordo ever since.

Education has also been an important part of the local economy. In addition to the local school system, Alamogordo is home to the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, founded in 1903, and a branch of New Mexico State University founded in 1958.

Holloman Air Force Base, found approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) west of the city limits, is the largest employer of Alamogordo residents, and has a major effect on the local economy. According to some estimates, Holloman accounts for half of the Alamogordo economy today. The military influence has had a major impact on the diversity and quality of students and athletes that were available to take part in Alamogordo athletic programs for several generations.

According to the 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office, as of January 2008 Holloman directly employs 6,111 personnel with a gross payroll of $266 million. It indirectly creates another 2,047 jobs with a payroll of $77 million. The estimated amount spent in the community is $482 million. The influence of the military has had a historical impact on the politics around athletics and other public- school programs since the 1950’s.

An estimated 6,700 military retirees now live in the area. There are 1,383 active military and 1,641 military dependents living on base and 2,765 active military and 2,942 military dependents living off base.

A blow to the economy and to the sports programs at Alamogordo High School came when after 27 years of training at Holloman, the German Air Force left in 2019. They moved their pilot training to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.

The region peaked in business interests and the regional brains trust in the 1960s with many industries from Levi’s to Space Contractors having offices in the city. The city and region had one of the highest concentrations of space and rocket engineers, scientists and high-tech leaders in the nation for a city its size. The result of this concentration of people helped create a large high school talent pool which aided in athletic and academic success of Alamogordo High School ranking it the 3rd best in the nation during the 1960s.

Due to the concentration of space and military contracts the city and region integrated earlier than many, as being the first in the state. Alamogordo High School set a national example in education and sports, unusual for a city its size. Public education began in Alamogordo in 1898 via a tent city. The tent was used for court on one end, with school on the other end. When court was in session there was no school to attend. During this time, Alamogordo was primarily a tent city and most of the residents were tuberculosis patients.

In 1900, a two-story brick school was built which had six classrooms. This was named the East Building. An additional two-story brick building was then added in 1910, having eight classrooms. It became the Central Building. Alamogordo High School, a two-story brick building with 13 classrooms and a multi-use auditorium was constructed in 1910 and launched an organized athletic program around 1912.

Meanwhile in other parts of the country more developed than Alamogordo New Mexico, construction of gymnasiums in the high schools became a priority in school development and laid the foundation for the development of indoor sports, particularly basketball and Track & Field activities such as jumps and sprints. Educators by this time saw physical education as intrinsic to the development of American high school youth. Gymnasiums were originally designed for gymnastics and calisthenics instruction, but boys organized games soon took more and more time on the floor space, as educators saw that they had value in their educational mission. Although indoor baseball was played in some high school gymnasiums on the east coast, participants usually searched for larger facilities, such as armories. Eventually, most colleges and many high schools-built gymnasiums with the support and endorsement of business leaders and progressive politicians.

Back in Alamogordo, Dudley School was built in 1914 and had four classrooms. Dudley School was set up as part of a segregation plan at the time and specialized in children that did not speak English being educated in a separate school facility. Hispanics could not go north of 10th Street or into the plaza at the time. The city of Alamogordo, New Mexico with its proximity to Texas was a racially divided city.

Alamogordo High School began an organized sports program in 1912 for Caucasian boys offering PE, Track & Field and Basketball and Football.  The African American School was called the Delaware School and the school that spoke Spanish only was the Dudley School. Athletes from those schools were segregated from the white schools of the time. More on that to follow as we review the 1940’s and 50’s and the cultural shifts that were about to occur in a future story, post or broadcast.

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A History Lesson for Southern New Mexico – The creation of Interscholastic (Organized High School Sports) in the US and New Mexico and Alamogordo High School 1916


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How did High School Sports get started in the US, Southern New Mexico and Alamogordo and when?

Interscholastic Sports at the High School level via organized physical education programs did not begin in the US until around 1903 but had roots dating to the 1880s. Organized sports began with economically challenged or lower-class children competing under non-parental adult supervision, while their upper- class counterparts participated in non- competitive activities like dancing and music lessons, often in their homes. Children’s tournaments, especially athletic ones, came first to economically challenged children, most often immigrants living in large urban areas or the larger US cities.

Massachusetts was the first state to make schooling compulsory in 1852. It was not until 1917 that the final state of the union at the time, Mississippi, passed a similar law.

While on the east coast the focus was on social progress, education and organized school sports programs; the wild west was playing catch up.

New cities like Alamogordo, New Mexico founded 1898 were creating new opportunities for Americans and America’s youth. January 6, 1912, New Mexico was admitted into the United States union as the 47th state. With that our history of interscholastic High School Athletics Track & Field in Alamogordo soon begins. New Mexico, even while a territory, took a progressive view to public education and made public education compulsory in urban areas in 1891. It became compulsory everywhere by the time New Mexico became a state in 1912.

With the institution of mandatory schooling in New Mexico and in most states, children and families experienced a profound shift in the structure of their daily lives, especially in the social organization of their time. This change in social view resulted in thinking about how to challenge a child and occupy his day especially in urban areas.

The answer lay partly in competitive sports leagues, which started to evolve to hold the interest of children. Urban reformers were particularly preoccupied with poor low skilled economically and socially challenged immigrants who, because of overcrowding in tenements or inner cities, were often on the streets. Initial organization efforts focused on the establishment of city parks and playgrounds. Powerful, organized playground movements developed in New York City and Boston. But because adults did not trust boys, especially immigrant boys, to play unsupervised without significant issues, attention soon shifted to organized sports. Sports were important in teaching immigrants and those economically challenged and from rural areas; the “American values of cooperation, hard work, and respect for authority.”

According to historian Robert Halpern, “progressive reformers thought athletic activities could prepare children especially boys for the new industrial society that was emerging, which would require them to be physical laborers.” There was a distinct business interest in organized youth sports early on, to ensure a robust and healthy workforce for an economy changing from, rural based to urban based, in the decades to follow.

Organized youth groups backed by the influence of business interests took on the responsibility of providing children with sports activities. In 1903, New York City’s Public-School Athletic League for Boys was established by Luther Gulick, and formal contests between children, organized by adults, emerged to keep the boys coming back to school. Formal competition ensured the boys’ continued participation since they wanted to defend their school team’s record and honor. The purpose per the PSLA was to encourage a healthy, strong body and mind through competitive exercises.

The PSAL initially conducted “class athletics” in grades five through eight at specific times each year, not interschool competition as it is known today. Class athletics included seasonal track and field events. PSAL’s also emphasized swimming, popular sports of the times (baseball, football, basketball), and several minor games.

Concurrent with the activities on the east coast; the first recorded games involving High School, school sponsored teams in the Dallas Texas area occurred in 1900. St. Matthew’s grammar school of Dallas played the Wall School of Honey Grove, found in Fannin County just south of the Texas-Oklahoma border, on Oct. 12, 1900, as a prelude to the intercollegiate level Texas-Vanderbilt game the same day. Honey Grove won 5-0. The event was a milestone in Texas history: the first recorded interscholastic football game between two high-school teams.

The Wall school was founded in 1898 by Simon Venable Wall, who moved to Honey Grove from Franklin, Tenn. Accounts of the school’s history noted its football team frequently played two games a day and that it was not uncommon for the team to catch a train on weekends and play in area towns. Austin College, in nearby Sherman, was a frequent opponent for the Wall boys.

Until the formation of interscholastic programs and games such as the one in Dallas Texas, most American boys had played football in the haphazard way of boys the world over: ambling onto fields and into alleys for pickup games or challenging other loosely affiliated groups of students to a match. Cheating was rampant, and games looked more like brawls than organized contests.

By 1910, 17 other cities across the United States had formed their own competitive athletic leagues modeled after New York City’s PSAL. Physical education reformers in the high schools followed the colleges in taking over sports programs with the catchphrase “Athletics are educational.” Their reform was tied to the overall reform in American education and overall reform in American society during the Progressive Era.

The establishment of leagues and state associations by educators in the years after 1900 bringing about institutional control over interscholastic sports was neither seamless nor uniform across the nation nor the western region of the US to include Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

In most areas of the country, educator-sponsored high school leagues were formed in most big cities and in many rural areas, usually two ways, from whole cloth or by taking over existing student-run or joint student-faculty-run leagues. In many areas, especially rural areas like most of Texas and New Mexico there were few leagues, and only gradually did league formation spread nationwide.

Settlement houses and ethnic clubs soon followed suit. The number of these boys’ clubs grew rapidly through the 1920s, working in parallel with school leagues.

In 1914 the first organized events for school children were held and 2040 boys competed for the City Championships Track and Field held at Madison Square Gardens. Events at this event included standing long jump, chinning the bar, running sprints, disc throwing, relays and hurdles. (Today competing at Madison Square Garden in Track & Field is considered hallowed grounds by many a Track & Field athlete.) By 1915 177 school systems around the country had formed competitive leagues.

By 1916, the United States was starting to educate its children for more years than most other countries, even while admitting a surge of immigrants. The ruling elite feared that all this schooling would make Anglo-Saxon boys soft and weak, in contrast to their brawny, newly immigrated peers. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. warned that cities were being overrun with “stiff-jointed, soft-muscled, paste-complexioned youth.”

Sports, the thinking went, would both protect boys’ masculinity and distract them from vices like gambling and prostitution. “Muscular Christianity,” fashionable during the Victorian era, prescribed sports as a sort of moral vaccine against the tumult of rapid economic growth. “In life, as in a football game,” Theodore Roosevelt wrote in an essay on “The American Boy” in 1900, “the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard!”

Athletics succeeded in entertaining not just students, but entire communities and local school teams became a sense of pride. As athletic fields became the cultural centers of towns across America, educators became coaches and parents became boosters. Organized sports allowed small towns to compete against large cities in Track & Field, Football and Basketball putting small town schools on the map so to speak with large reputations of athletic excellence.

As the organized school sports programs evolved so did organized fee-based clubs which were more exclusive and not for the poor. Fee-based groups, such as the YMCA, began, but usually only middle-class kids could afford to take part. National pay-to-play organizations, such as Pop Warner Football came into being in 1929.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association had appeared by this time, as a means of reforming the increasingly brutal sport of college football. As the NCAA appeared it began collaboration efforts and recruiting efforts from High Schools for its track & field, football and basketball programs around the country. This partnership ultimately led to scholarship programs and further engrained organized high school sports into the American Experience.

In New Mexico and specifically Alamogordo, following the lead of the nationwide reform of governance in interscholastic sports with the imposition of adult-sponsored leagues and state associations students acquiesced to the new faculty control and passively accepted the new order of things. In many areas, however, educators faced persistent student resistance, stiffened by rebellious high school

Greek-letter societies and continued abuses in the decade leading up to World War I. In Chicago student resistance to control and reform was especially acute.

New Mexico, towns such as Alamogordo and the western states; less resistance existed, as the school systems were newer institutions and did not have the history or mindset of those on the east coast. Progressive politics towards education and athletics prevailed without institutional histories, politics and interests fighting for dominance.

Alamogordo, New Mexico An Early Interscholastic Sport Program Adoptee

Alamogordo High School began an organized sports program in 1912 for Caucasian boys offering PE, Track & Field and Basketball and Football.

In 1913, the authorities of the University of New Mexico believing that one of the great needs of the High Schools of the state was an opportunity to meet, at least once a year in athletic and other contests, organized the University of New Mexico Track Athletic Association. A track meet was held in the spring of that year at Albuquerque, and two high schools, Santa Fe and Albuquerque contested for the banner.

Although the beginning was small, a great deal of interest from across the state was aroused.

Alamogordo High School won its first state medals in 1916/17 School Year and they were in Track and Field via the High Jump and the Triple Jump.

Excerpt from Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1 – part of a 3 part book series on Alamogordo Athletics and its history. Available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico or on Amazon. 

More historical stories from 1916 and more early history of Alamogordo High will appear in future stores.

To keep the historical sports archives of Alamogordo alive, support local small businesses and  join us as an independent source for positive News and History from Southern New Mexico. Sign up for our Daily News Brief and our blog or advertise with us. To learn more visit

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Photo is of Alamogordo High School 1917

ALAMOGORDO HIGH SCHOOL – ALAMOGORDO, NEW MEXICO In 1917, the architectural firm of Trost & Trost was awarded the contract for the Alamogordo High School. The plans called for the school to be constructed of brick and stone, 90 x 104 feet. The two-story building was to have 13 classrooms and an auditorium. The cost was estimated at $50,000.

The school was completed in 1919 and located on Tenth street (between Michigan and Indiana St.) 

In 1942, the Alamogordo Army Air Field was built 10 miles west of town. The addition of the base caused school enrollment to climb steadily over the next several years. New school buildings were being erected to keep up with the enrollment of new students. The Alamogordo Army Air Field eventually became Holloman Air Force Base and test development center for many government contracts.

In 1970, George Stith and Tom Macklin presented a petition bearing more that 200 names of residents to the Alamogordo City Commission. The petition asked that a study be made on the feasibility of refurbishing the old Alamogordo High School building on Tenth Street and putting it to use as a civic auditorium. The old Alamogordo High School was demolished sometime between 1973 to 1975.

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2ND LIFE MEDIA ALAMOGORDO TOWN NEWS-A Look Back Easter 1921- The Origins of the Easter Bunny

The origins of the Easter Bunny….

The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter, depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the “Easter Hare” originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes.

In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy, and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus or the 

Christkind, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holidays.

The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau‘s De ovis paschalibus (‘About Easter Eggs’) in 1682, referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter eggs for the children.

The hare was a popular motif in medieval church art. In ancient times, it was widely believed (as by PlinyPlutarchPhilostratus, and Aelian) that the hare was a hermaphrodite. The idea that a hare could reproduce without loss of virginity led to an association with the Virgin Mary, with hares sometimes occurring in illuminated manuscripts and Northern European paintings of the Virgin and Christ Child.

It may also have been associated with the Holy Trinity, as in the three hares motif.

But while the Easter bunny technically isn’t real, the tradition is very much alive, thanks to sneaky parents who have been filling the baskets as a tradition since the founding of America. 

Digging the New Mexico historical archives we see the first references to Easter Egg hunts and the “great Easter Bunny” making a showing in 1921 at the town square and New York Avenue area near the train depot. The first reference to an Easter egg hunt was referenced in a church flyer and a few other archival records.

Memories of early Easter Bunny’s and Easter Egg hunts in Southern New Mexico seem to be fading but one individual interviewed said in the 1950’s the best Egg Hunt and Easter Bunny in the region was always at the Lodge of Cloudcroft followed by a huge picnic around the property with all the women in huge Easter hats and the Best new Spring Dresses.

Enjoy your Easter however you celebrate and Happy Spring!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Fun Facts Good News Alert

The National Day Calendar defines April 2, 2021 as National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day. Fun fact the average teenager graduating from Alamogordo High will have consumed 2000 P & J sandwiches by the time they graduate.

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But how did peanut butter and jelly originate and how did it become so popular as a food staple?

The peanut plant originated in Peru. Peruvians made pottery in the shape of peanuts or decorated jars with peanuts as far back as 3,500 years ago. As early as 1500 B.C., the Incan’s of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life. Tribes in central Brazil also ground peanuts with maize to make a drink.

Now fast forward about 2000 years and we learn that explorers  from Europe discovered peanuts as far north as Mexico, when the Spanish began their exploration of the new world. The explorers took peanuts back to Spain, and from there traders and explorers spread them to Asia and Africa. Africans were the first people to introduce peanuts to North America beginning in the 1700s.

Records show that it wasn’t until the early 1800s that peanuts were grown as a commercial crop in the United States. They were first grown in Virginia and used mainly for oil, food and as a cocoa substitute. At this time, peanuts were regarded as a food for livestock and the poor and were considered difficult to grow and harvest.

Their popularity grew in the late 1800s when PT Barnum’s circus wagons traveled across the country and vendors called “hot roasted peanuts!” to the crowds. Soon street vendors began selling roasted peanuts from carts and peanuts also became popular at baseball games. While peanut production rose during this time, peanuts were still harvested by hand, leaving stems and trash in the peanuts. Thus, poor quality and lack of uniformity kept down the demand for peanuts.

In the early 1900s peanuts became a significant agricultural crop when the boll weevil threatened the South’s cotton crop. Following the suggestions of noted scientist Dr. George Washington Carver, peanuts served as an effective commercial crop and, for a time, rivaled the position of cotton in the South.

Who invented Peanut Butter?

There is evidence that ancient South American Inca Indians were the first to grind peanuts to make peanut butter. In the United States, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of cereal fame) invented a version of peanut butter in 1895. Then it is believed that a St. Louis physician may have developed a version of peanut butter as a protein substitute for his older patients who had poor teeth and couldn’t chew meat. Peanut butter was first introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

Peanut butter was considered a delicacy in the early 1900s and was only served in New York City’s finest tea rooms. In a May 1896 article published in the Good Housekeeping magazine, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.” That same year, in June, the culinary magazine Table Talk, published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.”

It is thought that Julia Davis Chandler issued the first reference to peanut butter (or paste) paired with jelly on bread in the United States in 1901. Her article is found in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics. In the late 1920s, the price of peanut butter declined, and the sandwich became very popular with children.

Peanuts and peanut butter became an integral part of the Armed Forces rations in World Wars I and II. It is believed that the U.S. army popularized the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for sustenance during maneuvers in World War II.

According to the Peanut Board, during World War II, both peanut butter and jelly were part of the United States soldiers’ military ration list.

In 1968, The J.M. Smucker Co. introduced Goober, a jarred product that combined alternating vertical stripes of peanut butter and jelly.

For 2021 the department of agriculture ranks peanuts as the 12th most valuable cash crop grown in the United States with a farm value of over one billion U.S. dollars.

Peanuts, peanut butter and peanut candy are some of the most popular products in the United States. Americans eat more than six pounds of peanut products each year, worth more than $2 billion at the retail level.

Peanut butter accounts for about half of the U.S. edible use of peanuts—accounting for $850 million in retail sales each year. It is a popular sandwich spread, for children and adults, because it is both nutritious and economical.

The other half of U.S. consumption is divided equally between snack nuts and confectionery. Peanuts are eaten as snack nuts in many ways: roasted in shell, roasted kernels or in mixed nuts. Snack nuts are often salted, spiced or flavored with a variety of coatings.

As far as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches what is the most popular?

In anAsk Your Target Market’s survey on peanut butter and jelly we learn some cool facts…

67% of respondents said that they have a generally positive opinion of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. In fact, 2% even said they eat them on a daily basis. 13% eat them a few times per week. 10% eat them about once a week. 20% said they enjoy pb&j sandwiches a few times per month. 10% eat them about once a month. 29% said they rarely ever eat them. And 16% never do.

There are, of course, a few different ways people can mix their peanut butter and jelly. But the majority, 55%, said they like when their pb&j has equal parts peanut butter and jelly. 27% like their sandwiches with more peanut butter. 12% like more jelly. And 5% have no preference.

What is our favorite peanut butter brand?

There are even several different choices when it comes to peanut butter. 66% said they prefer creamy peanut butter. 25% like crunchy. 15% like extra crunchy. And 4% have no preference. The most popular peanut butter brands among respondents include Jif, Skippy and Peter Pan.

What jelly do we like with peanut butter?

When it comes to jelly, 45% of respondents said they prefer strawberry jelly on their sandwiches. 42% like grape jelly. 19% prefer raspberry. 11% like other flavors like apple and blackberry. And 7% have no preference. Smuckers was the most popular jelly brand named by respondents. Others include Welch’s, Concord and Kroger brand.

For the full survey results visit: https://aytm.com/surveys/393374/stat/7d6f42738943a1698f70e898ffcc87e5#charts

Sources: www.peanutsusa.com, US Department of Agriculture, Smuckers Inc, National Day Calendar 

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Author Chris Edwards, 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Daily News and Author of Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days Available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, NM or online at Amazon

“Ventricle” A Tree Root Art Sculptured New Release by Artist Rene Sepulveda, 2nd Life Boutique Roadrunner Emporium, Alamogordo New Mexico

2nd Life Media with locations in California and New Mexico, representing Artist Artist Rene Sepulveda is proud to announce the launch of an amazing large new (8 foot by 6 foot in size) root art sculpture titled “Ventricle” has been released for exhibition and for sale.  “Ventricle” a root art sculpture by Rene Sepulveda, represents, “the emergence from a Covid winter into a spring of life with respect to to the systems of science and the communion with nature for humanity to move forward.”

“Ventricle” A Fine 8 foot large Root Art Sculpture by the Artist Rene Sepulveda 2nd Life Boutique Roadrunner Emporium

This piece is located in Alamogordo New Mexico and showcased and sold via the 2nd Life Boutique at the Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

This is a perfect selection for the art collector that has everything. Rene Sepulveda was inspired by his Native American roots and an appreciation for root artists world wide such as the renowned works of Henrique Oliveria

New Mexico, Artist Rene Sepulveda procures his roots from the depths of the Lincoln National Forest in Southern New Mexico and then relies on his inspiration from athletics and his masters in Epidemiology to ignite his passions for color, texture and an appreciation of the science then expresses himself using the beauty of nature as his canvas.

“Ventricle” is a one of a kind piece. When purchased, the artist will install on location anywhere in the continental US, to ensure proper accent lighting and care for this significant museum worthy piece.

Ideal for the art collector that has everything, a business wanting to make a statement or a museum or gallery piece.

Root art (tree root art) by former NCAA Coach turned Southwestern Sculptured Artist Rene Sepulveda, reaches our soul as a medium that is deep in engagement of our emotional senses to commune with nature. The medium of roots pleases an inner human emotion that symbolizes our personal growth.

Tree Root Art ROOTART helps to convey themes of security and stability, symbolizing the need to stay grounded so we remain safe. That feeling is even more needed and is tapped into even more so in this post Covid world we are coming out of. This piece is a tribute to that triumph to survive and to the stability of science and its interconnectedness to our inner being or the soul of humanity.

Many works of the root art pieces crafted by artist Rene Sepulveda have been showcased in the media and used in window displays as well as being additions to some of America’s finest homes and businesses. 

The most famous and largest root art collection in the world is located in the UK and is owned by Prince Charles. 

Tree Root Art ROOTART helps to convey themes of security and stability, symbolizing the need to stay grounded so we remain safe.

What is the origin of Root Art?

The root of a plant, of course, is the part that usually grows underground, secures the plant in place, absorbs minerals and water, and stores food manufactured by leaves and other plant parts. Roots grow in a root system and as such can be seen as reaching, thus inspiring and artistic in design.

Native American artist, Tibetan artist and few others believe in the essence of the root system, the beauty, and the symbolism  to the complexities of personal growth and being grounded to craft works of natural beauty. 

Art comes from Latin –Artem ‘skill’ that usually refers to the quality or expressions of what is beautiful or of great significance. For instance, the word artefact refers to an object of cultural interest made by a human being.

Thus ROOT ART is the combination of the wood from the natural root system combined with a skilled artists ability to combine color, texture and designs into a masterpiece that is eye catching and alludes to the grace of nature.  

Fitness Coach & Artist; Rene Sepulveda has developed a method of selecting interesting and entertaining root systems, combining them with color, texture, and the elements of nature.

Purchase this one of a kind piece today – “Ventricle’ A Post Covid Root Art Sculpture “dedicated to survival” by former NCAA Coach, now Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda.

Come see in person. Come and visit to see a majority of the 2nd Life Boutique, Valley of the Fires Collection of art; by Rene Sepulveda, window displays and books by visual artist and author Chris Edwards, the fabric creations of Rita Sepulveda, plus over 40 other partner artists, antiquities dealers, jewelers and vendors at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo New Mexico

To learn more visit: https://artistrenesepulveda.co…

or 

https://2ndlifemedia.com/tree-root-art-rootart

or to see the full array of offerings visit

https://www.etsy.com/shop/2ndLifeBoutiqueStore

“Ventricle” Video behind the scenes of a root art sculpture by Artist Rene Sepulveda. “Ventricle” a root art sculpture by Rene Sepulveda, represents, “the emergence from a Covid winter into a spring of life with respect to to the systems of science and the communion with nature for humanity to move forward.”

New Mexico Interscholastic History: Remembering Alamogordo High School Coach- Alamo Jack Geron

A tribute to Coach Jack Geron by Author Chris Edwards, Co-Author of the Coach Robert Sepulveda Book Series sold at independent book sellers and available on Amazon.

I’ve had the privilege this last year to co-write the book series on Coach Bob Sepulveda. Book 1 is released and we are finalizing book 2 to be released very soon. Along that journey I’ve had the opportunity to meet, talk with and hear the stories of the many coaches, athletes and others that have contributed to the history of New Mexico interscholastic athletics and those of Alamogordo High School from 1912 to 1995 specifically. There are many who played a valuable role in that history and one such person mentioned over 18 times in various chapters of book 1 in our series is Coach Jack Geron.

Coach Jack Geron was born on December 8, 1939 in Roscoe, Texas to Jessie and Madeline Geron. Jack D Geron, 81, passed away on March 2, 2021 in Alamogordo, New Mexico. There are numerous positive references to his coaching of both Football and Track and Field in the New Mexico Newspaper archives. I have notes of many great stories of his relationship to his student athletes and the respect he garnered by his peers, as recited to me over the many hours by Coach Bob Sepulveda in research of the book series.

Coach Jack Geron first came on the athletics scene at Alamogordo High as a successful High School student athlete. He was referenced in many articles in 1958 related to his accomplishments as an athletic competitor and was referred to in the press as “Alamo Jack Geron” or “Alamo Jack”.

Photos of Alamo Jack Geron may be seen at authorchrisedwards.com . Jack Geroon (future Alamogordo Football and Track & Field Coach) (left) and (right) Richard Worley practice for competition on the cinder field at Alamogordo High. (Photo Courtesy Alamogordo News April 1958.)

During his career as a high school athlete at Alamogordo he was a 1958 District and State medal winner. Jack Geron was not only a star at Track & Field but he also lettered in Baseball for 2 years and was an All-State Football Player who lettered for Alamogordo 3 years and lettered in Basketball as well. He led Alamogordo in scoring and yards rushed during the 1958 football season.

His Track & Field Career during the 1958 season stood out. The Alamogordo Tigers had their strongest showing of the 50s at the district meet placing 2nd in a competitive placing of 52.5 points. Las Cruces edged a win at 54 points, 3rd place went to Cobre with 44 points.

The 1958 Tigers team showed strong momentum with 1st place rankings in 8 events. Seven team members qualified for state at the district placing 1st place in each district event to include: Richard Worley, 1st Place, 100 Yard Dash, George Janes, 1st Place Pole Vault and Javelin, Tom Gilmore, 1st Place High Jump, Howard Hayes, 1st Place, High Jump, Jack Geron, 1st Place Broad Jump, 440 Yard Relay Team; 1st Place, Worley, Charlie Swaggert, Hayes, Jack Geron and 880 Yard Relay Team, 1st Place; Bob Dow, Swaggert, Jack Geron, and Richard Worley. Due to the fine performance Jack Geron and his teammates above were off to the state meet.

Coach Hugh Hackett’s Highlands Cinder men took the title one more time with a record 101 1/5 points win to take their 7th state title. Alamogordo Tigers improved from their most recent state competitions placing 7th out of 25 teams with a score of 12.5 points. Jack Geron contributed to that improved showing at the state tournament in 1958.

Photo’s located at AuthorChrisEdwards.com Jack Geron is featured with his track and field class mates who went to state in 1958 in a newspaper clipping from the Alamogordo News.

The State Tournament performance as an Alamogordo Tiger athlete in 1958 placed the team of Richard Worley,  Charles Swaggerty, Howard Hayes, and Jack Geron as the 4th Place finishing team as the 440 Relay Team and 4th Place as the 220 Yard Relay Team.

Jack Geron went on to support Alamogordo in the years to follow as a Coach for 20 years . Jack came back to Alamogordo as the assistant football and track and field coach under the reign of Coach Bob Sepulveda. In partnership and under the direction of Coach Sepulveda the partnership won awards in a variety of Track & Field meets.

Photos as seen on authorchrisedwards.com website shows that Jack Geron is one of the 15 Coaches pictured who aided with the Camp Weed training camp for the football team of 1971/72 school year that included (Back Left) Dick Strong, Art Lopez, Bob Sepulveda. (Middle Left) Marla Osborne, Melton Fuller,  Ray McDowell, Phil Brown, Terry Goldsmith, Erv Mondt. (Front left to Right) Gordy Crammer, Dick Frazier, Scott Williams, Delore C Maratelli, Jack Geron, Gary Hackney. Photo Courtesy Alamogordo News 7/13/1971

During the season that Coach Bob Sepulveda was the head Varsity Football Coach, “Coach Dick Strong was in charge of the defense…Jerry Koller managed the defensive backs and kickers and Gordie Crammer coached the offensive line. Coach Jack Geron managed the offensive backfield,”

Coach Sepulveda transitioned from the Varsity Football Coach to the Varsity Track and Field Coach the remainder of his career after the 1971/72 season. Coach Jack Geron assisted the varsity team over his 20 years as a coach and also assisted Coach Sepulveda in track in field to win many district and state titles.


Photo as seen on the blog of ChrisEdwards.com shows Don Hinkle, General Chairman of the Evening Lions was an early supporter and ensured his Lions were there in droves from 1970 forward. Evening Lion Cort Gwynne checks with Coach Geron as they review the time of 3.24 posted by the mile Tiger Team pictured above from left Mark Taylor, Larry Vazquez , Kenny Washington and Barry Miles. (Photo Courtesy Alamogordo News)

Scott and Susan Hutt recounted their time at Alamogordo High in the book Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days and recounted of the 1971/72 season on page 226 of the book. Coach Bob Sepulveda had been made the head varsity football coach that year and Scott Hutt reflected… “I remember the day he (Coach Sepulveda)  was selected as the head football coach. We runners were so happy for him and told him so. He acknowledged our thanks but told us “he would still be keeping an eye on us” tracksters who were in our off-season. And he did. He surrounded himself with good coaches and would always let them do their jobs. With Coaches Strong, Jack Geron, and Columbus, they were an unbeatable team and their enthusiasm spilled over to us athletes.”



Photo shown on AuthorChrisEdwards.com shows left in the photo of the District Track & Field win trophy of 1972 featuring Coach Jack Geron and Coach Bob Sepulveda. (Photo Courtesy Bob & Marilyn Sepulveda Collection)
Photo on AuthorChrisEdwards.com from the Alamogordo News, May 17, 1973 shows…
“Alamogordo Tiger Thinclads surprised most of the track experts when they pulled into the 2nd Place position during the State Track Meet to capture a big trophy at Albuquerque.”
Back L-R: Coach Dick Strong, Coach Jack Geron, Dale Norman, Steve Frederick, Carl Hutchison, Jimmy Sanders, Scott Hutt, Mark Taylor, Coach Jack Narrell, Head Coach Bob Sepulveda. Front L-R: Manager Pat McMurry, Art Keller, Robert Golightly, Brad Pierson, Dennis Baca, Ken Washington and Chuck Wood. (Photo Courtesy Alamogordo News 5/17/73)

Coach Geron is most fondly remembered for his years of teaching Physical Education at the mid-high and for his passion in breeding Chihuahuas.

Photo on AuthorChrisEdwards.com shows a photo of State Track & Field State Title Winners Team Photo with Coach Bob Sepulveda, Coach Geron and others.

More photos and history of the sports programs of Southern New Mexico and those that made a difference to Alamogordo Athletics are found in the book series by Author Chris Edwards titled Coach Robert Sepulveda: The Early Days. The book may be purchased at independent books stores and at Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico and sold worldwide on Amazon.com at https://smile.amazon.com/Coach-Robert-Louis-Sepulveda-DaysTM/dp/B08CJP3GQ4

Remembrance by Author Chris Edwards 2nd Life Media.com

Author/Artist/Coach Rene Sepulveda 1st Place Valentine Competition Winner Road Runner Emporium, 2nd Life Media

Thank you for the support and the public voting our entry as #1 in the Roadrunner Emporium Valentines Box Contest. We appreciate the public vote or confidence. Come on by Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo join, Author and Executive Coach Chris Edwards, owner Debra Reyes, Artist René Sepulveda and the over 40 artist and vendors offering many great values in home decor, women’s apparel, antiques, jewelry, photography, paintings, repurposed gifts, farm fresh eggs, local honey and more.

Check us out Monday thru Saturday 10 am to 5 pm.

If you drop by this Monday 2-15-2021 during the hours of 10 to 5, Author Chris Edwards on his Southwestern US Book tour will be on site, to sign Coach Bob Sepulveda the Early Days book 1 on sale at the gallery and online. Drop by this Monday

Also check out the stores on Etsy or learn more about Author Chris Edwards on Amazon

https://www.etsy.com/shop/2ndLifeBoutiqueStore?ref=search_shop_redirect

!#ShopLocal#ShopAlamogordo#AlamogordoMainStreet#ArtistReneSepulveda#2ndLifeMedia#2ndLifeBoutique#AlamogordoArts#ShopNewMexico#DiscoverAlamogordo

Small Town Republicanism Highjacked – Take Back Republicanism – a Commentary by Bay Area Author & Political Strategist: Chris Edwards

As Published in The Napa Valley Register 2/9/2021

“That’s another one of those Clinton murders,” Ms. Greene said, referring to John F. Kennedy Jr.’s death in a 1999 plane crash, suggesting that he had been assassinated because he was a potential rival to Hillary Clinton for a New York Senate seat.

Ms. Greene casually unfurled the cascade of dangerous untrue conspiracy theories in a video that was originally posted to YouTube in 2018. It provides a window into the warped worldview amplified by the freshman Republican congresswoman from Georgia…a conservative provocateur who has proudly brought the hard-right fringe to the Capitol…

The excerpt in The New York Times 1/29/2021, would normally seem foreign to Napa, sadly that is no longer the case.

What is the case, is these fringe conspiracy minded individuals are now out and proud. One outcome of Doris Gentry ‘s poorly executed run for mayor, is elements of the fringe backed her- out, loud and exposed themselves.

These individuals moved to the mainstream and highjacked Doris Gentry’s campaign messaging, with her blessing, until caught. She backpaddled and claimed, “not to have them in her rolodex,” yet she continues down the path with them looking like a fool in their grips, hook, line, and sinker.  Even after a resounding loss, she still propagates their messaging in social media with a recent homophobic post on Facebook. She posted on the now defunct Parlor, without remorse.

A former grand jury member, a restaurant owner and doll maker, a former homeland security employee and members of the right wing religious community all embraced her campaign, high jacked its messaging; and under its auspice brought the Proud Boys, Walk Away and extremists into the mainstream of Napa.


The Napa County GOP under the leadership of Chairman, Larry Green invited the public, “To See What The GOP Is All About” as reported in the Napa Register 6/13/2019 and hear Walk Away founder, Brandon Straka, spew propaganda. Since then Straka was arrested in connection with the Capitol assault. Indeed, this did prove what the, present, Napa GOP, is all about! It continued to support Doris Gentry after the revelations of her resume embellishments and the fact her Chocolate and Wine Charity Fundraiser only netted a profit of less than $200.00 on $56,000.00 raised. The GOP leaders doubled down – its leaders via social media posts and comments, attacked people that exposed Doris.

Doris launched her campaign with Ben Bergquam trying to legitimize their movement locally, all the while the press identified him as a Proud Boy. His Napa debut was at the launch fundraiser for Doris Gentry, as seen in multiple videos. This fine “patriot” was, also arrested, for harassment and trespassing on government property in Sacramento per The Hill 1-31-19.

The GOP party leadership still has not distanced itself from these extremists. It is being used as a platform of hate, and it’s time that the silent majority of rational, educated Republicans, take the party back.

Many within the communities of people of color and the LBGTQ community have witnessed this thuggery in Napa for decades only to be  told; “oh,  you are exaggerating, that is old Napa from decades ago, every city has issues, that’s not my Napa.


Well, the dirty little secret is, this is “our Napa” of the past and continues in the present. It has been swept under the carpet for too long.

Now we make the national headlines with Ian Benjamin Rogers arrest for bombs, machine guns and The LA Times Reports 1-28-21; “ A suspected far-right extremist and radicalized supporter of former President Trump facing federal explosives charges may have been targeting California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Bay Area headquarters of social media giants Twitter and Facebook, according to the FBI.”


This has got to stop; here, now, and today. The centrist of both parties need to purge radicalized individuals from their rolls.

The Republican party needs to take a hard look at itself. It was once a party of law and order, fiscal responsibility, constitutional principles, and patriotism. The party used to support the constitution. It once led, as an example, of constructive compromise, under constitutional and logical science based debate. Not any longer. It has been highjacked by radicalized, false, and conspiratorial ideology; that is self-serving, and does not represent constitutional law nor the views of the SILENT MAJORITY.


Until the Republican party can take a self-inventory, purge itself of this contagion and re-establish itself to its founding principles; it will decay upon itself, as a failed cause.

Today, the leaders of the Republican Party of Napa County need to stand up and retake true Republicanism, or the Central Committee and its leaders should be recalled, as should any Republican elected official that continues down these rabbit holes of conspiratorial fraud they are perpetuating onto this nation.

https://napavalleyregister.com/opinion/letters/republicans-need-to-take-a-long-hard-look-at-themselves/article_20724bdd-b78d-5582-9b17-85e92b883fb1.html

Remembering the Challenger 35 years later – Author Chris Edwards

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster was a fatal incident in the United States’ space program that occurred on January 28, 1986, when the Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-099) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members aboard. The crew consisted of five NASA astronauts, and two payload specialists. The mission carried the designation STS-51-L and was the tenth flight for the Challenger orbiter. The Challenger disaster should best be remembered for the sacrifice of seven astronauts who died in the accident-  Judith ResnikDick Scobee, Capt. Michael J. SmithEllison Onizuka,  Ronald McNairChrista McAuliffe, and Gregory Jarvis.

But for those currently in leadership positions, it should also be remembered as a colossal failure of process – a process designed by the best and the brightest. By the people who sent men to the moon. That was a sobering thought on January 28, 1986, and it remains so today.

The space shuttle Challenger disaster remains one of the most evocative events of the American 20th Century—and for more than just the obvious reasons.

Certainly, the 35th anniversary of this tragedy returns to mind a multitude of images, memories and emotions that prompt pause. But it also reminds us of the crucial importance of informed decision making and risk oversight which are as relevant today as they were on January 28, 1986.

As some will remember, the specific, highly technical cause of the Challenger accident was the notorious “O-Ring”; i.e. the failure of the pressure seal in the aft field joint of the right solid rocket motor. The failure was due to a faulty design unacceptably sensitive to a number of factors, including the effects of cold temperature (launchpad temperature was 36 degrees on January 28).

But more important to remember is the decidedly non-technical contributing cause: the multiple risk management errors that fatally flawed the Challenger launch decision. As documented by the presidential review commission, these were not errors arising from system complexities, but rather from the erosion of once-effective and redundant safety protocols. 

Space, space exploration and the benefits are not without risk. The risk is worth the reward however we should never sacrifice safety protocols and redundancy further the governments legislative branch has a responsibility of checks and balances in oversight to ensure safety is in place, contracts are not awarded unfairly and the value to the American people in life and treasure is never taken for granted.

Our hearts continue to bleed for the errors of that fateful day but our quest for what is out there amongst the stars should always continue…

A Photo of the Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off – January 26, 1986 seen on authorchrisedwards.com website.

Our heart pour out to our hero’s of the space program but our minds always look up and forward in the quest forward for what lies above us. We are not alone!

“The Hill We Climb” wise words by an amazing young lady Amanda Gorman

Inspirational words and the text of the poem written by this amazing young lady..

“The Hill We Climb”

Author and Auditory by Amanda Gorman

“When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast, we’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished.

We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one. And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect, we are striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.

So we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another, we seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: that even as we grieved, we grew, even as we hurt, we hoped, that even as we tired, we tried, that we’ll forever be tied together victorious, not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one should make them afraid. If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in in all of the bridges we’ve made.

That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare it because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it. That would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy, and this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can periodically be delayed, but it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith, we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us, this is the era of just redemption we feared in its inception we did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour but within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves, so while once we asked how can we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us.

We will not march back to what was but move to what shall be, a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free, we will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, our blunders become their burden. But one thing is certain: if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left, with every breath from my bronze, pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one, we will rise from the golden hills of the West, we will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution, we will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked South, we will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful, when the day comes we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid, the new dawn blooms as we free it, for there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”

#nextmayaangelo #powerofpositive #2ndLifeMedia

Author Chris Edwards 

Executive Operations Coach & Author of

#1 Football Biography Track & Field Category Top 10 Bestseller

Coach Robert (Bob) Sepulveda: The Early Days 

January Important Issues Poll 2021

Click on the poll block above to edit it directly in this post. Add a question, and multiple answers and even change the styling of the block using the sidebar controls. Add new poll blocks by searching for “poll” or type “/poll” in a new block.

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Day 2021 with renewal & hope…

Thoughts on this MLK Day from myself and Rene Sepulveda… “This MLK Day 2021, is even more important than in past years, as it is on the eve of a historic inauguration. On this day, we as a nation seem more divided than at any time since the days of Dr. King. It is my hope, that we take this day, as a day of reflection on the messaging of Dr. King and in that reflection remember the many things that unite us. Today let’s use his message and his memory as a means of healing and moving us forward toward unity and bury those things that divide us.”

The words of my little brother Steven Edwards… ” Its crazy to think how the works of one man can impact your life and society as a whole. I have friends who have greatly enriched my life that I can say for certain, I wouldn’t have been able to have, if we didn’t live in a world Dr. King helped push forward.Because of the efforts of him and other civil rights leaders, not just black Americans, but ALL Americans, should be thankful for his efforts and sacrifice; as every child in the rainbow, has gained from his message.

I was bummed when Chadwick Boseman died. He was my age and grew up near me. If it hadn’t been for the work of leaders like Dr. King; Boseman, one of my fellow South Carolinians. would have been held back by a system that discriminated against him for about the dumbest of possible reasons…imagine a world where we discriminated because of eye color or hair color or race, and how dumb that would be, and the talent we would all miss out on.

As such, I am grateful for what civil rights leaders such as Dr. King and others like Congressman, John Lewis or Novelist, James Baldwin did and sacrificed for us. As a result of their legacy, some personal friendships and relationships I have will last a lifetime, and for that I am thankful. Our culture as a whole would be so much poorer if guys like Chadwick, Lewis, Baldwin and the celebrated Dr. King didn’t have their opportunity to leave their mark on our world. May the spirit of their legacy endure for generations.”

Authors Chris Edwards & Rene Sepulveda

https://youtu.be/uSqHBcgXlt8

#2ndLifeMedia#AuthorChrisEdwards#Renefit#DoTheRightThing#Diversity#BLM#MLK2021#RetakeRepublicanism#MLK#BetterLife#MLKDay

Celebrating Officer Eugene Goodman protecting Democracy- Send a Thank You

🚨ACTION🚨: Several of my friends are sending a heartfelt “Thank you” note to Officer Eugene Goodman, the hero that saved lives during the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol. This is the officer that realized the Senate door was unguarded and tricked the rioters into following him away from the senate chamber doors and up stairs away from the elected officials. In doing so it has now been proven he potentially saved the Vice President and others as a few of those chasing him were indeed armed and one had restraints with the intention of holding senators hostage so as they would not be in session to count the votes for president. This officer with only a baton is an America Hero. He is who should be receiving the Presidential medal of Freedom. Show your support of this courageous officer and send a thank you in support of the Blue to:

Officer Eugene Goodman

US Capitol Police

119 D ST NE

Washington DC 20510

This officer protected democracy and is an example of the Blue Line

🚨ACTION🚨: Several of my friends are sending a heartfelt “Thank you” note to Officer Eugene Goodman, the hero that saved lives during the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol. This is the officer that realized the Senate door was unguarded and tricked the rioters into following him away from the senate chamber doors and up stairs away from the elected officials. In doing so it has now been proven he potentially saved the Vice President and others as a few of those chasing him were indeed armed and one had restraints with the intention of holding senators hostage so as they would not be in session to count the votes for president. This officer with only a baton is an America Hero. He is who should be receiving the Presidential medal of Freedom. Show your support of this courageous officer and send a thank you in support of the Blue to:

Officer Eugene Goodman

US Capitol Police

119 D ST NE

Washington DC 20510

“Love Lives Here” Valentines Window Display

Turn up the sound, watch and enjoy something joyful and full of love. Thank you Alamogordo Artist, Delia Lopez for creating the beautiful window display at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Participating Artist Delia and the 40 partner artist, remind us, “this is where love is” for “Valentines Day” and every day!

Come join Roadrunner Emporium owner Debra Reyes and the 40 local artist. Shop early and shop local for this upcoming Valentines Day – February 14th, 2021.

Again, thank everyone, for your support in shopping local and support of the arts community during these difficult times.

Please support small business, stop by with a mask, and see Debra and the team of over 40 artist at 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, 9 to 5 Monday thru Saturday.

“Love Lives Here” Valentines Window Display created by Artist Delia Lopez for Roadrunner Emporium, Alamogordo, New Mexico – Video production by 2nd Life Media Author/Executive Coach Chris Edwards & Artist/Author/Fitness Coach Rene Sepulveda

#Shoplocal #ShopNewYorkAvenue #SupportSmallBusiness #localartist

#AlamogordoArts #OpenforBusiness

#AlamogordoMainStreet #2ndLifeMedia #2ndLifeBoutique #RoadrunnerEmporium #ArtistReneSepulveda #AuthorChrisEdwards #Alamogordo #ValentinesDay

#AlamogordoChamberofCommerce #Maskup #covidsafebusiness #windowdisplay #ValentinesWindowDisplay  #NewMexicoWinter #ShopNewMexico #AlamogordoNews #OrteroCounty

Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lights Contest Video featuring Roadrunner Emporium -Video created by Chris Edwards & Rene Sepulveda-authors, artists, coaching

Check out a few of the Alamogordo Christmas Lights contest entrants. From Cuba road to McKinley Avenue and beyond and the Winter in the Desert window display at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo. All are officially entered in the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce Christmas lights contest. 

Come check out each vía the attached video or do a Covid SAFE drive by. Locations for each are found 

Trail of Lights Holiday Contest Participants https://goo.gl/maps/TogBGmiYZQLk8o6N8

Come see our window display at 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, comment and like us on our and the Chambers Facebook page. Thanks and enjoy a natural Alamogordo lights and our Natural Desert Winter Holiday display..

 #roadrunneremporIum #AlamogordoMainStreet #2ndLifeMedia #ArtistReneSepulveda #AuthorChrisEdwards #ShopLocal #windowdisplay #ChristmasLights #AlamogordoChristmas #AlamogordoChamberOfCommerce #ShopAlamogordo #ShopNewYorkAve #AlamogordoArts

Cholla Cactus Art (Cholla Art)- Cylindropuntia Art by Rene Sepulveda 2nd Life Media & Boutique

Cholla Cactus Art – Cylindropuntia Art

CHOLLA CACTUS ART is crafted from the Cylindropuntia which is a genus that contains species of cacti, commonly referred to as chollas. Cholla cacti belong to the Cactaceae family and can be found in the arid zones and deserts of New Mexico. 

If want to make sure that you’re getting a Cholla cactus, and not an Opuntia one, check its stems. While Opuntia cacti have flattened stems, Chollas have tubular ones. 

Cholla cacti serve as a source of food and water for many desert animals. The fruit of the Jumping Cholla species is edible for bighorn sheep and deers. Moreover, Cholla wood is used for bird perches or in vivariums as a substrate for moss or many air plants. They can reach between 5 and 15 feet (1.5-4.5 m) in height. They have succulent stems that store large amounts of water. These stems are modified branches responsible for the photosynthesis, blooming, and fruit-bearing.

Cholla cactus wood is used as bird perches often, the wood skeleton is highly favored for making handicrafted centerpieces and ornamentation for gardens, back patios and center pieces for great rooms, living rooms and conservatories. Larger pieces are used in public art displays and are highly prized and of great value. No two art pieces are the same.

Former NCAA Award Winning Coach, Fitness Specialist, Author and Artist Rene Sepulveda has embraced his Native American roots in rediscovery of the arts of the natural wonders around him. His reconnection to his ancestorial roots has allowed him to rediscover the use of Cholla Cactus wood art, lava rock and tree roots and to craft them into interesting and colorful works of art that are in heavy demand for the collector of Southwestern natural art. 

Cholla Desert Cactus Art is highly prized as each is unique in design, size and color. No two pieces are alike as each is a combination of the artistic design from Mother Nature pairing her treasures with the creativity of Rene Sepulveda.

Works are commissioned under the 2nd Life Gallery in partnership with Author and collaborator Chris Edwards bringing the beauty of nature online and to fine galleries in the South Western United States and California. 

Remembering World AIDS Day 2020

Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever international day for global health. Every year, United Nations agencies, governments and civil society join together to campaign around specific themes related to HIV. Each year, on 1 December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. People around the world unite to show support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

I became involved in the 80s, when I saw hundreds of young men and women around me dying mysteriously. Upon moving to California, I saw 100s loose their lives. 

I will always be moved by the tireless work of Russell Kassman, Chris Carnes, Sharon McNight and others who helped bring joy to the infamous Ward 5B one Christmas by moving in a piano and bringing a performance to a ward of men dying but whom got one last moment of joy in their life. 

And for decades since each have tirelessly worked along with Donna Sachet

and her “Songs of the Season” to continue to raise funds, educate and inspire. 

So many people have helped over the years and so many people died due to early government inaction. The lessons of that day carry forward today. History has a tendency to repeat itself with a broader punch when we don’t learn the lessons of our past. But through the wisdom of people like Chris Carnes, Gretchen Carol Fleischmann

Sharon McKnight, Russell Kassman, Donna Sachet and then later in life Floyd McGregor, L Pierce Carson, Martin Durand, Deb Stallings, and others we carried hope forward via The Napa Valley AIDS Project and ultimately In partnership with Liz Alessio and the Care Network and Planned Parenthood. 

Thank you Hank Plante for keeping the stories alive over the decades.  We must never forget our history, as it is a reflection of whom we are today and whom we will become tomorrow.

I became involved in the 80s, when I saw hundreds of young men and women around me dying mysteriously. Upon moving to California, I saw 100s loose their lives. 

I will always be moved by the tireless work of Russell Kassman, Chris Carnes, Sharon McNight and others who helped bring joy to the infamous Ward 5B one Christmas by moving in a piano and bringing a performance to a ward of men dying but whom got one last moment of joy in their life. 

And for decades since each have tirelessly worked along with Donna Sachet

and her “Songs of the Season” to continue to raise funds, educate and inspire. 

So many people have helped over the years and so many people died due to early government inaction. The lessons of that day carry forward today. History has a tendency to repeat itself with a broader punch when we don’t learn the lessons of our past. But through the wisdom of people like Chris Carnes, Gretchen Carol Fleischmann

Sharon McKnight, Russell Kassman, Donna Sachet and then later in life Floyd McGregor, L Pierce Carson, Martin Durand, Deb Stallings, and others we carried hope forward via The Napa Valley AIDS Project and ultimately In partnership with Liz Alessio and the Care Network and Planned Parenthood. 

Thank you Hank Plante for keeping the stories alive over the decades.  We must never forget our history, as it is a reflection of whom we are today and whom we will become tomorrow.

Author, Executive Coach, Artist Chris Edwards

Vote In Person Early the Stakes Are to High for Doris Gentry as Mayor of Napa

Doris Gentry Too Scary to become Mayor of Napa – Lacks Integrity, Proud Boy Affilations At the kickoff of Mayoral Candidate Doris Gentry for Mayor of Napa she was recorded and the event was live streamed by the Proud Boy Ben Bergquam who gave the white power signal at Doris’s event as she was speaking. The Proud Boys is a far-right and neo-fascist male-only organization that promotes and engages in political violence in the United States and Canada. While the group officially rejects racism, several members have been affiliated with white supremacy and the Proud Boys has been described by US intelligence organisations as “a dangerous white supremacist group.” Wilson, Jason (November 19, 2018). “FBI now classifies far-right Proud Boys as ‘extremist group’, documents say”. The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018. She also was vided and photographed at her kickoff party with former Gay Porn Star Brandon Straka founder of alleged Russian Backed “Walk Away” – The website Hamilton 68, which tracks Russia’s interference on U.S. elections, reported that WalkAway was “connected to Kremlin-linked Russian bots to manipulate voters” Doris Gentry has misrepresented her ownership of companies and her job titles in an effort to make herself bigger than life in her run for Napa Mayor. https://napavalleyregister.com/news/l… Doris Gentry has suggested that gay individuals in the military should be separate from other troops. Doris Gentry managed a fundraiser for Foster Children in Napa grossing over $56,000 yet only reported $194.00 in profit for the charity in the official state records. Doris Gentry is not fit for the office of Mayor of Napa https://www.thetruthaboutdorisgentry….

New Mexico Sports History: Coach Gary Hveem Alamogordo New Mexico High School Tiger Football: First District Title Since mid 1940’s under Coach Rolla Buck.

Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1 Book Series is Available Now on Amazon. Order your copy today!

Excerpt from Coach Bob Sepulveda The Golden Years Book 2 in final draft soon to be released on Amazon and fine independent bookstores everywhere…

Photo on AuthorChrisEdwards.com of Alamogordo Team that hits the field 1981 Photo Courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book 2 available soon on Amazon Book 1 Available Now

Fall 1981…

New Mexico Prep Guides Football ranked Alamogordo the 4th best team in the state on August 10, 1981 for the new season. The Tigers were ranked behind Clovis, Albuquerque Highland and defending state champion Albuquerque Eldorado. Coach Hveem rated the top five slightly different he believed within the district the Highland Hornets are the team to beat. State-wide he thinks Clovis different he believed within the district the Highland Hornets are the team to beat. State-wide he thinks Clovis should be in the top spot.

 The Tigers were slated for a tough pre-district season with their first game scheduled against the 1979 Oklahoma state champions Eisenhower High School of Lawton Oklahoma. Next, they travel to Hanks a team ranked for the District crown in El Paso.

                Then the Tigers were scheduled to play Albuquerque Del Norte, Carlsbad, Roswell, Mayfield, Highland, then Sandia. The final homecoming game is with Las Cruces.

                Alamogordo Coach Hveem stepped into his 6th year and is the longest tenured varsity Football coach in Alamogordo history. As such beginning the 81 season, for the 82 school year, he has compiled a record of 35-16-1 and 5 straight winning seasons. Coach Hveem notched his 100th career win as a head coach in November of 1980 when the Tigers stopped the Las Cruces Bulldogs 41-12 in Aggie Memorial Stadium. That win earned the Tigers a trip to the state playoffs last season and placed Alamogordo in the spotlight statewide an accomplishment that had been a long time in coming.

   The team for this season is slotted with different student athletes in all but one of the 22 starting slots bringing a different brand to play for the new season…..

Friday November 6th, 1981 turned into a historic night for Alamogordo Tiger football. A 36 year record was broken. The Tigers put the finishing touch on their first AAAA title during their homecoming game by rolling over the Las Cruces Bulldogs 54-8 in their final regular season game of the year.

                The homecoming game victory in Tiger Stadium gave the Alamogordo Tigers a 4-0 record in the season of District 3AAAA play and sole procession of the district championship. This great win marked the 3rd time in 6 years under Coach Hveem that the Tigers qualified to advance to the state playoff, but it is the first time they have qualified for state as the District Champion. Because of the Tigers first place finish, they will host the 1AAAA runner up in the quarter finals of the state playoffs.

NOTE: The Alamogordo Tigers had only won 1 District #1 title in Football prior. That title was won in the mid 1940’s under Coach Rolla Buck 36 years later under Coach Gary Hveem a District Banner again came home to Alamogordo. In the 1940’s the title was won when Alamogordo was a Class AA team. They moved to class AAAA in 1958. This is the very first Class AAAA District Banner for Alamogordo and the team goes into the history books for this achievement 36 years in the making.  

The Santa Fe New Mexican November 19, 1981 ran a story titled, Demons already tagged first round knock out ,referring to the planned first round state playoff game against Alamogordo.

The story said; “some prep forecasters are saying that the Demons won’t even score against Alamogordo… One prognosticator even went so far as to call the Santa Fe Alamogordo clash merely a first round bye for the Tigers… Hveem says his team is quite well balanced  but the outcomes depends on the strength of the opponent game day.”

                Alamogordo did its job and beat Santa Fe as expected 14 to 0 and progressed to the state semi-finals round. A first in decades….

…The psychological game of warfare was before the two big rivals for the state semi-finalists. The Tigers and the Cats has historically been fierce rivals.

For more stories photos and more purchase the Book series. Robert Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1 Available Now at Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo New Mexico or purchase online world wide on Amazon. Visit the Roadrunner Emporium to see a window display dedicated to decades of Alamogordo Athletes…

Coach Robert Sepulveda The Golden Years Book 2 with stories like above a comprehensive history of football, track and field and cross country coming soon to Amazon, Roadrunner Emporium and fine independent bookstores everywhere…

Photo on AuthorChrisedwards.com of 1981 Alamogordo High Tigers 1st District Winning Team since the 1940s Photo Courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book 2 available soon on Amazon Book 1 Available Now
Photo on AuthorChrisedwards.com Victory winning the District Title in 1981 1st since 1940s Alamogordo Tigers Photo Courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book 2 available soon on Amazon Book 1 Available Now
Photo on AuthorChrisedwards.com Don Daughter receives a throw from Quarterback Roger Black 1981 Photo Courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book 2 available soon on Amazon Book 1 Available Now

More sports history on interscholastic sports in New Mexico with 100s of archived photos of athletes and coaches from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s can be found online at the 2ndLifeMedia.com website or via the Coach Robert Sepulveda Book series sold on Amazon.

Softening of America A Commentary By John F Kennedy Revisited 60 Years Later 4/2/2021

While doing research on a book I am writing on a New Mexico Track and Field Coach Bob Robert Sepulveda I came across this amazing take on physical fitness by President JFK. Quite a different approach to what we see today. I wonder if we as citizens truly embraced what president Kennedy embraces below if the national crises Covid-19 would be so severe or would our diabetes and obesity issues be less and us a healthier and happier nation? Maybe the softening of America’s youth he refers to then is a wake up call for now to become more physically active and to embrace fitness…

On Dec. 26, 1960, President-elect John F. Kennedy penned a piece for Sports Illustrated touting the importance of “physical soundness” for Americans — for kids and grown-ups alike. A precursor to today’s America’s Great Outdoor Initiative, which encourages families to get outdoors, it hit the outdoor nail on the proverbial head. Read on to see The Soft American in its entirety…

The Soft American
By President-elect John F. Kennedy

Beginning more than 2,500 years ago, from all quarters of the Greek world men thronged every four years to the sacred grove of Olympia, under the shadow of Mount Cronus, to compete in the most famous athletic contests of history—the Olympian games.

During the contest a sacred truce was observed among all the states of Greece as the best athletes of the Western world competed in boxing and foot races, wrestling and chariot races for the wreath of wild olive which was the prize of victory. When the winners returned to their home cities to lay the Olympian crown in the chief temples they were greeted as heroes and received rich rewards. For the Greeks prized physical excellence and athletic skills among man’s greatest goals and among the prime foundations of a vigorous state.

Thus the same civilizations which produced some of our highest achievements of philosophy and drama, government and art, also gave us a belief in the importance of physical soundness which has become a part of Western tradition; from the mens sana in corpore sano of the Romans to the British belief that the playing fields of Eaton brought victory on the battlefields of Europe. This knowledge, the knowledge that the physical well-being of the citizen is an important foundation for the vigor and vitality of all the activities of the nation, is as old as Western civilization itself. But it is a knowledge which today, in American, we are in danger of forgetting.

The first indication of a decline in the physical strength and ability of young Americans became apparent among United States soldiers in the early stages of the Korean War. The second came when figures were released showing that almost one out of every two young American was being rejected by Selective Service as mentally, morally or physically unfit. But the most startling demonstration of the general physical decline of American youth came when Dr. Hans Kraus and Dr. Sonja Weber revealed the results of 15 years of research centering in the Posture Clinic of New York’s Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital—results of physical fitness tests given to 4,264 children in this country and 2,870 children in Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

The findings showed that despite our unparalleled standard of living, despite our good food and our many playgrounds, despite our emphasis on school athletics, American youth lagged far behind Europeans in physical fitness. Six tests for muscular strength and flexibility were given; 57.9% of the American children failed one or more of these tests, while only 8.7% of the European youngsters failed.

A Consistent Decline

Especially disheartening were the results of the five strength tests: 35.7% of American children failed one or more of these, while only 1.1% of the Europeans failed, and among Austrian and Swiss youth the rate of failure was as low as .5%.

As a result of the alarming Kraus-Weber findings President Eisenhower created a Council on Youth Fitness at the Cabinet level and appointed a Citizens Advisory Committee on the Fitness of American Youth, composed of prominent citizens interested in fitness. Over the past five years the physical fitness of American youth has been discussed in forums, by committees and in leading publications. A 10-point program for physical fitness has been publicized and promoted. Our schools have been urged to give increased attention to the physical well-being of their students. Yet there has been no noticeable improvement. Physical fitness tests conducted last year in Britain and Japan showed that the youth of those countries were considerably more fit than our own children. And the annual physical fitness tests for freshman at Yale University show a consistent decline in the prowess of young American; 51& of the class of 1951 passed the tests, 43% of the class of 1956 passed, and only 38%, a little more than a third, of the class of 1960 succeeded, in passing the not overly rigorous examination.

Of course, physical tests are not infallible. They can distort the true health picture. There are undoubtedly many American youths and adults whose physical fitness matches and exceeds the best of other lands.

But the harsh fact of the matter is that there is also an increasingly large number of young Americans who are neglecting their bodies—whose physical fitness is not what it should be—who are getting soft. And such softness on the part of individual citizens can help to strip and destroy the vitality of a nation.

For the physical vigor of our citizens is one of America’s most precious resources. If we waste and neglect this resource, if we allow it to dwindle and grow soft then we will destroy much of our ability to meet the great and vital challenges which confront our people. We will be unable to realize our full potential as a nation.

Throughout our history we have been challenged to armed conflict by nations which sought to destroy our independence or threatened our freedom. The young men of America have risen to those occasions, giving themselves freely to the rigors and hardships of warfare. But the stamina and strength which the defense of liberty requires are not the product of a few weeks’ basic training or a month’s conditioning. These only come from bodies which have been conditioned by a lifetime of participation in sports and interest in physical activity. Our struggles against aggressors throughout our history have been won on the playgrounds and corner lots and fields of America.

Thus, in a very real and immediate sense, our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security.

However, we do not, like the ancient Spartans, wish to train the bodies of our youth to make them more effective warriors. It is our profound hope and expectation that Americans will never again have to expend their strength in armed conflict.

But physical fitness is as vital to the activities of peace as to those of war, especially when our success in those activities may well determine the future of freedom in the years to come. We face in the Soviet Union a powerful and implacable adversary determined to show the world that only the Communist system possesses the vigor and determination necessary to satisfy awakening aspirations for progress and the elimination of poverty and want. To meet the challenge of this enemy will require determination and will and effort on the part of all American. Only if our citizens are physically fit will they be fully capable of such an effort.

For physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. The relationship between the soundness of the body and the activities of the mind is subtle and complex. Much is not yet understood. But we do know what the Greeks knew: that intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong; that hardy spirits and tough minds usually inhabit sound bodies.

In this sense, physical fitness is the basis of all the activities of our society. And if our bodies grow soft and inactive, if we fail to encourage physical development and prowess, we will undermine our capacity for thought, for work and for the use of those skills vital to an expanding and complex America.

Thus the physical fitness of our citizens is a vital prerequisite to America’s realization of its full potential as a nation, and to the opportunity of each individual citizen to make full and fruitful use of his capacities.

It is ironic that at a time when the magnitude of our dangers makes the physical fitness of our citizens a matter of increasing importance, it takes greater effort and determination than ever before to build the strength of our bodies. The age of leisure and abundance can destroy vigor and muscle tone as effortlessly as it can gain time. Today human activity, the labor of the human body, is rapidly being engineered out of working life. By the 1970’s, according to many economists, the man who works with his hands will be almost extinct.

Many of the routine physical activities which earlier Americans took for granted are no longer part of our daily life. A single look at the packed parking lot of the average high school will tell us what has happened to the traditional hike to school that helped to build young bodies. The television set, the movies and the myriad conveniences and distractions of modern life all lure our young people away from the strenuous physical activity that is the basis of fitness in youth and in later life.

Now is the Time

Of course, modern advances and increasing leisure can add greatly to the comfort and enjoyment of life. But they must not be confused with indolence, with, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “slothful-ease,” with an increasing deterioration of our physical strength. For the strength of our youth and the fitness of our adults are among our most important assets, and this growing decline is a matter of urgent concern to thoughtful Americans.

This is a national problem, and requires national action. President Eisenhower helped show the way through his own interest and by calling national attention to our deteriorating standards of physical fitness. Now it is time for the United States to move forward with a national program to improve the fitness of all Americans.

First: We must establish a White House /Committee on Health and Fitness to formulate and carry out a program to improve the physical condition of the nation. This committee will include the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and the Secretary of the Interior. The executive order creating this committee will clearly state its purpose, and coordinate its activities with the many federal programs which bear a direct relation to the problem of physical fitness.

Second: The physical fitness of our youth should be made a direct responsibility of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. This department should conduct—through its Office of Education and the National Institutes of Health—research into the development of a physical fitness program for the nation’s public schools. The results of this research shall be made freely available to all who are interested. In addition, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare should use all its existing facilities to attach the lack of youth fitness as a major health problem.

Third: The governor of each state will be invited to attend the annual National Youth Fitness Congress. This congress will examine the progress which has been made in physical fitness during the preceding year, exchange suggestions for improving existing programs and provide an opportunity to encourage the states to implement the physical fitness program drawn up by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Our states are anxious to participate in such programs, to make sure that their youth have the opportunity for full development of their bodies as well as their minds.

Fourth: The President and all departments of government must make it clearly understood that the promotion of sports participation and physical fitness is a basic and continuing policy of the United States. By providing such leadership, by keeping physical fitness in the forefront of the nation’s concerns, the federal government can make a substantial contribution toward improving the health and vigor of our citizens.

But no matter how vigorous the leadership of government, we can fully restore the physical soundness of our nation only if every American is willing to assume responsibility for his own fitness and the fitness of his children. We do not live in a regimented society where men are forced to live their lives in the interest of the state. We are, all of us, as free to direct the activities of our bodies as we are to pursue the objects of our thought. But if we are to retain this freedom, for ourselves and for generations to come, then we must also be willing to work for the physical toughness on which the courage and intelligence and skill of man so largely depend.

All of us must consider our own responsibilities for the physical vigor of our children and of the young men and women of our community. We do not want our children to become a generation of spectators. Rather, we want each of them to be a participant in the vigorous life.

Positive News – Daily Affirmation: 6-20-21, 28 Days A Habit, 90 Days A Lifestyle

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:
“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” – Dolly Parton


Beginning of Day
: How’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading the quote above?

End of day: Re-read the quote. Did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote above? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset?

We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on today’s quote.

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” – Dolly Parton

It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.

Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries.

Listen to our report and positive affirmations via our podcasts:

Supreme Court Upholds ADA for a 3rd Time

The Supreme Court on Thursday tossed out a closely watched legal battle targeting the Affordable Care Act, rescuing the landmark health care law from the latest efforts by Republican-led states to dismantle it.

The court ruled 7-2 that the red states and two individuals who brought the dispute do not have the legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of the law’s individual mandate to buy health insurance and ordered the case to be dismissed.

Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented. Justice Stephen Breyer delivered the majority opinion for the court.

As originally enacted in 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act required most Americans to obtain minimum essential health insurance coverage. The Act also imposed a monetary penalty, scaled according to in- come, upon individuals who failed to do so. In 2017, Con- gress effectively nullified the penalty by setting its amount at $0. See Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Pub. L. 115–97, §11081, 131 Stat. 2092 (codified in 26 U. S. C. §5000A(c)).

Texas and 17 other States brought this lawsuit against the United States and federal officials. They were later joined by two individuals (Neill Hurley and John Nantz). The plaintiffs claim that without the penalty the Act’s min- imum essential coverage requirement is unconstitutional.  The court concluded they had no standing. 

To read detail of the ruling visit

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/19-840_6jfm.pdf

Thursday’s 7-2 ruling was the third time the court has rebuffed major GOP challenges to former President Barack Obama’s prized health care overhaul. Stingingly for Republicans, the decision emerged from a bench dominated 6-3 by conservative-leaning justices, including three appointed by President Donald Trump.

“The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land,” President Joe Biden said, using the statute’s more formal name, after the court ruled that Texas and other GOP-led states had no right to bring their lawsuit to federal court.

At the time of printing no statement has been released by the New Mexico Republican Party concerning the ruling. 

The lawsuit, initially fashioned as Texas v. United States, was filed in February 2018 by 20 Republican state attorneys general and Republican governors. The plaintiffs wanted to revisit National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius (NFIB), where the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, upheld the mandate as constitutional. In that decision from 2012, Chief Justice Roberts construed the mandate as a tax, concluding that it was valid under Congress’s authority to tax and spend.

The challenge in Texas is related. The plaintiffs argued that the individual mandate is unconstitutional after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, in which Congress set the penalty for not purchasing “minimum essential coverage” coverage to $0. That bill was adopted in December 2017 using the budget reconciliation process after Congress repeatedly tried and failed to repeal the ACA throughout 2017. Without the penalty, the plaintiffs argued, the mandate is unconstitutional. They further argued that the mandate is so essential to the ACA that it cannot be severed from the rest of the law, meaning the entire ACA should be struck down. At a minimum, they asked the court to strike down the law’s guaranteed issue and community rating provisions alongside the mandate.

The state plaintiffs were later joined by two individual plaintiffs who live in Texas and purchased unsubsidized marketplace coverage. These individuals objected to having to comply with the mandate but intended to purchase ACA-compliant coverage in 2019, even after the penalty was set to $0, because they wanted to follow the law. The individual plaintiffs were likely added to the lawsuit to bolster the states’ weak standing argument in the lawsuit—which we now know was to no avail.

Democratic state attorneys general from (initially) 16 states and the District of Columbia—led by then-California Attorney General (and now Department of Health and Human Services Secretary) Xavier Becerra—were allowed to intervene in the case to defend the ACA. These states sought to protect their interests in billions of dollars in federal funding under the ACA, to ensure that their residents have access to health care, and to prevent chaos in their health care systems if the ACA was found to be unconstitutional.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) partially agreedwith the plaintiffs and declined to defend the constitutionality of the mandate and other key ACA provisions. This was a highly unusual position: historically, the DOJ has defended federal statutes where a reasonable argument could be made in their defense. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions informed Congress of the DOJ’s position that the mandate was unconstitutional and that the ACA’s provisions on guaranteed issue, community rating, preexisting condition exclusions, and discrimination based on health status were inseverable and should also be invalidated. At that point, the DOJ had drawn the line there, arguing that the rest of the ACA was severable and should remain in effect.

In December 2018, Judge O’Connor, a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas, agreed with the plaintiffs and declared the entire ACA to be invalid. He reaffirmed this decision in late December when issuing a stay and partial final judgment. Many of district court’s legal conclusions, from standing to severability, were criticized by conservative legal scholars, the Wall Street Journal editorial board, and the National Review editorial board, among others. 

The Fifth Circuit

The DOJ and Democratic attorneys general appealed Judge O’Connor’s decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Democratic attorneys general from an additional four states and the U.S. House of Representatives were allowed to intervene to defend the ACA while two plaintiff states withdrew from the case. On appeal, the DOJ under then-Attorney General William Barr took the new position that the entire ACA should be declared invalid. From there, the DOJ changed its position twice more, suggesting first that the district court’s decision applied only to the plaintiff states and two individuals, and second that the court’s remedy should be limited only to the provisions that injured the individual plaintiffs.

After oral argument, the Fifth Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, partially affirmed the district court, agreeing that the mandate is now unconstitutional. However, instead of determining what this meant for the rest of the ACA’s provisions, the court remanded the case for additional analysis on the question of severability. One judge disagreed with these conclusions and filed a lengthy dissent arguing that the plaintiffs lacked standing and that, in any event, the mandate remains constitutional and severable from the rest of the ACA. She opined that there was no need to remand, especially on severability.

At The Supreme Court New Mexico Joined The Argument the ACÁ Should Stay Intact

The Democratic attorneys general and the House appealed the Fifth Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court. They initially asked for expedited review, which was denied. However, the Court agreed to hear the appeal on a non-expedited basis and also granted a conditional cross-petition filed by Texas, which asked the Court to uphold the district court’s decision. By granting both petitions, the Court considered the full scope of legal issues in Texas—from whether the plaintiffs have standing to whether the rest of the law could be severed from the individual mandate.

During the briefing and oral argument, 18 Republican attorneys general and governors, two individuals, and the Trump administration argued against the validity of the ACA, which was defended by 21 Democratic attorneys general and the House. The 18 challenger states were Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia. The 21 intervenor states were California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington. Republican attorneys general in Montana and Ohio were not parties to the case but filed an amicus briefarguing that the mandate is unconstitutional but severable from the rest of the ACA. And a bipartisan group of governors from Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin filed a separate brief arguing that the ACA should be upheld. All but four states took a formal position in the lawsuit.

Briefing was completed in mid-August, and all filings are available here. Prior posts analyzed opening briefs from California and the House; amicus briefs from nearly 40 health care and other stakeholders; opening briefs from Texas, two individuals, and the Trump administration; amicus briefs from six organizations; reply briefsfrom California and the House; and reply briefsfrom Texas and the two individuals.

Oral Argument

Oral argument was held on November 10, 2020 by the full panel of judges, including then-newly seated Justice Amy Coney Barrett whom President Trump nominated after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (The Texas litigation and oral argument loomed large over Justice Barrett’s confirmation process in the Senate.) All three core issues of the litigation were discussed during oral argument: whether the plaintiffs had standing to sue, the continued constitutionality (or not) of the individual mandate, and whether the rest of the ACA could be severed if the mandate is unconstitutional.

As discussed here, much of the oral argument focused on standing. Many Justices seemed troubled that the penalty-less mandate could not be enforced against the plaintiffs and that invalidation of the mandate alone would not address their alleged injuries. Many also raised concerns about the “standing through inseverability” theory advanced by the plaintiffs and DOJ. These topics were key in the Court’s ultimate decision, discussed below.

Post-Oral Argument

Following the 2020 election, the Biden administration formally changed its position in the litigation. In early February, DOJ submitted a letter to inform the Court that it had reconsidered its position and no longer adhered to the conclusions in previously filed briefs. Upon reconsideration, DOJ’s new position was that the individual mandate, even with a $0 penalty, remained constitutional: The 2017 amendment to the ACA to reduce the penalty to zero “did not convert [the mandate] from a provision affording a constitutional choice into an unconstitutional mandate to maintain insurance.” DOJ’s argument echoed the briefs filed by California and the Housebut did not address standing at all.

It is worth noting that Congress enacted the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021. This new law expanded upon the ACA by temporarily enhancing marketplace subsidies for lower- and middle-income people through 2022. To the extent that the Court looked to subsequent congressional action, this would have showed that the current Congress believed the ACA remained sound and constitutional. 

New Mexico Health and Human Services Department estimated that over $1.7 billion in federal funding was at risk because if the Medicaid expansion went away, then that would have away too, and so underpinning all of the ACÁ is not just the coverage that people have. It’s also the money that comes into New Mexico from the Federal system.

There was also concern about people with preexisting conditions, which is a protection under the Affordable Care Act that prevents insurers from discriminating against those who have them. If it had been overturned those protections would have also gone away.

Yet serious problems remain.

Nearly 29 million Americans remained uninsured in 2019, and millions more likely lost coverage at least temporarily when the COVID-19 pandemic hit according to the Kaiser Foundation. In addition, medical costs continue to rise and even many covered by the law find their premiums and deductibles difficult to afford as inflation rises.

In response, Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package enacted in March expanded federal subsidies for health insurance premiums for those buying coverage. His infrastructure and jobs proposal being negotiated in Congress includes $200 billion toward making that permanent, instead of expiring in two years.

But his plan includes none of his more controversial campaign trail proposals to expand health care access, like creating a federally funded public health care option or letting Medicare directly negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. While those proposals are popular with Democratic voters, they face tough odds in a closely divided Congress.

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Representative Yvette Herrell Votes Yes to Make Juneteenth a Federal Holiday along with 415 other congress members with 14 opposed.

Representative Yvette Herrell joined New Mexico Representatives Melanie Stansbury and Teresa Leger Fernandez for a united New Mexico congressional delegation in the vote endorsing the legislation to make the 19th of June or Juneteenth a federal holiday. Both New Mexico senators voted in favor of this proposal earlier in the week. The house vote was overwhelming support of 415 yes votes verses 14 no votes. All no votes were from the Republican side of the isle. The senate vote passed unanimously with all senators independent, Republican and Democratic supporting the measure.

The legislation gained momentum since the massive Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd last year and the Democratic takeover of the White House and both houses of Congress.  Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson blocked the bill  when introduced in 2020, saying that the day off for federal employees would cost US taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Johnson dropped his objection this week despite his concerns, paving the way for the bill’s passage in the Senate and then the vote in the house.

The Republican Party of New Mexico issued the following press release specific the vote:

Albuquerque, June 17—RPNM wholeheartedly supports a bill establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Yesterday Congress passed the legislation 415-14 to make that day “Juneteenth National Independence Day.”


Juneteenth recognizes June 19th, 1865 when Union soldiers brought news of freedom to enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas. This was two months after the Confederacy had surrendered.

The following is a statement from Stephanie Kennedy, Director of RPNM’s Communities of Color Christian Conservative Group, the Party’s minority engagement group in New Mexico:

“Today is a momentous time in history, as Congress voted to make Juneteenth a national holiday. Juneteenth gives rise to the emancipation of enslaved people in Texas on June 19, 1865 and more broadly to the end of slavery in our nation. The Republican Party has always stood for freedom and equality for all. This holiday will commemorate an important part of our history, and with the growing social unrest in American society, it also marks a time for realizing that we all are people of color. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

President Biden on Thursday signed the legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. It is also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and Black Independence Day. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery.

History

June 19, 1865, marks the date that Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of both the Civil War and slavery.  His announcement, General Order Number 3 reads:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them, becomes that between employer and hired labor. The Freedmen are advised to remain at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

The 1865 date is largely symbolic. The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln, had legally freed slaves in Texas on January 1, 1863, almost 2½ years earlier. Even after the general order, some slave masters withheld the information from their enslaved people, holding them enslaved through one more harvest season.

Texans celebrated Juneteenth beginning in 1866 with community-centric events, such as parades, cookouts, prayer gatherings, historical and cultural readings, and musical performances. Over time, communities have developed their own traditions. Some communities purchased land for Juneteenth celebrations, such as Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas. As families emigrated from Texas to other parts of the United States, they carried Juneteenth celebrations with them.

On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth officially became a Texas state holiday. Al Edwards, a freshman state representative, put forward the bill, H.B. 1016, making Texas the first state to grant this emancipation celebration. Since then, 48 other states and the District of Columbia have also commemorated or recognized the day and it is now a recognized national holiday.

Juneteenth becomes the 11th federal holiday, joining: New Year’s day, Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington’s birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving day and Christmas day. Federal employees in Washington, D.C. also receive inauguration day off in years a president is sworn-in to office.

Juneteenth becomes the first federal holiday established by Congress since 1983 when Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created. All states except South Dakota observe Juneteenth but not all give workers the day off. Now however it is a recognized national holiday.

President Biden signed the bill Thursday making Juneteenth a national holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S., calling it a day to remember the “moral stain, the terrible toll that slavery took on the country.”

The holiday was set to take effect immediately. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said on Twitter Thursday that because the 19th falls on a Saturday this year, “most federal employees will observe the holiday tomorrow, June 18th.”

“Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments,” Mr. Biden said during a signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House, surrounded by lawmakers and guests, including Opal Lee, a Texas activist who campaigned to make Juneteenth a national holiday. “Great nations don’t walk away. We come to terms with the mistakes we made. And remembering those moments, we begin to heal and grow stronger.”

Story Origin Alamogordo Town News

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/32826/representative-yvette-herrell-votes-yes-make-juneteenth-federal-holiday

Alamogordo Town News History Lesson Flag Day, Flag Code and Old Glory by Author Chris Edwards

Bernard Cigrand, a small-town Wisconsin teacher, originated the idea for an annual flag day, to be celebrated across the country every June 14, in 1885. That year, he led his school in the first formal observance of the holiday. Cigrand, who later changed careers and practiced dentistry in Illinois, continued to promote his concept and advocate respect for the flag throughout his life.

But prior to that when the American Revolutionbroke out in 1775, the colonists weren’t fighting united under a single flag. Instead, most regiments participating in the war for independence against the British fought under their own flags. In June of 1775, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to create the Continental Army—a unified colonial fighting force—with the hopes of more organized battle against its colonial oppressors. This led to the creation of what was, essentially, the first “American” flag, the Continental Colors.

For some, this flag, which was comprised of 13 red and white alternating stripes and a Union Jack in the corner, was too similar to that of the British. George Washington soon realized that flying a flag that was even remotely close to the British flag was not a great confidence-builder for the revolutionary effort, so he turned his efforts towards creating a new symbol of freedom for the soon-to-be fledgling nation.

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress took a break from writing the Articles of Confederation and passed a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white,” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

In response to the petition, Congress passed the Flag Act of 1777. It reads in the Journals of the Continental Congress:

Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.

The date commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. The flag was called the Flag Resolution of 1777 and was the first of many iterations of what would become the American flag we recognize today.

Betsy Ross Didn’t Design the Original Flag

Betsy Ross, born Elizabeth Phoebe Griscom, is widely credited with making the first modern American flag in 1776. Folklore states it occurred after General George Washington visited her home at 239 Arch Street in Philadelphia. Ross was the wife of John Ross, a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Militia. John was killed in the early stages of the war. What is known is that Betsy Ross worked in upholstery and helped war efforts by making tents and blankets.

The story of Ross and her presenting the American flag to Washington after he gave her a sketch of what he wanted didn’t become part of “history” until 1876 at Centennial celebrations of the American Revolution. Around that year Ross’s grandson, William J. Canby, wrote a research paper for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania claiming that his grandmother had made the first American flag.

The real designer of the American flag was Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey. Hopkinson was the Chairman of the Continental Navy Board’s Middle Department and also designed a flag for them around 1777, too.

Hopkinson was the only person to make the claim of inventing the American flag in his lifetime until the Betsy Ross apocrypha surfaced a hundred years later. Substantiating Hopkinson’s claims are preserved bills he sent to Congress for his work.

According to the United States Flag Organization:

Apparently acting on a request from Congress, Hopkinson sent a detailed bill on June 6th, and it was sent to the auditor general, James Milligan. He sent it to the commissioners of the Chamber of Accounts, who replied six days later on June 12th that they were of the opinion that the charges were reasonable and ought to be paid.

Flag Day itself was first established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. Wilson was also the first president to recognize Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the latter of which is this Sunday. However, Flag Day didn’t officially become established until 1949 by an act of Congress.

Flag Day is not unique to the United States and many countries have specific flag days. Dates of flag days vary across the world, but most dates were chosen to mark a significant national event like an independence day, a declaration of independence, an important military victory, the creation of the flag, or something similar to our Armed Forces Day.

Prior to Flag Day, June 14, 1923, neither the federal government nor the states had official guidelines governing the display of the United States’ flag. On that date, the National Flag Code was constructed by representatives of over 68 organizations, under the auspices of the National Americanism Commission of the American Legion. The code drafted by that conference was printed by the national organization of the American Legion and given nationwide distribution.

On June 22, 1942, the code became Public Law 77-623; chapter 435. Little had changed in the code since the Flag Day 1923 Conference. The most notable change was the removal of the Bellamy salutedue to its similarities to the Hitler salute.

The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 prohibits real estate management organizations from restricting homeowners from displaying the Flag of the United States on their own property.

The Army Specialist Greg L. Chambers Federal Flag Code Amendment Act of 2007 added a provision to allow governors, or the mayor of the District of Columbia, to proclaim that the flag be flown at half-staff upon the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who died while serving on active duty. The provision directs federal facilities in the area covered by the governor or mayor of the District of Columbia to fly the flag at half-staff consistent with such proclamations.

The Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Sec. 595.)allows the military salute for the flag during the national anthem by members of the Armed Forces not in uniform and by veterans.

And how it was to become named Old Glory

Old Glory!”

This famous name was coined by Captain William Driver, ship master of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1831. As he was leaving on one of his many voyages aboard the brig Charles Doggett friends presented him with a beautiful American flag of twenty four stars. As the banner opened to the ocean breeze for the first time, he exclaimed “Old Glory!” (This voyage would climax with the rescue of the mutineers of the Bounty).

Captain Driver retired to Nashville in 1837, taking his treasured American flag from his sea days with him. By the time the Civil War erupted, most everyone in and around Nashville recognized Captain Driver’s “Old Glory.” When Tennessee seceded from the Union, Rebels were determined to destroy his flag, but repeated searches revealed no trace of the hated banner.

Then on February 25th, 1862, Union forces captured Nashville and raised the American flag over the capital. It was a rather small ensign and immediately folks began asking Captain Driver if “Old Glory” still existed. Happy to have soldiers with him this time, Captain Driver went home and began ripping at the seams of his bed cover. As the stitches holding the quilt-top to the batting unraveled, the onlookers peered inside and saw the 24-starred original “Old Glory”!

Captain Driver gently gathered up the flag and returned with the soldiers to the capitol. Though he was sixty years old, the Captain climbed up to the tower to replace the smaller banner with his beloved flag. The Sixth Ohio Regiment cheered and saluted – and later adopted the nickname “Old Glory” as their own, telling and re-telling the story of Captain Driver’s devotion to the flag we still honor today.

Captain Driver’s grave is located in the old Nashville City Cemetery and is one of three (3) places authorized by act of Congress where the Flag of the United States may be flown 24 hours a day.

A caption above a faded black and white picture in the book, The Stars and the Stripes, states that ‘Old Glory’ may no longer be opened to be photographed, and no color photograph is available.” Visible in the photo in the lower right corner of the canton is an applique anchor, Captain Driver’s very personal note. “Old Glory” is the most illustrious of a number of flags – both Northern and Confederate – reputed to have been similarly hidden, then later revealed as times changed. The flag was given to his granddaughter or niece who later donated it to the Smithsonian.

So on this flag day rather you are celebrating in Alamogordo, Nashville or the beaches of California, let us remember no party and no ideology owns the American flag. The American flag is the people’s flag with a long history that is a twist of tales and reverence. 

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Bill Swartz Crossing America for Charity Stops By Roadrunner Emporium & Fine Arts Gallery, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico

Dateline: Alamogordo, New Mexico, June 8, 2021

In case you missed the jovial guy on a bike zipping around Alamogordo yesterday, you missed a man of commitment and compassion.

Meet Mike Swartz. While some people have sat back and complained during this dark period of Covid-19 and the new awakening as we come out of it, there are some individuals that didn’t just sit back in self pity but some individuals set a goal and a path forward to help the greater good of their community and followed through on that path forward in enlightenment and action.A view of Bill Swartz journey 

Mike Swartz is one of those individuals. He is bicycling across America from Harbor New Jersey to San Diego to raise awareness and funds for charity.  His solo ride of about 4000 miles in total down the east coast and across the country is to raise money for Bell Socialization Services which began in 1966 as “The Bell Club,” a social gathering for people being discharged from local psychiatric hospitals into the greater York, PA community.  Created with support of the York chapter of Mental Health America and a financial donation from the York Jaycees, early Bell programs included meals and activities hosted by churches and organizations such as the Catholic Women’s Club, the Jewish War Veteran’s Auxilliary, the Jaycees Wives, etc., as well as dances, presentations, and outings.

The organization then engaged to enrich mental health services, in 1977, programs were also added to assist individuals with intellectual disabilities , and in 1986, the agency added shelter services to meet the needs of York County’s homeless families.

Over the years Bell services continued to evolve and expand and, today, about 2,500 people are served each year through dozens of programs offering an array of housing and basic living supports, guided by our Vision, Mission, & Values. Many Bell programs are licensed and/or accredited to meet strict standards of quality care. With more than 50 properties throughout York and Adams counties, people using Bell services are an integral part of the greater community.

You can follow along the remaining parts of Mr. Swartz journey and read his commentary and blog over his encounters along the way ata variety of social media pages which are  devoted to this bicycle ride. ‍ You’ll see photos, video clips and stories about my experiences and the interesting folks I meet as I bicycle across America.
* FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/coasttocoastbicycleride/
* INSTAGRAM: @billswartz3
* WEBSITE for this COASTtoCOASTbicycleride: www.thisclearbluesky.com

We were fortunate to meet this jovial man at Roadrunner Emporium on New York Avenue yesterday. He explained his journey and his passion and moved us with his experiences.

Mr Swartz said he was attracted to the street and to come into Roadrunner Emporium as he heard John a Lennon’s famous “Imagine” being coming from the Emporium and he knew from that inspiring sound he had to check out the Emporium and the historic New York Avenue. Proving once again “music unites us.”Artist Dalia Lopez Halloway and Author Chris Edwards Photographed by Bill Swartz on His Journey

His journey reminds us all that there are good people out there, not just sitting back but taking action from the darkness to bring light to causes and issues that are important to the community and the nation at large.

Humanity is out there if we just keep our eyes open and look for it. Good luck Mr. Swartz.

And to make a donation to the charity follow the link attached:

https://gofund.me/5b660142

To learn more about the charity he is supporting visit:

https://bellsocialization.com/aboutbell/

To see a FOX News Clip on his journey visit The Fox 43 TV news  affiliates video clip that gives a good overview of this coast to coast bicycle ride fundraiser and the charity for which I’m riding:

https://www.fox43.com/mobile/article/news/local/york-county-man-biking-across-the-country-to-raise-money-for-bell-socialization/521-0da649dc-48bb-4053-a4c2-7dde9b59e747?fbclid=IwAR2XGpbTP1JN_RCTKU3wJLQ2VorxOqTvSRc3x8EIwn98XCMLIuTqHD9Q6

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Alamogordo Town News Sports Report: Alamogordo Sports: Alamogordo High Tigers Boys & Girls Win Bob Sepulveda Invitational Track & Field Meet 6/4/21

Congratulations to the Alamogordo Tigers Track and Field Boys (203 points) and Girls Team (219 Points) Winning the Bob Sepulveda Invitational Meet in competition with Tularosa, Centennial, Las Cruces, Deming and Silver. This win comes on the back of Alamogordo Boys and Girls both winning the Thurman Jordan Relays in Deming on May 28th.

The Lady Tigers again placed First Place with 219 team points

2) Centennial High School 71

3) Las Cruces High School 63 

4) Silver High School 25

5) Deming High School 10 

6) Tularosa High School 5

The Alamogordo Tiger Boys Placed First with 203 points

 2) Centennial High School 72

3) Deming High School 59

4) Las Cruces High School 45

5) Silver High School 15

6) Tularosa High School 7

Individual results supplied by Mile Split NM include…

Event 1 Girls 4×100 Meter Relay Finals
1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 49.49
1) Stinson, Yvonne 2) Martin, Justyse
3) Walker, Gracie 4) Adams, Rebecca
2 Las Cruces High School ‘A’ 52.22

Event 2 Boys 4×100 Meter Relay
1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 44.95
1) Moser, Landon 2) Kotter, Gabe
3) Gilbert, Harlon 4) Sell, Zack
2 Deming High School ‘A’ 47.06
1) Reyna, Fabian 2) Au, Esau
3) Villegas, Gabriel 4) Ramirez, Cesar

Event 3 Girls 800 Meter Run
1 Battle, Ellary Alamogordo H 2:21.29
2 Najar, Vanesa Alamogordo H 2:34.68
3 Shaklee, Janae Alamogordo H 2:36.59
4 Soe, Saung Alamogordo H 2:44.41
5 Armendariz, Lauren Silver High 2:52.79
6 Romero, Miranda Las Cruces H 2:56.13
7 Guzman, Valerie Centennial H 3:01.76
8 Santistevan, Kathleen Deming High 3:04.98
9 Marjmelejo, Valeria Las Cruces H 3:09.87
10 Cardoza, Clorinda Centennial H 3:17.19
11 Trujillo, Arianna Centennial H 3:27.39

Event 4 Boys 800 Meter Run
1 Garcia, Celso Alamogordo H 2:05.81
2 Aguilar, Daniel Deming High 2:11.42
3 Enriquez, Omar Alamogordo H 2:13.86
4 Dalmas, Isaiah Alamogordo H 2:18.30
5 Bernal, Eric Las Cruces H 2:19.95
6 Lara, Aaron Centennial H 2:22.28
7 Ball, Evan Centennial H 2:34.82
8 Hibpshman, Jared Alamogordo H 2:43.90
9 Leuenberger, Jonathan Centennial H 3:21.24

Event 5 Girls 100 Meter Hurdles
1 Duchene, Kaelan Alamogordo H 16.60 2
2 Bates, Trezure Alamogordo H 18.09 2
3 Riordan, Anna Alamogordo H 18.19 2
4 Leal, Ayanna Centennial H 18.26 2
5 Handley, Billie Las Cruces H 20.27 1
6 Contreras, Nikki Las Cruces H 20.56 1
7 Castillo, Juliana Alamogordo H 21.90 1

Event 6 Boys 110 Meter Hurdles
1 Sell, Zack Alamogordo H 16.69
2 Kotter, Gabe Alamogordo H 16.84
3 Mcrae, Crystan Las Cruces H 17.17
4 Hernandez, Daniel Centennial H 18.19
5 Mitchell, Aiden Centennial H 19.59
6 Sell, Matthew Alamogordo H 19.70
7 Madrid, Diego Silver High 19.92

Event 7 Girls 100 Meter Dash
1 Martin, Justyse Alamogordo H 12.69 2
2 Alexander, Leih’Asiyah Silver High 13.78 2
3 Thomas, Sydney Alamogordo H 13.83 2
4 Adams, Rebecca Alamogordo H 13.93 2
5 Barrio, Audrey Centennial H 14.34 2
6 Navarette, Janessa Centennial H 14.45 1
7 Woffard, Isabella Las Cruces H 14.52 1
8 Misquez, Kaley Silver High 14.83 1
9 Walker, Arriana Alamogordo H 14.87 1
10 Ocampo, Lauren Centennial H 15.28 2
11 Reinhold, Delia Las Cruces H 15.75 1
12 Sedor, Khrystal Centennial H 16.11 1
13 Rojas, Alyssa Las Cruces H 19.82 1

Event 8 Boys 100 Meter Dash
1 Johnson, Derrik Las Cruces H 11.47 3
2 Gilbert, Harlon Alamogordo H 11.53 3
3 Reyna, Fabian Deming High 11.81 3
4 Baeza, Isaac Deming High 12.11 1
5 Parra, Jose Silver High 12.21 3
6 Chacon, Josiah Silver High 12.37 1
7 Madrid, Richie Las Cruces H 12.41 2
8 Abeyta, Isaiah Centennial H 12.44 2
9 Mediola, Napu Alamogordo H 12.50 3
10 Ocoha, Jesus Alamogordo H 12.62 1
11 Vasquez, Ricky Silver High 12.66 2
12 Bitar, Juan Centennial H 12.68 2
13 Ortega, Israel Tularosa Hig 12.70 3
13 Moser, Landon Alamogordo H 12.70 3
15 Villegas, Gabriel Deming High 12.84 2
16 Rios, Joshua Silver High 13.07 1
17 Gibson, Whitney Centennial H 13.69 2
18 Fort, Craig Centennial H 14.07 2

Event 9 Girls 1600 Meter Run
1 Battle, Ellary Alamogordo H 5:37.37
2 Green, Lindsey Silver High 5:49.09
3 Shaklee, Janae Alamogordo H 5:57.92
4 Hoyle, Deianira Centennial H 6:05.25
5 Santistevan, Kathleen Deming High 7:33.56

Event 10 Boys 1600 Meter Run
1 Garcia, Celso Alamogordo H 4:41.13
2 Rogers, Colton Silver High 4:55.34
3 Rios, Dax Centennial H 5:00.11
4 Avila, Angel Alamogordo H 5:11.95
5 Gagnon, Michael Alamogordo H 5:17.37
6 Hallbeck, Jack Alamogordo H 5:35.68
7 Ball, Evan Centennial H 5:45.60
8 Lara, Aaron Centennial H 5:50.40

Event 11 Girls 4×200 Meter Relay
1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 1:50.76
1) Duchene, Kaelan 2) Sandoval, Gabi
3) Shaw, Haley 4) Thomas, Sydney
2 Las Cruces High School ‘A’ 1:59.63
1) Cylear, Katrina 2) Noopila, Maija
3) Reinhold, Delia 4) Sneed, Madison

Event 12 Boys 4×200 Meter Relay
1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 1:36.34
1) Moser, Landon 2) Sell, Zack
3) Dalmas, Isaiah 4) Mediola, Napu
2 Deming High School ‘A’ 1:41.95
1) Villegas, Gabriel 2) Hofacket, Charlie
3) Baeza, Isaac 4) Ramirez, Cesar
3 Centennial High School ‘A’ 1:43.55
1) Bitar, Oscar 2) Lundien, Deven
3) Lara, Nathan 4) Mayers, Julian

Event 13 Girls 400 Meter Dash
1 Barrera, Isabella Las Cruces H 1:02.12 2
2 Reinhold, Alegra Las Cruces H 1:02.29 2
3 Walker, Gracie Alamogordo H 1:04.32 2
4 Neilson, Michaela Alamogordo H 1:04.42 2
5 Gunn, Devyn Centennial H 1:04.91 2
6 Gerou, Eva Alamogordo H 1:06.22 2
7 Esquero, Alyssa Alamogordo H 1:09.37 2
8 Navarette, Janessa Centennial H 1:11.20 1
9 Armendariz, Lauren Silver High 1:11.24 1
10 Miller, Zia Las Cruces H 1:13.25 1
11 Goff, Sailer Tularosa Hig 1:15.92 1
12 Amador, Catrianna Centennial H 1:22.12 1
13 Skinner, Hannah Silver High 1:27.40 1

Event 14 Boys 400 Meter Dash
1 Barraza, Ezequiel Alamogordo H 53.29 3
2 Au, Esau Deming High 53.75 3
3 Kepfer, Aiden Alamogordo H 54.51 2
4 Enriquez, Omar Alamogordo H 54.64 3
5 Reyna, Fabian Deming High 55.04 3
6 Fort, Craig Centennial H 55.21 2
7 Aguilar, Daniel Deming High 55.51 3
8 Bernal, Ivan Alamogordo H 55.92 2
9 Reyes, Isaiah Tularosa Hig 56.93 1
10 Ortega, Israel Tularosa Hig 57.13 3
11 Barraza, Matthew Tularosa Hig 57.67 1
12 Bryant, Ricky Tularosa Hig 58.26 2
13 Weir, Levi Las Cruces H 58.99 1
14 Ortiz, Christian Centennial H 59.26 2
15 Herrera, Marcus Centennial H 59.46 1
16 Sedor, Paul Centennial H 1:02.24 3

Event 15 Girls 300 Meter Hurdles
1 Duchene, Kaelan Alamogordo H 47.85 2
2 Sandoval, Gabi Alamogordo H 52.69 2
3 Castillo, Evelyn Alamogordo H 55.57 2
4 Harrison, Syella Centennial H 56.35 2
5 Leal, Ayanna Centennial H 57.43 2
6 Handley, Billie Las Cruces H 59.28 1
7 Woffard, Isabella Las Cruces H 1:03.26 1
8 Fillmore, Marie Alamogordo H 1:04.83 1

Event 16 Boys 300 Meter Hurdles
1 Kotter, Gabe Alamogordo H 42.14 2
2 Mcrae, Crystan Las Cruces H 43.61 2
3 Sell, Zack Alamogordo H 44.20 2
4 Mitchell, Aiden Centennial H 46.39 2
5 Baeza, Isaac Deming High 46.55 2
6 Hernandez, Daniel Centennial H 47.01 2
7 Sifuentes, JonHenry Alamogordo H 48.89 1
8 Sell, Matthew Alamogordo H 48.91 1
9 Madrid, Diego Silver High 50.79 1

Event 17 Girls 1600 Sprint Medley
1 Las Cruces High School ‘A’ 4:46.28
1) Reinhold, Alegra 2) Gutierrez, Linette
3) Romero, Miranda 4)
2 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 4:49.34
1) Riordan, Anna 2) Esquero, Alyssa
3) Koehler, Lynley 4) Soe, Saung

Event 18 Boys 1600 Sprint Medley
1 Las Cruces High School ‘A’ 3:49.03
1) Madrid, Richie 2) Lucero, Nicolas
3) Saiz, Zack 4) Hadley, Thomas
2 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 4:05.92
1) Dalmas, Isaiah 2) Enriquez, Omar
3) Holt, Wyatt 4) Bond, Thomas

Event 19 Girls 200 Meter Dash
1 Martin, Justyse Alamogordo H 26.03 3
2 Stinson, Yvonne Alamogordo H 26.12 3
3 Gunn, Devyn Centennial H 27.95 3
4 Walker, Gracie Alamogordo H 28.47 3
5 Alexander, Leih’Asiyah Silver High 28.60 3
6 Barrio, Audrey Centennial H 29.28 3
7 Ocampo, Lauren Centennial H 29.37 2
8 Misquez, Kaley Silver High 31.27 2
9 Duran, Hailey Tularosa Hig 31.41 2
10 Reinhold, Delia Las Cruces H 32.86 2
11 Goff, Sailer Tularosa Hig 33.59 2
12 Sedor, Khrystal Centennial H 34.68 1
13 Wooldridge, Emily Alamogordo H 35.41 1
14 Rojas, Alyssa Las Cruces H 41.13 1

Event 20 Boys 200 Meter Dash
1 Gilbert, Harlon Alamogordo H 22.76 4
2 Johnson, Derrik Las Cruces H 24.01 4
3 Reyna, Fabian Deming High 24.14 4
4 Abeyta, Isaiah Centennial H 25.01 1
5 Mediola, Napu Alamogordo H 25.24 4
6 Aguilar, Daniel Deming High 25.30 4
7 Parra, Jose Silver High 25.33 4
8 Villegas, Gabriel Deming High 25.79 3
9 Spencer, Klevon Alamogordo H 25.85 3
10 Chacon, Josiah Silver High 25.97 3
11 Diaz, Joe Silver High 26.41 3
12 Pierce, Mason Centennial H 26.47 1
13 Weir, Levi Las Cruces H 26.85 2
14 Rios, Joshua Silver High 28.31 2
15 Pollock, Chris Alamogordo H 29.79 1

Event 21 Girls 3200 Meter Run
1 Najar, Vanesa Alamogordo H 12:52.06
2 Santistevan, Kathleen Deming High 16:31.29

Event 22 Boys 3200 Meter Run
1 Rogers, Colton Silver High 10:44.12
2 Rios, Dax Centennial H 10:53.93
3 Winder, Ben Las Cruces H 10:55.89
4 Krizek, Matthew Las Cruces H 10:57.41
5 Avila, Angel Alamogordo H 11:58.69
6 Hallbeck, Jack Alamogordo H 12:16.45

7 Ball, Evan Centennial H 13:27.50

Event 23 Girls 4×400 Meter Relay
1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 4:11.38
1) Adams, Rebecca 2) Stinson, Yvonne
3) Neilson, Michaela 4) Martin, Justyse
2 Centennial High School ‘A’ 4:37.26
1) Gunn, Devyn 2) Barrio, Audrey
3) Harrison, Syella 4) Hoyle, Deianira
3 Las Cruces High School ‘A’ 4:51.06

Event 24 Boys 4×400 Meter Relay
1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 3:30.86
1) Barraza, Ezequiel 2) Gilbert, Harlon
3) Kepfer, Aiden 4) Kotter, Gabe
2 Centennial High School ‘A’ 3:49.27
1) Fort, Craig 2) Sedor, Paul
3) Abeyta, Isaiah 4) Ortiz, Christian

Event 25 Girls Long Jump
1 Stinson, Yvonne Alamogordo H 16-02.00
2 Barrera, Isabella Las Cruces H 15-11.00
3 Duchene, Kaelan Alamogordo H 15-04.25
4 McCain, Jordan Silver High 14-02.75
5 Walker, Gracie Alamogordo H 13-10.50
5 Duran, Hailey Tularosa Hig 13-10.50
7 Barrio, Audrey Centennial H 13-02.50
8 Skinner, Hannah Silver High 11-04.00
9 Goff, Sailer Tularosa Hig 10-11.50

Event 26 Boys Long Jump
1 Moser, Landon Alamogordo H 19-05.00
2 Abeyta, Isaiah Centennial H 19-01.25
3 Ortega, Israel Tularosa Hig 18-05.25
4 Reyes, Isaiah Tularosa Hig 17-10.50
5 Hernandez, Daniel Centennial H 17-07.50
6 Mediola, Napu Alamogordo H 17-04.25
7 Bernal, Ivan Alamogordo H 16-11.50
8 Baeza, Isaac Deming High 16-08.50
9 Barraza, Matthew Tularosa Hig 16-07.00
10 Parra, Jose Silver High 16-06.50
11 Ocoha, Jesus Alamogordo H 16-03.00
12 Chacon, Josiah Silver High 16-02.00
13 Vasquez, Ricky Silver High 16-00.00
14 Madrid, Diego Silver High 15-06.00
15 Hofacket, Charlie Deming High 14-11.25
16 Bitar, Oscar Centennial H 13-06.75

Event 27 Girls Triple Jump
1 Esquero, Alyssa Alamogordo H 33-10.00
2 Harrison, Syella Centennial H 30-10.50
3 Riordan, Anna Alamogordo H 29-09.00
4 Koehler, Lynley Alamogordo H 29-05.25
5 Neilson, Michaela Alamogordo H 28-09.50

Event 28 Boys Triple Jump
1 Gilbert, Harlon Alamogordo H 42-09.50
2 Garcia, Celso Alamogordo H 38-00.00
3 Herrera, Marcus Centennial H 34-04.25
4 Holt, Wyatt Alamogordo H 34-04.00
5 Lara, Nathan Centennial H 33-02.00
6 Umphress, Jonathan Centennial H 32-01.00
7 Hofacket, Charlie Deming High 31-07.00

Event 29 Girls High Jump
1 Stinson, Yvonne Alamogordo H 4-10.00
2 Castillo, Evelyn Alamogordo H 4-08.00
3 Navarette, Janessa Centennial H 4-04.00
3 Soe, Saung Alamogordo H 4-04.00
3 Amador, Catrianna Centennial H 4-04.00
3 Duran, Hailey Tularosa Hig 4-04.00

Event 30 Boys High Jump
1 Sell, Zack Alamogordo H 5-10.00
2 Kotter, Gabe Alamogordo H 5-08.00
3 Spencer, Klevon Alamogordo H J5-08.00
4 Ramirez, Cesar Deming High J5-08.00
5 Hofacket, Charlie Deming High 5-02.00

Event 31 Girls Pole Vault
1 Gerou, Eva Alamogordo H 8-09.00
2 Contreras, Nikki Las Cruces H 8-03.00
3 Bates, Trezure Alamogordo H 6-09.00
4 Moore, Victoria Centennial H 5-09.00

Event 32 Boys Pole Vault
1 Whitelock, Paul Centennial H 10-09.00
2 Hamilton, Chris Las Cruces H 10-03.00
3 Marquez, Joey Alamogordo H 9-09.00

Event 33 Girls Discus Throw
1 Marquez, Macy Alamogordo H 118-01
2 Ocampo, Lauren Centennial H 113-08
3 Leal, Ayanna Centennial H 93-04
4 Pili, Aveolela Centennial H 87-10
5 Salas, Alexys Silver High 82-11
6 Gaston, Layla Tularosa Hig 82-05
7 Vela, Prisila Las Cruces H 78-03
8 Baca, Victoria Deming High 73-04
9 Flourney, Liz Deming High 67-11
10 Salopek, Shaylie Las Cruces H 62-08
11 Pattinson, Maliah Alamogordo H 58-03
12 Kennedy, Kayelee Alamogordo H 54-04

Event 34 Boys Discus Throw
1 Gunn, Jayden Centennial H 141-11
2 LoCoco, Kaden Alamogordo H 137-10
3 Kennedy, Christian Alamogordo H 130-05
4 Ortiz, Ian Deming High 116-09
5 Coyazo, Daniel Alamogordo H 109-07
6 RamIrez, Marcos Deming High 101-00
7 Coyazo, Aiden Alamogordo H 93-01
8 Lewis, Dominic Centennial H 92-10
9 Ortiz, Brandon Silver High 91-00
10 Washam, Dalton Centennial H 83-09
11 Fresquez, Joshua Centennial H 78-10
12 Ellis, Alexander Silver High 73-04
13 Begay, Dace Silver High 66-11

Event 35 Girls Javelin Throw
1 Ocampo, Lauren Centennial H 121-08
2 Lessentine, Sierra Alamogordo H 109-01
3 Torres, Ariana Alamogordo H 102-04
4 Pili, Aveolela Centennial H 99-05
5 Martinez, Makayla Silver High 94-08
6 Sneed, Madison Las Cruces H 80-00
7 Lina, Jayden Las Cruces H 78-02
8 Gaston, Layla Tularosa Hig 74-02
9 Skinner, Hannah Silver High 66-08
10 Flourney, Liz Deming High 62-06
11 Baca, Victoria Deming High 58-07

Event 36 Boys Javelin Throw
1 Bowen, Jimmy Alamogordo H 142-06
2 Ortiz, Ian Deming High 120-00
3 Anthony, Connor Alamogordo H 98-07
4 Cruz, Joaquin Alamogordo H 96-10
5 Fresquez, Joshua Centennial H 94-00
6 RamIrez, Marcos Deming High 92-03
7 Washam, Dalton Centennial H 86-05

Event 37 Girls Shot Put
1 Pili, Aveolela Centennial H 35-03.00
2 Marquez, Macy Alamogordo H 30-10.00
3 Salas, Alexys Silver High 29-07.00
4 Vela, Prisila Las Cruces H 28-05.00
5 Baca, Victoria Deming High 27-01.00
6 Flourney, Liz Deming High 25-11.00
7 Parraz, Teresa Las Cruces H 23-06.00
8 Pattinson, Maliah Alamogordo H 19-01.00

Event 38 Boys Shot Put
1 LoCoco, Kaden Alamogordo H 45-02.00
2 Gunn, Jayden Centennial H 44-02.00
3 Cruz, Joaquin Alamogordo H 40-08.00
4 Kennedy, Christian Alamogordo H 39-01.00
5 Ortiz, Ian Deming High 38-06.00
6 Coyazo, Daniel Alamogordo H 37-00.00
7 Lewis, Dominic Centennial H 36-06.00
8 Ellis, Alexander Silver High 35-03.00
9 Ortiz, Brandon Silver High 33-00.00
10 Washam, Dalton Centennial H 32-11.00
11 Fresquez, Joshua Centennial H 32-07.00
12 Ramirez, Marcos Deming High 29-07.00
13 Begay, Dace Silver High 29-04.00
14 Bennett, Anthony Deming High 27-00.00


Congratulations to all the student athletes from all 6 schools that participated in this odd post Covid-19 Season. Next week the Alamogordo boys will compete at the Gadsden Meet on Friday, Tularosa will compete at District 3-2A Meet at Cloudcroft next Friday.

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“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that is why we recommend it daily.”- Alamogordo Town News Daily Affirmations

As we remind our readers, podcast listeners and partners daily concerning our affirmations; a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits become a lifestyle a “glass half full” mindset becomes a lifestyle and that leads to permanent results. Science and real-world experience tell us that it actually takes a minimum of 28 days to begin to form a habit, but on average its really between 60 to 90 days. For most of us 90 days is a much more effective and realistic timeframe to incorporate a new behavior into our life, thus 90 Days To A Glass Half Full Lifestyle.

Our Daily Action Steps Are To:

  • Commit to taking 5 minutes each morning as you begin your day to read the daily quote.
  • If you are moved or inspired by the quote; share it in an email, phone call, conversation, text, tweet or on your social media network or platform. When we share something, it becomes more real to us.
  • In your own words write in a journal how the quote or thought applies to you or your circumstances, today. If it doesn’t write on your page the first thing that comes into your mind after reading the quote.
  • The end of the day, prior to bed, take 5 more minutes for yourself. Re-read the quote again and write or think of how you applied or took an action today with a person, situation or referenced the daily quote in mind. Reflect on the day, was there any event in the day where your thinking was impacted differently because of the quote or the affirmation.
  • Let’s have fun with the system and commit.
  • Now, Let’s begin with today’s affirmation:
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that is why we recommend it daily.”


Beginning of Day
: How’s the above quote apply to me or what comes to mind when reading the quote above?

End of day: Re-read the quote. Did I share the quote or apply any of its meaning into any part of my day? What issue or situation made me think of or refer to the quote above? Did it help me bridge a positive outcome or mindset?

We encourage you to write or journal your thoughts or reflections on today’s quote.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that is why we recommend it daily.”

It’s your life, express yourself as your true and honest self and let’s work together for self improvement and a Glass Half Full mindset.

Author Chris Edwards lectures, has his podcast and writes. His book series 90 Days to a Glass Half Full Lifestyle is 3 part series that garnered much acclaim from many coming out of rehab and those coming out of incarceration and beginning anew. His other book series, book 1 Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days is an inspirational sport history of interscholastic sports in New Mexico. All of his books are found at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and available via Amazon in 36 countries.

Listen to our report and positive affirmations via our online News Paper Alamogordo Town News

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/31735/positive-news-daily-affirmation-6-4-21-28-days-habit-90-days-lifestyle