Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Belltower: New Mexico has different issues than California

By
From page A4 | October 07, 2013 | Leave Comment

Originally New Mexico Territory included Arizona and part of Colorado. The Gadsden Purchase three years later in 1853 created what is now those two states’ southern border with Mexico. Eventually the two split up, with New Mexico being admitted as the 47th state in 1912. Arizona was admitted a month later as the 48th star on the flag.

New Mexico especially has a large Hispanic population — 46 percent of the population, with quite a few of those being descendents of the original Spanish colonists. It has the second highest percentage of native Americans after Alaska and the fourth highest total number after California, Oklahoma and Arizona.

When I travel to other states I like to pick up the local paper. Tha Taos News was particularly good. When we visited Taos they were having a four-part annual special edition of features about Taos people and attractions. Taos, at an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet and with a population of about 5,700 people was worried about filling vacancies in its police department.

Taos News writer Andrew Oxford wrote, “One of the toughest cases to crack at the Taos Police Department may be the question of who will fill the agency’s four vacancies.”

Two paragraphs later he quoted the department’s sergeant, who is being promoted to police chief, as saying that agencies all over the state are having difficulty attracting qualified applicants.

One factor is the altitude. Both Taos and Santa Fe are high desert locations and both are nearly 7,000 feet elevation. Merchants we talked to relished the mild, sunny weather of late September, but were “bracing” for winter. It can get to 33 degrees below zero.

In northwestern New Mexico, Farmington’s police department is offering a $15,000 signing bonus for qualified patrol officers and $3,000 for uncertified cadets.

• • •

The Republican governor and the Democratic attorney general are butting heads over gay marriage. Gov. Susana Martinez wants the voters to decide in a ballot measure. The AG, Gary King, is opposed to letting the voters decide and wants the New Mexico Supreme Court to decide if the prohibition against gay marriage is unconstitutional and that New Mexico should recognize gay marriages from other states.

Meanwhile chaos reigns at the county level. Seven of 33 county clerks have started issuing same-sex marriage licenses, either due to lower level court decisions or just on their own interpretation of the law.

King and Martinez will be competing for the governor’s office in 2014.

• • •

They don’t call the state New Mexico for nothing. Consider this fascinating story from the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Columbus is a town on the southwest border of the state, somewhat opposite El Paso, Texas. On the other side of the border is the community of Palomas, Mexico. Because there is only one hospital in the area when mothers give birth from Palomas they send an ambulance across the border to take them to the hospital 30 miles north in Deming, the county seat of Luna County.

That means nearly three out of four Columbus Elementary students live in Palomas. The students, whose mothers gave birth to them on U.S. soil, cross the border each day with U.S. birth certificates covered in plastic and carried in “Barbie and SpongeBob backpacks.” Their mothers can’t cross. As soon as they pass through border patrol officers a yellow school bus waits to pick them up.

Luna County is more than 60 percent Hispanic.

“In the 1950s the Palomas children didn’t even have to be Americans to attend Deming public schools. The principal of the elementary school simply admitted the children after one insistent Mexican father and the tradition began,” wrote Washington Post staff writer Lyndsey Layton. The Mexicans crossed the border to pick onions and chiles for New Mexican farmers.

“Twenty years later the county began requiring U.S. citizenship.”

Another fascinating aspect of this is the Columbus Elementary School uses a dual language immersion model, teaching in Spanish one day and English the next day. “They come in at such a low-level Spanish, they’re not even monolingual — they’re really non-language,” school Superintendent Harvielee Moore told the reporter.

It was left unsaid, but the implication here is that the language spoken at home is some combination of Mexican Indian and Spanish. There are more than 50 different indigenous languages in Mexico. Many of the children of Palomas come from unheated homes with dirt floors, have never held a pencil and have to learn to use an indoor bathroom. Others need glasses.

Despite the initial obstacles, the American-born children of Palomas learn English and many go on to be American success stories, paying taxes.

Michael Raffety is editor of the Mountain Democrat. His column appears biweekly.

Michael Raffety

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 33 Comments

 
Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 76 Comments

 
Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 7 Comments

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments