N.M. House District 43 May Update

Column by House District 43 Representative Jim Hall

This is the third in my monthly series on “doings” in District 43. 

It will be brief since I submitted previous articles on two major issues this month Opioid Abuse and on Forest Restoration. 

Other activities since the middle of April included a meeting with the Northern New Mexico branch of the National Association of Women Small Business Owners. 

I heard many inspiring stories of successful startups in Northern New Mexico, usually at the cost of many, many hours and great financial risk. 

This was followed by meetings in La Cienega on water issues. 

The traditional way of life in this historic community is threatened by continuing degradation of their water supply.  

Legal, but unplanned development through “lot splits” have increased the number of households by several hundred and the population by 25 percent in the last 10 years — all being fed from newly drilled wells. 

As a result of this development and other growth in Santa Fe County, springs feeding the acequias are drying up. 

Springs that were running at 750/gallons per hour in 1960 are now only giving 200/gallons per hour. 

More than 300 years of tradition is threatened. 

Later on, I had the opportunity to work on cleanup days in both the Jemez and Los Alamos. 

I was part of the New Mexico Consortium team in Los Alamos — then was very glad to see them get richly deserved recognition at their research facility groundbreaking. 

The following week I spent a morning at the public health clinic in Cuba discussing primary care in our rural areas.  

The Cuba clinic and several smaller nearby clinics are operated by Presbyterian Medical Services (unrelated to Presbyterian Hospital.)

I heard a lot about funding challenges, especially getting enough funding for modern equipment and emergency services. 

The people administering these institutions and those providing care are clearly people who see medical services as a calling. 

Supporting them is high on my priority list. 

During the week following I visited the Los Alamos middle school to hear about their food production program, then attended a meeting of the Los Alamos Community Health Council. 

We are lucky to have the professionals and volunteers that we have in Los Alamos!

Finally, a little levity. New Mexico legislators are often accused of introducing frivolous legislation. 

However, I don’t think we’ll match the following:

As the Albany Times Union reports, “New York Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis has backed off seeking to prohibit dog owners from having Fido fit with testicular implants after being neutered. The silicone implants, called ‘neuticles,’ are actually designed more for the pet owner in that they are intended to ease said owners’ hesitation about altering their pet in fear it will harm their little canine psyches. Although Malliotakis originally called the process “a form of animal cruelty,” she dropped the matter after finding zero evidence that neuticles are actually harmful. You might say she realized she was barking up the wrong tree.”

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