Gallup Sun

Tuesday, Oct 22nd

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Unintended consequences: Fraud Against Taxpayers law works against economic development

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Well-intentioned laws are known to backfire and cause more harm than healing. And when good laws go bad, the taxpayer can suffer.

The New Mexico Fraud Against Taxpayers Act is an example of such legislation. Passed in 2011 to address the theft of state and local taxpayer dollars through fraudulent activity, the law...

Budget cuts put our KIDS COUNT gains in child health at risk

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One of the few bright spots for New Mexico in this year’s recently released national KIDS COUNT Data Book — which ranked New Mexico at 49th in the nation for overall child well-being — was in child health outcomes.

Improvements took us from ranking 48th in the nation in the four health indicators to 44th. That higher ranking is due in large part to New Mexico’s expansion of Medicaid for low-income adults because it led to the enrollment of tens of thousands of children who were eligible for this health coverage but had not been enrolled.

If nothing else, this is a success story showing that public policies can make a difference. And it’s not just made a difference for kids...

Congrats to area athletes moving along

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Lately, around Gallup and greater McKinley County, student athletes who are now high-school graduates are signing letters-of-intent to attend colleges and universities to further their scholastic and athletic careers. Some will garner four-year scholarships and others will play as walk-ons.

We congratulate them all, as we know it isn’t easy to manage academics and athletics, no matter the school.

We’ve seen Lakota Curley of Rough Rock High School, “Nabo” Nez of Navajo Pine, Kitana Kenneth of Crownpoint High School, Jasmine Coleman of Navajo Prep, among others commit to an institution of their choice.

Curley impressed scouts so much at St. Augustine University in Raleigh, N.C....

Don’t blow up on Fourth of July

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Officials from around Gallup and McKinley County want everyone to be safe on the Fourth of July. It’s news that’s preached a lot at this time of year. Folks in Gallup typically line Hwy 602 and watch an extravagant city fireworks display from the overpass.

No doubt, local police will be out on July 4 implementing a traffic-operations plan to reduce delays and relieve congestion. Everyone must do their part, because safety isn’t just a police department issue.

Expect additional officers to be present not only downtown, but throughout all parts of the city and some surrounding areas. Long traffic backups, short tempers, and some who may have had too much to drink are the norm on the...

The Lost Potential of the Red Rocks (and the hush-hush Pyramid Trail), Part Two

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Martin Link’s impressive 1981 Heritage Canyon and the development of the Red Rocks into a major tourist attraction never got off the ground, all because of a lack of vision from narrow-minded political leaders, bureaucratic restraints, local apathy, and a lack of private-sector involvement.

Considering its location along the most panoramic scenic stretch of I-40/Route 66, the potential for Gallup and the Church Rock area as an attraction rivaling Sedona, Ariz., Moab, Ariz., or Santa Fe is not far-fetched. Step one has to be the construction of a Church Rock freeway exit and overpass, a huge oversight by regional economic planners of the time. With appropriate freeway exits...

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