Wednesday morning briefing: Growth management, game of the week and a star dies

Good morning and welcome to the Freedom New Mexico Wednesday briefing. Meetings watch The Local Growth Management Committee meeting is 2 p.m. today at Portales City Hall. The agenda includes a closeout report on goals achieved from an initial planning grant. The committee includes various local public, private and Defense Department individuals to manage the […]

Shifting to revised index offers savings

Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week delivered his “last major policy speech” and, in it, suggested that politicians show courage in the fiscal crisis by making the military compensation system more efficient. Gates has the department preparing such a set of recommendations to be part of a $400 billion defense savings package over the next […]

Less incentives for troops this year

The fiscal 2012 defense budget taking shape in Congress could have the fewest significant initiatives for military personnel, retirees and their families in a generation. Blame the ballooning debt crisis, which has left Republicans and Democrats alike looking for ways to curb federal spending, including for defense. And credit a long list of pay and […]

Dairiconcepts up for Freedom Award

Freedom New Mexico Dairiconcepts of Portales is among three New Mexico employers selected as semifinalists for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve, according to a press release. […]

Rating system needs improvement

After a three-year effort by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to improve the process, ill and injured military members still endure a long, complex and often contentious evaluation system when seeking disability ratings and compensation for service-related health conditions. The process has been made more convenient and even shortened by an average six […]

Shaky defense costs Zias in opener; Javs sweep

By Dave Wagner: Freedom New Mexico Eastern New Mexico University’s softball team hung in for six innings against Texas A&M-Kingsville in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader. Then the Zias’ shaky infield defense caught up with them. The Javelinas, who came into the twin bill tied with ENMU for last place in the Lone Star […]

Budget delays harming readiness

Defense officials are shaking their heads in disbelief as congressional leaders continue to delay passing a wartime defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2011, which began last October. With the military spending bill now more than five months overdue, lawmakers last week passed a new stopgap “continuing resolution,” this “CR” to last two weeks, so […]

Unknowns surround gay policy

Department of Defense actuaries can tell you that half of all service members are married. They know that 14 percent of enlisted are women and 11.6 percent are Hispanic. They even know that 20.2 percent of members are Roman Catholic and less than 1 percent are Jewish. But, they will caution, 19.5 percent claim no […]

Laws don’t put end to problems

It seems a certain violent Arizona resident would have done well to have read my column last week. The message that right and wrong are universal rather than subjective is something he apparently needed. Of course, he may not have understood. If he is simply willing to commit evil acts without regard to right or […]

Defense secretary announcing military cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates is announcing the latest round of cost-cutting measures for the military, including a plan to do away with a new amphibious vehicle that can ferry troops to shore while under fire. The plan is aimed at staving off potentially deeper cuts by the White House or Congress by […]