You’ve probably heard so much about the Census that you are tired of it, but there are only a few more weeks left of the public campaign. According to current Census data, Carlsbad is believed to currently be at around 54% in terms of self-response rate, while Artesia is believed to be at 59% and Loving is believed to be at 41%. Most communities in New Mexico are in the 50 to 60 percent range.
As we’ve outlined in the past, it is in the best interest of our community that we get a high Census count. It makes more federal dollars available, it allows us to attract more businesses, and it will even help us potentially add more state representation during redistricting. If you know anyone who hasn’t completed the Census, please encourage them to do so at 2020census.gov as quickly as possible.
There was a very disheartening update from Lincoln National Forest this week, who reports that an estimated 30,000 visitors came to the forest over Labor Day Weekend, and many people left behind large piles of garbage.
The National Forest has outlined some of its own efforts to address this problem, including adding larger Dumpsters, but the problem does not seem to be subsiding. Numerous pictures have been posted of garbage, including sofas and broken children’s cars, being abandoned in the forest.
“We have never before seen this level of complete disregard for nature by people who come to enjoy it and we, as a whole, are disheartened by it,” the Forest Service writes.
As we’ve outlined recently, there are numerous cleanup attempts coming up over the next few weeks where so many of our dedicated residents will devote their weekend toward helping cleanup this mess. But the problem isn’t going to go away if the people leaving behind enormous messes don’t shape up. It is unfair and unreasonable to expect our caring citizens to devote their lives literally picking up the messes of the people who don’t seem to care about those around them.
The Forest Service is considering multiple options, including the possibility of closing various popular public areas. We know most of the people reading this column are on board with keeping our wilderness clean, so please help us reach those who are not.
There were no major changes announced to the emergency public health order during the Governor’s press conference on Thursday, though the state did report a positivity rate of 2.1% overall and the best levels in terms of number of positive cases and hospitalizations in many months. Therefore, it appears that the decision to re-open restaurants at 25% capacity did not have a negative impact on testing numbers, based on the data presented. We hope this will mean more good news for our restaurants and other businesses in the near future. There were also no new changes announced in terms of getting our schools here back open, which remains a top priority.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway