We wish to offer our condolences to the family and friends of former Eddy County Sheriff Jack Childress, who passed away earlier this week. Jack was a mentor and friend to many current members of our law enforcement community. He was Eddy County’s 22nd sheriff, serving from 1981 to 1984 and then from 1989 to 1996.
Sheriff Childress also served as Undersheriff for John Lewis from 1985 to 1988. As Sheriff, he formed the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force. He was also instrumental in realigning New Mexico sheriff terms from two to four years. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sheriff Cage with former Sheriffs Kent Waller and Ernie Mendoza present. Jack also helped us honor other members of the law enforcement community. He was an outstanding member of our community and the state.
Recently, an article in the Current-Argus focused on a petition submitted to the Governor related to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. This petition was opposed to the Department of Energy’s plan to dispose of 35 metric tons of down-blended plutonium at WIPP. We strongly support this plan and believe the petition does not accurately represent the situation. We also do not believe this petition fairly captures the opinions of our residents.
The down-blended plutonium is similar to waste already disposed of at WIPP from the Rocky Flats facility. It will still have to be defense-generated transuranic waste and will still have to meet all waste acceptance criteria. The National Academy of Sciences has conducted a thorough review of this plan.
Opponents to this plan have also complained about communication, but the discussion on this topic has been out in the open for many years.
It’s certainly true that one of the reasons we support WIPP is because it creates thousands of good paying jobs in our area, but we wouldn’t do so were it not a safe facility that was fulfilling an important national goal. The citizens of Carlsbad and Southeast New Mexico are the most important stakeholders when it comes to WIPP. It is frustrating those individuals who live hundreds of miles away seem to be completely indifferent to the livelihood of thousands of our residents. WIPP does an excellent job.
There’s another big production beginning at the Carlsbad Community Theatre this weekend. Sean Grennan’s “Now and Then,” directed locally by Pam Cox, will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, and next week as well. The play stars Zeph Roberson, Ryan Moya, Aubrey Brown and Pam Cox. You can buy tickets online, at the gate or at Angie’s Flowers, the Blue House Bakery and Treasured Moments.