GRANTS — At 10 a.m. Monday, Grants Mayor Martin “Modey” Hicks was buying eggs and ammunition at a local gun store.

Eggs are always good for cooking. And with ammo — plus a gun — you can get other types of food if need be, Hicks reasoned.

The freewheeling Democratic mayor of this Western New Mexico city of 9,000 people stuck to his proverbial guns Monday morning, welcoming the opening of a few Grants businesses in defiance of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s stay-at-home order. But if Hicks’ mini-rebellion drew plenty of media interest and spurred speculation about a potential confrontation with state police officers charged with enforcing the closures of nonessential businesses, it didn’t seem to raise the pulse of Grants shop owners, many of whom kept their storefronts closed.

Nevertheless, Hicks seemed pleased about making a statement on behalf of some of his constituents.

“We’re not gonna do it anymore,” he said shortly after leaving the Loeffler’s Guns, Etc. store on Santa Fe Avenue, with a box of .357 Magnum cartridges in hand.

Though no state police vehicles were seen on the streets of Grants before noon Monday, at least one Grants business owner — Diane Rowe of Pa’s Pawn — said officers came by to cite her for remaining open at 3 p.m. She said they left the citation on her front door, which was closed and locked at the time.

The furor over the stay-at-home order — and Hicks’ confrontational opposition to it — has placed Grants under a statewide microscope, particularly after the mayor last week referred to state police as “the Gestapo,” a description for which he has since apologized.

On Monday, he said he didn’t want to see a confrontation between state and local police over his decision to encourage local businesses to stay open.

But he said if local businesses like Rowe’s were cited by the state for reopening against the order, he planned to sue the governor in federal court.

“The rights the Constitution has given to us, she cannot take away with a public health order,” said Hicks, who complained the mandates give an unfair advantage to big-box stores that remain open because they sell essential goods.

Many Grants residents and business owners said they are well aware of the virus’s danger. But some said they believe small businesses can do a better job than large-scale chain stores in regulating social-distancing practices and limiting access to their stores.

Rowe said she had only been letting two customers in at a time and only if they had something to pawn or wanted to make a purchase.

No browsers, no children, no people who are simply bored and want to hang around are allowed in, she said.

She didn’t technically reopen her business Monday because she had kept it going even after the state ordered nonessential entities, like hers, to shut down.

She said the restrictions are “wiping out businesses that cannot sustain this.”

State police had already warned her to close last week, she said. Monday’s citation, her second, could lead to a $100 fine. A third could lead to a fine of up to $5,000.

Rowe said she’s not sure she’s going to risk that. She said she planned to go home Monday and review her options.

At Loeffler’s Guns Etc., proprietor David Loeffler opened for a half-day Monday — “to support the mayor” — but said he will have to think about whether he wants to reopen on a more permanent basis and risk citations.

“My best hope is that businesses in this town will get back on their feet … and not go out of business or lay a lot of employees off,” said Loeffler, whose store sells everything from pistols to the eggs that caught the mayor’s attention Monday morning.



He said the business restrictions in place can “cause a lot more long-term problems than serious diseases” — emotionally, physically and financially.

Nationwide, others have called for businesses and even schools to reopen despite the COVID-19 threat, as the national death toll related to the disease topped 56,000.

As of Monday, New Mexico had 2,823 positive cases of COVID-19, with 104 deaths — including a Cibola County man who died in a medical facility in Albuquerque — tied to the virus.

Cibola County, centered by Grants, the county seat, has 41 positive cases of the respiratory infection. But nearby locales, including McKinley County to the west, are seeing cases increase at a frighteningly rapid rate.

It was unclear how many other businesses opened Monday in Grants. Hicks pointed to four, including the municipal Coyote de Malpais Golf Course. Less than a handful of golfers was seen on the course around 1 p.m. Monday.

About two dozen supporters rallied around Hicks when he gave an impromptu news conference in front of City Hall shortly before noon Monday. Other residents driving past honked horns or waved to show their support.

Not everyone was happy with the mayor’s decision. Grants native Cheryl Montoya asked Hicks if he would take responsibility for any more deaths tied to the respiratory virus. The mayor — who was not wearing a mask or gloves — said he would not.

God, he said, would “determine who will die and who will not.”

Montoya, who lost a good friend to hantavirus years ago, said she trusts scientific research on the issue and believes waiting another two weeks to see what happens next is reasonable.

Hicks, on the other hand, appeared ready to open the whole town back up soon. He invited the community to attend the city’s celebration of Independence Day, adding there will be a parade and fireworks, among other festivities.

“Come on down!” he said.

He said he did not know what his local Chamber of Commerce thinks of his plan, as it has not issued a statement. But because of a drop in city revenues “they’re fixing to get their budget cut,” the mayor said.

Efforts to reach a representative of the Chamber of Commerce, which was closed Monday, were unsuccessful.

Some Grants residents took the middle ground. Stacey Corley, whose family has run the local Ford dealership in town since the early 1980s, said he can “definitely see things both ways.”

He said a friend of his who lives in New Orleans tested positive for COVID-19, and it’s not clear if the man will survive. “We’re just hoping we can all get past this and hoping and praying for everybody’s safety,” he said.

He said Grants has weathered other challenges and financial storms, including the closure of local uranium mines and a recent decision to shutter a nearby generating station. It was a move, Hicks said, that led to the loss of 300 jobs for Grants residents.

Nevertheless, Corley remains hopeful.

“Grants has a resiliency that you normally only see on the sports field,” he said. “We can make our way through this through this as a city, as a state and as a country. We just have to stay prayerful and work together.”

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General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

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(64) comments

Tom Hyland

The disaster of the world-wide lockdown was inspired by so called "experts" that have reaped unfathomable fame and fortune all the while directly paid by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates' parents were advocates of eugenics and little Billy was raised to understand the world population needs to be reduced to a fraction of its present numbers. The vaccines Gates has promoted in Asia and Africa have led to the crippling and/or deaths of millions of unsuspecting and gullible victims. William Engdahl at Global Research has written an article exposing the dubious covid models; numbers that have repeatably been proven incorrect; that were adopted as truth and are resulting in a world-wide economic depression. Here's the link to that article: https://tinyurl.com/ychbfe4n

A book published in March 2020 titled "Fauci: The Bernie Madoff of Science and the HIV Ponzi Scheme" exposes the very rich and famous adviser who has spent over 30 years in the pocket of the vaccine industries and who is funded mostly by the dangerous Mr. Gates. I have purchased this book because I don't believe watching network television news is the source of credible information. Knowing the history of involved parties who have called the numbers wrong time and time again should encourage you not to roll up your sleeve when the vaccine is made available.

https://tinyurl.com/ychbfe4n

Tom Hyland

This 10 minute video produced last night reveals the hypocrisy of our elected, and previously elected public officials. These people demand YOU MUST OBEY while they go about their lives oblivious to the restrictions that have been imposed on us lesser mortals. You will have to highlight the link and drag it up to the url slot to view the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJgRk1p8ktY

Jim Klukkert

@T. Hyland- Ah great!@ More distraction & disinformation from FAUX News. But first-

I will never be able to keep it with the Great Lie Mill that is the heart of the Current Conservative Movement (sadly, it was not always so.) What I will not defend is former President Barack Obama. Though he speaks and sings so sweetly, I will never forget the Obama lied before the good people of Flint, Michigan when at a public meeting, he PRETENDED to take a sip of Flint tap water. Shameful. Nor will I forget how he left of brave people of Standing Rock swinging in the breeze while they were violently attacked by the dark forces of the Extractive Industry. Obama promised on his visit to that Nation that he would not forget them, but forget them he did.

It does not bother me a bit that Obama went golfing in a locked down area. It is a poor choice, but the fate of the popular Public Health movement does not hinge, thankfully, on our former President, nor on any other politician. We the people, and the Constitutions and Laws are the political and legal power to prevail for the safety of our people.

What drives our decisions and our commitment is our belief that the Scientific and Medical Communities of the World have a fairly clear understanding of what is needed in terms of confronting the Coronavirus. Though various folks of all political stripes may seek an advantage from that consensus, really matters little. We will stay informed, and demand that the appropriate and lawful measures be taken by our elected representatives.

Now I seem to recall that most of the Faux News team, as well as the Predator-In-Chief and his political sycophants have little use for the Scientific Community. Clearly, at least in some point in recent time, Coronovirus was just a Chinese Hoax. Does that remind you of the Predator-In-Chief’s opinion of Global Climate Change.

What has been said matters. The leadership of our opposition NO LONGER HAS ANY CREDIBILITY.

This is done. We need to move onto the more pressing issue: HOW CAN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MAKE WHOLE THE FOLKS TRULY SUFFERING FROM THIS VERY AVOIDABLE PANDEMIC? That’s a question well worth our attention, and our unity in purpose. The young, the old, the infirm, the working people, communities of color, First Nation’s, women and many more, DESERVE OUR VERY BEST IN ANSWERING THAT QUESTION.

So please, no more well crafted nonsense from Dr. Tucker Carlson, M.D. Oh no, wait a minute, he is without any qualification in that area. So sorry.

Tom Hyland

Tucker Carlson is an investigative reporter. He is not a doctor, I think we know that. I don't trust a lot of doctors lately who swear by vaccinations.I especially distrust Bill Gates and am horrified by his previous vaccines that have laid waste to the people of India and countries of Africa. Gates and his paid promoters of vaccines believe the human body is void of an immune system. Anyway, this video report was focussed upon politicians, both in office and out, who are at liberty to live their lives as they desire while they order the remaining populace to live in quarantine. Nothing "faux" about the report at all... except I can't imagine Carlson will remain employed by FOX News much longer if he continues his whistleblowing. The video is about what is really happening.

Jim, you've truly bought the liberal agenda so unless you're a registered communist I'd say you vote Democrat. What should be understood in America, there is only ONE political party. The ONE party is pro-banks, pro-war and pro-chaos. Doesn't matter who or what you vote for, the elected go forth and do the same thing. It never changes. You asked in all caps... "How can the federal government make whole the folks truly suffering from this very avoidable pandemic?" I suggest government quit interfering in the financial business of life. Stop the shut down of business, of recreation, of human discourse. Stop scolding people for shaking hands or getting too close. Just stop it, period. The federal government should also come to grips with the real numbers of the afflicted, who recovered, and the numbers of how many died. This "pandemic" is much more insignificant than they are saying. Their numbers are wrong. Are you going to be one of the first in line to get the vaccine when it's available?

Jim Klukkert

Wow, so much here, you really do have a talent for gumming up the works with conflation, distraction and rage.

As I have pointed out that We need to move onto the more pressing issue: HOW CAN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MAKE WHOLE THE FOLKS TRULY SUFFERING FROM THIS VERY AVOIDABLE PANDEMIC? That is what I will address.

But first: Bob Woodward is an investigative journalist. Carl Bernstein is an investigative journalist. Sy Hersh is an investigative journalist. Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill and Greg Palast are investigative journalists. Tucker Carlson is NOT an investigative journalist. Tucker Carlson has no credibility, he is a light weight disrupter who couldn’t investigate his way out of a wet paper bag. I was kidding when I referred to Tucker as a doctor, but it remains a mystery to me what his skill set is beyond spreading confusion and distraction.

Totally agree that the two major political parties are presently primarily two faces of the same beast, the one per center corporate, dare I say it, ruling class. Which is why I have for some years worked for those coming up on both the inside and outside tracks, who oppose those consumptive anti-life interests. Never really bought the liberal agenda, ever since the days when liberals brought us the Vietnam War.

Not sure what your bit about being a registered Communist is about. Do folks still register? How? Where?

I have said in recent years that I will support Desiccated Road Kill if that is who the Democrats nominate to oppose the Predator in Chief in November. I am still disappointed the Sanders did not pull off the nomination, as I firmly believe he is the most likely to best Krump and the best choice to take our nation to the next level UP. Oh well, I will have to keep working.

You suggest that we get government out of “interfering in the financial business of life.” You think the billionaires are going to make whole the lives of the billions whose labor created their wealth. Will the one per centers make good the profits they reaped & deferred payments they owe, on enslavement and genocide? Corporations have used our common environment as their private sewers since the dawn of the Industrial Age. Will they now gladly make that Environment whole? What other instrument can the people come to control to finally bring economic and social justice to our world?

I am not a scientist, but I am well enough acquainted to know that body of knowledge is capable of guiding us to good choices. You quickly jump to assorted accusations against Bill Gates. I do not rely at all upon Gates to guide my choices. I have enough friend in science and medicine, and I do read, so I feel adequately prepared to make choices.

So thanks, but no thanks. Distortion and Distraction do not Good Policy make.

Jim Klukkert

@M. Hyman- You write "The federal government should also come to grips with the real numbers of the afflicted, who recovered, and the numbers of how many died. This "pandemic" is much more insignificant than they are saying. Their numbers are wrong."

I would love to see you run that line in the Bronx, Spain, Italy or anywhere in Africa. If I get you a ticket (fares are really cheap right now), would you promise to let me know how that goes? Thanks!

Tom Hyland

This is a 15 minute video produced a couple of days ago that reveals what the owners of the tech giant communications media are implementing to censor information. I posted this many paragraphs down below in the comments section but Mr. Klukkert keeps burying the latest input with 47 inches of protest copy. Again, highlight the url and drag up to the url slot. This is REALLY happening. I know Jim, you already said you hate it. Hate it again.... it's the truth. https://tinyurl.com/ybm3busn

Sigmund Silber

I will remember never to stop in Grants and never to spend a penny there.

They do not have the same problem as McKinley County but for sure I will never ever spend a penny in Grants.

Tom Hyland

Sigmund, it doesn't matter where you stop or what your destination is. Everybody has the same problem. You've been lied to. The virus has been manipulated by world wide governments, of which every nation's financial status is a dying wreck. The numbers have been manipulated and rendered unbelievable. What's going down in Grants, New Mexico is a mere pin point of everybody's concerns. A lot of people in Grants, including the mayor, do not believe what they've been ordered to do nor do they choose to stand by complacently while America crumbles into decay. Below I offered a link to a Tucker Carlson video produced last night which places a clear focus on news manipulated and information censored and denied. This video reveals identical policies here in America falling into place very quickly now which resemble the totalitarian dictates of nations we've always feared. Unfortunately this newspaper doesn't provide a live link you can click. Highlight this link and drag it up to the url slot above and it will open. https://tinyurl.com/y7sy7kuw

Orlie Romero

What penny and when will you travel again?

Tom Hyland

This discussion among readers of a story regarding the mayor of Grants, New Mexico; who is defying the world wide lock down of the human population of planet Earth; is but a microcosm of the present polarity. One one side are the obedient and unquestioning believers of authority and on the other side are those who cannot trust conflicting news reports and the lockdown itself. Thus, the disbelievers are horrified by the draconian actions of government, health organizations and the news and social medium. A video of two doctors in California discussing real numbers of the afflicted, the recovered, and the deaths, garnered over 5 million views in three days and then was disappeared by youtube. The doctors said in California 4.7 million were afflicted which resulted in 1,227 deaths. This amounts to a 0.03 chance of dying from the virus and these men asked aloud is it sensible to shut down California.

Tucker Carlson posted a 15 minute video this evening describing the censorship of human discourse, here in America, which is akin to regimes we have historically described as totalitarian in nature. The similarities of what is happening is eerie. It is surreal and very unAmerican. Read the 50 or more comments below mine and marvel at the polarization of this community. Those critical of our government overlords are attacked and told to OBEY. Strange days, indeed. Watch this video and hopefully some of you will get a bigger picture of what's going on. Tucker Carlson... on FOX News.... how many of you will refuse to watch at all? Please, learn something. https://tinyurl.com/y7sy7kuw

Jim Klukkert

@Tom Hyland- Right on cue, let’s roll the FAUX NEWS Disinformation Reel with Tucker Carlson bemoaning the ‘disappearance’ of an important Yahoo video exposing the world wide conspiracy to manipulate Pandemic news! Mike Huckabee joined the chorus, saying "These guys are medical doctors. They are scientists. For heaven's sake, they didn't say anything that was really disputable. They were giving facts [and] figures.” Which is absolutely true, with the important caveat being that these so-called facts [and] figures were ginned up by Trumpers interested more in their clinics bottom line than in Public Health, ginned up in ways that actually have been widely disputed.

Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi have been roundly criticized by their peers, including numerous Public Health authorities for putting out information that while pretending to be conclusive, have lacked all the measures, such peer review, control groups, and random sampling, that bona fide scientific studies require. The American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine issued a statement stating that the organization “emphatically condemn[s] the recent opinions released by Dr. Daniel Erickson and Dr. Artin Messihi. These reckless and untested musings do not speak for medical societies and are inconsistent with current science and epidemiology regarding COVID-19. As owners of local urgent care clinics, it appears these two individuals are releasing biased, non-peer reviewed data to advance their personal financial interests without regard for the public’s health.”

Yahoo did not ‘disappear’ the doctor's video, as racist regimes once disappeared their critics. Rather, Yahoo made a public and deliberate decision to NOT CIRCULATE MIS-INFORMATION. Yahoo is not required to circulate the mis-leading claims of snake oil salesmen, nor of charlatans who suggest that we can curb Coronavirus by injecting disinfectants. (Oh wait a minute, who originated that remedy?)

Expect to see more of this sort of right wing media manipulation as the election approaches. Add to that, seasoned right wing activists coordinating with Americans for Prosperity, the Dorr brothers’ Minnesota Gun Rights, the Michigan Conservative Coalition, the Michigan Freedom Fund, FreedomWorks and/or various “Tea Party’ organizations and other Right Wing groups, among others, are working to further Operation Gridlock fronts across the country.

These local efforts, which are too often misunderstood as “Grass Roots Movements,” are being organized by the same folks who paraded the Tea Party as a ‘Grass Roots Popular Movement.’ This same scam is being run to build discontent with Governors who actually are doing something to flatten the Pandemic Curve, and at the same time to distract voters from the failures of the Republican Administration to prevent the Pandemic, and then to forcefully deal with its Public Health and Economic consequences.

It is perfectly clear that many charges of Information Manipulation as well as many aspects of ‘Operation Gridlock’ are a well funded and well organized national effort to gin up the Republican base as President Trump and his allies are worried that Trump’s poll numbers are falling. New Mexicans will not be fooled.

Tom Hyland

As I said earlier... some folks' rear ends are so firmly affixed to the Democrat/Republican see saw they actually think they're on the side that's winning. Yahoo didn't disappear the video... youtube did. It had over 5 million views and that was too popular an item to be allowed to continue. This crisis and how information is disseminated has nothing to do with political polarities in America. The entire world is receiving the equal treatment. Forget "where" you live and claim planet Earth as your domicile, will you? Let me guess... you're a Democrat? That isn't going to help you at all. The Republicans aren't here to help, either.

Jim Klukkert

Nothing worth replying to here, except to say 1) that "too popular... to be allowed to continue" would seem to betray a certain paranoia on your part, and 2) Wrong again Hyland, I am neither a Democrat, not a Republican.

Elizabeth VanArsdel

Why is the New Mexican making this guy famous?? So many good citizens doing the right thing, and yet this fellow is worthy of at least two days' headline stories because he refuses to comply with state law. Really, to buy another box of ammo, he will encourage his town to disregard laws meant to keep them safe. And with that box of ammo, who does he want to shoot? The virus? Hard for me to imagine he doesn't already have enough ammo for the invasion of the apocalypse, NMState police etc. Let's don't give the nut cases any more of a podium than they deserve. Don't write about people like this - even the folks in his own town don't support him.

Jim Klukkert

Emily Koyama: There is no WIN-WIN where folks who feel like opening the economy can do so, and folks who want a more measured Re-Opening, informed by the best Scientific and Medical Knowledge and coordinated by the duly elected and charged government officials.

Basically, you cannot play a game of basketball where half of the players are regulated by rules, and the other half get to play as they alone chose. That's anarchy, and an invitation to let the Pandemic run wild and free.

Here is how this works, somewhat simplified: We have through our democratic process, elected a Governor who has the LAWFUL AUTHORITY to issue Public Health Orders during this Public Health Emergency to protect the population. We hope we the People did a good job selecting a Governor who will make good choices in this matter. Gov. Lujan is the only one who can LAWFULLY MAKE THE CALL!

At this point, our Best Science and Medical Knowledge tells us and the Governor that Social Distancing is a must, and that Nonessential Business and other contacts must be restricted. This is so that the Covid-19 Infection Curve is flattened, so that our health care system and care providers are not OVERWHELMED by a massive wave of sick folks. This keeps the Death Rate Down!

If we have chosen wisely as voters, our Governor will look for opportunities to SAFELY Re-open the Economy. No one else has the legal authority to do so, and few have the resources to intelligently make that call. Everyone should study up, and speak out as they see fit.

None of this is a happy thing. We all feel for displaced workers, for families who have little income, and so on. Many of us very strongly believe the Government must step forward with BIG BUCK programs to mitigate the economic damage. I will continue to work for that!

We all would like to SAFELY REOPEN the Economy. BUT DEAD PEOPLE CANNOT WORK! And a massive wave of sick people, even those who are asuymptomatic and do not suffer from tCOVID -19 symptoms, are an existential threat to our health as a state, a nation and a world.

So even if you “feel fine,” by breaking the law and engaging in unsafe behavior, you increase the very real risk of making this Pandemic worse! There is no WIN-WIN!

So you have to wait untli the leadership we collectively chose, figures out the best choices for our Public Health.

The attention seeking yahoo Mayor in Grants is not qualified to make these choices! If he persists, he should be arrested, and stores that put our state’s health at risk should be shuttered.

Thanks for reading, and my best to you and your loved ones. Jim Klukkert

trina stephenson

God, he said, would “determine who will die and who will not.” I am pretty sure man can influence the course of this virus and we should try to keep as many people alive as we can using the best advice from public health officials. Opening now is not in the people's best interest in terms of the best health outcomes. The economy is in shambles, but what is more important? There will be a lot of pent up demand for these businesses later if we survive.

Harvey Morgan II

God gave us brains to think through these things. I fear he might be disappointed that we do not use them often enough.

Robert Bartlett

Let's have a SFNM editorial listing all the ways Grisham has helped people and families in Grants, to date and in the future. The lasting damage will speak for itself.

Jim Klukkert

Hey Bobby boy, off topic again. Glad your key board finally dried out, though clearly you have the adult beverages flowing mid-afternoon!

Prince Michael Jauregui

I'd really like to give Mayor Hicks the benefit of the doubt. Although, he probably

has the best intentions for his citizens, and maybe even believes he's "sticking it to The Man/Woman", the only thing he's truly defying is Science - and Reality.

I hope the good people of Grants -where I had my first boxing match in '77- stay safe and stay strong.

kyle renfro

ITS really happening everywhere, people opening behind her back. Walmart only acts like they are counting but they are not, same at albertsons, business's will meet discretely with a text or email

Rip Ryness

There is no correlation between state-wide lockdowns and fewer cases or fewer deaths. Take for example Nebraska, that didn't issue a state-wide lockdown order. Nebraska as a similar population but a higher population density and about half the deaths that New Mexico has. It's past time to let local authorities like Mayor Hicks make these decisions.

Mark Andrew

When Grants starts to spike in about two weeks, the citizens of Grants - and the taxpayers of NM - will have Mayor "Moldy" Hicks to thank. Welcome to Yo-Yo strategy! Close, open, close, open.

Raquel Casillas

When it comes down to it all, public health is important for all of us including the mayor and cooperation is needed until ubiquitous testing is available to all. We all really need to know the reality of what we are dealing with in terms of reliable stats/ formulating a standardized and tested treatment plan/and time to develop a safe vaccine. However, cooperation is like herding cats. Somehow we all ( people who are not rich ) must re-configure our abilities to adapt and make money. With the above stated data, we will be able to "work" around this virus. There are more viruses to come, so we better learn and get prepared. To me, the mayor wants nothing more than attention and he is acting out only because MLG is a Democrat . If I were to defy the orders, I'd get hauled off or fined which I can't afford. We use to collaborate a little more in this state with common courtesy and consideration for all New Mexicans/Americans/and to our global communities. We use to expect a conduct of excellence and some level of modern day solid informed and educated baseline of knowledge from our local/state/fed leaders. I'm speaking in generalisms. We'll get through this but ever so slowly because of the righteous dark ages division we now have to live with. Where are our rights? As thinking people, we need to just hang in there a little while longer. You'd think we were dealing with a child here. You really don't want yourself or your loved ones, your friends to be reckless and take a risk to exposure and shedding. You really don't want to die alone and in this manner in particular. I certainly don't want the mayor or his family to get sick and God forbid, die. Thank you to all health care workers and first responders out there. And to everyone that is conducting themselves like considerate adults that all New Mexicans can be proud of.

Walter Howerton

I have been pleased with the governor's handling of this. We are not dealing with a constitutional issue here. We are dealing with a disease. There is so much paranoia and pseudo-constitutional self righteousness here. If anything the governor should step up and shut them down. Cite them with reckless endangerment (that's what it is), padlock the businesses and be done with it. This is not a pick and choose issue.

Joseph Tafoya

So what you are saying is you would give up your rights because there is a disease? Wow! My dear fellow, it appears you are truly in agreement with a totalitarian state. Maybe a vacation trip to Venezuela, or perhaps permanent residence to Cuba or even North Korea, where you could sample life without rights. This is close enough for me and many that believe that our Constitution is not just a document to be read, but a legal document that describes what the government can not do to the individual citizen. Nowhere in the constitution state or federal is there an amendment that allows the heads of government to pick winners and losers. Many stores sell the same items as the big box stores. Yet they are singled out as nonessential. Essential is a subjective term. Case in point. Some items that are sold in big box stores and are found in small business stores are deemed nonessential and must be removed or covered. Buying items that are not used to sustain life are sold at big box stores are they considered “essential”.

Jim Klukkert

nonsense!

Barry Rabkin

Actually, our Governor has the authority of the US Constitution. The 10th Amendment gives us - and every Governor - the authority to shut down businesses. Health and Welfare of citizens in each State falls under the legal authority of the Governor. She is acting legally to save lives.

Personally, I think any one who wants to get sick, or get exposed to the virus, has that right. However, that person has absolutely no right to infect other people.

Jim Klukkert

Spot on! The Courts have expounded on the rights of the States to establish Public Health Orders, and NM law codifies how the government is to act in the case of a Public Health Emergency. Not surpising given the effect of the Influenza 0f 1919-1920. Gov. Lujan has acted in accordance with both the US and New Mexican Constitutions.

Emily Koyama

If "other people" don't want to get sick, they can stay at home. If they want to buy groceries, they can go to Walmart, Albertsons and Smith's. The rest of us can patronize small businesses that are currently shut out of participating in the economy. Win Win. Why are people like you and Klukkert constantly defending this BS where big box stores survive, and small businesses are destroyed?

Barry Rabkin

More people will get sick, become hospitalized, and die. That is the path the Grants Mayor has put forward for his citizens.

"God will decide who will live and die" is a wonderful philosophy if you lived in the Medieval Era. But now, it is a myopic and ignorant philosophy.

Oh, the 10th Amendment does enable the Governor with the full force and authority of the US Constitution to close down businesses. She is not being a dictator. She is using common sense.

CL Larragoite

Agree. So sad, and irresponsible.

Dr. Michael Johnson

10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." That in no way gives her the power to decide what are essential businesses, or to indefinitely close businesses based on her definition, nor to define how close you can get or how many people can be together at one time, etc. No, that does not apply here.

Jim Klukkert

Dr. Michael Johnson: You need to look deeper than the Constitution, into Constitutional Case Law, which provides individual States with the power to safeguard against threats to the Public Health; as well as the NM Law that empowers the Governor to take the steps she has taken, as well as much more. Some of the NM stuff goes back to the mis-named Spanish Flu of 1919.

Really Michael, I expected more from you in terms of your research skills. Obviously you Ph.D. is not a J.D. Your motivation seems to shift with your political agenda. Read on....

- Constitutional Case Law

Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824)

The police powers of a state “form a portion of that immense mass of legislation which embraces everything within the territory of a state, not surrendered to the general government: all of which can advantageously exercised by the States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, and health laws of every description . . . are component parts of this mass.”

Holmes v. Jennison, 39 U.S. 540 (1840)

“Every state has acknowledged power to pass, and enforce quarantine, health, and inspection laws, to prevent the introduction of disease, pestilence, or unwholesome provisions; such laws interfere with no powers of Congress or treaty stipulations; they relate to internal police, and are subjects of domestic regulation within each state, over which no authority can be exercised by any power under the Constitution, save by requiring the consent of Congress to the imposition of duties on exports and imports, and their payment into the treasury of the United States.” 39 U.S. at 616.

Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905)

Police powers of the State are not unlimited but mandatory smallpox vaccination, ordinance upheld.

“The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good.”

-State Non-Emergency Public Health Powers

Public Health Act, Sections 24-1-1, et seq., NMSA 1978 (Laws 1973, Chapter 359, as amended). Administered and enforced by the NM Department of Health.

Section 24-1-3.C., NMSA 1978 – Authority to investigate, control and abate causes of disease, especially, epidemics, sources of mortality and other conditions of public health.

Section 24-1-3.D., NMSA 1978 – Authority to establish, maintain and enforce isolation and quarantine.

• Section 24-1-3.E., NMSA 1978 – Authority to close any public place and forbid gatherings of people when necessary for the protection of public health.

The above three sections of the Public Health Act were first enacted by Laws 1919, Chapter 85, Section 10. This law also established the first state NM Department of Health during the world-wide outbreak of the 1918-1919 Spanish Influenza.

-State Emergency Public Health Control Measures

Public Health Emergency Response Act (PHERA), Sections 12-10A-1, et seq., NMSA 1978 (Laws 2003, Chapter 218).

Governor must declare a state of “Public Health Emergency” (PHE) by issuing an Executive Order after consultation with the Secretary of Health and in coordination with the Secretary of Public Safety and the Director of the NM Office of Homeland Security. (Section 12-10A-5, NMSA 1978)

“PHE” is defined as “the occurrence or imminent threat of exposure to an extremely dangerous conditions or a highly infectious or toxic agent, including a threatening communicable disease, that poses an imminent threat of substantial harm to the population of the state of New Mexico or any portion thereof;” (Section 12-10A-3.L., NMSA 1978).

Barry Rabkin

From Politico: "States—and their cities and counties by extension—possess what has long been known as a “police power” to govern for the health, welfare and safety of their citizens. This broad authority, which can be traced to English common law and is reserved to the states by the 10th Amendment, is far from radical; it justifies why states can regulate at all."

Our Governor is acting legally.

Barry Rabkin

Q. Is it clear that state and local governments have authority to impose the severe restrictions we've seen?

A. Lawsuits already are challenging state actions on religious grounds and as seizures of property for which the government must pay compensation. But for more than 100 years, the Supreme Court has upheld states' robust use of their authority, even when it restricts people's freedoms.

Again, our Governor is acting legally. Her actions are secured by our US Constitution (and our US Supreme Court).

Joseph Tafoya

Where in the 10th amendment of the US Constitution does it say the Governor can shutdown businesses? “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or the people”. I do not see the Governors being specifically mentioned, but I do see the people. Where is the common sense in herding everyone into box stores. If the idea is to separate people logic would dictate that having more stores to open would help in this process. No, the Governor is picking winners and losers. Corporations are good. Small businesses are bad.

Chris myers

by your own logic...more stores equals more opportunity for problems with the virus as well. There has to be some form of control for the outbreak.

Jim Klukkert

Joseph Tafoya- The Constitution exists as it is interpreted by the Courts, and those interpretations, and NM Law, support the Governors Right and even Duty to declare Public Health Emergencies to protect the people here in our state. Please find some examples below.

Some of the NM stuff goes back to the mis-named Spanish Flu of 1919.

- Constitutional Case Law

Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824) The police powers of a state “form a portion of that immense mass of legislation which embraces everything within the territory of a state, not surrendered to the general government: all of which can advantageously exercised by the States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, and health laws of every description . . . are component parts of this mass.”

Holmes v. Jennison, 39 U.S. 540 (1840) “Every state has acknowledged power to pass, and enforce quarantine, health, and inspection laws, to prevent the introduction of disease, pestilence, or unwholesome provisions; such laws interfere with no powers of Congress or treaty stipulations; they relate to internal police, and are subjects of domestic regulation within each state, over which no authority can be exercised by any power under the Constitution, save by requiring the consent of Congress to the imposition of duties on exports and imports, and their payment into the treasury of the United States.”

Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) Police powers of the State are not unlimited but mandatory smallpox vaccination, ordinance upheld. “The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good.”

-State Non-Emergency Public Health Powers Public Health Act, Sections 24-1-1, et seq., NMSA 1978 (Laws 1973, Chapter 359, as amended). Administered and enforced by the NM Department of Health.

Section 24-1-3.C., NMSA 1978 – Authority to investigate, control and abate causes of disease, especially, epidemics, sources of mortality and other conditions of public health.

Section 24-1-3.D., NMSA 1978 – Authority to establish, maintain and enforce isolation and quarantine.

Section 24-1-3.E., NMSA 1978 – Authority to close any public place and forbid gatherings of people when necessary for the protection of public health.

The above three sections of the Public Health Act were first enacted by Laws 1919, Chapter 85, Section 10. This law also established the first state NM Department of Health during the world-wide outbreak of the 1918-1919 Spanish Influenza.

-State Emergency Public Health Control Measures Public Health Emergency Response Act (PHERA), Sections 12-10A-1, et seq., NMSA 1978 (Laws 2003, Chapter 218).

Governor must declare a state of “Public Health Emergency” (PHE) by issuing an Executive Order after consultation with the Secretary of Health and in coordination with the Secretary of Public Safety and the Director of the NM Office of Homeland Security. (Section 12-10A-5, NMSA 1978)

“PHE” is defined as “the occurrence or imminent threat of exposure to an extremely dangerous conditions or a highly infectious or toxic agent, including a threatening communicable disease, that poses an imminent threat of substantial harm to the population of the state of New Mexico or any portion thereof;” (Section 12-10A-3.L., NMSA 1978).

Joseph Tafoya

I guess we will find out!

Chris myers

Yep...this governor's town is right next to a virus Hotspot in the state. Much like some other protestors who have gotten sick around the country touted a different story after admitting they were stupid and not to mess with the virus.

Dr. Michael Johnson

This is what democracy looks like, with Constitutional checks and balances, NM should become a democracy again......https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/judge-blocks-30-day-extension-of-illinois-stay-at-home-order/ar-BB13hS4I?li=BBnb7Kz

Jim Klukkert

New Mexico never stopped being a democracy. Elections still scheduled, rights still respected under law. Yes times are difficult with the PHE, but we survived a similar situation with the Pandemic of 1919-1920. Even your sour puss complaining is another sign that we do NOT live under a Tyrant. That stupid anti-Semitic Bigots like Hyland can express publish their opinions is a sign that things are okay. So what’s the problem? Working together, we will get through this!

Tom Hyland

You are projecting your fantasies, your vivid imagination, and your hysterical knee-jerk behavior here, Jim. It's very likely you didn't suffer any punishments from Hitler's Gestapo... I truly doubt it. Me being Irish I could hate on the English until the cows come home but what good would that do? I never said anything against Jews or anyone at all. I'm Irish Catholic... AND... get this... Russian Jew and I am not offended by the term. "Gestapo" is widely used to describe any tyrannical police force, and you know it. Mayor Hicks used the term but I doubt he was cherry picking the Jew's most evil thugs just to cause you conniptions. Want to "work together?" Stay home and remain there until Michelle says it's safe to come out. At the same time don't disparage Mayor Hicks and the people of Grants who refuse to succumb to poverty and failure. That would a good exercise for all.

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " - Helen Keller

Stay in bed with the covers up to your nose, Jim, if that makes you feel safe. I'm going outside. Your pathetic name-calling makes you weak. In these times you need a healthy immune system.

Andrew Lucero

I was watching the news this morning, and it looked like one of their barbershops was open! As much as I hate to say this, my hair is getting so shaggy that I am half way tempted to drive to Grants just to get a much needed haircut!

Nancy Murata

Mayor Hicks doesnt need a barber - or maybe he does!

Joseph Tafoya

Who would've thunk it! A Democrat mayor with the cajones to stand up to the governor, acting like a Republican. As the natives get restless, this will become more commonplace, but Mayor Hicks is one democrat I would consider voting for.

Mark Andrew

Closet MAGA Republican. Democrat in name only because he knows its less and less fashionable to be associated with the Trump.

Tom Hyland

The mayor used the word "gestapo" to describe a police force that would trample the rights and liberties of people whose only intention is to survive this economic apocalypse. The word "gestapo" is widely used to describe any pack of jackboot thugs who lawlessly crush the citizenry. Yes, there was a group that went by that name 80 years ago in Germany. If Mayor Hicks said "KGB" would the Russians be in an uproar? How about "Tonton Macoutes"? Would the Haitians be crying, "Hey... those are OUR bloody oppressors that so ruthlessly terrorized our people!! Stop saying Tonton Macoutes!!" The Jewish people and their Anti-Defamation League do not own the word "gestapo." This is similar to asking for a "Kleenex." Nobody requests, "hand me a fascial tissue." Kleenex has become the ubiquitous catch phrase for the item we are so familiar with though the slogan is actually the property of the Kimberly-Clark corporation. The word gestapo isn't owned by anyone. The gestapo hysteria of late is so tiny that nobody, and including Robert Nott and his colleagues, should lend any further credence to the hurt feelings a minority of people are professing.

As for Mayor Hicks, I applaud his efforts to return the city of Grants to a level of self sufficiency and independence. One-Size-Fits-All does not apply to the pandemic that has disrupted out country and the world. It certainly does not apply to New Mexico. If hundreds and possibly thousands of people can enter Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. every day then why can't only a few people carefully respect the space and safety of others while they visit the small businesses the governor has declared non-essential? Robert Barlett wrote "this is just the beginning." Correct, Robert, this is the beginning of America returning to sanity and prosperity. Do not buy into the hysteria.

Jim Klukkert

Tom Hyland- Great, comments that make light of calling our First Responders, N*z*s, and disparage the feelings of survivors (and their families) of N*z* Germany.

At least Mayor Hicks had the decency to apologize for his insensitive remarks.

Tom Hyland does not seem to have anything but a profound misunderstanding of history.

Jim Klukkert

Tom Hyland- When you refer to "the hurt feelings a minority of people," did you mean the J*ws? Or is there another minority you wish to bully? Put such thoughts to action, and you will find that there are many of us who will not go quietly into the night.

Tom Hyland

Stay hurt, Jim... stay hurt. Nobody is buying your hysteria, either.

Jim Klukkert

When Hitler was asked if killing all the Jews might hurt the international reputation of the Reich, Hitler replied, "Who remembers the Armenians?"

I remember, my people remember, even if you do not have that capacity. The last generation of my people showed the N*z*s a whole lot of hurt. As you are casting your lot with those folks, the current and future generations of my people are fully prepared to show you the same. Proceed at your own peril

Dan Chase

Hopefully you will truly be a leader, get the virus and people will learn to follow the gov’s order! Your an idiot!

Robert Bartlett

Do you wish the same for Wal-Mart employees and customers? Shame on you.

Tom Hyland

Excellent question, Robert. Dan hopes Mayor Hicks and the good people of Grants come down with the virus so they will learn a tough lesson not to disobey the governor. Because Michelle has decreed Walmart is essential then nobody is harmed packing into the big box stores by the hundreds. In Dan's mind because Michelle is governor and Martin is only a mayor, she makes so much more sense. In reality, nothing makes any sense these days. Hundreds of shoppers going to the grocery store is okay. Walking alone on a beach is not. Dozens may visit the liquor store but the dozens that attempt to attend church will be arrested.

Jim Klukkert

Bobby Bartlett, king of the nasty one liners, employing yet another straw man device! (Look it up.) Go get 'em, Mad Dog Bartlett! The weight of your arguments lie heavy on fallacy.

kyle renfro

great job mayor mlg is basing her order on 50 percent science and 50 percent of who she thinks should stay open and is destroying the whole state she has zero common sense and relies on dat given to her by her appointed team that is tweaked to reflect the results she wants to hear I hope others follow your example.. you are 1000 times more a leader than she will ever be. She has to wait for her daily orders from her democratic coalition of governors who give her marching orders.

Dr. Michael Johnson

A true New Mexico hero, speaking truth to a powerful tyrant. If people do not stand up for their rights, dictators will take them away, and today in NM we have one person rule which is not democracy. Shame on you legislature, grow a spine, America is supposed to be a democracy with checks and balances.

Jim Klukkert

Mike Johnson- let's talk Tyrants. Julius Caesar is a classic. In our times, Lester "Ax Handle" Maddox; George Wallace; Richard M. Daley... Dictators: Stalin, Hitler, Pinochet. Not MLG, she was elected in 2018.

MLG really does not compare. Obviously, OUR Governor, elected by a substantial majority, with the Lawful Power to issue Public Health Orders, is working in keeping within a long democratic tradition. You are very wrong to say otherwise. but you know that. You know too that our Legislature has a spine, a Democratic Party spine, not to your liking, but an elected majority with the mandate of our citizenry.

We still have checks and balances, the big one arrives in November.

Quit you belly aching.

Sad, but when you do not employ name calling, exaggeration, distortion and out right lies, your comments carry no merit.

Walter Howerton

One small change. Lester Maddox was not a tyrant. He was only a sad little racist on a bicycle. Once he decided to protest outside the newspaper where I worked in Atlanta. We provided him with a throne and a little gold stand for his bike. He wouldn't sit on the throne. What self-respecting tyrant would pass up the chance to sit on a throne? There are tyrants and tin-pots. Lester wasn't a tyrant. He ended up a sad little salesman peddling autographed ax handles in Underground Atlanta; he didn't do a brisk business.

Robert Bartlett

This just the beginning.

Chris myers

yep...of a whole bunch of idiocy and everyone proclaiming its the wrong plan by the wrong person. Tok bad this is all about political bs

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