Loading...
01-28-1997Gi J TERANS AFFAIRS ADVIS Y BOARD CITY OF LAS CRUCES P.O. DRAWER CLC LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO 88004 Minutes of 28 January 1997 Meeting C- /0 c The board convened at 1300 in the Board Room of the Branigan Memorial Library. Roll call was taken. Present were: Chairman Joe Heintz, Vice Chairman Warren Rogers, Elsa Baker VVA, Fred Frank DAV, Noel Cooley Amvets, Kelly Smyer Jeff Bingamon Rep, Julia Serna Pete Domenici Rep. A quorum was present. Minutes of November were accepted as written. Old Business: Elsa Baker reported the status of the veterans park Her report is at encl 1. The State Commander of the American Legion, Harry Risner, revised his position on the American Legion establishing a shelter for homeless veterans in Las Cruces. He now favors an arrangement with the Gospel Rescue Mission. New Business: Joe Heintz reported on legislation introduced in the 105 Congress to change the law requiring VA disability payments to be deducted from military retirement pay. Three bills have been introduced which vary in the amounts to remove the offset. The problem to be solved is where would these funds be found in the budget. Heintz also reported that TRICARE, the new military managed care system covering those military and retirees now covered by CHAMPUS, is to be soon implemented in this area. Military at WSMR are already being instructed on they what must do to get this care. The Department of Veterans Affairs has established positions for Women Veterans Program Coordinators. E. Sandi Morales, MSN, CSN, R.N. has been appointed to the position at the El Paso VA Health Care Center, 5001 N. Piedras, (915) 564 -6159 or (915)564 -6100 Ext. 6323. Good news for veterans and the military is that Senator Max Cleland, a disabled veteran and former head of the VA has, is now the ranking member on the Senate subcommittee overseeing military personnel issues. There will be a presentation on the new TRICARE program of military health care at the American Legion, 1185 E Madrid at 7:00 p.m. March 4, 1997. SFC Hector Franco from McAfee Clinic at WSMR will be the speaker. All veterans, military personnel and their dependents, and the public are invited to attend. This will follow the regular meeting of DAV Chapter 10 at 6:00 p.m. The next meeting of the VAAB will be at 1300 February 25, 1997 here at the library board room. vv Warren Rogers Acting Secretary 28 January 1997 Veterans Memorial Park. The January 20th edition of the Sun -News carried an article titled "City has legislative wish list ". Among the items is: "Veterans Memorial Park, $525,000 -- Rawson in the Senate and Kissner and Rios in the House have volunteered to sponsor legislation for the development of this park, including an amphitheater, parking area, comfort station, trails, a small playground, landscaping and an irrigation system." According to Ray Davenport, City of Las Cruces lobbyist (located in Santa Fe), Rios has introduced the bill in the House and Rawson has introduced the bill in the Senate. When asked what role the veterans could play in supporting the legislation, Ray Davenport suggested that veterans from Las Cruces go up to Santa Fe and testify before the Capital Outlays Subcommittee. (Veterans should wear their veterans organization hats.) The exact time and date that the bill will be heard is unknown but can be as early as 3 February. Elsa Baker will meet with Mr. Davenport on January 30th, in Santa Fe to further discuss this. City Landscape Architect, Joni Gutierrez is currently working on a one - page summary of facts about the park. It should be ready by 3 February and will be submitted up the city chain -of- command. Two figures that will be used are: Funds to be requested from the State of New Mexico $525,000 Size of park 7.9 acres City of Las Cruces is contributing the land, design work and perpetual maintenance. Actual status of park is that we are still waiting for the additional acres to be turned over. The city can then get the land surveyed and the design can be adapted to the new location. Veterans organizations can start selecting people to go to Santa Fe. Those who testify will be expected to speak about what the park means to them -- rather than specific details concerning costs and schedules. City officials should answer technical questions. Letter writing is not recommended at this point. However, be prepared to send in letters of support when notified. Points of contact: ell '. ! Elsa Baker 525 -3990 Joni Gutierrez 526 -0169 Ray Davenport (505) 988 -7529 Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Center E. Sandi Marates, MSN, CSN, R.N., C Women Veterans Program Coordinator VA Health Care Center 5001 N. Piedras El Paso, Texas 79930 (915) 564 -6100 Ext. 6323 (915) 564 -6159 FAX (915) 564 -7861