Dec 31, 2012 (Ruidoso News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Snow means skiing
Into its third week, Ski Apache has gotten another boost from Mother Nature.
Dorsey Grover, with the ski mountain's marketing and group sales sector, said she had a call on Sunday from someone in town that "there is no skiing going on up there." Grover said while the upper mountain has not opened, there still is skiing with the Capitan chair running.
"Even with all the beginners here, Capitan runs have lots of room to ski," Grover said."
Lifts 3, 4, and 5 are all running.
"We hope to have chair 7 open soon," Grover said. "Chair 2 is ready to go as soon as we have snow up on top. The load test for the new gondola is coming up soon so we're that much closer to getting it open."
The recent Sunday afternoon into Monday snow added up to six inches of new powder as of Monday morning, bringing the season's snowfall total to 29 inches. The mid mountain snow depth was put at 18 inches.
4G in Ruidoso
"Can you hear me now " Loud and clear, along with seeing your picture and reviewing your other data files in lightning quick speed.
Verizon Wireless customers in Ruidoso and Carrizozo joined the mobile phone and devices company's 4G network a couple of weeks ago. The high-speed and enhanced capabilities were introduced on Dec. 20 in the two Lincoln County communities. Several days later 4G was added to the Alamogordo area.
The expansion is part of the two-year ago launch of Verizon's 4G network. Nearly 500 markets in the
United States are now served by the upgraded service.
Other New Mexico locations on Verizon's 4G network are Albuquerque, Clovis, Farmington, Gallup, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.
More green energy
The electric utility that serves Ruidoso, Ruidoso Downs, and other areas of New Mexico will soon double its solar power generation and tap its first geothermal energy. PNM's solar capabilities will be expanded through two new solar centers including one in Otero County.
"We are committed to adding more renewable energy while managing the cost to our customers," said Ron Darnell, PNM's senior vice president of public policy. "This is important to our customers and the right thing to do."
The enhanced PNM Sky Blue program will add enough electricity to the system to power 17,400 average-sized homes and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions equal to removing 9,700 cars off the road.
Under the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved plan, PNM will be fully compliant with New Mexico's renewable energy standard which currently requires investor-owned electric utilities to obtain 10 percent of its power from renewables, largely wind and solar, in 2013 and 2014.
The state's renewables portfolio standard for investor-owned utilities will jump to 15 percent in 2015. And beginning in 2020, at least 20 percent renewables will be required of the publicly electric companies.
The new and existing renewable resources for 2013 will cost $19.7 million, after subtracting the cost of fossil fuel saved by using the green sources. In 2012, PNM spent more than $20 million in renewable energy costs.
Santa Fe day
Lincoln County Day, during the state legislative session at Santa Fe, will take place on Feb. 6.
Assembled by the Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce, the annual event provides area officials with a chance to air specific issues affecting local commerce and business through dialogue with lawmakers.
The chamber itself has said its priorities from the Legislature this winter will be tourism advertising, water availability and conservation, local authority to establish restrictions on the sale and use of fireworks, and support of the Informed Consent Act of 2010, which provides relief from liability to vendors and suppliers for Spaceport America.
A chamber hosted Reception with Legisla_tors will take place at 5 p.m. at Santa Fe's The Inn and Spa at Loretto.
For more information, to register to attend the legislative reception, or to sponsor a table or legislator, contact Becky Brooks at the chamber at 257-7395.
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