KCEC caveats and Tidbits from El Norte

By: Bill Whaley
30 July, 2012

Today, Monday, July 30, 2012, the KCEC trustees meet to discuss coop business in an exclusive and secret monthly meeting. Tomorrow, on the last Tuesday of the month, they will present a “white-washed” version of their business to the public. Similarly, KCEC filed a document recently with the PRC, noting that they were in “technical default” on their loans from USDA-RUS. So they say they can’t spin off the Broadband project, which includes encumbrances of another $20 million on the electric side assets. Yet, KCEC claims in this month’s Enchantment, “The Voice of New Mexico’s Rural Electric Cooperatives” that “KCEC is meeting all of its financial requirements.”

Yet they say on paper they are in “technical default” ? Who is lying to whom? Prior to previous rate hearings at the PRC, the trustees and CEO claimed they didn’t lose money on side ventures (Propane, Internet, Command Center). They say one thing to members but the audit trail and official reports tell a different story.

Now comes a question for members and critics from KCEC flack Steve Fuhlendorf, who writes of the $60 million Broadband project: “This is all about economic development. That is a big part of our mission. Anytime you would like to discuss the merits of receiving $44 million dollars to improve the economic conditions in Taos and how that could possibly be a bad thing, please let me know.”

Notice how Steve forgets to mention the $20 million loan, guaranteed by members as the match for the federal government’s grant, which grant, in turn is guaranteed by U.S. taxpayers, which U.S. bonds are purchased by China. If it weren’t for corporate-coop welfare, the trustees couldn’t engage in a self-destructive cycle of adventurism that is outside the mission of the REA’s delivery of electricity. And they would travel less and pay more attention to outages and high electricity rates.

The current beneficiaries of the Broadband grant include KCEC friends and family members with contracts—not your average member, who, unlike the members of the Mora-San Miguel Cooperative, haven’t received capital credits for their longtime investment and support for the local coop. Course, we hear the Town of Taos Mayor Darren Cordova has a lucrative contract for advertising on his radio stations or how Penasco supporters of area trustees get free woodpiles.

Economic development at the Coop means, according to the record, losing millions of dollars, paid for by Coop ratepayers and guaranteed by U.S. taxpayers, according to paperwork filed at the PRC. The real question concerns why the trustees and staff continue to misrepresent the record and base their business plans on wishful thinking. Who knows why a once frugal organization has sacrificed the members’ capital and coop reserves in order to follow in the footsteps of banksters–the pirates of Wall Street. Can you say coopsters?

Visions of technology and green energy as utopian antidote to quotidian problems represent the secular response to the mysteries of faith. Before we visit that far far better (post-mortem) place, we members want the coopsters to give us a transparent account of the avaricious eight–in this–our lifetime.


On Thursday, Aug. 2, authors John Nichols and Taylor Streit will do a little stand-up at the Somos/Harwood event, 7:30 pm. The lines were long are sinuous at Brodsky Books on Saturday afternoon at the Nichols siting and signing. Apparently, UNM Press is sending an emergency van up to Taos with more books—On Top of Spoon Mountain. Taylor Streit’s second edition of Instinctive Fly Fishing was featured in Enchantment’s review section.

Sipapu’s 3rd annual Music on the Rocks music festival happens this Saturday, August 4, and will feature five concerts performed by some of the best local and regional musicians in New Mexico. This event is free and open to the public.

Keith McHenry, a Taos no-fly subversive, says, “Help Taos Food Not Bombs deliver food to the Hiroshima day in Los Alamos on Sunday August 5th. If you are driving to Los Alamos from Taos in a pick up we could use your help transporting the food. We also have a couple of volunteers that could use a ride to the protests. Thanks so much for all your help. Taos really has come through with donations to the Food Not Bombs Free School. We are trying to build a ramada and could use some Latillas if you have any you don’t need.”

Here’s a dangerous tidbit. Flavio visited Chama and found the river dried up, the trout gone, the residents staring woefully into dry gulch. Flavio says locals report that irrigators took so much water out of the river upstream that an acequia over flowed and flooded  town basements. According to rumor, out of town agroists (investment farmers) have hijacked the holy water meant to keep fish, rafters, and downstream urbanists alive even as the Vado and Heron reservoirs dry up.  Apparently the OSE is informed but has done little so far to prevent what promises to be a new chapter in the Chama water wars. Lock your head gates get out your shotgun. We’re talking San Juan Chama diversion, allegations of thievery, and moral turpentine here.

Education at UNM-Taos
From Mary, Mary: Hi, Bachelor & Graduate Program Students! This is a reminder to REGISTER NOW for your Fall classes.  Please review the listed deadline dates. AUGUST 8th:  LIVE courses require a minimum of 13 enrollments. Any full term courses with low enrollments (less than 6) will be canceled on Wednesday, August 8th. AUGUST 10th: FALL 2012 PAYMENT DEADLINE.