Be it peanuts or trees, local passion shows
Goober Gulch was the good news capital of eastern New Mexico last week. Two of our more precious assets — jobs and trees — appear to have been saved.
First came news about Portales’ Sunland peanut processing plant, whose operators filed for bankruptcy last year: The facility is so treasured, a couple of major companies fought over it — to the tune of $26 million.
Golden Boy Foods of Canada won the bidding war against Hampton Farms of North Carolina and says it plans to reopen soon, meaning dozens if not 100 jobs will be resurrected.
The bidding process was odd — Golden Boy appeared to have missed the deadline but was allowed to participate anyway. In the end, we agree with Portales Mayor Sharon King:
“I’m shocked they let bids come in after the deadline, but I think the best route to take is that we’re glad we’re getting the plant opened back up,” she said. “We need to get people back to work and we’ll have a new partner in town.”
The trees that line the Portales cemetery have opportunity for new life thanks to native resident Micah Thompson, who happened to witness the beginning of destruction and did something about it.
“When I saw the trees coming down, it just made me sick,” Thompson told Portales News-Tribune Senior Writer Christina Calloway. “The trees have green buds on them. They aren’t dead.”
And so she reached out to city council members who stopped the executions. Steve Thomas, a “tree doctor” was called in, and he said the 90-year-old, 40-foot elms were sick but could be saved.
“We give them shots, just like people,” Thomas said.
Kelley Hogan summed up our views in a comment she left on our website:
“I just love how passionate citizens in Portales are. And to seek out educated people that know about this matter for help. It’s a great example for the future. ... Maybe the community will (be) asked to be involved more.”
It’s nice to see this long, hard winter coming to a close — literally and, hopefully, figuratively.
Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Clovis Media Inc. editorial board, which includes Publisher Mike Jensen and Editor David Stevens.