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View Sample Pages : Santa Fe New Mexican, April 22, 2005

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New Mexican (Newspaper) - April 22, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico JrV THE SANTA FE r owned and independent Serving New Mexico for56years FRIDAY APRIL 22 2005 FIFTY CENTS Gas costs fuel fear Prices at the pump force change in American life Jason New Mexican Michael Simpson of Dallas is reflected in a hubcap as he reads a book Thursday at the KOA campground southeast of Santa Fe Simpson who is traveling In a recreational vehicle for four to six months on a midlife sabbatical with his wife and three cats said gasoline prices wont put a damper on their plans Totirist trade hopes to gas trouble By BOB QUICK The New Mexican Nadine Maggi and her fam ily drove all the way from Carlsbad Caverns to Santa Fe on Thursday in their rented r recreational vehicle and not once did the Swiss family worry about gasoline prices Gas prices are half as high here as they are in Maggi said in a telephone interview from the KOA campground southeast of Santa Fe Tourism officials in Santa Fe where the economy depends heavily on visitors dollars hope other tourists also shrug off the recent rise in gas prices when they make travel plans this summer Art Bouffard director of the New Mexico Lodging Association is confident they will if that is gas prices dont rise much higher theres no catastrophic event such as a major terror ist strike and the economy doesnt weaken Weve been saying since the fourth quarter of last year that we would probably see a 3 percent to 4 percent increase in travel this Bouffard said Thats not a surprise People are begin ning to travel again Gas prices are not discouraging them at this But if gas prices hit a gallon or more could dramatically affect tourism in New Bouffard said Nationwide pump prices are expected to average a gallon 38 cents higher than last year and peak at a gallon according to an Energy Department forecast Theres no prediction about the price of gas in Santa Fe but its typically the high est in the state and well Please see TRADE Page A7 INSIDE House OKs energy overhaul The bill approved 249183 would provide among other things tax breaks and other financial incentives to pro mote domestic production of oil gas coal and nuclear energy and authorize drill ing in a portion of Alaskas Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Page A2 Gas prices affect most of population More than 50 percent of people participating in an Associated America Online poll say prices at the pump are causing hardship Page A8 By WILL LESTER The Associated Press WASHINGTON Hakf the people in the country say recordhigh gas prices are starting to cause them prob lems Whos to blame Ameri cans point a finger at the oil companies foreign nations that control the oil supply and politicians More than half say theyre cutting back on driving and many pfan to stay closer to home on their summer vaca tions An Associated PressAOL poll found 51 percent of those surveyed say that if gas prices remain high for the next six months it will cause a financial hardship for them Thirty percent of those polled classified the hit as according to the survey con ducted by IpsosPublic Affairs for the AP and AOL News You have to decide gas groceries said Marcia Cain of Indianapolis who is semiretired Im on limited income I dont go out as much eating out going to listen to jazz It uses gas you dont want to Cain paid per gal lon this week after paying per gallon the week before It aggravates me but theres not much I can do about she said High global oil prices have pushed the cost of regular gasoline for motorists to around per gallon with prices ranging from an aver age of in California to about in Oklahoma accord ing to the automobile associa tion AAA Prices are expected to remain above nationally through the summer Americans spread the blame around with 29 percent blaming the oil companies 24 percent blaming foreign governments that dominate oil reserves and 23 percent saying politicians Eight per cent blame the high prices on environmentalists who want to limit oil while 6 percent blame people who drive gasguzzling Anxiety about gasoline prices comes as President Bush is pressing Congress to approve energy legislation that includes tax breaks and subsidies mostly for energy Please see GAS Page A8 Tome theyre ghosts I dont see And Im not scared Maestas unfazed by antigay rally By CONOR L SANCHEZ For The New Mexican Life as James Maestas once knew it cameto a screech ing halt on Feb 27 when a group of young menbrutally beat him at a Cerrillos Road motel parking lot apparently because he is gay What police are calling a hate crime was a shock to his friends family and the com munity which embraces its image as an open and toler ant place Friends collected donations through the Love Conquers Hate Fund and hundreds of people attended Inside How teenagers feel about the looming visit from the Rev Fred Phelps Generation Next Bl a candlelight vigil at the Plaza in March to show their sup port and respect for Maestas The response attracted the attention of the Rev Fred Phelps his family and mem bers of the antigay Westbbro Baptist Church of Topeka who plan to picket eight local churches and City Hall this weekend Maestas who was in the hospital in critical condition for eight days has almost completely recovered from his injuries In an interview at local coffee shop this week he advised members of the community to simply ignore the antigay group me theyre ghosts I dont see them I know a lot of people want me to feel angry and offended by them but Im not And Im not Mae stas said shrugging his shoul ders Go on with what ever you are doing on that particu lar day and dont The 21yearold refuses to let the Kansas group affect Please see RALLY Page A10 Conor The New Mexicin James Maestas who suffered injuries In a February attack says Santa Fe residents should ignore antigay demonstrators who say they will show up in the city this weekend Mexico votes for bracero payout The Associated Press MEXICO CITY Mexicos Congress approved on Thurs day a million fund for former migrant farmworkers who labored in the United States many of whom had funds deducted from their paychecks for pension and savings plans they never received Activists claim that some exfarmworkers and their heirs in Mexico and in the United States have a right to the 298 million pesos in government money that will initially be placed in the fund Congress voted 3610 to start payouts within two months after a reliable list of those eligible has been drawn up and the bill is approved by the Senate and published in the congressio nal register The fund could be increased to as much as million Confusion surrounds the money and how many former workers have a claim to it About million Mexicans toiled in the United States between 1942 and the mid Please see VOTES Page A10 INSIDE TODAY Ballads of la gente For generations the corridistas of New Mexico have been telling stories of la gente the people in song Nuestra Musica showcases several of New Mexicos best traditional musicians performing these powerful old songs and a few new ones at the Lensic on Saturday Pasatiempo inside Todays obituaries The Rev Charles W Krahe April 18 Jim C Brunner 48 Santa Fe April 18 Lester Pearlman April 20 Mary M Bransford 87 April 19 Shirley B Genther 91 April 6 Page B2 Todays forecast Mostly sunny and warmer High 69 Page B2 INDEX Annies Mailbox C6 Local News Cl Business Lotteries C2 Classifieds B4 Opinion Comics A9 Police notes C2 Crossword C6 Scoreboard D2 Gewration Bl Sports Dl Horoscope C6 Slocks D5 Four sections 36 pages Pasatiempo 96 pages 156tti year Issue No 112 Publication No 596440 ;