Gambling won’t promote city growth

Letters to the editor

I take strong exception to Kit Pettigrew’s letter to the editor about the benefits of using the Hotel Clovis as a gambling casino to revitalize downtown and Clovis in general.
The way to revitalize downtown and the key to the growth and continuing financial health of the city and county is doing exactly what is being done — creating a mini-marketing area, attracting chain restaurants and retail establishments, and attracting industry, agriculture, dairies and residential home and apartment expansion.
Casinos are a flash in the pan — a unique deal right at first but boredom thereafter. I don’t see a parking lot full of cars at the Albuquerque casino right in the fairground in the heart of the city. The casinos along the interstates are a bit more attended.
Gambling brings much more than revitalization. It carries with it lots of adverse psychological baggage and tends to attract crime and criminal elements.
As Clovis grows and as the downtown is revitalized as it certainly will be, someone will most likely see a financial benefit to using the Hotel Clovis for offices, apartments, retail use, or even as a hotel and restaurant again.
Let’s concentrate on the track that we are on and the one that has promoted the greatest growth thus far . We are certainly heading in the right
direction.

Karl D. Spence
Clovis

Farmer says ‘free trade’ is a bad idea
I am a farmer. I am writing on behalf of the 9,000 farming families who grow sugarbeets in America and the 146,000 who depend on jobs created by the industry. And, I speak for all of them when I say your characterization of our industry in the Aug. 26 paper (“Free trade, fair prices needed to control sugar”) was dead wrong.
Put simply, the “free trade” you mention from regional pacts like the Central America Trade Agreement (CAFTA) are bad deals for America. And that’s exactly what U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., recently told a conference of sugar producers, refiners and processors during an International Sweetener Symposium in Colorado.
Sen. Conrad knows that under CAFTA, and other potential trade agreements like it, the United States will destroy the U.S. sugar industry, ship manufacturing jobs overseas, and increase our trade deficit in order to gain access to a market that’s roughly the size of New Haven, Conn.
The senator and his colleagues in Congress know that U.S. sugar policy works.
We import sugar from 41 countries, making us one of the largest importers in the world‚ a far cry from a closed market. American sugar growers don’t receive subsidies and have a policy that is designed so it doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime. Thanks to American efficiency, consumers in this country pay 22 percent less for sugar than consumers in other developed countries.
America’s sugar producers contribute billions to the country’s economy and are responsible for hundreds of thousands of quality jobs in our struggling rural communities.
We shouldn’t have to give our jobs to foreign farmers who often use child labor and pollute the air and water to cut production costs. We should be fighting to keep agricultural jobs in this country, not fighting to ship them overseas.

Terry Jones
President, American Sugarbeet Growers Association
Powell, Wyoming