By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers
PORTALES — At least 16 buses will be on hand June 24 to take Portales residents to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission hearing in Clovis, according to the Portales “Operation Keep Cannon” committee. Members also discussed Tuesday plans for distributing tickets to the hearing, set for 8:30 a.m. at Marshall Junior High School’s auditorium.
There will be 1,300 tickets available for Portales, committee member Sharon Davis said. The tickets will be available at 5:30 p.m. on June 22 at the Roosevelt County Courthouse lobby on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limit of one per person. The tickets will only be available to those who come to the courthouse lobby and are 14 or older, Davis said.
The tickets will be good for either the auditorium where the meeting will be conducted or two other locations where the hearing will be broadcast — the Church of Christ on 16th and Pile or a gymnasium at Marshall. Those requesting tickets are not guaranteed placement in a particular venue. Traveling by bus is recommended due to the expected traffic the hearing is expected to create, committee officials said.
The buses will be loaded at 6 a.m. on June 24 in the Greyhound Arena parking lot and will depart at 6:15 a.m.
Those intending to ride a bus can call the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce at 356-8541 and request one of three bus routes:
• The first route will take residents down the path from Cannon Air Force Base to Marshall Junior High, and those residents will get out of the bus and line the streets until BRAC commissioners travel through. Those residents will return to the buses and be back in Portales around 9 a.m. People with tickets should not take this option.
• The second route will take passengers to the school, where passengers can either enter one of the venues (ticket required) or be part of the overflow crowd at an adjacent football field. The buses will return to Portales 30 minutes after the hearing concludes (approximately 10:30 a.m.) and should be back in Portales by 11 a.m.
• The third route will take passengers to the school, where passengers can either enter one of the venues (ticket required) or be part of the overflow crowd. Those passengers will stay for the hearing and a rally set to take place outside after the hearing. Those buses will leave for Portales about 1:30 p.m.
In other business at Tuesday’s meeting:
• The members discussed how to give out T-shirts that have been printed for the hearing. The committee is leaning toward giving shirts away during the ticket distribution and having leftover shirts available on the buses.
• Kim Huffman, chairman of the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce, said that Keep Cannon promotional materials were available at the chamber, and would also be available at a booth during this weekend’s Heritage Days events at City Park.