Posted by Michael Swickard on Thursday, June 30, 2011
From KOB-TV.com - By: Eddie Garcia, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - Fireworks vendors have been feeling a lot of backlash because of the high fire danger. We asked a Socorro County vendor why they're choosing to stay open and what challenges they're facing this year. Outdoor enthusiast Wendy Meek says she grieves for the destruction wildfires are wreaking throughout New Mexico. It's a feeling at conflict with her day job as a firework vendor with tents in Socorro County and Peralta. She's been feeling the heat to shut down all season. "It's not as easy for vendors to close down because they've already invested a lot of money and they have employees that they have hired and started to pay," said Meek. She says considering all that's at stake - it's too late to close. We asked her, with these dangerously dry conditions, why she insists on staying open. "If I shut this down today I would have to fire all of the people, I would lose $ 30,000 it wouldn't be good for the state in the sense that everything we make taxes are paid and it goes to each individual county, so the counties would lose money," said Meek. Read more
From the Santa Fe New Mexican.com - by Staci Matlock - The Las Conchas Fire stood at 92,735 acres Wednesday, but some favorable winds and a massive effort by firefighters brought a hint of progress. The fire was officially listed as 3 percent contained. Despite the mandatory evacuation order for Los Alamos, a few dozen residents have stayed behind. Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy isn't happy about the situation, but he's not planning to arrest them. "There really is no specific penalty for failing to leave in a mandatory evacuation order," Torpy said. "What we're trying to do here is use the mandatory evacuation order to emphasize to people how important it is for them to leave for their own safety. When they don't leave, they add an extra burden on us, the law enforcement, the firefighters or National Guard people that are on the ground." Torpy said emergency personnel have been door to door twice and registered those who've stayed. If the fire does enter the community, they'll go back to make sure all the residents get out safely. "But by not going, they are taking up time that we could be doing something to help those who have to be here to serve the community. I urge them to go. This fire is not over." Read more
From NM Politics.net - by Heath Haussamen - When she was a district attorney, Gov. Susana Martinez was instrumental in bringing to New Mexico an automated victim notification system about defendants’ incarceration status and court hearings. So many of the state’s district attorneys were disappointed earlier this year when she pocket vetoed a bill that would have funded continuation of the program at the end of a federal grant by imposing a fee on jail inmates’ phone calls. Now, with federal funding for the system ending today, district attorneys are scrambling to try to find a way to keep the system going. “The district attorneys were absolutely dumbfounded when we found out what happened,” 13th Judicial District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said about Martinez’s veto. He said he still doesn’t understand. Scott Darnell, spokesman for Susana Martinez, said the bill was flawed in several ways. In addition to paying for the automated notification system, he said it would have created “new state employee positions” that “are arguably unnecessary for an automated system.” Darnell said the bill had a sunset provision, so it didn’t ensure long-term continuation of the program. And the governor, he said, wants to ensure that district attorneys use the system to supplement, not replace, the personal relationships between victims’ advocates and victims. Read more
|Los Alamos on a clear day|
Posted by Jim Spence
Posted by Rachel Pulaski
Labels: National News
Palmbeachpost - If your pooch poops, you pay. Plagued with pets that do business in all the wrong places, dog owners in the Village of Abacoa, a condominium association of 458 units, must pay a $200 fee starting Aug. 1. The money will pay DNA Pet World Registry to take the dog's genetic fingerprint and keep the information on file. Doggie droppings found in condo common areas will be collected and mailed in a plastic tube to the Knoxville, Tenn.-based company. If the poop matches the pooch, the owners can be fined up to $1,000. If they don't pay, a lien can be placed on their home, said Susan Nellen, property manager for Versa Property Management, which manages the condo near Roger Dean Stadium. More News New Mexico
Posted by Jim Spence
Labels: National News
FALL RIVER (FOX25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - The body of a Fall River woman was discovered floating in a state run pool late Tuesday night, two days after she apparently drowned in that same pool. Police say lifeguards were on duty and people were swimming in the Veterans Memorial pool at Lafayette Park Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and it appears no one noticed the dead body. Investigators identified the body as 36-year-old Marie Joseph. Police say Joseph was watching her 9-year-old neighbor at the pool on Sunday when she apparently had an accident sliding down a waterside. Family friends tell FOX25 the little boy told lifeguards that she did not come up from above water but no action was taken. The Bristol County DA would not confirm if the woman’s body was in the water for two days, but did call the set of circumstances "unbelievable" and said the death is still under investigation. Read full story here: News New Mexico
Posted by Michael Swickard
Labels: U.S. Politics
From heritage.org -Late last week, at least 80 illegal immigrants were abducted from a train by armed gunmen in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. According to accounts, the train operators “didn’t stop where they usually do.… Instead, they continued on to a remote area where the trains that come from Coatzacoalcos pass by.” There the gunmen were waiting and “went straight—like they already knew—to (the cars in which the) women and children were riding.” Sadly, this violence is nothing new. According to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, more than 400 kidnappings involving 22,000 individuals likely occur in Mexico each year. More News New Mexico
From capitolreportnewmexico.com -According to a Democratic Party polling group, New Mexico voters prefer President Obama over all the Republican candidates in the 2012 presidential race but Obama’s popularity in the state is declining. Public Policy Polling, which is affiliated with the Democratic Party and based out of Raleigh, N.C., released the results of a telephone survey of 732 New Mexico voters and reported that while President Obama carried New Mexico by 15 points in the 2008 election, just 50 percent of those surveyed between June 23-26 approved of the job Obama is doing while 44 percent disapprove. New Mexico is expected to be a swing state in the 2012 presidential race and controls five electoral votes. More News New Mexico
Posted by Jim Spence
Labels: National News Analysis
The proposal (to cut tax rates) should do more to help restore investor confidence and the vitality of American businesses than any other proposal we have seen in many decades.
Sure enough, economics 101 worked like a charm. The improved incentives immediately propelled the U.S. economy forward. Over the following fifty-four months more than 8.2 million jobs were created in this country. And during that time frame U.S. non-farm payroll headcounts increased from just under 130 million to just over 138 million.
You see, the president doesn't care as much about how jobs are created as he does about how much income he can redirect away from job creators. And today he re-iterated his view that the only way out of an economic downturn (like the one we were facing in 2003 and again now) is to tax our way out of it. It seems that he is content to remain woefully uninformed on how the basic laws of economics work. It is going to cost all of us (including him).
Posted by Jim Spence
Rasmussen - Most voters continue to feel America needs to do more to develop domestic gas and oil resources. They also still give the edge to finding new sources of oil over reducing gas and oil consumption. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that just 19% believe the United States does enough to develop its own gas and oil resources. Seventy-five percent (75%) do not think the country is doing enough in this area. Read full story here: News New Mexico
KOB TV - A wildfire burning on part of a southern New Mexico ranch owned by veteran newsman Sam Donaldson is uncontained and chewing through more terrain. Fire information officer Jennifer Myslivy says the fire in Alamo Canyon has burned 15,000 acres and reached the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation, where it has so far burned 1,200 acres. Crews used bulldozers Wednesday to cut fire lines and conducted controlled burns to fight the blaze. Read full story here: News New Mexico
Posted by Rachel Pulaski
From therepublic.com -Dona Ana County farmers are making an urgent plea to Gov. Susana Martinez for water for their thirsty crops. If they don't get the water, the Elephant Butte Irrigation District is slated to close down for the season July 5, after slightly more than a month of irrigation. The season typically starts much earlier and ends in September or October. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports there was no response from Santa Fe as of Tuesday. The irrigation district has asked the state to hand over 100,000 acre-feet of water now in storage at Elephant Butte Lake. More News New Mexico
Less than a year ago News New Mexico took to the airwaves in New Mexico with our website and daily radio show. Yesterday we crossed the 100,000 count for page views on our website. We thank all of our listeners, sponsors, and contributors for helping us become successful. Onward and upward!
Posted by Jim Spence
Labels: International News
Washington Times - ATHENS — Youths hurled rocks and firebombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill. Lawmakers were embarking on their second day of debate on austerity measures that must be passed in votes Wednesday and Thursday if Greece’s international creditors are to release another batch of bailout funds to see it beyond the middle of next month. The package must be passed so the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can release the next installment of Greece’s $156 billion bailout loan. Without that $17 billion installment, Greece faces the prospect of a default next month — a potentially disastrous event that could drag down European banks and hurt other financially troubled European countries. The austerity drive is hugely unpopular in Greece, and the demonstration in central Athens soon degenerated into violence. Read full story here: News New Mexico
Posted by Michael Swickard on Tuesday, June 28, 2011
From KRQE-TV.com - LOS ALAMOS, N.M. - Almost all of the 12,000 people who live in Los Alamos pulled out when the evacuation was ordered Monday, but the city is not entirely a ghost town. Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy most of the town has cleared out with the exception of about 150 or so people. Jeff Aslin is one of those holdouts. "It looks worse than it is," he said. Aslin spent the night watching the glow of the fire from his house on the western side of town. He said is staying because he doesn't think the fire will reach the town site and because he is worried about looters even though the National Guard, State Police and even firefighters are patrolling the streets. Read more
From the Rio Grande Sun - By Chris McGuinness -The spouse of Española School Board President Andrew Chavez has been given a new job title that could come with a $12,000 a year raise by the woman seeking to become the District’s next superintendent. Jennifer Chavez, the wife of Andrew Chavez, was hired last week as the District’s Title I coordinator for the 2011-12 school year. The Title I position, which was posted on the District’s website in May, falls under the purview of interim superintendent Evelyn Maruska, who is also the District’s federal programs director. Maruska is currently in the running to be the permanent superintendent for the 2011-12 school year. As Board president, Andrew Chavez is one of the five men who will decide whether or not Maruska gets the District’s top job. Maruska was passed over for the job during the Board’s 2009 superintendent search; Andrew Chavez was also a member of that Board. State law prohibits a superintendent from employing or hiring “in any capacity” the spouse of a school board member. However, the law is waived for employees, like Jennifer Chavez, who were hired before 2003. Jennifer Chavez was not available for comment, and her current supervisor, Special Education Director Christina Baca, said all staffing questions should be addressed to the Human Resources Department. There, Romero refused to comment, referring questions to Maruska. Attempts to interview Maruska have been denied since May 25. Maruska’s secretary said Tuesday the superintendent was too busy to take a phone call for comment. Read more
From capitolreportnewmexico.com -An audit conducted by the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) shows that nine charter schools out of 28 across the state were cited for “major compliance issues” while nine others were completely cleared of all issues and 13 were flagged for what was described as minor compliance issues. The charter school audit results were released earlier this month by the PED and come on the heels of an audit of public schools in late May showing that four school districts in the state had major compliance issues in regards to record-keeping, coordination and compliance with state and federal guidelines. More News New Mexico
Posted by Jim Spence
Labels: Spence Columns
The good news is our critics are still listening. The bad news is they were employing the use of a political label filters (liberal or conservative) instead of relying on their own ability to recognize that we always try to think on an issue-by-issue basis without concern for which “box” our conclusions land us in. Long ago I came to realize that labels are terribly dangerous. They cause partisan politicians in both parties to keep both hawk and dove hats available for issues regarding the military and the federal budget. Labels also cause political observers to treat commentary like a crossword puzzle where the object seems to be to search for the correct viewpoint "label" instead of evaluating for the best practice. We hate the restrictive nature of being in some sort of philosophical label corral.
Posted by Jim Spence
Labels: Swickard Columns
|Michael and Conrad|
The most important duty we have as Americans is to ensure our Constitution is not perverted since it is the rule book for our government. Alas, the power the government has over citizens has increased over the years outside of the method prescribed in the Constitution. At all times each citizen must consent to be governed if we are to live in a free society. Without our consent there is no legitimate government. We must decide when we will and will not give our consent.
It would be easier if we could meet on a battlefield, an army of Constitution defenders against those who seek to bind our citizens. Instead we must meet in battle often one citizen at a time confronting those in the government. That is our battle line. Our leaders are our leaders until we no longer consent for them to govern us.
Lately it appears the leaders of both parties are leading us to destruction. They are ignoring the financial implications of spending vast sums of money far beyond the wealth of our country and citizens. And, they are trying to spend even more wealth we do not have.
We have an economy that produces about $2.2 trillion a year in tax revenue while our government is spending about $3.5 trillion. Worse, the promises made by politicians to fully fund Medicare, Social Security and other “entitlements” adds up to more than $200 trillion. Consider: it would take all of our tax revenue for 100 years to pay for what has been promised to citizens today. Can our country actually fulfill those promises? No, it is not possible. Know this: it is not if we will default on our promises, only when.
Capitol Report New Mexico - Fire officials said Tuesday morning (June 28) that the Las Conchas fire had grown to 60,740 acres — roughly 93 square miles — as Los Alamos was a virtual ghost town following the evacuation of thousands of residents while officials guarding the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) from the wildfire say that no hazardous or nuclear material is in danger. In the meantime, firefighters continue to try to turn back the blaze on the Parajito Mountain, home to a ski resort, and some residents of the nearby Cochiti Pueblo are leaving under voluntary evacuation orders and a mandatory order may be in the offing. Officials at public radio station KSFR in Santa Fe say the station’s transmission tower located on Parajito was hit by the fire, knocking its signal off the air. Update 12:18 p.m. Tuesday: Station back on the air. Read full story here: News New Mexico
From cnet.com -Boeing recently built key parts of a truck-mounted laser weapon for the U.S. Army that will shoot down short-range projectiles and UAVs and it's set to test it later this year, according to a company release. It's scheduled to be tested at low power at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in the fourth quarter of 2011. More News New Mexico
Posted by Jim Spence
Capitol Report New Mexico - Here are some dramatic photos of the Las Conchas wildfire as it threatens Los Alamos and other communities in northern New Mexico as thousands of homeowners were evacuated from the area: View picures here: News New Mexico
Posted by Michael Swickard on Monday, June 27, 2011
From the Santa Fe New Mexican.com - The Las Conchas Fire began Sunday at 1 p.m. on private land in the Jemez Mountains 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos. By midnight, the fire had grown to between 4,000 and 6,000 acres, and had burned within one mile of the southwest of the Los Alamos National Laboratory boundary. The flames traveled quickly from tree crown to crown. Wind flung burning embers more than half a mile away. A dozen engines, nine hand crews, three helicopters, two Hot Shot crews and five bulldozers fought the fire until a Type 1 southwest region interagency command team and more resources could arrive today. The following bulletin was sent out by Los Alamos CountyLos Alamos, NM – Los Alamos County officials are reporting the fire is now threatening Los Alamos. They are ordering a mandatory evacuation. Residents are urged to prepare now to be ready to go when their Group is called using Reverse 911. The County is first evacuating those residents who are the closest to the immediate threat of fire. Residents should wait for the automated Reverse 911 phone call. Once called, proceed in an orderly fashion to police control points and follow any additional instructions to safely leave the County. National Guard and State Police will be assisting with the evacuation process. Read more
From the Alamogordo Daily News - By Duane Barbati - Alamogordo Department of Public Safety officials are busy reminding residents that aerial and propelling-type fireworks are prohibited within the city limits between June 20 and July 8. Offenders of the fireworks ordinance will receive a citation to appear in Municipal Court. While it may only be classified as a misdemeanor, violating the fireworks ordinance carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail or a fine of up to $500 or both. The Otero County Commission on May 30 banned the use of fireworks in the county because of the extreme drought conditions. Lincoln National Forest officials closed the forest May 12 for the same reason. Read more
NewsNM - Swickard: it appears to me that restraint was used by the officer shooting or the subject would have died on the scene. From KRQE-TV.com - by Celina Westervelt - An Albuquerque police officer shot Orlando Paisano, 33, four times after he allegedly threatened two officers with a 15-inch bayonet. It happened Sunday evening, just two days after a new initiative was put in place to curb officer involved shootings in the city. Police were called because Paisano was reportedly threatening his girlfriend and her mother. When the two officers arrived, one went inside to treat a victim and that's when they say Paisano popped out of another apartment and threatened that officer's partner. Chief Schultz said Paisano had a 15-inch bayonet style knife in his hand. Officers told him to drop it, and when he refused they tasered him twice. That did not work, so Chief Schultz said his men had no other choice. The chief says there was nothing else they could have done to avoid shooting Paisano. Read more
From capitolreportnewmexico.com -Back on Friday (June 24), state Attorney General Gary King held a news conference in Albuquerque defending his office’s handling of a number of alleged political corruption scandals, including the case involving former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron. Well, now it’s the following Monday and Vigil-Giron is firing back at King. Milan Simonich of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership talked to Vigil-Giron by telephone … and she didn’t hold back: Rebecca Vigil-Giron, the former secretary of state who is under criminal indictment, predicted in an interview today that she will be cleared of any wrongdoing . More News New Mexico