Many Fires in NM including the entire Los Alamos county

From - Los Alamos police have reported the entire Los Alamos County is now under a voluntary evacuation order because of the Las Conchas wildfire, which is now burning at 1,000 acres in the Jemez Mountains. The fire broke out about 1 p.m. Sunday, about 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos near state highway 4. Firefighters have closed portions of the road.
Spot fires have been seen a half-mile ahead of the main fire. The voluntary evacuations include the cities of Los Alamos and White Rock. Mandatory evacuations have already been ordered for Las Conchas, Cochiti Mesa and the Bandelier and Valles Caldera forest areas. Read more

"It's something I couldn't imagine happening on American soil."

News Herald - Jean Weber of Destin filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security after her 95-year-old mother was detained and extensively searched last Saturday while trying to board a plane to fly to Michigan to be with family members during the final stages of her battle with leukemia. Her mother, who was in a wheelchair, was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search. “It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber said Friday. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.” Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration in Miami, said she could not comment on specific cases to protect the privacy of those involved. “The TSA works with passengers to resolve any security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner,” she said. Read full story here: News New Mexico

The Week in Review

Gary King
The week just passed began with a startling editorial from the Santa Fe New Mexican. The New Mexican is a newspaper that serves one of the greatest bastions of progressive population in the United States. The column said among other things that New Mexico Attorney General Gary King: “Has been dragging his public trust to political depths previously unplumbed.” By the end of the week A.G. King responded to the criticisms at a not so hastily called press conference. Apparently, King doesn’t do much of anything quickly, including defending the lack of speed of his own actions.
Surrounded by reporters on Friday, King repeated much of the same language he has used in tepid press releases to explain why things go so slowly in his office. In an era where elected officials and appointees in the scandal-plagued Richardson administration still consistently grab most of the media spotlight, it is saying plenty that New Mexico’s A.G. has managed to garner so much of the negative attention.
On Monday we posted a story quoting NM Republican Party Executive Director Bryan Watkins. Watkins said the Democrat’s position in opposition to a Voter Identification law doesn’t pass the “straight face test.”
Here I have to fervently disagree. Many conversations have been had with Democrats on this topic. To a person, they have acknowledged that is ok to require identification to cash a check, rent a DVD, use a credit card, or even make a change on a cell phone account. And each has also claimed it would somehow DISENFRANCHISE a person if they were required to produce an I.D. when they vote. And each and every Democrat asserted the veracity of these seemingly irreconcilable contradictions, with a perfectly straight face.
On Tuesday former Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish was quoted by as saying she had not taken the idea of making a run for Congressional District #1 “off the table.” Later in the week Denish, who lives in Albuquerque, offered an op-ed piece that was critical of Governor Martinez, including some veiled zingers on jobs.
Diane Denish
And still later in the week, the news came of a substantial drop in NM unemployment rate. Bucking a national trend of a rising joblessness rate, the unemployment rate in New Mexico dropped to 6.9% last month. Does Susana Martinez own the falling unemployment rate in her state? You can take it to the bank that she would be forced to own a rising unemployment rate.
Martin Heinrich continues to offer at least one contradiction each week. This week he provided two. First, while speaking to the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, Heinrich suggested he favored lowering corporate tax rates to level the competitive landscape and spur job creation. Unfortunately, this claim by the ambitious Congressman contradicts virtually every vote he has ever cast. Second, Heinrich voted in support of President Obama’s Libyan military incursion later on in the week. He did so after publicizing the writing of a letter he sent to the president back in April urging him to “bring the troops home.” It would seem that Heinrich is truly tormented by all the position choices in front of him.
We posted a national story from the Rasmussen organization on how poorly President Obama is polling. Low and behold the White House announced at mid-week that it was tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to drive down oil prices. Of course there was no change in Obama’s supply restricting domestic energy policies, just a drawing down of our emergency reserves. This approach pretty much mirrors the White House stand on anything resembling a “reserve” in the U.S. The president is tapping our nation's reserves rather than building and enhancing them.
Tim Geithner
The “Incredible Gall of the Week Award” has to go to U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. It was Geithner who had the temerity late in the week to say the president’s decision to tap the Strategic Oil Reserve was NOT political. Is it our imagination or is Geithner’s nose getting a bit longer every time he appears on television to make a statement?
In a decision that was widely expected (and predicted on News New Mexico) the NM Supreme Court struck down the legality of a so-called “veto” by Governor Martinez. Martinez had attempted to change the funding on a bill from $150,000 to $50,000 by removing a digit. The court said it is a no-no to attempt to remove or change numbers in a bill.
Chris Garcia
And finally, in what has to be characterized as a sign of the times story, former UNM President Chris Garcia was arrested and booked Thursday morning on charges of promoting prostitution, tampering with evidence, and conspiracy. What the heck. At the age of 71, Garcia only teaches Political Science at UNM part time. If these charges are proven true, it would seem the president finally managed to find something to do with all of his spare time. Move over Anthony Weiner. This story has fun written all over it.


Iowa Poll: Romney, Bachmann Tied, Cain 3rd His Strength Attributed to Tea Party Support

Newsnm note (Spence) Increasingly amused by how useful the "race card" is perceived by some to be, it is interesting to note that the tea parties, most often assailed by detractors as "racist" are credited with catapulting Herman Cain from virtual obscurity into a clear 3rd place ranking in the latest Iowa polls.
Des Moines Register - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann sit atop the standings in the year’s first Des Moines Register Iowa Poll on the Republican presidential field. Romney, the national front-runner and a familiar face in Iowa after his 2008 presidential run, attracts support from 23 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers.
Michelle Bachmann
Bachmann, who will officially kick off her campaign in Iowa on Monday, nearly matches him, with 22 percent. “She’s up there as a real competitor and a real contender,” said Republican pollster Randy Gutermuth, who is unaffiliated with any of the presidential candidates. “This would indicate that she’s going to be a real player in Iowa.” Former Godfather’s CEO Herman Cain, who has never held public office but has found a following among tea party supporters, comes in third, with 10 percent. Read full story here: News New Mexico


U.S. Soccer Team L.A.

L.A. Times - It was imperfectly odd. It was strangely unsettling. It was uniquely American. On a balmy early Saturday summer evening, the U.S soccer team played for a prestigious championship in a U.S. stadium … and was smothered in boos. Most of these hostile visitors didn't live in another country. Most, in fact, were not visitors at all, many of them being U.S. residents whose lives are here but whose sporting souls remain elsewhere. Welcome to another unveiling of that social portrait known as a U.S.- Mexico soccer match, streaked as always in deep colors of red, white, blue, green … and gray. "I love this country, it has given me everything that I have, and I'm proud to be part of it," said Victor Sanchez, a 37-year-old Monrovia resident wearing a Mexico jersey. "But yet, I didn't have a choice to come here, I was born in Mexico, and that is where my heart will always be."
On a street outside the Rose Bowl before the Gold Cup final, Sanchez was hanging out near a motor home that was hosting 17 folks — 15 of whom were Mexico fans. Inside, that ratio held, there seemingly being about 80,000 Mexico fans among the announced crowd of 93,420. This was Staples Center filled with Boston Celtics fans. This was Chavez Ravine filled with Giants jerseys. This was as weird as it was wild and, for a U.S. team that lost, 4-2, it had to be wearisome. "Obviously … the support that Mexico has on the night like tonight makes it a home game for them," said U.S. Coach Bob Bradley, choosing his words carefully. "It's part of something we have to deal with on the night." It wasn't just something. It was everything. I've never heard more consistent loud cheering for one team here, from the air horns to the "Ole" chants with each Mexico pass, all set to the soundtrack of a low throbbing roar that began in the parking lot about six hours before the game and continued long into the night. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Martinez Establishes Alliance in Sonora

Susana Martinez
SONORA, MEXICO – New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez met with the Governor of Sonora, Mexico, Guillermo Padrés Elías, to discuss the future of the relationship between the border states, including ways to improve the region’s economy and overcome common challenges, such as crime and border violence. “I am committed to growing jobs in New Mexico and one way to do that is to better partner with border states like Sonora on important issues,” Governor Martinez remarked. “I appreciate Governor Padrés’ commitment to working with New Mexico to improve the safety and development of the border region; there is a lot of work to be done.” Various working groups were convened on subjects ranging from health and education to the critical issues of job creation and economic development.
Guillermo Padres Elias
The states agreed to collaborate on breast cancer and obesity prevention, as well as the tracking of valley fever. The head of Sonora’s education department will travel to New Mexico to discuss strategies for raising student achievement, and the states agreed to work on the development of exchange-learning programs, particularly among nurses and other medical professionals. In the coming weeks, Governor Martinez is expected to meet in Santa Fe with the Governor of Chihuahua. “I am optimistic that, through a commitment to collaboration and positive dialogue, New Mexico will be able to join with Mexican border states to provide for a future of greater opportunity for all of us,” Governor Martinez concluded. “The current problems with drug trafficking and violent crime must be faced with an equal commitment from each border state to overcome them and forge a positive future together."