Bullets fly as Roswell cops ambushed: No one hurt in early morning shooting

From KRQE-TV.com - Web Producer: Bill Diven - ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) - When a Roswell police officer responding to a report of gunshots arrived at an address in the 300 block of South Virginia Street Tuesday night, someone started shooting at him. He called for backup, and when several other officers and a sheriff's deputy arrived, they took fire, too, and barely avoiding getting hit. Officers are looking at whether the shooter was actually the one who originally called police around 2:30 a.m. "Without having a suspect it's hard to say, but it sure smells like an ambush," Officer Travis Holley said. Read more


Council Member Pushes For Front Lawn Ban

From KOAT-TV.com - RIO RANCHO, N.M. -- The push is on in Rio Rancho to ban front lawns, and while at least one City Council member said it’s long overdue to help cut down on water usage, the idea isn’t sitting well with everyone. “If you pay your water bills, they should let you have whatever you want at your house,” Rio Rancho homeowner Hortnc Maffeu said. But if Rio Rancho City Councilor Michael Williams gets his way, new homeowners can kiss their front lawns goodbye. “Unfortunately, when common sense goes out the window, you have to put laws like this in effect,” Williams said. Williams is making a major push to implement lawn restrictions that include no front lawns on new homes. Only native vegetation would be allowed. He said it will help the city conserve precious water in a time of drought. Read more


Say it ain't so: APS raises lunch prices

NewsNM - Swickard: I wonder how they would look at my peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I was going to school? From KOB-TV.com - Albuquerque Public Schools will be back in session in less than a week, and between breakfast and lunch, the district will serve more than 75,000 meals to students everyday. This year, APS raised its lunch prices 10 cents. This means $1.85 for elementary students and $2.10 for middle and high schoolers. The school system must follow strict nutritional guidelines. Each meal must have a protein, dairy, grain, fruit and vegetable. About 80% of the food served is homemade or hand-packaged, which does cost more for the district. APS is also adding "Meatless Mondays" and "Turkey Thursdays" to its menu, and it will have a "Produce of the Month" that will be served at least twice. Read more


Wisconsin Democrats fall short in recall effort … $263 per vote?

From Capitol Report New Mexico.com - If you thought the debt ceiling debate was nasty, what happened in Washington was a picnic compared to the hand-to-hand combat that the state of Wisconsin has gone through in recent months. After Republican Gov. Scott Walker passed laws scaling back the power of public employee unions in the Dairy State in order to help balance the state budget, angry Democrats have put on a full-court press to regain control of the state legislature by recalling six Republican lawmakers. In a rare August election held Tuesday (Aug. 9), turnout was remarkably high and after spending millions of dollars, it looks like the Democrats fell just short.Republicans won four of the six recall elections as the tight results kept poltical junkies in Wisconsin up well past midnight. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Democrats won two state Senate seats in Tuesday’s historic recall elections, but failed to capture a third seat that would have given them control of the chamber. By keeping a majority in the Senate, Republicans retained their monopoly on state government because they also hold the Assembly and governor’s office. Tuesday’s elections narrowed their majority – at least for now – from 19-14 to a razor-thin 17-16. Republicans may be able to gain back some of the losses next week, when two Democrats face recall elections. Read more


Gary Johnson opts for mountain biking over Iowa straw poll

From the New Mexico Independent - by Lynda Waddington - Despite the massive GOP party happening in Iowa this weekend — the famed Ames Straw Poll — former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has other places to be. Specifically, he’ll be riding his mountain bike along a 100-mile course in Colorado, billed as a “race across the sky.” Of course, the announcement, made by his campaign Tuesday, comes as little surprise. On the one hand Johnson is known for being an avid outdoorsman and adventurer. He has reached four of the highest peaks on all seven continents, including Mt. Everest — a fact specifically noted by his campaign. On the other hand the Johnson campaign has made clear its thoughts on the Ames Straw Poll, noting there had been “a strategic decision to spend resources and time doing retail politics in New Hampshire.” Read more


Happy ending: Missing plane lands safely in Ruidoso

NewsNM - Swickard: we sometimes forget all of the backup we have in our country for general aviation from the air traffic people to the Civil Air Patrol and others who search for missing aircraft and provide support. From the Alamogordo Daily News - ROSWELL - Authorities say a plane that transmitted a hijacking distress signal, prompting a land and air search southeast of Roswell, has been found. State police Sgt. Lance Batemen says the plane landed safety at Sierra Blanca airport in Ruidoso. He says the pilot told authorities he accidentally hit the hijacking distress code while flying through a storm, then lost all power. Bateman says about 20 state police and Chaves County officers as well as state police and Bureau of Land Management planes spent more than three hours scouring the area about 35 miles west of the Texas-New Mexico border after the FAA lost contact with the plane. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the code used by pilots to signal a hijacking is just one digit different from the general distress code. Read more


Anti-tech group claims Mexico bombs

From the El Paso Times - by Mark Stevenson, MEXICO CITY (AP) - A radical group that opposes nanotechnology has has claimed responsibility for at least two bombing attacks on researchers in Mexico and it praises the "Unabomber," whose mail-bombs killed three people and injured 23 in the United States. A manifesto posted Tuesday on a radical website mentions at least five other Mexican researchers whose work it opposes, and lauded Theodore Kaczynski, who is serving a life sentence for bombs that targeted university professors and airline executives. It was issued in the name of a group whose title could be translated as "Individuals Tending Toward the Savage." Jorge Lofredo, an Argentine expert on regional armed movements, noted that the group appears to be relatively new. He said that most anarchist groups avoid violent acts, and noted that previous Mexico City blasts blamed on anarchists were small and sought to avoid causing injuries. Several Mexico City bank offices have been hit in recent years by small bombs made from hand-held butane gas canisters that have blown out windows without causing injuries. Messages left at the scene of some of those blasts have referred to small leftist or animal rights groups. Mexico City chief prosecutor Miguel Mancera has described the blasts as the work of "some youth protest group." Read more


NASA picks Virgin Galactic to fly payloads to space

From NM Politics.net - by Heath Haussamen - NASA has selected Virgin Galactic to fly technology payloads into suborbital space in a move that is certain to benefit Spaceport America in Southern New Mexico. Virgin Galactic announced that it won the NASA contract today in a news release. From the release:
“Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Aabar Investments PJS, has been selected by NASA to provide flight opportunities for engineers, technologists and scientific researchers to fly technology payloads into space. This arrangement marks the first time that NASA has contracted with a commercial partner to provide flights into space on a suborbital spacecraft, and represents another important endorsement of the value of regular commercial space access for a wide range of science and educational applications.” Read more

By Gary Varvel - August 10, 2011


Five Things Leftists Won't Let Obama Do to Help Economy

Commentary by Jeff Carter - President Obama spoke in a time of crisis yesterday. What little credibility he had with the market was blown. The market tanked further after his comments. This time, it was looking for a little pick me up. He advocated for a payroll tax cut (meaningless) and extension of jobless benefits(meaningless). He criticized S&P, but his words are hollow because the scoreboard shows markets the truth. can see a way for the market to rebound. However, it would take the Congress to pass some very aggressive legislation. That is impossible right now because of the Democratic party. My ideas would provide incentives for the private sector to administer a huge positive economic shock to the system. Critics will cite accounting numbers. We need to look at economics. We also can’t control events in Europe-so we need to remedy our situation at home and hope they take care of business there.
Here is what Washington should do:
1. Flat tax everyone at 19%-no write offs

2. Push corporate tax rates and corporate dividend taxes to 0%

3. Take capital gains taxes to 0%.

4. Immediately lift regulations on exploring for domestic energy in oil, gas and coal.

5. Allow highly skilled people to immigrate to the US, and grant them citizenship if they start a business and buy a home.
The market would stop it’s decline. I wouldn’t worry about government revenues. They will come soon enough due to the exponential economic activity that would be created. Read more


Sowell: A Pyrrhic 'Victory'

Commentary by Dr. Thomas Sowell - In Don Marquis' classic satirical book, "Archy and Mehitabel," Mehitabel the alley cat asks plaintively, "What have I done to deserve all these kittens?" That seems to be the pained reaction of the Obama administration to the financial woes that led to the downgrading of America's credit rating, for the first time in history. There are people who see no connection between what they have done and the consequences that follow. But Barack Obama is not likely to be one of them. He is a savvy politician who will undoubtedly be satisfied if enough voters fail to see a connection between what he has done and the consequences that followed. To a remarkable extent, he has succeeded, with the help of his friends in the media and the Republicans' failure to articulate their case. Polls find more people blaming the Republicans for the financial crisis than are blaming the President. Why was there a financial crisis in the first place? Because of runaway spending that sent the national debt up against the legal limit. But when all the big spending bills were being rushed through Congress, the Democrats had such an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress that nothing the Republicans could do made the slightest difference. Yet polls show that many people today are blaming the Republicans for the country's financial problems. But, by the time Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, and thus became involved in negotiations over raising the national debt ceiling, the spending which caused that crisis in the first place had already been done -- and done by Democrats. Read more


Block a No-Show at PRC Meeting

Newsnm Note - For a look at the New Mexico PRC Commision District Map click here:
Jerome Block Jr.
KOB TV - On Tuesday Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. failed to show up at a scheduled PRC meeting. Public Regulation Commission Chairman Pat Lyons said Block has missed a lot of meetings in the past and PRC is used to operating with a four-man commission. But eventually, regulators want a commissioner who comes to work and helps vote on state regulation and rate cases. During Tuesday's meeting, some motions were deadlocked in a two-to-two vote. The PRC was expected to vote no confidence in Jerome Block Jr. but instead the commissioners signed a joint statement calling on Block to resign. "Given the allegations and recent evidence that has surfaced, we encourage and urge Commissioner Block to immediately resign his position as soon as possible," Lyons read aloud to those who attended the meeting.
Pat Lyons
The vote of "no confidence" was put off until Thursday because the commission had not placed the action on the agenda and did not want to violate the states open meetings act. The PRC does not have the power to vote out a member and the no confidence vote would have been mostly symbolic. However the PRC does have the authority to replace Block as a vice chairman. A vote on replacing Block as vice-chair will not happen until at least Thursday. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Co-Pays for Medicaid Considered

Veritas New Mexico - Imposing new patient fees is “just one idea” being considered by the Governor’s Medicaid overhaul team, New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) spokesman Matt Kennicott said Monday. Possible new fees include “co-pays” for some emergency room visits, sparking concern among tribal representatives who met August 8 with HSD officials. Patient fees would create new barriers to American Indians’ access to health care, they fear — and run counter to government treaty obligations to provide health care to tribal members. “Due to the lack of available medical care, American Indians shouldn’t be penalized for using emergency room services,” said Paul Pino, of the Pueblo of Laguna’s health committee. “This is just one idea that we are considering as we work towards Medicaid Modernization and building a program that we can sustain now and into the future,” Kennicott said in an e-mail to Veritas New Mexico. Medicaid provides health insurance for people with low incomes and disabilities, and their children. The federal government covers 75 percent of the program’s costs. Read full story here: News New Mexico

UNM's Presidential "Search" Fee Will Cost $130,000

KOB TV - It is going to cost more than a quarter of a million dollars for UNM to find a new president. The university said the new price is actually $40,000 less than the last time they searched for a president in 2006.
Officials said they were able to negotiate the search firm's fee, reducing it from around $195,000 to $130,000. The fee is the most expensive part of the search. UNM President David Schmidly announced back in April he will not renew his contract when it expires in June of 2012.

Former Gore Campaign Finance Chief Avoids Jail Time After Guilty Plea to Attempted Extortion

Joseph Cari Jr.
Bloomberg - Joseph Cari, the finance chief for Al Gore’s 2000 U.S. presidential campaign, was sentenced to three years’ probation for his role in a political corruption scheme that led to the convictions of ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and his fundraiser, Antoin “Tony” Rezko. U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve imposed the sentence, which includes nine months’ home confinement and a $50,000 fine, during a hearing today at the federal courthouse in Chicago. “I accept full responsibility for my actions,” Cari said, adding he’ll “live with shame and pain for the rest of my life.” Cari in 2005 pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted extortion. Testifying against Rezko in 2008, he told a jury he’d aided a plot to demand a $750,000 kickback from a private equity firm, JER Partners, which sought $80 million in investment capital from the Illinois Teachers Retirement System. Cari, a lawyer and then-director at Healthpoint Capital Partners in New York, admitted to making threatening phone calls to the McLean, Virginia-based firm. Read full story here: News New Mexico