Posted by Michael Swickard on Thursday, August 18, 2011
From KOAT-TV.com - SANTA FE, N.M. -- The state Supreme Court will consider whether New Mexico can impose the death penalty on an Albuquerque man for killing a Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy. The court on Thursday scheduled a hearing for Sept. 1 on legal questions about the upcoming sentencing of Michael Astorga for the 2006 killing of Deputy James McGrane Jr. Astorga's lawyer says the repeal of the death penalty in 2009 should be considered by a jury in deciding whether to sentence his client to death or life in prison. Astorga was convicted last year. Read more
Posted by Michael Swickard
From New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan - The flat-lined, dead-in-the-water ABQ economy continues. Even the perennially optimistic spokesmen for the local real estate and home building biz are throwing in the towel. There is no job creation--none--and it is simply killing housing, aways a key economic driver in the state's largest city. Building homes and adding population and jobs has been the unobstructed path for city growth for over sixty years--until now. On the street level, small businesses continue to struggle. Revenue into the city remains anemic. Economic development plans are nonexistent, half-baked or enigmatic. Local government hiring remains essentially frozen. The same for the public schools. Part-time work is more common as workers across-the-board see their hours cut. The food stamp and Medicaid programs are seeing record enrollments and the food banks are doing brisk business helping the cash-strapped. The candles continue to be lighted at the churches in the low income areas of ABQ as folks turn to a higher power for help in their job searches. The ongoing brouhaha over illegal immigration also seems a relic of the past. Countless news reports show illegal border crossings into NM and elsewhere have evaporated. That's simple. When there are no jobs, they will not come. Many business owners and employers are frustrated, angry or even scared. The politicians around here are bobbing and weaving, hoping that the blame stays squarely with Washington. New Mexico is stagnating and it has been stagnating for two years. We need to get past emotional issues like driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, voter fraud allegations that turn out to be a mirage and other politically polarizing issues that keep the consultants busy but do nothing to create jobs or help our businesses make more money so they can add to their work forces. Read more
Posted by Michael Swickard
From the Rio Grande Sun - By Andrew Kasper - In a precedent-setting move, state Land Commissioner Ray Powell has given the Rio Arriba County Commission regulating powers over a controversial sand and gravel mine in Velarde. But opponents of the mine fear the Commission will be hesitant to impose its new power because of a potential conflict of interest. The mine, operated by Española businessman Richard Cook, is located on state trust land and adjacent private land owned by Cook, Powell said. In years past it has been a flashpoint between local residents, the County Commission and the state Land Office, under the control of former commissioner Pat Lyons. Residents complained of diesel fumes, noise, unsafe traffic, dust and other nuisances caused by the trucks hauling the sand and gravel from the site and by the mining work itself. The mine site also came under scrutiny from state agencies, and Cook faced fines from the state Environment Department and was forced to remediate a high and unsafe wall of earth left by mining operations. Residents gathered over 400 signatures on a petition in 2007 opposing the mine, and the Commission passed a resolution in 2009 against the mine’s expansion and any further activity. But because of the mine’s location on state land, the commissioners were powerless to regulate or halt its operation. Read more
Posted by Michael Swickard
NewsNM - Swickard: I really feel for the plight of people coming from Mexico where the foundation of government has been taken over by the Drug Cartels. If this is not good, at least let us streamline what people who want to join us, the U. S. and work in our country. From the El Paso Times - By ALICIA A. CALDWELL, Associated Press - WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration said Thursday it will allow many undocumented immigrants facing deportation the chance to stay in this country and apply for a work permit, while focusing on removing from the U.S. convicted criminals and those who might be a national security or public safety threat. That will mean a case-by-case review of approximately 300,000 undocumented immigrants facing possible deportation in federal immigration courts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in announcing the policy change. Advocates for an immigration overhaul have said that the administration, by placing all undocumented immigrants in the same category for deportation, has failed to live up to its promise to only deport the "worst of the worst," as President Barack Obama has said. "From a law enforcement and public safety perspective, DHS enforcement resources must continue to be focused on our highest priorities," Napolitano wrote a group of senators supporting new immigration legislation. Read more
Posted by Jim Spence
5 MW rated capacity is the equivalent of a 1 MW generator running full-time, because a fixed-angle solar PV system has a capacity factor (cf) of 20%. So this 5 MW PV system will generate approx 8,766 MWh per year. Since PNM owns this system and uses all the power themselves, they are not required to report the actual power generated to the FERC, so we will never know exactly how much power is being generated.
|Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington|
Deming Headlight - Aug. 18--Luna County's largest photovoltaic solar array and latest alternative energy project officially kicked off Wednesday as Public Service Company of New Mexico hosted various local, state and federal officials. The 50-acre, 5-megawatt facility is located south of town off Highway 11 on Coyote Road. The 78,000 solar panels comprising the Deming Solar Energy Center are capable of producing enough energy to supply about 1,600 average New Mexico homes. The solar farm is the third of five solar facilities PNM is constructing across the state. Facilities in Albuquerque and Los Lunas have been online since spring and two more facilities in Alamogordo and Las Vegas, NM, are scheduled for completion this fall. Read full story here: News New Mexico
Capitol Report New Mexico - According to a national survey released Wednesday (Aug. 17) by the non-profit testing organization ACT, a whopping 75 percent of all US high school graduates will likely need to take at least one remedial class, brushing up on high school-level work, when they enter college. The number for New Mexico is worse: 83 percent need to take at least one remedial class. The ACT report comes after 13,599 New Mexico high school graduates took the ACT, which — along with the SAT — is one of the most widely-used entrance examinations that colleges and universities measure for incoming freshman. The ACT survey measured English, math, reading and science and New Mexico finished in the bottom seven states (plus the District of Columbia) in all four categories, with just 17 percent expected to need no remedial classes in the four categories in the study: News New Mexico
Posted by Jim Spence
KOB TV - People who live just outside of Artesia city limits are furious about a dramatic increase in their utility bills. In some cases, they will be charged an extra $800 or more a year for some city services. The city offers sewer, trash collection and water for people living just outside the city limits. Residents recently received a notice that they could no longer pick and choose what services they wanted. Many of the residents living just west of Artesia survive on fixed incomes near the poverty level. Now county residents have to bundle their services and they have to get trash collection. The new trash collection service comes with new fees. According to the notice given by the city, residents will be charged $26 a month for trash service if they sign a contract that allows the city to annex their property some time in the future. For residents who do not sign the contract, they will pay $41 a month just for trash collection. An additional $30 a month fee will be charged for trash collection and water delivery outside city boundaries. "We're charged $41 for trash, $15 for water, and $15 for sewer extra, a month, on our water bill and we can't afford that, no body can," Jamie Perez said. Read full story here: News New Mexico
Posted by Jim Spence
|Jerome Block Jr.|
Posted by Jim Spence
Labels: U.S. Politics
Rasmussen - Just 15% of Likely U.S. Voters now say the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken the week ending Sunday, August 14. The latest finding is down a point from a week ago, 10 points from a month ago and 20 points from a year ago. Since the third week in July, the number of voters who are confident in the nation’s current course has resembled levels measured in the final months of the Bush administration. When President Obama assumed office in January 2009, optimism rose to 27% and climbed to the low to mid 30s – peaking at 40% -- until May 2009. That figure has steadily declined since. Eighty percent (80%) of voters say the country is heading down the wrong track. That ties the highest level measured in three-years. Since January 2009, voter pessimism had ranged from 57% to 63%. Most Republicans (92%) and voters not affiliated with either political party (84%) believe the country is heading down the wrong track. Even a majority (63%) of Democrats now say the country is heading in the wrong direction. Read full story here: News New Mexico
Buffett suggests as follows: “It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.” With this statement, Buffett is describing the structure of incentives or lack thereof to accumulate wealth and capital. Not pointing out that heavy payroll taxes should actually be characterized as heavy contributions for future retirement benefits misses the point of payroll taxes. And it is our collective unwillingness to exert control over Washington that converts “heavy” payroll taxes from what should be retirement plan contributions, into the largest compulsory ponzi financing scheme in the history of civilization.
Buffett continues in his piece: “And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.” This statement is startling. It plays blazing fast and plenty loose with the historical fact that the most dramatic income tax rate cuts in history came under Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s. Those rate cuts led to the longest peacetime expansion in history and also the remarkable job creation statistics Buffett cites.
Buffett goes personal: “The taxes I refer to here include only federal income tax, but you can be sure that any payroll tax for the 400 was inconsequential compared to income.” Here again we find Buffett trying to get his op-ed piece readers to separate social security benefits from actually paying social security taxes. The most relevant factor here is that income that does not contribute payroll taxes is also not entitled to a social security benefit.