Hungry bears dumpster-dive for food in Ruidoso

From - Bears in search of food are turning to dumpsters in Ruidoso. People who live there said it is leaving a big mess and they want the village to do something about it. Officials say the drought has left hardly anything for the bears to eat. As the starving bears prepare to hibernate, they have turned to dumpsters that are used to collect ordinary household garbage for food. Living with wildlife, especially bears, is just a way of life in Ruidoso. Resident Frank Potter says you get use to it after a while. "We see bears every two or three days and they crawl under the fence and get into the yard," Potter said. Lately, residents said they have seen more bears clawing their way into dumpsters looking for food. "They come into town and typically at night and raid the dumpsters that aren't secure," Potter explained. Frank snapped a picture of an adult bear in one of the dumpsters. Ruidoso officials said the sight is becoming more common this year because of the drought. Read more

Bomb squad destroy late artist's stash of dynamite

From the Santa Fe New - When the extremely private, 76-year-old Santa Fe artist and former Santa Fe High School teacher Ernest Badynski died in July, his family followed his wishes and let his passing go quietly. "We did exactly what he wanted," said stepson John Hasted. That all changed Wednesday. With television news helicopters hovering overhead, neighbors lining the dirt roadways off Bishops Lodge Road after being evacuated from their homes for hours, utility crews working to shut off gas and electricity in the area, and dozens of Santa Fe police officers and firefighters on hand, Badynski went out with a bang, after all. A Santa Fe police bomb squad used a remote-controlled robot named Cybil to remove six sticks of decades-old dynamite from Badynski's art studio. They situated the explosives in a dirt driveway, then blew up the dynamite with a thunderous bang around 4:25 p.m. It was Hasted who had been cleaning out Badynski's art studio late Tuesday when he came across a paper bag and looked inside. Wrapped in wax paper were six sticks of dynamite that Badynski had purchased about 20 to 30 years ago. The artist had occasionally used explosives in shaping and making holes in large sheets of metal for his sculptures. "It was an uneasy feeling in my stomach that I hope I never get again," Hasted recalled of the discovery. Hasted didn't touch the bag. He called police at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. "The dynamite had obviously degraded to a certain point, but we couldn't tell how much," Santa Fe police Lt. Louis Carlos said. "Our EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] team determined it was too unstable to remove from the area and drive through the city, so we had to counter-charge the ordnance on site." Essentially, rather than detonate the dynamite, the bomb squad used smaller explosive devices of their own to blow it up. Even though shock waves from the blast could be felt a half-mile away, the only visible damage was a 4- to 5-inch-deep crater in the front driveway of Badynski's home. Carlos said Hasted's reaction to finding the dynamite and his decision not to touch the explosives was "textbook." "He did everything right," Carlos said. "He didn't throw it in the back of his truck and take it to the dump or to the police station, he called us and our EOD team was able to do their thing." Read more

Steve Chapman: Why Obama should withdraw

From the Chicago Tribune - Commentary by Steve Chapman - When Ronald Reagan ran for re-election in 1984, his slogan was "Morning in America." For Barack Obama, it's more like midnight in a coal mine.The sputtering economy is about to stall out, unemployment is high, his jobs program may not pass, foreclosures are rampant and the poor guy can't even sneak a cigarette. His approval rating is at its lowest level ever. His party just lost two House elections — one in a district it had held for 88 consecutive years. He's staked his future on the jobs bill, which most Americans don't think would work.The vultures are starting to circle. Former White House spokesman Bill Burton said that unless Obama can rally the Democratic base, which is disillusioned with him, "it's going to be impossible for the president to win." Democratic consultant James Carville had one word of advice for Obama: "Panic."But there is good news for the president. I checked the Constitution, and he is under no compulsion to run for re-election. He can scrap the campaign, bag the fundraising calls and never watch another Republican debate as long as he's willing to vacate the premises by Jan. 20, 2013. Read more

Bush's Baby


Rep. Sandra Jeff Dissatisfied with Re-Districting Games

Sandra Jeff
Capitol Report New Mexico - The speculation was right. On Sunday morning, Rep. Sandra Jeff (D-Crownpoint) told Capitol Report New Mexico she would vote against a House redistricting plan as currently proposed in caucus. “I cannot ignore the Republicans in my district,” Jeff wrote in a text message. “Let us attempt to work towards a bi-partisan plan.” With Jeff joining Nuñez, a possible vote could end up in a 35-35 tie, thus being unable to pass. Update: Here’s the entire statement from Rep. Jeff:
1) I highly respect the Navajo Nations plan. The Navajo Nation is very concern[ed] about losing representation. They had worked with the Pueblos to come to consensus. They supported the consensus.
2) It showed solidarity to try to work with other tribal governments in NM. But, that consensus plan is no longer on the table for discussion.

3) another plan was implemented. So, I have strong reservations about pushing the Navajo Nations offer aside. That for myself, is a concern. Which, I will be losing high performing precincts. For example, Naschitti, Sheepsprings Chapters I have developed a good working relationship with them.
5) [Their] voting rights are protected by Federal voting rights act. Let’s be realistic. If the Governor doesn’t like this — she’s gonna veto this bill. Where do we up [end] up at? We’re back to square one because of all these concerns. I cannot ignore the Republicans in my district. Thus, let us attempt to work towards a bi-partisan plan. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Another Drunk School Teacher?

KOB - TV - A Santa Fe substitute teacher is out of a job today after being found passed out at school during school hours – with police saying alcohol was the likely cause. Santa Fe Public Schools confirmed Monday that it fired substitute teacher Jill Lyle after she was found unconscious in an office at Chaparral Elementary on Friday. Santa Fe Police Lt. Lewis Carlos tells KOB Eyewitness News 4 that police and medics who showed up to the school Friday found Lyle passed out at the school with a glass nearby. Read full story here: News New Mexico


N.M. Workforce Solutions Squandered $97.8 Million

NM Watchdog - New Mexico continues to be one of the worst states in the US when it comes to overpaying unemployment benefits. Last year, Capitol Report New Mexico broke the story that New Mexico ranked third in the nation by paying out $97.8 million in improper payments — a rate of 28.68 percent of total benefit receipts. Now, the US Department of Labor has come out with the latest numbers, and this year, the statistics are similarly bad. New Mexico is still third-highest in the nation in percentage of unemployment overpayments, with the percentage creeping up to 30.66 percent with $104.7 million going out to people who should not have received payment. On top of that, New Mexico has the fourth-highest rate of fraud in unemployment compensation. Last year, New Mexico had the sixth-highest rate. Here’s a look at the five states with the highest percentage of misspent dollars: Read full story here: News New Mexico

Democrats Re-Districting Plans Taking Shape

Heath Haussamen
NM Politics - One reason Republicans haven’t seen much work from Democrats during the current redistricting special session is that Democrats have been negotiating behind the scenes to draft plans they hope can pass with or without Republican support. Looking at the Democrats’ redistricting plan for the state House of Representatives, you can see that a lot of behind-the-scenes work has taken place. For example, look at House District 53, which is held by Republican Rick Little from Alamogordo. Little unseated Democrat Nate Cote in last year’s election largely because of overwhelming support from two precincts in Otero County. Cote has already stated his intention to try to retake the seat next year. And in the Democrats’ redistricting plan, those Otero precincts are no longer in District 53. You can see hints of some possible wrangling among Democrats as well. Much of Rep. Rodolpho “Rudy” Martinez’s District 39 is taken away by Rep. Dona Irwin’s District 32 in the proposal, and the new Martinez district would stretch all the way from the Arizona border into Doña Ana County – making it the eighth House district located wholly or in part in the state’s second largest county. That’s probably not favorable for Martinez, who under the new plan might face a primary challenge from a Las Crucen. Read full story here: News New Mexico


George Kaiser Gave $63,500 to Obama Causes

George Kaiser
Daily Caller - A Daily Caller review of the George Kaiser Family Foundation’s income tax returns found that during the same year billionaire investor George Kaiser successfully secured $535 million in government loan guarantees for the now-failed solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, his private philanthropy donated to a political cause close to the hearts of several high-ranking Obama administration officials. Kaiser, a major Obama donor, was a frequent White House visitor during the week before the Obama administration approved that taxpayer-underwritten financial deal.
A $10,000 donation to the Urban Health Initiative at the University of Chicago Medical Center appears on the group’s 2009 tax forms. It was also in 2009 that Kaiser successfully sought to lock down a loan guarantee for the green-energy company Solyndra through his two investment vehicles: Argonaut Ventures and the GKFF Investment Company. While this donation seems small compared to the far larger numbers involved in the Solyndra scandal, it adds to the pattern of possible connections between the Obama administration and the growing Solyndra scandal.
Several of President Barack Obama’s senior inner-circle advisers worked with or for now-first lady Michelle Obama when she held a leadership post at the University of Chicago Medical Center and helped create the Urban Health Initiative program. The Washington Post reported in 2008 that Valerie Jarrett was the medical center’s chairwoman, and David Axelrod provided community support-building services. “One of Barack’s best friends, Eric Whitaker, is executive vice president at the center and is now in charge of the Urban Health Initiative,” the Post added in the year Obama was elected to the presidency. Whitaker is still in that role today.
George Kaiser’s four White House visits during the week before Solyndra secured its $535 million loan guarantee — and his $53,500 in donations to the president’s 2008 presidential campaign – have drawn scrutiny from critics questioning whether the Obama administration engaged in political favoritism. Read full story here: News New Mexico


New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan