Swickard: Starting a group to restore kindergarten

Commentary by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - Five rules of education: first engage their curiosity and then give them the tools to satisfy that curiosity. While doing so students must enjoy the passage of time. All curricular and instructional experiences must be correct for their brain development and students must retain their basic human dignity at all times. Michael Swickard

     There is a great evil in our schools perpetuated for political rather than educational reasons. Many who embrace this evil are good people not realizing the harm they cause. Namely, we no longer treat young students just entering our schools humanely. Specifically, kindergarten students are treated inappropriately for their age.
     We must band together to restore the humanity to kindergarten. It will take our voices and feet. First, it takes seeing the problem. The Swickard Axiom: never use a political solution for a non-political problem, especially in education. Read column


Angry customers result in 'informal complaint' against Sprint

From the Carlsbad Current-Argus -  By Stella Davis, Current-Argus Staff Writer - CARLSBAD — Frequent dropped calls and intermittent or no service for days at a time have recently caused Sprint cellular phone customers to vent their frustration with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission's Consumer Relations Division., PRC director of consumer relations, said his agency has received more than 100 complaints from Sprint customers in Roswell, Hobbs, Artesia and Carlsbad. He said enough complaints have been received to warrant the lodging of an informal complaint against the wireless carrier."Sprint has had problems with its cell towers, and customers have had problems since November to the present," Williamson said. "We have received quite a few complaints. By filing an informal complaint, we hope Sprint customers will get their service restored quicker, or if not, they should be given a credit on the bill for the month they experienced the outage." Williamson said Sprint is not advertising its willingness to give a credit to area customers who lost service. However, if they call Sprint or the PRC, customers are promised a credit on their next bill, based on the date and length of the outage. Read more


Regulatory commission puts Xcel Energy power plant on fast track

From the Alamogordo Daily News - By Milan Simonich - SANTA FE -- Xcel Energy's request to build a $16.4 million power-generating plant in Quay County is on a fast track. The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission voted 5-0 Tuesday to gear the project for approval in as little as 60 days, in all likelihood bypassing an analysis by a hearing examiner. Commission Chairman Patrick Lyons pressed to move the project forward as fast as possible, saying it would solve a problem that had on occasion paralyzed the small city of Tucumcari. Lyons, R-Clovis, said Tucumcari now has no backup generating system. At times of peak demand for power on Xcel's grid across eastern New Mexico, Tucumcari has been left without electricity for up to six hours at a time, Lyons said. "You can't pump gas. You can't transact business in any store. It shuts the town down," Lyons said. The new plant would provide 23 megawatts of standby electricity for Tucumcari, which is served by a single transmission feed.. Read more

McKinnon jumps out of, then back into, CD2 race

Frank McKinnon
From NMPolitics.net - After failing to win a spot on the ballot at the Democratic Party’s preprimary nominating convention on Saturday, Frank McKinnon said he was dropping out of the race, but he’s changed his mind.The in-then-out-then-back-in shifting came in a series of Facebook posts. First this post from Sunday, after McKinnon won the support of 12 percent of delegates, falling short of the 20 percent needed: McKinnon jumped back in the race on Monday:“Because I am not a quitter, and never have been. I have decided not quit the race. I will leave it up to the Democratic Party to determine whether or not my campaign will be one of the choices on the ballot in the Primary Election. If I receive enough signatures on copies of this Nomination Petition in the mail by March 19 for me to drive to Santa Fe to file them with the Office of the Secretary of State on March 20, I will continue this campaign. It is up to the Democratic Party.” Read more


Ex-Investment Boss Countersues SIC

Gary Bland
KOB - SANTA FE – SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Former State Investment Officer Gary Bland is fighting back against allegations of corruption and he's suing his accusers for more than $1 million in damages. Bland is seeking damages against his former employer, the State Investment Council, as well as council chairwoman Gov. Susana Martinez, Attorney General Gary King and a former pension fund officer who brought whistleblower lawsuits alleging a pay-to-play scheme influenced investments. The Investment Council sued Bland and others last year alleging he and a financial advisory firm steered investments to political supporters of former Gov. Bill Richardson. Bland says the allegations are false and politically motivated. He told The Associated Press he will vigorously fight back because the lawsuits have destroyed his reputation. Bland resigned as investment officer in 2009. Read More News New Mexico