NM Motor Transportation Officer Robbie Potter - Rest In Peace

NewsNM Swickard - Sad News from my friend Dave about his brother. "I am sorry to report that Robbie has left us ... The memories of his smile, his laugh, kindness, and generosity will live with us all forever... God Speed."

New Mexico State Police Motor Transportation Officer Robert "Robbie" Potter, shown here with his K-9, Dora, was on duty Wednesday when he suffered a heart attack. A few minutes ago he passed. Our prayers are with Dave and his family. We hold in our hearts every member of law enforcement. Michael Swickard

General Motors Is Headed For Bankruptcy -- Again

ForbesPresident Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors.  That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again.  The company is once again losing market share, and it seems unable to develop products that are truly competitive in the U.S. market. Right now, the federal government owns 500,000,000 shares of GM, or about 26% of the company.  It would need to get about $53.00/share for these to break even on the bailout, but the stock closed at only $20.21/share on Tuesday.  This left the government holding $10.1 billion worth of stock, and sitting on an unrealized loss of $16.4 billion. Right now, the government’s GM stock is worth about 39% less than it was on November 17, 2010, when the company went public at $33.00/share.  However, during the intervening time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen by almost 20%, so GM shares have lost 49% of their value relative to the Dow. It’s doubtful that the Obama administration would attempt to sell off the government’s massive position in GM while the stock price is falling.  It would be too embarrassing politically.  Accordingly, if GM shares continue to decline, it is likely that Obama would ride the stock down to zero. Read More News New Mexico


Another Meeting to Hear Input on San Juan Generating Station Sure to Draw Radical Environmentalists

New Mexco citizens anxious to put a stop to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to use regulations to destroy the economic viability of a coal-fired electric plant near Farmington will have another chance to speak up. The anti-coal Obama EPA wants to require high-cost emission controls on the San Juan Generating Station. To eliminate "haze" nobody can see.
San Juan Generating Station
It remains an open question whether the emission control equipment PNM will be required to purchase will be mandated by EPA or will be the type approved by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Either way ratepayers will bear the costs.
Both sets of equipment will meet federal "visibility" requirements. The state-approved technology would accomplish that goal for a fraction of the cost of EPA's plan saving PNM ratepayers millions of dollars.
The next public input meeting is scheduled for Monday August 20th in Farmington. Citizens unable to attend in person can submit input to NMED by sending an email to Morgan R. Nelson of NMED at Morgan.nelson@state.nm.us. There is little doubt radical envirnomentalists will be at this meeting to push for policies that push electricity rates higher and threaten the closure of the primary generating station that supplies New Mexico with low cost electricity.


Las Cruces Offers Students Free Rides

KRWG - Starting Monday, August 20, current students at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and Dona Ana Community College (DACC) can ride any RoadRUNNER Transit bus without a fare simply by presenting a valid student ID card to the bus driver.
Valid IDs must have a picture of the Organ Mountains with the tower at Goddard Hall in the foreground. Students are asked to present their ID card every time they board the bus. Current students who do not have the proper ID card may obtain it by contacting ID Card Services at their school.
At this time, staff and faculty at NMSU and DACC as well as students from other educational institutions are not included in this program. Aggie Transit on the NMSU campus and the DACC Shuttle which connects Mesilla Valley Mall with the East Mesa Campus of DACC will continue to be fare-free for all users.
The Las Cruces City Council approved a demonstration project that would temporarily waive fares for NMSU and DACC students in order to collect and assess data that could lead a formal universal pass (or U-Pass) program that could start as soon as the fall semester in 2013. U-Pass programs are very common and very popular in communities that have both a public transit system and higher education institutions. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Child Support Deadbeats Get One Week Reprieve

KOB - The state is going after parents who owe child support, but will give them a chance to pay up before they're arrested. A website lists the name of parents with an active bench warrant for failing to pay child support.
Starting next week, the people found on the list can show up to any child support enforcement division office and pay the bond amount. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Cash-strapped MVD stalling online license renewals

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - by Kate Nash - The wait in line at Motor Vehicle Division offices across New Mexico usually is pretty long. The delay isn’t quite as long, however, as the amount of time state Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, has been waiting for the agency to implement a law intended to help do away with those lines. Griego in 2010 carried a bill that would allow many residents to renew a driver’s license online and skip the in-person waiting game. But the division hasn’t had the cash to make the law a reality. “My frustration is the bill was introduced two years ago,” Griego said this week. “Why were we not informed they were having problems?” he said. Part of the problem, Taxation and Revenue Department spokesman S.U. Mahesh said, is that officials in the Motor Vehicle Division have been swamped with other federally mandated projects, including a new commercial driver’s license system. Staff in the division also recently have been working on a project to electronically scan all documents related to first-time applications for licenses, registration and titles. On top of that, Mahesh said, the department doesn’t have the estimated $2 million to $3 million to implement the online license renewal system. Still, he said, the project remains a priority “given its benefits to greatly improve customer service and reduce wait times in our field offices.” Currently, the department is exploring cost-effective possibilities, including designing and implementing this service with the use of internal [information technology] staff,” he said. The division doesn’t have a timeline yet for the project, Mahesh said, but hopes to make a decision about it this summer. Read more

Thursday's storms cancel Friday Rail Runner

From KOB-TV.com - The down pour in Sandoval County flooded a Rail Runner bridge on the Santo Domingo Pueblo Thursday night. stranded. The approaching bridge was reportedly three inches underwater. Crews were at the Kewa Rail Runner stop throughout the evening checking the bridge for any damage. Rail Runner spokeswoman Augusta Meyers said they don't believe there was damage to the bridge, but were working to reinforce the ground around the bridge. One of the passengers evacuated from the Bernalillo stop heading north said they had to wait for about an hour for an ABQ Ride shuttle to pick them up and take them down to the Kewa stop where their cars were parked. "The train stopped in Bernalillo and we sat there for like 20 minutes, we didn't know what was going on," passenger Fermina Quintana said. "Someone came on the intercom and told us that we were all going to have to get off because a bridge flooded somewhere up north." Meyers said there were approximately 600 passengers on the express train, but authorities were able to walk that train over the bridge at around two miles an hour safely. After passing the bridge, she said authorities felt it was too dangerous to continue. Meyers said passengers were evacuated from another train. Those passengers waited for shuttles to take them to their cars. The Rail Runner will not run any services north of Bernalillo Friday. That means commuters will have to find alternate modes of transportation. Officials will be checking the integrity the tracks to make sure no damage occurred during the heavy rains Thursday. Read more