Albuquerque Spends $16K to Patrol Protests

KOAT TV - Since the (Un)occupy Albuquerque protest started at Yale Park on Oct. 1, Albuquerque police have spent thousands in overtime to keep the area safe and secure. Albuquerque police officers patrolling the demonstrations have racked up $16,600 in overtime. “It actually does take away from us using those particular resources towards other tact plans and things throughout the city,” Sgt. Trish Hoffman said. Officers will work overtime as long as the protesters are there. Last Friday, police arrested a man after they said he tried to stab demonstrators. Earlier this month, police arrested a protester after they said he walked into a business and started spitting on people. Read full story here: News New Mexico

There Goes Another $43 Million

The Hill - A Massachusetts company that received a $43 million Energy Department loan guarantee last year filed for bankruptcy Sunday, a step certain to fuel criticism of federal green energy financing in the wake of the solar company Solyndra’s collapse. Beacon Power Corp., which develops energy storage systems, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
Beacon Power had received a federal loan guarantee to help build an energy storage plant in Stephentown, N.Y., that began operating in January. The Treasury Department’s Federal Financing Bank provided the loan. Beacon sought bankruptcy protection two days after the White House ordered an independent 60-day evaluation of the Energy Department's loan programs aimed at ensuring effective management and monitoring. The review, conducted by a former Treasury Department official, will include examination of how Beacon’s project is performing going forward, and whether there are additional steps that can be taken to protect taxpayers, according to the Obama administration. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Predictable Attacks on Cain Get Uglier as His Poll Numbers Become More Impressive

Herman Cain
Washington Times - Republican presidential contender Herman Cain on Monday rejected potentially explosive allegations of “inappropriate behavior” that threatened to derail his surge in national polls, saying the accusations of sexual harassment in the 1990s were “totally false.” Speaking first to Fox News and then to a packed house at the National Press Club, Mr. Cain, a former Godfather’s Pizza CEO who now sits atop many polls, said that after a “thorough investigation” of the cases, first reported by the Politico website, the allegations were found to be “baseless.”
Anita Hill
“I’ve never sexually harassed anyone,” he said. “And yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association, and I say falsely because it turned out after the investigation to be baseless.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

They Drove Off With it at the "Speed Limit"

KOB - TV - The Santa Fe Sheriff Department needs your help to find out who stole an expensive traffic trailer it used to monitor traffic on Old Santa Fe Trail. “It has been removed by unauthorized persons and needs to be returned,” the department said in a press release this week. Police think the theft occurred sometime between 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon and 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. Read full story here: News New Mexico

New DOJ Rules Allow for More Intrusive Searches

Eric Holder
From -It just got easier for the federal government to collect information about innocent Americans — and those Americans have had surprisingly little say in the matter.  On October 15, the FBI reportedly implemented new rules that relax restrictions on, and oversight of, the FBI’s intelligence collection activities. Although they are not available to the public, reports indicate the changes permit FBI agents to search an individual’s trash with the goal of finding material that might pressure him into becoming a government informant, grant agents the authority to search commercial or law enforcement databases without first opening an investigation, and reduce the type of investigations subjected to heightened oversight because of their relationship to protected First Amendment expression, association, or religious practice.  More News New Mexico

Attention Occupiers: You Are The World's Top 1%

From -The recent Occupy Wall Street protests have aimed their message at the income disparity between the 1% richest Americans and the rest of the country. But what happens when you expand that and look at the 1% richest of the entire world? Some really interesting numbers emerge. If there were a global Occupy Wall Street protest, people as well off as Linda Frakes might actually be the target.  In America, the top 1% earn more than $380,000 per year. We are, however, among the richest nations on Earth. How much do you need to earn to be among the top 1% of the world? $34,000.  More News New Mexico

Investigative Report: Corrections Department is a Mess

New Mexico Watchdog - In the past two years, the department has accumulated a long list of real or perceived problems. The department’s problems for years have repeatedly been the subject of news headlines and media investigations.
A facilities manager was convicted of taking bribes. An audit found likely or potential procurement problems that went far beyond the bribes paid to that one facilities manager. In August, a senior parole officer was was indicted for child porn police found on a thumb drive and on his home computer. He claimed his interest was work related. Whistleblowers in the same department last year found threats scrawled on an employee bulletin board. Employees were instructed to falsify records. One probation officer alleges in a lawsuit she was beat up in an on-the-job training class after she complained she was instructed to falsify records. Another’s federal lawsuit alleges sexual discrimination. The director of the Probation and Parole division was suspended for leading employees on an out-of-town excursion to her birthday party in state vehicles. Undocumented and unauthorized use of state vehicles continued nonetheless. Read full story here: News New Mexico

"Planning for Halloween"


Gary Johnson almost misses filing for NH primary UPDATE: Johnson on video says “we screwed up”

From Capitol Report New - Gary Johnson’s bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination has always been a longshot. But it almost became a “no shot at all” in New Hampshire when the candidate nearly missed filing for that state’s famous primary. From the Los Angeles Times Friday morning (Oct. 28): Friday is the final day of the two-week filing period for candidates to land on the New Hampshire primary ballot. The requirements are simple, and intentionally so: Just submit a one-page declaration of candidacy and the $1,000 filing fee. But as of Thursday evening, Johnson had not yet completed that task. State law says that the documents can be submitted by mail or by proxy. But if they are not received before the final day, the candidate must deliver them in person. Johnson was scheduled to start a three-day visit to Arizona beginning Thursday. But his campaign quickly changed plans when the embarrassing mixup was pointed out. “He’ll be filing in person,” Johnson’s New Hampshire coordinator, Brinck Slattery, said in an email. Read more

Texas Sues Obama Administration Over 'Unjustified' Deepwater Drilling Moratorium

From the Huffington Post - HOUSTON (Associated Press) — The Texas attorney general sued the Obama administration Wednesday over its new deep-water offshore drilling moratorium, claiming it is unjustified and federal officials did not contact the state before issuing the ban. Attorney General Greg Abbott filed the 18-page suit in federal court in Houston against Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The ban halted the approval of any new permits for deep-water projects and shut down drilling at 33 exploratory ocean wells in the wake of the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In his lawsuit, Abbott called the ban "an unjustified, arbitrary and capricious policy that will inflict harm upon coastal communities." Also, the suit said, federal officials did not coordinate with the state or consider the economic impacts before issuing the moratorium. Texas is one of the nation's most active oil refinery states. State figures show there were 86,900 jobs in oil and natural gas extraction in April and an additional 107,800 in support industries. Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff defended the ban but declined to comment specifically on the Texas lawsuit. "The Deepwater Horizon/BP oil disaster has made it clear that we need better health, safety and environmental standards for drilling operations," Barkoff said in an e-mailed statement. "The temporary pause on deep-water drilling that Secretary Salazar has put in place is simply common sense, and we continue to stand behind it." The current moratorium replaced one that was blocked by the courts. The Interior Department says it's meant to give to give oil and gas companies time to implement adequate safety measures. The ban is in effect until Nov. 30, unless federal officials determine deep-water drilling operations have gotten safer. Read more


More State Fair Troubles

From -More gloomy numbers for the New Mexico State Fair - attendance was down this year, and now it looks like last year's numbers were inflated. This comes after last week's revelation that the State Fair is awash in red ink, with only 39 cents in assets for every $1 it owes.  Fair managers report that 399,529 people attended this year's State Fair, down from 429,918 last year. But hold on - those 2010 numbers are down from the 500,000 and change originally reported last fall.  More News New Mexico

Doh ! ! - Data Creates Another Climate Change Heretic

Judith Curry
Daily Mail - It was hailed as the scientific study that ended the global warming debate once and for all – the research that, in the words of its director, "proved you should not be a sceptic, at least not any longer." Professor Richard Muller, of Berkeley University in California, and his colleagues from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures project team (BEST) claimed to have shown that the planet has warmed by almost a degree centigrade since 1950 and is warming continually. Published last week ahead of a major United Nations climate summit in Durban, South Africa, next month, their work was cited around the world as irrefutable evidence that only the most stringent measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions can save civilisation as we know it. It was cited uncritically by, among others, reporters and commentators from the BBC, The Independent, The Guardian, The Economist and numerous media outlets in America. The Washington Post said the BEST study had "settled the climate change debate" and showed that anyone who remained a sceptic was committing a "cynical fraud."
But today The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a leading member of Prof Muller’s team has accused him of trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BEST’s research shows global warming has stopped. Prof Judith Curry, who chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Prof Muller’s claim that he has proven global warming sceptics wrong was also a "huge mistake," with no scientific basis. Prof Curry is a distinguished climate researcher with more than 30 years experience and the second named co-author of the BEST project’s four research papers.
Read full story here: News New Mexico


NM Launches Pedestrian Safety Campaign

From Mexico hopes to improve pedestrian safety by having police in several cities crack down on motorists who fail to yield to people in crosswalks. The law enforcement blitz is part of a federally funded safety and educational campaign—called "Look For Me"—that was announced Thursday by the state Department of Transportation. As part of the state campaign, police in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Farmington and Gallup are targeting dangerous intersections in their communities during the next few weeks.  More News New Mexico

Religious Leaders See Immigration as "God's Call"

From -A Unitarian church in New Mexico sends supplies to the border for recent deportees. A coalition of church leaders gathers under a statue of colonial America religious figure Anne Hutchinson at the Massachusetts Statehouse to denounce immigration checks by police. A Methodist minister in Texas recites Isaiah 58:6, a passage about loosening the bonds of injustice, as she's thrown in jail after protesting alongside illegal immigrant students outside a U.S. senator's office.  More News New Mexico

Climate Change Scientist to Face Federal Lie Detector Test Over Polar Bear Data

From -A wildlife scientist, whose report on dead polar bears in Arctic waters became a rallying call for climate change campaigners, will face a lie detector test as part of an investigation by federal agents. Jeffrey Gleason, who co-wrote a 2006 report highlighting the danger posed to the animals by melting ice, will take a polygraph over alleged scientific misconduct connected to the study, the Independent reported.  It is the latest twist to what some have dubbed 'Polarbeargate' in which Mr Gleason and his co-author Charles Monnett, whose research was cited by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth and made polar bears a symbol of global warming, have been repeatedly questioned by authorities.  More News New Mexico

Wolves Raised Near NYC to be Released in NM

From -The wolf center is a key component in the national effort to return endangered wolves to the wild. In partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the 27-acre center is raising and breeding Mexican and red wolves in large enclosures, letting them eat roadkill and whatever they catch and limiting their contact with humans.  The hope is that they or their progeny can one day be released into the wild in North Carolina or along the Arizona-New Mexico border and help save animals that were nearly wiped out by man through hunting, poisoning and loss of habitat.  More News New Mexico


NM Stars Offer Terrell Owens a Contract

Terrell Owens
From - The New Mexico Stars have offered NFL veteran receiver Terrell Owens a contract. The Stars emailed a contract to owens' agent Drew Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus has not responded to the offer made by the Stars. The New Mexico Stars are the newest expansion team in the Indoor Football League. The Stars will start their season February 26th at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho when the Colorado Ice comes to town. 

Governor Increases Transparency

Susana Martinez
SANTA FE – Yesterday, in an address to the New Mexico Press Association, Governor Susana Martinez announced upcoming changes to the official transparency website for state government, the New Mexico Sunshine Portal. The portal will list additional information not previously found, including the names, titles and salary rate of all state employees regardless of their classification. Currently, the Sunshine Portal only lists the names, titles and salary rates of “exempt” employees – those who serve at the pleasure of the governor. The portal will now include this information for classified employees, who work under the rules of the state’s version of a civil service system. These changes are intended to increase transparency throughout state government, and to demonstrate to the public exactly where tax dollars are spent. “I have promised since day one that state government will be more transparent, more accessible, and more accountable to all New Mexicans,” said Governor Martinez. “The Sunshine Portal has been an important tool that promotes open and honest government. These changes will ensure that taxpayers have an even greater idea of how their money is being spent.”
New Mexico’s Sunshine Portal is a website that displays wide-ranging data for state agency budgets, expenditures, employees, revenue, and purchases, along with a number of informational reports including state investment reports and annual fiscal summaries. This summer, the official version of the Sunshine Portal was unveiled after a 6-month beta mode trial, to include additional functions as developed by constituent feedback.
The new changes are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks and will be fully displayed on the website by early December. Earlier this year, Governor Martinez partnered with the New Mexico Press Association to link electronically, via the Sunshine Portal and NewMexico.Gov, to all public notice postings that appear in newspapers throughout the state. NewMexico.Gov is the State's new online portal, which was re-designed and launched at the direction of Governor Martinez to improve access to information about state government. Also available on NewMexico.Gov, and on the Governor's website, are videos of legislative committee meetings and floor sessions, as well as meetings of boards and commissions such as the State Investment Council. Governor Martinez began the first-ever live webcasting and archiving of these meetings in order to better engage people throughout New Mexico in the process in Santa Fe.


Obama's Destructive Energy Policies

Townhall - by Austin Hill - Since the days of the Nixon presidency most Americans have recognized the many problems associated with being dependent on foreign oil suppliers. And it was nearly six years ago when George W. Bush became the first U.S. President to proclaim that “America is addicted to oil.” But now President Barack Obama seems to have determined that our problem isn’t so much “foreign oil,” but oil itself. His Administration has sought to force the nation away from consuming all types of oil – both foreign and domestic –and to move us in the direction of his environmentally preferred “green” energy sources.
Unfortunately, the President has approached energy policy just as he approaches most everything else – with the na├»ve assumption that as long as lots of government programs and mandates are established, the agenda will be accomplished and all will go well. Thus billions of our tax dollars have been handed-out in “loans” and “grants” to everything from solar panel manufacturers to electric car makers in Europe, while nearly all of the recipients have been “personal friends” of the President and people who are working for his re-election. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Bernalillo County Sued Over "Gender Discrimination"

KRQE - ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — A lawsuit filed by seven women is seeking to represent hundreds more against Bernalillo County on claims county officials failed to stop gender discrimination. The group filed the civil lawsuit in September. That is a whole year after they initially filed a complaint. One county commissioner said now that it's gotten this far it will end up costing taxpayers one way or another. The suit claims at times women working for the county are getting paid less then men for the same work. It also states that the plaintiffs were at times forced to endure crude remarks for being female from two men also named in the suit. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Protestors Drive Off Business Customers

KOB TV - (Un)Occupy Albuquerque protesters are back at the University of New Mexico but just for a meeting. They're talking about the University’s eviction, but still haven't decided on a permanent home. There's word they may move to Robinson Park, downtown, on Central Avenue and 8th Street. The city said there's no permit needed and as long as they follow the rules, no one will be arrested. But, business owners near the park have concerns. Dawn Warnack owns a booth at Central Park Hair Studio, right across the street from Robinson Park. Robinson Park is already known as a homeless hangout. Warnacks's concerned the protest will attract even more homeless and detract from business. "I know some of mine; especially older clients; would say, 'you know, I just don't want to go down there. Let me know when it's over,'" said Warnack. She said she respects their right to demonstrate, but wants them to follow the rules. "If you want us to respect what you think you're standing for, then, follow the rules that the rest of us have to follow," said Warnack. Thia Smith owns Silver Springs Floral and Gifts right next door. She's worried the congestion could create traffic and parking problems. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Post Office Closings Hurt Rural America

Jay Miller
Inside the Capitol - SANTA FE – The U.S. Postal Service study on closing some 3700 post offices in the nation poses a real crisis for rural America. The problem is an $8 billion budget deficit. New Mexico has 54 of those target post offices. Hearings currently are being held to determine which offices should be cut. Rural post offices are more than just a place to pick up mail. They are locations to congregate and see your neighbors at the appointed time when the mail truck is scheduled to arrive. Driving to the nearest open post office can take hours and be impossible in the winter. The only thing worse is losing a school house. School closings began in New Mexico in the late 1940s. World War II changed much about our culture. Increased industrialization and a how-do-you-keep-'em-down-on-the-farm syndrome weakened small towns. New Mexico had over 600 school districts at the time. That was pared down to 90 districts over a decade. Since that time, many remaining districts have had to close rural schools. It hasn't been pretty. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Use Taxpayer Dollars to Glorify Yourself

Sheryl Williams Stapleton
Capitol Report New Mexico - In the summer of 2010, Capitol Report New Mexico started its periodic look at “Monuments to Me,” the practice in which sitting legislators end up getting public buildings named after them. One of the first examples we noticed was how the African American Performing Arts Center in Albuquerque has a wing named after state House representative and Democratic whip Sheryl Williams Stapleton: Last night (Oct. 27), KRQE-TV’s Larry Barker delivered one of his trademark investigative reports, disclosing that for years, Stapleton did not take leave from her job as an administrator at the Albuquerque Public Schools system and received pay while attending legislative sessions. It seems that APS superintendent Winston Brooks is pretty cavalier about Stapleton’s breaking of the rules. At the very least, she should repay the $167,000 she earned when she violated APS policy. After all, taxpayer dollars fund the APS budget. Read full story and see videos here: News New Mexico

First Major October Snow in New York Since Civil War

Daily Mail - The leaves may still be on the trees but it appears autumn has been bypassed, as the East Coast braces itself for snowstorms which could hit 60 million people. New England has already been struck by a very early snowstorm, while this weekend looks set to see huge amounts of sleet and snow covering the North East, invariably causing power outages and travel chaos. Forecasts for this nor'easter have changed in the last couple of days and the prospect of a snow-free Halloween weekend have now gone. Low pressure will track up the East Coast on Saturday possibly bringing significant amounts of the white stuff across the tri-state area, Pennsylvania and New England. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Center for Biological Diversity Takes Shot at Noon

Marita Noon
According to a Center for Biological Diversity press release, four New Mexico conservation groups demanded yesterday that regular News New Mexico contributor Marita Noon, who the release calls a "fossil-fuel industry front-woman," cease her use of “watermelon-smashing” rhetoric in speeches and editorials and on websites. Below is an excerpt of the press release:
"Noon is notorious for whipping up hysteria at pro-industry rallies by chanting “smash the watermelons” after telling crowds that environmentalists are watermelons because they are green on the outside and red on the inside. Noon distributes “Smash the Watermelons” stickers at her anti-environmental rallies and has created a “Smash the Watermelons” Web page.
“Marita Noon’s vitriol pollutes civic discourse,” said Taylor McKinnon, public-lands campaigns director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Inciting violence against your fellow citizens is unacceptable. She needs to stop now.” Read the entire release here: News New Mexico
NewsNM note (Spence) CBD's Jay Linninger has also appeared on the show and has an open invitation to return and make the case for silencing Noon. 


It All Depends on "What Your Definition of Lobbyist Is"

ABC - More than a dozen of President Obama’s top campaign financiers have close ties to the lobbying industry, despite his pledge to remain free from the influence of lobbyists and their cash, according to an analysis of donor lists by the New York Times. At least 15 Obama “bundlers,” or volunteer fundraisers who gather contributions from their deep-pocket friends, are actively involved in the federal policymaking process, working in law firms or corporate offices that focus on lobbying, the Times found. None of the donors are formally registered as federal lobbyists, the threshold the Obama campaign uses to regularly refuse contributions.
But the individuals’ activities, the Times contends, fit the definition. Pfizer executive Sally Susman, for example, chairs the company’s political action committee and leads its “public affairs activities, including relations with governments,” according the Pfizer website. She has bundled more than $500,000 in donations for Obama so far. Comcast executive David Cohen, who oversees the media giant’s government affairs and public affairs, also bundled more than $500,000 and has hobnobbed with Obama on Martha’s Vineyard. And Michael Kempner, whose PR firm MWW Group touts to its clients its “important relationships with both the Democratic and Republican leadership,” has also bundled half a million dollars for Obama. His firm includes seven registered lobbyists, according to the Times. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Democratic Party Strategist, GOP Voters Like Cain "because he's a black man who knows his place."

Karen Finney
Mediaite - Democratic strategist Karen Finney agreed with Taylor that Cain wasn’t serious about getting the Republican nomination. “I think Herman Cain might be coming out with a new show because he’s become the new Donald Trump in the race and it’s hard to take him seriously,” Finney assessed, though she did surmise it might be because he’s raising money. “I think he makes that white Republican base of the party feel okay, feel that they’re not racist because they can like this guy, I think they like him because he’s a black man who knows his place.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Santa Fe Studios Continues to Ignore Press Inquiries

Lance Hool
Santa Fe New Mexican - The $10 million state economic development grant has been spent, and the film-production facility it paid for can be seen in the distance on N.M. 14 south of Santa Fe. But the opening date of the private movie studio — which garnered millions in incentives from public sources with promises of job creation and economic development — has still not been made public.
Santa Fe County is administering the $10 million grant that Santa Fe Studios LLC received from the state, and the county has kicked in another $3.6 million worth of infrastructure improvements for the project. It also is guaranteeing $6.5 million worth of a $10 million loan the studio's principals secured from Los Alamos National Bank. But county spokesman Kristine Mihelcic said in a written statement Tuesday that "Santa Fe County at this time has not received current information in relation to the opening date of the studio, scheduled projects, job opportunities or [the studio's] board of directors."
Javier Gonzales
The website for Santa Fe Studios — which is owned primarily by father and son Lance and Jason Hool — previously said the facility was supposed to open in August. The site has since been amended to state that the project will open "in 2011." The Hools have not responded to repeated requests for interviews from The New Mexican, but they stated in a news release regarding a fundraiser for the Santa Fe Film Festival that the studio is slated to open next month. Ballentines PR and Marketing, the firm representing the studios, said it was working to get answers to that question and others submitted by The New Mexican on Sept. 14. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Eric Holder's War on Border Patrol Continues

Jesus Diaz
Free Republic - Since February 24, 2011, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jesus Diaz has been sitting in a prison cell, following a conviction on one count of excessive force and 5 counts of lying to Internal Affairs. Given the circumstances of his case, and this government’s seeming crusade against Border Patrol agents, Agent Diaz could arguably called yet another political prisoner for Mexico. His crime? On October 16, 2008, Agent Diaz responded to a location near Eagle Pass, TX, after a report came in that several drug smugglers were in the area after crossing the river. Once the illegal aliens were apprehended, Agent Diaz allegedly pulled on the handcuffs of one of the smugglers as he was placing him in a vehicle…That’s it.
Eric Holder
Though two separate oversight agencies conducted their own investigations and cleared Diaz of any criminal wrongdoing…U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton brought charges against Diaz, and in September 2010, the case ended in a mistrial. However, the Obama Justice Department brought charges against Diaz again, and this time--they received a conviction. In this trial, the feds would not allow testimony introduced which showed that prosecution witnesses committed perjury in the first proceeding. Diaz faces up to ten years in federal prison when is sentenced in November. The drug smuggler, who was a minor at the time of his arrest, was given full immunity in exchange for his testimony against Agent Diaz. Agent Diaz has is an 8-year veteran of the Border Patrol, has four children with his wife, Diana who is a Field Operations Supervisor with the Border Patrol. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Egolf Pressures UNM to Continue to Accommodate Occupy Protestors at State Expense

Roundhouse Roundup - by Steve Terrell - State Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe is asking University of New Mexico President David Schmidly to hold off on clearing UNM's campus in Albuquerque. The university announced a day ago that the school wouldn't renew (Un)Occuppy Albuquerque's permit, citing safety concerns. The school ordered protesters to leave Yale Park by 10 p.m. I realize that the presence of the protestors poses serious issues for campus management and security, but there are important and compelling First Amendment issues involved that bear serious consideration by you and your staff.
Brian Egolf
As you know, the University occupies a special place in Albuquerque - both literally and figuratively. By forcing the protestors out, you are preventing them from making their views known to a large audience. I also believe that the University - as both a state-funded institution and as a place where debate and the exchange of ideas are encouraged - has a special role to play in the ongoing protests. Egolf was the only legislator I saw at the Occupy Santa Fe event I covered on Saturday. Read story here: News New Mexico


One More Thing to Blame on Global Warming

KOB TV - The drought parching New Mexico and West Texas has long range climate scientists worried about an increase in catastrophic forest fires, especially in the Jemez Mountains where the largest forest fire in New Mexico history broke out this summer. They blame it on global warming - and more than a century of mismanagement of forests and fires. The Las Conchas fire broke out on June 26, when a dead tree fell into power lines in the Jemez. It devoured 43,000 acres on the first day, crowning through the treetops in densely overgrown forests where no surface fire had cleared space in the woods since the 1880s. The forests were all dried up by a dreadful drought, the worst since the 1950s. "In terms of precipitation the 1950s drought actually looks worse than the 2000s drought, but it was significantly cooler then," said Dr. Craig Allen, a research ecologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. "The warmer conditions in the 2000s mean that the water stress on trees is greater. It also means the fire season is longer and more severe." Read full story here: News New Mexico

More Tourists for Less Money?

Jay Miller
Inside the Capitol - SANTA FE – New Mexico can attract many more tourists without spending any more money. That was the message from state Tourism Department Secretary Monique Jacobson to the Legislative Finance Committee last week. Jacobson says we just have to work smarter and elevate our game. And that we can do without any increase in appropriation. The message, of course, was music to legislative ears. But will it work?
Monique Jacobson
Our neighboring states spend many times New Mexico's $2.5 million advertising budget already. Jacobson says the secret lies in how we spend our money. New Mexico's measly $2.5 million will be switched from tourism services to tourism generating expenditures. "We've got to serve the traveler and not the destination," she explained. The New Mexico tourism industry has not appreciated the new secretary from the beginning. This will ice it. But frugal-minded lawmakers likely will be willing to give Jacobson's austerity program a chance. Read full column here: News New Mexico


"Executive Disorders"


Group: Red light cameras are 'cash cows' for Redflex

From - By: Eddie Garcia, - It could be the final nail in the coffin for the red light cameras. In a 50 page report, The New Mexico Public Interest Research Group (NMPIRG) said the red light cameras are cash cows for its operator Redflex. The report adds fuel to the argument that the cameras should be removed from intersections across the city. It's no secret Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis wants the cameras out. In early November he said he will introduce a measure to get rid of the cameras for good. Mayor Richard Berry said his administration cut lots of fat from the system and made the red light program more streamlined. However, on October 3 Albuquerque voters rejected the city’s use of the red light cameras. The city council is going to vote November 7 on whether to get rid of the cameras. If it passes, it will still take more than a month to terminate the contract with Redflex. After all that, the company will pick up their equipment and leave. Read more