Commission Suspends Wolf Reintroduction program

From the Las Cruces Sun-News - By Reyes Mata III - The New Mexico State Game Commission voted unanimously today to suspend the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction program in the state. "I would like to suspend it for a while, lets see how it lays out," said Commissioner Thomas "Dick" Salopek. "Both sides have been unhappy about the wolf recovery program. We have been keeping peace between all people. So, you know what, if both sides are unhappy, then let's suspend it and let the federal government do it. I am frustrated at both sides, especially with the federal government." The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department - following the requirements of the federal Endangered Species Act - looks for partners throughout the state to protect endangered species, like the Mexican wolf. The New Mexico State Game Commission has been a partner to protect the Mexican wolf since 1999. Today's regular meeting, which for the first time this year was in Las Cruces, sought to gather public opinion to help guide the state's wolf protection policy. About 50 Mexican wolves are spread over New Mexico and Arizona. Dan Williams, public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish - a partner in coordinating the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program - said it was a "balanced" public comment session. "But we will no longer be participating in the Mexican Wolf reintroduction program," he said. "It's an argument that's been going on since 1999." June 30 will be last day the New Mexico Game and Fish Department participates in the program, he said. The sentiment expressed at the meeting was passionate. Read more

Wallow Fire threatens power supplies in N.M.

From the Santa Fe New - by Susan Montoya Bryan and Bob Christie - A raging forest fire in eastern Arizona that already forced thousands from their homes headed for a pair of transmission lines that supply electricity to hundreds of thousands of people as far east as Texas. The 607-square-mile blaze is expected to reach the power lines as early as Friday. If the lines are damaged, parts of New Mexico and Texas could face rolling blackouts. The blaze has blackened about 389,000 acres and destroyed 11 buildings, primarily in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. No serious injuries have been reported. Firefighters have been concerned that high afternoon winds could carry embers that can cause new, smaller spot fires. Firefighters had spent the past two days trying to create a line where they could defend the towns. They used bulldozers to scrape off vegetation and hand crews to remove other fuels. The fire prompted Texas-based El Paso Electric to issue warnings of possible power interruptions for its customers in Southern New Mexico and West Texas. The company uses two high-voltage lines to bring electricity from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix to the two states. Losing the lines would cut off about 40 percent of the utility's supply, possibly triggering the rolling blackouts among its 372,000 customers. The blaze, burning in mainly ponderosa pine forest, was sparked May 29 by what authorities believe was an unattended campfire. It has cast smoke as far east as Iowa and forced some planes to divert from Albuquerque, some 200 miles away. Read more

Swickard: Arresting the arresting tendencies of authorities

By Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - In a free society the ultimate loss for a citizen is their personal freedom when arrested. Lately some people I know have been arrested for what seems administrative rather than criminal offenses. I do not run with a rough crowd of thugs, thieves and bully-boys. We are mostly pillars of the community.To be sure, criminals should be arrested and incarcerated. But should regular citizens who run afoul of an administrative rule be treated as criminals? There is a difference between criminal activity (robbery, rape and murder) and administrative violations (yard weeds or dogs in someone’s garden.) Tickets for no insurance, seat belt use and parking are administrative in nature as opposed to extreme speed and reckless driving.In the gray area are tickets for a few miles over the speed limit or no turn signal. These are intended to provide revenue rather than extinguish behavior. Should failure to pay parking tickets ever get a citizen handcuffed and perp-walked into the jail? Where is the dividing line? Read more

Drastic cuts for large-scale solar power subsidies

From the Guardian - Subsidies for large-scale solar power installations are to be cut drastically, in a move that ministers said would preserve funds for households to put up panels, but industry warned would mean a slower uptake of renewable power.The government said its long-awaited review of feed-in tariffs for renewable energy would divert funds from field-sized solar power plants to panels on house roofs.But the renewable energy industry and green campaigners said the change of heart would mean community schemes, put forward by housing associations, schools and hospitals, would not go ahead. Howard Johns, chairman of the Solar Trade Association, said the move would cripple the UK's fledgling solar panel industry. "Crushing solar makes zero economic sense for UK plc because it will lose us major manufacturing opportunities, jobs and global competitiveness," he said. "It also risks locking us in to more expensive energy options in future. It is inexplicable that the Treasury can be allowed to damage energy and industrial policy by taking decisions without taking into account the bigger picture." Read more

France Rebuked Over Rare Rodent

From the New York Times - By - PARIS — France was punished on Thursday for not taking proper care of its hamsters. The Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the European Union’s highest court, ruled Thursday that France had failed to protect the Great Hamster of Alsace, sometimes known as the European hamster, the last wild hamster species in Western Europe. If France does not adjust its agricultural and urbanization policies sufficiently to protect it, the court said, the government will be subject to fines of as much as $24.6 million. Read more

Pigeon pals face fines under new law

From - NewsNM (Swickard) - And I am supposed to sleep better at night knowing no pigeons will be fed. Sheeesh!

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) Feeding the pigeons is becoming a civil violation that can rise to a misdemeanor in Albuquerque under an ordinance approved by city councilors. Feeding the pigeons is now a civil violation punishable by a $50 fine. But letting their droppings, carcasses or other materials build up would be a petty misdemeanor. Read more


Proposal to increase the minimum wage is a cruel joke

From NewRight - By Rick Manning – The Center for American Progress (CAP) has pushed for a lot of loony ideas, but that is what one would expect from a Soros-funded organization tasked with providing intellectual cover for a brain-dead administration. However, CAP’s latest article, “An increased minimum wage is good public policy even during tough times,” could easily be mistaken for a piece right out of The Onion. CAP’s theory, in a nutshell, is that forcing employers to pay even more for labor will increase economic consumption and stimulate the economy into a wondrous renaissance that a trillion dollars of stimulus and trillions more in Fed money-infusion policies couldn’t. The only problem is that they are wrong, and not only wrong but disastrously so for those who are entering the workplace, and anyone paying attention over the past four years should know it. Congress passed an increase in the minimum wage in May of 2007, raising it from $5.15 an hour to the current $7.25 an hour in three steps. The first bump in pay did not cause much damage since it occurred rapidly and the economy was operating at pretty close to full employment. But the second installment of the increase, which went into effect in the summer of 2008, was devastating. The economy was beginning to slow in the spring of 2008, and thousands of employers independently decided that they could not afford to hire as many summer workers at higher costs. The result: the unemployment rate jumped from 4.9 percent to 5.4 percent in May 2008. As the Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor, I got the opportunity to sit in the room with the Bureau of Labor Statistics analysts in the half hour before the May 2008 numbers were released, and I listened to them speculate about whether they had a bad sample because they’d never seen anything like the massive increase in the unemployment rate. Unfortunately, the numbers were correct. Congress, with President Bush’s signature, had raised the cost of labor at exactly the time when employers were trying to figure out how they were going to make ends meet in a slowing economy. By the end of the summer, the unemployment rate had climbed to 6.1 percent, and we haven’t seen an unemployment rate below 6 percent since.The biggest losers from the 2008 minimum wage increase were students looking for summer work. Between April and May of 2008, the number of teens classifying themselves as unemployed increased by more than 300,000, and in the three years since the minimum wage increase, the teen unemployment rate has increased by about two-thirds, from 15.3% to 24%. Read more

Harbison: Where is the Leadership in Las Cruces?

Jim Harbison
Every City has elected “leaders”. According to Webster’s NewWorld Dictionary a leader is defined as: “a person or thing that leads; directing; commanding or guiding head, as of a group or activity”. Quoting again from Webster’s Leadership is defined as “the position or guidance of a leader, the ability to lead”. There are many variations of the definition and a more simplistic definition of leadership is that leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.
Most would agree that effective leadership in government requires the elected officials to influence the electorate to support the accomplishment of some social objective. It requires a vision and communication skills and includes the ability to inspire, integrate, and motivate people to achieve a common goal or purpose. It is also about leading by example and demonstrating a higher ethical standard of conduct. Do you see this type of leadership in our City Council?
Las Cruces City Hall
The leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and leadership skills that makes others believe in his goals and want to follow his direction. The essentials of leadership are inspiration, preparation, and trust. Effective leadership is based upon ideas, but nothing will happen unless those ideas can be effectively communicated to others who become motivated and committed to them. There is a difference between leading and mandating. Citing Webster one more time mandate is defined as “an authoritative order or command, especially a written one; undertakes to do something for (to) another, without recompense but with indemnity against loss”. Our current Council certainly demonstrates an inclination to mandate rather than lead and continues to produce resolutions mandating constraints on our freedoms or liberties.
The recent City Council actions clearly demonstrate that “leadership” is not a fully developed or mature characteristic of this Council. The Mayor informed the public during a special work session that the agenda item concerning redistricting would be removed from the regular City Council agenda and that the public did not need to stick around for it. Forty five minutes later the City Council began its regular session, and having previously deceived the public and sent them home, the Mayor announced that it would remain on the agenda.
Leadership requires trust and confidence of those being lead. This was not the first time that Mayor Miyagishima’s conduct has eroded public trust. In my opinion, this latest incident demonstrated serious unethical conduct, a breach of public trust, and was clearly a failure in leadership. Unfortunately, there was also a lack of leadership on the part Councilors who allowed this deceit to continue. It will have to be determined if this constituted a violation of the open meeting act.
When our elected representatives lack the leadership abilities to articulate a common goal or effectively communicate policies to the public they may unintentionally resort to unethical practices to accomplish their political agendas which otherwise could not be achieved with public support. This kind of conduct makes the public question the motives and integrity of the Council. Is redistricting being done to insure incumbents retain their power or to comply with current law to insure the public is fairly and equally represented in each district. It has the appearance of pure partisan selfishness and clearly demonstrates a lack of leadership
The Mayor’s action and the Council’s complicity to clandestinely or deceitfully discuss any resolution without public comment illustrate their lack of leadership and shows their contempt for the public. Actions of this type do not demonstrate leadership skills but rather a lack of them.


Martinez Sends Guard to Reserve

Susana Martinez
SANTA FE - Governor Susana Martinez announced yesterday that she has deployed the New Mexico National Guard to the town of Reserve to conduct field operations in support of local emergency managers bracing for oncoming wildfires. By this evening, a total of 145 soldiers and airmen will assist local crews with safety and security issues, communications, and evacuations if they become necessary. The guardsmen will operate out of Reserve using National Guard armories in Silver City and Grants as logistics bases. “These troops will help to ensure that local crews have the resources they need to keep New Mexicans safe as the wildfire approaches our western border,” said Governor Martinez. “In order to be as prepared as possible for the encroaching flames as well as the persistent smoke that is affecting much of our state, this administration remains in close contact with officials in both New Mexico and Arizona. Our primary goal is to keep New Mexicans safe while protecting property and keeping damages to a minimum.”
Additionally, the New Mexico Tourism Department has worked with hotels in areas that have been affected by heavy smoke in order to provide discounted rates to New Mexicans who have respiratory illnesses or have been affected by the poor air quality. A full list of hotels offering discounted rates can be found on the Tourism Department’s website at State agencies continue planning for and assisting local jurisdictions to ensure New Mexico is prepared for the strong possibility of the Arizona Wallow Wildfire directly impacting the state.
The New Mexico Departments of Health and Environment are continually assessing the effects of smoke from the fires on our state’s population and are releasing notifications and health advisories as needed. The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is deploying their mobile command post to Reserve to assist local authorities with operational space and additional communications capabilities. DHSEM continues to monitor this event with a 24-hour duty officer and communications with emergency managers and local officials in municipalities, counties and tribal entities around the state, helping to facilitate aid when needed.


Clinton "Receives" Sexual Indiscretion Apology

New York Post - His political career in jeopardy, Rep. Anthony Weiner has been making calls to colleagues to apologize for sending raunchy texts and photos to several women. He also apologized to former President Bill Clinton, who officiated at Weiner's wedding last July, said a person with knowledge of the call. The person, who wasn't authorized to discuss the call publicly, spoke only on condition of anonymity. Weiner married Huma Abedin, a close adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, at a lavish ceremony on Long Island last summer. He reached out to fellow Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns of New York, according to Towns' spokesman, Julian Phillips, who declined to discuss what the two lawmakers talked about. Read full story here: News New Mexico

NM-Born Terrorist Target on 4th Battle Front

Las Cruces-born - Anwar al-Awlaki
New York Times - WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials. The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power. On Friday, American jets killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a midlevel Qaeda operative, and several other militant suspects in a strike in southern Yemen. According to witnesses, four civilians were also killed in the airstrike. Weeks earlier, drone aircraft fired missiles aimed at Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who the United States government has tried to kill for more than a year. Mr. Awlaki survived. Read full story here: News New Mexico