New Rio Rancho hospital will feature innovative emergency room

From the Rio Rancho Observer - BY GLEN ROSALES - When officials designed the new emergency room at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, they turned to an auto manufacturer for some efficiency ideas. Several years ago, Toyota developed a track system to increase its manufacturing flow and eliminate waste. Hospital officials applied those tenets to the new emergency room at the facility on south Unser, which came on line this morning, just as the old emergency services room on NM 528 closed.The result for the new emergency room is a tri-track system that should improve patient flow, hospital officials said. Last year, the old emergency room saw more than 22,000 patients, according to Presbyterian spokeswoman Niki Craig. Projections for this year are for that to increase by about 10 percent, she said. Of those, only about 11 percent needed to be admitted to a hospital. So the new procedures should help reduce patients' waiting time significantly, said Maryanne Morelos, emergency room nurse manager. Within minutes of arriving at the emergency room, a patient should be seen for triage, she said. "We want to cut triage time to less than five minutes," Morelos said. The initial triage will determine whether to send a patient onto the acute track for serious issues, the lean-care track for less-serious patients that still need to be seen by a provider and a track in which a patient can be discharged to an urgent care center, or after scheduling an appointment, to see a provider later. "The goal is for patients to be seen by a provider within 30 minutes," Morelos said. "That's not always going to happen, but that's the goal." It also means that patients with serious issues will get seen quicker, she said. Read more

After Criticism, Cain Clarifies His Abortion Views

From - CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain clarified his position on abortion Thursday, a day after saying he opposed the procedure but didn't believe the government or other people should have a role in the decision to terminate a pregnancy. Cain issued the statement after rival Republican candidate Rick Santorum accused the Georgia businessman of holding a view common to supporters of abortion rights and said Cain was not a true conservative. It was the third time in less than a week that Cain had made a statement only to take it back after facing criticism. In an interview Wednesday with CNN, Cain said he believes life begins at conception. "And abortion under no circumstances," he added. But Cain also said "it's not the government's role or anybody else's role to make that decision." Asked whether his personal views would become a "directive to the nation," should he become president, Cain said they wouldn't. "I can have an opinion on an issue without it being a directive on the nation," he said. "The government shouldn't be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to social decisions that they need to make." Campaigning in New Hampshire on Thursday, Santorum accused Cain of misleading voters about his conservative credentials. Read more

Reid's Comment on Private Sector 'Doing Fine' Puts Him Out on a Limb

From - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s curious claim this week that “private sector jobs are doing just fine” has given Republicans more ammunition against President Obama’s jobs bill and led Democrats to distance themselves from the statement. Reid made his comment on Wednesday during a speech on the Senate floor, where he pushed for passage of legislation to hire teachers and police. “The massive layoffs we have had in America today, of course, are rooted in the last administration, and it is very clear that private sector jobs are doing just fine,” he said. “It’s the public sector jobs where we have lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about.” Since Obama took office in January 2009, the public sector has lost 607,000 jobs while the private sector lost 1.6 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read more

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I won’t vote to bail out the postal service

From NM - By Congressman Steve Pearce - The United States Postal Service (USPS) is about to default on its loan from the U.S. government. Many facilities, especially in rural areas of New Mexico, are faced with closure. Understandably, customers are frustrated, and want to know how it got this bad in the first place. They deserve answers and they deserve solutions. USPS officials and some members of the various postal employee unions recently stated that they believe a piece of legislation, H.R 1351, United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act, is the answer. This bill would bail out the USPS pension program. After all, we are told, USPS has overpaid into the Civil Service Retirement System by $50 billion to $75 billion since 1974. But the notion of an “overpayment” is simply false. In 1971, the Postal Department, a cabinet agency receiving direct appropriations from Congress, was disbanded, and replaced by USPS, which functions on revenue from stamp sales and other retail endeavors. The formula that USPS and the government agreed upon required the taxpayer to pay the pension costs for employees of the Postal Department, but USPS would pay the pension costs for any employee who remained with USPS after the Department’s dissolution. Since business began to slow a couple of years ago, USPS began calling this formula “unfair.” However, in 1973, the general counsel for USPS wrote a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives stating that the agreement was “proper” and that “the cost of this liability should properly and equitably be borne the by Postal Service.” Otherwise, taxpayers would have to foot the bill for USPS retirees. The timing of the “overpayment” allegation is curious indeed, and shows a trend within most government agencies – the inability and unwillingness to make tough decisions. I did not vote to bail out the big banks, and I will not vote to bail out USPS. Read more

Will Rail Runner Riders Be Forced Cover Costs or Continue to Enjoy Taxpayer Subsidized Travel

Tonight New Mexicans outside the Belen - Albuquerque - Santa Fe corridor will find out if the few people riding on the Rail Runner will increase the fraction they contribute to the cost of the train and relieve all other taxpayers of some of the huge burden. According to a story on the KOB website the Rio Metro Board, which has been gathering public input on fares is scheduled to meet again tonight.


Miller: Governor Jumps on Spaceport Plane

Jay Miller
Inside the Capitol - SANTA FE – Finally, we have some encouraging words from Gov. Susana Martinez about Spaceport America. The words came during her first visit to the site for dedication of Virgin Galactic's terminal building and hanger. Earlier, Gov. Martinez skipped ceremonies dedicating the 10,000-foot runway. And in January, she had some very discouraging words for the Legislature about the spaceport's finances and the necessity of private industry picking up further costs. But she was all smiles when posing for pictures with Virgin Galactic owner Sir Richard Branson. Her positive comments didn't get much coverage but Albuquerque Journal reporter Rene Romo interviewed her later. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Governor's Critic Takes to the Airwaves

Michael Corwin
NM Independent - Liberal muckraker and private investigator Michael Corwin, of the Albuquerque-based Independent Source PAC, a liberal political action committee, recently launched a trio of radio spots not merely critical of Governor Susana Martinez and her administration but seemingly intent on exposing what he sees as widespread hypocrisies and conflicts of interest within the Department of Education. Working for free and having paid for the spots in order to generate more funds for his PAC, Corwin and his 30-second segments each focus on a very specific transgression: one on the hiring of chief of staff Keith Gardner’s wife at the Public Education Department; one on the apparent conflict of interest in choosing Paul Yarborough as State Personnel Board Chairman, despite his having served as vice president of an Albuquerque law firm that has state contracts totaling more than $500,000; and a third outlining the appointment of a onetime charter schools attorney as the state’s new charter-school czar. News New Mexico

Sowards Shifts Gears

Greg Sowards
NMPolitics - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Greg Sowards disputes reports that his campaign is “over” because he is replacing its staff, and says he plans a more positive and issue-based campaign. He said he is replacing The Prosper Group, which was managing his campaign, and other consultants from D.C. with a new campaign manager who “really fits the kind of candidate I am.” He declined to name that person. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Department of Energy in Solyndra Lockdown

Daily Caller - The Department of Energy is refusing to allow congressional investigators to interview the author of a legal memo justifying the restructuring of the controversial Solyndra loan. On Oct. 18, the DOE informed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is leading the investigation into the Solyndra scandal, that it would not allow the committee to perform transcribed interviews of DOE officials, including Susan Richardson, chief counsel of the DOE Loan Programs Office. Richardson authored the memo justifying the decision to restructure the $535 million DOE loan to solar company Solyndra, ensuring that private investors would be paid back before taxpayers in the event of bankruptcy. Solyndra declared bankruptcy on Aug. 31, and it has been in the crosshairs of congressional Republicans ever since. GOP lawmakers say that despite serious warning signs, the loan was fast-tracked by the Obama administration in an effort to tout the president’s green energy initiative. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Obama's Worst Nightmare: Cain Continues to Surge

Herman Cain
Rasmussen - Reflecting national trends, businessman Herman Cain has now jumped to the front of the Republican pack in Iowa. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Iowa caucus-goers shows that Cain is in front with 28% followed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 21%. Congressman Ron Paul is a distant third at 10% followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 9%, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann at 8%, and Texas Governor Rick Perry at 7%. The sixth place finish for Perry is a sharp decline from early September when Perry was the frontrunner both nationally and in Iowa. (To see survey question wording, click here). Former Senator Rick Santorum picks up 4% of the vote and former Governor Jon Huntsman is at 2%. Another 4% would prefer some other candidate and 8% are not sure. Only one-third of the caucus-goers (32%) are certain of their vote and don’t expect to change their mind. Among these voters, 30% prefer Cain, 22% Romney, and 17% Paul. Read full story here: News New Mexico

More Appreciative of Our Society

Jim Harbison
I recently returned from a visit to Peru. It is a beautiful rugged country with tremendous national pride of its rich cultural heritage. It is a hard working industrious society that still utilizes historical farming techniques. Many still adhere to ancient Inca traditions and values. The people are warm and friendly and seem to be very happy with their lives, lives that we would find very difficult and physically demanding. I have never encountered a society that seems to be as content with their lives as the Peruvians.
Machu Picchu in Peru

Visiting other countries certainly makes one really appreciate everything we have in the United States. There are so many things we take for granted such as access to electricity, safe drinking water, functioning sewer systems and all the modern technological advancements too numerous to enumerate. Even in the City of Lima with its population of more than 10 million it is necessary to drink only bottled water and in even the best hotels the sanitation systems are inefficient. Nationally, more than 90% of the construction is with adobe bricks. Building fronts have stucco facades but the side and rear walls clearly displayed the unadorned adobe construction.
We traveled through many communities where TV was not available – perhaps a cultural advantage. On a rare occasion we spotted a DirecTV type satellite dish but these were generally on one of the more prominent houses in the community. There were no theaters, bowling alleys, video arcades, skateboard parks or other recreational facilities. However, every community, no matter how small or how poor, had a well maintained and prominent soccer field. Read full column here: News New Mexico


"Gentleman Cain"