Protesters To Rally On City Buses; protester ends five day hunger strike

From - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The (Un)Occupy Burque movement protesters said they plan to board city buses, and take their message to riders throughout the city. They said by riding the buses, they hope to spread their word city-wide and other neighborhoods. Since Oct. 1, protesters have joined in the Occupy Wall Street movement, gathering at University of New Mexico's Yale Park and on the weekends, marching along Central. UNM President David Schmidly said he met with protester Sebastian Pais who went on a hunger strike for five days until their concerns were heard. Read more

Hay prices double, supply suffers from drought

From -By: Liz Lastra, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - If you buy hay, you may have noticed prices have almost doubled this past year. Lester Begay is a local hay seller. He said last year he charged $8 for a bale of hay and now that same bale is going for $15 and the increase is happening all over. "Anywhere from Cuba around Bloomfield and all the way around,” he said. Begay buys hay from the largest supplier in the Four Corners, the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, also known as N.A.P.I. He said he sees out-of-state suppliers leave with more hay than he’s allowed and with better prices. “They just totally refuse to work with any of the Navajo hay vendors," he said. Leonard Scott from N.A.P.I. said they are honoring contracts that were made over a year ago, before the drought changed the price and supply. Recently, they had to cut how much hay could be bought by everyone. “If we didn't deplete some of those measures we would have depleted our alfalfa now,” Scott said. Officials said N.A.P.I will run out of hay by the end of the year. “We will take some extra measures and make sure that we have put a plan together for next year. That we don't get into this situation again,” Scott said. Begay is worried his customers will not be able to afford to feed their horses and cattle. “It's possibly gonna go right back up to $20," he said. Read more

Student jailed for 2 nights when she can't show ID

From the New York Times - By JIM DWYER - NEW YORK — The arresting officer came by the cell, Samantha Zucker said, to make snide remarks about finding her with a friend in Riverside Park after its 1 a.m. closing. Early in the morning on Oct. 22, a Saturday, Ms. Zucker, 21, and her friend Alex Fischer, also 21, were stopped by the police in Riverside Park and given tickets for trespassing. Mr. Fischer was permitted to leave after he produced his driver’s license. But Ms. Zucker, on a visit to New York City with a group of Carnegie Mellon University seniors looking for jobs in design industries, had left her wallet in a hotel two blocks away. She was handcuffed. For the next 36 hours, she was moved from a cell in the 26th Precinct station house on West 126th Street to central booking in Lower Manhattan and then — because one of the officers was ending his shift before Ms. Zucker could be photographed for her court appearance, and you didn’t think he was going to take the subway uptown while his partner stayed with her at booking, did you? — she was brought back to Harlem. There she waited in a cell until a pair of fresh police officers were rustled up to bring her back downtown for booking, where she spent a second night in custody. The judge proceeded to dismiss the ticket in less than a minute. Read story

US drivers owe Ciudad Juarez $10 million in fines

From the El Paso - CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) - Miguel Angel Rodriguez had just parked his car when a Ciudad Juarez traffic officer wrote him a ticket and then unscrewed one of his license plates. The truck driver from El Paso, Texas, argued with the officer, but soon gave up. That didn't mean he was going to pay the 165 peso ($12.50) fine. He is one of thousands of people with U.S. cars who find it quicker and easier to just replace the plates or driving licenses that Juarez police routinely confiscate to guarantee payment. The city says it is owed about $10 million in fines on tens of thousands of unpaid traffic citations against U.S. drivers or vehicles. More than 74,000 seized U.S. plates and drivers' licenses sit in Juarez city government warehouses and most will never be retrieved. "The amount of plates is so big that they won't fit here anymore," said Mario Hernandez, an employee of the city's traffic department. "We had to take them to another warehouse, and we are thinking about destroying those taken before 2007." Rodriguez argues that he should not have been cited in the first place because the no-parking zone was unmarked "It was an unfair ticket," Rodriguez said. "The cop was waiting for me: The second I stepped out of the car he approached me." Read story

Carlsbad rancher gets tiny tax bill - 3 cents

From the Carlsbad Current Argus - By Stella Davis - Carlsbad — Former Eddy County Commissioner Laurie Kincaid said he considered just paying the first half of a property tax bill he received last week that is due this month, but changed his mind when he arrived at the County Treasurer's office on Tuesday and paid the second half in full - all three cents. Property owners have the option of paying their tax bill in full or in two installments. The first half is due in November and the second half becomes due in May. Like most property owners, Kincaid, a local rancher, received his property tax bill in the mail for his ranch property, which he expected. What he didn't expect was a second property tax bill totaling three cents levied on two cemetery plots he and his wife own. "The bill was three cents and it cost 44 cents to mail it," Kincaid said with a chuckle. "I jokingly told the clerk in the treasurer's office that I was going to pay the first half. She looked at the bill and shook her head." Read more

Republican Senator Calls on Obama to Cancel Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Bonuses

From - A Republican senator is calling on President Obama to cancel the $12.8 million in bonuses that were approved for 10 executives at the government-seized mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that received a $170 billion taxpayer-funded bailout. “I am calling on the president of the United States to cancel those bonuses and explain to the American people, the taxpayers who bailed out Freddie and Fannie, why he continues to reward failure,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said at a news conference Tuesday. Sen. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., is pushing a bill to suspend pay packages at Fannie and Freddie and require executives and employees of government-sponsored enterprises to be paid according to the federal pay scale. Politico first reported the $6.46 million in bonuses for the top five officers at Freddie Mac -- including $2.3 million for CEO Charles E. Haldeman Jr., who is stepping down next year -- and $6.33 million for Fannie Mae officials, including $2.37 million for CEO Michael Williams. A second bonus installment for Freddie executives in 2010 has yet to be reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Politico reported. White House aides say the president took a lead on cleaning up excessive compensation on Wall Street with the Dodd-Frank bill, but those provisions do not apply to Fannie and Freddie. “The White House was not involved and nor should it be,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday. Read more:

Fed Stands Pat, Announces No New Stimulus

From - As expected, the Federal Reserve Board stood pat on Wednesday, refraining from further economic stimulus programs and leaving interest rates alone. The Fed said economic growth “strengthened somewhat” during the third quarter, which reflected a reversal from the spring when growth slowed due primarily to temporary factors such as the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March. The question on many minds ahead of the Fed’s decision was what weapons the Fed has left to spur economic growth. Another round of quantitative easing has been hinted at but there is strong opposition both in Congress and among the handful Fed dissenters to the central bank buying up more debt on top of the nearly $3 trillion already purchased since the 2008 financial crisis. The first two rounds of quantitative easing have been met with limited success at best and skeptics say another round isn’t likely to help much either. Besides, improving liquidity by essentially printing money eventually leads to inflation. Read more

Tea Party members say they will picket occupy protest

NewsNM Swickard - Hey there we go, protest the protester. I'm in. From the Examiner - By Rhonda Parker, St. Augustine – While Occupy St. Augustine organizers have extended the invitation to all political parties in the area, both left and right oriented, breakaway members of the local Tea Party say they will picket the group’s protest in the Plaza de la Constitucion on Saturday. “We certainly plan to be there, but we’ll be there to protest them,” said Lance Thate, head of the local Tea Party movement who was on St. George Street this weekend handing out booklets of the U.S. Constitution with other members dressed in 1776 costumes. Read more

Did the Greeks just steal Christmas?

From MSN Money - After a strong October rally, stocks and the economy seemed poised for a typical Santa Claus rally into the new year. But a Grinch from Athens has put all that at risk. Fate has been a cruel taskmaster lately. For more than two years, stocks have stumbled through a broad trading range as the initial excitement over the end of the recession was replaced by alternating waves of greed and fear. For the better part of October, it looked as if a turnaround was at hand. The NYSE Composite gained nearly 23% in just four weeks. Confidence was rising. Money was flooding into the stock market. Even the housing market was showing signs of life. The pieces were in place for a classic Santa Claus rally, lifting everyone's spirits and giving us hope that maybe, just maybe, the market could push to new recovery highs and the economy would break out of its jobless funk in the new year. Then, it all went wrong. The market turned down on Monday, Halloween, as the market realized Greece wasn't quite settled yet. But the real blow came Tuesday, when Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou dropped a load of napalm on the revelry. He would let the people of Greece decide what to do by holding a referendum on the latest bailout plan by January. The question would be simple: Do we reject or accept Europe's new plan for us? This pull of the string is unraveling a seam along what was always the eurozone plan's point of vulnerability: a lack of political support from Greek citizens unwilling or unable to bear the burden of their national debt. Read more



Tony Vagneur Saddle Sore Series: Youthful gusto

From the Aspen Times - A few days ago, there was mention in the national news about a 9-year-old girl caught driving her mother's car, with the mother in the car. It made me wonder how badly I would have been chastised by the politically correct of the world for letting my 5-year-old daughter drive my truck while I fed the horses. With the pickup in its lowest four-wheel drive gear, she'd stand on the seat and steer whichever direction I pointed. By the time she was 10, she could put a five-speed manual transmission through its paces, up or down, with flawless precision. She could also take a 16-hand horse over a 3-foot jump without blinking.So it was no big deal the other day when, just before we began the monstrous job of separating 750 bovine animals into pre-arranged groups, the big boss looked at me with a bit of a grin and said, “Do you think you and Josie can keep the cutting alleyway in the corrals loaded with cattle?” Read column

Lujan's "Native Friendly" Amendment Voted Down

From -Late last week, an amendment proposed by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D), of New Mexico’s third district, attempting to alter a deal between the U.S. government and a major mining firm was voted down. Luján had been seeking to tweak the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2009, legislation originally introduced by Senators John Kyl and John McCain allowing for an exchange of land between the federal government and the Resolution Copper Co. Lujan had hoped to protect this land, considered sacred and of cultural and historical significance to Native peoples not just in Arizona and New Mexico but throughout the United States.  More News New Mexico

Group Launches Ad Campaign Against Solyndra Loan

From -A full year ahead of the next presidential election, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity has whipped out a $2.4-million ad campaign slamming President Obama's stimulus plan. The ads will air over the next two weeks in swing states Florida, Michigan, Virginia and New Mexico.  More News New Mexico

Group Petitions EPA Over NM Air Quality

From -An environmental group has petitioned the federal government to reduce air pollutants in eight western states.  WildEarth Guardians says that by law, the Environmental Protection Agency has to designate areas as "nonattainment" areas if they violate certain air-quality standards and put them on the path to cleaning up. The group's petition contends 15 areas should be labeled nonattainment areas for violating standards limiting particulate matter to less than 10 microns in diameter, or about one-seventh the width of a human hair. It said the EPA should declare six other areas "serious" nonattainment areas. WildEarth Guardians also wants the EPA to call for Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming to revise their state plans for complying with the Clean Air Act.  More News New Mexico

Dozens of NM Inmates May Be Released Early

From -Dozens of inmates in New Mexico could walk free because of a new sentencing law that will let thousands of people out of prison early.  As of Tuesday, federal judges began reviewing the prison sentences of thousands of men and women sent away on crack cocaine charges.  The Federal Fair Sentencing Act signed by president Obama last year ends the sharp difference in sentences between people sent to prison for crack and those caught dealing powdered cocaine.  More News New Mexico

Food Stamp Use Reaches Record 45.8 Million

From -A new report posted today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows a record 45.8 million Americans received assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in August — 1.1. percent more than in July and 8.1 percent more than in August 2010. That new record is not surprising: The number of Americans receiving food stamps has reached new highs every month except one since December 2008, according to Bloomberg. Spending on the program also reached a record $6.13 billion. On the one hand, part of the increase has to be attributed to the high unemployment rate of 9.1 percent. On the other hand, joblessness can’t be the entire explanation. Anyone who has seen “the EBT rap” knows food stamps aren’t exactly what they used to be.  More News New Mexico

NM Encourages Native American Vets to Seek Refunds

From -State officials say New Mexico has paid refunds of more than $825,000 to Native American veterans who had state income taxes wrongly withheld from their pay while serving on active duty in the military. Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla said about 660 veterans have been reimbursed. A 2008 law established a settlement fund to compensate American Indian veterans who paid state taxes when they were on active duty although they should have been exempt because their permanent residence was on tribal land.  The Legislature has allocated about $1.2 million for refunds.  More News New Mexico

Udall Introduces Constitutional Amendment

Sen. Tom Udall
From -New Mexico U.S. Senator Tom Udall has introduced a constitutional amendment intended to allow Congress and the states to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures. “Letting this go unchecked is a threat to our democracy. Campaigns should be about the best ideas, not the biggest checkbooks,” Mr. Udall said at the press conference. More News New Mexico


Governor Susana Martinez visits Santa Teresa

Governor Susana Martinez visited Santa Teresa this afternoon to discuss two important capital projects that will improve vital infrastructure and support economic development efforts in the border region. The two projects were included in the $86 million capital outlay bill that passed during September's special legislative session. Governor Martinez visited Monarch Litho, Inc., a commercial printing company with facilities in both Santa Teresa and Juarez, to meet with employees and discuss the capital projects and other efforts to create a friendlier business environment and promote job creation along New Mexico's southern border. She was joined by Economic Development Department Secretary-designate Jon Barela as well as members of the Border Industrial Association.

"There is incredible potential for economic development and job creation in the border region and throughout Southern New Mexico," said Governor Martinez. "In order to realize that potential, we must provide ample infrastructure for businesses that are trying to grow and expand and companies that want to get off the ground here or relocate to our state. These two water projects are vital to retaining and supporting businesses that already exist in Doña Ana County and will provide an even greater incentive to out-of-state companies that are considering moving their operations to New Mexico. I am grateful for the leadership of Senator Pete Domenici in supporting and promoting these vital projects and I applaud the bi-partisan support they have received from our elected officials."

Roughly $1.85 million of last month's capital outlay legislation will fund water infrastructure projects in the Santa Teresa area. A total of $1.25 million will fund renovations to the area's water supply and distribution system in order to increase available water and improve water pressure for industrial sites and other facilities in Santa Teresa and surrounding areas of Doña Ana County. Another $600,000 will help to fund the construction of a wastewater treatment facility that will support the area's growth and large scale development. The current facility serving the Santa Teresa area, which is near capacity, process about 300,000 gallons of water each day. The new facility will allow for an additional 600,000 gallons of water to be processed each day.


Human Nature and Government Limitation

Julian Laws
NewsNM note - We are pleased to introduce Julian Laws a new guest columnist who will be making regular contributions on
A cursory study of microeconomics reveals some human behavioral patterns that would suggest a limited government better serves the population, especially at the federal level. When understood, the general populace of a country would want to keep as much of the decision making as close to home as possible. I mean this both figuratively and literally. Major decisions in policy should be made where it affects individuals the most: in their towns and communities. This would inspire the populace to take more of an interest in community affairs, cast more informed votes and increase the effectiveness of personal outreach. In the most literal of senses, keeping the decisions close to home means making families the primary decision makers for what is best for them.
Mutual Benefit and Incentives
The first behavior is based on the idea of mutual benefit and incentives. Commerce functions on individuals and service/product providers making agreements on trade that gives each party the maximum benefit. If you’ve ever haggled with a vender at the local farmers market you’ve experienced this first hand. Otherwise, individuals shop according to the return the product or service would give in exchange for the amount of money or labor they are willing to sacrifice for it. If the price is too high they look for an alternative or go without. This transaction creates the most efficient allocation of labor and resources.
As more product and service industries are monitored, regulated and controlled by government the more the efficiency between coming to a mutually beneficial result is hindered. Simply put, some people begin to pay more, in both labor and money for less while others pay less, in labor and money, yet receive more. Adding an administrative third party creates a drain on money and labor. Such organizations are then funded through taxes since no product or service is provided; adding to the “more” that people must pay for the decrease in their return. This de-motivates producers and enables non-contribution.
Human nature is geared to responding to incentives. The best possible situation is created when everyone contributes to the highest possible mutually beneficial point in a trade either through labor or resources. Government intervention disrupts this exchange and falsifies the consequences of contribution to trade. Paying more for less, leaves producers with little or no incentive to continue production at the same rate. Paying less for more, leaves consumers with little or no incentive to contribute with labor or resources. Maintaining the incentive to contribute is paramount to creating prosperity for both parties otherwise there is a net loss in wealth and society as a whole is poorer. Read rest of column here: News New Mexico

New Twist in Pay to Play Lawsuits

Bruce Malott
From -In an odd twist to the allegations of “pay to play” in state government during the Bill Richardson administration, on Tuesday (Nov. 1) Malott, the former chairman of the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board (ERB), filed a civil lawsuit against former State Investment Council (SIC) officer Gary Bland, longtime Richardson supporter Anthony Correra and his son Marc, who shared in an estimated $22 million in placement fees involving the ERB’s pension fund and SIC investments. Malott’s suit also names several financial firms, including Aldus Equity Partners and its co-founder, Saul Meyer, who has already pled guilty in New York state to taking part in financial hanky-panky involving state pension plans. Former Gov. Richardson was not named in the Malott suit filed Tuesday.  More News New Mexico

A Decline of 5%: "The Bottom Has Dropped Out"

According to a new report from one of the state's non-profit organizations, New Mexico’s public schools are finally having to do what the private sector has been doing for years.......make do with less money. Using hyperbolic language to describe what amounts to a 5% decline in funding during an era when industries like construction have seen 70% of their budgets and their jobs disappear, spokesman Gerry Bradley of New Mexico Voices for Children said, “The bottom has dropped out of the state’s public education budget.” What is Bradley's solution to the challenges? Better resource management by highly compensated bureaucrats in the public education monoply? Surely you jest. No, Bradley wants to increase taxes. You can read the entire report here: News New Mexico

Ski Apache gets two inches and begins snow making

NewsNM Swickard: Officially Winter begins when the ski areas open and that is a fact. From the Ruidoso Free Press - Ski Apache has begun preparations for its 50th season on the slopes of the Sierra Blanca. The ski resort will begin the season with the 2011 Warren Miller film premiere on Nov. 19, and opening day is slated for Thanksgiving Day. Situated high in the mountains of Mescalero and resting at 11,500 feet with a vertical drop of 1,800 feet, Ski Apache’s dry, arid climate makes for optimal snow conditions for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.Starting Thanksgiving Day, the mountain is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Read more

What About the 14th Amendment?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Occupy Wall Street movement, which says its goals include improving the economic lot for 99 percent of Americans, may have some explaining to do to some cafe workers now out of a job. Mark Epstein, owner of the Milk Street Cafe at 40 Wall Street, just let 21 employees go. The reason? The barricades police have set up throughout Wall Street as a consequence of the ongoing demonstration. In June, he opened the New York branch of the Boston shop, which has a 30 year history. Epstein says he leased the space on Wall Street because it was next to a pedestrian plaza – and his was the only restaurant along that plaza.
“The opening was perfect,” Epstein told “The food was delicious, the customers were happy, and the line was out the door.” Customers kept coming back, Epstein said. “Everything was going in the right direction. Sales continued to grow. We started to build our catering business. Costs were going down. I felt that by October or November we would break even.”
Then the Occupy Wall Street movement launched.
“I came one Monday morning and I found the exit by the 2 or 3 subway station closed. I saw all these barriers – barricades – all up and down my street,” Epstein said. “At first I thought nothing of it, but after a week… it’s been six or seven weeks now.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Cote: GOP Seeks Big Government Power Grab

Nathan Cote
NM Politics - You might not have noticed, but in the last few weeks our nation has witnessed an attempted big-government power grab the likes of which we have rarely seen. Republicans in Congress who were elected on the platform of a smaller federal government are pushing through an unprecedented power grab in the name of border security. Unlike the bill I passed as a state representative that established a venue for cooperation between border law-enforcement agencies, their bill has possible undertones of violating the U.S. Constitution, country-to-country agreements, and other problematic issues. H.R. 1505, the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, was passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee last month. The bill is championed by Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah and has serious implications for New Mexico. Read full column here: News New Mexico


"An Inconvenient Occupant"