High Winds Shut Down Valencia High School

From KOAT-TV.com - LOS LUNAS, N.M. -- Valencia High School officials canceled school Thursday after strong winds tore apart the school's metal roof. "They cancelled school because the roof of the freshman academy was coming off. So they were afraid that it might hurt someone," student Jose Galabiz said. Students said they noticed the roof coming off as they were walking between classes. "(I saw) the aluminum thing flying off, off the building," student Amais Rivera said. Students were dismissed shortly after lunch. "The primary objective because of the unpredictability of wind and the direction of wind blowing we have no other alternative but to go ahead for the safety of our children get them off campus immediately," Desi Garcia, with Los Lunas Schools, said. "We're up here in the middle of the mesa. (With) the winds this strong, it's metal, it's aluminum, anything can happen out here." Read more

Goodbye to Girls Ranch: Now its the Boy and Girls Ranch

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - The dorm rooms, cafeteria and swimming pool are still there. But young female voices no longer ring out on the campus of the New Mexico Girls Ranch near Lamy. The home for troubled girls which opened in 1982 with the support of the late Alice King, then New Mexico's first lady closed in 2009. Now, the 117-acre property is for sale. The 18 young women who were living there when it closed have been moved to the New Mexico Boys & Girls Ranches campus in Valencia County, making the former Boys Ranch a co-ed community. Michael Kull, president of the nonprofit, which began serving at-risk boys in the 1940s and added programs for girls in the early 1980s, said the decision to close the Girls Ranch was purely financial. "A lot of the girls who grew up at the Girls Ranch don't want to see us do that, but it's about economic realities," Kull said, adding that regulations have added considerable expense to the business of caring for juveniles since the organization first began after World War II as a place for boys whose fathers didn't come home from the war. "Right now we are land-rich and cash-poor," Kull said. "We are going to sell a bunch of stuff and see what we get, and then the board is going to have to decide what we do from there. Part of the trouble is when you subject buildings to 50 years of teenage kids, every once in a while you need to tear down and build a new facility." Read more

Swickard: Living energy large at a good price

Column by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - Many years ago in the former gold mining town of White Oaks, New Mexico, someone realized the power station that drove the mining equipment had enough extra capacity to send power eleven miles to nearby Carrizozo. At the time Carrizozo did not have any electrical power which matched the fact that Carrizozo citizens had no electrical devices. A line was strung and a light bulb at the barber shop would be turned on at noon one Saturday. For those who do not know, in the old days the barber shop was one of the unofficial meeting places in the town and therefore a central location sure to draw plenty of people. One cowboy was skeptical, “No way can electricity go eleven miles, even if it is downhill.” Read column

ESPN failed to show this Monday night at Green Bay - 11/14/2011 Their commercials were more important?


Senate Poised to Legalize Sodomy and Bestiality in the Military

From cnsnews.com -The Senate this evening is poised to vote on a defense authorization bill that includes a provision which not only repeals the military law on sodomy, but also repeals the military ban on sex with animals–or bestiality. On Nov. 15, the Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously approved S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision to repeal Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Article 125 of the UCMJ makes it illegal to engage in both sodomy with humans and sex with animals.  More News New Mexico

Teen Arrested for Burping in Class

From foxnews.com - A 13-year-old was handcuffed and hauled off to a juvenile detention for burping in class, according to a lawsuit filed against an Albuquerque school principal, a teacher and city police officer. The boy was transported without his parents being notified in May after he "burped audibly" in PE class and his teacher called a school resource officer to complain he was disrupting her class. The lawsuit also details a separate Nov. 8 incident when the same student was forced to strip down to his underwear while five adults watched as he was accused of selling pot to another student; the boy was never charged.  More News New Mexico

PNM Asks Court to Stay Costly EPA Rule

From wsj.com -PNM Resources Inc. (PNM) said it has asked a federal appeals court to suspend what it calls a stringent new environmental requirement that would cost it at least $750 million in new technology installations.  The New Mexico utility of the company, which operates utilities in both that state and in Texas, asked the court to stay the new Environmental Protection Agency requirement while the court decides whether to overturn it or not.  "This poses a financial risk that the plants owners and 2 million electric customers should not have to bear," More News New Mexico

Is Fish and Wildlife Bowing to Public Pressure on the Sand Dunes Lizard Listing?

Washington, DC (December 1, 2011) Today, Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following response in regard to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision to extend the listing of the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard under the Endangered Species Act (ESA):
Steve Pearce
The purpose of the ESA is to prevent the extinction of species. However, only 1% of the species listed have recovered,” said Pearce. “The process being used is not working. We can do better. In cases such as the listing of the Spotted Owl and the Delta Smelt, industries have been destroyed, and families have suffered,” Pearce stated. “While I am glad to see FWS delay listing the dunes sagebrush lizard, I continue to oppose its listing, due to the catastrophic effect it would have on jobs in New Mexico and the successful voluntary conservation efforts underway.”
“The ranching community in New Mexico signed agreements with FWS to protect over 1.5 million acres, and the oil and gas industry has similarly enrolled over 800,000 acres. These voluntary conservation agreements have already produced payments by these private sector entities in excess of $2.5 million to protect the lizard. The process was working until the Washington office of FWS suddenly suggested last year that the lizard should be listed. If the lizard is listed, it will end locally managed cooperation efforts for this species and others.”
“Extending the period for public comment and gathering solid science will hopefully point FWS in the right direction,” Pearce continued. “The science presented thus far lacks cohesion with the results FWS has drawn. New data shows that FWS erred in beginning the listing process. As a result, the decision to delay the listing to gather more science on the lizard and its habitat is a victory for New Mexicans. The delay is only half of the battle, however. We must find the right balance between protecting our environment and growing our economy. That will require modernizing and updating the methods by which we protect threatened species.”
FWS was expected to make a decision on December 14, 2011. This week, Congressman Pearce and 17 other Members of Congress submitted a bipartisan letter opposing the listing, but also calling for an extension on the decision. Other Members of Congress and the public have also submitted letters. Congressman Pearce remains opposed to the listing, but will be meeting with Dan Ashe, the Director of FWS, next week to discuss objectives for the six-month extension period.


Commentary: Barney Frank, Moderate

The New York Times - By DAVID FIRESTONE - Conservative web sites are already cheering Barney Frank’s announcement that he will retire from his Massachusetts House seat at the end of his term. But whether or not they say so publicly, many Republicans on Capitol Hill will actually miss him. He is the most caustically hilarious member of the House, and is anything but the socialist caricature invented by the right. No one is more withering about the dismal state of the House and the Republican party that controls it, as he demonstrated in his news conference today: “It consists half of people who think like Michele Bachmann,” he said, “and half of people who are afraid of losing a primary to people who think like Michele Bachmann.” But economically, Mr. Frank is essentially a centrist. He believes in markets, supported free-trade agreements, and talks often of the need for a “grand bargain” between business and liberals. Conservatives love to blame him for the housing crisis, pointing to his ties to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Although he could have exercised greater oversight, the connection between the mortgage companies and the subprime crisis is demonstrably false, invented to take the blame away from Wall Street and the big banks. Congress may be losing one of its best-informed and quotable members, but it is not losing a radical. Read column

Madrid Erhard campaigns to unseat Pearce

From NMPolitics.net - By - A longtime Democratic activist has formally announced her campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., next year. Evelyn Madrid Erhard made the announcement Wednesday in Las Cruces. From a news release: “Public service was a family tradition for Madrid Erhard while growing up in EspaƱola. One of her ancestors was entrusted with a land grant. Another was an officer in the Civil War. Her maternal grandfather served as a U.S. Forest Ranger. Madrid Erhard’s father fought in World War II, earned a bachelors and masters degree on the G.I. Bill, and became a teacher and coach at Pojoaque High School. Her mother was a secretary at Los Alamos National Laboratories. “When Madrid Erhard considers the critical jump-start that her parents received after the war, she sees a real need for Congress to refocus on the needs of the 99%. Creating jobs, strengthening public education, and making health care affordable are only some of the ways that she would work to extend the opportunity of a jump-start to working Americans and their families.” Madrid Earhard is joined by Frank McKinnon of Roswell in a Democratic primary that thus far lacks a high-profile candidate. Former state Rep. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces says he’s considering running. Pearce has drawn no primary opponent. Read more

Harbison: End The Rhetoric, It’s Time to Act

Jim Harbison
The elections are over, the new council has been sworn in and now it’s time to confront their campaign rhetoric. We heard them discuss the importance of public safety and how critically we needed a new 911 Call Center and Crisis Triage Center. Las Cruces City Manager Garza’s November 18th Weekly Newsletter to City Council discussed the mutual interests of Dona Ana County and the City of Las Cruces on three specific projects. Interestingly enough they were the Crisis Triage Center, the Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority Facility (911 Call Center), and the East Mesa Public Safety Complex. He listed the cost for the Crisis Triage Center construction at $2.5 million plus an annual operating budget of $1.5 million. The 911 Call Center is estimated to cost nearly $1 million to design and another $5 million to construct. Finally, the East Mesa Public Safety Complex is estimated at $9 million. Added together they cost approximately $17 million which totals far less than the new $32 million City Hall complex.
Las Cruces City Hall
I commend him for his focus on these important and essential community needs. These facilities are critically needed and support the common good by protecting the citizens rather than providing some new or enhanced special interest group program.
Public safety projects only seem to be important during election cycles and in the 2009 elections candidates pledged to resolve them. Instead of addressing the public safety issues our previous Councils funded, in addition to the new City Hall, a new multi-million dollar Aquatic Center (without an actual swimming pool), a Convention Center which adds additional burden (and costs) on our public safety resources, and a new municipal court complex. read rest of column here: News New Mexico

News New Mexico Welcomes AM 1550 KIVA

News New Mexico took the airwaves on our newest radio station affiliate AM 1550 KIVA in Albuquerque this morning. The News New Mexico show will air live each business day on the powerful signal of AM 1550 KIVA from 6:00am to 9:00am. We welcome all listeners in the entire KIVA area and encourage your feedback via our Contact Page at the top of this site.


Richardson Aides Given Immunity in Latest Probe

Bill Richardson
New York Post - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A federal grand jury is investigating former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson over possible campaign-finance violations stemming from his 2008 presidential run, including allegations that he arranged for supporters to pay off a woman who planned to say they had engaged in an extramarital affair, according to people familiar with the inquiry. Several of Richardson's close associates have been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony before the panel in Albuquerque, the people said. The panel is one of several grand juries in recent years to examine aspects of Richardson's administration and campaigns. Richardson, 64, who is at an environmental conference in Nigeria this week, did not return repeated calls and emails seeking comment. His office declined to provide the names of his lawyers. Read full story here: News New Mexico

"Mitt in Left Field"


Dow Surges 490 Points

Bloomberg - The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) reached 12,045.68, up 490.05 points from yesterday’s close.  Adjusting for the market’s volatility in 2011, the gain is equal to about 240 points in the first nine years of the last decade, Bloomberg data show. Europe’s sovereign debt crisis has fueled some of the biggest stock swings ever during the last four months. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has moved 1.7 percent on average each day, compared with 0.8 percent before September 2008, when Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“It feels like a good day, but whether or not it’s sustainable is another thing,” Hayes Miller, who helps oversee about $43 billion as the Boston-based head of asset allocation in North America at Baring Asset Management Inc., said in a telephone interview. “We’re not buying it. This rally isn’t going to shake us from being more cautious on risk assets for the first half of 2012.”
The Dow surged 4.2 percent, the most since March 2009, after central banks acted to make additional funds available to lenders. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Bank of America Corp. advanced at least 7.3 percent today as the Federal Reserve and five central banks lowered interest rates on dollar swaps and China cut banks’ reserve requirements. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Obama - Holder Move to Seal Fast and Furious Records

Judicial Watch - The Obama Administration has abruptly sealed court records containing alarming details of how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border patrol agent with a gun connected to a failed federal experiment that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico. This means information will now be kept from the public as well as the media. Could this be a cover-up on the part of the “most transparent” administration in history?
Eric Holder
After all, the rifle used to kill the federal agent (Brian Terry) last December in Arizona’s Peck Canyon was part of the now infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the disastrous scheme allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels. Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of more than 1,000 guns which have been used in numerous crimes. In Terry’s case, five illegal immigrants armed with at least two semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and Terry got hit. Read full story here: News New Mexico

NM Nursing Homes Need Belt Tightening

Santa Fe New Mexican - New Mexico nursing homes need $7 million to $8 million in additional state money to provide for the more than 5,600 individuals currently in their care, industry representatives told state lawmakers Wednesday. Linda Sechovec, executive director of the New Mexico Health Care Association, said during a meeting at the state Capitol that the industry intends to ask the Legislature for the cash during the 30-day legislative session that starts in January. New Mexico's 71 nursing homes find themselves in a budget crunch, in need of additional state dollars following a reduction in October in what Medicare pays the facilities, Sechovec and others said. Roughly 14 percent of the 5,644 patients in New Mexico's nursing homes in September were enrolled in Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled. On Wednesday, state lawmakers and Gov. Susana Martinez's administration acknowledged the problem and appeared ready to talk about how to solve it, although there was a difference of opinion over where to find the extra dollars. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Snowplow Drivers Practice for Approaching Storm

KOB TV - City of Albuquerque snowplow drivers spent Wednesday preparing for the approaching winter storm, driving their assigned routes and looking for any problems with their trucks and equipment. The city has 45 snow plow trucks, and 35 of them are equipped to spread salt and cinders on icy roads. Wednesday's practice runs were scheduled weeks ago and the timing couldn't be better. "They're expected to go up and drive the route they're gonna be on," said city Municipal Development chief Michael Riordan. "They'll be looking for any obstacles that would be in the way when they're plowing. They're making sure they know the routes, how long it takes, what kind of fuel they have, when they can expect to come back to the shop, where they can refill their supplies." Read full story here: News New Mexico