Reader Feedback and Reply

Michael and Conrad
Received Monday, January 30, 2012 10:45 PM from a reader.
Subject: Excuse me?
"You obviously miss the point of the #Occupy movement.
It doesn't play by your rules, or the rules that the 1 percent have put in place.
The only way the #Occupy Movement can command attention is to act within its own rules.
Not yours, not the 1 percent's, but OURS.
Wrap your head around that.
Your dog is bigger than your mind."
Dear Reader,
How Quaint! Yes, my dog Conrad is smarter than me and I might add that he lives a much better life. For one thing I am up at four a.m. to do the News New Mexico broadcast statewide from 6 to 9 a.m. and he says, “See ya.” And goes back to bed. He and Brownie hang out all day and enjoy that I take them on walks and direct their attention to the backyard at regular intervals. Because of coyotes, I even stand with them while they are outside for their protections. Yep, much smarter, no argument from me.
I have not missed the point of the Occupy movement, I point out that the movement must move within our society, it cannot violently overthrow the government. Yes, you do have to play by the rules of the society or suffer the consequences. Remember that I do agree with some of what you believe but not actions outside the law, which law? The law. Now that you have commanded our attention, now what? You have told us off, and we have heard you, now what? Now what? Do something constructive. Run for office, support someone for office. You cannot overthrow the government from the outside as much as you might wish to do so, you must get within the belly of the beast and make the change for a better future. Or is the movement all talk?
Thanks for reading - Michael


Carlsbad Troubadours perform at Roundhouse

From the Carlsbad Current-Argus - CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad High School Troubadours are singing their way onto the political scene recently, and they started in the state capital Monday. The Troubadours, directed by Ken Miller, were invited to a centennial celebration in a joint House and Senate session of the state legislature. Gov. Suzanna Martinez, her cabinet and visiting dignitaries also were present. "We are truly honored to have been selected to sing our National Anthem and our State Song for this historic occasion," said Miller. Sen. Vernon Asbill, R-Eddy/Otero, and Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Eddy, nominated the Troubadours for this honor, and moved the nomination through the selection processes in the Capitol. "These beautiful singers made all of us in Southeastern New Mexico proud today with their renditions of the National Anthem and our state song," Asbill said. "What a tribute to our state and to its 100th anniversary as a state." "These young people moved all of us in the capitol, some of my fellow legislators even mentioned they had goose bumps. These students are quite remarkable," he said. Read more


Anti-Corruption Bill Heads to House Floor

Rep. Nate Gentry
From - A bill that would stiffen penalties for public officials convicted of corruption charges — include potentially forfeiting their state pensions as well as banning them from lobbying or entering into contracts with the state — cruised through the House Judiciary Committee on Monday (Jan. 30) and is now heading to the House of Representatives for a floor vote.  House Bill 111′s co-sponsor, Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), thinks there’s momentum behind the measure — not only from legislators but also from voters across the state: “It’s clear to me that we’re not getting through to all our public officials. There’s just one corruption scandal after the next and people are taking note of that. I think there’s public support for this type of legislation.”  More News New Mexico

N.M. Counties Receive $11M in School Payments

From -Nearly two dozen New Mexico counties will share more than $11 million in federal rural schools payments. The funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help pay for schools, roads, forest restoration projects and other programs in 22 counties.   U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman says the payments are designed to help rural counties that rely economically on national forest lands.  He says the payments have been particularly important during the national economic downturn.  Bingaman's office says the senator led the congressional effort to reauthorize the program in 2008. At that point, there was a change to the distribution of program funds that dramatically increased the benefits of the program to New Mexico counties. The highest payment of more than $3.4 million will go to Catron County in western New Mexico.

Chicano Movement Icon to Speak at N.M. Capitol

From - Reies Lopez Tijerina an icon of the Chicano Movement, is slated to make a rare appearance.  The 85-year-old ailing land grant activist is scheduled Thursday to speak at the New Mexico Capitol Rotunda at an event honoring the anniversary of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signing.  Tijerina was the leader of a land grant rights group and said the U.S. government stole millions of acres from Latinos after the Mexican-American War in violation of the treaty.  In 1967, Tijerina and a band of armed followers raided a Rio Arriba County courthouse in Tierra Amarilla, N.M. to attempt a citizen’s arrest of then-District Attorney Alfonso Sanchez. The raiders shot and wounded a state police officer and jailer, beat a deputy and took a sheriff and reporter hostage. The hostages later escaped.

New N.M Water Boss Talks Drought Challenges

From -The past month has been a whirlwind for New Mexico's new water czar. There have been meetings with lawmakers, mayors and federal officials and briefings with staff around the state.  And at the end of every day, State Engineer Scott Verhines finds time for an hour or more of reading so he can catch up on pending lawsuits over how New Mexico's water is managed, lessons learned by other drought-stricken states and the latest high-tech tools for measuring and monitoring the dwindling resource.  Coming up with solutions to New Mexico's water problems promises to be a challenge as long as the drought lingers, Verhines said.  Having worked as a civil engineer for more than three decades, Verhines said he always knew the decisions made by water managers were far from black and white.  More News New Mexico

NM House Puts Off $5B Budget Vote

From - A proposed $5.6 billion New Mexico budget hit a last-minute snag in a House committee Monday after Republicans objected that several of the GOP governor's initiatives might get chopped if the state's revenue outlook dims. The Appropriations and Finance Committee postponed a final vote on the budget, and the chairman, Rep. Henry Kiki Saavedra, D-Albuquerque, said he was surprised by the GOP complaints because members of the panel had tentatively agreed last week on provisions of the spending plan.  The budget proposal calls for a spending increase of nearly $216 million, or about 4 percent, in the fiscal year that starts July 1.  However, the plan leaves about $41 million available for possible tax cuts — a high priority for the governor — or additional budget increases.  More News New Mexico

Mr. President, you are building the wrong car.

Marita Noon
In a May 2007 speech before the Detroit Economic Club, Candidate Obama chastised American automakers for building the wrong cars—while they were building “bigger, faster cars,” “foreign competitors were investing in more fuel-efficient technology.” He stated that “it’s not enough to only build cars that use less oil—we also have to move away from that dirty dwindling fuel altogether.” He noted that “the transformation of the cars we drive and the fuels we use would be the most ambitious energy project in decades.” He promised “generous tax incentives” and “more tax credits” to make this happen. He believed that the additional costs are “the price we pay as citizens committed to a cause bigger than ourselves.” He claimed to be a leader who could make this happen as he intoned, “Believe me, we can do it if we really try.”
While that speech did not mention the Chevy Volt, or even electric cars, it surely laid out his ideology. For the most part, these are campaign promises he has kept. He has driven Detroit to “move away from that dirty fuel altogether.” He has offered “generous tax incentives” and “more tax credits.” To see “the most ambitious energy project in decades” become a reality his administration has handed out loans to virtually every strata in the electric car’s foundation.
He’s bailed out GM—which allowed government manipulation of the market to produce the Volt in the first place. Read the rest of the column: News New Mexico


AARP Dubs Cruces and Santa Fe

The Three Crosses in Las Cruces
NM Business Journal - Las Cruces and Santa Fe are among AARP’s Top 10 Sunny Places to Retire. The organization touts Las Cruces’ average of 350 days of sunshine per year, its small town feel and its four-month “full-tilt fiesta season” that starts around Labor Day. It also highlights the presence of New Mexico State University, which it says “supports a fertile arts and music scene.” And it gives a nod to COAS Books, which stocks half a million titles and has frequent readings and book signings.
Downtown Santa Fe
AARP also highlights the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra and the historic village of Mesilla, as well as the farmers’ and crafts markets, and the proximity of public land. It also mentions the low pay of many jobs and the fact that more than one-fifth of residents live below the poverty line. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Senator Says Put an End to Free Political Billboards

KOAT TV - A New Mexico senator said Sunday the state's habit of naming public buildings after sitting public officials needs to go.  Sen. Mark Boitano, R-Bernalillo, called public buildings named after officials who are still in office 24/7 campaign billboards, and he said he wants to put a stop to the practice. "The buildings are 24/7 billboards to advertise for those elections officials," Boitano said. For example, Boitano said that Albuquerque Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, who is still in office, has her name on the African-American Cultural Center. Boitano said his bill would set up a committee to get community input on naming buildings but only after an official had died. Read full story here: News New Mexico

7th Straight Month of Job Growth in NM in December

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions reported late last week that the state benefitted from the seventh straight month of positive job growth. On a year over year basis there were 7,400 more jobs in December. However the department's payroll survey showed that the construction industry continued to suffer job losses. Many experts believe the looming threat of local impact fees in areas like Las Cruces added to joblessness. Government jobs also declined slightly.


New Approach to Wolf Reintroduction

Santa Fe New Mexican - ALBUQUERQUE -- Wildlife managers are running out of options when it comes to helping Mexican gray wolves overcome hurdles that have thwarted reintroduction into their historic range in the Southwest. Harassment and rubber bullets haven't worked, so they're trying something new -- a food therapy that has the potential to make the wolves queasy enough to never want anything to do with cattle again. As in people, the memories associated with eating a bad meal are rooted in the brain stem, triggered any time associated sights and smells pulse their way through the nervous system. Wildlife managers are trying to tap into that physiological response in the wolves, hoping that feeding them beef laced with an odorless and tasteless medication will make them ill enough to kill their appetite for livestock. Cattle depredations throughout southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona have served as an Achilles' heel for the federal government's efforts to return the wolves. Conditioned taste aversion -- the technical term for what amounts to a simple reaction -- is not a silver bullet for boosting the recovery of the Mexican wolf, but some biologists see it as one of few options remaining for getting the program back on track after nearly 14 years of stumbling. Read more News New Mexico


In 2011 Verizon Poured $180 Million into NM

NM Business Journal - Verizon Wireless spent nearly $180 million in New Mexico and El Paso in 2011 to provide new wireless services, expand network coverage and add capacity for customers. The company has invested a total of $550 million since 2000 in New Mexico and El Paso, said Verizon Wireless Southwest Region President Brian Danfield in a news release. “We know customers depend on their smartphones, tablets, laptop modems and other wireless devices to stay connected, to be more productive and for entertainment,” Danfield said. “That’s why we are always investing and working to ensure our network wireless solutions are the very best.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

Sandia Labs Paid $400 Million in 2011 to NM Businesses

NM Business Journal - Sandia National Labs paid about $400 million to New Mexico businesses for goods and services in fiscal year 2011, according to Sandia’s annual economic impact report, released Jan. 26. About $296 million, or 74 percent, went to small businesses, said Small Business Utilization Program Manager Don Devoti in a news release. “Sandia National Laboratories is committed to strengthening our relationships with the New Mexico business community and, in particular, to be a strong advocate for New Mexico’s diverse small business suppliers,” Devoti said. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Tres Amigas Super Station Needs One More Friend

Albuquerque Journal - Legislators are considering tax incentives aimed at enticing the developers of the $1.5 billion Tres Amigas SuperStation to locate their headquarters and an associated trading exchange in the state. The Tres Amigas project, announced in 2009, includes building a hub across 22 square miles of rangeland in eastern New Mexico to link the nation’s three major electrical grids. Construction is set to begin this summer, but Tres Amigas President and CEO Phillip Harris said New Mexico’s tax structure is forcing the company to consider locations in Texas for its headquarters and the exchange. Read full story here (subscription rquired): News New Mexico