N.M Hiker Finds Human Remains

From washingtonpost.com -New Mexico authorities say scattered body parts have been found in the Gomez Peak area over the past few weeks after a hiker picked up what appeared to be a lower jawbone on Jan. 19.  The medical investigator determined a bone found nearly a week later by a U.S. Forest Service worker was a femur.  The Grant County Sheriff’s Office, the medical investigator, members of the Forest Service and U.S. Border Patrol searched the area Tuesday near Silver City and discovered more remains.  A preliminary analysis shows the bones are from a man approximately 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds.  The remains were sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque in an attempt to determine the identity and cause of death.  More News New Mexico

N.M House Approves Tax Measure For Power Grid

From therepublic.com -The New Mexico House has approved a set of proposed 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.  Democratic House Speaker Ben Lujan is sponsoring the legislation. It passed Thursday on a unanimous vote and now heads to the Senate.  It had support from both sides of the aisle, as lawmakers talked about the jobs and spin-off businesses that are expect to result from the project.  The measure would offer a gross receipts tax deduction for Tres Amigas' trading operations as well as an exemption of certain taxes related to the conversion and transmission of electricity.  More News New Mexico

Sandia Labs Engineers Develop New Bullet

From washingtonpost.com -Figuring out how to pack a processor and other electronics into a machine gun bullet has been a challenge for engineers at Sandia National Laboratories, so weapons experts say the miniature guidance system the lab has developed is a breakthrough.  Three years in the making, the bullet prototype represents another step toward a next-generation battlefield that scientists and experts expect to be saturated with technology and information.  In the laboratory, I’m able to make machines so incredibly small it kind of boggles my mind,” said Red Jones, one of the Sandia researchers who helped develop the laser-guided .50-caliber bullet. “Where we’re headed, we’re going to be limited only by our imagination.”  More News New Mexico

Pearce: President Destroys Conscience Protections

Steve Pearce
President Obama and his cabinet have infringed upon a basic private right their newest sweeping federal mandate. This violation of the longstanding concept of conscience protection breaches the safeguards for personal religious and moral convictions that have been in place since our founding. In a recent op-ed in USA Today, Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, wrote that this latest demand “cuts against the grain of what it means to be American.” I believe the Archbishop hit the nail on the head.
Violation of the Constitution - Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is aligning against the constitutional protection of one’s conscience and religious beliefs. We have the First Amendment to allow everyone to practice whatever faith in whatever manner without the government dictating the God that they worship. As the National Association of Evangelicals stated in response to this edict, “No government has the right to compel its citizens to violate their conscience.”
President Obama is dismissing our Constitution, and forcing religious organizations to violate their conscience by adopting the agenda of the administration’s favored special interests. This is an abhorrent assault on our fundamental liberties, including our right to live the way our faith prescribes. The government is interfering where it has absolutely no place—in our personal, spiritual lives.
Assault on Catholics - Read rest of column here: News New Mexico


Cartels Murder Five Police Officers, Force Juarez Police Retreat From Their Homes

NewsNM note- (Spence) In a speech made by President Obama in El Paso last year he declared that the border was safe and some people would never be satisfied. Unfortunately the number of atrocities on civilians and now police officers in Juarez, El Paso's sister city just across the border, are reaching the levels that are worse than the most vicious war zones on the planet.
President Obama in El Paso
CBS - The Associated Press is reporting that every police officer in Ciudad Juarez has been ordered to leave home and stay in a hotel after the killing of five officers by a local drug cartel. Just a week ago a local drug cartel threatened to kill one policeman a day unless Police Chief Julian Leyzaola resigns. The mayor of Juarez says the attacks carried out since then are a response to police action against drug cartels in the city across from El Paso, Texas. The mayor says there is no way Leyzaola is stepping down.
Juarez police spokesman Adrian Sanchez says officers have been ordered to stay away from their houses because all the attacks happened as officers were going to and from their homes. Read full story here: News New Mexico

100 Year Low Temperatures Cause 79 Deaths in Eastern Europe, Global Warming Proponents are Undeterred

Guardian - Rescue helicopters evacuated dozens of people from snow-blocked villages in Serbia and Bosnia and airlifted in emergency food and medicine as a severe cold spell kept eastern Europe in an icy grip.
The death toll from the cold snap rose to 79 across the region, with emergency crews working overtime as temperatures sank to -32.5C (-26.5F) in some areas. Parts of the Black Sea froze near the Romanian coastline and rare snow fell on Croatian islands in the Adriatic Sea. In Bulgaria, 16 towns recorded their lowest temperatures since records began 100 years ago.
In central Serbia, helicopters pulled out 12 people, including nine who went to a funeral but then could not get back over icy, snow-choked roads. Two people froze to death in the snow while two others are missing, bringing the country's death toll to five.
"The situation is dramatic, the snow is up to five metres high in some areas, you can only see rooftops," said Dr Milorad Dramacanin, who participated in the helicopter evacuations.
One of the evacuees was an elderly woman who had fallen into a coma. She survived after being airlifted to hospital. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Film on Bin Laden Killing to Shoot in NM

NM Business Journal - A film version of the story behind the killing of Osama Bin Laden will be shot in New Mexico. “Code Name: Geronimo” will begin shooting this month in Santa Fe, according to the New Mexico Film Office. The film tells the story of the group of Navy SEALS who conducted the mission to kill Bin Laden in Pakistan, related blow-by-blow last summer in the New Yorker. Tony Mark, a New Mexico resident and the producer of “The Hurt Locker,” will produce, along with Nicolas Chartier and Zev Foreman. John Stockwell will direct the film. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Say it Ain't So, Joe (Parker)

KOAT TV - International competition is threatening New Mexico's chile, and officials said Wednesday chile from China might be in locals' next burrito.
The New Mexico Chile Association said countries like China are trying to corner some chile markets. Currently, imports account for 82 percent of the U.S. consumption of chile, officials said. New Mexico is the leading state for chile production, with tens of thousands of acres of cultivation and more than 2,000 varieties of chiles. However, NMCA said in the past 10 years, the number of acres harvested in New Mexico has decreased by more than 60 percent.
But Mick's Chile Fix owner Mick Sweiss said his restaurant buys only New Mexico chile. "(Chile) is indigenous to New Mexico. I can't even imagine buying from China. They don't know anything about green chili the New Mexico style," Sweiss said. Sweiss said cheaper imported chile will never be served at his restaurant. "I would rather pay an extra dollar or two for my New Mexican chili," Sweiss said. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Sanchez is Blocking Education Reforms

Hanna Skandera
For Bill Richardson, the leadership in the state Senate was willing to pass virtually every bill he submitted without amendment. And in New Mexico spending on education skyrocketed during the Richardson years. New Mexico now ranks 18th in spending per student. Unfortunately results produced by the system have not kept up with funding. There is a consensus within the population that real reform, not more money, should be the approach to the problem.
Along came the 2010 election. Governor Susana Martinez won a sizeable majority while carrying the aggressive education reform banner. Polls suggest Martinez is one of the most popular governors in the nation and voters want reforms.
Michael Sanchez
Early in 2011 the governor nominated Hanna Skandera to help her lead the battle to reform education. Unfortunately the same leadership that has had a stranglehold on education for years refuses to even address Skandera’s confirmation let alone reform failing processes in the system.
Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, working behind the scenes with those benefitting from the status quo in education, seems determined to submarine the governor’s education nominee and never provide her with a confirmation hearing. It is an example of what is truly wrong in New Mexico politics when one party controls the legislature for more than eighty years.


Groundhog Day!


Fireworks Bill Bogging Down in Senate

KOB TV - A bill giving the governor and mayors around the state power to ban fireworks may be losing steam in the Roundhouse. The bill moved from one committee to the next this week, but without a “due pass.” That means lawmakers could add or take items out of the bill before it is voted.
This past summer, the City of Albuquerque shut down the Bosque, trails, access to the river, and many parts of the foothills. Mayor Richard Berry tapped out his legal abilities to protect the Bosque from fire. The one thing he couldn’t do was declare an outright ban of firework sales.
"We got this great natural resource we call the Bosque. If something happens there it would take generations for it to come back," Berry said.
State lawmakers have been debating Senate Bill 5, which gives the authority to Governor Susana Martinez, mayors, or county officials to ban fireworks if weather conditions get dangerous. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Immigrant license bill faces test

From KRQE-TV.com - SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and her allies are making another appeal to the Legislature to overturn a New Mexico law allowing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. The House Judiciary Committee is to consider legislation on Wednesday that Democrats are offering as an alternative to the governor's proposal. The Democratic-backed measure continues to allow driver's licenses to illegal immigrants but for only two years before needing renewal. Currently, licenses can last four or eight years. The proposal also will cancel licenses previously issued to foreign nationals if they fail to renew them within two years. Martinez opposes that bill, contending it's a public safety risk to grant licenses to illegal immigrants. Read more

Marcantel confirmed at Corrections, Lopez defends news releases

Gregg Marcantel
From Capitol Report New Mexico - Two days after the chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee questioned the suitability of Gregg Marcantel to serve as the Secretary of the Corrections Department, the 51-year-old law enforcement veteran was endorsed for confirmation on an 8-1 vote Wednesday (Feb. 1). “What I was confused on is why someone wouldn’t first talk to me if they had any questions they have before you send out a press release,” Marcantel said after the confirmation hearing, which came after committee chair Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque) sent out a series of news releases saying Marcantel’s responses to the committee’s vetting process “have identified issues that cannot be ignored.” The initial news release cited Marcantell’s alleged involvement in a number of incidents but two subsequent news releases eliminated references to some of the claims. On Tuesday (Jan. 31), Gov. Susana Martinez criticized Sen. Lopez, saying, “I’m extremely frustrated that politics has taken over the Roundhouse. How someone with such a great reputation in law enforcement and with what ease a letter is sent out [the news release] being critical of someone who has such a great career in law enforcement.” But Sen. Lopez, who was the lone committee member to vote against Marcantel’s appointment on Wednesday, was adamant about her vote. Read more

Homeowners spot cougar in Alto

Here Kitty Kitty
From the Ruidoso News.com - Another mountain lion, or perhaps the same one seen two months ago, has been observed around homes in Alto Lakes. Pictures of the cougar show it next to a home, in a back yard and trekking along a driveway. The sighting happened a couple of weeks ago. A mountain lion that spent some time in the High Mesa Drive and Lake Shore Drive area of Alto Lakes in November and December was never caught by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. A trap had been set to capture the lion, which showed no real fear of people.  "We extended the kill permit for that one," Mark Holguin, an officer with the department said Thursday. "We tried a couple of different things trying to call it in in the Alto area and we were unsuccessful." Holguin said the department had not received any more recent calls about mountain lions in that area until contacted by the Ruidoso News. Game and Fish Department District Supervisor Ben Byrd said when people see a cougar in residential areas they should notify the department. "If it's really acclimated to being around people, it may act like this," Holguin said of the large cat's apparent comfort with people. "In the grand scheme of things, it is pretty unusual, but if it's the same lion that's used to people then it's not too unusual in that regard." Holguin suggested that people who go for walks should do so in pairs because there is increased safety in numbers. He also recommended not allowing pets to roam around outside at night. Read more


Why there is too much money in elections

From the American Thinker - By Robert Weissberg - As the upcoming elections draw closer, let me make three predictions that I personally guarantee. First, they will set a record as being the most expensive ever, even accounting for inflation. Second, all the usual do-gooders and reformers will complain that this money undermines "democracy" and something must be done. Third, all efforts to curtail lavish spending (e.g., limits on individual contributions, public funding of presidential elections, transparency of donations, etc.) will fail, just as before. This hand-wringing about evil money sidesteps the reasons for the increase. Contrary to what reformers insist, soaring spending is not about an epidemic of donor greed to subvert some "public good." The sharp increase is about expanding government power -- big, fat government itself, not nefarious contributors, is the culprit. In a nutshell, heightened generosity reflects Washington's growing intrusion into every corner of our lives. Big-money donations are largely defensive. Nobody gives millions unless necessary, and if government can issue a few rules that might devastate your business, out comes the checkbook, and the greater this potential impact, the greater the generosity. It is no accident that the upturn in campaign donations almost exactly parallels the explosion of Washington's meddling that began in the 1960s and now seems unstoppable. Indeed, savvy office-holders have long known that the most efficient way to boost campaign donations is to propose an odious regulation. By necessity, the targeted industry will respond by hiring more lobbyists, who will then guide campaign donations so as to defeat the proposed rule. Read more: