Hair stylist refuses to cut Gov. Martinez' hair

From - Governor Susana Martinez has lost a hair stylist thanks to her position against gay marriage. Antonio Darden, a popular stylist who runs Antonio's Hair Studio in Santa Fe, said he cut Martinez' hair three times, but that's it - unless she changes her mind about gay marriage. "The governor's aides called not too long ago, wanting another appointment to come in," Darden said. "Because of her stances and her views on this I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I'd changed my mind about taking the governor in and I said no again." The governor has said she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that does not cut it with Darden. "I think it's just equality, dignity for everyone," the popular hair stylist said. "I think everybody should be allowed the right to be together. My partner and I have been together for 15 years." Darden said gay couples do not have the same rights that married couples have, and he is determined to fight that, even if it means losing an important customer. Ironically, the governor has been taking heat from the religious right and from one prominent big-church fundamentalist preacher in particular, for appointing an openly gay man to a position on the state Public Regulation Commission. Read story

Deming tops NM gas prices

From the Deming Headlight - By Matt Robinson, - Deming is home to the most costly gasoline in the state, according to the state gas price watchdog. While rising gas prices do add more funds to state coffers, the economic impact on consumers can drive down gross receipts tax income as folks have less money to spend after filling up. One station hit $3.69 a gallon Monday reported by That price was 10 cents more a gallon than the next most expensive stations, which are located in Hobbs. The cheapest state gas prices on Monday were found in the Albuquerque area and other northern portions of the state. The least expensive gas came in at $2.99 a gallon in Albuquerque. According to the watchdog, average retail prices of gasoline in the state have risen 5.4 cents per gallon within the past week. The state average on Monday was $3.27 per gallon. "There is a direct correlation," Senator John Arthur Smith (D-Deming), said Monday of gas prices and state coffers. "Once it reaches a certain price, you start losing gross receipts because you no longer have the disposable income to make retail purchases because you're putting it in the car." Read more

BREAKING: LANL Announces Planned Staff Reductions

Albuquerque JournalSome 400 to 800 workers will be leaving Los Alamos National Laboratory this spring — preferably by choice, the lab announced Tuesday.
Lab Director Charlie McMillan told workers the staff reduction plan has been sent to the National Nuclear Security Administration for approval, calling it a “voluntary separation program.”
This chunk will be taken from the 7,585 permanent employees at LANL, explained spokesman Fred deSousa. It will not affect students, post-doctoral, term or union workers, he said, noting that those groups bring LANL’s current employment to 11,127 people.

“We are taking these actions now in an attempt to reduce the risks of involuntary layoffs,” said McMillan in a news release. “When combined with a suppressed attrition rate for the past three years, our current budget and future outlook require significant cost-cutting.”
The lab’s budget for the current fiscal year, at $2.2 billion, is $300 million lower than the previous year, and no growth is expected in future budgets, according to its official news release. For More News Mexico. Albuquerque Journal subscription required. 


'World’s Largest Matanza' this weekend

From - By Bill Diven - A cooking competition built around a traditional matanza is expected to draw 15,000 to the Valencia County Sheriff’s Posse Fairgrounds in Belen this Saturday. The 12th annual event from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will feature 25 teams cooking more than 40 pigs in a number of competitions. Admission of $10 for spectators 11 and older includes viewing the events, a kiddie corral, arts-and-crafts fair, entertainment and all-you-can-eat food. The posses grounds are 1.6 miles east from the north Belen exit off Interstate 25. Proceeds fund scholarships for Valencia County students through the Valencia County Hispano Chamber of Commerce. The chamber had cancelled the matanza after a dispute with the U.S. Department of Agriculture over food-safety regulations.  The dispute was resolved, but that delayed the event about a month. Read more

Martinez looks to unseat legislative foes

Gov. Susana Martinez
From - by  - When State Sen. Clinton Harden announced this weekend that he won’t seek another term, he gave Gov. Susana Martinez her first victory of the 2012 election.
Not that she’ll publicly claim victory or he’ll give it to her, but Harden’s announcement came days after the Clovis Republican learned that he would face a tough primary challenge that had the fingerprints of Martinez and her political adviser, Jay McCleskey, all over it. Martinez, also a Republican, has repeatedly threatened to help voters decide what to do about legislative incumbents who get in the way of the reforms she proposes. As of its last report in October, her political action committee had about $300,000 on hand to do just that. The apparent targeting of Harden shows that Martinez, fresh off another round of high-profile legislative losses on her top reform proposals, intends to remake the Legislature in this year’s election. That means going after anyone, Democrat or Republican, who has stood in her way. Read more


Getting to Know Susana

Last week we reported that Susana Martinez continues to make national news. The governor was interviewed by Senior National Review Editor Jay Nordlinger. Nordlinger then agreed to appear on News New Mexico and talk about his trip to Santa Fe. Nordlinger spent a couple of days getting to know Governor Susana Martinez face-to-face.
The Nordlinger column, which was a feature in the print version on the magazine National Review is now available online. You can read it here: News New Mexico

Martinez Signs Anit-Corruption Law

Susana Martinez
Yesterday, Governor Susana Martinez signed Senate Bill 197, legislation that will allow judges to impose additional financial penalties on public officials convicted of corruption, including the cost of the individual’s pension and other benefits. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Payne (R-Albuquerque), passed with bi-partisan support during this year’s legislative session. Governor Martinez was joined at the Metropolitan Courthouse in Albuquerque by Sen. Payne and Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), who also sponsored anti-corruption legislation in the House.
“Corrupt public officials should not be allowed the benefit of their taxpayer-funded salaries and pensions,” said Governor Martinez. “This measure sends a strong message that corruption in New Mexico will not stand. It is a great step forward, and I urge legislators of both parties to continue working with me to pass additional measures to protect taxpayers from corrupt public officials in the future.”
SB 197 will allow a judge who is sentencing an individual convicted of public corruption to levy fines that are equivalent to the individual’s salary, pension, and fringe benefits.
“I appreciate the support of Republicans and Democrats alike in passing this important legislation, which will hold public officials accountable when they steal from taxpayers," added Senator Payne. “Corruption should not be tolerated in New Mexico, and I’m proud to join Governor Martinez in our common fight to clean up state government.


President Obama's Fake Fossil Fuel Infatuation

Marita Noon
President Obama’s crush on oil and gas was short lived. On January 24, he angered his green base when, in his State of the Union address (SOTU), he stated that he is directing his “administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources.” He also called for “every possible action” to develop “a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly one hundred years.” Greenpeace’s reaction: “President Obama announced a potential environmental nightmare when he called tonight for more than 75% of offshore oil and gas resources to be exploited.” Time’s Ecocentric blog chastised him for barely mentioning even the words “climate change.” Others felt that his “cheerleading” for greater shale gas drilling risked the enthusiastic support of environmentalists and accused him of selling out the environment for re-election. Over all, the SOTU “left many eco friendly people more than a little unhappy.” Not to worry. His infatuation with fossil fuels was merely a short-lived crush.
Days after touting oil and gas in the SOTU, President Obama released his proposed 2013 budget. While the Financial Times declared that “everybody knows it has no chance of passing,” they did acknowledge that it does offer “a foretaste of the priorities he would pursue in a second term.” And, the foretaste will bring his green base back into the tent and “sets up a fight with the oil and gas industry.”
President Obama has frequently attempted to raise taxes on the oil and gas industry, and that theme is repeated in the budget—and some exclusively single out the oil and gas industry. One such tax hike proposal involves the Section 199 manufacturer’s deduction, which was part of the American Jobs Creation Act passed by Congress in 2004, as an incentive to retain manufacturing and production jobs in the US. Section 199 allows a deduction equal to a percentage of net income from production activities in producing new products such as manufacturing, producing, or growing tangible personal property, production of a qualified film, architectural engineering services, and production of electricity and natural gas. While other industries will be able to keep their 9% deduction, the oil and gas industry is already only allowed 6%, but under the proposed budget, Section 199 would be totally repealed for oil and gas companies. So much for the “fairness” rhetoric and American independence from foreign oil and gas. Read rest of the column here: News New Mexico