Santa Fe ditches its public education superintendent

Bobbie Gutierrez, Santa Fe Public Schools
Photo COURTESY: SF Reporter
From Capitol Report New - Back in 1962, an angry Richard Nixon uttered a famous line – “You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” — after he lost his bid for governor of California. On Monday night (Feb. 27), the outgoing superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools made a similar comment to a reporter at the city’s alternative weekly newspaper. “You don’t have to deal with me anymore,” Bobbie Gutierrez told Wren Abbott of the Santa Fe Reporter, “and that will be one of my greatest pleasures.” Wow. On Monday night, the Santa Fe school board bid goodbye to Gutierrez, voting 3-2 to buy out the remaining one year-plus on her contract. That means Gutierrez will receive $168,428 — a pretty nice payout but the fact that three school board members were willing to do it indicates the level of frustration parents and taxpayers in Santa Fe are experiencing with its struggling public school system. And the word “struggling” is an understatement. Recent statistics show a shockingly low graduation rate for Santa Fe public school students — just 53 percent. “In some other studies, the number is 60 percent,” school board member Steven Carrillo told Capitol Report New Mexico, “but regardless, those numbers are … pretty bad.” Gutierrez and others in the Santa Fe system had pointed out that nearly two-thirds of the city’s public school students qualify for free and reduced lunch programs but critics countered that while the poverty level has to be considered, the fact remains that 56 of the 89 school districts in New Mexico have higher percentages of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches than Santa Fe and that 55 of those 56 districts have higher high school graduation rates. Read more

Board questions safety of Sandia reactor

From the Santa Fe New - AP - ALBUQUERQUE -- A federal oversight board is questioning the safety of a nuclear reactor at Sandia National Laboratories.  The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Tuesday sent Sandia National Laboratories a letter saying a recent safety review of the Annular Core Research Reactor at Sandia raised concerns about unreliable safety systems.  The review comes several years after watchdogs began questioning nuclear safety at the Albuquerque lab.  Citizen Action says it doesn't believe the lab has ever adequately addressed questions about whether the facilities could withstand earthquakes, plane crashes or other potential hazards. Citizen Action executive director Dave McCoy notes that the lab is near Albuquerque's Sunport international airport and sits on a series of faults with earthquake potential. Read more


Steinborn to challenge Lujan in Dem primary

Jeff Steinborn (left) and Antonio Lujan
From - Former State Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, announced today that he’s running for the seat currently held by a one-time Democratic House colleague, Antonio Lujan, who announced his own re-election plans last week.Steinborn’s attempt to unseat Lujan in this year’s Democratic primary is certain to upset some party insiders. The race will likely be one of the most hotly contested legislative primaries in the state.Steinborn used to represent District 37 on the northeastern edge of Las Cruces, but he lost the seat in 2010. This year’s redistricting appears to be moving him into Lujan’s inner-city District 35. Though redistricting is still up in the air, the maps currently being considered affect the Las Cruces area the same way, so most think the district boundaries in this area are set.“But Lujan announced his re-election campaign last week, saying he was committed to the race regardless of how redistricting turned out. In an interview today, Lujan said he has no hard feelings against Steinborn, who informed him during the recent legislative session that he might run.“I just told him, Jeff, if you want to run, feel free to do so. It’s nothing personal,” Lujan said. “I don’t have any problems with opposition, and we’ll see who the people choose.”He said he asked Steinborn to commit to a positive campaign.“He didn’t commit to it, but if it doesn’t stay positive then there’s going to be some blood on the ground,” Lujan said. “I don’t want to go that route. I’ve never run a negative campaign. I know how to do them, but that’s not my preference or my style.” Read more


Accused U.S. Traitor Nominated by Nobel Committee for "Peace Prize"

Bradley Manning
The Weekly Standard - Army Pfc. Bradley Manning has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, the Associated Press reports. Manning is most famous for allegedly leaking troves of classified documents, including State Department cables and Military files, to WikiLeaks. He was arraigned last week in Ft. Meade, Maryland and is being charged with "engineering the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history."

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who allegedly received the leaked information from Manning, was nominated last year for the award, though he did not ultimately receive it.
The AP notes that "Being nominated doesn’t say anything about a candidate’s chances. A wide range of submissions come in every year from lawmakers, university professors and others with nomination rights, but the decision rests solely with a five-member panel appointed by Norway’s parliament."
Manning's nomination places him along side Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and other international figures, who have been nominated for this year's award. The Norway committee awards the prize annually. President Barack Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, his first year in the executive office. Read full story here: News New Mexico

With Official on "Site" Matanza Proceeds

KOAT TV - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Thousands of Valencia County residents gathered Saturday to celebrate Matanza, an annual pig slaughtering event in the state. Organizers said the event, dubbed as the world's largest Matanza, was almost cancelled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Officials said the more than 40 pigs to be slaughtered for the Matanza were not processed in a USDA facility.
"I've been in Matanzas most of my life and never have I seen someone get sick, said Belen Mayor Rudy Ortega. Organizers said there had been talks between the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, State Sen. Michael Sanchez and the USDA to find a way that traditional event can go on. They've asked state health inspectors to verify if the pigs were OK to eat.
After the confirmation that the pigs were safe for human consumption, organizers said the USDA allowed the celebration to continue, but with state inspectors on site. Read full story here: News New Mexico