DOE Spending $4.4M to Train Firefighters to Combat Volt Explosions

From directorblue -Last week, the Obama Administration sought to increase the Chevrolet Volt purchaser tax credit from $7,500 to $10,000.  All this for a car so dangerous to first responders that the Department of Energy allocated $4.4 million dollars for programs to prevent fire fighters from electrocuting themselves while trying to rescue crash victims.  According to industry expert Gary Howell of Howell Automotive, one of the problems lies with the batteries that power the vehicle. “The lithium-ion used in modern electric cars are not like the old lead-acid batteries of the past. They are more powerful and, when damaged, the fluid inside can leak out, creating a short on the circuit boards that are used to control the batteries. The fluid dries and crystallizes, creating a short, sometimes weeks after the damage to the battery occurred.”  More News New Mexico

N.M EIB Repeals Green House Gas Rule

From -A little more than a month after repealing New Mexico’s cap and trade program, the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) on Friday (March 16) repealed the second of two climate regulations passed in the final weeks of the administration of former Gov. Bill Richardson - this one calling for a limit on greenhouse gas emissions. “We examined the rule thoroughly,” EIB chairwoman Deborah Peacock told reporters moments after the board voted 5-0 to repeal what’s commonly called Rule 100, that mandated that generating facilities in the state could not emit more than 25,000 metric tons of CO2. “I think we had the benefit of information that the previous board didn’t have in order to repeal it.”  More News New Mexico

Officials Ramp Up For Commemorative Bataan Death March

From -Tios Pepe and Jose were supposed to get spruced up on a recent Saturday before the wet weather interfered. They're expecting company. They are two of the three faces on the Bataan Memorial Monument, at Veterans Memorial Park, and were among the 1,800 New Mexico National Guard members who survived the Bataan Death March, in April 1942, and lived the rest of their lives with nightmares of all the horrific experiences they endured. But the spirits of Pepe and Jose, with all of those New Mexicans, Americans and Filippinos who suffered — and died — at Bataan has been immortalized among the three larger-than-life bronze statues and the footprints in cement of actual Bataan veterans that are included in the monument. Unveiled 10 years ago, a re-dedication of the Bataan Memorial Monument will be staged March 24 at Veterans Memorial Park. "We're doing this to help educate the children, and the new residents who have come to live here the past 10 years, who may not know the history of Bataan," said Las Crucen Joe Martinez, a nephew of tios Pepe and Jose.  More News New Mexico

NM Gets $4M for Lowest Performing Schools

From -New Mexico has been awarded more than $4 million in federal education funds to turn around its lowest-performing schools. The U.S. Department of Education and members of the state's congressional delegation announced the funding Thursday. The money is part of $535 million provided to states under the agency's School Improvement Grants program. To date, New Mexico has received nearly $37 million since the program was redesigned in 2009. U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Lujan says the future success of New Mexico's children depends on access to quality education. The New Mexico Democrat says the focus needs to be on those schools that struggle the most in order to develop an environment that encourages children to learn and succeed. School districts will have to apply to the state for funding.  More News New Mexico

Rep. Thomas Garcia Planning Run for State Senate

Rep. Thomas Garcia
From -State Rep. Thomas Garcia said today he is inclined to run for the state Senate, and likely will challenge fellow Democrat Pete Campos in the June primary election. Garcia said in an interview that he had taken out petitions for both House and Senate seats, but was leaning toward the Senate race. He has until Tuesday's filing deadline to decide. Garcia, of Ocate, would have to run against fellow Democrat Nick Salazar if he tried to stay in the House of Representatives.  Redistricting has thrown Garcia and Salazar into the same House district. Garcia, 41, originally joined the House of Representatives in 2006 as an appointee of then-governor Bill Richardson. Garcia said he committed to the people in his five-county northern New Mexico district that he would represent them for 10 years.  With redistricting, Garcia said, the Senate district that Campos represents more closely resembles the area he originally committed to serve. Running against Campos could be the more difficult race for Garcia.  Campos, 58, is a community college president from Las Vegas. He has been a senator since 1991.  Salazar is 82 years old and would have to campaign in a redrawn district that stretches to the Colorado border.  More News New Mexico

Governor to Attend Lobos NCAA Game

Governor Martinez
From -Gov. Susana Martinez is joining Lobos fans in Portland, Ore. for the University of New Mexico's next basketball game in the NCAA tournament. The governor attended a fundraiser Friday in Denver benefiting the Republican National Committee and the Colorado Republican Party. Martinez political adviser Jay McCleskey said those political groups are paying for her travel expenses. The governor and her husband, Chuck Franco, will pick up the costs of the next leg of her trip. They're flying from Denver to Portland to watch the Lobos take on Louisville on Saturday. They will return to New Mexico later in the weekend, according to a spokesman for the governor.  If New Mexico wins Saturday, it will be the first time the Lobos advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA men's tournament.

N.M. Ad Calling For "Light Skin" Latinos

From -New Mexico's new tourism ad isn't even on the air yet, but it's already creating controversy for its casting choices. First, the Tourism Department touched some local nerves by hiring a Texas firm to produce its new branding campaign. That firm chose a California producer rather than someone in New Mexico's film industry to shoot the spot. And on Friday, traditional and social media was abuzz over the ad's "real people" casting notice, which called for Caucasian or "light-skinned" Hispanics to star in the spot. The Santa Fe New Mexican in an editorial Friday called the "light-skinned" requirement "wrong-headed." "Hearing that term brings to mind a vision of casting agents holding up paper bags next to people's faces to ensure they can pass," the Santa Fe New Mexican wrote. "We don't know, of course, who made it into the shoot and how New Mexico will be presented to the world once the campaign is unveiled. But really, light-skinned only? What were they thinking?"  More News New Mexico

Details of Another Marine's Death Emerging

From - An Afghan soldier shot to death a 22-year-old Marine at an outpost in southwestern Afghanistan last month in a previously undisclosed case of apparent Afghan treachery that marked at least the seventh killing of an American military member by his supposed ally in the past six weeks, Marine officials said. Lance Cpl. Edward J. Dycus of Greenville, Miss., was shot in the back of the head on Feb. 1 while standing guard at an Afghan-U.S. base in the Marja district of Helmand province. The exact circumstances have not been disclosed, but the Dycus family has been notified that he was killed by an Afghan soldier. Marine officials discussed the matter on condition of anonymity because it is still under investigation. When the Pentagon announced Dycus' death the day after the shooting, it said he died "while conducting combat operations" in Helmand. It made no mention of treachery, which has become a growing problem for U.S. and allied forces as they work closely with Afghan forces to wind down the war. The Associated Press inquired about the Dycus case after Maj. Gen. John Toolan, the top Marine commander in Afghanistan at the time, said in an AP interview March 7 that the Afghan government has been embarrassed by recent cases of Afghan soldiers turning their guns on their supposed partners. "I had one just a month ago where a lance corporal was killed, shot in the back of the head, and the Afghan minister of defense was here the next day" to discuss custody of the shooter, Toolan said, speaking from his Regional Command-Southwest headquarters at Camp Leatherneck. After a negotiation aimed at ensuring the Afghan suspect is prosecuted, the Americans turned him over to Afghan government custody, another official said.  More News New Mexico


Compliant Americans

Walter Williams

Townhall - Americans have become compliant in nation-crippling ways. Over the past several years, gasoline prices have been shooting through the roof, but not to worry. President Barack Obama's current secretary of energy, Steven Chu, said in December 2008, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." That translates to $8 or $9 a gallon. During a recent hearing on the Department of Energy's budget, Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., asked Secretary Chu whether it is the DOE's "overall goal" to lower gasoline prices. "No," Chu responded. "The overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy."
Because Americans are so compliant and willing to suffer silently at the gasoline pump, the Obama administration is willing to press on as handmaidens of environmental extremists who want to halt the exploration of our country's vast oil supplies, which are estimated to be triple those of Saudi Arabia. The Obama administration would rather pour more taxpayer dollars into risky alternative crony energy suppliers and electric cars. The OPEC nations have to be laughing at us, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were revealed that they are making under-the-table payments to environmental wackos. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Sanchez Endorses Wilson

New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez announced his endorsement of former Congresswoman Heather Wilson for the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat yesterday. Behind in the polls, Sanchez withdrew from the race last month, in an effort to avoid a divisive GOP primary that he believed would hurt the eventual nominee. Sanchez said Republicans needs to unite behind their strongest candidate.
"We need leaders who aren't afraid to make tough decisions, even when they're unpopular. We start by electing leaders like Heather Wilson to the United States Senate," Sanchez said. Wilson's opponent, is Las Cruces businessman Greg Sowards.


Turner: Educational Reform or Gridlock

Doug Turner
NMPolitics - At a time when good jobs are scarce and our economic future uncertain, lawmakers in Santa Fe have a responsibility to put aside partisan bickering and unite to enact reforms that give New Mexico a real shot at prosperity.

This year, Governor Martinez submitted two school-reform proposals that should have given our legislators the opportunity to show their ability to find a common ground for the greater good.
Her first proposal would have required literacy by 3rd grade, as a means to accurately evaluate student progress. The second would have established measures to finally evaluate educators on the actual results of their work, rather than focusing mostly on seniority and credentials as we do now.
Enacting her legislation would have not only improved our classrooms, it would have sent a strong message to the nation’s job creators that New Mexico is finally serious about improving education. By both rejecting the governor’s proposals and then curtailing the growth of charter schools, the Legislature blocked real efforts to improve quality and accountability in education. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Car Explodes After Border Patrol Chase, Passenger Dead, Border Agent Injured

ABC - The driver has died and a Border Patrol agent has been airlifted to the hospital after a car that was being chased by the Border Patrol near the Mexican border exploded when it was forced to stop.

At about 3 a.m. Thursday morning in eastern San Diego County, Customs and Border Patrol spotted a car with Texas plates driving the wrong way down the highway, according to initial reports. Police sources said that the vehicle blew through a CBP checkpoint and agents gave chase.
Agents used a spike strip to deflate the vehicle's tires, and the driver came to a stop on Old Highway 80, just off Interstate 8 about 10 miles north of the border and 40 miles east of San Diego. When one of the agents approached the car, the driver refused to open the door or the driver's side window.
The agent then attempted to break the window, at which point the vehicle exploded and was engulfed in flames. The agent was knocked to the ground and received lacerations and burns to the face and body. The sole occupant of the vehicle died in the fire. Read full story here: News New Mexico