70 Years Ago Today, the Fall of Bataan

From New Mexico Watchdog -On April 9, 1942, approximately 70,000 American and Filipino soldiers surrendered after the fall of Bataan, including members of the 515th and the 200th Coastal Artillery of the New Mexico National Guard who were taken on the infamous Bataan death march that immediately followed. The circumstances of Bataan have had a profound on New Mexico as some 1,800 Guardsmen were deployed to the Phillipines during World War II and only half would return alive.
On this 70th anniverary, we pause, reflect, remember and salute.

GOP Senate Candidates Weigh In On Mexico's Drug War

From nmpolitics.net- (Heath Haussaman) -Greg Sowards says the long-term solution to Mexico’s drug war is to help Mexicans “realize their own potential” by encouraging free-market reforms; Heather Wilson says the United States must control its borders and disrupt the operations of Mexican drug cartels.  Sowards, a Republican candidate for New Mexico’s open U.S. Senate seat, said the situation in Mexico is not just a drug war, but is “lawlessness that has pervaded the society at every level” as “the societal structure has broken down.” Securing the border, supporting the Mexican military’s efforts to fight drug traffickers and gangs, and ensuring access to areas where undocumented immigrants travel by opposing wilderness designations along the border are steps Sowards wants to take to combat the spillover violence in the United States.  But, in the long run, he said, “the key metric for success comes from encouraging free-market reform in Mexico to bring more people above their poverty line,” which he said would “give Mexicans the economic opportunity to provide for their families closer to home instead of desperately taking to criminal acts or coming to America illegally.” “Mexico is a resource-rich nation, with a wonderful cultural society and social mores, if allowed to survive,” Sowards said. More Here

The George Washington sinks in the Pecos

From the Carlsbad Current-Argus - By Stella Davis - CARLSBAD — Residents living along the Pecos River and recreational boaters on the water sprang into action Saturday afternoon to rescue passengers from a sinking paddleboat. The George Washington stern-wheeler had a load of 44 signtseers when it began going down near the north end of its route. "The residents that launched their boats and others who had been boating on the river really helped us out," said Earl Phelps, Carlsbad Fire Department engineer. "By the time we got to the scene nearly all the people on the George Washington had been brought to safety and there were no injuries. The slightly wet passengers were taken to nearby residential docks and from there returned to port. "We were able to account for everyone that was on the boat," Phelps said.  As passengers were brought to the private docks, a party boat arrived to take them back to the landing dock at Port Jefferson Beach where the trip originated. Read more

Romney and Netanyahu Have Long History

From nytimes.com -The two young men had woefully little in common: one was a wealthy Mormon from Michigan, the other a middle-class Jew from Israel.   But in 1976, the lives of Mitt Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu intersected, briefly but indelibly, in the 16th-floor offices of the Boston Consulting Group, where both had been recruited as corporate advisers. At the most formative time of their careers, they sized each other up during the firm’s weekly brainstorming sessions, absorbing the same profoundly analytical view of the world. That shared experience decades ago led to a warm friendship, little known to outsiders, that is now rich with political intrigue. Mr. Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, is making the case for military action against Iran as Mr. Romney, the likely Republican presidential nominee, is attacking the Obama administration for not supporting Mr. Netanyahu more robustly.
The relationship between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Romney — nurtured over meals in Boston, New York and Jerusalem, strengthened by a network of mutual friends and heightened by their conservative ideologies — has resulted in an unusually frank exchange of advice and insights on topics like politics, economics and the Middle East.  More here


Obama Admin Blocking Fast and Furious Witness Testimony

From dailycaller.com -Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz told the Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly on Friday that although a key White House witness in the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program is willing to testify about what he knows, the Obama administration won’t let him appear before Congress. White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler sent a letter Thursday to Republican lawmakers Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley, refusing their request to speak with Kevin O’Reilly, a former National Security staff member whose emails place him in the middle of the unfolding scandal. Issa and Grassley had written to Ruemmler on March 28, asking the White House to step aside and let O’Reilly talk to investigators. Grassley is the GOP ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Issa chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, whose members include Chaffetz. “[O’Reilly’s] personal attorney indicated that he’s more than willing to talk to the committee, on the record, under oath”” Chaffetz told Kelly during her Friday afternoon broadcast. “It is only the White House and the White House Counsel that is saying they will not make him available.”   More here

NM Retired Teacher Arrested on Fed. Child Porn Charges

From politicalnews.me -A 72-year-old retired teacher residing in Raton, N.M., was arrested on Wednesday on a criminal complaint alleging that he distributed, received and possessed child pornography between Oct. 14, 2011 and April 4. Joseph F. Zinkiewicz made his initial appearance Thursday in federal court in Albuquerque; he is scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 6. Zinkiewicz is temporarily detained pending a detention hearing which also is scheduled for Friday. U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales, District of New Mexico, said that Zinkiewicz was arrested as the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that initially targeted a suspect in the District of Colorado.  According to the criminal complaint, an HSI special agent who was acting in an undercover capacity, communicated with the Colorado suspect and learned that the suspect was a member of a group that used e-mail accounts to distribute and receive child pornography. In November 2011, after the undercover special agent obtained a hard drive containing thousands of child pornography images and videos from the Colorado suspect, HSI obtained a search warrant for the e-mail account used by the Colorado suspect. HSI special agents identified the e-mail accounts of individuals, including Zinkiewicz, who allegedly shared child pornography with the Colorado suspect.  More here

Pj Chick in Black wins $251,358 at Sunland Park

From ktsm.com - Carl Draper’s Pj Chick in Black scored a dominant one-length victory in the $251,358 New Mexican Spring Quarter Horse Futurity at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Easter Sunday. Under Sunland Park’s leading Quarter Horse rider Esgar Ramirez, Pj Chick in Black remained unbeaten in two starts after a scintillating win in the rich 300 yard dash for New Mexico-bred two-year-olds. The brown filly by Desirio was brushed at the break but quickly generated a burst of speed and had full momentum after the first 100 yards. Ramirez directed the talented freshman rocketed to a commanding lead.  Racing at 9-2 odds, Pj Chick in Black gained a comprehensive win and earned $118,139 for owners Fredda Draper and Denny Bowen. More here


Support Waning for Mexican Grey Wolf Program

From necn.com -For the third time in recent weeks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has had one of its partners abandon an agreement that was meant to bring more collaboration to the troubled effort to reintroduce Mexican gray wolves to the Southwest. While it's no secret the effort has been a point of contention among ranchers and environmentalists, one federal official says there will undoubtedly be a loss of perspective with fewer partners at the table. "We like to have that collaboration and that kind of thought process that leads to better decisions," said Wally Murphy, supervisor of the Fish and Wildlife Service's ecological services field office in New Mexico. Murphy called the recent developments "disheartening," given that the wolf program is facing critical decisions this year that will affect its future direction. The Fish and Wildlife Service is working on revamping the wolf recovery plan, which, among other things, will spell out what it will take to eventually get the animal off the federal endangered species list.  More here

Liberal Pac Wants Review of Fairground Lease

From businessweek.com -A union-funded political group asked New Mexico Attorney General Gary King on Thursday to investigate the awarding of a 25-year lease that will permit the Downs at Albuquerque to build a larger casino at the state fairgrounds. Independent Source PAC, in a letter to King, contends that the lease should be invalidated because businesses connected to two of the Down's owners contributed to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's political action committee potentially in violation of a state law restricting donations from potential government contractors. A spokesman for King, who is a Democrat, said the group's allegations will be reviewed. Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said the contributions were permissible under state law and didn't influence decisions on the fairgrounds lease. The state Board of Finance approved the lease last December. The governor voted for the lease. She is the board's president and appoints a majority of its members.  More here

Study: Los Alamos Healthy and Wealthy

Los Alamos, New Mexico
NM Business Journal - In New Mexico, health follows wealth, a recently published study indicates. Los Alamos, ranked the wealthiest county in the nation by the U.S. Census Bureau, was also ranked the healthiest county in the nation. Only 15 percent of residents 20 years and older are physically sedentary, compared to the national average of 21 percent physical inactivity, the study said. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Charges Continue to Mount for Salinas

NMPolitics - Investigators allege that a Sunland Park contractor spent money on alcohol, strippers, prostitutes and a campaign video for city officials, then billed and was reimbursed by the city for the costs.
Daniel Salinas
Former Sunland Park Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Salinas is facing 18 new felony charges alleging fraud and other crimes, many centered around having a city contractor pay for a campaign video, alcohol, strippers and prostitutes, then falsify invoices to get reimbursed by the city.
Two others face charges in the new case – Jesus Dario Hernandez, the city’s public works director, and Jorge I. Angulo, a manager of a company the city hired do to an environmental impact study for a possible border crossing in Sunland Park.
Hernandez, like Salinas, was already facing extortion charges related to using a lap-dance video to try to force one of Salinas’ opponents out of the March 6 mayoral election. Salinas also faces bribery charges in another public corruption case. Read full story here: News New Mexico

BLM Announces Big Fee Increase

Aguirre Springs
KRWG - Las Cruces, NM – In what it calls an effort to maintain and improve facilities and services at three popular fee sites, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Las Cruces District is increasing visitor fees effective May 1, 2012. There have been no fee increases at the sites since 1996 when fees were first established. The sites include the Dripping Springs Natural Area and Aguirre Spring Campground in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, NM, and the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, near Tularosa, NM.
The new fees for day use at all three sites will be $5/vehicle/day, up from $3/day. Camping is also available at both Aguirre Spring Campground and Three Rivers Petroglyph site and fees for camping are $7/campsite. Fees are collected when visitors arrive, either by on-site BLM volunteer hosts, or by submitting payment in envelopes provided at fee kiosks near the entry locations. Read full story here: News New Mexico

UNM Athletic Department a Sea of Red Ink

Albuquerque Journal - University of New Mexico athletics is expected to finish the fiscal year ending June 30 with a deficit of between $1.5 and $2 million, mostly due to lagging football attendance. “There’s still a lot of numbers that are in play and subject to change,” athletics director Paul Krebs said in a telephone interview Friday. “It’s a best estimate at this point.”
Krebs said the biggest contributor to this year’s shortfall is the football program, which brought in “less than anticipated revenues to the tune of about half a million or $600,000.”
UNM football game attendance:
2008: 178,275 over six games.
2009: 161,661 over six games.
2010: 125,330 over six games.
2011: 120,160 over six games.
Source: UNM athletics Read rest of story here: News New Mexico
NewsNM notes - Paul Krebs hired Mike Locksley. UNM regents will "loan" the UNM Athletic Dept. $1.25 million to help cover the shortfall in Krebs Department. Every UNM student's fees will be jacked up by $50 per year to pay for the mess. While UNM spent $700,000 to fire Locksley before his contract was up, Krebs remains on the UNM payroll at a salary of approximately $350,000 a year.

NBC Fired Producer After "Mistake"

Reuters - NBC News' decision to air an edited call from George Zimmerman to police in the moments before he shot Trayvon Martin was "a mistake and not a deliberate act to misrepresent the phone call," according to the president of the network's news division.
The edit in question, which aired on the network's flagship "Today" morning show last week, made it appear that Zimmerman told police that Martin was black without being prompted, when, in fact, the full tape reveals that the neighborhood watch captain only did so when responding to a question posed by a dispatcher.
Under growing public pressure to explain the incident, NBC News President Steve Capus provided Reuters with the fullest explanation to date of how the edited call made it on air and what the network is doing to prevent such a consequential error from happening again. Capus confirmed a previous Reuters report that an internal network investigation had determined that a producer made the editing error, and that the network's editorial controls - including senior broadcast producer oversight, script editors and often legal and standards department reviews of sensitive material to be broadcast - simply missed the selective editing of the phone call.
He said the producer has been fired and "several people" involved were disciplined, though he declined to specify the nature of the disciplinary actions, saying they were internal personnel matters.
Sources at the network told Reuters on Thursday that NBC News executives did not know the emergency call was misleadingly edited until news reports surfaced days later on blogs including newsbusters.org and Breitbart.com. Read full story here: News New Mexico