Avionics company bringing jobs to New Mexico

From KOB-TV.com - By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - Some high-skill, high-paying new jobs are on the way for Albuquerque's recovering economy. We're talking avionics here - aircraft instruments. Bendix/King, a major player in the field, has picked Albuquerque for its corporate headquarters and will eventually employ about 140 people, many of them local hires. Bendix/King makes equipment for communications, safety, navigation, identification, and flight controls. The company's president, Kevin Gould, said workers at the new Albuquerque plant will earn $50,000 to $150,000 a year, adding that he looked at a lot of cities before picking Albuquerque. "When it came right down to it, for a business-friendly environment, for a place with an attractive cost-structure, for a pool of experienced aerospace resources, and last but not least great flying weather year-round, Albuquerque was the choice," Gould said. New tax breaks that Governor Susana Martinez fought for in this year's legislative session did not hurt either. "We have reduced taxes in construction industries and manufacturing," Martinez said. "It's extremely important for us to be competitive with our surrounding states and the rest of the country." Read more


Albuquerque police commander under fire for shooting email

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - AP - ALBUQUERQUE — An Albuquerque police commander is under fire after he sent an email to neighborhood leaders blaming two dozen officer-involved shootings on bad parenting, schools and the news media.  Foothills Area Commander Cliff Saylor's email from earlier this month also faulted courts, the mental health profession and the men shot for not following orders, The Albuquerque Journal reported "It is absurd to blame the 23 officer-involved shootings on APD," Saylor wrote on April 13 from his city email account.  Saylor's email was in response to a letter from four City Council Democrats to Mayor Richard Berry in which the councilors called on the mayor to take action to restore trust in the police department, following two dozen officer-involved shootings since the beginning of 2010. Seventeen have been fatal.  Some minority activists are pressing for a U.S. Justice Department probe into the shootings and have held a number of protests outside City Hall.  Police Chief Ray Schultz called the email a "lapse in judgment" and said Saylor received "a verbal counseling" for inappropriate use of his city email account.  "Obviously we believe he had a lapse in judgment," Schultz said. "These were completely his own opinions and, while I know he was frustrated, he should not have made these comments."  Councilor Ken Sanchez, one of the four who signed the letter to Berry, said Saylor's email was out of line. Read more


Saturday Ruidoso fire could have been worse

From the Ruidoso News - Firefighters responded to a fire north of Ruidoso Saturday and held it to about a third of an acre. "We were lucky on this one," incident commander and Bonito Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief Rick Hall said. "It could have been much worse." Hall said winds were calm Saturday. A Bonito Volunteer firefighter thinning trees on a lot nearby spotted the smoke and sounded the alarm at 2:45 p.m., according to the Bonito Volunteer Fire Department. A neighbor also spotted the fire and used a garden hose to help contain the blaze. One Bonito Volunteer Fire Department unit with five personnel, three U.S. Forest Service engines with 12 personnel, a Ruidoso Fire Department engine and crew and a Lincoln County Sheriff's deputy responded to the fire and had it contained by about 4:15 p.m. Crews returned Sunday to insure the embers were completely extinguished. A homeowner burning slash piles caused the fire, which was reportedly moving into heavy timber and underbrush with downed logs and moving up trees when firefighters arrived. The Bonito Fire Department reported the homeowner had notified the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department of the slash pile burning Friday and thought the remains were OK to leave until Saturday. Read more

House Democrats launch probe of alleged Wal-Mart bribery

NewsNM Swickard - my friend Patye says, "How funny....we have the GSA scandal..The Secret Service Scandal..The Solyndra and all the Green Energy Scandals..and Fast and Furiious and this is what the Dems focus on....Wal-Mart..." From FoxNews.com -  A pair of top House Democrats disclosed Monday they are investigating allegations that Wal-Mart's Mexican subsidiary paid bribes to speed permits for new-store openings. (D-Md.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) are seeking an in-person meeting with company officials this week to address the allegations that employees of Wal-Mart de Mexico (Walmex) made a series of illicit payments to local government officials in Mexico prior to 2006, Dow Jones Newswires reported. The Mexican government said late Monday it sees no need to itself investigate the retailer, with the office of President Felipe Calderon saying in a statement that, if the accusations are true, then the issue is a local matter as bribes for construction and other permits would have been paid to municipal or state officials. Read more

Las Cruces to Turn off Utilities for Unpaid Tickets

From thenewspaper.com -With more and more vehicle owners simply deciding refuse to pay red light camera and speed camera tickets, private, for-profit companies and municipalities are growing increasingly desperate. America's second-largest city shut down its photo ticketing program last year largely because residents who could not afford the $500 citations did not pay them. On Monday, Las Cruces, New Mexico announced it would shut off the utilities of city residents who refused to pay Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that owns and operates the cameras. "The city is notifying offenders by mail that they have until the due date stated in the letter to pay the fines or make satisfactory payment arrangements," a Las Cruces press release warned. "Failure to comply will result in termination of utilities services." Las Cruces claims vehicle owners owe $2 million. To encourage payment of the $100 photo fines, the city says it will employ an ordinance the council adopted in 1988 giving itself the right to shut off utility service to residents declared delinquent for any reason.  "The city may decline, fail or cease to furnish utility service to any person who may be in debt to the city for any reason, except ad valorem taxes and special assessments," city code Section 28-10 states. The city provides gas, water, sewer and trash services. Ordinarily, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission prevents shutting off the utilities of low-income residents from November 15 to March 15. This is primarily a safety issue as lack of heating during a cold snap -- Las Cruces recorded a -10 degree temperature in 1962 -- could endanger the elderly. The commission also protects the seriously ill and customers on Medicaid or on assistance from a charitable organization. A spokesman for the commission, however, told TheNewspaper that no such protections apply to utilities run by a municipality. To have service restored, Las Cruces and its private vendor will charge a $48 re-connection fee on top of $125 per ticket.

NM Land Office and UNM Sign Research Agreement

 From newschannel10.com -The New Mexico Land Office and the University of New Mexico have signed an agreement that clears the way for sharing information about plant and animal species on state trust lands. The memorandum of understand was signed during a ceremony Monday on the university's campus in Albuquerque. Land Commissioner Ray Powell says the agreement will lead to a better understanding of state trust lands as well as better management practices. For UNM faculty, staff and students, the agreement provides for what officials call a "unique opportunity" to make advances in biology and ecology. Officials say researchers will be able to look at how New Mexico's flora and fauna are responding to changing conditions and how those responses could impact everything from food security and sustainability to invasive species.

NM SIC Puts Advisor on Notice

From capitolreportnewmexico.com -The previous council under then-Gov. Bill Richardson was plagued with accusations that the SIC made investments based more upon political ties than on the fiscal benefit of the commission, which is responsible for billions of public dollars. Some council members were surprised to learn from New Mexico Watchdog reports and subsequent media stories that Sun Mountain had invested an additional $2.5 million in state venture capital money in Growstone since 2008. All told, some $13.5 in taxpayer money has gone to the Earthstone/Growstone venture. Under an agreement that council members unanimously passed Tuesday, Sun Mountain Capital “consents to reasonable oversight of its management” of the private equity funds it is under contract to handle for the SIC as well as keep the council up to date on all investment activity while conducting “itself pursuant to the highest standards of ethics.”  More here


The race for Republican delegates

Paul Smith
Paul Smith - The Republican race for the presidential nomination is all about the delegates. Score 1,144 delegates and the nomination is yours. But it is a complicated process, with delegate procedure varying greatly from state to state. Unfortunately, the national media makes no attempt to understand these intricacies, opting instead to report delegate totals in a way that misrepresents the facts. I hope to give readers a more accurate picture of the delegate situation—and of the status of the race in general.

As of today, 32 states have voted, accounting for a total of 1291 delegates. Some states (like Florida) gave the winner every delegate. Some (like New Hampshire) awarded their delegates proportionally.  Thus far, these two sorts of states have awarded a total of 913 delegates. These 913 delegates are bound, meaning they must support a certain candidate. Of these, we know that Mitt Romney has 554, Rick Santorum 197, Newt Gingrich 129, and Ron Paul 33.  

But 1291 (the total number of delegates so far) minus 913 (the total number of bound delegates) still leaves 378 delegates. So what of these other 378 delegates? Who gets them? This question is ignored by the media, who like to pretend that these delegates are awarded in the same manner as mentioned above. But the truth is that many states hold caucuses instead of primaries, and do not award their delegates to any specific candidate. Their delegates are unbound: they may support any candidate they choose at the Republican National Convention.

Here lies the strength of the Ron Paul campaign. In each of these caucus states, the campaign has organized concerted efforts to get Ron Paul supporters elected as these unbound delegates. This strategy is paying off immensely:  initial results indicate that Ron Paul will control a majority of those 378 delegates at the convention. The collapse of the Rick Santorum campaign also bodes well for Ron Paul’s delegate count. As noted earlier, Santorum has been awarded 197 bound delegates. But now that he is out of the race, these delegates will become unbound, meaning that they can vote their conscience at the convention. And many of those delegates just happen to be anti-establishment folks who have now turned to Ron Paul as the last remaining conservative in the race.

When these facts about the delegates are taken into account, it is clear that the race is far from over. A more realistic analysis of the delegate race would put Paul close behind Romney—in second place with somewhere between three and four hundred delegates.

Now, New Mexico is a proportional primary state that awards bound delegates to each candidate who receives fifteen percent or more of the vote.  We New Mexico Republicans faced a similar choice in our 2008 primary: a career moderate, or Ron Paul. We chose the moderate, John McCain, and we got four years of Barack Obama. I encourage all Republicans to consider supporting Dr. Paul, the only candidate who can beat the current president.  Don’t be misled by the media’s shoddy reporting.  Stand up, be counted, and help return the Republican Party to the Constitution, and the presidency of the United States. 

Paul Smith is a Grassroots Coordinator for the Ron Paul Presidential Campaign in Dona Ana County. He has worked with the campaign since January, traveling in an official role to Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Louisiana before returning to the Mesilla Valley this month to assist the grassroots movement. The founder of Aggies for Ron Paul, a chapter of the national campaign’s Youth For Ron Paul directive, Paul earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hillsdale College, MI, where he majored in English Literature and Religious Studies. 


Moths invade NM in high numbers

Courtesy of Heath Haussamen
KRQEThey get in your homes, cars and in your face, they are of course moths. News 13 has received a number of calls and emails about what some people are calling "mothageddon.'" Bug experts say about all you can do right now is swat them away and just deal with them. It's really the only defense you have until the moths die off or leave. The blame for all this lies in the drought and dry winter we've just experienced. Most are coming in from the mountains looking for water and food. There is little for the insects to feast on water wise. They're looking for water in neighborhood yards or along the Rio Grande. As for calling an exterminator, Richard "The Bug Man" Fagerlund says there's no need to call one, just keep a watchful eye out. "Yeah, just let 'em go," says Fagerlund. "They're not going to breed in your yard it's way damp at this time, they're going to try and get some moisture and get something to eat and then leave." The recent influx of moths should taper off around June according to Fagerlund. The only relief to lowering the number of moths is rain.  However, if we have another dry summer in New Mexico, you can expect the moths will be back in high number come fall. Read More News New Mexico


Carl vs. The Machine: Trujillo nixes debates with David Coss in Roundhouse race

Carl Trujillo
Capitol Report New MexicoTwo years ago, Carl Trujillo came within a hair’s breadth of pulling off a stunning upset when he came within 80 votes of upsetting Speaker of the House Ben Luján (D-Nambé) in the Democratic primary in House District 46 that makes up parts of Santa Fe, Nambé, Pojoaque and other communities in northern New Mexico. Luján has stepped down and now Trujillo is facing Santa Fe Mayor David Coss, who says he won’t step down from his mayoral duties should he win. Holding two offices at once? That has raised some eyebrows. But Trujillo has politicos talking as well as the 45-year-old who works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory has refused to debate Coss — and in an interview with Capitol Report New Mexico on Monday (April 23), Trujillo says he has no intentions of changing his mind between now and the June 5 Democratic primary. “In modern day politics, it seems the debates are so polarizing and so toxic and so bitter and there’s real issues out there,” Trujillo said just before hosting one of a series of what his campaign calls “listening parties” at a Pojoaque restaurant. “Rather than going through that other process [of debates] I’d rather spend that time listening to the people.” Coss’ reaction? “I guess that’s his choice. I did 14 forums in my last campaign,” Coss said in a phone interview Monday. “This is a Democratic Party forum, sponsored by the party and I’m a proud Democrat.” Read More News New Mexico


Environmentalism: less about hugging trees, more about bringing America to her knees

Marita Noon
Despite his speechmaking touting an “all of the above” energy strategy, President Obama’s reelection could depend his willingness to stand in the way of developing America’s resources. Back in November, at the time of the original Keystone XL pipeline decision, environmental groups threatened to pull their backing for Obama if he approved the pipeline. Michael Brune, executive director of America’s largest environmental group, the Sierra Club, is on record as saying that the President’s decision on Keystone would have “a very big impact” on how they funnel their resources—with the obvious implication being that they would not support the President if he didn’t do their bidding. Other environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Fund took a different tack but with the same goal. A press release from the Rainforest Action Network promised the President that if he denied Keystone, he would see a “surge of enthusiasm from the green base that supported you so strongly in the last election.” Environmental groups clearly understand they have the ability to influence the President’s decisions based on their claims to support—or not support—his bid for a second term. So far, they must be pleased with his administration’s efforts. On Wednesday, April 18, leading environmental groups came out with their official endorsement of President Obama—“the earliest” the groups “have ever endorsed in a presidential election cycle.” According to The Hill, “The groups are planning a mix of advertising and on-the-ground work on Obama’s behalf.” However, Glenn Hurowitz, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, thinks the groups should have waited longer before endorsing the President. He believes the early endorsement removes the “greens’ leverage.” Read More News New Mexico