Bernalillo Co. Commission censures Wiener

From - By: Marissa Torres  - Bernalillo County Commissioners voted to reprimand a fellow commissioner. Michael Wiener has been under fire since KOB Eyewitness News 4 first revealed a photo he had taken with a group of women in a red light district in the Philippines. In emotional meeting Tuesday night, the commission voted to censure him. This censure is basically the commission taking a public stance against Wiener and showing their strong disapproval of his actions. It does not actually remove him from his position. Tuesday, Wiener and Commissioner Wayne Johnson rescued themselves from the vote. It was then left up to the three Democrats, Chair Commissioner Art de la Cruz, Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Maggie hart Stebbins. They voted 3-to-0 to censure Wiener. Wiener stayed quiet through it all and waited to give statement after the vote. He said he respected the commission's decision to censure him, but he would not step down and is continuing his re-election campaign. read more


Senator’s spending fails the smell test

Jack Sullivan
From - by Jack Sullivan, candidate for Democratic Primary in state senate district 39 - Would you describe NFL football tickets, golfing, new tires and credit card payments as “constituent events?” That’s how State Senator Phil Griego describes them and that’s how these expenditures show up on his campaign finance report. To me, this fails the smell test. I believe it also breaks state law. State Sen. Phil Griego, one of my opponents in the June Democratic primary, spent thousands of dollars of campaign contributions last year to buy NFL football tickets and fix his personal vehicle. He paid off his credit card, bought $7,500 in new furniture and spent almost $10,000 playing golf. In fact, in the last two years, when his seat was not up for re-election, Griego raised almost $92,000, primarily from large corporations and lobbyists, and spent nearly $83,000 on so-called constituent services. As a lifelong advocate for open and ethical government, this is a real problem to me. Clearly, Phil Griego has strayed far from the path of responsible and accountable government for New Mexicans. State law forbids elected officials from using their campaign funds for personal expenses. On numerous occasions I believe Senator Griego has broken this law, which is why I’ve asked the secretary of state to request the attorney general to investigate the senator’s finance reports. New Mexicans deserve to know. read more


Want to be Sunland Park mayor? Submit résumé by Friday

Isabel Santos
Las Cruces Sun-NewsSunland Park's top city official said Monday she'll accept résumés through the end of the week for the vacant mayor's post, following a tumultuous meeting last week in which councilors postponed selecting a mayor. Also Monday, two men charged in separate criminal investigations related to Sunland Park city government, including the former acting police chief, pleaded not guilty during arraignment proceedings. Sunland Park Mayor Pro Tem Isabel Santos, the city's top official, said she wants more time in advance of a May 14 meeting to review the résumés of anyone wanting to become the city's mayor. "We need to check all the information of the candidates because the person we appoint is the person to represent us in all the community," she said. In a heated meeting Friday afternoon, Santos stormed out after claiming that notice of the meeting wasn't properly given residents. The city council eventually opted to postpone its selection of the mayor until May 14. A time and place has not be announced. Monday, Santos said she recently fielded a phone message from a new person indicating interest in applying to become mayor. That's in addition to Javier Perea, the 24-year-old former diamond salesman who briefly held the post in recent weeks, and Gerardo Hernandez, the former mayoral candidate who lays claim to the title. Santos said applicants —who must be registered voters and residents of Sunland Park —can drop off their résumés through 5 p.m. Friday at city hall, 1000 McNutt Road. Read More News New Mexico


State Officials Launch New Wildfire Warning System

KUNMNew Mexicans are already able to get information about wildfires on the web or via Twitter.  But State Forestry officials say they're hoping to reach a wider audience with a new email alert system.  Forestry spokesman Dan Ware says the emails will contain a host of information that can't be crammed into a 140 character tweet, including when the fire started, the cause, and a description of threatened homes and communities. At first, people who sign up will get notifications about all fires in the state.  But Ware says as the system grows, it will become targeted to each user's specific location. "So if someone in Bernalillo just wants information about fires that are occurring on state and private land in Bernalillo County, they'll be able to just receive that.  People can get as many as they want and as few as they want," says Ware. Meanwhile, Governor Susana Martinez is issuing another call to action in advance of fire season.  A nonprofit called Housing for Emergency Evacuees and Displaced (HEED) helps locate host families for people displaced by fire who may not be able to stay in shelters because of infants, pets, disabilities or age. "I'm asking any New Mexican who would like to serve as a host family if a fire forces evacuation in New Mexico to get involved and sign up," says Governor Martinez.The organization was started by Kristin Derr, who lost her own family home in the 2000 Cerro Grande fire.  HEED found temporary homes for over a dozen families displaced by last year's Las Conchas fire. Read More News New Mexico


Prominent Physicist Resignation Letter to APS

Scientific debate is being systematically squelched in the American Physical Society. Consider this resignation letter by prominent Physicist Harold Lewis. Ice Age Now
Dear Curt:
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists.
We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?
How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Read full letter here: News New Mexico

Climate change and the presidential campaign

Marita Noon
Global warming has been off the energy-news radar as high gas prices have usurped the spotlight—however Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has brought it back. “Defense Secretary?” you might ask. “Not Energy Secretary Steven Chu or EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson?”
No. It was Leon Panetta, who, at an Environmental Defense Fund reception on Thursday May 3, declared “The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security.” (Are we going to declare war on countries like Canada for backing out of the Kyoto climate change commitments, or China and India for never supporting them in the first place?)
Panetta’s comments tell us two things. First, as I’ve stated in a previous column, the environmental community is important to the president’s re-election efforts, and, second, global warming will be part of the debate in the coming months leading up to November.
President Obama campaigned with the promise that he would slow the rise of the oceans and enact cap-and-trade legislation. Talk of manmade climate change was central to his election efforts. Now we know it will still be a part of the re-election rhetoric. Read rest of column here: News New Mexico

Enironmentalists Take Advantage of Fire Season

KRQE - Environmentalists are planning a series of demonstrations around New Mexico on Saturday to bring awareness to the threat of wildfire and other implications of a changing climate. The group is coordinating events in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos and Socorro. In all, more than 1,000 demonstrations are planned around the world. Environmentalists and a group of firefighters met earlier this week in the Jemez Mountains to look at the burn scar left by last summer's Las Conchas fire. The largest in state history, the blaze charred more than 156,000 acres, destroyed homes and forced evacuations. Read full story here: News New Mexico