Judge: Minimum wage question won't be on Nov. 6 ballot; proponents to appeal

From KOB-TV.com - Albuquerque District Court Nan Nash has ruled that a minimum wage question should not be on the ballot for the November 6th election. Judge Nash found that the City Council could not withhold the issue based on a typo that said the wage increase would go to "employers," not "employees." City officials had refused to put that flawed wording on the ballot, saying it could lead to lawsuits. But Judge Nash noted several other problems with the question, specifically, the fact that there are several issues being voted upon - raising the minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50, tying the minimum wage to increases in the consumer price index and employers paying employees who receive tips at least 45% of the minimum wage. Judge Nash found the "all or nothing" aspect to the ballot item problematic. Based on these problems with the question - not the typo - Judge Nash found that it was appropriate for the City Council to refuse to put it on the ballot. Sara Berger is the attorney for the petitioners. She disagreed with the judge's decision. "That it's perfectly legitimate and common for legislation to be enacted with multiple provisions," Berger said. Minimum wage activists said they would appeal District Court Judge Nash's dismissal of their petition against the City of Albuquerque. But Berger said Santa Fe should hear her side out and put this on the November 6 ballot. "A matter of great public importance. I think the law was interpreted wrongly. I think it's important to set the record straight," she said. The State Supreme Court currently is looking over the appeal and could decide as early as Wednesday about the decision. If the appeal is granted, the minimum wage question would be placed on the November 6 ballot. But if the court refuses the appeal, it is back to square one for the petitioners. Read more

Report: Curry County inmates spark fire, flooding

From KOAT-TV.com - CLOVIS, N.M. — Officials say Curry County Detention Center inmates caused a flood and started fires during a random search for contraband. An inmate broke off two sprinkler heads Sunday evening during the searched and caused minor flooding. Curry County Sheriff's Lt. Zach Boone said while deputies were containing that situation, another inmate balled up a T-shirt and toilet paper, lit them on fire, and threw them out of a cell. Boone said a detention officer noticed more inmates than normal in a cell and called for additional officers to inspect it for contraband. The pod was put in a 48-hour lockdown period. No injuries were reported. Read more

A “rookie mistake” by Democrat House candidate

Candidate Mary Ellen Broderick
NewsNM: Swickard - good for Mary Ellen to not bluster, not give excuses - just say it was her mistake and promise not to do it again. Refreshing. From Capitol Report New Mexico - First-time candidate for the state House of Representatives Mary Ellen Broderick of Albuquerque got blasted by the state Republican Party on Tuesday (Sept. 11) after she filed a confusing campaign finance report with the liberal Democrat saying it was a “rookie mistake” and took the blame for the error. “Basically, it’s my bad for waiting until the last minute,” Broderick told Capitol Report New Mexico, referring to the Monday 5 p.m. deadline for candidates to turn in their finance reports for the period between July 1-September 3. On Tuesday morning, the state Republican Party sent out a news release pointing to what it said were some 30 violations of the Campaign Practices Act in Broderick’s filing, saying, “one must ask if she is intentionally attempting to keep her big out of state, DC union donors a secret from her voters.” Reached on the phone, Broderick said she waited until the last minute to file the report and had problems uploading the spreadsheet to the Secretary of State’s Office. “I felt like a jerk,” Broderick said, adding that “It was a novice, rookie mistake and nothing intentional on my part.” Broderick said she was working Tuesday morning with an official at the Secretary of State’s Office to straighten out the problem and by Tuesday evening, an amended filing appeared on the SOS website. You can click here to see the corrected version. Broderick, who writes for the liberal blog Democracy for New Mexico, is the Democratic Party nominee in House District 30 where she faces Republican state Rep. Nate Gentry. Read more


State Supreme Court cancels Ruidoso school board recall

Ruidoso Schools Nob Hill Campus
NewsNM:Swickard - this issue has been tearing the school district apart and I for one am glad the Supreme Court acted as they did to settle this down. Next school board election is the correct place to make any changes, not as a recall. From the El Paso Times - By Milan Simonich / Texas-New Mexico Newspapers - SANTA FE - The New Mexico Supreme Court voted 3-2 this afternoon to cancel a scheduled recall election targeting two school board members in Ruidoso. Chief Justice Petra Jimenez Maes announced the ruling from the bench after 15 minutes of deliberation. She said the court majority found no corrupt action by the board members, Devin Marshall and Curt Temple. They upset certain Ruidoso residents by placing the superintendent on leave. Read more

Kiwanis Club vows to address Zozobra complaints

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - by Chris Quintana - Members of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe said they are the first to admit that this year’s Zozobra burning didn’t go as well as it could have. Ray Valdez, organizer of the annual Will Shuster’s Zozobra, and Raymond Sandoval, an attorney for the local Kiwanis Club, said they know the pacing of this year’s event, the Fire Dancers, the Judge, the wind delay and the music selections have ruffled Santa Fe’s collective feathers. Sandoval said the group is always honored to host the event, which requires a balance of new and old elements. The Kiwanis Club inherited the event from the late artist Will Shuster in 1964, and since then, the burning has attracted a much larger crowd, which naturally creates logistical issues for the organizers. And plenty of people are complaining about those issues. A blog on the Santa Fe Reporter’s site condemned the event for its high prices and the drawn-out performance. Moreover, Santa Fean Heather Burke has started a petition in favor of lowering the cost and making the event more family-friendly. Burke said she created the petition so she, and others like her, could voice a growing concern about Zozobra. Moreover, she said she chose to address the petition to Mayor David Coss because the Kiwanis Club is a private nonprofit. Burke said that after she found out about the $20 ticket cost this year, she wrote a letter to the Kiwanis Club and the mayor — and while she received a response from the mayor, she hasn’t heard from the club. She said she didn’t attend this year’s burning because of the price tag. Read more

73 DACC Nursing Students Transition To NMSU Program

From KRWG-TV.com - By Fred Martino - A total of 73 former Dona Ana Community College nursing students are now part of New Mexico State University's Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program. The students transitioned to NMSU following the loss of accreditation for the DACC Nursing Program. While many students have elected to transition into the BSN program at NMSU, still others have chosen to remain at DACC to finish their associate degrees in nursing. "These students have been our top priority," said Bernadette Montoya, NMSU's vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. "NMSU President Barbara Couture directed us to do everything possible to ensure these students could continue their education and pursue careers in nursing. Faculty, staff and administrators throughout the NMSU system have worked collaboratively to make that happen." Both NMSU and DACC have offered scholarships to cover tuition and fees for those students impacted by the recent loss of accreditation. This financial aid is separate from normal scholarship funding. Scholarships for other NMSU and DACC students are not affected by this effort. Read more

courtesy of http://www.conservativedailynews.com/


West Nile victim becomes first fatality in NM

Las Cruces Sun-NewsThe New Mexico Department of Health announced today that a 76-year-old man from Bernalillo County has died from West Nile virus infection — the first fatality in the state this year because of the virus. The man had meningitis and encephalitis, the more severe clinical form of the disease, and had been hospitalized since Aug. 23. The department of health originally reported the case on Aug. 29. "We extend our sympathy to the man's family and friends who are grieving for their loss," Cabinet Secretary of Health Catherine Torres said. Continued Torres: "We all need to do our best to prevent mosquito bites, especially people older than 50, who are at most at risk for developing serious complications from the disease."
Also, three new cases of illness have been confirmed in the state since Sept. 7:
• 44-year-old man from Bernalillo County with encephalitis/ meningitis.
•21-year-old woman from Valencia County with encephalitis/ meningitis.
•73-year-old woman from Sandoval County with encephalitis/ meningitis.
Doña Ana County has had five reported cases of West Nile infection. The total for New Mexico so far is 21. Read More News New Mexico


Young people, don't vote for Obama

Alex Schriver
Alex Schriver will join News New Mexico Thursday in the second hourCNN - In his September 4 op-ed, Jack Schlossberg presents his case that young Americans should cast their ballots for President Obama this fall. Published on the same day it was widely reported that the national debt had hit $16 trillion, his piece is as ill-timed as it is unconvincing.  Seeking to speak to and for his generation, he characterizes Obama as "our biggest ally in Washington." He neglects, of course, to recount the harsh realities of the Obama economy. Instead, his message rests on the flimsy notion that we should hang on a little bit longer because enduring change takes time. You may be wondering what happened to "We can't wait" and "Yes we can." Schlossberg concedes that we're "a little more cynical," but contends that "just because our politics and government can disappoint us sometimes doesn't mean we should forget how far we've come." How far we've come? Unfortunately, such an argument demonstrates a sloppiness with the facts. Take, for instance, the fact that unemployment has remained above 8% since the beginning of Obama's term. Or, according to this analysis, that half of recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed Or that under Obama, the national debt has risen $5 trillion. Or that Obama presided over the first credit downgrade in American history. Read More News New Mexico


Democrats Don’t Think Climate Change Winning Issue

Marita Noon
Marita Noon - Nobody pays much attention to the party platform—including the party, until some piece of it makes headline news. At last week’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, the official “platform” was destined to the usual low profile until the Republicans made headlines over the fact that the Democrats had dropped the word “God” and removed language regarding Jerusalem as the capital of Israel—both of which were present in the 2008 party platform. One day after approving the official party platform, the omission was reversed in a contentious voice vote from the floor that attracted even more attention to the matter. Addressing the relevance of a party platform, NPR said: “The platform itself is a relic from the days when the parties were far more important institutions.” While the platform may hold little sway over the candidate’s views or what actually happens in the next four years, it does outline some distinct contrasts between the parties on some major issues. For example, the Republican platform opposes abortion under any circumstance, while the Democratic platform supports abortion at any time. Both, also, have well-known, opposite views on gay marriage. These differences where highlighted last week in Charlotte as the Democrats gave key speaking spots to Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards and Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke and to openly gay Representatives Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin. One report cites an Orthodox Jew—sporting a beard and a payot and wearing a black suit and broad-brimmed hat—as saying: “In speech after speech, they promoted gay marriage. I don't think there was a single speech without it.” Even Michelle Obama’s speech supported the controversial themes. Read More News New Mexico


The Tip of the Iceberg

Jim Spence (left)
Commentary by Jim Spence - The NMFA scandal encapsulates the mindset of people who take huge risks……but not with their own money. It is the mindset that is increasingly dominating all decision-making processes of managers on payrolls of local, county, state, and the federal government. Yesterday a story posted at Capitol Report New Mexico told the sad story of an NMFA board that punted on what to do about the discredited efforts of those in charge of running the NMFA.
After the NMFA management team completely failed to do even the most basic tasks necessary to maintain the confidence of those funding it, the chief executive officer has remained on PAID leave at $150,000 a year while someone else is also paid to do his job.
The examples of why we should limit the amount of resources put into the hands of people with no skin in the game (government) are virtually endless. At the federal level the Energy Department has thrown billions of dollars at bankrupt alternative energy schemes. They called these boneheaded ideas “investments.”
No matter how high the price of a stamp is raised, the government loses money running the postal system. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lost hundreds of billions of dollars lending money people who were not creditworthy. They did so after trial lawyers filed race discrimination lawsuits to force dumb lending. The athletic director at UNM hired a football coach who won twice in twenty-eight games. The coach got fired but the A.D. continues to hold his job at $350,000 per year. America has at K-12 school system that is ranked 25th in the industrialized world. School teachers in Chicago are the highest paid teachers in America. Incredibly, Chicago teachers are out on strike because there was a hint of accountability language inserted into their contracts. They are already paid twice what the average taxpayer in their school system makes. Those funding the school system are held accountable every single day.
Maybe nobody is paying attention to the meteor showers of contradictions. In the private sector everyone competes. Talent is revered. Drive is honored. Persistence is essential. And failure is not tolerated.
There is no better example of how tolerating utter failure has become palatable than the unwillingness of the board at the NMFA to clean house in the face of the biggest breach of responsibility in New Mexico state government in many years. Despite absurd threats insinuating lawsuits by, um….trial lawyers, those who failed to get the basics of their job done at the NMFA remain on the taxpayer dole. Make no mistake there is a very clear message being sent. Failure is still being tolerated in New Mexico when it is the taxpayer’s money at risk. If Governor Martinez does not step in very soon and send a strong accountability message she will become part of institutionalized problem instead of a bold reformer with common sense solutions to basic structural flaws in the system.


9-11 Eleven Years Ago, Never Forget

courtesy of http://www.conservativedailynews.com/