Audit: City of Albuquerque unaware of property it owns

From - By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - An audit released recently reveals for decades the City of Albuquerque didn’t centralize or properly manage the real property it owns. “Over the course of many years, there hasn’t been a centralized storage process to warehouse those documents,” said Lisa Gutierrez, Real Property acting director. The City began a massive project in 2010 to gather all titles, deeds, and real estate contracts. So far, the project is about two-thirds complete, according to Gutierrez. At the end of the project, all real property owned by the City should be available in one centralized database for employees and residents. “We would like the taxpayers to have access to those kinds of records so that they can go in and run various reports to look at their neighborhoods,” Gutierrez said. Once the city compiles all of its data, Gutierrez said city leaders will analyze the properties and determine which ones are no longer needed. Gutierrez said the city will likely sell off non-essential real property.Read story

Swickard: NMSU identity is the core issue

Commentary by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - Rumors flew for a week and then on Monday New Mexico State University President Barbara Couture and NMSU parted company. The NMSU Provost has taken over day-to-day functions. Shortly the NMSU Regents will select an Interim President. Some wonder why President Couture left.
Others, myself included, wonder why Barbara Couture was selected president of a Land-Grant University in the first place. Both Couture and the current Provost are English majors while NMSU is THE Land-Grant University in New Mexico. Sorry to seem to slur English majors. There is nothing wrong with English majors per se, but English majors are so far afield from Agriculture and Engineering.
This drama concerns NMSU’s identity. The University of New Mexico is a comprehensive university covering everything except Agriculture. UNM has medical, law and pharmacy schools and it teaches everything academically except, that of the NMSU mission, Agriculture.
For the last 122 years NMSU (It has had several names but is now NMSU) has been New Mexico’s Land-Grant Institution and site of the New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture. While it has many of the same collegiate academic programs as UNM, the difference is the Land-Grant mission. That mission involves Agriculture, Engineering, Business Administration, Education and Military Science. This mission is unique to NMSU and separates it from other universities in the state, especially UNM.
NMSU having such a precise mission over the last 122 years has allowed UNM and NMSU to thrive outside of each other’s special areas. Lately, though, people have been asking: why has the leadership of NMSU been acting like NMSU is not a Land-Grant University? That is what caused the fuss with the NMSU Regents. Read column

Barbara Couture is leaving NMSU

NMSU Board of Regents
 (Photo-Vanessa Dabovich)
It’s another change in leadership for New Mexico State University
The NMSU board of Regents held a public meeting today announcing a mutually agreed upon separation with Barbara Couture. Couture initiated the separation by requesting annual leave last week with an official resignation earlier this afternoon. 
Barbara Couture
Couture is leaving NMSU to take a Senior Advisory position with The Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.
Couture will will be on administrative leave until December 31st and will be paid $450,000 per terms of mutual contract separation.
Regent President Mike Cheney says an interim president will be selected by October 15th.  
Check back for full story from Newsbreak News Director, Vanessa Dabovich. 


Obama never admits green failure

Marita Noon
Marita Noon - If he succeeds in his run for a second term, President Obama doesn’t intend to tone down his efforts to push for green energy. Instead of learning from his mistakes, he plans to “do more.”
During his recent sit down with Steve Kroft for the interview that aired on 60 Minutes, the President was asked about green energy—though the clip was omitted from the program that the American public saw.
Kroft: “You said one of your big campaign themes was that green energy, the green economy, was going to be a tremendous generator of jobs and that has not turned out to be the case, yet.”
Obama: “We have tens of thousands of jobs that have been created as a consequence of wind energy alone. Is that enough? Absolutely not. Can we do more? Yes. … This is still an industry in its infancy. … Has it all paid off yet? Absolutely not. But I am not going to cede those new jobs, the jobs of the future, to countries like China or Germany that are making those same investments.”
One could argue that the $80 billion, plus, in stimulus funds that were designated for green energy projects have “paid off”—just not for the American tax payer.  During the summer, with the help of researcher Christine Lakatos, I produced a series of reports on the Obama green-energy, crony-corruption scandal. Through those reports, we profiled a series of companies and showed how people with political connections to the Obama Administration had a return on their green energy investment that “paid off” at rates greater than anything available on Wall Street. Each report detailed the players involved, their connections to the White House and/or other high-ranking Democrats, such as the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and powerful Senator Diane Feinstein—something we can expect “more” of in his green-energy, green-economy emphasis during an Obama second term. Read More News New Mexico



Governor announces resignation of DOH Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres

Dr. Catherine Torres
SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez announced today that Dr. Catherine Torres is resigning from her position as Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health. Dr. Torres was appointed to the position by Governor Martinez in January 2011. Prior to joining the administration, she was a practicing pediatrician in Las Cruces.

“I’m grateful to Dr. Torres for her hard work leading one of our largest state agencies,” said Governor Martinez. “During her time as Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Torres demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of all New Mexicans. I thank her for her service and I wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”

“It has been an honor to serve as the Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Health for nearly two years,” Dr. Torres commented. “I am extremely proud of the work that we have been able to accomplish to improve our state and the lives of the people of New Mexico. Unfortunately, due to recent personal developments, including the passing of my mother and a heartfelt desire to spend time with my family, it is time to move on. I thank the governor for her confidence in me as the leader of the New Mexico Department of Health.”

Dr. Torres will continue to work with the governor’s office to ensure a smooth transition to new permanent leadership at the Department of Health. Until a replacement is appointed, Deputy Secretary Brad McGrath will assume the duties of secretary. Secretary Torres’ resignation is effective two weeks from today. Read more News New Mexico