Tesla to develop sites in two states

From KOAT-TV.com - by Megan Cruz - The playing field for Tesla's battery factory is about to go from four states to at least two, according to published reports.Gov. Susana Martinez said she's hearing New Mexico is in the running.
     "They are considering New Mexico," she said. "We are one of those states that they're considering, but the site selector won't give us a whole lot more than that." According to Bloomberg News, Tesla will choose sites in at least two states. The company's CEO said crews will do everything short of breaking ground. Whichever site has less setbacks will be the factory's final location.
     "We may not build it and see if they come, but we'll give them our word on anything we negotiated and we will follow through with that word because we want them here in New Mexico," said Martinez.
     Timing is of the essence for Tesla. The car manufacturer wants to launch a line of affordable cars in three years. It'll need the battery plant to do that. "Whether it's infrastructure or roadways or anything that may help the plant be accessible, and make sure they're up and running as fast as possible," said Martinez.
     Martinez does not know when Tesla will choose the two states. The plant will about cost $5 billion to build and will employ 6,500 people. More


Golfer Notah Begay suffers heart attack

From KOAT-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Golf great Notah Begay suffered a heart attack this past week. He’s a golf analyst for NBC Sports and the Golf Channel. Before that he played alongside Tiger Woods and won the PGA Tour in 1999 and 2000.
     Begay, 41, is at home recovering from the heart attack at home and is expected to be OK. The attack occurred in Dallas, according to a statement from the New Mexico-based Notah Begay Foundation.
     Doctors had to insert a stent to open up a blocked artery. “There is probably a genetic pre-disposition because he's extremely young -- I rarely see someone in this age group that doesn't either have diabetes or a strong family history,” said KOAT’s medical expert Dr. Barry Ramo.
     Ramo expects Begay to make a full recovery. “This experience has reinforced, for me, the need to urgently address health and wellness issues among Native American youth,” said Begay.
     His foundation was created in 2005. According to its website, its mission is to curb childhood obesity in Native American children through sports. About 50 percent of Native American children will develop Type 2 Diabetes in their lifetimes. More

NM ‘Field of Dreams’ becoming a reality

New Albuquerque Stadium. Photo - Albuquerque Journal
From KRQE-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – One city councilor calls it “The Field of Dreams.” Albuquerque is finally getting the ball rolling on a sports megaplex in a busy area. “We need more sports fields in Albuquerque and it’s a common need we’ve had for a long time,” Mayor R.J. Berry said.
     The mayor is talking about 81 acres just west of Community Stadium off of Arroyo Vista. In 2011, voters approved $2.8 million to turn the mesa in to a sports megaplex. Monday, the city finally closed the deal on the land.
     The goal is to eventually build 20 or so different fields for soccer, baseball and softball. Councilor Ken Sanchez says it’s about time. He says other city councilors were ready to move and scoop up land elsewhere since this deal took a lot longer than expected.
     “I said we’ve got to get this done,” Sanchez said. “Taxpayers of this community went to the ballot, voted to make sure the money was secured for this location and you’ve got to get signed get this document signed. Today is one of our big days.”
     The city will look to the community for ideas and input before they start building.  Master planning for development will begin in the fall of this year. More

Strong winds continue overnight

From KOB-TV.com - By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4 Forecasters urge New Mexicans to heed caution as wind advisories remain in effect from Saturday night into Sunday night, bringing blowing dust and fire dangers to most areas of the state.
     Today, the state saw a little bit of every season. Dust in the air and wind in your hair... the metro got a big dose of Mother Nature's fury with gusts up to 58 in Albuquerque.
     Strong winds knocked a tree into a home near 10th and Lead, and in Roswell, a tree landed on a van driving by, cracking the windshield. No one was seriously hurt. The highest recorded wind gusts of the day was 90 mph in San Augustin. Winds reached 71 mph in White Sands, 66 in Las Vegas, N.M., and 63 in Carrizozo.
     Gallup got the most wintry surprise with a dusting of snow and 35 degree temperatures. More

Endangered: American commerce under attack

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. This much I know: whatever you wish to do in commerce will be opposed by environmental lawyers in three areas: animals, lands and procedures. All are tied to a political agenda to destroy commerce. The money for environmentalists to oppose commerce is provided by said commerce in the form of taxes. They are using the proceeds of capitalism to kill capitalism.
     How does it work? Whenever someone attempts to farm, ranch or develop extractives, there is always a potential endangered species that suddenly crops up which cannot exist with the farm, ranch or extractive activity. Year after year every capitalistic venture in our country is under this same attack.
     Environmentalists look to see where the capitalistic activity is and then apply concern of some unknown species to that activity. You want to open a mine? There is a potential endangered habitat there. Suddenly the media is full of stories about the newest species which is then used to stop commerce. Environmentalists trot out these species as needed. 
     When they do, the forces of capitalism must muster a robust defense of the proposed commerce while the environmental lawyers are paid by taxes. Importantly, when one battle is won or lost then environmental lawyers bring out the next species to battle over and the battle begins again. They battle until people who work for a living run out of money and desire to fight. 
     Many multi-generational ranchers have left ranching for good because the courts are stacked against them. Many battle with all their heart to continue the Agricultural heritage of America which is under attack. They battle until they no longer can battle. The media either paints them as wanting to harm endangered species or does not mention them at all. 
     Ultimately when Agriculture and the Extractive Industries are destroyed by political monsters for the purpose of political gain, the American citizens lose. Read full column


Water Authority votes on adding fluoride to drinking supply

From KOB-TV.com - By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - Back in March of 2011, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority stopped adding fluoride to the local drinking water supply for the first time since the city began adding it in the 1970s.
     Fast forward three years and the Water Authority Board is proposing to start adding it again at the request of the Center for Disease Control. The reason is that many members of the community, in particular the dental community, are concerned that the naturally occurring level is not sufficient to provide the dental health benefits that they would like to see, according to ABCWUA spokesperson David Morris.
     The naturally occurring level of fluoride in Albuquerque's drinking water supply is 0.5 parts per million, while the Center for Disease Control's recommended optimal level is 0.7 ppm. One Albuquerque dentist is opposed to the addition.
     "My major concern is the lack of scientific testing for safety and even the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that they don't have any information on file on the effects on fluoride in the water supply on health and behavior," said Dr. Bill Wolfe.
     If passed during Wednesday’s board meeting, the Water Authority plans on adding more fluoride by the end of the year.
UPDATE: The Water Authority’s governing board tonight voted not to add supplemental fluoride to the city's water supply. Its members promised in the same resolution to revisit the issue when finalized recommendations on an optimal fluoride level are released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control. More

NM school officials concerned about new medicine law

Some New Mexico officials are concerned schools could be left vulnerable in the wake of a new law requiring they stockpile medicine to treat students who experience severe allergic reactions or asthma attacks. 

The Albuquerque Journal reports that some school districts are hesitant to follow the new law because they can be sued if something goes wrong.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed Senate Bill 75 into law last month, saying it would save children's lives. The law, which takes effect July 1, permits school nurses to administer the medication even to students who don't have a prescription. But a clause in the bill shielding schools from civil lawsuits was removed. 

Dick Minzner, an attorney who studied the law, says schools could be sued if medicine is incorrectly administered or stored.


Bankruptcy filings in NM continue to drop

Bankruptcy filings in New Mexico dipped in 2013, continuing a downward trend that has been going on since 2010. 
The clerk's office for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque says the state overall had a rate of two bankruptcy filings per capita last year, which falls below the national average of 3.3. 
The data shows Valencia County with the highest rate of the state's 33 counties with a ratio of 2.8 filings. Sandoval and Torrance counties came in second and third, respectively. Bernalillo County, which showed 2.5 filings per capita, hasn't ranked in the top three in the last decade. 
Experts say higher unemployment rates and longer work commutes could be potential factors for the higher rates.


Gov. former campain manager wants Downs information

Jamie Estrada 
A former campaign manager for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez accused of hijacking her campaign's email system and lying about it is seeking information tied to a state contract for the Downs at Albuquerque
Jamie Estrada's attorney says in court documents filed last week that evidence related to the Downs Racetrack & Casino could reveal possible credibility problems with Martinez and other potential witnesses. Prosecutors say the Downs case is unconnected to the charges Estrada faces. 
Estrada briefly served as campaign manager in 2009 before being ousted by Martinez as she was starting her bid for governor. Estrada is scheduled to go on trial July 15 for allegedly intercepting emails and making false statements to federal investigators.


Cyclist hit, killed by Rail Runner in Santa Fe

From KOB-TV.com - By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com and Jeffery Gordon, KOB.com - SANTA FE -- Santa Fe police confirm a bicyclist was hit and killed by a Rail Runner train near Zia Road and St. Francis on Saturday morning.
     The collision occurred around 10:30 a.m. Santa Fe police say a woman riding a bicycle got in front of Rail Runner #705 and was struck by the train. There were 99 people on board the train at the time of collision.
     Traffic was blocked off for more than five hours at the intersection of Zia Road and St. Francis Drive while police investigated.  According to Santa Fe police, the victim was a 60-year-old Santa Fe woman. Her name is expected to be released on Monday.
     Rail Runner trains are back up and running and the Santa Fe Office of Emergency Management says no delays are expected for the rest of the night. Visit http://riometro.org for train status updates. More

Swickard: The right way to deal with feral animals

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. My mother rescued a half-starved feral cat one time. He seemed like any of her other rescued cats but even after neutering he was anti-social with the other cats. Also he had a great desire to mark territory pungently which he did. She had to cage him where he lived out his days. At no time during his years with us was he able to join her other cats.
      There were always about six cats, all inside cats, living in our house. They came into our lives one by one, a rescue here and there. And then there was that feral cat named “Yoohoo” who could not live with domesticated cats.
      My mother almost taught her cats to use the human toilet instead of the litter-pan. She lacked just one hold-out, a black female named Witch. We kids had to make sure we left the seat down and the lid up. But that knucklehead Witch would not do it. 
      I would have drop-kicked Witch through the goalpost of life and then had five cats with no need for kitty-litter. Not my dear mother who shrugged and went back to full-time kitty-litter for six cats. Anyway she was always going to have kitty-litter around because of Yoohoo.
      Certainly on ranches and farms the most damming comment for man or animal is, “He’s undependable. That was Yoohoo. Some days he was almost pleasant. Most days he was not. But he was always undependable.
      I was thinking about my brush with a feral cat this week because city leaders in several communities have struggled with the problem of feral cats. These non-domesticated cats live away from humans and prey mostly on wild birds and other small animals. Some people even put out feed which makes the problem worse. Read full column


National story about Susana Martinez recordings

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez
From KOB-TV.com - By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - The world of New Mexico politics is buzzing after a left-wing publication’s release of audio recordings of private conversations between Gov. Susana Martinez and some of her top assistants.
     “Mother Jones” magazine features an aryticle suggesting that Martinez is the next Sarah Palin – a volatile and divisive political figure. The Governor says the tapes are stolen, and that they come from a debate preparation session four years ago, when she was running against Democrat Diane Denish.
     Here’s the juicy stuff: the recording catches Martinez reviewing a videotaped debate with Denish. First you hear Denish saying “ my opponent – she’s not being straight with you.” Then you hear Martinez say “ I’m so tired of that little bitch calling me a liar.”
     Martinez does admit she used the “B” word, and says she has had to “fund the cuss jar a few times” in her life.
     Democrats are slamming Martinez hard for her remarks. She is already using the “Mother Jones” article to raise contributions for her re-election campaign, calling it a “desperate attack” and a “smear”.
     Right now Martinez, the nation’s first Hispanic female governor, is riding high in the national Republican Party, with some serious discussion about her as a possible vice presidential candidate in 2016. More


New Mexico to receive new veterans cemeteries

From KOB-TV.com - By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - New Mexico is finally in line for four new veterans cemeteries in far-flung corners of the state. Here’s the deal. We have two national cemeteries already. One of them is filling up rapidly and the other is a long way from just about everywhere but Silver City. Just about everybody agrees we need more, especially veterans and their families.
     The big one is in Santa Fe it’s just about full to capacity. The other one is way down near Silver City at Fort Bayard and it’s smaller. The U.S. Veterans Administration wants states to run their own veterans cemeteries, but they’ll help set them up. Gov. Susana Martinez announced down payments on four new ones Tuesday afternoon.
      “We are a very large state and no one should have to drive more than 75 miles to visit their loved ones,” Martinez said at a gathering at the Veterans Memorial in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights. “To all of the veterans and current servicer members here today, thank you for your service. Thank you every day for your sacrifice.”
     The proposed cemeteries are in Carlsbad, Fort Stanton, Gallup and Angel Fire, which is already home to the nation’s first Vietnam veterans’ memorial. Well, they don’t have them yet, exactly. The state has $600,000 for down payments. If the feds approve, they’ll pay the rest – about 90 percent of the total price, and then the state will manage and maintain the new cemeteries. Gov. Martinez said New Mexico will be in line for even more veterans cemeteries after the first four are established. More

Group of judges suing Gov. over pay raise

A group of New Mexico judges are seeking to overturn a veto by Gov. Susana Martinez that denied them an eight percent raise. 
The judges filed a lawsuit Monday against Martinez in New Mexico State Supreme Court to reverse the governor's line-item veto. 
Martinez said last month she vetoed the proposed raise because she felt an eight percent salary increase was too much. The Republican said she might have supported a 3 percent raise like all other state employees but lawmakers didn't give her that option. 
Attorney Ray Vargas, who is representing the judges, says Martinez "ignored the system of checks and balances" when she vetoed the raises for judges. 
The governor's office says Martinez has to right to veto any line item.


Gov. has raised 1.5 million for re-election

Gov. Martinez
Gov. Susana Martinez has raised $1.5 million for her re-election in the past six months, giving her big fundraising advantage over Democratic challengers. 
 Martinez reported cash-on-hand of $4.2 million as of last week. Monday was the deadline for candidates to file campaign finance disclosures with the secretary of state's office.
 Five Democrats are running for their party's gubernatorial nomination in the June 2 primary election. 
Santa Fe businessman Alan Webber was the leading Democratic fundraiser. He collected about $837,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. That included $450,000 in personal loans and contributions. Webber's campaign reported a cash balance of nearly $440,000.


Court recognizes Fort Sill Apache as NM tribe

New Mexico's highest court has ordered Gov. Susana Martinez to recognize the Fort Sill Apache as a New Mexico tribe. 
The state Supreme Court unanimously made the decision Monday after hearing from lawyers in the case.
 Tribal chairman Jeff Haozous told reporters after the ruling that state recognition will give the Apaches a "seat at the table" with New Mexico's other 22 tribes and pueblos. The governor must invite the tribe to a yearly tribal-state summit. The federal government designated a 30-acre parcel in southern New Mexico as the tribe's reservation in 2011, but the Apache governmental offices are in Oklahoma
There's a restaurant and smoke shop on the land near Deming, but tribal efforts to open a casino have been blocked. 
The tribe acquired the land in 1998.


Abengoa Solar: Obama’s green energy projects fail, even when they are successful

From the Daily Caller - by Marita Noon, After a public meeting on Tuesday, April 15 in Palm Desert, California, the California Energy Commission (CEC) will vote, on Wednesday, in Sacramento on whether or not to re-permit a 500-megawatt solar thermal project that has been on hold since December. At that time, the commission indicated that it would deny the proposed BrightSource Energy and Abengoa Solar project based on “visual impacts to a network of trails, petroglyphs and other tribal sites stretching across the desert in eastern Riverside County.”
     Since December, the companies have done additional environmental impact studies and proposed mitigation. Apparently believing the votes are there, the companies have pushed for the commission to make a decision. Abengoa insiders have reported that the project is a go.
      While the CEC is concerned about visual impacts, and local tribes worry about the project due to potential artifacts that may be present, American taxpayers should be opposed to the cronyism, abuse, mismanagement, and violations involved in one of the companies: Abengoa — which received $2.8 billion in taxpayer funding.
     This report will expose one of the largest recipients of Obama’s green energy funding: Abengoa — which if not stopped, will get even more taxpayer dollars. On April 2, 2014, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, said: “the department would probably throw open the door for new applications for renewable energy project loan guarantees during the second quarter of this year.” Read the entire story

Crews make progress on Bensen fire

NewsNM:Swickard - seems to me that every resource should be put on the Bensen Fire rather than let it burn 20 percent contained. This is how the really big fires in the last couple of years got out of control... they wree slowly burning for several days and then gusty winds made the difference. Put this fire out now. From KOB-TV.com - By: Jeffery Gordon, KOB.com Firefighters have made some progress on a fire burning in the Lincoln National Forest. The Bensen Fire is now 20 percent contained.
     The fire has burned nearly 100 acres since it started last Thursday. No structures are threatened but they are making sure that the flames do not spread to the Sunspot Observatory. The structure is about 3 miles west of the fire.
     Meanwhile, the Elkhorn fire burning in the Gila National Forest is now 100 percent contained. More


Swickard: Cow flop lessons apply to ObamaCare

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. As I wrote last week, I have had trouble with my new “healthcare.” It reminds me of something my brother did to me when I was five. Bill is three years older and when we were young that was significant.
     One day he and a friend were jumping off of one side of a barn into plowed ground. It was a fall of about six feet. After I watched a while I asked: did it hurt when he landed.
      He and his friend got an odd look on their faces. He put his hand on my shoulder as a sign of trust. “Yes,” he said, “It sure does hurt unless a person knows what to do so it does not hurt.”
     Wow, to be able to jump off things and it not hurt. I asked him for the secret. He leaned closer and said confidentially, as if he was about to impart something important, that if I kept my eyes closed real tight, it would not hurt.
      Double wow, so that was the secret. I was always trying to find the secret to things. And I had just found out how to jump off things without it hurting. My brother and his friend stood by the side of the barn in disbelief as I climbed to the top of the one story barn, firmly closed my eyes and said, “Oh, boy!”
     First off, I was not going to waste this secret going off the side onto plowed dirt, no; I jumped off the front of the barn with an air of pleasant expectation, like trying a new flavor of ice cream. Very quickly I learned what a credibility gap is all about. I did not break anything, but for a time I was not sure.
      Luckily I hit in the middle of a pile of cow flop which I would have missed if my eyes had been open. The good news is the cow pies broke my fall a little, but I would not recommend cow flop as a pillow, even if it is relatively soft when you jump off a barn.
     What made matters even worse was that I went into the ranch house crying and trying to wipe the cow flop off of me. Heads would roll if I had anything to say about it. I had the intention of getting my brother in big trouble for the dirty rotten trick he had pulled on me. Then it happened. 
     The first adult seemed slow to understanding why I was crying and fussing while covered with cow flop. Suddenly the first adult got the story and I am sorry to say laughed. I guess it just came out.
Further, I am sad to say that instead of sympathy which I deserved, instead of the kindness for my misfortune, instead of going out there and swatting my brother as he surely deserved. 
     Instead, the first blabbed to the rest of the adults and they all laughed. It was cruel cow-flop laughter and I remember it started with that same expression that had been on my brother’s face.
     In fact, about all I got from the fall into the cow flop was a close look at that expression. I remember it well even now. When I see that expression I keep my eyes open. Read full column


Group protests Dona Ana sheriff's deputies acting as immigration cops

From the Las Cruces Sun-News - By James Staley - LAS CRUCES >> Holding large signs with messages predominantly in Spanish, dozens of people gathered Tuesday morning in front of the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office to protest an agency they say oversteps its law enforcement duties.
     Officials from the Border Network for Human Rights organized Tuesday's demonstration because of "documented patterns of immigration enforcement during traffic stops," according to a news release from the organization.
     As the demonstration came to a close, BNHR organizers delivered to DASO 10,876 signed copies of a petition urging Sheriff Todd Garrison to take four steps, which included instructing deputies to stop asking about immigration status or for Social Security numbers during routine traffic stops.
     DASO spokeswoman Kelly Jameson said deputies don't ask such questions in those situations. "We don't act as federal immigration agents," Jameson said. "We uphold the laws we are sworn to enforce."
     She said a person's immigration status "is none of our business," but that deputies do have to record traffic infractions, and that includes logging the identity of any person they pull over. So, they will ask for driver's licenses — which undocumented people can get in New Mexico — or other forms of ID to make sure the person has no warrants.
     Jameson said if deputies have to call Border Patrol during a traffic stop, it's because there is an issue with immigration documentation. Deputies aren't trained, as Border Patrol agents are, to inspect such documents, she said.
     But to many in the crowd Tuesday, deputies too often blur the line between local and federal law enforcement.Many signs referred to "polimigra," blending the Spanish words for police and immigration. More

Feds face legal action over jaguar protections

NewsNM:Swickard This is complete nonsense since there are no Jaguars in New Mexico nor is there any reason to have them in our state. It is a money-grab by the environmental groups to find some reason to sue because a law allows the same environmental groups to be paid by the Federal Government when they sue the Federal Government. How stupid! From KRQE-TV.com - LBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – two environmental groups are threatening to sue the federal government claiming they’re failing to protect endangered jaguars.The Animal Welfare Institute and Wild Earth guardians say the USDA’a wildlife services uses traps and snares as part of their work with other animals.
     The groups say that could affect the jaguar and its prey. In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set aside nearly 1200 square miles along the U.S.-Mexico border for jaguar habitat. Jaguars have been on the federal endangered species list for nearly two decades, and were last spotted in New Mexico about 8 years ago. More

If the goal is “energy independence,” what issues should be a priority in America?

Commentary by Marita Noon - Recently the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent out a “2014 Priority Issues Survey.” In addition to the obligatory Tea Party bashing: “help the Democrats protect the progress we have made from Tea Party radicals, deliver the positive changes America needs and help Democrats win a Majority in the U.S. House of Representatives!” and the fundraising requests to “help protect House Democrats against Republican attacks”—there is a section on energy.
     Section VII, asks: “Which of the following will help America achieve energy independence?” It offers five options that do little to move America toward energy independence—which isn’t even a realistic goal given the fungible nature of liquid fuels. Additionally, most of the choices given on the DCCC survey actually increase energy costs for all Americans—serving as a hidden tax—but hurt those on the lower end of the socio-economic scale the most. The proposals hurt the very people the party purports to champion.
     Achieving the higher mileage will require new technologies that include, according to Edmunds, “turbochargers and new generations of multispeed automatic transmissions to battery-electric powertrains.” The National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have estimated that the average new car will cost $2,000 extra by 2025 because of the proposed new fuel-efficiency standards.
     Additionally, new materials will have to be used, such as the proposed new Ford F-150 made with aluminum, which is predicted to add $1500 over steel to the cost of a new truck. Aluminum also complicates both the manufacturing and repair processes. Edmunds reports: “Insurance costs could rise, both because of the increased cost of cars and the anticipated hike in collision repair costs associated with the greater use of the plastics, lightweight alloys and aluminum necessary for lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. (Plastics, lightweight alloys and aluminum are all more difficult than steel to repair.)”
     Another concern is safety. “The use of weight-saving materials will not only affect repair costs but could make newer vehicles more susceptible to damage in collisions with older, heavier vehicles, especially SUVs and pickups. Their occupants could be at a safety disadvantage.” Read full collumn

One week after an Albuquerque teen goes missing, experts weigh in

From KOAT-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Lacey Dewent, 14, is missing one week after police said the Albuquerque girl ran away with 26-year-old man. Robert Butler met the girl on the Internet, according to investigators.
     "We are seeing more and more children exploited, both online and in person, by various people," said Kevin Abar, assistant special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations.
     While he can't comment on Dewent's case, Abar warned parents that any young girl or boy could fall into the same trap.
     "The people out there trying to exploit our children. They're very good at what they do," Abar said. He's offering the following tips for parents:
-- Ask your child who their friends are on the Internet
-- Monitor the websites they're visiting
-- Keep the computer in a common area, such as a kitchen or living room
     Abar said predators can use other online venues, such as XBox and Playstation, to chat live with children. "Often time, they'll portray themselves as a young adult, and gain the trust of a child," Abar said. The search for Dewent and Butler involves Albuquerque police, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
     All agencies are working to piece together the victim's Internet history in hopes of locating her and protecting teens like her in the future. More

Swickard: Cranky Columnist Complains Happily

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. Hello, I am a cranky columnist. I did not start out that way but I certainly am one now. Example: I went in the Comcast store to make a payment. A guy told me to sign in and then directed me to the Service Line.
      I protested, “I do not want to change my service, I want to make a payment. The textbook way is to be in the payment line.” He shook his head, “No, payments are in the Service Line.” Mr. Cranky came out of my mouth, “I see you got your prescription for stupid pills refilled.” Well, one of us enjoyed it.
     Lately it seems I am getting crankier and crankier. Worse, I am really enjoying it. Another example: last September I was thrown off my medical plan by the Affordable Care Act. So I have spent gobs of time trying to get another plan with Democrats telling me that the problem is I am resisting signing up for political reasons.
      Not so. My old plan took me back month by month when the new plan was not ready. Finally last week I got my new policy. I was prouder than when I got long pants. However, I went to the pharmacy to check on a prescription. “I am sorry Mr. Swickard; your prescription for Insulin has been rejected by the new insurance.”
     So far it has not mattered whether I was cranky or not, I cannot get my Insulin. You might ask why does Michael want Insulin? Answer: because he is an Insulin dependent diabetic. When Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the House said you would have to pass the Affordable Care Act to see what was in it, I never thought some person in our nation’s capital would want to take Insulin away from me and call it Affordable Care.
      Now I do not expect this impasse to last too many more weeks, but I have had a cranky-fest talking to people on the phone and in person. While it has not moved the marker even one inch closer to me getting the drugs I need to stay alive, at least I have enjoyed the moments of pure unadulterated crankiness. Read full column


Susana Martinez. announces changes for CYFD

Susana Martinez, CYFD Secretary Yolanda Deines
From KOB-TV.com - By: Jen Samp and Elizabeth Reed - Communication, follow up, recruitment. On Wednesday, Gov. Susana Martinez announced several proposals to improve child abuse investigations in New Mexico.
     Martinez said she will issue an executive order later this week for the state's Children, Youth and Families Department to permanently transfer a team of investigators to the Family Advocacy Center in Albuquerque.
     In addition, the governor will direct CYFD to work with local partners in other New Mexico communities to identify areas where it would be feasible and helpful to establish additional child advocacy centers.
      Martinez said CYFD also needs upgraded communication tools. She said the department's software dates back to 1998. She wants to improve communication by enabling officers and CYFD to use smartphones and tablets. The governor also wants CYFD to identify and keep track of families who have faced multiple investigations. She wants these families to undergo counseling and intervention services.
      Lastly, Martinez is proposing to increase salaries of newly hired case workers by 3 percent. She wants to hire a specialized recruiter to work to identify prospects and recruit them into CYFD. Qualified applicants would also be eligible for higher pay.
     The reform efforts come months after the death of a 9-year-old boy who Albuquerque police said was kicked to death by his own mother. CYFD had a history with Omaree and his mom, Synthia Varela-Casaus, but that there were no open cases at the time of the boy's death. More

ABQ Mayor wants more money for police training

Albuquerque's mayor wants more money for police training - especially for the way cops deal with mentally ill people. 

Mayor Richard Berry's brand new budget proposal comes just when the U.S. Department of Justice is close to wrapping up their two-year investigation into police shootings and civil rights complaints. Mayor Berry said the budget was crafted with the justice probe in mind. 

The mayor's budget also calls for seven new civilian employees in APD for help in public records and telecommunication and the crime lab in addition to 3 million dollars for new police cars. 

The city council will get to work on the budget soon - coming up with their own ideas - and by the end of May the mayor and the council should have something worked out.


Public Education Dept. faces lawsuit

A civil rights group has filed a lawsuit alleging New Mexico's public education system violates the constitutional rights of low-income children and those learning English. 
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund brought the lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of parents of about three dozen students in the Albuquerque, Gadsden, Las Cruces, Magdalena, Santa Fe, Zuni and Espanola school districts. The case was filed in district court in Santa Fe
The lawsuit contends the state provides inadequate funding to educate "at-risk students," many of whom are Hispanic and Native Americans. The state constitution requires a "sufficient" education for all children. 
The lawsuit also seeks to invalidate school initiatives by Gov. Susana Martinez, including a teacher evaluation system.


Tourism officials building "burrito byway"

From KOAT-TV.com - SANTA FE, N.M. —The New Mexico Tourism Department is looking for the state's best breakfast burritos. The department Monday opened nominations for limited spots on what it has dubbed the "New Mexico True Breakfast Burrito Byway."
     According to tourism officials, the breakfast burrito was developed by a Santa Fe restaurant. It has also become a staple of Albuquerque's International Balloon Fiesta, where a hand-held breakfast is a necessity.
     The "New Mexico True Breakfast Burrito Byway" will identify the best of the burritos across New Mexico, based on nominations made by the public over the next two weeks.
     Nominations are open to New Mexico-based restaurants with a business license, in good standing with local and state Health Departments, and with a bricks-and-mortar location.
     The burritos must be a regular on the menu and include egg, tortilla and New Mexico chile. Read more