Environmentalists and energy advocates agree: Ethanol reform now

Commentary by Marita Noon - We all expect to pay a price for missing deadlines—fail to pay a ticket on time, and you may find a warrant out for your arrest. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can apparently miss deadlines with impunity.
      For the past two years, the EPA has failed to meet the statutory deadline under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), requiring the agency to tell refiners how much ethanol to blend into the nation’s motor fuels.
      In November 2013, the EPA attempted to announce the proposed 2014 blend levels, which by then came months past the legally mandated deadline. The EPA surprised and pleased RFS opponents when it utilized its authority by taking market conditions into consideration to adjust levels. The agency set the proposed 2014 standard to a level lower than 2013’s, even though the law requires increasing amounts. Ethanol producers, expecting the usual uptick, loudly opposed the reduction. They made so much noise, the EPA agreed to reconsider. To date, the 2014 standards have not yet been announced.
      Then, on November 21, the EPA announced it would make a decision next year on how much ethanol refiners had to add to gasoline this year. Yet, if refiners don’t meet the unknown requirement, they get fined. That’s akin to handing out the class syllabus after the students have failed the final exam.
      With the goal of reducing foreign oil imports, Congress enacted the RFS in 2005 and revised it in 2007—which also provided incentives to America’s fledgling ethanol industry. At the time, gasoline demand was rising to an all-time high and oil imports comprised more than 58 percent of U.S. oil consumption. No doubt Congress believed it was saving American consumers from their addiction to oil.
      Then the world changed. The U.S. economy plunged into a terrible recession, unemployment soared, and gasoline demand fell sharply. Meanwhile, advanced drilling technologies, including the long-used hydraulic fracturing and newer horizontal drilling, began producing oil and natural gas from U.S. shale formations—previously uneconomic to develop—leading to America’s 21st-century energy boom.
      Today the U.S. stands as the world’s largest natural-gas producer, projected to pass Saudi Arabia as the number-one oil producer. With crude-oil supplies flooding the market, prices have been cut in half. Although fears over foreign-oil dependence have abated, the U.S. remains stuck with an outdated, unworkable, and even harmful—to vehicles, engines, and the environment—ethanol mandate. Read full Marita Noon column on Breitbart.com

Swickard: Being superstitious about rain in New Mexico

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   Christmas time is magical with the Christmas superstitious advice, "You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I'm telling you why..." It is a belief in goodness and the hope Santa can see goodness in each of us. The main point of the season in my family is the birth of Jesus. But we also enjoy Santa.
      As a child I understood the birth of Jesus, but to me the Santa story had to be taken entirely on faith. As a child I started my lifelong superstition that I somehow had control over things that were beyond control.
      This fall I have a dilemma. My windshield wipers are just barely working but I have a good reason to not change them. No, I am not cheap, this is more important. It has to do with the bountiful rain we are receiving this fall.
      It seems there are two types of people: those who confess to being superstitious and those who won't admit it. I identify with a scene in the movie, Bull Durham when the character played by Kevin Costner says, "I told him that a player on a streak has to respect the streak... You know why? Because they don't happen very often."
      Like everyone I have good days and challenging days. When I have two good days in a row I am on a streak and I try to remember how I got on the streak. So my windshield wipers are really worn out. I still see to drive in the rain but normally I would change them in a heartbeat. But months ago I noticed they were marginal because, surprise, it rained.
      The superstitious part of me noticed when it rained two days in a row. I knew I should go put on a new set of wipers but gosh that rain was sure nice. So for all of these months the windshield wipers have languished. But the rain is wonderful.
      I might get help from Superstitious Anonymous, but it is still raining. When the rains stops as we know it will, then I will have new wipers. I park when it rains now. No Santa, don't bring me wipers, we are on a streak. Merry Christmas. Read the full column


State senator wants to help students pay loans

Senator Jacob Candalaria
From KOAT-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —New Mexico students default on their college loans more than students in any other state. Now, a state senator wants to help combat that problem this legislative session.
      Jacob Candalaria is a state senator from Albuquerque. He said this is a difficult problem to tackle in the Land of Enchantment. “We actually see a lower percentage of students in New Mexico borrowing money than the rest of the country,” Candalaria said. “The problem is once they do borrow money, they’re more likely to be unable to pay it back.”
      Candalaria is the youngest state senator in New Mexico. He’s a second-year law student at the University of New Mexico. As a student himself, Candalaria said he listens to his peers worry about student loans.
      National numbers reveal New Mexico has the highest percentage of student loan default rates. The national average is 13.7 percent. New Mexico sits close to 21 percent. So the senator is proposing a state-based tax credit for students. It would offset some of the costs of paying back student loans after college.
     The Department of Education released the national default rates in September. The study looks at the rates from 2010. More

Forest Service: Decorating national forest trees could be harmful to wildlife

From KOB-TV.com - It's become a holiday tradition in some New Mexico national forests, but now the U.S. Forest service say it needs to stop.
      The Forest service says for years, trees in the national forest have been decorated with tinsel, garland and edible decorations, but decorations are being left as trash and could be dangerous to wildlife.
      While it may look festive, the forest service says none of it is good for wildfire and the edible treats aren't part of their natural diet, which could be harmful.
      There are prohibitions against littering. Individuals could face a fine of $150 or more for leaving litter on the National Forest. More

Swickard: Come now to the aid of our oil patch

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - Now is the time for all New Mexicans to come to the aid of our oil patch. The New Mexico oil patch has sustained us in New Mexico for decades both in products we use and as the prime financial support of our public education system. Unfortunately, with the global drop in prices our oil patch is going into a hard time.
      New Mexico has been politically pushed to fund green energy projects which do not have the generation density to be cost-effective and useful. Our oil patch has long funded the public schools, the green energy projects fund the politicians. We need public schools more than we need politicians. We will eventually abandon all of the green projects when we run out of money we wish to spend on politics.
      However, the oil patch is the real deal for New Mexico. Therefore in this price drop we New Mexicans need to recognize the opportunities an oil price war provides our state. When the New Mexico oil patch prospers, so do all New Mexicans.
       This war for market share has happened before. And therein is a lesson: Congressman Steve Pearce had a company in the oil patch when oil prices declined to the point the oil patch essentially shut down. That is where we are headed so we need to take a page from Pearce's playbook.
      Steve Pearce and wife Cynthia had a well service business with dozens of employees when an oil price fluctuation stalled production in New Mexico and West Texas. They went against conventional wisdom and keep all of their employees on the payroll unlike other companies who quickly trimmed their workforce because there was no work.
      Those workers who were let go went on unemployment and then drifted into other lines of work. Steve and Cynthia's workers kept busy working in the company. They based their extraordinary risk on their personal faith and their sense of the value of their workers.
      Early on they decided to go to the very ends of their savings. It was close. Within a couple months of when they would have to shutter the company the oil patch suddenly lurched to life because prices shot up. Their crew was ready and able to work the first day those services were needed. For that giant bet on the future, there was quite a reward for Steve and Cynthia as the only company ready the first day the oil patch revived.
        The future of our public schools and much of our state's economy hangs in the balance. For the public schools there is nowhere else to make this money. Come now to the aid of our oil patch and we all will prosper together. Read full column


Sources: DA anticipates charging APD officers in Boyd shooting

From KRQE-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – District Attorney Kari Brandenburg’s office anticipates pursuing open counts of murder against the two Albuquerque police officers who shot homeless camper James Boyd in the Sandia Foothills on March 16, KRQE News 13 has learned. 
      It is a preliminary decision, made several weeks ago, based on multiple reviews of more than 1,000 pages of evidence and nine DVDs containing recordings from APD’s investigation of the shooting, which police turned over to prosecutors in early October, multiple sources have told KRQE News 13.
     Brandenburg has said she expects to make a final decision in the spring on whether to pursue charges against the two officers — Keith Sandy, who has since retired from APD, and Dominique Perez of the SWAT team — in one of the most controversial in a long string of police shootings in New Mexico’s largest city.
     Prosecutors have a somewhat unorthodox plan for the Boyd case, the sources said. Rather than using a grand jury session, which is conducted in secret, they anticipate presenting the charges during a preliminary hearing in open court, where a judge would decide whether there is probable cause to go on to trial.
     By presenting open counts of murder, prosecutors would give jurors in a trial a range of charges to choose from, all of which are predicated on the theory that the officers killed Boyd intentionally. The stiffest of those charges is first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence. At the other end of the spectrum is voluntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum of six years in prison.
     Pursuing charges against police officers in a shooting would mark a significant departure for Brandenburg. In 14 years as DA, she has declined to prosecute each of the roughly 100 police shooting cases that have landed on her desk. More


Lawmakers to consider state children’s song

From KRQE-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New Mexico has an official state tie, the bolo tie. There’s the state question, red or green? The state even has its own song. But what about an official state children’s song?
      It’s one of the bills lawmakers could make into law next month. Mesilla Elementary music teacher, Melanie Williams wrote the song three years ago for a third grade program on food.
        “There wasn’t really anything out there about green chile. I thought that was a shame, so I wrote a song for my students to sing,” Williams said.
        Now her song could become a part of New Mexico history. A student’s mother talked to Dona Ana County State Representative Bill McCamley who wants to make it the state’s official children’s song.
       Both houses would have to approve McCamley’s bill in the upcoming session. Representative McCamley hopes its one bill lawmakers can agree on. “We’re celebrating who we are as people. Celebrating our food, celebrating our culture, celebrating our children,” McCamley said.
      Williams no longer teaches but says she’s honored her song will even be considered. More

Marita Noon: Germany’s “energy transformation” — unsustainable subsidies and an unstable system

Commentary by Marita Noon - Perhaps when Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel was a child, she attend a party and was the only one who came without a present, or wearing inappropriate attire—and the embarrassment she felt haunts her to this day. That’s how psychodynamic psychology (Freud) might explain her December 3 decision spend more money on Germany’s failing energy experiment to avoid, as Reuters puts it: “the embarrassment of missing her government’s goal of a 40 percent reduction of emissions by 2020.”
      As Europe’s biggest economy, Germany has also embraced the biggest carbon dioxide reductions through a program known as “Energiewende”—or, in English, also called energy change, shift, or transformation. Energiewende was launched in 2000 under Merkel’s predecessor who offered subsidies for any company that produced green energy.
       While the European Union (E.U.) has committed to carbon dioxide cuts of 40 percent by 2030, Germany’s national goal aims to get there a decade sooner—which may have seemed achievable early in the program. After the 1990 reunification of Germany, the modernization of East Germany brought rapidly reduced emissions. However, the program’s overall result has raised costs and the emissions the expensive programs were designed to cut. Read full column

NM Supreme Court: Judge removed by voters must leave bench

From KOB-TV.com - A New Mexico judge who attempted to stay in office despite being ousted by voters must go, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.
      District Judge Sheri Raphaelson did not receive enough retention votes in the November election. In 2009, she was appointed to fill a vacancy for a term that began in 2008. Raphaelson then won a 2010 election.
      Raphaelson argued that under law, she must serve a complete six-year term that began after the 2010 election.
      But the Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the state Attorney General's Office says she inherited a six-year term that started in 2008.
      Justices voted unanimously on Monday that she must leave the bench at the end of the year. More

NM Airlines plans to resume flights

From KOAT-TV.com - New Mexico Airline planes remained grounded Friday after the airline voluntarily parked the fleet for mechanical issues this week.Flights have been canceled until further notice.
      Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Lynn Lunsford wouldn't say what mechanical issues New Mexico Airlines was working on. The airline made the decision several days ago, and Lunsford said all five planes operated by the airline were still being worked on.
      Passengers expressed frustration at the Albuquerque International Sunport Thursday after landing for connecting flights with New Mexico Airlines, only to learn they were canceled. New Mexico Airlines says they would reimburse passengers whose flights were cancelled.
      CEO of Pacific Wings Greg Kahlstorf, who runs New Mexico Airlines, says the mechanical issues are a temporary issue and expects his fleet to be up in the air again soon.
      New Mexico Airlines’ destinations include Albuquerque, Los Alamos, and Carlsbad; their main hub is at the Albuquerque International Sunport. It primarily flies smaller aircraft that seat up to nine passengers.
      Kahlstorf said flights from Los Alamos to Albuquerque will resume in the future, but added that the company will suspend flights to their Carlsbad destination indefinitely until the FAA addresses safety issues at the airport there.
      Carlsbad Airport is an uncontrolled airfield and has no tower because of its low volume of traffic, according to the FAA. Kahlstorf said there is a helicopter operation next to the airport that imposes safety hazards to his planes when they land and when they take off.
      Kahlstorf didn't give an exact date of when New Mexico Airlines will begin resuming flights to their Los Alamos and Albuquerque destinations. More

Swickard: America's war on the military

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - December 7 is a sacred day for our military and me. My father George Swickard was a combat soldier in WWII. He retired in 1966. Growing up we lived on military bases. Our playmates were all from military families. Pearl Harbor Day and the Arizona Memorial Commemorating that day are cherished by my family.
      My Grandfather Horace Swickard served on the border following the Pancho Villa raid and went directly to France with General Pershing. I have his memorabilia from World War I, The Great War, The War to end all War, etc. My father's burial flag is proudly displayed in my home. He is buried with my mother at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
      As to the Bataan Death March, my father has a cousin William Swickard. Read his story: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/68527-world-war-ii-survivor-william-swickards-recollection/
      The military and its honor is important to me. While the "Date that will live in infamy" still burns in my heart it is a date mostly forgotten by citizens of our country. Last Sunday some media did cover Pearl Harbor Day while other media had more important things to do.
      My local daily newspaper did something odd, it presented December 7, 1941 from the viewpoint of the Japanese. What were their motivations and what do the Japanese think about the second world war? There was more but I shredded the newspaper and threw it in the trash.
      Seems those in charge of that newspaper did not serve in the military. It was a slap in the face of veterans, especially those who served in World War II. I lived three years in Japan and also have studied their culture. The article about how the Japanese view that conflict might have been interesting on the anniversary of V-J day which is the day Japan formally surrendered. But there was nothing else in the paper commemorating that Sunday morning 73 years earlier.
      Worse, it seems our society is at war with our military and the veterans. They give lip-service to loving our military but every financial cut is upon the military. Combat personnel are getting their pink-slips while in a theatre of war. Washington is cutting benefits for veterans while taking on more financial expense from people who come to our country without legal status.
      My buddy Charlie says that America is not at war: the military is at war, America is at the Mall. There is truth to that saying. We are reading that public schools are banning parents in military garb from dropping off or picking up students like something is wrong with being in the military. Read full column


Increased spending on teachers to come from unstable oil market money

From KOB-TV.com - By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - The governor's announcement of new spending on teachers and classrooms will come out of new state tax revenues that depend heavily on oil and natural gas prices.
      Gas prices continue to drop – they were near $2 per gallon Wednesday in Albuquerque – and nobody knows where the bottom is.
      Oil supply is outstripping demand. West Texas crude, which is the type of oil southeast New Mexico produces, dropped to $60 a barrel at one point Wednesday, which means money from state severance taxes on oil is dropping too.
      You won't find anybody weeping about the low prices at the gas pumps. "It feels great; let's hope it lessens even more," said one man.
      "The bottom line is the market's getting better; the economy is getting better because I'm spending that extra money – whether it's eating out, or at the mall or buying a gun – now, that money's not going in my gas tank; I'm spending it somewhere else," said another local man.
      The bottom price for crude is still out of sight; it's hard for the oil industry to make sudden changes in production. Industry analysts expect it to keep growing well into next year and for prices to keep dropping. More

Bill would force state's attorney general to prosecute cops

From KOAT-TV.com - SANTA FE, N.M. —A new bill discussed by the Court, Corrections, and Justice Committee at the state capitol last week is turning some heads. The bill, which hasn't been officially filed, would make the attorney general of New Mexico prosecute charges against police officers instead of local or area district attorneys.
       The bill was spearheaded by Albuquerque City Councilor Diane Gibson. Gibson reached out to state Rep. Gail Chasey (D) to help form and draft the bill some weeks ago. Chasey and Gibson share a precinct together.
       Since 2010, Albuquerque police have been involved with 27 fatal shootings. While some have produced civil settlements by the city, no officer has been indicted or charged. So far the bill is only four pages, and would put the attorney general in charge of prosecuting any state law enforcement officer charged with a violent felony, assault against a household member, abuse of a child or any crime for which registration under the sex offender registration and notification act is required.
       Opponents of the bill feel the attorney general’s office doesn't have the resources to prosecute such crimes. However, supporters disagree and feel not many officers are either prosecuted or investigated for criminal offenses statewide, producing a manageable caseload.  More

Obama revives ozone regs he once opposed for being too sevene a burden on economy

Commentary by Marita Noon - Within the bundle of more than 3,000 regulations lies a rule on ozone that President Obama himself in 2011 “put on ice” in effort to reduce “regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover.” Regarding the 2011 decision that shocked environmental groups, the New York Times recently stated: “At the time, Mr. Obama said the regulation would impose too severe a burden on industry and local governments at a time of economic distress.”
      So why is the rule back? First, Obama isn’t facing an election. More importantly, following the 2011 decision that struck down the proposed ozone rule, environmental groups sued the Obama administration. The resulting court order required the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to release the proposed rule by December 1, with finalization by October 2015.
      Once again, environmental groups-- which, on September 21, revealed that their true intention of changing the system (“capitalism is the disease, socialism is the cure”)-- have taken charge of America’s energy policy, and, therefore, economic policy. They have systematically chipped away America’s sources of economic strength: cost-effective energy.
      First they came after coal at a time when natural gas ran cheap and proponents touted it as the “bridge fuel” to the future. No one much spoke out. Some in the natural gas business even encouraged the war on coal, as it benefitted them. When I first heard that then-Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McLendon gave the Sierra Club $25 million to fight coal (it is reported that the Sierra Club turned down an additional $30 million), I remember yelling at the TV: “You fool! You will be next!”
      Within months, the Sierra Club launched its “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign that claims: “Increasing reliance on natural gas displaces the market for clean energy and harms human health and the environment in places where production occurs.” A headline on the Beyond Natural Gas webpage describes that natural gas as: “Dirty, dangerous, and run amok.” Shortly thereafter, McLendon “agreed to retire.” Read full column

Bernalillo County district attorney under investigation

Bernalillo County DA Kari Brandenburg
From KOB-TV.com - By: Blair Miller, KOB.com - Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg has called a news conference for 10 a.m. Monday to discuss allegations she is being investigated “in a matter pertaining to her son.”
      A report from The Associated Press says Brandenburg is accused of offering to reimburse burglary victims for not implicating her son as a suspect in the burglaries.
      A spokesperson for Attorney General Gary King's office, which is allegedly involved in the investigation, told KOB Sunday they "could not comment at this time."
      KOB will be at the news conference conference Monday and have a full report on the investigation. More

New approach to football I hope with new Athletic Director

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - The New Mexico State University Aggies need to stop selling losses. I am offended every time the administration thinks selling a loss is a good idea. They have been selling losses for most of forty years and it has brought them quick cash and lasting failure.
      Let me count the ways selling losses is a bad idea: first, every football team is judged primarily by their win/loss record. Bowl appearances are determined by win/loss records. Further, the win/loss record has a positive correlation with home attendance. Teams who give up losses each year do not go to Bowls. NMSU has not gone Bowling since 1960
      So I have protested dozens of times about selling losses. Each time I am told I just do not understand educational administration. Psst: I have a Ph.D. in that field. They trade short-term employment for themselves for long-term institutional losses.
      Every year I am told the money just does not work any other way. Yet in all those years the NMSU administration has had to shift money to the Athletic Department a number of times. Remember, "Easy money is always the hardest."
      So there is a new Athletic Director, Mario Moccia. He is a former Aggie great in baseball. In his senior year at NMSU the Aggie football team was winless. That year then football head coach Mike Knoll was fired after a 4 and 40 career. How's that selling losses doing for you Mike?
      The next coach finally stopped the skid with a victory so NMSU Football only lost 27 straight games, some of them sold losses. NMSU was playing with players hurt in sold games. Add to that, the home attendance over the decades has been poor at best and nearly non-existent at all other times.
      The NMSU administration said it had to sell losses because the fans were not coming to the games. They got it backwards. If they play and win, the fans come. Incidentally, since 1967 I have attended Aggie football. Many seasons I have six season tickets though this year we only got four. Read full column


Kawasaki commercial shot at Spaceport

From KRQE-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It looks like the New Mexico Spaceport will be used for other things besides space travel, it’s now the backdrop for a new motorcycle commercial. Production of Kawasaki’s new Ninja motorcycle used the Spaceport’s futuristic building and 12,000 foot long runway for the commercial.
      It took five days to shoot the commercial back in September. New Mexico Spaceport officials say using the facility for commercial advertising generates hundreds of thousands of dollars for Spaceport America and local communities.
      The Spaceport’s future has been in question since Virgin Galactic space flights were put on hold indefinitely. The state is looking at ways to cover the operating budget at the Spaceport. More

Census to hire field representatives in New Mexico

From KOAT-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —The U.S. Census Bureau will be embarking on a massive hiring campaign starting this week. Officials say they will begin interviewing and testing candidates for temporary field representative jobs Wednesday at the New Mexico Workforce Connection office in Albuquerque.
      The interviews will continue every Wednesday and Friday through March 27. Those who are hired will help with the 2015 American Housing Survey. Their duties will include conducting telephone interviews with selected households from May through August.
      The jobs are temporary and the pay rate is $13.55 an hour. The workers will also get paid for mileage, which means they must have a valid driver's license and a reliable vehicle with insurance. More

It’s time for tough love on tax credits for the mature wind industry

Commentary by Marita Noon - Is the lame duck Congress oblivious to the message voters sent to Washington last month? Or, are they intentionally ignoring it in favor of special interests? A pending vote on a tax-extenders package—that would have a slim chance of passage in the new Congress—will reveal whether or not they learned anything from the 2014 midterms.
      Throughout 2014, since the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for the wind energy industry expired on December 31, 2013, lobbyists from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) have pushed Congress to vote to retroactively revive the PTC. So far, sound fiscal thinking has prevailed. The lame duck session provides their last opportunity to hand over hard-earned American tax dollars to big business, and pile national debt on future generations.
      The PTC provides one of the best examples of the worst kind of taxpayer waste being considered in a tax-extenders deal. The largest benefactors of the credit (underwritten by U.S. taxpayers) are wind energy turbine manufacturers like General Electric (which purchased Enron’s wind turbine business in 2002), and investors like Warren Buffet, who, without apology, recently admitted: “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”
      The U.S. wind energy business started as a gleam in Enron’s eye, enjoyed an entitled childhood at taxpayer expense, and, by now, should have blossomed into an adult. Instead, now, at the tail end of this Congressional session, the industry—by way of AWEA lobbyists—has its hand out for a ninth round of “free” taxpayer money. These dollars, which get transferred from hard-working taxpayers to big corporations and billionaires, are borrowed from our children, with the paper being sold overseas in what is known as “national debt.”
      For this lame duck Congress, AWEA’s panhandling should be as welcome as grown children returning home for financial support—“just one more time.” Like parents, possessing the kind of wisdom that often only crystalizes in our fifties, Congress must now realize the inevitable: sometimes seeing our dependents grow up to be independent requires tough love and a line in the sand. Though it is hard, most parents know saying “no” is part of the process of having children that grow into mature, responsible adults. Read full column

The Pit renamed WisePies Arena

From KOB-TV.com - by: Elizabeth Reed - The Pit will now be known as WisePies Arena (aka The Pit), the UNM Athletics Department announced Monday. WisePies Pizza & Salad, a locally owned business, has agreed to give $5 million over 10 years to support the Athletics Department through the newly established WisePies Fund.
       It's the largest cash gift ever to the department and the sixth largest cash gift overall to the university, according to a press release. The funds will be used to support The Pit debt service incurred from the 2009-2010 renovations.
       "From the time we first discussed the potential renovation of The Pit, we talked about the need for state and private support to make the renovation a reality," said Paul Krebs, Vice President for Athletics for the University of New Mexico, in a statement. "Specifically, we've talked about the need to find a naming rights partner for the building. 
      The fact that WisePies is a local company and Steve Chavez, the company's co-CEO, is a native New Mexican and successful, local businessman makes this gift even more significant and special."
      The naming deal is half of what UNM initially sought. In 2013, the asking price was $10 million over 20 years. More