It seems like there are forest fires everywhere these days.
With the tinderbox-like conditions, the forests are basically giant piles of kindling.
There is a new one near the Magdelena Ridge Observatory
and near La Puebla
. The Farmington Daily-Times wrote about the destruction of the Blanco Fire
in San Juan County.
If you are anywhere near any open space in New Mexico, be extremely careful. Watch your cigarette butts, make sure your car is not parked on dry weeds when you stop and if you are allowed to have a campfire watch it like a hawk -- and thoroughly douse it when you leave.
On to the Word:
- Gov. Susana Martinez is in Dallas for a summit by a Republican group that wants to elect more Hispanic Republicans. Martinez's travel was paid for by the Republican group.
- A Republican candidate for state Senate wants Susana PAC to return the $5,250 donation that he made to it after the PAC spent money supporting his Democratic opponent, Phil Griego.
Dunn said he decided to criticize Martinez publicly because she recently wrote to him seeking money for her Susana Political Action Committee, so it could support Republican candidates.
Between this and the debacle in Eastern New Mexico, Martinez hasn't exactly endeared herself to all Republicans.
"Your letter is disingenuous at best after your PAC, Reform New Mexico Now, funded by Big Oil out of Artesia, placed positive ads for my Democrat opponent, Phil Griego," Dunn wrote in a letter to the governor.
- And once again, Martinez says she doesn't want to be on Romney's ticket as Vice President. Not that this will stop people from speculating.
- The Native American Times doesn't like the Republican Party's plans for Social Security.
The Republican budget plan devised by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, beloved by the Tea Party, proposes a draconian future for this landmark program that would hurt all older American and especially American Indians.
[Last] week, the National Congress of American Indians voted unanimously for a resolution to support Social Security without cutting benefits for recipients. The tribal leaders represent most of the 3.4 million Americans who identify themselves with a tribe.Native Americans are a significant voting bloc in New Mexico.
- On Saturday, the Albuquerque Journal looked at the battle over email ethics.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican reminds us of an almost-identical situation to the governor's latest email scandal in Las Vegas, New Mexico a few years back.
- Leslie Linthicum in the Journal explains what the big deal is in the email scandals.
- Former Albuquerque mayor Jim Baca wonders if sate Sen. Eric Griego will get behind Michelle Lujan Grisham in her quest to keep the 1st Congressional District in the Democratic column or "stomp his feet and take his ball home." Griego lost to Lujan Grisham in the Democratic primary earlier this month in what ended up being a brutal primary.
- A contractor says that there is fraud in a company claiming residency preference in a bid to renovate Los Lunas High School.
- Yeah, the drought is pretty terrible.
New Mexico’s ranchers must deal with the unpleasant fact that the state has the driest grazing land in the nation. Federal officials have rated 85 percent of the rangeland in “poor” or “very poor” condition, meaning little or no grass for cattle to eat. “We’re topping the nation in bad conditions,” Les Owen of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture said during a meeting Friday of the state’s Drought Monitoring Working Group.
- Speaking of water... John Fleck notes that the era of dam building is likely over, but the era of pipe building might be on its way. And Fleck has this post on the ABQ Journal website on Friday with a picture that shows the problem firsthand.
- Russell Contreras of the Associated Press looks at how immigrant students in New Mexico were ahead of the curve when it came to things like the DREAM Act.
- The latest on the Richardson pay-to-play allegations. It seems as if new news will never stop coming out -- but no charges of anyone involved will ever be filed.
- As more and more churches become openly partisan and political, the IRS refuses to get involved. To keep their tax-free status, churches must not get involved in advocating for candidates. It happened in 2008 in New Mexico with no consequences for the church.
- In an Albuquerque Journal opinion piece, Democratic state legislators say that the last word in health care reform will not come from the United States Supreme Court, but the legislators and governors in the states.
- The state legislature will get to wrestle on whether or not to cut benefits for current government workers pensions to save the pension fund from potential insolvency.
- Dan McKay looks at the latest big box battle -- whether there should be a Wal-Mart at the congested Coors and Montaño intersection. Looking at recent history, you have to think that the mega-corporation will win.
- A judge in Questa was disciplined by the Supreme Court for issuing a restraining order that he was not authorized to issue, the Taos News reported last week.
In the case in question, Rael told the commission that he issued the restraining order to prevent any further conflict between two Questa men who were in his court to dispute damages inflicted to one of the men’s vehicles, causing some $2,700 worth of needed repairs.
I do not believe that is how the law works.
In a written response to the commission filed Dec. 22, 2011, Rael said he felt that he had to violate the law in order to make peace between the two families. Rael elaborated that he had “known both of these young men since they were infants and I know them both to be very arrogant.”
- Milan Simonich praises the Corrections Department for admitting and owning up to a big mistake, keeping an inmate in prison for six months more than it should have.
- Test systems on White Sands Missile Range are using alternative fuel sources.
- As the 30th anniversary of Title IX came around, the Albuquerque Journal looked at the effect it had on the cutting of a number of men's athletic programs in 1998. I have to admit that I'm not fully versed in the politics and particulars of Title IX, but I have hear a proposal to exempt football from the program, since there is not an equivalent women's sport (football has many more scholarships than any other sport and takes much more money). Anyway, all the talk about Title IX has been interesting to follow in recent weeks.