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Morning Word, 12-21-12

The New Mexico news recap

December 21, 2012, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
Well, we're all still here. Sorry everyone who thought the Mayans predicted the end of the world, Phil Plait was right. Remember to check out the pre-filed legislation -- legislators are allowed to prefile legislation until January 11. Then they have to wait until the session starts on January 15. Legislation can be introduced until February 14.

On to the Word:
  • Will there be an assault weapons ban in Santa Fe? Albuquerque Journal North is on it.
    City Attorney Geno Zamora told the Journal it’s a “complicated” issue and his office will work with the City Council “to appropriately address the ban of assault weapons in the city.”

    Also, City Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger is working on a resolution that asks President Barack Obama to enact federal legislation to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
  • Meanwhile, gun sales skyrocketed in Santa Fe, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.
  • Congresswoman-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she was appointed to the House Agriculture Committee.

    From the statement:
    “I am excited and honored to serve on the House Committee on Agriculture, which allows me the opportunity to represent consumers on food safety and nutrition issues, advocate for small businesses and affordable housing, and pursue investments in renewable energy,” Rep.-elect Lujan Grisham said. “I look forward to representing constituents who need access to modern infrastructure and economic development opportunities.”
    The House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee will meet again in January to approve second committee assignments for new members of Congress.
  • Gov. Susana Martinez is calling for a statewide moment of silence at 9:30 for the victims of the shooting in Connecticut, the AP reports.
  • The Navajo Nation is set to take over a coal mine currently owned by an Australian company, the Farmington Daily News reports.
  • KOB finds that a traveler doesn't think the REAL ID extension is a solution. KOB does not mention that just repealing drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants would not make New Mexico meet REAL ID requirements.
  • The Albuquerque Journal:
    New Mexico driver’s licenses violate 16 of 31 requirements set by the law, according to Gov. Susana Martinez’s office.
  • The New Mexico Business Weekly is no more -- but don't fret. It has changed its name to Albuquerque Business First.
    More than just a weekly newspaper, we’ve been delivering breaking business news through our website for years, and have greatly expanded our offerings in that area throughout 2012. Many of our readers rely on the intelligence and insight we offer to help them develop leads, make informed decisions and grow their business. These readers are living in a world of rapid shifts, and can’t wait until the end of each week to learn about what’s new in their local business community. We recognize the urgency of their need for information, and we’ve been fine-tuning our approach to news delivery so we can offer our readers the latest stories and developments as they happen.
    NMBW, er, ABF has done some writing online but I am not sure how much dedicated online reporting it has. Its paper product, however, is still formidable. It has shown a larger emphasis on online journalism recently and we'll see if that expands.

    Oh, and check out ABF's FAQ on the change.
  • Albuquerque Business First (that will take some time to get used to) reports on the legislation endorsed by the state Legislature's interim Science and Technology Committee including legislation designed to end the state's "brain drain" -- or graduates leaving the state.
  • The Las Vegas Optic reports raising the capacity of a leaking dam is not an option because it would be too costly.
    But the raising of Peterson Dam is now off the table after the engineering firm conducting a geotechnical investigation of the project discovered that the geology of the area would likely increase the cost of the project by millions.
  • A member of the suspended Questa School Board (and candidate for school board again) is threatening lawsuits, the Taos News reports.
    Suspended Questa school board member Daryl Ortega and his brother, Gary Ortega, are threatening to sue a number of parties for causing their business to lose contracts with the Questa Independent School District, as well as for “slander and defamation of character.”
    The Questa School Board is doing its all to make the Sunland Park municipal government look normal
  • The PRC blocked an electric rate increase from a generator that supplies energy for 12 rural electric cooperatives.
    The vote was 4-1 with Commissioner Ben Hall dissenting.

    Hall, R-Ruidoso, said the dispute would end up in a lawsuit, given that Tri-State planned to raise rates starting Jan. 1.

    The other commissioners agreed with Hall that litigation probably was inevitable.

    But, they said, the New Mexico Legislature in 2000 approved a law establishing a process for rate increases and Tri-State agreed to it. The law cannot be abandoned simply because Tri-State wants to raise rates when the new year begins, said commission majority decided.
  • The drought in New Mexico isn't going anywhere, KOB reports.
  • Albuquerque Business First reports that New Mexico credit unions did well.
    The state cracked the top five in the share of credit unions with positive returns on average assets, according to a quarterly review by the National Credit Union Administration, the Washington, D.C.-based federal regulator.
  • PRC commissioner Ben Hall cooled down towards fellow commissioner Jason Marks, Milan Simonich reports. It was Marks' last
  • NMSU named its 16-person presidential search committee, the Las Curces Sun-News reports.
    Ultimately, the panel will be tasked with making recommendations to the Board of Regents about the best candidate or candidates.

    "As I have mentioned before, it is the desire of the board to select a president by May 2013," said NMSU Regent Chairman Mike Cheney, in a news release.
  • Newer James Bond movies are much more violent than the oldest James Bond movies, University of New Mexico researchers found.
    Researchers who viewed 22 movies from the enduring spy franchise counted more than twice as many acts of violence in the 2008 film “Quantum of Solace” as in the 1962 film “Dr. No,” starring Sean Connery.

 

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