Well, I don't even know what to say about what happened in Boston.
I spent all day watching cable TV, reading Twitter and checking the New York Times, Boston Globe and Reuters websites obsessively. From when the attack happened until I couldn't stand it anymore, I watched. I followed the news. I tweeted my thoughts (so much so that I was temporarily banned from Twitter).
But I still can't really fathom what happened. I can't really fathom what would drive somebody or some people to do such a heinous act to kill, to injure, to ruin lives and give children nightmares. To take what is a joyful day and a culmination of months or even years of hard work and pain -- and turn it into a day that will always be remembered alongside other horrific days in American history.
There were people whose limbs were literally torn from their body -- children who will never be the same, physically or mentally. Adults who will never be the same. A whole event, a celebratory day in Boston and throughout New England that will never be the same.
I wish that I had some answers. I wish I knew how to stop these things or at the very least help catch the perpetrators. But instead, I watched in the afternoon and into the evening, helpless. I did what I knew how to do -- watched what was happening. Tried to report on it. Sort out what sounded like rumor and conjecture from things that were actually helpful and real.
But it was all just a way to avoid that helpless feeling of being a spectator to a horrific incident.
It is a feeling I hope I never have again.
On to the Word:
- Thank you for understanding why I couldn't do the Word yesterday -- and thank you for those who offered to help or just asked how I was doing.
- Gov. Susana Martinez's statement on the Boston attack:
“My thoughts and prayers are with all of today’s victims who were injured or killed, as well as their friends and family members and all of the New Mexicans who were visiting the great city of Boston for today’s marathon. I also pray for the first responders to this tragic situation, who are doing everything they can to provide aid and comfort to those who have been affected. It’s still too early to speculate as to what happened, but I am sickened by this horrible act of violence and I am confident that anyone who may have perpetrated this tragedy will be brought to justice.”
- KOB looks at the impact of the attacks on the local running community.
- Linda Lopez is preparing for a gubernatorial run and has hired a campaign treasurer, Steve Terrell reports.
- NM Telegram contributor Peter St. Cyr reports on Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry appointing Janice Arnold-Jones to the Albuquerque City Council to replace Michael Cook, who resigned after being charged with a DWI.
- John Bemis is out at the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and Martinez nominated New Mexico Environment Department secretary F David Martin to replace him.
- The Albuquerque chapter of the NAACP filed a complaint with the Attorney General's office over a lack of funding for the group's programs.
- Another example of the austerity of hitting home: the National Forest Service doesn't have enough money to keep a camping site near Pecos open, which angers local businessmen.
The impact on the Pecos sites may be only the beginning. According to an initial fiscal year 2013 budget memo for the Santa Fe National Forest, recreational funding is trending down. The agency’s recreational budget was cut by about 8 percent — $166,000 — from the 2012 budget. “Without adequate funding to support program areas, the forest must set priorities as to which sites will open, and conversely which will remain closed,” the memo states.
- Your Daily Drought Watch:
The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District will cut off irrigation water to some farmers John Fleck at the Albuquerque Journal reports.
Customers who have no water rights of their own, who instead buy water one year at a time from the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District’s “water bank,” got word Monday that their irrigation would be cut off unless and until Rio Grande flows improved.The most famous crop from New Mexico, chile, faces challenges because of the drought. The Las Cruces Sun-News:
"Many of the growing areas are pumping from fairly shallow aquifers," said Stephanie Walker, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension vegetable specialist. "Saline conditions will hurt the overall yield, of crops, including chile."
The Las Vegas city council increase penalties for illegal fireworks, citing the drought.
And entering the third year of the severe drought, the salt is building up in soil.
"It's affecting all crops. The cause and effect is throughout the valley," said Bobby Kuykendall, who grows long green, habañero and ancho chile between La Union and Berino. "We're getting less disease problems with pump water vs. canal water, but the salinity still has an effect on chile."
- Rio Rancho mayor/Bernalillo County public safety administrator Tom Swisstack is well-compensated, the Journal reports.
Tom Swisstack draws salary and pension checks for his roles as a Bernalillo County public safety administrator and Rio Rancho’s mayor, along with decades on the county payroll and a five-year stint as a state legislator.
The total: around $217,000 in annual salary and pension benefits, according to city, county and state officials. Both positions also provide him with a take-home vehicle for work-related use.
- Steve Terrell sees an echo of the gun control debate on the federal level in the background check bill that ran out of time in the state Senate thanks to a filibuster by opponents of the reform.
- Two of the three candidates for Democratic Party chair say they are poised for victory, NM Capitol Report says.
- An impact fee moratorium could have had a positive impact on Rio Rancho's economy. But it is likely a combination of factors, including a slowly improving economy.
- A Hobbs biofuel company has converted waste, sunshine and water to CO2. A key step to making gasoline and jet fuel.
- There were no injuries in a gunshot incident outside the house of a former Clovis-Portales District Attorney, the Clovis News-Journal reports. There are few details on the incident.
- Three members of the New Mexico congressional delegation approved of a natural gas deal with Japan to the chagrin of environmental groups, Capitol Report New Mexico reports.
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rescinded a permit to trap and keep border-crossing Mexican gray wolves.
- Northern New Mexico College and the employees union ended a four-month standoff and "establish a memorandum of understanding" on a deal.