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Morning Word: Statewide immigration rallies

The New Mexico news recap

May 2, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • There were rallies held throughout the state calling for immigration reform. The Las Cruces Sun-News has a report. NM Capitol Report also was on hand at a rally.
  • National Republicans are already targeting Hector Balderas, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. This is likely a signal that Republicans consider Balderas a serious threat to take out Dianna Duran if he wins the Democratic primary. Balderas faces former Public Regulation Commissioner Jason Marks in the Democratic primary.
  • The jobless rate fell in New Mexico's metro areas, Albuquerque Business First reports. It appears to be a mix of new jobs and less people in the job market.
  • NM Capitol Report reports the PRC stopped a potential large raise for executives at the state Insurance Division.
  • Albuquerque's construction industry reportedly lost jobs in March.
  • The New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, a progressive alternative to the conservative Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, named Laura E. Sanchez as its new CEO. Sanchez, an attorney, briefly ran for state Senate in an Albuquerque district but withdrew before the Democratic primary.
  • The Weekly Alibi updates the investigation, or lack thereof, in a shooting that the family of the victim say was vigilantism.
  • Sen. Tom Udall took over a border task force previously led by Jeff Bingaman. He led his first meeting on Wednesday:
    Sen. Udall (D-NM) began by providing an update of various operations along the border. He said illegal immigration has "significantly" declined, citing apprehension figures in the Border Patrol's El Paso Sector - which includes Luna County - of 9,678 in 2012 compared to 122,000 in 2006.

    "We know some of this has to do with economic activity in Mexico," he said.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can bar non-residents from getting open records. The Farmington Daily-Times looks at what this could mean for New Mexico.
  • Vice President Joe Biden invited Gov. Susana Martinez to his Cinco de Mayo party.
  • Your Daily Drought Digest:

    There was no water released from Elephant Butte in April for the first time ever.

    Bigger, faster, earlier wildfires? Oh, great.
    The lack of moisture hasn’t propagated any “fine fuels” — grasses and plants that propel fires between trees and other flammable objects — since at least the 2012 fire season, according to the May wildland fire potential outlook created by the National Interagency Fire Center.

    Apart from the lack of fine fuel growth, the researchers said, the fuel that already exists is dead or dying due to lack of moisture. That means faster, bigger, earlier fires this season in the West.
  • The Republican Party of New Mexico ripped the decision by Mora's County Commission to ban oil and gas drilling.

    Here is part of a statement by Mora County Republican Party Chairman Frank Trambley released by the state party:
    “This decision appears to have been made with a total a lack of knowledge in the process of oil and gas extraction, as well as with a complete oversight of the hardworking men and women employed within the industry. It is a double standard for these commissioners to limit potential for their county, while there is little doubt that they still utilize gasoline, propane and natural gas and still want the revenues to help better their communities. When looking at the facts, we must ask if these commissioners have ever been to the areas where the oil and gas industry flourishes. Those in oil producing areas, no doubt, can speak to the benefits of the industry; however, extreme progressives apparently believe that there is no clean air or clean water in these areas. It is truly maddening to see such sweeping bans being made without accurate knowledge.”
    Mora is one of the most Democratic counties in the state, with Democratic candidates regularly getting over 70 percent of the vote.
  • Bad news for those looking for a UNM Hospital expansion to relieve some of the long waits -- the hospital will put expansion talks on hold until Medicare expansion is decided, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
  • Leslie Linthicum with the latest edition of the always-interesting "Ask a liberal."
  • The Carlsbad school board is siding with its superintendent in a dispute with the state Public Education Department.
    On March 29, a notice of contemplated action was delivered to Perkowski from the New Mexico Public Education Department alleging he had misused district funds while on out-of-town trips and mishandled personnel issues pertaining to former P.R. Leyva Middle School Principal Laquita Wheeler. Via PED investigator Brenda Mares, the PED had found sufficient cause to suspend or revoke Perkowski's administrative license, the notice stated.
  • The Los Alamos County Council voted to adopt ar ule change to require 72 hour notice for regular meetings. This was codified into state law by the legislature in this year's legislative session.
  • If you're in Santa Fe and don't pay your water bills you may lose your services faster, under a proposal from the Santa Fe city council.
  • Rio Rancho councilors continued to show their opposition to a park designed to allow people with disabilities to play.
    City councilors voted 4-2 to change the recommended allocations by moving the $15,500 intended for A Park Above to the Rio Rancho Housing Opportunity Program. The park would involve features allowing people with and without disabilities to play together.
    The money instead will go towards first-time homebuyer program that will aid low-income and disabled residents.
  • Sandoval County says no more open burning on unincorporated county land.
  • "slutwalk" held at New Mexico State University.
  • Three New Mexico companies in rural areas will receive money from a USDA grant to help expand their businesses.

 

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