--2 Morning Word: Government shutdown hits NM
         
Dec. 8, 2016
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Morning Word: Government shutdown hits NM

Bourdain insults New Mexico frito pie and the rest of NM's news...

October 1, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • The federal government shut down at midnight, as the House and Senate could not come to an agreement on whether or not to require defunding Obamacare as a cost of letting the rest of governmental business continue.

    The Democrats in the Senate voted for the "clean" continuing resolution. Democrats in the House voted against the House Republicans' version that included, among other things, delays to the Affordable Care Act. Steve Pearce voted along with his party, but previously suggested that he would voted for a "clean" version.
  • NM Telegram collected responses from members of the New Mexico congressional delegation.
  • KRQE has some of the numbers of those who will be furloughed.
    However, at Kirtland Air Force Base, 1,074 civilian employees out of their 2,070 civilian employees are now furloughed.

    More than 400 civilians at Cannon Air Force Base, and another 422 civilians from Holloman Air Force base, are now placed on emergency furlough status.
  • Some National Guards personnel will be furloughed as well.
  • A federal judge spoke about the effects of the shutdown.
    "We have thousands of people who process the disability cases at the initial stages up to a hearing," he explained. "That starts a year in advance, before a case gets to a judge. Those cases are not going to be processed."

    Before a claim makes it to Frye's courtroom there are months, even a year of processing keeping it in the back room. He says even if staff is furloughed for say -- 4 days -- that could mean 30 days of delay for a claimant.
  • Veterans will also be affected by the shutdown.
    Benefits for veterans are at risk of running out of money. The Department of Veterans Affairs said if the shutdown goes until late October, it would run out of funds to pay for veterans' pensions and compensations checks, affecting about 3.6 million veterans and their families.
  • Navajo Nation president Ben Shelley was less-than pleased with the government shutdown.
    "It is unconscionable that the federal government will come to a complete halt due to a few unreasonable members of Congress. They have one primary role, to fund the government, and they need to do their job. By failing to provide funding, Congress is once again failing to honor its trust responsibility to America’s first people,” President Shelly said.
  • They are hoping to ensure services continue. Two-thirds of the Navajo Nation's budget comes from the federal government.
  • The Albuquerque Journal wrote about the shutdown.
  • Despite the shutdown, open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act begins today. Winthrop Quigley writes about what critics of the law are getting wrong.
    As it happens, Obamacare has very little to do with health and everything to do with finance. It is an attempt to rescue the nation’s for-profit health-care financing system from itself.
  • The final debate for Albuquerque mayor grew heated.
  • The hits keep on coming for the Human Services Department. Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, says up to 3,000 patient records may have been released.
    He said a company called Document Imaging of the Southwest scanned paperwork involving patients who previously were treated by the New Mexico providers. It converted the patient records to a digital database for the Arizona companies taking over patient care, Morales said.

    Morales, who works at a medical center, said an unencrypted email containing a spreadsheet of up to 3,000 patients’ names was released during this process.
  • Navajo Nation president Ben Shelley signed the Navajo Nation budget, but used the line item veto pen on some projects outlined in the budget.
  • Pastors gathered to support a late-term abortion ban.
  • Federal disaster aid for the floods earlier in the summer is coming.
  • New Mexico Compass looks at the clash between activists and the mayor over the mayor's plans for the bosque.
    Rio Grande Vision planners called a public meeting to order on Sept. 4. It was a standing room-only crowd of hundreds, and local media was on hand to register the majority of attendees voicing opposition to the city’s ideas. Democratic candidate Pete Dinelli and Independent Paul Heh, contenders for the mayor’s office, have both since come out against the Rio Grande Vision.

    The city then canceled a public meeting scheduled for Sept. 18. According to a city press release, more public meetings will be set after staffers are able “to analyze the comments and to study and incorporate some of the comments” from the previous meeting.
  • And National Geographic looks at the amazing bosque in New Mexico:
    The Rio Grande, the second largest river in the southwestern United States, boasts a remarkable bosque, or riverside cottonwood forest, which extends some 200 miles (320 kilometers) through New Mexico – from Santa Fe south to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, famed for its overwintering population of sandhill cranes.

    By some accounts, the bosque of the Rio Grande is the largest continuous cottonwood gallery forest in the world.
  • The largest union of CenturyLink workers rejected a proposed contract. No strike is imminent, however.
  • The Dona Ana County district attorney's decision to drop an embezzlement case against a former Sunland Park contractor is raising eyebrows.
  • The owners of a hotel in Aztec are battling an oil company over damages from a leaky underground tank at a gas station.
    Regardless of the odds, Tweeti Blancett continues to stand -- all 5 feet 3 inches of her -- and fight.

    "The gas plume that leaked from the gas station I only discovered after we bought this property and built our hotel," she said. "The first sign I got that something was terribly wrong was when I noticed the mulberry trees along the north side of our property began withering and dying."
  • The Tucumcari Commission voted to fire the city manager.
    The surprise move came at the end of the commission’s regular meeting.

    Commissioners Jimmy Sandoval, Ernie Dominguez and Dora Salinas-McTigue voted to dismiss Powers. Commissioners Robert Lumpkin and Mayor Amiel Curnutt voted against the move.

    The motion to dismiss Powers was made by Sandoval, who said Powers had been “unresponsive to requests” for action from commissioners and moved to dismiss Powers based on “nonperformance.”
  • Two candidates for city council in Las Cruces failed to get on the ballot, while five others qualified. Two also qualified for the ballot for municipal judge. The election is November 5.
  • Angelo Jaramillo announced he would run for Santa Fe city council.
  • The village of Ruidoso is nearing a decision on a better water reservoir for the village. They have five alternatives in front of them.
    But they heard from Ed A. Toms of URS Corporation that he is recommending, primarily because of cost, Alternative 4, which would create a new reservoir downstream and would decommission the existing reservoir, leaving it for recreational purposes.
  • Former Los Alamos National Labs director Harold Agnew passed away at the age of 92.
    “His contributions to the Laboratory made us the institution we are today,” McMillan said. “It was his vision – decades ago – that recognized that national security science brings value to a broad spectrum of breakthroughs. Los Alamos and the nation will be forever in Harold’s debt.”
  • Anthony Bourdain was forced to apologize for his criticism of a New Mexico frito pie.
    "Contrary to the impression left by some reports of the show, I, in fact, very much enjoyed my Frito pie in spite of its disturbing weight in the hand. It may have felt like (expletive) but was shockingly tasty," Bourdain said in a statement.

    The food critic wasn't all negative toward New Mexico on the episode. Bourdain is seen driving on Route 66 through New Mexico and speaks of the famous highway's different cultures and cornucopia of food. He also is shown enjoying some "level 3" green chile and having to "wait it out" while the spicy effects wear off.
  • In case you need something to keep you up at night, it is matting season for tarantulas.
    Around here, the eight-legged, insect-eating arachnids are about the size of a Krispy Kreme doughnut and have a leg span of about 4 or 5 inches. A number of people have reported seeing them strolling slowly and deliberately down Santa Fe County roads in recent weeks.
  • Call centers in Las Cruces are hiring. Call centers are just about always hiring because the turnover is so high.

 

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