--2 Morning Word: Back to normal as federal workers back on the job
Oct. 25, 2016

Morning Word: Back to normal as federal workers back on the job

And the rest of New Mexico's news

October 18, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee compiled clips of media coverage of the shutdown, including that Rep. Steve Pearce was the only member of the delegation to vote against the bill that ended the shutdown, in a web video. His potential Democrats in the race also made sure to point out that Pearce voted against the bill in statements released to the media.
  • A heartbreaking story from Joline Gutierrez Krueger about a newlywed woman who is losing her memory because of cancer. She was only recently allowed to marry, because she happens to be a lesbian.
  • The shutdown hit the Los Alamos area hard, including subcontractors who won't be able to make up the lost money. And:
    Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve were not only closed during one of the peak tourist seasons of the year, but both had to cancel major yearly events: the Fall Fiesta at Bandelier and the Elk Festival at the Valles.
  • NM Capitol Report previews next week's same-sex marriage hearing at the state Supreme Court. The case is coming years ahead of what advocates had hoped for.
  • Advertising for the New Mexico health exchange is on hold until problems with the federal exchange are fixed. The federal website has been plagued with problems -- although this was overshadowed by the federal shutdown.
  • Remember the behavioral health providers? Those in Taos are seeing lighter case loads after the recent takeovers by Arizona firms.
    Casa de Corazón formerly employed more than 40 staff at its Taos office. Valle del Sol now has 27 employees here.

    "We believe that the transition has not been without some bumps in the road," Valle del Sol's chief development officer Carlos Galindo-Elvira told The Taos News, noting clients did not automatically transfer from Casa de Corazón to the new provider. Instead, interested clients had to enroll with Valle del Sol and sign a waiver to transfer files.
  • A tax review flagged properties that did not report additions like porches or pools.
    Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson's property was flagged after a review showed the addition of a breakfast nook as well as a sizable covered patio. Neither improvement was on the tax rolls.

    "Those two things were there when we purchased the property," Johnson noted. "This happens, but the scrutiny is certainly warranted."
    At Commissioner Art De La Cruz's property in the South Valley, a carport built nearly 10 years ago has been turned into a well-kept garage. But as far as the county assessor is concerned, the property is still a carport.

    De La Cruz's tax bill reflects that. In fact, every year since 2009, his tax bill has actually decreased.
  • State police are investigating a second threatening message to the Public Education Department.
    Both voicemail recordings contained what sounds like gunshots, Department of Public Safety spokesman Emmanuel Gutierrez tells SFR, noting the messages don't contain any talking. DPS officers are currently at the Apodaca building investigating the matter.
  • APS Superintendent Winston Brooks explained to business leaders why he sent an email urging teachers not to quit.
    Many of those teachers have said they are considering quitting the profession because they feel they’re being forced to teach to tests and other criteria that doesn’t fully measure a teacher’s performance, Brooks said.

    “They’ve been saying, ‘This is not the profession I got into. This is beyond what I thought I was getting into,’” Brooks told a breakfast meeting of the Economic Forum of Albuquerque.
  • KOAT covers the state Public Education Department sending an email to thousands of teachers to rebut arguments from one school board member in Albuquerque. It includes this anecdote:
    But when Target 7 asked Skandera if she'd consider slowing down the implementation of the system, she cut off the conversation midway through, saying she had to run to a dinner in Massachusetts.

    "We'll continue to look for opportunities to have conversations to make sure our teachers have accurate information," she said before she hung up.
    Mid-Heights Messenger, a friend of the blog, first reported on the PED email.
  • Speaking of Mid-Heights Messenger, the blog has an update on the upcoming runoff election and special election in Albuquerque.
  • KOB reports on teachers speaking out about the proposed teacher evaluations.
  • Lincoln County rejected a $3,000 grant to promote the health care exchange and instead will link to the exchange on the county website.
    Commissioners didn't like the extra requirements attached to the grant or additional employee time and county money that might be needed to meet imposed obligations. Topping off the objections, Commissioner Mark Doth also offered his opinion Tuesday during the commission meeting that "It's a waste of time."
  • Knight Science Journalism at MIT gave some praise to the Santa Fe Reporter and Laura Paskus over her writing about the copper rule.
    Ms. Paskus busted her backside digging into public records for story #3. She embedded it with links to documents she dug from public records and or beavered up who-knows-how. They include insider emails. I had a hard time for awhile opening some of the pdfs behind her links but eventually figured them out. It was like being led by hand through a dusty warehouse of obscure archives.
  • Hotels in Santa Fe say they will be hurt by a drop in per diems from the federal government.
  • No one wants to be the Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate.
  • Wind projects in Eastern New New Mexico will require more transmission lines.
    New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority Executive Director Jeremy Turner said bringing transmission lines to Texas is easier because the state has more money than New Mexico, but regulations and many other factors also play a role.
  • National parks around the state reopened thanks to the end of the shutdown.
  • The Alamogordo Daily News has a pretty awesome photo in their story about federal government facilities reopening.
  • The Las Cruces Sun-News looks at those in southern New Mexico who are going back to work.
  • The modified scholarship plan for UNM will begin in 2014.
  • The NOAA predicts a dry, warm winter. Which is bad for skiing. Which is bad for tourism in New Mexico, which is bad for the economy.

    Oh, and bad for the drought.
  • Clovis City commissioners voted against a water study for the Ute Pipeline project.
    The vote was 5-0; Commissioners Randy Crowder and Dan Stoddard were absent and Commissioner Sandra Taylor-Sawyer joined via phone, but had technical difficulties and did not vote.

    According to [mayor David] Lansford, the Ute Water Commission voted at its last meeting to send area representatives back to their jurisdictions to request authority from their governing bodies as to whether they would support a new study.
  • The Las Vegas city council approved a pilot water project to store water underground.
  • Conservatives tried to make a big deal about an official with Rio Arriba County attending Netroots Nation. The Attorney General said the trip didn't violate any rules.
    Martinez reported attending workshops on “Tweeting the revolution: Twitter training for Medicaid outreach campaigning,” “We spent a year monitoring 10,000 Facebook pages: Here’s what you should know,” “Best practices and trends in social issue film outreach: Engaging audiences,” “How to get media and breakthrough on your issue,” “Google analytics for tracking and optimization,” “Organizing: Engaging new people through humor, culture and tangible impact,” “Climate change: Congressional leaders, allies and the path ahead,” “The most epic subject line writing workshop in the history of Netroots Nation,” and “Digital campaigns on a budget.”

    Reichelt reported attending workshops on “All things Medicaid,” “Tweeting the revolution: Twitter training for Medicaid outreach campaigning,” “Voting rights for a shifting demographic,” “Women on the run,” “Implementing the Affordable Care Act,” and “Ask a sista: Black women muse on politics, pop culture, policy and scholarship.”
  • Rainwater is going to be released from Cochiti Dam because debris is making things dangerous as it blocks the dam.
  • Jim Baca, the former mayor of Albuquerque and former State Land Commissioner, doesn't like the attention on fundraising totals.
    It really is worse than when I got involved in politics back in the mid 70's. Sure, money to run campaigns mattered back then, but it wasn't the sole indicator of someones chance of winning. Hard footwork, meetings, and a platform that involved policy positions mattered. But since the Roberts Supreme Court decided that corporations are people and effectively took of the limits on contributions by CEOs and Boards it has been the rule that it is hard to win without being owned by them.
  • Private spaceflight is about more than just space tourism, Virgin Galactic executives said.
    The emerging industry is taking traditional aerospace technologies and using them in different ways to enable regular access to the suborbital environment, said Brett Alexander, director of business development and strategy at Jeff Bezos' fledgling aerospace company Blue Origin.
  • New Mexico Mercury's Insight New Mexico series continues. This time, V.B. Price speaks to historian E.A. "Tony" Mares.
  • Otero County rescinded funds for the Alamogordo library.
    "It's become a childish political battle down there that I no longer wish to be part of as the commission, my vote, I don't want any part of the library," he said. "Because what the library board was set up to do and what they're doing are so far apart it's like the North and South Pole."

    Rardin also said he was upset the library board released the county's library board member Patricia Trautman. He said the library board had been arguing with Trautman over her term of service and then decided to dismiss her.
  • A man had $135,000 in cash stolen from a friend's garage. The man didn't trust banks.
  • The screening of Star Wars in Dine, the Navajo language, was well-received at the Kimo Theater in Albuquerque.
    “When the bad guy said open the door, and then the other guy said 'eeeyah',” Eric explained his favorite part was when a regional colloquialism common to the Navajo language was used in reference to the Emperor.
  • The Johnny Tapia documentary was a hit at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.
    Victory and defate aside, world title-holding boxer Tapia died at the the age of 45 -- known forever as "the baby-faced assassin" who lived la vida loca, and was "Albuquerque's champion." It was just three weeks after filmmakers wrapped interviews for the documentary Tapia that the athlete died in his Duke City home in May of 2012, so Thursday's screening at the Lensic Performing Arts Center as part of the second night of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival was in many ways still a farewell.
    Tapia is a controversial figure -- he was a drug addict, but undoubtedly a skilled and talented boxer.
  • Has the Breaking Bad obsession in Albuquerque gone too far? [SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T FINISHED THE SERIES YET!!!]

    There will be a funeral procession for Walter White, complete with an escort by the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department. At least it is a fundraiser for charity.

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