--2 Morning Word: Latest on ABQ abortion ban vote
Oct. 21, 2016

Morning Word: Latest on ABQ abortion ban vote

And the rest of New Mexico's news

October 31, 2013, 8:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
  • Early voting began yesterday for Albuquerque's November 19 elections. On the ballot are a runoff for the city council seat in District 7 and the controversial 20-week abortion ban vote.
  • A voter is upset at an anti-abortion ad being sent out with an official application for an absentee ballot. The Albuquerque city clerk had to clarify it is not from her office.
  • The Santa Fe city council sent proposed charter amendments to the March ballot. See the Santa Fe New Mexican story for the list of amendments that voters in the state capitol will decide on.
  • The Santa Fe Reporter looks at the controversy surrounding Jon Hendry and the Santa Fe mayoral election.
  • But, surprisingly, PACs are allowed to coordinate with municipal campaigns in Santa Fe.
  • KRWG-TV will broadcast the only municipal debates with all Las Cruces candidates.
  • In his response to a lawsuit seeking the release of the behavioral health audit that remains secret, an attorney for Attorney General Gary King says releasing the audit would harm the law enforcement exemption of the Inspection of Public Records Act.
  • New Mexico Compass writes about the Public Education Department response to criticism through emails from spokesman Larry Behrens.
  • The Rio Rancho Public Schools board isn't happy with the evaluation system.
    “I’m just so frustrated it’s being shoved down our throat,” board member Don Schlichte said. “People are considering leaving the profession … people are afraid to say anything, feeling backlash. It’s not being done well.”

    “This has no basis in statistics,” board member Divyesh Patel said. “This is a half-baked product.”
    RRPS has traditionally had a conservative school board.
  • APS superintendent Winston Brooks retweeted some controversial signs from a protest against teacher evaluations.
  • KRQE covers the investment crisis that Bernalillo County is under. The county had to cash in long-term investments early to stay solvent.
  • And here is the take from the Albuquerque Journal which has been covering the topic.
  • Because of this, one citizen says he will start collecting recall petitions against County Treasurer Manny Ortiz.
  • The director of New Mexico's Game and Fish Department resigned on Wednesday. It isn't clear why he suddenly resigned, but it came after a closed meeting of the Game Commission in Albuquerque.
  • New Mexico Mercury, meanwhile, spoke to APS Board Vice President Kathy Korte. Korte is a vocal opponent of the leadership of the PED and the proposed teacher evaluation systems.
  • The Farmington Daily-News is seeking documents related to embezzlement from the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, but the group says it is exempt from open records laws because it is not a government entity. However, it receives 95 percent of its funding from the city.
    Because the bureau conducts the city's business with public money, Williams said, its records are public.

    The bureau receives about $1.2 million in city taxes per year, according to a summary of the bureau's budget for fiscal years 2006 through 2014. The money comes from the city's lodgers tax, a 5-percent tax that residents and visitors pay on lodging fees within city limits, said Andy Mason, the city's Director of Administrative Services. The bureau share of the lodgers tax revenue is about 70 percent of the total.
  • Is yoga a secret way to indoctrinate children into eastern religions? Leslie Linthicum examines the topic.
    I had never heard the “slippery slope to Eastern religion” argument before Baldonado voiced it. I thought yoga was just a way to make sure I have really sore shoulders while getting permission to buy cute new pants. But Christian leaders from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to the popular Mars Hill Church have voiced the warning that yoga opens a door to Eastern religions.
  • They are starting to pump groundwater contaminated by a massive jet fuel spill at Kirtland Air Force Base.
  • The Associated Press looks at why parents send their children to controversial youth reform camps in the wake of the Tierra Blanca Ranch abuse allegations.
    There are few options for parents like Hall, and in that vacuum, a relatively unregulated, off-the-grid industry of reform youth camps has flourished, despite a decade of high-profile cases alleging beatings and other abuse at some camps.

    Proponents of such programs — which can cost upward of $100,000 a year — say they are an effective, last-ditch solution to save troubled youth from the criminal justice system.
  • The delay of commercial space flight by Virgin Galactic will likely end up costing the state millions of dollars. Albuquerque Business First explains:
    Spaceport Authority spokesman David Wilson on Wednesday confirmed that the Spaceport’s director, Christine Anderson, will go to the Legislature in January to ask for an additional $6.8 million to finish paving the road.

    The Spaceport needs the money because of how its business model is set up: As tenants launch at the Spaceport, they pay an increased amount of fees to use the facility. Virgin had planned to begin launches in February, and that would have meant more revenue for the spaceport, and for the road, Wilson said.
  • While Sandia National Labs avoided completely shutting down in the government shutdown earlier this month, the budget debate is still worrying Sandia's director.
    Though Hommert is upbeat about the labs scientists meeting the technical requirements, “With respect to budgetary changes, I cannot be as sanguine,” he told the subcommittee.

    The labs are operating on a fiscal year 2014 allocation that is 23 percent below the labs’ 2014 requirement, he said in the 11-page report.
  • Despite the wishes of the Ruidoso village council, the authority to pick a replacement for the council is up to the mayor. The council can vote to approve or reject the mayor's choice, but there isn't much beyond that that they can do according to state law.
  • A lot of people want to be the next chief of police in Rio Rancho. Already, 27 people have applied.
  • KUNM looks at the groundbreaking of a pretreatment facility for sewage in the South Valley of Albuquerque. It is supposed to help with a stench in the area.
    The neighborhood association has been working with policy makers and executives to solidify a long term plan. This $31 million state of the art pre-treatment facility, scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2015, is just the first step in the rehab process.
  • An interesting look at being black in Santa Fe.
  • The Carlsbad Municipal Schools district is looking at BLM land as a location for some new schools.
  • Heroin use is up in Albuquerque.
  • Some Placitas residents don't like plans to round up the wild horses in Placitas.
  • The Los Alamos County Council approved changes to the structure of the gas rate.
  • This is pretty crazy: Eastern New Mexico University has possession of the first draft of "The Empire Strikes Back" and other classic movies.
    Upon request, there are original movie scripts and screenplays available for public viewing from Leigh Brackett, an author and screenwriter who was good friends with ENMU legend and science fiction pioneer Jack Williamson.

    They were donated to the library after her death in March 1978, according to the section’s reference librarian Gene Bundy.

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