Morning Word: Poll says Bushee leads mayoral race
BernCo treasurer news blows up and more NM news...
November 7, 2013, 8:00 am
A poll found that Patti Bushee leads the Santa Fe mayoral race. The poll finds that a large amount of voters are undecided -- not surprising since the elections haven't kicked into gear yet for the March vote.
SFR first reported on the poll. The paper dug into the crosstabs.
KRQE is out with a big investigative story on the Bernalillo County Treasurer fiasco.
Using public records, interviews with several people inside Bernalillo County and other sources, a three-week KRQE investigation has uncovered troubling details about a broker who has a longstanding business relationship with [county Investment Office Patrick] Padilla and Padilla’s wife.
Padilla is running for State Treasurer.
Friend of the Blog Peter St. Cyr spoke to BerncCo Treasurer Manny Ortiz:
Through the years, Padilla has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in investments to the broker, Royce O. Simpson of Houston, Tex., for dozens of trades. Padilla’s wife, Cheryl A. Tucker, also sent a lot of business Simpson’s way, albeit on a smaller scale, when she was investment officer for Sandoval County in the 1990s.
NM Telegram looked at the Susana-Martinez-for-Vice-President speculation that was renewed after Martinez campaigned for Chris Christie before his emphatic win.
Orrin Hatch was one of those speculating, Steve Terrell pointed out. Terrell also wrote about the speculation.
The state insurance superintendent says insurance companies have to give couples in same-sex marriages the same plans as other married couples.
State workers are still waiting on back pay that is owed them after a Supreme Court decision.
Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said that the state Personnel Office has not committed to the payments being issued by a certain date and that the administration was not waiting for a court enforcement order.
Gov. Susana Martinez, back from her New Jersey trip, blasted APS superintendent Winston Brooks over a tweet he made about secretary-designate Hanna Skandera.
The Albuquerque Journal has a great headline on the story.
Mid-Heights Messenger continues to have some of the best coverage of the APS-PED split.
Instead, the six-month delay since the Supreme Court order for the back pay has been caused by time-consuming calculations necessary to determine the appropriate pay for each of the estimated 10,000 employees who qualify for a repayment, Knell said.
Lorenzo Garcia called “for a return to civil dialogue.” He pledged to listen to those who oppose APS and look for “common ground.” He called upon those who describe the APS Board and administration as “defending the status quo” to “stop using that language” and instead try to understand “what it is that we are saying and why we are saying it.”
Las Cruces teachers and administrators don't like the state-mandated teacher evaluation plan.
Garcia asked news media organizations to hold themselves “accountable to a higher standard and not just try to sell ratings, based on mistakes we that make or on things that happen that just keep us pitted against one another as adversaries.” He asked the media to focus on common interests, such as “the success of our children” and “the success of our communities.”
Meanwhile, some Las Cruces school board members are urging the district to develop its own evaluations that "may or may not parallel that of PED," as board member Bonnie Votaw put it.
A truck with anti-abortion imagery is driving around down in advance of this month's late-term abortion ban vote.
The DEA took marijuana plants from a provider for the state's medical marijuana program because the DEA can't access the law enforcement headline for the state's medical marijuana program.
"If we don't like the universe we're living in, then we can create our own," she said.
“We understand lawmakers intended to protect patient confidentiality when they originally put the restrictions in law, but we’d use the hotline if we had access to it,” says Chavez.
A woman who grows medical marijuana is upset that PNM shutoff her power after a $9,000 bill.
Kenny Vigil, a spokesman for the Department of Health, writes in an email to SFR, that the department can only allow the DEA access if legislators change the law. He also wouldn’t confirm whether Larson is part of the state’s medical cannabis program because the same law protects patient privacy.
Chance and her friends run a little one-acre organic farm on the property called Good Choices Farm – and that's the trouble. PNM says it's a business, and businesses pay higher rates and don't get the same medical breaks that residential customers might get.
An audit of Concho Corp. found the oil and gas producer underpaid royalties by $1.5 million since 2010.
"It is a business," Katz said. "It is a business, but it's not a business that uses electricity. We grow with the sun. It's a seasonal business."
Overall, the state has collected $3.2 million from audits of oil and gas companies. The state collected $494 million in royalties in fiscal year 2013, which helps fund schools, hospitals and universities. The Royalty Management Division administers a comprehensive audit program to ensure companies are reporting and paying royalties in accordance with lease agreements, rules and regulations.
A lawsuit pits two extractive companies against each other -- a potash mining company says an oil company infringed on lands in the mineral lease held by the potash company and allegedly damaging the potash deposits.
In 2005, court documents state, Devon staked out a gas well, but was directed to move it after the Bureau of Land Management determined that it would damage potash deposits.
The Mescalero Apache Tribe elected a new President.
The city of Farmington will likely avoid dipping into cash reserves.
A new drilling location was chosen, but actual drilling was done at the original site.
The city expected its revenue surplus to be $264,000 for the quarter, according to the financial report. But revenues increased by an additional $474,000, and expenditures were $863,000 less than expected. That is what accounted for the larger-than-expected surplus.
State Game and Fish officials say poaching is a bigger problem to the deer population in New Mexico than the drought.
Mayes said the city achieved its surplus by streamlining government expenses. It found efficiencies and reorganized departments, he said. The city also cut $3 million from program funding and reduced its workforce.
Buff said rifle deer season ends before December when the mule deer bucks begin their rut (matting season); this will increase the frequency of sightings for the larger trophy bucks that are chasing after does. He said typically this is when a majority of the illegal killing of trophy animals occurs. There have been incidents across the state where trophy deer (bucks) are shot in December and the hunter will remove their heads and dump the bodies.
Eddy County approved a $120,000 a year contract for the new county manager.
A plan to deal with petroglyphs damaged by flooding from this summer's storms is delayed after the government shutdown.
The Mayor Pro-Tem in Alamogordo wants the city manager fired after the way the city manager handled an incident during Oktoberfest.
"I am very disappointed in how the Oktoberfest festivities were handled and are being handled. I won't go into discussion on people -- what they did and what was not done -- but I am very disappointed," [Mayor Pro-Tem Al] Hernandez said. "I will be asking that we terminate the city manager's employment on Nov. 19."
The city of Rio Rancho is giving out free trees and touting the impact on electricity bills.
Taos County wants to be a pilot site for building a new veterans' cemetery.
The state launched a multi-agency effort to get veterans to work in the burgeoning film industry.
The Oktoberfest celebration -- held in September -- has come under fire because of two after-parties held late into the night that may have violated state rules regarding the serving of alcohol.