Morning Word: Three mayoral candidates qualify for public financing
And the rest of New Mexico's news...
December 3, 2013, 8:00 am
- One of the four candidates for mayor in Santa Fe did not qualify for public financing. The Santa Fe New Mexican could not reach Rebecca Wurzburger for comment on whether or not she would continue her campaign. City councilors Patti Bushee and Bill Dimas and former state Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales all qualified for public financing.
- The Interim Jobs Council says the state needs 160,000 jobs over the next ten years to get New Mexico back to where it was before the recession.
- APS School Board Vice President Kathy Korte is calling for parents to boycott teacher evaluation tests.
- A federal study found that incentive pay had an impact.
The study found that the bonuses clearly succeeded in attracting high-performing teachers.
Fully 88 percent of vacancies in the lower-performing schools were filled by the high-performing teachers who had been identified as eligible candidates for the transfer bonuses. Researchers noted that 81 vacancies were filled from a pool of more than 1,500 top-performing teachers.
- Conrad James will be running for his old House seat. James won the seat unopposed in 2010 then lost in a close race in 2012. This is another key race for Republicans if they want to take the state House -- along with the seats held by Democrats Stephanie Garcia-Richard and Phillip Archuleta.
- Gov. Susana Martinez will ask for $650,000 more funding for telemedicine in the upcoming legislative session.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican looks at what Santa Fe's homeless shelters need as cold weather sets in.
“We’ve had a lot of people coming to the door who have wet shoes [and] wet socks,” said St. Elizabeth Shelter Executive Director Deborah Tang. “The shoes and the socks are the biggest need right now. Because of the wet weather, keeping their feet warm is an important part of health for them.”
- The UNM Board of Regents will look at proposals to spend $13 million on Innovate Albuquerque later this week.
- The move towards commercial space travel from New Mexico continues. Virgin Galactic is making some hires.
The company has hired two New Mexicans. Kelly Barncastle will serve as terrestrial travel manager — helping space travelers get to, from and around New Mexico — and Greg Powe will manage the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space at the spaceport.Terrestrial travel manager is an awesome title.
- Truth or Consequences is bracing for the changes that will come after the Spaceport, 30 miles away, is up and running.
Currently, the potential of space tourism has everyone in the area on high alert. Virgin are meeting with local tourism suppliers next month to help ready them for the supposed onslaught, while T or C has embarked on a mission to spruce up ahead of its visitors.
Considering space travel will cost $250,000 per ticket, it is safe to assume that those who will go to space would be accustomed to luxury.
"We're working hard to make the town more attractive, but at the same time, we don't want it to lose its character. We don't want a 5-star hotel in downtown," he says.
- Valencia County commissioners will decide whether to come out against hunting contests. A Los Lunas pawn shop has become infamous for sponsoring contests seeing who can kill the most coyotes.
- The libertarian Mercatus Center says New Mexico has the second-highest percentage of private-sector jobs financed by federal contracts. This is thanks to two national labs and multiple military bases.
The study finds the "real public sector" in the state is the nation's worst.
- New Mexico added 1,900 jobs between October 2012 and October of this year.
Albuquerque added 2,000 jobs in the period, the seventh consecutive month of job gains in the area. Santa Fe added 200 jobs, and employment in Farmington and Las Cruces was unchanged.In other words, Albuquerque was, again,t he big winner and rural areas were the big losers when it came to jobs.
- Two hundred more jobs are headed to the Las Cruces area as General Dynamics is expanding.
The positions will range from entry-level to management, including service representatives, supervisors, back-office managers, quality specialists and trainers, according to a news release from the governor's office.
- Recovery staff in Luna county an from FEMA toured the site storm damage in Columbus.
In late July, a thunderstorm in Columbus, N.M., caused a micro burst that ripped a three-mile path through the border village located 30 miles south of Deming. The weather phenomena occurs when a storm collapses and forces high winds in a downward pattern and the winds are spread in all directions on the ground.
The micro burst severely damaged 29 structures in the village and caused widespread flooding and the displacement of families.
- The Albuquerque Fire Department chief will retire at the end of the year after 23 years as a firefighter and four years as the chief.
- Farmington's city council wants an annexation that would increase tax revenue but would cost extra in services.
In a decade that annexation could earn the city an estimated $104,365 in taxes but is expected to cost more in services, supplies and equipment, according to Community Development documents.
City departments predict a total $282,800 in annual costs 10 years from now, assuming the subdivision is fully developed, to fund services such as street resurfacing and snow removal, and police patrols and animal control, according to the documents.
- Meanwhile, the constant shuffle in the Alamogordo city council continues. The council may vote on a new mayor tonight.
- White Sands Missile Range commander Gwen Bingham was promoted to major general.