Morning Word: More on Morales/Martinez IPRA flap
And the rest of New Mexico's news...
December 4, 2013, 8:00 am
- Steve Terrell with more on the IPRA battle between Howie Morales and Gov. Susana Martinez.
- The APS school board will discuss a proposal to boycott tests that go into teacher evaluations.
Kathy Korte, a member of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, is encouraging parents to boycott some standardized testing for their children, particularly students in elementary and middle schools.
Korte has been fighting reforms being implemented by the state Public Education Department, which she says have led to too much testing for students. She also opposes how the state has tied student test scores to teacher evaluations.
- New Mexico is the only state in the country where home prices have fallen for the year ending in October.
According to CoreLogic, New Mexico was the only state to show a decline in home prices from October 2012 through October 2013.
The firm’s Home Price Index released Tuesday said including distressed sales, New Mexico home prices fell 0.5 percent. Excluding distressed sales, the state’s home prices rose 3.1 percent.
- U.S. Sen. Tom Udall reiterated his support for the SNAP program while in Las Cruces touring a food bank.
Udall said he's continuing to support full funding of the program, which has been slated for cuts under different proposals by the U.S. House and Senate. The House version would cut $40 billion over a decade; the Senate version would cut $4 billion, he said.
Under the steeper cut, Udall said, "32,000 people would be cut off the program completely."
- Albuquerque city councilor Ken Sanchez wants special elections moved to regular municipal elections, saying the current system costs the city too much money.
- In response to a link in the Morning Word last week from KRWG where an immigrant-rights group said Rep. Steve Pearce opposes a path to citizenship, a spokesman for Pearce said that isn't true. The spokesman cited a bill Pearce introduced with a Texas Democrat.
- Not much of a surprise, but State Rep. Zach Cook, R-Ruidoso, is running for reelection. Cook is in a conservative district.
- The website of the Valles Caldera National Preserve was shut down during the government shutdown in October. It took six weeks after the shutdown was lifted for the website to become functional again.
Dixon received a notice from the host at the end of September, roughly two weeks after the government’s deadline for submitting any FY2013 spending.
Under normal circumstances, this would not have been a problem, since FY2014 appropriations would have been released by the end of the first week in October.
“And then on October 1 the shutdown happened, and there was no funding to use and there was nobody at work to make any calls or do anything about it,” Dixon said.
- The city of Alamogordo has a new mayor. Robert Rentscler was named the new mayor by the city commission Tuesday evening.
- Good news: Chemical weapons from Panama will NOT be headed to New Mexico for destruction. The Pentagon is wondering why Panama's foreign minister even mentioned New Mexico.
- The Albuquerque city council approved a plan to redevelop a "blighted" section of Central west of Downtown Albuquerque.
- The libertarian Rio Grande Foundation opposes a plan to provide wi-fi along the Central corridor in Albuquerque. Voters approved the plan in October.
- Grants will be holding municipal elections next year and those who want to run are lining up.
- An Albuquerque winter tradition: The tumbleweed snowman.
- An event in Santa Fe wants to help New Mexicans break into the film industry.
- New Mexico Mercury spoke to Darryl Wellington about being the African American experience in New Mexico. The Q&A follows an article Wellington wrote in the Santa Fe Reporter.
- There was a large "boom" that shook Carlsbad on Sunday -- and no one knows what it was from.
Theories about everything from oil rig explosions to shotgun blasts have been proposed, but city and county officials say they have no explanation as to what rattled windows and frightened animals just before 5 p.m. Sunday.
Many assumed the noise was the result of a sonic boom by military aircraft flying out of Holloman Air Force Base, but the base wasn't conducting any flights that day, said Holloman's Elah Murray.