Morning Word: Santa Fe mayoral race heating up
And the rest of New Mexico's news...
December 5, 2013, 8:00 am
- The Santa Fe mayoral race is heating up. Two candidates want the city's Ethics and Campaign Review Board to hold a hearing on whether Patti Bushee should be eligible for $60,000 in public financing.
- A Democratic candidate in the 2nd Congressional District is upset at the DCCC supporting her opponent in the Democratic primary.
- Bushee responded to the Santa Fe Reporter.
Bushee, however, argues that no rules in the city code address the specific situation her campaign experienced.
"If there is a problem resulting from a transition from a privately to publicly funded campaign, it was technical in nature," she writes. "There was no intent to evade the rules."
- The Albuquerque Public Schools Board decided against sending out a letter to parents throughout the district letting them know that they can opt out of standardized tests for their children.
Board members were concerned that a letter would suggest APS encourages parents to opt their kids out of exams.
Superintendent Winston Brooks wouldn't offer an opinion and a motion to mail the letters failed in a 5 to 2 vote.
- A letter by the Los Alamos Public Schools Board to PED secretary-designate Hanna Skandera about recent changes made its way through a committee.
Since the beginning of the school year, teachers in the Los Alamos Public Schools system and their support staff have been changes to the classroom NMPED has mandated through initiatives like “NMTeach” and “Common Core.” NMTeach basically focuses on teacher performance and Common Core is a nationally-based program designed to ensure New Mexico’s school children are learning math and English at a level consistent with students across the nation.
Shortly after the changes were implemented, the special panel that wrote the letter, the “Study Group for Teacher Concerns,” has been hard at work analyzing the directives and coming up with alternatives.
- Hope Christian School, a private school in Albuquerque, is among the schools preparing for a possible shooter.
Hope Christian has been taking part in special safety training given by the Albuquerque Police Department. They students, teachers and staff have been taught how to run, hide and, if necessary, fight back.
"I feel like I'm able to just pounce on him and get the gun and actually be able to beat him," sixth-grader Tristan Copeland said, demonstrating some of the techniques they've been taught.
- The deadline for arguments in a water case in the Pecos River Valley Corridor is this Friday.
The tussle has been waged by protestors who question the ability of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission to transfer water rights from recently-acquired land to use in well fields at Lake Arthur and Seven Rivers. The matter will be settled by Andy Core, the acting judge, who will submit a recommendation to state engineer Scott Verhines. Verhines ultimately has final authority on the matter and there is no deadline for his decision.
The ISC purchased land across Southeastern New Mexico back in 2010 and shortly after proposed to divert the water in order to help local farmers combat water shortage.
- Albuquerque can keep diverting river water to use for drinking, a court ruled.
The court also ruled that there is no evidence that Albuquerque’s use of Rio Grande water is harming downstream users or New Mexico’s obligations to deliver water to Texas under the Rio Grande Compact.
Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority chief executive Mark Sanchez on Tuesday afternoon called the ruling “good news for our ratepayers.”
- The National Journal look at Martinez political consultant McCleskey continues to be a big talking point in New Mexico politics. Sherry Robinson, a frequent critic of Martinez, wrote a column about McCleskey's role.
And The Line on New Mexico In Focus will discuss the column and McCleskey's role this Friday.
- The Las Cruces Sun-News looks at Alan Webber, one of the Democrats vying to by the next governor.
- The Santa Fe Reporter looks at the SunZia project and how it is being delayed by the Department of Defense.
- The sale of New Mexico Gas Company to a Florida company will take a little more time.
In an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, TECO said that it, New Mexico Gas Co., New Mexico Gas parent Continental Energy Systems LLC, the staff of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office all agreed to an extension of proceedings in TECO’s application to the PRC to buy New Mexico Gas.
It is “a minor change in schedule to give the parties more time,” said Cherie Jacobs, a spokesperson for TECO.
- KUNM's Call-In Show is taking a look at a topic near and dear to my heart -- the growth of Rio Rancho. I grew up in Rio Rancho and saw it undergo massive growth. The show is on KUNM (89.9 on your FM dial or at kunm.org on your computer) at 8:00 today.
- Why is the infant mortality rate in New Mexico going up? The Santa Fe Reporter looks at the question.
A state pregnancy risk assessment conducted in 2011 found that one in four pregnant women does not receive prenatal care during her first trimester.
The biggest reasons women in New Mexico don’t get prenatal care, according to the survey, is that they can’t get appointments, they don’t know they’re pregnant, they don’t have enough money or they don’t receive a Medicaid card to pay for the services in time.
- Media news:
KOAT's Lauren Zakalik is headed to Dallas, Texas and WFAA8. She isn't the first to make the transition from KOAT to WFAA8.
WFAA8 early morning co-anchor Cynthia Izaguirre and one of the station’s newer reporter hires, Todd Unger, also came directly from KOAT.
- Albuquerque Police Department had to pay $60,000 for a use-of-force case.
Charles Gomez's attorney, Ryan Villa, admits his client did not follow the law during a traffic stop in 2011 where he ran from police. Gomez did eventually give up.
"He said 'I give up,' put his hands on his head, laid down on the ground and was told, 'You'll give up when we tell you you give up,'" Villa said. "And the next he knew he was kicked in the face and lost consciousness."
- Two employees at Los Alamos National Labs are suing.
"This was a horrifying situation, Erika was assaulted by her high ranking employer who demanded sex ... she complained to high level Laboratory officials who did nothing to help her, instead they rewarded the perpetrator by allowing him to retire with full benefits," Day told the Los Alamos Daily Post today. "Mr. Stanford supervised both Erika and her husband William and he knew William was aware of what he was doing and he didn't care. His behavior was that of a pig and the Lab took no action to step in and stop it."
- A Rio Rancho man is angry at flood damage to his property from a storm this summer.
[Executive engineer for Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority Charles] Thomas said SSCAFCA has about $400,000 in bonds and is looking for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The complete project, including paving and curb and gutter, could cost $2 million. A project that doesn’t include as many roadway improvements would cost $1.2 million, he said.
- Santa Fe's city council may try to take the fight over a liquor license to the Supreme Court. At issue is that the convenience store is within 300 feet of a school -- or at least the parking lot is. The building itself is more than 300 feet away.
- A developmental soccer team affiliated with the MLS is coming to Albuquerque. The team already has a Twitter account and Facebook page. The team will play in the Premier Developmental League (PDL) of the United Soccer League.