- The state is making a new plan for water use in the state.
But criticisms have plagued the project from the outset, including the charge that the state’s top-down approach is bypassing the voices of local water users. Critics also claim a failure to consider the effects of climate change on the state’s water supplies will undercut the validity of the results.
Officials acknowledge that, despite a state law requiring an inventory of water supply and demand, previous efforts came up short. “We concluded we were not doing meaningful planning,” said Mark Sanchez, head of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission’s water planning subcommittee.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican's Steve Terrell looked at the social advocacy groups that are increasingly getting involved in politics. One name in the center is Andrea Goff.
And we’ll probably hear from a Hobbs-based group called GOAL Advocacy, a conservative nonprofit group dedicated to promoting “policies and common-sense solutions that create jobs and strengthen our economy and to educate Americans on the positive impacts the oil, gas and agricultural industries have on our economy.” GOAL is headed by Jason Heffley, a former staffer of U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce.Goff also has lose connections to Pearce -- she has been a key part of his campaign structure, including being his head fundraiser.
Listed as a contact on the GOAL website is Andrea Goff, who used to work for Martinez’s campaign and PAC. Goff was quoted in the infamous recent National Journal article about McCleskey, saying the governor had told her McCleskey was launching New Mexico Competes.
- Rep. Philip Archuleta rents office space for $50 per month from a union group.
- UNM regents are moving forward a meeting on voting on Innovate Albuquerque funding after they surprisingly voted against it in a previous meeting.
- Santa Fe's city charter amendments are set. The Santa Fe Reporter looks at the proposed changes voters will vote on.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican covers covers the latest buzz for Martinez being on the 2016 Republican ticket.
Charlie Cook, a political analyst who publishes a newsletter called The Cook Political Report, summed up what national pundits have been saying about New Mexico’s governor:The only problem? Martinez has shown less than zero interest in running for national office.
“The Republican Party’s brand is so badly damaged overall, Martinez checks virtually every box,” Cook told The New Mexican.
“She’s a Hispanic, woman, relatively young and seen as a centrist at a time when the GOP is seen as having massive problems with each of those four groups.”
- Legislators were in Rio Rancho hear funding requests from groups for next month's legislative session.
- Another big settlement for Albuquerque Police Department. This time, it was $900,000 for a 2011 shooting.
Prosecutors who reviewed the case ruled the shooting justified. They said officer Sean Wallace decided to shoot based on a belief that Gomez was armed and preparing to harm hostages: his brother and brother’s girlfriend.
Investigators later said Gomez was actually holding a large black spoon at one point, though Gomez did have a rifle earlier that night and had fired it before police arrived. It was found, loaded, in a hall closet. Police were dispatched after the girlfriend called to say they were being held against their will.
- Albuquerque Business First has made their cover story on Dan Burrell's garnet mine available for free.
- UNM hosptial employees braved the cold last week to protest wages.
Bill Browne, a director of the local affiliate of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, said workers last received a pay raise – 2.5 percent – in 2011. The next most recent increase – 2.7 percent – came in 2009. Many workers are paid “$9 and change” an hour, he said.
UNMH and the unions are in negotiations. The union is seeking a 2.7 percent raise this year and similar increases over the coming two years.
- Rio Rancho voters won't get to decide on bond questions or tax raises as Rio Rancho city councilors rejected a motion to put the questions on the ballot for voters.
- The Farmington Municipal Schools Board of Education approved new requirements for graduation. The state said local districts could adjust the requirements after some feared too many would not be able to meet the new requirements.
- New Mexico's teachers have the sixth-lowest average salary of teachers in any state (and the District of Columbia).
- KUNM looks at New Mexico's heroin problem.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican reports on concerns from residents of tiny Lamy, New Mexico over the company transferring oil into "specialized train cars" in the rail company's facility in Lamy.
Duttenhofer, who lives across from the site where the tanker trucks would transfer oil, said the rail company’s owner had called him a couple of months ago about the plan.
“As a community we are very concerned about spills,” he said. “It is within a few hundred feet of our community well. I’m not an expert but I would think one spill would be bad.”
- Embattled Mora County Sheriff Thomas Garza resigned after allegations of tampering.
According to court documents Mora County Sheriff Thomas Garza told a suspect in a March 2012 home burglary in which firearms were taken "If you give me the weapons I will let you go clean."
He then told a deputy to write in the report that the guns were discovered during a missing-person investigation.
- The Las Vegas Optic on the story:
For Garza, the plea agreement marks the end of his law enforcement career because the agreement also requires him to surrender his certification as a sworn law enforcement officer.
But in exchange, Garza is all but guaranteed no jail time and even received a deferred sentence, which means that if he stays out of trouble the conviction won’t remain on his record.
- The former mayor of Columbus, New Mexico was released from jail early after his conviction for smuggling guns to Mexico.
- U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan reaffirmed their support for same-sex marriage. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham also supports same-sex marriage while Rep. Steve Pearce does not. Pearce is the lone Republican in the New Mexico delegation.
- A uranium mine on the Laguna Pueblo was named a Superfund site by the EPA.
- A victim of child abuse in the Gallup Diocese says as many as 200 children were abused by priests.
- The city of Santa Fe has spent $559,000 on prairie dog relocation in the past 12 years.
- The Deming Headlight reports on an economic development forum in Luna County.
"It is difficult to express the needs of a rural community," said Christine Logan, economic development coordinator for the Luna County area, "Rural communities need our support. Many rural communities do not have the voice urban communities have."
- At least three of four city councilors in Clovis whose terms are up will seek reelection in March.
- A proposal to create a national park to commemorate the creation of the atomic bomb was rejected by the U.S. Senate.
- Media News:
Friday news dump: On Jan. 6, I'll be joining @krqe full-time as an investigative journalist/producer.— Jeff Proctor (@cjproctor74) December 13, 2013
- A candymaker that is suing Sunland, Inc. is also suing the CEO alleging fraud, concealment and intentional misrepresentation. The suit alleges the CEO, Jimmie Shearer, knew about health and safety violations at the peanut processing plant. The plant was eventually shut down by the FDA for an outbreak of E. coli.
- A national poll found a majority of Americans would be willing to pay more for electricity if it was generated from renewable sources.
Still, support levels for clean energy may vary among individual markets.
In New Mexico, for example, although most consumers do seem to support renewable additions to the grid, they appear more sensitive when asked to pay more for it, according to a poll in August of Public Service Company of New Mexico customers.
- Residents in the Sacramento Mountains in southern New Mexico says the military is stifling solar energy efforts.
- A man still displaying a sign for the late-term abortion ban vote that failed last month is being told to take it down or face fines and even jail time. The man says it is not facing the public and that he just likes how the sign looks.
- A proposed ordinance would ban the sales of animals one the roadside in Eddy County.
- The Albuquerque Journal's website usually updates at just after midnight; by 1:05 a.m., it still had not updated, so the Monday stories will be in tomorrow's Morning Word. Yes, I do the Morning Word late at night.