Morning Word: New Mexicans Cheer Pipeline DecisionMorning WordMonday, December 5, 2016
It was a big win for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe on Sunday as the US Army Corps of Engineers announced they’ve decided not to approve an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline.
That action bought Standing Rock protesters a victory and drew praise from two US senators from New Mexico, both Democrats, on Sunday. US Sen. Tom Udall said in a press statement, “All New Mexicans know that water is life, and throughout our history we have seen environmental injustices done time and again to Native people. That is one reason many New Mexicans are among the protesters at Standing Rock. The Army Corps of Engineers is right — there is much more work to be done to consult with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and ensure the water is protected.”UNM Regents To Discuss Frank’s Future
The University of New Mexico Board of Regents, after meeting in a closed session last week, are planning another meeting on Wednesday to discuss the future of school President Bob Frank after a report claims he’s a bully with a temper and created a hostile campus working environment.
Campus Sanctuaries Considered
Universities and colleges in several states are considering labeling themselves “sanctuary campuses” amid fears from immigrant students and pressure from activists following the election of Donald Trump. College administrators in New Mexico—the state with the highest percentage of Latino residents—are looking into proposals that would grant immigrant students living in the country illegally protections while they pursue their studies.
Lawyers Rebuff Elder Care System Solutions
Diane Dimond wrapped up her series on problems with the state’s secret elder care guardianship system on Sunday and outlined some solutions to fix the “well-meaning but broken system.” Sen. Jerry Oriz y Pino tells Dimond that lawmakers have tried fixing the problems but faced resistance from lawyers.
New Mexico Senate: Under New Management
New Senate Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, plans to change how bills are scheduled to be heard on the floor to make the process more transparent for “the public, as well as for lobbyists, media members and senators themselves,” according to Dan Boyd.
Lujan Grisham Elected Caucus Chair
Matthew Reichbach reports that US Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has a new leadership role in Washington. She’ll serve as chairwoman of the 31-member Congressional Hispanic Congress while she considers whether to run for governor in New Mexico in 2018.
Political Insiders Consider ABQ Mayoral Bid
Dan McKay has the first preview of the next year’s mayoral election in Albuquerque. It won’t include incumbent Mayor Richard Berry, who’s not planning to run again.
Among those considering a run are Democrats Tim Keller, the state auditor whose term ends in 2018; James Lewis, a former state treasurer; City Councilor Ken Sanchez; former County Commissioner Deanna Archuleta; and attorney Brian Colón. The Republican field could include City Council President Dan Lewis and County Commissioner Wayne Johnson. ;
Journalists Jeff Proctor and Andrew Oxford have been doing a ton of research and found there isn’t much consistency on how law enforcement agencies around the state investigate police officer-involved shootings. Experts tell them that cops are “treated very differently than other homicide suspects, even when there are questions about whether their actions constitute murder.”
The policies are sometimes unwritten and depend on the discretion of officials. In the end, officers are often left investigating colleagues in their own department and prosecutors find themselves weighing charges against the very people they rely upon in other cases.Here Comes the Sun
The Kit Carson Electric Cooperative says it wants to serve all of its customers on sunny summer days with locally generated solar power by 2022, according to the Taos News.
The co-op currently has access to about 5 megawatts of locally generated solar energy. On sunny days, consumers from Questa and north are already completely solar powered, [Kit Carson CEO Luis] Reyes said.NMSU Alum to Lead Starbucks
But under its solar plan, he said, the co-op wants 35 megawatts of solar generation capacity in six years, which would be enough power to serve all consumers when the sun is shining on summer days — the time of year when power demand from the co-op is at its lowest.
When Howard Schultz steps down as CEO of Starbucks, he’ll be replaced by New Mexico State University College of Business graduate Kevin Johnson, who currently serves as the company’s president and chief operating officer. Johnson will receive an honorary doctoral degree at NMSU graduation ceremonies next spring.
NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said Johnson is “a great Aggie.” “Kevin Johnson is an outstanding graduate of New Mexico State University and an outstanding world business leader, as illustrated by his leadership at Microsoft, Juniper Systems and now with Starbucks,” Carruthers said Thursday, in response to the news. “He has a high reputation in marketing and a high reputation for giving back to our university and our state.”
Brady Sets Another NFL Record
Love him or hate him, New England Patriot Tom Brady is now the winningest quarterback in the league. He picked up win number 201 on Sunday, leading the team to a 26-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams. I suppose I should disclose that I've been a Patriots' fan since 1976.