Morning Word: Thank you and goodbye, Breaking Bad

And the rest of New Mexico's news

  • Goodbye, Breaking Bad. Last night was the series finale of the show that showcased Albuquerque like few shows have showcased a city before; I can think of The Wire and its gritty realism, but I don't think there were watch parties throughout the city for the final episodes of that show. ---

  • While many TV shows use a city as a setting, none have used it like a character like Breaking Bad did. For all the cries about it glorifying meth (it didn't), it is something that will be missed from Albuquerque. Thank you Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn and all the others who made it possible.
  • The Albuquerque mayoral candidates
  • met again for a debate
  • . And, again, Pete Dinelli and Paul Heh ganged up on incumbent Richard Berry.
  • Human Services Department secretary Sidonie Squier
  • will not resign
  • despite calls to do so from Democratic legislators. Squier has overseen the behavioral health audit that resulted in the suspension of funding for 15 mental health providers (three were reinstated). She, and the rest of the Martinez administration, has said this was necessary because of Medicaid fraud. Critics have pointed to a disruption in services.

  • But the latest was an email that Squier sent that said hunger isn't and never was a problem in the state. She has, again, resisted calls to resign.
  • In a later news conference, Squier said she had always believed hunger was a problem, despite what she wrote.

    She said obese children are in fact malnourished. In her email, she said, she was trying to make that point. But her writing was poor, Squier said, and she came across as dismissive of hunger being a problem.
  • Las Cruces Sun-News managing editor
  • Walter Rubel is not on Team Squier
  • .
  • Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier, the same person responsible for upending the state's mental-health care system and turning it over to providers from Arizona, responded to a draft report on hunger in the state by observing that, "Since there has never been and is not now any significant evidence of hunger in New Mexico, I would offer that the focus of the report should be on getting proper nutrition for children (and adults). The idea -- which is the easy way out -- that we should expand every government food program in existence is not productive, especially if the issue is nutrition and not hunger."
  • More than 1000 same-sex couples
  • have received marriage licenses in New Mexico
  • . This includes some from out-of-state.
  • Toulouse Oliver says her office has issued 33 marriage licenses to out-of-state couples mostly from Colorado, Texas and Arizona.
  • Steve Terrell predicts
  • Susana Martinez will choose a Republican to replace Stephen Easley
  • in the District 50 state House seat. Martinez will pick the replacement after Easley passed away earlier this year.

  • Martinez was forced to replace Republican Kent Cravens with Democrat Lisa Curtis in 2012 when the Bernalillo and Sandoval county commissions each selected her as their nominee for replacement. Cravens had left to become a lobbyist. In this case, two counties have chosen a Republican. Santa Fe County, which makes up the bulk of the district's population, will likely choose a Democrat.
  • Sen. Tom Udall
  • said last week that a government shutdown would hurt the economy of New Mexico and that of the United States
  • .

  • Since then, Congress has moved even closer towards such a shutdown.
  • Oil prices, which have a huge effect on New Mexico's economy,
  • are down in light of the impending government shutdown
  • .
  • New Mexico
  • lags behind other western states
  • when it comes to renewable energy.
  • The state
  • says it is ready to expand Medicaid
  • .
  • V.B. Price
  • sits down with former U.S. Senator Fred Harris
  • for New Mexico Mercury's Insight New Mexico. Harris, who lives in New Mexico now, served as a Senator from Oklahoma back when Oklahoma elected Democrats.
  • Drought and Fire Digest:

  • NPR looks at how
  • the drought has changed the way ranchers do their thing
  • .
  • The Los Alamos Monitor
  • has updates on the damage caused by flooding in the area
  • Sitting Bull Falls in southeastern New Mexico received lots of damage from flooding and closed down for cleanup.
  • Sen. John Arthur Smith accepted an award from the New Mexico Business Coalition while being picketed by critics for shutting down a bill that would use a portion of the state's land-grant endowment to fund early childhood education.
  • A group in Valencia County is offering $5,000 for anyone who can provide proof of corruption in the county.
  • Think New Mexico, a surprisingly effective think tank, unveiled its plan to stop the state's reliance on the federal government.
    Think NM is proposing an economic development effort that would include offering in-state tuition at New Mexico universities for international STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students; a one-stop Web portal where businesses can take care of all their licensing needs; and a tax incentives program that would offer companies tax rebates only after they have moved to the state, or, for existing companies, after they have expanded and created jobs.
  • Sen. Martin Heinrich introduced a bill designed to increase access to public lands.
  • Stolar Energy opened up in Rio Rancho after relocating from Raton.
  • The Santa Fe Reporter looks at the resignation of a state police officer who was part of the controversial Louisiana trip with First Gentleman Chuck Franco.
  • Public News Service continue its coverage of the Mexican gray wolf in New Mexico.
  • Jemez Pueblo lost a suit that would have given it control over the Valles Calderas National Preserve.
  • A lawsuit against New Mexico PBS is still going on -- six years after the documentary in question aired.
  • The world's largest flat enchilada returned to Las Cruces at the 33rd annual Whole Enchilada Fiesta. Another reason to love New Mexico.
  • A rooftop satellite dish and solar array is upsetting some in Santa Fe.
  • An environmental impact study is being conducted on the North Forks wells near Ruidoso.
    The wells remain an important segment of the village's water supply and both sides agreed that a new EIS is needed to reflect those conditions altered by the fire. During the 1990s, officials with the village and Forest Service allowed the well permit to expire and the village was operating with annual renewals. But a group of residents who contended their private wells and the stream system were being adversely affected by the pumping of village wells, sued. The suit later was dropped, but a settlement was reached that included monitoring by the U.S. Geological Survey, an environmental analysis and a new valid permit to operate the wells.
  • Not Breaking Bad: A Santa Fe boutique reopened after a DEA raid.
  • Is Breaking Bad: There were viewing parties around the city for the series finale.
  • Businesses are profiting from Breaking Bad.
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