Morning Word: Senator Calls Spaceport a 'Boondoggle'


state's spaceport has been criticized before; now, some say spending at the nearly vacant center "is out of this world." This morning, we have the latest on security union negotiations at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Plus, a bird's-eye view of the Rio Grande Valley.

It's Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spaceport America, which cost almost $220 million to construct, continues to lose more than $500,000 a year. Larry Barker investigates.  Speaking of outer space, the Air Force is focused on making sure America stays competitive with Russia and China. The Alamogordo Daily News has more.  Dr. Luis Valentino, the new Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent, says if he’s fired or leaves the district before his contract expires, he won’t accept a golden parachute payoff.

Read it here.  Doña Ana County Sheriff Enrique "Kiki" Vigil has asked Attorney General Hector Balderas to investigate the county’s commissioners for violating the state’s Open Meetings Act. Read it at the Las Cruces Sun-News. After an 18-month legal battle, the Albuquerque Police Department has been ordered to provide this reporter with a copy of its complete weapons inventory. Read it at ABQ Free Press.  A staff shortage at a juvenile detention center has forced officials to move some youthful offenders to an adult jail.

Diana Alba Soular has the story.  Alan Webber, a Santa Fe entrepreneur and former Democratic primary candidate for governor, is criticizing the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s priorities. He wants them to consider transforming their business model.

Read Webber's view in the ABQ Journal.  The Interstate Stream Commission’s tactics around the Gila River diversion plan are being questioned by two scientists.

Read more at the ABQ Journal.  Ride-sharing company Uber, which operates in Santa Fe, wants the PRC to reconsider new rules imposed on them and their drivers.

The PRC says its hands are tied. Kevin Robinson-Avila reports.  Talks between the security workers who protect Los Alamos National Laboratory and the subcontractor that employs them have broken down. Union officials announced Wednesday that their negotiating team walked out after learning that security company, SOC-Los Alamos, did not have the ability to deliver better retirement benefits it had promised the union it would pursue. Read it at  Nambe Pueblo is set to start construction on its first casino. Details at the Albuquerque Journal. The Hope sculpture that has been sitting outside the state land office has been moved to a park in Santa Fe to make room for a pumpjack preferred by Public Lands Commissioner Aubrey Dunn. Deborah Baker reports.  If you have ever thought about jumping off Sandia Crest in a hang glider or paraglider but, like us, were too chicken to do it, then you’ll love watching this video captured by KOAT anchor Royal Dá. She mounted some GoPro cameras to the aircraft and captured some great point of view shots. Check out the bird's-eye view here. After 34 straight years of cooking the world’s largest enchilada, New Mexican chef Roberto Estrada, 78, is stepping down. With his departure, the board of the Whole Enchilada Festival has decided to retire the annual event.

Read it at the Las Cruces Sun-News.  At least we still have some of the best nachos in the world. Satisfy your hunger here.  If you prefer freshly caught fish over brisket nachos, you’ll be excited to hear that boatloads of bass from an Oklahoma fish farm have been put into Elephant Butte Lake ahead of the big Memorial Day holiday. Read it at  If you don’t have a boat or a fishing rod, you can still have some fun. Roller Derby is back.

Read more at the 

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