Local Viewpoints

Local Viewpoints
6:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

New Mexico Voices For Children Joins Fight Against New Mexico Food Stamp Changes

  ALBUQUERQUE—Veronica C. García, Ed.D., executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, will submit the following statement to Secretary Squier regarding the proposed work requirement change for recipients of SNAP (food stamp) benefits at the hearing on Friday, August 29:

Dear Secretary Squier:

I am writing to urge you to stop plans to reinstate work requirements for recipients of SNAP benefits. There are several reasons I believe this plan would be detrimental to New Mexico:

·         New Mexico has the highest rate of child hunger in the nation.

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Local Viewpoints
2:09 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Rodriguez: Stop Fighting Constitutional School Funding

  State Senator José Rodríguez issued the following statement regarding today’s ruling by District Judge John Dietz, in which he held that Texas’ school finance system was inequitable and inefficient, inadequate, and created a de facto state property tax:

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Local Viewpoints
12:44 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Groups Take Stand Against "Tesla Race To The Bottom"

Credit facebook.com/tesla

  There is no question that state officials should place a high priority on boosting employment and fostering economy opportunity.

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Local Viewpoints
6:00 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Lincoln National Forest Officials Seek to Preserve Grazing While Protecting Endangered Mouse Habitat

Credit fs.usda.gov

  Representatives from the Lincoln National Forest, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Otero County Cattleman’s Association, Congressman Steve Pearce’s staff, N.M. Representative Yvette Herrell, Farm Bureau, N.M.

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Local Viewpoints
4:25 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

After 90 Percent Decline, Federal Protection Sought For Monarch Butterfly

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Tiago J. G. Fernandes.

  The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety as co-lead petitioners joined by the Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower filed a legal petition today to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for monarch butterflies, which have declined by more than 90 percent in under 20 years.

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Local Viewpoints
4:13 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Outrage Over Proposed Changes To New Mexico Food Stamp Program

Credit Office of the Governor

  Albuquerque, NM – The Governor has proposed to turn down federal resources and implement work requirements for SNAP (food stamp) participants. Without child care, job training and job readiness support, and almost non-existent public transportation in rural parts of the state, activists and New Mexicans dealing with some of the fewest job prospects and highest food insecurity in the nation are telling the governor and Human Services Department secretary Sidonie Squier that these changes will only hurt New Mexico families.

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Local Viewpoints
9:39 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Voters Lack Vital Protections After Shelby Decision

  The League of Women Voters celebrates the 94th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote (August 26, 1920).  Marring the celebration, however, is the one year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder case.  That decision gutted key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and opened the door for discrimination to gain a better foothold at the ballot box.

 

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Local Viewpoints
9:48 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gulen Condemns ISIS

Fethullah Gulen

  "I deplore the brutal atrocities being committed by the ISIS terrorist group hiding behind a false religious rhetoric and join the people of conscience from around the world in calling for these perpetrators to immediately cease their cruel and inhuman acts. Any form of attack, suppression or persecution of minorities or innocent civilians is an act that contradicts the principles of the Qur'an and the tradition of our Prophet upon whom be peace and blessings.

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Local Viewpoints
11:09 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Public Citizen: Bank Of America Settlement Does Not Go Far Enough

  Note: Bank of America has agreed to pay a $9 billion fine as part of a $16.6 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over the fraudulent sale of mortgages. Below are comments from Public Citizen experts.

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Local Viewpoints
2:58 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Wage Theft Victims Protest New Mexico Department Of Workforce Solutions

  SANTA FE, NM--Dozens of workers who are owed thousands of dollars in wages by local employers held a protest today in front of the Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) angry that they were were not allowed to file administrative wage claims. The action, organized by members of  the United Worker Center of New Mexico (UWC), was prompted by policies enacted by DWS's Labor Director that have made it increasingly difficult for wage theft victims to recuperate stolen wages.  

 

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Local Viewpoints
9:25 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Senate Majority Whip Requests New Mexico Education Audit Results

Credit Senator Timothy Keller (D)

  Albuquerque, NM – Last week, Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller (D-17-Bernalillo) sent a letter to Public Education Department (PED) Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera requesting audit results that pertain to the A-F school scoring and teacher evaluation scoring.

Sen. Keller’s request comes as the new school year begins for most New Mexican children and following significant public debate surrounding the models for scoring.

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Local Viewpoints
9:31 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Santa Fe Voters To Decide On Reducing Marijuana Penalties

Santa Fe-  Today the city of Santa Fe's City Clerk announced that the Reducing Marijuana Penalties Campaign submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the city's citizen initiative process setting the stage to give voters in Santa Fe a vote on reducing marijuana penalties. 

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Local Viewpoints
4:19 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Host Energy Secretary At WIPP

Credit Senator Tom Udall Courtesy Photo

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for an "all hands" employee meeting and surface tour of the site. Moniz and the senators also attended a townhall with Carlsbad residents on Monday evening. WIPP operations have been halted since the radiation release at WIPP earlier this year. Following the release, Udall, Heinrich and Congressman Steve Pearce invited Moniz to visit WIPP to see the facility up close and talk directly with employees and community members.

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Local Viewpoints
4:35 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Call For Increased Oversight Of N.M. Human Services Department; Greater Access To Behavioral Health

  U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell requesting increased oversight of New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) to ensure New Mexicans in greatest need of behavioral health services are able to access care. 

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Local Viewpoints
3:59 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Mexican Gray Wolf Hearings In New Mexico, Arizona Expected To Draw Hundreds

  Large turnouts are expected at two upcoming public hearings on proposed changes to the Mexican wolf management plan, including expansion of the wolf-management areas in Arizona and New Mexico.

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Local Viewpoints
3:39 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Heinrich Issues Statement On Airstrikes In Iraq

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement today after President Obama ordered humanitarian airdrops and airstrikes in Iraq:

"I will look closely at President Obama's decision to launch targeted airstrikes in Iraq, but I share New Mexicans' weariness about any expansion of U.S. involvement in Iraq and strongly oppose putting boots on the ground.  I have serious concerns for mission creep, which is why it's important that the President clearly articulate to Congress what our goal is.

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Local Viewpoints
3:05 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Online School: A Great Option For Many Families

Submitted by:

Yvonne Duhigg

New Mexico Connections Academy parent and founding school board member

I feel empowered knowing the option for online school exists for my family, my son, and moreover for other families in New Mexico who value the right to have education options.  As with anything new, online schools, such as New Mexico Connections Academy, can have skeptics.  Since experience allows for informed opinions, I’m honored to share mine.

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Local Viewpoints
12:06 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

USDA Partners With States, Tribes To Improve Public Access On Private Lands

Credit facebook.com/USDA

  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that the Department of Agriculture will partner with nine State agencies and with the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Nation to increase recreational and economic opportunities on private lands. Funding is provided through USDA's Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

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Local Viewpoints
9:49 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Court Hearing Focuses On EPA's Failure To Protect 119 Endangered Species From Pesticides

  SAN FRANCISCO— The federal district court here will hear arguments Friday in the most comprehensive legal action ever brought under the Endangered Species Act to protect endangered animals from pesticides. The Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s systemic failure to assess the impacts of dozens of pesticides known to be harmful to more than 100 endangered species.

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1:44 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Goodbye, Albuquerque...Land Of Violence

Lead in text: 
A New York Times column by a former University of New Mexico professor generates concern in New Mexico's largest city.
TWO weeks ago, in a vacant lot on the west side of Albuquerque, a few teenagers beat two homeless men to death. I read about the attack in a hotel room in Nebraska, en route to a new job, hours after leaving New Mexico for good.
Local Viewpoints
11:58 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Sanchez: Test Scores Dispute Martinez Claims Of Education Progress

Credit Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia).

  Santa Fe, NM – According to Standard Based Assessment (SBA) scores, New Mexico students are testing lower in math and reading than they did five years ago. How is it then, that Governor Susana Martinez and Public Education Department (PED) Secretary Designate Hanna Skandera say that under the current administration, the state’s educational system is improving? One legislator says it’s a lack of transparency and responsibility in not reporting the actual results of their “innovations.”

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Local Viewpoints
8:37 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Las Cruces Group Plans Voter Registration Drive In Anticipation Of November Minimum Wage Vote

  LAS CRUCES— The Las Cruces City Council and Mayor Ken Miyagishima voted unanimously to approve the city clerk’s certification of the 2,257 valid signatures necessary to move CAFe’s ordinance to improve wages to $10.10 by 2017 forward.  According to the city charter, the ordinance moves forward to the next step, which is the first reading scheduled for Monday, 8/18.  Afterwards the city will vote either for or against the ordinance.  If they vote against the ordinance, then Las Cruces voters get a chance to have their say in an election.

 

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Local Viewpoints
12:46 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

New Catholic Parish In Santa Teresa

Las Cruces, New Mexico: Bishop Cantú, Bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces will hold a press conference at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on August 7, 2014 at 11:00 AM. Bishop Cantu will announce that he has issued a canonical decree to establish a new Catholic parish in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The new Catholic parish will be named in honor of Saint John Paul II.

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Local Viewpoints
5:04 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Heinrich Blasts Redactions In CIA Interrogation Report

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on the CIA's redactions to the executive summary of the Committee's study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program.

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Local Viewpoints
12:21 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Woman Found Guilty Of Welfare Fraud

  Las Cruces—A jury found Miroslava Girard guilty of a single count of Failing to Disclose Facts to Obtain Public Assistance; a 2nd degree felony;  which included Food Stamps, Low Income Home Energy Assistance, Medicaid and cash from 2008-2012.

Girard violated New Mexico State Statutes by failing to report the income of her live-in boyfriend, who is the father of her child, and the fact that her son was covered under his medical insurance policy.

This 2nd degree felony verdict carries a maximum exposure of 9 years incarceration.

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Local Viewpoints
8:46 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Heinrich Votes To Reform VA System

   U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), released the following statement after voting to pass the Conference Report for the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act. The proposal, cosponsored by Senator Heinrich, will improve veterans' access to health care services and address serious systemic problems facing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

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Local Viewpoints
4:54 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Heinrich Calls CIA Search Of Senate Computers "Shocking...Inexcusable"

Credit Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

 

  U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement today after receiving a briefing on the results of a CIA Inspector General investigation, which confirmed that the agency improperly searched computers used by Senate Select Committee on Intelligence staff to prepare a report on the agency's detention and interrogation program.

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Local Viewpoints
2:04 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Business Group Requests Records On Government Bids

Today, the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI), New Mexico’s statewide business advocate, submitted requests under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) for records pertaining to contract purchases by Albuquerque Public Schools, Rio Rancho Public Schools, and the cities of Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe.  The requested records will show to what degree contracts are “piggybacked” on one another, rather than being put out for bids from competing businesses.  This practice is allowed under current statutes, further emphasizing the need for

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Local Viewpoints
2:21 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Public Schools Should Not Be Profit Centers

  For-Profit virtual (or cyber-based) charter schools, funded with public taxpayer's money, entered the New Mexico public education system with the establishment of two schools:

1.     New Mexico Virtual Academy (2012), authorized by the Farmington Municipal School District, provides education for grades 6-12.  It is headquartered at the Farmington Learning Center and, through a contract authorized by the NM Public Education Department, is managed by K12 Inc, a company that trades on the U.S. Stock Exchange as NYSE:LRN, (4-Traders.com, 2012).

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Local Viewpoints
1:13 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Heinrich Blasts Failure Of Bill To End Tax Incentive For Sending Jobs Overseas

  Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement after S. 2569, the Bring Jobs Home Act, failed to overcome a procedural hurdle that requires 60 votes, with a vote of 54 to 42. The bill, supported by Senator Heinrich, would protect and promote U.S. job growth by ending a tax incentive for moving jobs overseas and creating a new tax incentive for bringing jobs back to the U.S.

 

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