Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico’
A state safety agency recommended fines totaling $559,000 against the state’s Forestry Division on Wednesday, saying the agency wrongly put the protection of “structures and pastureland” ahead of the safety of firefighters battling a wildfire in Central Arizona last summer, including 19 who died while trapped by the flames on a mountain.
The report said the forestry division kept the firefighters on the mountains even after commanders realized they could not control the flames burning through parched, thick chaparral along the western edge of the old gold-mining village of Yarnell, 80 miles northwest of Phoenix
In a report, inspectors for the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health said the actions resulted in “multiple instances of firefighters being unnecessarily and unreasonably exposed to the deadly hazards of wildland firefighting.”
The report…also faulted the team running firefighting operations on June 30, when the 19 firefighters died, for being understaffed…
…The report cited several additional problems. Members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots — the 19 who died and their lookout, Brendan McDonough, who escaped — were tired, having just returned from fighting two fires. The report indicated that exhaustion could have affected their judgment.
Brave, brave firefighters, well remembered in New Mexico. The fires they had just returned from fighting – before this tragedy – were here. They did themselves proud.
No, you can’t say the same about Arizona bureaucrats who considered them expendable.
Earlier this week, voters in Albuquerque voted down a city-wide measure that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks, by a ten-point margin. According to voter data analyzed by ProgressNowNM, the pro-choice side has women to thank for it.
“Eleven thousand more women–almost three times more women than men, in terms of additional turnout–came out in the municipal abortion election than did in the general six weeks earlier,” said Patrick Davis, the group’s executive director…
The result also showed that Latino voters, including Latina women, weren’t swayed by the anti-abortion arguments. They make up nearly half of the city’s population, and ban supporters had pinned their hopes on Catholic and evangelical Latinos. Opponents of the ban have pointed out that their coalition included two groups led by Latinas, Young Women United and Strong Families New Mexico.
Although not all public polling shows a gender gap on abortion, the team behind Virginia governor-elect Terry McAuliffe has said the issue helped account for a 9-point gender gap in his favor earlier this month. He won 59% of voters who said abortion was their top issue.
The anti-abortiion rights crowd is still working hard trying to snatch victory from their defeat. Democracy can be a tough solution for losers who think God is on their side and that’s all they need. Perish the thought that voters pay attention to science, constitutional law and civil liberties in an election.
The anti-science, anti-civil rights coalition of religious true believers and right-wing organizers from around the country have failed. Their attempt to kickoff a shutdown battle against pro-choice women’s rights came down to failure by 10 percentage points. A spread that is at least as great as national averages – perhaps foreshadowing another step forward in the whole range of civil rights changes happening in the United States.
Nutballs from Operation Rescue moved to Albuquerque, setting up a field headquarters away from their bastion in Kansas here in New Mexico. Fortunately, though we have our own native crew of religious crazies, we also have a much larger number of religious folks, atheists, ordinary who-gives-a-damn citizens who resent attempts to shut down civil liberties in the name of superstition over science.
No need to refresh the realities of the issue. Just a chance to congratulate the citizens of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who turned out more voters in this special election than came out to re-elect a popular Republican mayor a few weeks ago.
With 49 of 50 polling places reporting, AGAINST 55% – 45% FOR limiting the right to choose an abortion.
Descanso honors “Breaking Bad” character Walter White – courtesy of Michelle Valdez-Browning
“Breaking Bad” fans continue to honor Walter White.
North Valley resident Michelle Valdez-Browning and her brother, Marc Valdez, and son Aaron Browning made a descanso near the Nazi compound where White passed away in the show. (A descanso is a roadside memorial that commemorates a site where a person died. They are seen along roads in New Mexico.)
Valdez-Browning says her brother was part of the locations crew who helped scout the various areas…“He put his heart and soul into finding the right places,” she says.
Once the show aired, the trio decided to pay tribute to White and put the descanso in front of the area…The location is near Second and Los Ranchos Road NW.
In case you want to be among the hundreds who continue to visit Albuquerque to pay their respects.
Arrested and too drunk to stand
US authorities say an immigrant suspected of entering the country illegally attempted to make his journey hiding in a shipment of red chile while carrying a bottle of tequila to fortify himself.
US customs and border protection officers working at a New Mexico border checkpoint said the man was discovered on Thursday face down among a commercial load of chile.
Columbus port director Robert Reza said next to the “highly intoxicated” 35-year-old was a bottle of the national liquor.
The man, who authorities described as a Mexican national, told agents that he climbed into the commercial hopper while it was being staged in Mexico. He got into the truckload of chile in hopes of catching a ride to Chicago…
Agents said he got less than 100 metres into New Mexico before he was discovered. He would be sent back over the border, officials said.
Here in New Mexico we actually have an official state question: “Red or green?”
Ours comes down on the side of ripe and the answer is “red”.
A truckload to admire – excepting the drunk passed out
Linda Siegle and Liz Stefanics got the first license – Liz is a County Commissioner
Recognized as the leading political journalist in New Mexico, Steve Terrell posted this at his blog. An updated version will appear in the SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN, Saturday.
The floodgates have opened. Same-sex marriage has begun in Santa Fe.
County Clerk Geraldine Salazar this afternoon began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples following an order from state District Judge Sarah Singleton that said Salazar should immediately start issuing the licenses or appear at a court hearing to show good cause why she shouldn’t.
There was almost a party atmosphere at the County Administration building as couples lined up to get marriage licenses — the first time in New Mexico in which the issuance of such licenses was backed up by a court order. Friends and loved ones hugged each other in the hallways while some of the couples decided to get married right away in the County Commission Chambers upstairs.
One person who wasn’t happy, however, was state Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, a long-time opponent of gay marriage. “This isn’t about marriage, it’s about who makes laws,” Sharer said in a telephone interview.
Shortly before 5 p.m. a staffer in the clerk’s office said 41 same-sex couples had been issued licenses. “And they’re still coming,” he said. The clerk’s office is staying open until 7 p.m. to handle the line of gay couples flocking in to get licenses…
The first couple to take advantage of the new licenses was County Commissioner Liz Stephanics and her partner of 23 years, Linda Siegle, who is a longtime lobbyist for gay rights as well as a member of the Santa Fe Community College board. They were married minutes later in the commission chambers by Santa Fe Probate Judge Mark Basham…
The next same-sex couple to receive a license were Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson, a Santa Fe couple whose lawsuit prompted the order from Singleton. Both said they intend to wait on their wedding until family and friends from out of town can attend…
Another couple to get a license and get married Friday was Jen Roper and Angelique Neuman of Pojoaque. Earlier this week, Roper, who is suffering brain cancer, filed an emergency court request for a marriage license because of her deteriorating health. They got married at the Christus-St. Vincent Cancer Center, where Roper was being treated with chemo therapy…
Salazar said…“I am a fervent supporter of same-sex marriage in New Mexico and have always believed that the restrictive and antiquated statutes in our state must fall to principles of equal protection embodied in our constitution,” Salazar said in a statement.
“I have been frustrated recently wanting to issue licenses but being confronted with long standing statutes that do not permit it. Now that Judge Singleton has ordered me to issue a license to Messrs. Hanna and Hudson on constitutional grounds, I intend to do so and to issue a license to any same-sex couple who desires one and are otherwise qualified…
Watching local television coverage, we witnessed enough happiness today to wring tears from a heart of stone. Unfortunately, Tea Party/Republican bigots haven’t any hearts at all. So, everyone expects them to proceed with some kind of lawsuit. And Sunday morning should bring Catholic priests around the state declaring the AntiChrist is here to steal all the green chile in New Mexico.
It’s a pity that equal rights before the law scares the crap out of so many little people.
UPDATE: A judge in Bernalillo County joined decisions by county clerks and another judge in Santa Fe County and ruled that keeping same-sex couples from marrying was unconstitutional. Bernalillo County includes the population center for the state of New Mexico – Albuquerque – so, in addition to Santa Fe and Dona Ana County [which includes Las Cruces], the three counties comprising probably 95% of the state’s population have joined in validating civil rights for all for marriage.
A great day.
Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that helps identify the suspect who stole cash from a Check “N Go store Saturday morning…The robbery occurred at around 9:15 a.m…at the Check “N Go at 400 N. Telshor Blvd, according to a Las Cruces Police new release.
Detectives learned that a man posing as a landscaper walked into the business, demanded money from an employee and left with an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect was last seen leaving the business and walking south along Telshor Boulevard.
The suspect was described as a man about 6-feet tall with a stocky build. He was wearing what appeared to be a blue jump suit, gloves, a mask and a khaki fisherman’s bucket hat. The suspect was carrying a string trimmer or more commonly referred to as a weed-whacker.
Have any info – call crimestoppers when you’re through laughing.
Normally, this would end up being the dumb crime of the day – except for the clerk at this payday lender handing over the loot!
Kris Perry and Sandy Stier married by AG Kamala Harris
Same-sex marriages were set to resume in California on Friday, after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a surprise order lifting an injunction preventing the unions.
The order came in response to an opinion released Wednesday by the U.S. Supreme Court that effectively killed a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages in the state.
Within moments of the ruling, couples, officials and activists began to converge on San Francisco City Hall, where unions were due to resume immediately.
“On my way to S.F. City Hall,” tweeted the state’s attorney general, Kamala Harris. “Let the wedding bells ring!”
Harris arrived with her arm around a key lawyer in the case, as the couple at the heart of a case challenging the state’s ban waited eagerly for their marriage license to be issued…
The 9th Circuit had been expected to wait 25 days before lifting the injunction so the Supreme Court would have time to release a formal order. But the judges decided to act instead on Friday, a move that would allow the marriages to begin in advance of Gay Pride weekend.
“The stay in the above matter is dissolved effective immediately,” the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling.
Lotta happy people in California, tonight. I imagine a few gay couples from here in Santa Fe may be on their way to San Francisco for the weekend.
Especially since our state’s attorney general is a 2nd or 3rd generation political hack who wouldn’t make waves if he jumped into the bathtub. He wants to be governor so bad he can taste it. And he has the courage and leadership qualities of a blue-tailed skink.
Cadet attending Federal Law Enforcement Training Center? You probably should leave your meth stash home
A student at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia was arrested on a drug charge by agents of the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.
Tyler Wilson, 29, of Love Lock, Nev., was reportedly observed by another student to be in possession of methamphetamine, according to a news release.
An investigation determined that Wilson had 3.2 grams of meth, which he allegedly admitted he had brought with him from Nevada, the release said.
Back in the day, when I worked in the engineering department of a teaching hospital, I was astonished when a young electrician told me he was quitting to join the local police force. Good jobs with decent pay were hard to find at the time.
When I questioned his decision, he told me that he could always do electrical jobs on the side for cash – meanwhile he could score all the drugs he would ever want for free. So, I’m not exactly surprised at this case.
Campaign Troika: Gov. Susana Martinez, Heather Wilson, Sen. Marco Rubio
Former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson collected nearly half a million dollars in questionable payments from four federally funded nuclear labs after she left office, the Energy Department’s inspector general says in a new report.
Wilson failed to provide documentation for the work she did to earn $20,000 a month from the Los Alamos and Sandia national labs in New Mexico from January 2009 to March 2011, the report said. Officials at the Nevada Test Site and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee acknowledged there “were no deliverables” associated with $30,000 the two labs paid Wilson. And Sandia and Los Alamos appear to have asked Wilson to help them secure more work for the labs, an apparent violation of her contract, the report said.
In total, nearly $450,000 in questionable payments were identified, the bulk from Los Alamos and Sandia.
The contractors that run the labs billed the payments to the government, “even though they did not receive evidence that work performed under the agreements had been completed,” the report said. The payments were fully reimbursed by the government…
The report called Wilson’s agreements with the labs unusual and in some cases “highly irregular.” And it said the agreements and the lab operators failed to include or enforce “even minimum” invoicing standards required under federal regulations.
Wilson, a Republican who represented New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, collected much of the money in between two unsuccessful runs for the U.S. Senate. She was defeated last year by Democrat Martin Heinrich during a campaign that highlighted her connections to Los Alamos and Sandia. The labs conduct classified research on nuclear weapons…
During the 2012 Senate campaign, the AP sought copies of Wilson’s contracts with the labs after she disclosed income from Los Alamos, Sandia and Oak Ridge. And all three labs called the documents confidential.
Well – we’re not supposed to question anything the government and their security monkeys say is “confidential”. Right?
Meanwhile, stealing from the American people – whether it’s to pay for shiny nuclear weapons or the latest gear to snoop on our online conversations – is always the favorite hustle for the military-industrial mafia.