- The Las Cruces Sun-News says in an editorial that Rep. Steve Pearce is among those responsible for the government shutdown.
“I had hoped that a shutdown could be avoided: I encourage all New Mexicans to contact their senators and urge them to pass the House Continuing Resolution and end the shutdown,” Pearce said in a press release.
But, what Pearce told his constituents via a press release was far different from what he told New York Times reporter Ashley Parker that same night.”At times, you must act on principle and not ask what cost, what are the chances of success,” he told the Times.You can try to present this as principled stance worth the pain it causes, or you can try to present it as all the doing of the other party. But, you can’t try to present it as both.
- Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is holding a roundtable discussion with federal workers impacted by the shutdown.
- The Rio Rancho Observer looks at what federal services are still up and running despite the shutdown.
- KUNM reports Welfare-to-Work programs are still paying out in New Mexico.
Matt Kennicott, Director of External Affairs for The New Mexico Human Services Department said, “We’ll have to see what happens with the federal government, we’re definitely monitoring it very closely, but we have enough funding to last us through the end of the year.”
- Sen. Tom Udall said a shutdown is especially hurtful for veterans.
“Our veterans, who already face too many delays in their claims for benefits they have earned, could face even more,” Udall said. “During the last shutdown, more than 400,000 veterans saw their disability and pension claims delayed.”
Much of the federal government has been shut down since midnight Tuesday because of an impasse in the House of Representatives regarding a spending bill.
- Will mayoral candidates in Albuquerque avoid a runoff?
And what will the turnout be like?
Early voting has been heavy, with more than 26,000 people casting their ballots at locations that opened in September and closed Friday. That’s more than twice the 10,800 people who voted early four years ago.
It’s unclear whether that will translate into higher turnout overall, as people may be simply shifting their behavior to take advantage of early voting rather than waiting until Election Day. More than 83,000 people voted in 2009, turnout of about 26 percent of registered voters at the time.
- In addition to the mayoral race, there are six city council seats up for grabs.
- Albuquerque Business First looked at how the New Mexico Health Exchange fared in its first week.
As of Friday morning, 428 small businesses had signed up to buy insurance through the online marketplace, said NMHIX Interim CEO Mike Nunez. That was up from 292 businesses Thursday morning.
And 812 employees of those businesses have signed up to shop on the exchange, Nunez added.
- Los Alamos National Labs workers were told to report to work on Monday despite the federal government shutdown.
And as of Friday, no LANS employees have been furloughed. In addition, workers will be asked to report to work Monday unless told otherwise by their supervisor.
With things changing every minute, regular lab employees, who work for the environment team, have been transitioned to short-term duty.
- Subcontractors at Los Alamos National Labs are starting to feel the pinch of the federal shutdown.
Korkos explained that such interruptions hit subcontractors harder because of the nature of their contracts, which have a firm end date that cannot be extended. Subcontractors are only able to bill for work performed, so any interruption in that work costs them revenues.
Not all subcontractors have been affected. Holiday Inn Express Assistant General Manager Manny Martinez has not noticed a decrease in his subcontractor business, which comprises a large part of the hotel’s bookings.
- The Sandoval County Commission looks at how to stop future voting problems after voters waited in line for more than four hours in November.
Commissioners can make plans and designate polling locations, but there is a lot of uncertainty about a key factor in processing voters: the number of machines to print ballots and count votes. That’s because the Bureau of Elections doesn’t know yet what its budget for those machines will be. And the bureau won’t even know how much the machines will cost until 2014, she said. The bureau will request bids on Friday, Oct. 11, and will have to wait 90 days to get vendors’ prices.
Nonetheless, Eddie Gutierrez, Sandoval County Bureau of Elections director, put together a list of potential polling locations and three possible plans for how to arrange them, along with a kind of best-guess analysis of how long it might take to process each voter.
Rio Rancho was one scene of extremely long lines, the other being the portion of Chaparral in Otero County.
- Raton Middle School had an appeal of it’s “F” grade in the new school-grading system despite the school saying a procedural error contributed to the low score.
- An investigation in Curry County was a personnel matter, not into the construction of the jail kitchen, county officials said.
“It might have involved an employee that had worked on the kitchen,” said Commissioner Robert Sandoval. “I don’t believe the main people that were investigated had anything to do with the kitchen.”
Commissioner Wendell Bostwick said it was a personnel investigation sparked by “complaints of wrong doing by personnel,” and that is why an outside investigator was brought in.
- A reality show on NBC called will film at the New Mexico Spaceport.
- The Santa Fe New Mexican covers the battle over the lesser prairie chicken.
Some farmers, ranchers, oil producers and county commissioners oppose the listing, and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., agrees. They say the prairie chicken is already protected by state regulations and voluntary conservation programs, and that listing the bird could cause job losses in the state.
Environmental groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity and Audubon New Mexico say the grouse needs the added protection of a federal listing, or its numbers will continue to decline.
- Media News:
New Mexico PBS named Joan Rebecchi as its new Director of Content. What does this mean?
Rebecchi will oversee the station’s production, programming, scheduling, web site and social media sites.
- Bernalillo County wants to stop picketing of private residences.
“Individuals have a right to be in their homes, safe and secure. That should be a place where people feel confident that they’re going to be safe,” said Maggie Hart-Stebbins.
She says protests like the one at the doctor’s house are prohibited within city limits.
- Five southern New Mexico counties received funds from a federal grant to fight border crime.
- Students at Eastern New Mexico University voted to move forward on a new stadium.
Mestas was part of the 83 percent of the 1,275 full-time students who voted in favor of student fees to be used toward building a $8 million multi-purpose football stadium on campus in an online election this week. The news was announced Friday night at a ENMU homecoming bonfire pep rally.
The successful election means students have pledged to pay for half of the stadium’s cost through student fees, replacing the 45-year-old outdated stadium at Blackwater Draw. Approximately 57 percent of ENMU’s 5,800 record enrollment were eligible to vote.
- New Mexico In Depth’s Heath Haussamen went on the radio to talk about the health audit.
- Interim Committee Watch (all links to agenda):
The Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee meets at the Pecos River Village Conference Center in Carlsbad today and tomorrow.
The Military & Veterans’ Affairs Committee meets at the Sgt. Willie Estrada Memorial Civic Center in Alamogordo on Wednesday.
The Public School Capital Outlay Oversight Task Force meets on Wednesday at the State Capitol.
- A Mora County official who works for the county’s school district didn’t receive a business license that she needs to continue her job.
- Milan Simonich writes about immigration advocates who are going to protest in Rep. Steve Pearce’s hometown.
- Dropping prices of photovoltaic systems are making businesses in the solar energy industry deal with smaller margins. This means there are closures and
“We’re all experiencing the pricing and margin pressures,” Centerwall said. “Now we have to build twice as much solar to earn an equal amount of dollars. But that’s a necessity to get costs down enough to where the market can live without subsidies, and in the long run, it makes the industry stronger.”
Until recently, solar-panel makers were the hardest hit from price declines and industry consolidation, with many manufacturers closing up shop, such as Schott Solar in Albuquerque last year.
- A forensic detective says a photograph of Billy the Kid is the real deal.
“I was unable to find any attributes which would have eliminated the possibility of a match. In fact, just the opposite was true. All the visual attributes, features and underlying structures appeared to correlate extremely closely. In my opinion, it is extremely likely that the unknown subject is, in fact, Billy the Kid,” Bean reports.
Parrish said he felt verifying the identity of Dedrick was “the clincher” in establishing the tintype’s authenticity, and Bean agrees.
Filed under: Morning Word