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On Friday, September 20, I will be joining millions of youth and adults who are striking to demand action on the climate crisis. I’ve read the dire reports and the risks for too long. In addition to melting glaciers, amplified hurricanes, and losing the Great Barrier Reef, our beloved Gila National Forest is seriously threatened to lose the vast majority of its coniferous forest from Spruce-Fir to Juniper Woodlands in only a few decades time.
By Paul J. Gessing
Budget analysts in New Mexico expect the Legislature will have an incredible $907 million of so-called “new money” when they convene in January. A vast majority of that money comes from the boom in oil and gas production in the Permian Basin.
With nearly $8 billion available in 2020, the general fund budget will be up nearly 27% over just two years. Even fans of bigger government have to be concerned about the rapid rate of government expansion in such a short period of time.
BY ROXANNE MITCHELL, ALYSHA WAGLEY AND SAMANTHA NELSON / N.M. TEACHERS AND CO-FOUNDERS, EDUCATORS ELEVATING NEW MEXICO
Sunday, September 1, 2019 at 12:02am
As dedicated teachers in New Mexico’s rural communities, we’ve often been discouraged by politicians wildly swinging the education pendulum at our students’ expense. Talk to other teachers with over 10 years of experience and they will tell stories of oft-switched policies that don’t fully consider the impact on classrooms.
This time around, we as teacher leaders begged for a smooth transition between administrations.
The past nine months have been the most unstable of our careers.
Governor Lujan Grisham Relies on Large SUV Instead of Electric Vehicle or the Rail Runner Despite “Clean Car” Commitment
SANTA FE - Power The Future – New Mexico is calling on Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to live by her own standards and give up her gas guzzling SUV in favor of an electric vehicle and the Rail Runner commuter train. Since taking office, Governor Lujan Grisham has repeatedly lectured New Mexicans on the virtue of electric vehicles and other green initiatives while traveling thousands of miles on combustible engines.
According to a review by Power The Future, Governor Lujan Grisham traveled an estimated 6,000 miles by car and took 15 flights across the country from May through July while utilizing fossil fuel-based transportation. This despite her promise to “promote the purchase and use of electric vehicles in our state, in order to help make it a center of that growing industry.”
Among the Governor’s fossil fuel powered trips during the three-month span:
Our Senators Hendrich and Udall have publicly supported implementing The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act on the Gila, San Francisco and their tributaries. Don’t be fooled by the pleasing, misleading and camouflaged name of the resolution. The facts are, if implemented, it will immediately take all your future water rights and ultimately take both your land and existing water rights.
Our senators’ actions are compounding my frustration when you consider the importance of land and water use in our state’s history. To explain, prior to admitting NM territory into the union, the congress and both presidents Roosevelt and Taft required expanded use of our natural resource water, along with irrigation development and improvement of our lands. Our government's support of water use has continued historically to the present day where the Department of Agriculture through the USDA has energetically and financially supported ongoing irrigation projects and conservation water use within Grant and Catron counties through EQUIP programs, grants and funding. That is a meaningful fact, unknown to our senators, who need only ask county government to gain the knowledge. However, rather than spend time in the county to understand the importance of its land and water, they allow special interest groups to write the very legislation that will take away water and land rights.
I believe the New Mexico Unit Fund has been raided by the legislature to fund ISC staff operations that for all other projects of like kind in the state should be funded out of the general fund. This is due to a questionable interpretation of the statutory language to mean the Legislature has this authority. The Legislature has raided several funds administered by the ISC to fund what should have been appropriated out of the General Fund. The Irrigation Works Fund and the Acequia Fund have been depleted to the point they are expected to run out of money in the very near future. This what the Legislature calls “sweeping.” As a result of the revenue downturns and overspending over the past two decades, appropriations depended on this method to keep state agencies operating.
The NM CAP Entity has had little to no control over what the ISC budgets or expends out of the Unit Fund, contrary to state and federal law. The federal (AWSA Sec. 212 (i)) and state (72-14-45) statutes state, “Withdrawals from the New Mexico Unit Fund shall be for the purpose of paying costs of the New Mexico Unit or other water utilization alternatives to meet water supply demands in the Southwest Water Planning Region of New Mexico, as determined by the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission in consultation with the Southwest New Mexico Water Study Group or its successor, including costs associated with planning and environmental compliance activities and environmental mitigation and restoration.”
By Paul J. Gessing
Like all New Mexicans, we at the Rio Grande Foundation want to see an improved K-12 system in place. I have two daughters in traditional public school. While concerned about the quick turnover at the top of the PED, we are optimistic about the hiring of Dr. Ryan Stewart.
Stewart comes to us from the Philadelphia area where he worked with an education reform organization called Partners in School Innovation. According to news reports he is relatively young (38) but has impeccable credentials (degrees from Stanford and Harvard).
[Editor's Note: This was sent by a reader and will be posted as editorial, because the Beat does not have staff to fact check everything stated in this article.]
The federal agency said it was re-evaluating the use of the M-44 poison devices, which are used to kill thousands of coyotes and foxes.
By Neil Vigdor, NY Times
Aug. 16, 2019
The federal Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday withdrew its support for the continued use of so-called cyanide bombs to protect livestock from predators, reversing course amid strong opposition to the practice.
The E.P.A. administrator, Andrew R. Wheeler, said he was withdrawing an interim reauthorization for the use of M-44 devices, which are used to kill coyotes, foxes and other animals that prey on livestock. The agency, he added, would re-evaluate the highly criticized practice.
New classified for Silver City church seeking office manager.
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