Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales is prominently mentioned in a recent New York Times Op-Ed piece about the current American political landscape that highlights several outposts of liberalism currently on display in cities including New York, Boston, Pittsburg, Minneapolis and Seattle. Gonzales reflected on the mention for KSFR: *****05014-Gonzales-1 :32 (q: can be for all of us.”)***** The Times article documenting various cities’ adoption of substantial, effective policies to benefit the poor and the working class appeared in Thursday’s online editions.
New Mexico’s transition to a managed-care approach for Medicaid-funded behavioral healthcare has failed to serve the people the system was designed to help. That from Albuquerque State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, who says the move has benefitted health maintenance organizations rather than people in need. Ortiz y Pino notes New Mexico is spending 650-million Medicaid dollars a year for behavioral health services, and says the new approach to those in need is apparent.
Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales has amended his “People to the Plaza” resolution, which now calls for the Plaza to be closed to vehicle traffic from Memorial Day through Santa Fe Fiesta weekend. The City’s Public Works Committee met and heard testimony on the proposal Monday night. The New Mexican reports most of those attending were opposed to the plan, and quotes Committee Chair, City Councilor Ron Trujillo saying the resolution “is not ready.” The plan now moves on to hearings before two other Committees.
State officials are reporting that nearly 35-thousand New Mexicans have signed up for health insurance through a federal online marketplace that became available last October. The figures released last week are based on enrollment information supplied to the state's insurance regulator by private insurance companies offering health plans through the exchange. New Mexico has used a federally operated website to enroll individuals since October, but will switch to a state-based computer system for individuals later this year for the next open enrollment period.
On April 17th, the years-long trial of the nine-eleven bombing suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba once again ground to a complete halt. When it will re-start is at this point unknown, but it won’t be for weeks
KSFR’s co-news Director Dave Marash spoke this week with Eugene Fidell, who teaches Military Justice at Yale University Law School, on why this happened and about the trial itself.
A Department of Energy report blames lack of proper oversight for the radiation release that closed down the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in February. The report notes that many employees indicated a reluctance to report problems due to a fear of retribution and the perception that no remedial action would be taken. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich issued a statement demanding corrective action to ensure safe operation of WIPP
Students at Santa Fe Community College will be paying the same rate of tuition next school year as this. The SFCC Governing Board’s budget approved Wednesday also calls for a one-and-a-half percent pay raise starting July first. Interim College President Randy Grissom noting that out of New Mexico’s 18 Community Colleges, SFCC sports the fifth-lowest when it comes to tuition costs.
Crownpoint State Representative Sandra Jeff’s re-election plans will be decided by the New Mexico Supreme Court. The court next Tuesday will hear Jeff’s challenge of this week’s District Court ruling that she failed to submit enough signatures required to have her name on the June Democratic Party Primary ballot. A Santa Fe non-profit, Conservation Voters of New Mexico, is behind the effort to see Jeff’s legislative career terminated. The C-V-N-M is highly critical of Jeff’s legislative record on environmental issues.
We expect to know later this morning the identity of the Santa Fe female bicyclist who died Saturday when struck by a southbound Rail Runner Train at the intersection of St. Francis Drive and Zia Road. Santa Fe Police say they had identified the 60-year old woman and were notifying next of kin Sunday. The mid-morning crash closed the intersection for hours while officers investigated. Passengers aboard the Rail Runner were bussed to the Highway 599 station and caught connecting routes there.
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant officials have announced that they believe they’ve found the location of the radiation leak that prompted closure of the nuclear waste dump two months ago. Published reports say WIPP officials need to make more trips into the half-mile deep repository to further investigate the leak. The Department of Energy updated the community on the incident during a meeting held in Carlsbad last night.
Santa Fe County is reporting fewer alcohol-related auto fatalities. Peter Olson is Santa Fe County’s DWI Prevention Specialist. *****041614-Olson-1 :27 ***** The County has employed a multi-faceted approach combating drunken driving, combining increased law enforcement, early education and public information on an annual budget of close to one-million dollars, funded through liquor excise taxes. Olson also credits the public’s attitudinal shift about DWI over the past decade for the County’s improved statistics.
Google—not Facebook— has closed a deal to buy New Mexico’s Titan Aerospace. Last month, Facebook originally showed interest in the drone-making company, and planned to spend 60- million dollars on the company. KRQE-TV reports the social media giant ended up buying a UK-based drone maker for just one-third of that. Titan officials say they’re passionate believers in the potential for technology—in this case, atmospheric satellites—to improve people’s lives.
Senator Martin Heinrich says he wants to see Edward Snowden returned to the U-S to face charges related to his release of National Security Administration information. Heinrich telling KSFR many of the items Snowden released were un-necessary to the debate on protection of civil liberties. *****041414-Heinrich-4 :20***** The Democrat, commenting while in Santa Fe Friday, says while he’s optimistic about recent federal action on civil protections, Congressional action is needed on the subject due to Presidential administration variability on the issue.