Ending weeks of speculation, Santa Fe City Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger has officially declared her candidacy for mayor in next year’s municipal election. She made her announcement before a group of friends and supporters gathered at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center Thursday.
In features, we speak with the utilities engineer moderating public meetings for the proposed $200 million Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System. And we also speak with a LANL researcher on the relatively new field of biology known as epigenetics. Those items plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
A report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation shows New Mexico has one of the lowest rates of hospital usage in the nation. It ranks 44th, with just 84 hospital admissions per 1,000 residents. The online Albuquerque Business First notes the national average is 112 per 1,000. New Mexico's numbers are also low for the number of patient days spent in hospitals. They're pegged at 414 for every 1000 patients versus 600 nationwide. Washington, DC tops the list with more than 1500 in-patient days per 1,000 residents.
In today's features, we speak with the state Human Services Department offering temporary amnesty to those citizens owing back childhood support payments. We also talk at length about prairie dogs as a Los Lunas gunstore launches a killing contest. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Pending final approval, Santa Fe Public School teachers and staff are poised to get an overall 1.5% pay raise, the first such hike in six years. The newly-negotiated salary increase of one-half a percent comes atop a 1% increase approved back in May. The tentative agreement between the district and the National Education Association-Santa Fe represents the highest average salary increase in New Mexico. In contrast, the Santa Fe Public School district remains one of the state’s lowest funded on a per student basis.
In today's features, we speak with childhood welfare advocates New Mexico Voices for Children and how coming federal cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will further harm our state's children, already classified as the most food needy in the nation. We also explore the dearth of minority organ donors in our state and what can be done to correct the situation. Those items and more...plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Downtown Santa Fe’s postal office may be moving to the Sanbusco Center as the cash-strapped US Postal Service prepares to leave its current location on Federal Place. Today’s New Mexican reports the move to Sanbusco was indicated in a Postal Service letter sent to Mayor David Coss. The mayor has a 30-day period during which he could voice disapproval of the proposed move. Coss says he won’t oppose the plan as Sanbusco would still be a downtown location.
In features, we speak with State Senator Ortiz y Pino about the ongoing dust-up with NM mental health providers having their Medicaid payments suspended due to irregular audit findings. Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar offers a primer in "ranked choice voting" soon to be used by Santa Feans. Those items and more including 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Not opening today is Valley Meat Company’s horse slaughterhouse. Heading into the weekend, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against the Roswell facility, saying the USDA-approved operation must first perform necessary environmental impact reviews. Horse-slaughtering enterprises in the US ceased back in 2007. The judge’s order sidelines not only the New Mexico operation but a similar one preparing to open in Iowa.
In features, we talk about Santa Fe's plans for a treatment-rather-than-jail approach for some low-level drug offenders. And as the number of new law school applicants decreases, the dean of UNM Law School talks about approached to change that. Those items and more, plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
The Santa Fe Railyard’s proposed new movie complex took a step forward as the city’s Planning Commissioners have greenlighted the builder’s blueprints. Austin-based Violet Crown can now proceed with their plans for a 25,000 square foot facility housing ten screening rooms and an adjacent restaurant. The company has previously stated it would like to be built out and open by the end of 2014.
Todays features: A talk with the Santa Fe Prevention Alliance on the CDC's report that teen drug use in New Mexico exceeds that of large metropolitan cities like Chicago and Detroit. We also speak with an organization seeking to entice dental students to our state in light of our chronic shortage. And a new Sierra Club initiative with the BLM hopes to provide New Mexico military members and their families with experiences of our great outdoors. Plus...60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Santa Fe City Council has unanimously approved a pre-booking diversion pilot program for some drug users known as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion.. or "LEAD" for short. It identifies low-level drug offenders for whom probable cause exists for an arrest and redirects them from jail and prosecution by immediately providing links to treatment options. The program will begin early next year and is modeled after a similar effort used successfully in Seattle, Washington. Santa Fe Police say drug use fuels local property crime.
In today's features, we speak with New Mexico AARP about the dependence on Medicare by New Mexico's seniors and challenges facing the program. We also hear from the state Department of Health about West Nile Virus which has re-appeared in our state. And a look at a local non-profit, Esperanza. Those items plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.