Officials at Sandia Labs have announced that they will be forced to begin to shut down and furlough much of the lab’s workforce by Oct. 21 if the federal budget impasse is not resolved. LANL officials, too, have told their employees that the lab has a limited ability to stay open during the government shutdown. The two labs employ some 18-thousand New Mexicans. New Mexico’s congressional delegation has called on the U-S Department of Energy Secretary to offer Lab workers assurances they will be compensated if furloughed.
Voters in Albuquerque are going to the polls today to elect a mayor and city council members as well as weighing in on ten bond issues. Incumbent Mayor Richard Berry is facing two challengers. If no candidate pulls 50-percent of the total vote, the top two placeholders will square off in a November 19th run-off election. That date is also set for a special Duke City election on an ordinance that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. If there is no mayoral run-off, however, the abortion matter will be decided by a mail-in ballot only.
New Mexico's federal employees sidelined by the government shutdown have been assured they will receive any back pay owed them. Such an assurance can only be made by an act of Congress and New Mexico representative Michele Lujan Grisham co-sponsored such legislation that passed the House unanimously Saturday. Congressman Ben Ray Lujan also sent a letter to the Department of Energy Secretary that stresses that retroactive pay is intended for all federally-contracted workers at both the state’s two National Laboratories.
Audio Saucepan: “The No Potatoes Episode” includes the poems “Clown in the Moon” by Dylan Thomas (read by Carole Shelley, from In My Craft or Sullen Art, GPR Records); “For Anna Mae Pictou Aquash…” by Joy Harjo (with Poetic Justice, off the album Letter From the End of the Twentieth Century, Silver Wave Records); and “Prayer After Eating” by Wendell Berry (read by the author, from In Song and Shade: Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music, Yalecrest)
In today's feature items, we speak with PNM about the energy resources they're putting forward as replacements once they de-commission two of the San Juan Generating Station's four coal-fired units. The Santa Fe's energy specialist joins us to talk about next week's climate change presentation at Santa Fe Community College. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Electric utility PNM appears at the Public Regulation Commission this morning to present a summary of its power planning supply. PNM is preparing ecision to de-commission two of its four coal-fired units at the San Juan Generating Station by 2018, representing 340 megawatts of power. PNM’s current analysis has them proposing a mix of energy sources; 40 megawatts derived from solar, 177 megawatts from gas and 134 megawatts of nuclear power from the Palo Verde Nuclear Facility in Arizona.
In today's features, we catch up with Congressman Ben Ray Luján as the impasse over the federal budget and the shutdown of government endures a 3rd day. We also hear about a new environmental study on the deleterious effects of fracking in New Mexico. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
A just-released federal audit of the Los Alamos Laboratory faults its radioactive waste treatment operation for cost overruns and missed deadlines. Back in 2004, the facility was to be rebuilt over a five year period. The report cites that though some 56 million-dollars has already been spent in preparation, no actual work has begun. It's now thought that the project is unlikely to be finished until 2020 at well more than double the initial cost estimates. The Department of Energy says the project is just one example among many indicating management inefficiencies at LANL.
In today's features after our local news: Downtown Santa Fe will soon have six new monitoring wells drilled to determine to what extent underground contaminants may be lurking or on the move. We also speak with our state's Tourism Secretary about Balloon Fiesta's major role in New Mexico's annual take of tourist dollars. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.