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The Daily Word in veep debate, diamond planet and sassy Big Bird

Supersonic human free fall has been rescheduled for Sunday due to weather.

Navajo Nation will put drone tech to good use by using an unmanned aircraft to monitor crops.

Soprano to take a Virgin Galactic flight into space and siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing.

A diamond planet bigger than Earth.

Anarchist Peter Rabbit.

13 obscure punctuation symbols you might like to use, such as the authority point and the snark mark.

Lots of people are going to be sassy Big Bird for Halloween.

Do you guys care about the veep throwdown? Guardian says it's crucial. And USA Today breaks it down. All the way down. "Joe just needs to be Joe," says the prez.

Advice from Miami stripper Skrawberry. (Warning: Kinda raw.)

America is not mostly Protestant anymore.

How to find truth on the Internet.

In today's so-obvious-maybe-it's-not-news news: NRA backs Heather Wilson.

Some pop stars to be naked on their album covers.

Gov. Martinez wants to evict the Mexican gray wolf pack.

And she's talking about driver's licenses some more.

news

The Daily Word in hipster topics, inmate heroes and Dave Mustaine

An inmate work crew in Las Cruces saved a man’s life.

Someone won $1 million in New Mexico but might not know it yet.

A judge told Gov. Martinez she couldn’t publish the salaries of some state workers on the Sunshine Portal. So she put them on the New Mexico home page.

Megadeth singer blames President Obama for mass shootings. And if you can’t trust Dave Mustaine about politics ...

Brits are pissed that Ecuador granted Julian Assange asylum.

Can’t hang with the footage of mosquitos biting people in this story about West Nile being on the rise. Stupid nature’s vampires.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed an executive order to deny Arizonans benefits from the new federal Dream Act-esque immigration program.

This month in free speech.

The stoner Olympics.

Anti-Semitic jerk in Hungary finds out he’s Jewish.

These gorillas are all happy to see each other.

Where does all that aid money go? Haiti’s still without safe housing for most people.

How to shop for groceries when you hate shopping for groceries. (Step One: Realize that your problem is not really a problem. After all, you could be living in a tent in an earthquake-ravaged country.)

Coffee shop bans people from talking about annoying hipster stuff like denim, left-handedness and anything that happened before 2000.

Best gravel voices in movie/TV history.

opinion

OyP: This guv is a policy wrecking ball

Jerry Ortiz y Pino opines that Gov. Susana Martinez is on a neocon crusade of destruction. But the public can’t see it yet, he writes, because the media fawns over her so.

Most voters’ impressions of a governor are shaped by media coverage. On TV, we get split-second footage: She's cutting ribbons, smiling at children, waving to crowds, and looking perky at a rally or solemn at a memorial. ... The honeymoon ain't over yet, even after 18 months.

V.21 No.29 | 7/19/2012

Ortiz y Pino

The Guv’s Crusade of Destruction

Gov. Susana Martinez is not being held accountable for much of what has happened on her watch. Until reporters begin to dig into the consequences of her policy initiatives, the public will continue to hold her in high regard.

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news

Obama ups the ante on immigration reform

He’s all: Congress, I’ll see your “failure to fix a broken system” and raise you one “executive order that resembles the Dream Act.” Some op-ed writers are seeing the move as a challenge to the GOP.

This morning, President Obama announced a policy—effective today—that will protect people from deportation who came to the States as kids. The executive order applies to folks who are under 30, got here before they turned 16 and have lived in the country for more than five years. Immigrants also must have finished high school, and be in college or the military. A criminal record disqualifies you.

I wonder how the news will affect a student we wrote about in 2010, who was slated to graduate a couple weeks ago from a graduate program at UNM’s School of Architecture and Planning. She came to the U.S. when she was 7.

Or Ramon Eduardo Dorado Mendoza, who was stopped by Albuquerque airport police for speeding in 2010 when he was driving down I-25 near the Lead and Coal exit. He was escorted to the border, along with his father, and separated from his mom and sister. Mendoza had been in the country since he was 4. He had no criminal history.

Folks say Obama’s move was calculated to garner Hispanic votes around the country. Mitt Romney advocates “self-deportation,” which even Gov. Susana Martinez doesn’t like. Romney hasn’t yet responded to the president’s executive order.

The Obama administration has been criticized for holding the record for deportations, though, the president says, those numbers may be deceptive.

Obama is scheduled to speak about the announcement in the Rose Garden today. There’s a live feed here.

News

The hunt for ore

Larry J. King stands behind his house in Church Rock, N.M., and talks about the site where Hydro Resources, Inc. intends to mine.
Courtesy of Red Rock Pictures
Larry J. King stands behind his house in Church Rock, N.M., and talks about the site where Hydro Resources, Inc. intends to mine.

Reporter Christie Chisholm spoke with Larry J. King, a Navajo man who’s fighting Hydro Resources, Inc. The company wants to mine an aquifer under Church Rock, N.M.

Rooting around in the aquifer for uranium will make the water in it undrinkable, says Rich Abitz, a geochemist, in the story. The EPA has agreed to look into the company’s permit.

King has also started a campaign on Change.org that asks people to sign a petition to prevent the mining.

“Being in the Southwest, and being where every drop of water is precious—and where water is sacred, too—we need to preserve the water not only for ourselves but for future generations,” says King. “Without water, there is nothing.”

V.21 No.21 | 5/24/2012
Larry J. King stands behind his house in Church Rock, N.M., and talks about the site where Hydro Resources, Inc. intends to mine.
Courtesy of Red Rock Pictures

Environment

Navajo Group Fights Aquifer Mine

The Navajo Nation outlawed uranium mining and processing in 2005 in response to high cancer rates. Yet Larry J. King is one of many members of the tribe who are fighting plans to mine uranium from an aquifer.

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V.21 No.18 | 5/3/2012
The small lot of the Smith’s gas station on Constitution and Carlisle lacks space for cars to wait while others refuel.
Andy Carrasco

Newscity

Fuel to the Fire

Every day, fumes, traffic snarls and tanker trucks aggravate neighbors of the Smith's gas station on Constitution and Carlisle. And with a permit for the station to sell more fuel, the situation isn’t going to get any easier.

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Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Feature

You say it’s your Earth Day?

The Earth Day Network reports that 1 billion people marked the eco-holiday on April 22. But with consciousness-raising taking place on such a massive scale, it’s easy to overlook the everyday people who fight to keep our corner of the planet clean and healthy. For them, eco-activism is not a once-yearly event.

For the eco warriors profiled in this week’s feature, the work is hard, the hours long and unpaid. It’s about attending meetings, learning how to speak up in public, keeping track of paperwork, forging alliances with neighbors. It involves concerted, long-term effort in the face of what often looks like an uphill battle.

news

The Daily Word in Dick Clark, feminist nuns and sex robots

New mayor of Sunland Park is 24-years-old.

Kirtland is going to look a little harder for leaked jet fuel.

Dick Clark made stars. R.I.P.

Paramedics in N.M. work 72-hour shifts.

DOH to medical board: You can't ask the feds to reclassify marijuana.

Romney says something weird about cookies.

Killer swan.

Sex robots are our future.

Vatican cracks down on feminist nuns.

"Hopefully" may spell the end of grammar.

DoubleOh.

Passengers say an American cruise ship ignored a drifting fishing boat, leaving two men to die.

V.21 No.16 | 4/19/2012
Pete Domenici Jr.

News Profile

Mining the Law

An interview with Pete Domenici Jr., attorney for industry

For Domenici Jr., it's a question of balance: "You start with the premise that the reality is that human beings will affect their environment when resources are developed," he says. "So as a society we have to figure out ways to protect the environment while allowing population growth and economic growth to occur."

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Feature

The Good Fight

For all of the polluting industries that have thrived here since the Manhattan Project, New Mexico is also teeming with citizen environmental activists. These are people who in their free time—after work, after the kids are asleep—pore over reams of documents, learn about bureaucratic processes and permits, and put up a fight on behalf of their neighbors. They study, they attend meetings, they write letters, they become experts on industry and its effects. Here are a few of their stories.

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Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

Feature

Esther and Steven Abeyta

There are two Superfund sites and a high concentration of heavy industry in the area where Esther Abeyta’s family has lived for three generations. Her home is on land her grandmother bought for $90 and two chickens. And as the San Jose Neighborhood Association president, she’s determined to stay ahead of health and environmental issues.

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Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

Feature

Angela West

A longtime resident of the South Valley who helped start the Mountain View Neighborhood Association 30 years ago, President Angela West is well-versed in the ups and downs of the community she calls home. She says she’s also proud that her association protects the future while staying rooted in the past.

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Feature

Barbara Rockwell

Barbara Rockwell and her husband David fulfilled a dream when they moved to the southern end of the Village of Corrales and started building their home. “Corrales in 1977 was a rural village farming alfalfa, apples, corn and chile,” she says. But it was slowly becoming a bedroom suburb of Albuquerque, she adds. “There was no Intel on the western horizon, just the flowing line of the mesa and open fields of grass,” Rockwell says in an email interview. “Above all, there was the fresh, sweet air.”

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