The Daily Word in tears, serpents and lucid dreams
Speculation on what killed Johnny Tapia
New Mexico's five corporate legislators
Meth-like bath salts may be to blame for attack of the Miami face-eater.
NYC looks to ban large sodas and sugary drinks.
"Sesame Street" composer reacts to news that his songs may have been used to torture people at Gitmo.
Buy salt made from human tears.
Serpent-handling pastor dies from a rattlesnake bite.
Porn star is suspected of murder and mailing body parts to the Conservative Party of Canada.
The rise of lucid dreaming
What it means to be gay in Iran
Supercars that go 200 mph
American nuns prepare a response to Vatican charges that they're radical feminists.
Your state in sandwich form
Nicolas Cage performs John Cage. Kinda.
The Daily Word in Wikipedia shuts down, Roundhouse legislation kicks off and McNuggets get sexual
The wrecked Italian cruise liner shifted. 29 people are estimated to be missing.
The “If I Die” app leaves a Facebook post for you after you’re gone. Creepy.
A woman offered drive-thru customers sexual favors in exchange for chicken McNuggets. They’re not that good.
After getting throttled twice in the same year by the same team, Tebowmania still won’t quit.
A young girl is shot during the MLK parade in Little Rock, Arkansas.
I don’t think Burger King’s home delivery is a good idea for an already obese country.
How did these rocks from Mars find themselves in Africa last year?
A racy billboard ad encouraging drivers to keep their eyes in the road is taken down. Drivers couldn’t keep their eyes on the road.
The Daily Word with fights, Chihuahuas and Lady Gaga
Serbian general accused of massacring 8,000 Muslims has been captured.
Patriot Act expires tonight at midnight—and Congress is rushing to renew it.
Cibola student taken to the hospital after a fight leads to broken facial bones and seizures.
Errant golf ball kills Chihuahua.
Gov. Martinez ditches her own No. 2 and sits nonchalantly near Heather Wilson.
Growers’ markets open today in Nob Hill and Downtown.
PayPal co-founder will pay college students $100,000 to drop out of college and start companies.
Parents won’t announce baby’s sex.
Maui Time ordered by police to turn over users’ IP addresses.
Supreme Court upholds Arizona law that punishes employers who hire undocumented immigrants.
The Isotopes’ policy on booze. (Not unlike most policies on booze.)
Legislators sue guv over vetoes.
Lost pyramids spotted from space.
The ADHD of Lady Gaga.
The Daily Word: Mardi Gras, Charlie Sheen is Crazy, Texas is Crazier
Batshit crazy Charlie Sheen is officially fired from “Two and Half Men” and vows lawsuit. Winning.
...Even Gary Busey of all people is praying for the poor guy.
Today is Mardi Gras! Here’s what you should eat and drink during the festivities.
Why would you adopt a son if you’re just going to keep him in a dog crate all day?
A woman was found to be hiding $170,000 in her underwear at JFK Airport.
I wish Tom Brady would stop screwing with his hair and start learning to win a playoff game.
Don’t steal severed feet from accident scenes to make into dog toys.
Silver City is burning. Badly.
Texas lawmakers approve a bill mandating an ultrasound before an abortion.
Calm down, everyone; ridiculously popular game Angry Birds is coming to Facebook.
Close to 500 people showed up at the Roundhouse last night for a pro-immigrant vigil.
God of the Geeks George Lucas is taking a prop designer to court for selling stormtrooper helmets.
Is “LOL” slowly being phased out?? OMG!
Will a new law protect students from predatory credit card companies?
Alicia Elgar got her first credit card before she headed off to college. She quickly maxed it out and, $5,000 in debt, found another offer poking out of her mailbox midway through her junior year at the University of New Mexico. The 23-year-old biology major is $9,000 in credit card debt, swimming in student loans, working two jobs and trying to finish her degree.
Ortiz y Pino
Hunting Elusive Budgetary Fat
Gov. Bill Richardson’s veto pen struck down the food tax and blew a giant hole in the state budget. So the need to destroy a mythical “budgetary fat” monster is sitting heavy on the shoulders of New Mexico lawmakers. Take it from me, a senator on the Senate Finance Committee.
Smokes Go Up; Food Tax Vetoed
Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill today that will raise the price of cigarettes 75 cents. And if you’re thinking about driving to the res to the avoid the tax, the proverbial man is one step ahead of you. The Legislature made some agreements with the state’s tribal leaders, who will also hike prices 75 cents.
With this increase, New Mexico’s tax on smokes comes to $1.66 per pack, the 18th highest in the United States. The national average is $1.34 per pack.
The measure was sponsored by Reps. Gail Chasey and Danice Picraux and Sens. Dede Feldman and Mary Jane Garcia.
The governor also vetoed the food tax, which would have brought in about $68 million. He’s going to make it up with stimulus money and by dipping into the reserves, among other things, according to this New Mexico Independent article.
The state was facing a $650 million budget shortfall.
Clearing the Air
The saga of North Valley residents battling a cement company in their neighborhood may have come to a close. On Wednesday, March 10, the city’s Air Quality Control Board approved a settlement agreement between the Greater Gardner Neighborhood Association and American Cement.
Ortiz y Pino
An Unhappy Compromise
The special session of the Legislature accomplished in four days what was impossible in 30: reaching an agreement on how to plug a $600 million gap in next year's budget. Legislators did it because the pressure was on—and because a lot of preliminary work was done the week before. That work at least provided a starting point for heavy negotiations.
Unboring Bills That Passed
HB 150: Hispanic Education Act
HB 165: Whistleblower Protection Act
HB 207: Interlock Fund Eligibility
HB 217: No Abuse in Resident or Care Provider Homes
SB 1: School Athlete Head Injury Safety Protocols
SB 18: Changes to State Investment Bodies
SB 26: Create NM Domestic Violence Commission
SB 28: State Contractor Contribution Disclosure
SB 40: Concealed Guns in Restaurants
SB 148: No Use of Gender for Health Insurance Rating
SB 152: College Student Lists to Credit Companies
SB 195: Sunshine Portal Transparency Act
SB 279: Colonias Infrastructure Act and Fund
For a complete list of everything that passed both chambers, click here.
The Bills that Made it Out of the Grinder
As promised, here’s a list of bills that passed the House and Senate. Click on the links to read them for yourself. (To look at all the measures that were in play during the regular session, click here.)
Teachers Boycott the Albuquerque Journal
Looks like our local daily published an editorial saying the Legislature wasn’t cutting enough from the state’s budget. This prompted 200 teachers and school employees within the local chapter of the American Federation of Teachers to drop their subscriptions to the paper. (Thanks for the tip, Tracy Dingmann).
The union’s news release says the Journal was cheerleading for a budget that would ax millions from education and dig into school employees’ paychecks.
The Legislature did not fix the shortfall the state is facing and will be going into a special session on Wednesday, Feb. 24. I’ll be there wearing my one professional, button-up shirt along with the New Mexico Independent to live-blog.
Education Building in the Bosque Loses Funding
The session officially ended minutes ago, but because a budget fix hadn't been found for the state's $500 million shortfall, legislators will be seeing each other again soon.
But they did pass a measure this morning that takes money from projects around the state to try and shore up some reserves. They pulled in $130 million that way. I was just reading through this long list of projects that are losing their funds. And I found the Legislature is sucking back cash flow that was set to "plan, design, construct and equip an education building at the Rio Grande Nature Center state park in Bernalillo county."
Remember that story? A few weeks ago I wrote about some neighbors that were pretty bummed about that 5,700-square-foot building going into the Bosque.
Browse that list yourself. So many things are getting the ax.
Race Talk Boils in the House
Hispanic Education Act sparks hours of discussion
Roundhouse conversations on touchy social topics don't unfold all that differently from debates at the bar, in a classroom or over a dinner table.
Regarding Sen. Eric Griego's "Democracy for Sale" [Opinion, Jan. 28-Feb. 3], I find myself equally terrified by the potential future of our voting process. The Supreme Court's decision regarding campaign finance could result in many voters choosing a Quarter Pounder over filet mignon.