Candlelites

Everything from Everywhere

NMPolitics

Latest headline news from NMPolitics with momentary update to provide the online news, world news, sports news, family news, health news, video news, national news, food news and politics news from NMPolitics.



in tiny nm village, ‘brilliant’ 7-year-old is one of school’s 40 students

she lives in the least populated place in new mexico – fewer than 700 people spread across 2,100 square miles in harding county in the northeast quadrant of the state.her house – the same one where her mother grew up – is a block from her school, where she and 40 other children make up the entire student body from kindergarten through 12th grade.she loves the future farmers of america and can talk at length about her passion for the organization. she hopes one day, when she’s older than 7, she can raise chickens.for reasons only she knows – and she’s not telling – she likes to speak in a british accent. last halloween, she dressed as the queen of england.who is kate green?if you ask her to describe herself in two words, those words will be “weird” and “weird.”weird is a popular concept with kate, almost as dear to her as her barbie dolls, her shelves of books and the time she spends working alongside her dad, jake, in his woodworking shop in the family’s garage.“brilliant little kid,” says tommy turner, superintendent of the mosquero municipal school district, who pastures his horses on a plot of land that abuts kate’s backyard and works with her mother, margaret, the school secretary. “she’s so analytical. those wheels are always turning.”kate’s is a middle-america life where mom, dad and daughter walk across the street to church every sunday morning and gather each evening for dinner and talk.and kate can talk: “i help my dad work all...





i’m tired of kids dying. i don’t want to have to be a hero.

commentary: i am a minimally effective teacher, at least according to the state of new mexico. if you listen to secretary devos or even our acting secretary of education for the state of new mexico, those of us who teach at traditional public schools are lazy and uninspired. we only are there for the short days and the summers off and we put our needs far before the needs of our students.courtesy photoerin taylorbut somehow, for some reason, when tragedies like the parkland or newtown or columbine happen, no one is surprised to hear of teachers and coaches and janitors and other school employees risking and sometimes giving their lives for their students, for their kids. those same self-serving teachers somehow transform into self-sacrificing heroes. we honor them and their courage.and then, almost inevitably, it turns back to those teachers and schools to not only continue with their purpose of educating every kid who walks through their doors but now to deal with the aftermath of a massacre and to try to prevent the next one.what are schools and teachers supposed to be doing?increasing the physical security of their buildings. great! but where’s the money coming for that? are people ready to have their property taxes go up? schools will have make choices. let’s get a new fence at my school rather than replace the worn out desks. the kids may get scratched on the rough edges, but we will have our barricade. what else are we willing to give up? new playground equipment? ...





i’m tired of kids dying. i don’t want to have to be a hero.

commentary: i am a minimally effective teacher, at least according to the state of new mexico. if you listen to secretary devos or even our acting secretary of education for the state of new mexico, those of us who teach at traditional public schools are lazy and uninspired. we only are there for the short days and the summers off and we put our needs far before the needs of our students.courtesy photoerin taylorbut somehow, for some reason, when tragedies like the parkland or newtown or columbine happen, no one is surprised to hear of teachers and coaches and janitors and other school employees risking and sometimes giving their lives for their students, for their kids. those same self-serving teachers somehow transform into self-sacrificing heroes. we honor them and their courage.and then, almost inevitably, it turns back to those teachers and schools to not only continue with their purpose of educating every kid who walks through their doors but now to deal with the aftermath of a massacre and to try to prevent the next one.what are schools and teachers supposed to be doing?increasing the physical security of their buildings. great! but where’s the money coming for that? are people ready to have their property taxes go up? schools will have make choices. let’s get a new fence at my school rather than replace the worn out desks. the kids may get scratched on the rough edges, but we will have our barricade. what else are we willing to give up? new playground equipment? ...





congress should not trade one injustice for another

heather wilsona view of a newly completed upgrade, funded during barack obama’s presidency, to the border fence in the anapra neighborhood in sunland park, n.m. faith leaders from around the country visited the fence last year.commentary: president trump created a crisis over daca by rescinding the directive that protected from deportation thousands of undocumented immigrants brought here as children. now he is holding them ransom, demanding that congress give him $25 billion for border security, including his “beautiful” wall, in exchange for not rounding up dreamers and sending them into exile.that’s a deal that congress should not only reject, but condemn in the strongest possible terms for the sinister choice that it is.you don’t fix one injustice by creating another. many people seem to think that the wall, although expensive and offensive, is harmless. “if this is what it takes to protect dreamers,” they say, “just give trump his wall.”advertisementthe truth is the wall is not benign. it will cause harm to real living beings; not only to the human beings forced to live in its miserable shadow, but also to the wild animals that make a home in the border region.the wall won’t stop determined people from crossing the border, but it will prevent wild creatures from moving across the landscape to find water, food, mates and all the other essentials they and their kind need to survive.perhaps surprisingly, the border region is one of the most biological...





in tiny nm village, ‘brilliant’ 7-year-old is one of school’s 40 students

she lives in the least populated place in new mexico – fewer than 700 people spread across 2,100 square miles in harding county in the northeast quadrant of the state.her house – the same one where her mother grew up – is a block from her school, where she and 40 other children make up the entire student body from kindergarten through 12th grade.she loves the future farmers of america and can talk at length about her passion for the organization. she hopes one day, when she’s older than 7, she can raise chickens.for reasons only she knows – and she’s not telling – she likes to speak in a british accent. last halloween, she dressed as the queen of england.who is kate green?if you ask her to describe herself in two words, those words will be “weird” and “weird.”weird is a popular concept with kate, almost as dear to her as her barbie dolls, her shelves of books and the time she spends working alongside her dad, jake, in his woodworking shop in the family’s garage.“brilliant little kid,” says tommy turner, superintendent of the mosquero municipal school district, who pastures his horses on a plot of land that abuts kate’s backyard and works with her mother, margaret, the school secretary. “she’s so analytical. those wheels are always turning.”kate’s is a middle-america life where mom, dad and daughter walk across the street to church every sunday morning and gather each evening for dinner and talk.and kate can talk: “i help my dad work all...





when the victors re-write history

library of congresssan miguel church of santa fe is among the old adobe structures built in part by the genízaros people.as explorers and settlers moved west across what would become the united states in the generations before and after its birth, tribes were scattered, pitted against one another, and in some cases destroyed entirely. for the genízaros people in the southwest, the result is a modern-day push for recognition in history books, let alone as a tribe and a distinct people.fighting for recognition, at times for basic humanity, has become a part of native identity in this country. as roxanne dunbar-ortiz wrote in an indigenous peoples’ history of the united states, “today’s indigenous nations and communities are societies formed by their resistance to colonialism, through which they have carried their practices and histories. it is breathtaking, but no miracle, that they have survived as peoples.”the genízaros are not a federally recognized tribe and are rarely referenced in the recorded histories of the new mexico deserts. that’s because more than 150 years ago their ancestors were kept as slaves by hispanic families and even federal agents, although the practice was illegal. many were the descendants of captured utes, comanches, apaches, kiowas and pawnees, and were named after a fierce group of spanish slaves made to fight for their freedom. when the mexican republic emerged in 1821, it did away with the term genízaros to shed the history o...





congress should not trade one injustice for another

heather wilsona view of a newly completed upgrade, funded during barack obama’s presidency, to the border fence in the anapra neighborhood in sunland park, n.m. faith leaders from around the country visited the fence last year.commentary: president trump created a crisis over daca by rescinding the directive that protected from deportation thousands of undocumented immigrants brought here as children. now he is holding them ransom, demanding that congress give him $25 billion for border security, including his “beautiful” wall, in exchange for not rounding up dreamers and sending them into exile.that’s a deal that congress should not only reject, but condemn in the strongest possible terms for the sinister choice that it is.you don’t fix one injustice by creating another. many people seem to think that the wall, although expensive and offensive, is harmless. “if this is what it takes to protect dreamers,” they say, “just give trump his wall.”advertisementthe truth is the wall is not benign. it will cause harm to real living beings; not only to the human beings forced to live in its miserable shadow, but also to the wild animals that make a home in the border region.the wall won’t stop determined people from crossing the border, but it will prevent wild creatures from moving across the landscape to find water, food, mates and all the other essentials they and their kind need to survive.perhaps surprisingly, the border region is one of the most biological...





when the victors re-write history

library of congresssan miguel church of santa fe is among the old adobe structures built in part by the genízaros people.as explorers and settlers moved west across what would become the united states in the generations before and after its birth, tribes were scattered, pitted against one another, and in some cases destroyed entirely. for the genízaros people in the southwest, the result is a modern-day push for recognition in history books, let alone as a tribe and a distinct people.fighting for recognition, at times for basic humanity, has become a part of native identity in this country. as roxanne dunbar-ortiz wrote in an indigenous peoples’ history of the united states, “today’s indigenous nations and communities are societies formed by their resistance to colonialism, through which they have carried their practices and histories. it is breathtaking, but no miracle, that they have survived as peoples.”the genízaros are not a federally recognized tribe and are rarely referenced in the recorded histories of the new mexico deserts. that’s because more than 150 years ago their ancestors were kept as slaves by hispanic families and even federal agents, although the practice was illegal. many were the descendants of captured utes, comanches, apaches, kiowas and pawnees, and were named after a fierce group of spanish slaves made to fight for their freedom. when the mexican republic emerged in 1821, it did away with the term genízaros to shed the history o...





time to take nm’s early education accomplishments to next level

f_a_r_e_w_e_l_l / creative commonsthe state of new mexico should be very proud of its accomplishments in early education. now it is time to take these accomplishments to a new level.commentary: business leaders, educators and policy leaders share the belief that one of the best ways to build a productive and prosperous society is to start early in building children’s foundation for learning, health and positive behavior.the science underlying this belief is solid: evidence at the intersection of neurobiology, developmental science and economics converges on preschool education as the single most promising strategy for ensuring that this foundation is sturdy, inclusive and cost-effective.why is this the case? the brain’s basic architecture and circuitry develop rapidly during the early childhood years. experiences in pre-k aimed at addressing the consequences of adversity and providing environments rich in language and playful cognitive stimulation can strengthen the critical neural networks that power up early learning.pre-k programs also afford wonderful opportunities to support young children’s social development, including empathy and tolerance in our increasingly diverse society.this evidence includes research conducted in new mexico, which showed that children who attended state-funded pre-k programs were significantly more likely to perform at grade level in reading and math through elementary school, and significantly less likely to be placed in special education...





children in one abq neighborhood face onslaught of risk factors

it’s june and it’s hot and alexxus prudhomme’s 17-month-old son, zymiir, teeters about in a diaper on an apartment balcony, grasping a can of grape soda while his grandmother smokes a joint and argues with the neighbors about the dog mess in the courtyard. “people can’t even sit on their porch in peace without smelling s***!” she shouts.her voice travels through the open door to where alexxus, 17, lies sprawled on the sofa, holding her 5-month-old daughter, zyhala, and covering her chubby neck in kisses.alexxus still wears braces on her teeth, and she misses the carefree social life she might have had if she weren’t stuck in this apartment with two kids. alexxus got pregnant with zymiir when she was 15 and a high school freshman.she’s a dropout now, and home is her mother’s apartment on the second floor of an eight-plex on wisconsin street in southeast albuquerque. the complex consists of two squat buildings separated by a courtyard of dirt and weeds. concrete sidewalks are cracked and crumbling. the house number is spray painted on the front wall.alexxus doesn’t take the kids out much because of the crime and the debris of drug use in the streets around the apartment.“there’s parks. but there’s a lot of shootings,” she says. “there’s a lot of fighting, drug dealing, needles outside on the floor.”alexxus would like her children to know something different.“i want them around an environment that’s clean, a neighborhood that’s clean,” s...





children in one abq neighborhood face onslaught of risk factors

it’s june and it’s hot and alexxus prudhomme’s 17-month-old son, zymiir, teeters about in a diaper on an apartment balcony, grasping a can of grape soda while his grandmother smokes a joint and argues with the neighbors about the dog mess in the courtyard. “people can’t even sit on their porch in peace without smelling s***!” she shouts.her voice travels through the open door to where alexxus, 17, lies sprawled on the sofa, holding her 5-month-old daughter, zyhala, and covering her chubby neck in kisses.alexxus still wears braces on her teeth, and she misses the carefree social life she might have had if she weren’t stuck in this apartment with two kids. alexxus got pregnant with zymiir when she was 15 and a high school freshman.she’s a dropout now, and home is her mother’s apartment on the second floor of an eight-plex on wisconsin street in southeast albuquerque. the complex consists of two squat buildings separated by a courtyard of dirt and weeds. concrete sidewalks are cracked and crumbling. the house number is spray painted on the front wall.alexxus doesn’t take the kids out much because of the crime and the debris of drug use in the streets around the apartment.“there’s parks. but there’s a lot of shootings,” she says. “there’s a lot of fighting, drug dealing, needles outside on the floor.”alexxus would like her children to know something different.“i want them around an environment that’s clean, a neighborhood that’s clean,” s...





time to take nm’s early education accomplishments to next level

f_a_r_e_w_e_l_l / creative commonsthe state of new mexico should be very proud of its accomplishments in early education. now it is time to take these accomplishments to a new level.commentary: business leaders, educators and policy leaders share the belief that one of the best ways to build a productive and prosperous society is to start early in building children’s foundation for learning, health and positive behavior.the science underlying this belief is solid: evidence at the intersection of neurobiology, developmental science and economics converges on preschool education as the single most promising strategy for ensuring that this foundation is sturdy, inclusive and cost-effective.why is this the case? the brain’s basic architecture and circuitry develop rapidly during the early childhood years. experiences in pre-k aimed at addressing the consequences of adversity and providing environments rich in language and playful cognitive stimulation can strengthen the critical neural networks that power up early learning.pre-k programs also afford wonderful opportunities to support young children’s social development, including empathy and tolerance in our increasingly diverse society.this evidence includes research conducted in new mexico, which showed that children who attended state-funded pre-k programs were significantly more likely to perform at grade level in reading and math through elementary school, and significantly less likely to be placed in special education...





the gatekeeper: senate finance chair holds sway over child-related funding

adria malcolm / for searchlight new mexicojohn arthur smith in the state capitol in late 2017.the car tire blew. the 1948 ford sedan rolled off the highway from columbus, throwing the 16-year-old driver nearly to his death.for eight years, he lay comatose in the deming house where sen. john arthur smith — today, arguably the most powerful man in the new mexico legislature — grew up.james “jimmy” franklin smith was a star athlete and john arthur’s big brother. the accident on march 30, 1952 shattered his cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that’s responsible for thinking and language. the family poured all its earnings from a small liquor store into paying for around-the-clock nursing care.john arthur smith, the youngest, was 11 when it happened.smith recalls his reaction, speaking in the third person before catching himself: “the response on how you act — my parents had enough worries without a kid getting in trouble. and it wasn’t that i was a goody two-shoes, so to speak, but the bottom line was i didn’t get in trouble.“we were always hurting for money,” he adds. “i always had a job.”it’s always there, in the back of his mind, the specter of the unlikely or unthinkable occurrence. plan for the worst. save for the rainy day. you just never know.the family tragedy shaped smith’s boyhood and set in motion a personal mantra that would inform every decision he makes as chairman as the powerful senate finance committee: “you better be damn car...





the teacher: childhood trauma informed senator’s legislative success

don usner / for searchlight new mexicomimi stewart at the state capitol.she was 3 years old when her father died in a car crash and 17 when her mother committed suicide. in between those bookends of loss, she lived with the man she refers to as “my evil stepfather.”he demeaned her, her two older sisters and her younger brother, and punished them with a belt when they didn’t meet his exacting standards.at night, he crept into her bedroom. “he would reach under my pajamas and start,” she says.decades of therapy after a nervous breakdown have led mimi stewart, at age 70, to a place where she can talk about her childhood trauma.stewart was a state representative for 20 years and has served in the senate since 2014. she can be abrupt and hectoring in committee hearings and on the floor. she is also one of the new mexico legislature’s most dogged and prepared members, with a passion for education and a knack for working across party lines and getting bills passed.as the sun fades and her office on the fourth floor of the state capitol darkens – stewart, 70, has a pet peeve about wasting electricity – she says everything she needed to know about politics she learned in that haunted house with the man her mother brought home when she was 5.“i’m good at politics because i learned how to work in coalition – with my siblings,” she says. “how to mediate with someone who we don’t trust and like – my stepfather. how to determine what to do about right and wron...





the teacher: childhood trauma informed senator’s legislative success

don usner / for searchlight new mexicomimi stewart at the state capitol.she was 3 years old when her father died in a car crash and 17 when her mother committed suicide. in between those bookends of loss, she lived with the man she refers to as “my evil stepfather.”he demeaned her, her two older sisters and her younger brother, and punished them with a belt when they didn’t meet his exacting standards.at night, he crept into her bedroom. “he would reach under my pajamas and start,” she says.decades of therapy after a nervous breakdown have led mimi stewart, at age 70, to a place where she can talk about her childhood trauma.stewart was a state representative for 20 years and has served in the senate since 2014. she can be abrupt and hectoring in committee hearings and on the floor. she is also one of the new mexico legislature’s most dogged and prepared members, with a passion for education and a knack for working across party lines and getting bills passed.as the sun fades and her office on the fourth floor of the state capitol darkens – stewart, 70, has a pet peeve about wasting electricity – she says everything she needed to know about politics she learned in that haunted house with the man her mother brought home when she was 5.“i’m good at politics because i learned how to work in coalition – with my siblings,” she says. “how to mediate with someone who we don’t trust and like – my stepfather. how to determine what to do about right and wron...





the gatekeeper: senate finance chair holds sway over child-related funding

adria malcolm / for searchlight new mexicojohn arthur smith in the state capitol in late 2017.the car tire blew. the 1948 ford sedan rolled off the highway from columbus, throwing the 16-year-old driver nearly to his death.for eight years, he lay comatose in the deming house where sen. john arthur smith — today, arguably the most powerful man in the new mexico legislature — grew up.james “jimmy” franklin smith was a star athlete and john arthur’s big brother. the accident on march 30, 1952 shattered his cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that’s responsible for thinking and language. the family poured all its earnings from a small liquor store into paying for around-the-clock nursing care.john arthur smith, the youngest, was 11 when it happened.smith recalls his reaction, speaking in the third person before catching himself: “the response on how you act — my parents had enough worries without a kid getting in trouble. and it wasn’t that i was a goody two-shoes, so to speak, but the bottom line was i didn’t get in trouble.“we were always hurting for money,” he adds. “i always had a job.”it’s always there, in the back of his mind, the specter of the unlikely or unthinkable occurrence. plan for the worst. save for the rainy day. you just never know.the family tragedy shaped smith’s boyhood and set in motion a personal mantra that would inform every decision he makes as chairman as the powerful senate finance committee: “you better be damn car...





courts could end up deciding how much secrecy spaceport gets

commentary: there’s a strong chance the debate over how much secrecy spaceport america gets will end up in court.state lawmakers approved legislation thursday that allows the spaceport to shield from the public some information about customers, such as trade secrets. after a session of hot debate, amendments convinced the n.m. foundation for open government to drop its opposition to the bill. then it sailed through to approval.heath haussamenbut there appear to be differing interpretations of how much secrecy the final bill allows.the spaceport’s ceo, dan hicks, sought legislation that would let his agency keep all information about customers secret – including lease agreements, rent payments and even companies’ identities. open-government advocates, meanwhile, have said information like companies’ identities and rent and fees should be public.that’s because the facility is publicly owned and was built with a mix of state appropriations and local tax increases in doña ana and sierra counties.transparency advocates believe the version of the bill that passed the legislature, which awaits action by gov. susana martinez, would keep some of that information public. but hicks said he believes the bill could still allow the spaceport to keep information like leases and company identities secret. if the governor signs the bill, there may be disagreement over its implementation.this debate is playing out in the context of how the spaceport has treated requests for infor...





courts could end up deciding how much secrecy spaceport gets

commentary: there’s a strong chance the debate over how much secrecy spaceport america gets will end up in court.state lawmakers approved legislation thursday that allows the spaceport to shield from the public some information about customers, such as trade secrets. after a session of hot debate, amendments convinced the n.m. foundation for open government to drop its opposition to the bill. then it sailed through to approval.heath haussamenbut there appear to be differing interpretations of how much secrecy the final bill allows.the spaceport’s ceo, dan hicks, sought legislation that would let his agency keep all information about customers secret – including lease agreements, rent payments and even companies’ identities. open-government advocates, meanwhile, have said information like companies’ identities and rent and fees should be public.that’s because the facility is publicly owned and was built with a mix of state appropriations and local tax increases in doña ana and sierra counties.transparency advocates believe the version of the bill that passed the legislature, which awaits action by gov. susana martinez, would keep some of that information public. but hicks said he believes the bill could still allow the spaceport to keep information like leases and company identities secret. if the governor signs the bill, there may be disagreement over its implementation.this debate is playing out in the context of how the spaceport has treated requests for infor...





courts could end up deciding how much secrecy spaceport gets

commentary: there’s a strong chance the debate over how much secrecy spaceport america should get will end up in court.state lawmakers approved legislation thursday that allows the spaceport to shield from the public some information about customers, such as trade secrets. after a session of hot debate, amendments convinced the n.m. foundation for open government to drop its opposition to the bill. then it sailed through to approval.heath haussamenbut there appear to be differing interpretations of how much secrecy the final bill allows.the spaceport’s ceo, dan hicks, sought legislation that would let his agency keep all information about customers secret – including lease agreements, rent payments and even companies’ identities. open-government advocates, meanwhile, have said information like companies’ identities and rent and fees should be public.that’s because the facility is publicly owned and was built with a mix of state appropriations and local tax increases in doña ana and sierra counties.transparency advocates believe the version of the bill that passed the legislature, which awaits action by gov. susana martinez, would keep some of that information public. but hicks said he believes the bill could still allow the spaceport to keep information like leases and company identities secret. if the governor signs the bill, there may be disagreement over its implementation.this debate is playing out in the context of how the spaceport has treated requests for ...





slate of domestic violence measures on governor’s desk

heath haussamen / nmpolitics.netthe roundhouse in santa fe.if gov. susana martinez signs a senate bill into law, new mexico will become the 46th state to specifically define strangulation as a serious violent crime.state sen. daniel ivey-soto, d-albuquerque, who sponsored senate bill 61, called the legislature’s unanimous support of the measure “a monumental achievement.”a former prosecutor, ivey-soto said he became aware of what he called the “insidiousness” of strangulation. it’s a powerful type of violence that signals to a victim “i have your very life in my hands,” he said.he credited the success of sb 61 to an aggressive, years-long effort by victims’ advocates to educate lawmakers, attorneys, law enforcement officers and medical professionals about the prevalence of this potentially deadly act, which affects thousands of people in the state — sometimes with lifelong symptoms of brain trauma. so far, however, the crime has been nearly impossible to prosecute. to the untrained eye, the signs are difficult to detect.late wednesday, the bill passed its last hurdle in the legislature, the house of representatives, on a vote of 65-0.a spokesman for martinez did not respond to a request for comment on whether she backs the bill, but the governor has long pushed a tough-on-crime agenda.“i’m confident she’s going to sign it,” said sheila lewis, director of the violence-prevention initiative santa fe safe.lewis is one of several advocates who have wo...