News

Rita Daniels

This year’s spring rains and snow have eased New Mexico’s drought and made it less likely that we’ll see huge, damaging wildfires this season. But in the big picture, fire ecologists say it’s not a matter of if there will be fire, it’s when. They're trying to use flames now to protect watersheds for years to come.

UNM Art Museum

Santa Fe and Taos have art scenes with worldwide reputations, but New Mexico’s largest city isn’t quite as widely recognized. But there is a deep history here in Albuquerque and this week New Mexico PBS KNME premiers a documentary exploring the work of Albuquerque painters.

KUNM's Chris Boros spoke with KNME Executive Producer Michael Kamins about Painting Albuquerque, which airs at 7p on Monday, June 1st.

Image by Javier Fergo

UNM dance professor Eva Encinias Sandoval has spent her life with flamenco.  Its fierce energy, she says, is the "cultural expression of a people who had no voice" -- the persecuted gypsies, or Romani people, of Spain.  Eva and her Albuquerque-based organization, the National Institute of Flamenco, have been working for almost 30 years to promote an art form that's largely unknown to American audiences.  For seven days in June, celebrated dancers, singers and musicians from Madrid and Andal

jonathan mcintosh via Flickr (cropped)
Creative Commons License

Border patrol agents are racially profiling and routinely harassing people in southern New Mexico according to an investigation by the ACLU.

The investigation revealed that border patrol agents detain people at checkpoints based on the color of their skin. It also detailed how roving agents pull over ambulances that are transporting patients.

Rita Daniels

People are going to have to wait to find out whether or not New Mexico’s largest utility will be allowed to continue investing heavily in coal power. Regulators decided to delay their decision on PNM’s power replacement plan Wednesday.

Brainwise via Flickr

UPDATE 12:00p: New Mexico Regulators Delay Decision On Power Plant - Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press

New Mexico regulators are giving Public Service Co. of New Mexico more time to ink agreements with a mining company, delaying a decision on whether to approve a plan to close part of the San Juan Generating Station.

The Public Regulation Commission voted 4-1 during its meeting Wednesday.

Laura Paskus

Last month, citizens, local officials and state regulators from New Mexico and Colorado gathered in Farmington, N.M. to learn more about the methane anomaly over the Four Corners that is being studied by scientists across the nation.

Keoni Cabral via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 5/28 8a:  

We all need electricity. But what's a fair price for the energy that powers our homes and businesses?

We want to hear what you think about energy prices. Could your family afford an increase in your electricity bill? Would you be willing to pay more if you knew the power was coming from alternative sources like wind and solar?  

Join our conversation about the cost of energy. Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments below or call in live during the show. 

Guests:

Class Of 2015: Setting New Priorities

May 21, 2015
weng via Flickr (cropped) / Creative Commons License

Commentator Andrea Mays was asked to say a few words of inspiration at a university department’s commencement ceremony earlier this month. So, she did a little research about the prospects for the Class of 2015. 

Ed Williams

Stormwater is a major source of pollution in the Rio Grande. The U.S. Geological Survey released a nine-year study of stormwater in the Albuquerque area last week, finding high concentrations of pollutants in the city’s arroyos.

Andy Magee via Flickr

Some of the money from the Department of Energy’s settlement with New Mexico following a radiation leak at a nuclear waste storage facility last year will go to address stormwater issues at Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

PNM Rate Hike Rejected

May 13, 2015
fallsroad via Flickr

The Public Regulation Commission voted unanimously to reject PNM’s application to raise rates by 16 percent for residential users.

red5standingby via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 5/14 8a:  

The Albuquerque City Council passed a pay equity ordinance last week that provides incentives to companies that pay women at least 90 percent of what they pay men in comparable jobs. The ordinance is being lauded as a national model, but does it go far enough? We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online or call in live during the show. 

Guests:

Hey Paul Studios via CC

May is Teen Pregnancy Awareness Month, and since 2000 our state has seen its teen birth rate fall nearly 50 percent for teens age 15 to 17. 

A lot of factors contribute to the drop in teenage parenthood in New Mexico, like expanded access through Medicaid and improvement in birth control.

Rita Daniels

Hundreds of clean energy advocates marched in front of PNM headquarters on Tuesday during the utility’s annual shareholders meeting. The crowd called for New Mexico’s largest electricity provider to rethink its energy portfolio and continued investment in fossil fuels.

Leszek Teterycz wants PNM to replace all of the power that will be lost when two coal units are shuttered at the San Juan Generating Station with energy harnessed from the sun.

Mike Tungate via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Santolina developers and their opponents will appeal parts of the master plan for the 22-square-mile suburb at the Bernalillo County Commission meeting tonight.

Santolina was recommended for approval in December of 2014 by the planning commission.

Rita Daniels

Profits at New Mexico’s largest electric company have skyrocketed in the last few years, according to a new report, and demonstrators are planning to protest outside of PNM’s shareholder meeting Tuesday morning. 

Geologue via Flickr

An environmental law firm in Santa Fe is petitioning the state Supreme Court to overturn a law that allows copper mines to pollute groundwater. 

As the law stands, companies can allow toxic drainage to seep into the groundwater beneath their copper mines, as long as the pollution stays within a designated perimeter. But New Mexico Environmental Law Center director Douglas Meiklejohn says that’s a violation of the state’s Water Quality Act.

U.S. Drought Mitigation Center

Drought conditions across much of New Mexico have been improving. According to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor report, 55 percent of the state is in moderate to severe drought. That’s down from 97 percent at this time last year.  

This May is already one of the wettest Mays on record in Albuquerque. Climatologist David Dubois says forecasts are showing above average rainfall will continue for most of New Mexico.

www.santafeopera.org

He was barely 30 years old, and virtually unknown in the music world, when he succeeded in 1957 with an audacious idea:  creating an opera company on a hilltop in an out-of-the-way location in the Southwest.  John Crosby carefully guided The Santa Fe Opera for the next 45 years.  Writer and critic Craig Smith, author of "A Vision of Voices: John Crosby and The Santa Fe Opera," the founder's first full-length biography just published by

Hospital, Heal Thyself

May 7, 2015
Alice Popkorn via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico’s 60 hospitals weren’t rated so well in a recent report from USNews.com – they didn’t meet a standard of care on par with the top 25 nationally ranked hospitals.

Commentator Andrea Mays says hospitalization, like many experiences in life, is better in the abstract.

Read the full-length commentary here.

insunlight via Flickr / Creative Commons License

  

For hundreds of people in New Mexico, getting out of jail or prison hinges on whether there’s a bed in a halfway house, a slot in a treatment program or space in a mental health facility. Until a spot opens up, they remain behind bars, and it costs taxpayers thousands of extra dollars while they wait.

Albuquerque Police Department

Prosecutor In NM Police Shooting Wants More Ballistics Tests - The Associated Press

A special prosecutor reviewing the case of two Albuquerque police officers who have been charged with murder in the shooting death of a homeless man wants more ballistics testing to be done.

Randi McGinn says the scientific testing is to address defense attorneys' question about which of the two officers fired the most immediate fatal third shot into the man's back.

Ed Williams

    

Santiago Maestas has been growing fruits and vegetables on a small plot of land in the South Valley for over 40 years. He's standing by a centuries-old acequia near Isleta Boulevard south of Albuquerque—a modest, earthen ditch carrying slow-moving irrigation water away from the Rio Grande and into fields and gardens.

thetutoress.com / Creative Commons License

A Las Cruces behavioral health provider will take over clients of La Frontera, an Arizona firm that is shutting down its New Mexico offices.

Matt Kennicott from the state Human Services Department says many staff members from La Frontera are applying to work at La Clinica de Familia and that that will make the transition go smoothly.

"People who are seeing their current providers will continue seeing their providers even after the switching of companies is made," Kennicott said.

Rita Daniels

There is a growing demand for locally grown food in New Mexico, but farmers here are getting older. The average age is 65. However, there are programs that aim to inspire and train up-and-coming young farmers.

AllenS / Wikimedia Commons

Albuquerque Releases Internal Audit Of Taser Contract - The Associated Press

City auditors say personnel at Albuquerque's troubled police department bypassed purchasing regulations and compromised the integrity of the city's procurement process when purchasing body cameras from Taser International in 2013.

The city's Office of Internal Audit released the findings Tuesday.

They follow an equally scathing report by New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller, which uncovered a cozy relationship involving Taser and former police chief Ray Schultz.

Mike Tungate via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 5/7 8a: 

Bernalillo County commissioners are considering a residential development plan to build almost 40,000 new homes west of Albuquerque. Developers say it’s a smart, efficient way to plan for population growth and boost the local economy—but critics say it will hurt public health and burden dwindling water supplies. We’ll talk with Santolina’s planning team, public health researchers and South Valley farmers. 

Junglecat / Wikimedia Commons

Albuquerque Officials Briefed On Scathing Taser Audit - The Associated Press

Albuquerque City Councilors briefed on a recent scathing state audit that uncovered a cozy relationship involving a former police chief and Taser International have varied opinions on the review.

Some want to look into tightening the city's procurement codes, while one questions how much disclosure is necessary by city officials and workers who might work as contractors.

Will Thomas

New Mexico’s largest utility company promised to have a completed coal-supply agreement for their power plant in place by last Friday but PNM missed its own deadline.

The coal-supply agreement for the San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico is one of the linchpins for the plant’s future energy production. The utility wants to shut down two units there and replace that power with nuclear, natural gas, some solar and more coal.

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