Category Archives: Legislature

Water Crisis in the West: Thinking Like a Watershed, NM Economy, Open Primaries, APS Superintendent Winston Brooks

This week on New Mexico in Focus, we conclude our series on the Water Crisis in the West: Thinking Like a Watershed with a discussion on water law and some potential innovative solutions to the water scarcity issues in the region. NMiF Producer Megan Kamerick speaks with John Fleck of the Albuquerque Journal, author and historian Sonia Dickey and Mike Hamman, area manager with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation about the fallout from the Central Arizona Project, new collaborations among unlikely groups to deal with water scarcity and the meaning of watershed after decades of water basin transfers and massive engineering projects.

The Line opinion panel delves into the New Mexico economy in light of an article published in an airline magazine and highlighted in the Santa Fe Reporter that offers an extremely rosy picture of the state. Is it hyperbole or are there signs of positive growth in New Mexico that indicate we may be improving? The energy sector is booming, but business formation and expansion is lagging and job growth is slow. The income gap also continues to grow. Meanwhile the Legislative Jobs Council recently approved $73 million proposed package of initiatives in an effort create tens of thousands of jobs.

The Line also discusses the issue of open primaries. A lawsuit filed earlier this summer seeks to change the state’s closed primary system. And now Rep. Emily Kane, D-Albuquerque, Sen. Bill O’Neill, D-Albuquerque, and Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver are supporting the idea of open primaries, with the two legislators planning to introduce legislation in the next session. Gov. Susana Martinez has also voiced support for the idea, despite stout opposition from the state Republican Party.

And the group will discuss the ongoing issues around Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks and the challenges facing the state’s largest school district. The APS board met in a closed session earlier this week to talk about Brooks’ performance, his contract and possible disciplinary procedures, but refused to release a report on a “serious personnel issue” involving the superintendent.

Host:
Gene Grant

Guests:
Sonia Dickey, Writer, Editor and Historian
John Fleck, Science Writer, Albuquerque Journal
Mike Hamman, Area Manager, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Line Panelists:
Diane Denish, Former Lieutenant Governor
Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group
Rob Nikolewski, New Mexico Watchdog
Laura Sanchez-Riv├ęt, Sanchez Legal Solutions

CORRESPONDENT: Megan Kamerick

The Producer of NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS is Megan Kamerick. Associate Producer is Kathy Wimmer. Funding for this program was provided in part by the McCune Foundation.

Episode 806 for air August 15, 2014