Category Archives: Episode

Energy Transition Act, Indian Child Welfare Act, The Line

firefighter shortage

This week on New Mexico in Focus, correspondent Megan Kamerick sits down with Albuquerque Journal business reporter Kevin Robinson-Avila to discuss his in-depth series on The Energy Transition Act. The ETA, signed into law this year by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, requires all local utilities to get half of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030 – prompting a shakeup among rural electric cooperatives, which serve more than 200,000 people in New Mexico, and with the wholesale supplier where cooperatives buy their power.

Gene Grant and The Line opinion panel discuss the court case that again questions the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act. The federal law, passed in 1978, mandates priority placement of Native American children up for adoption within a Native community. The law was created to counteract the historical practice of removing Native American children from their tribe and family and placing them in a non-Indian family or institution.

The Line opinion panelists also tackle the controversial law that set high standards to keep defendants jailed pre-trial, but that also resulted in an early release for a suspect in the infamous Victoria Martens murder case. For their final topic, the panelists look at what it means for a rural town, like Springer, New Mexico, to temporarily have no fire department.

Host: Gene Grant

Megan Kamerick

Kevin Robinson-Avila, Albuquerque Journal business reporter

Line Panelists:
Justine Fox-Young, former NM state representative
Sophie Martin, attorney
Serge Martinez, professor, UNM School of Law
Kristelle Siarza, Siarza Social Digital


MALDEF President Thomas Saenz, Crime’s Effect On Youth, Our Land

NMiF logo

This week, New Mexico in Focus interviews Thomas Saenz, the national president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Saenz has been a key figure in the Martínez/Yazzie v. State of New Mexico lawsuit, the case that is forcing the state to improve the education it provides for certain groups of students. Recently, both groups of plaintiffs asked the court to set more strict deadlines for the state to prove it’s making progress. Correspondent Russell Contreras speaks with Saenz about what’s ahead in the case.

New Mexico in Focus takes a hard look at crime’s effect on young people with Albuquerque filmmaker John Acosta, whose documentary “Growing Up in the Real Breaking Bad” aims to raise awareness about youth violence. NMiF host Gene Grant interviews Acosta, who is joined by a group of young activists who say policymakers need to listen and try a different approach to addressing the problem.

In a repeat showing of Our Land from August, correspondent Laura Paskus travels to the Gila National Forest for an in-depth report on the battle over the Gila River. In the intervening months there have been new updates on the project, and NMiF host Gene Grant sits down with Paskus to discuss these developments.

Host: Gene Grant

Russell Contreras
Laura Paskus

John Acosta, Filmmaker, “Growing Up in the Real Breaking Bad”
Adrian Baca, Youth Organizer
Janelle Astorga Ramos, Youth Organizer
Xiuhtecuhtli Soto, Youth Organizer
Thomas Saenz, MALDEF national president

Field Guests:
Pete Domenici, Jr., attorney, New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity
Norman Gaume, retired director, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission
Todd Schulke, co-founder, Center for Biological Diversity

Line Panelists:
No Line this week.