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Delta Pinches Hospitals, CYFD Shakeup, and Climate Change & Extreme Weather

This week on New Mexico in Focus, The Delta variant of the novel coronavirus is putting new pressure on hospitals across New Mexico. We’ll get an update on those impacts and harsh realities from hospital administrators who are now calling this a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” The Line opinion panel will also discuss the ongoing debate about how schools and business should respond to the most recent surge in cases.  

 On this month’s episode of Our Land, correspondent Laura Paskus and meteorologist Daniel Porter talk about drought in New Mexico, this year’s monsoon season, extreme weather, and how human-caused climate change will continue to affect New Mexico and exacerbate the state’s water challenges.   

Growing Forward, our collaborative cannabis podcast with the New Mexico Political Report, is back for season 3. You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts for the latest episodes and be sure to listen back to prior seasons. This week, we excerpt part of a recent conversation with Regulation and Licensing Department Superintendent Linda Trujillo about the progress of rulemaking for cannabis producers. The Department will begin accepting applications in just a few weeks, but those rules are still being finalized.  

Correspondent Megan Kamerick also checks in with Albuquerque Journal staff writer Kevin Robinson-Avila. He points out some serious concerns over transparency surrounding Virgin Galactic’s recent historic space launch at the publicly-funded Spaceport America. 

The Line opinion panel also weighs in on the latest shake-up in Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Administration. Children, Youth and Families Department Secretary Brian Blalock announced his resignation this week under a cloud of controversy. The Governor announced she is replacing Blalock with newly retired Supreme Court Justice Barbara Vigil. They’ll also discuss the looming financial crisis bearing down on some of New Mexico’s most vulnerable citizens because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Host: Gene Grant

The Line Opinion Panel: 
Merrit Allen, Vox Optima PR 
Diane Snyder, former state senator 
Serge Martinez, UNM Law School

Hospitals & COVID Update 
Dr. Denise Gonzales, Presbyterian Healthcare Services Medical Director 
Dr. Rohini McKee, UNM Hospital Chief Quality & Safety Officer  
Dr. Vesta Sandoval, Lovelace Chief Medical Officer 
Dr. Karissa Culbreath, TriCore Reference Laboratories Medical Director of Infectious Diseases 

Our Land: Drought, extreme weather, and NM’s hotter climate 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus
Guest: Daniel Porter, science and operations officer, National Weather Service 

Virgin Galactic Transparency Issues  
Correspondent: Megan Kamerick
Guest: Kevin Robinson-Avila, Albuquerque Journal staff writer 

Cannabis Rules Update | Growing Forward Excerpt 
Megan Kamerick, Growing Forward podcast co-host
Andy Lyman, Growing Forward podcast co-host 
Guest: Linda Trujillo, superintendent, New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department