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More Pandemic Pushback for MLG and Afghans Come to New Mexico

This week on New Mexico in Focus, fleeing Taliban rule, Afghans who were able to leave their homeland are now arriving in the U.S., including part of Fort Bliss Army Base that’s in New Mexico. The Line opinion panel offers thoughts on Democratic leaders reaching out to the White House to accept Afghans and what the state can realistically offer.

Plans for the SunZia Transmission Project have been in the works since 2006, with $150 million already spent. The estimate $4 billion project is supposed to someday bring wind-generated power from New Mexico to markets in Arizona and California. Laura Paskus talks to John Ryan, SunZia New Mexico executive director, and Sandra Noll, who lives in Socorro County and worries how the project will affect migrating birds, ecotourism and the rural communities nearby.

Organizer and activist Kay Bounkeua is taking over for former legislative powerhouse Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, who resigned in the face of alleged financial improprieties. Believed to be the first Asian American woman to hold office in the Legislature, Bounkeua sits down with NMiF senior producer Matt Grubs to talk representation and redistricting. 

The Line also looks at sobering numbers for pedestrian fatalities in New Mexico. Albuquerque has long had a serious problem, but what does the rest of the sprawling state do for people who prefer or have no other choice than to walk? The group also looks at continued pushback against the governor’s decision to require vaccinations for State Fair attendance and for key frontline jobs in the state.

Host: Gene Grant 

The Line opinion panel: 
Michael Bird, public health expert
Dan Boyd, Capitol bureau chief, Albuquerque Journal
Dede Feldman, former state senator 

Kay Bounkeua
Correspondent: Matt Grubs
Guest: Rep. Kay Bounkeua, NM House District 19 

SunZia Power Struggle
Correspondent: Laura Paskus
Guests: Sandra Noll, Protect Our Rio Grande
John Ryan, executive director, SunZia New Mexico