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Our Land Anniversary & Gila River News, Voting Study, Mask Mandates and COVID Updates

This week on New Mexico in Focus, host Gene Grant celebrates the third anniversary of the show’s monthly series Our Land with environmental journalist Laura Paskus, who talks about the state’s outlook and attitudes toward the environment. Paskus also presents a new Our Land segment that looks at the apparent death of the Gila River diversion plans.

Correspondent Gwyneth Doland gets an update from UNM professor of political science Gabe Sanchez on new research about issues with the June primary election and how we fix it for November. 

A mandatory mask order means New Mexicans who don’t wear face coverings in public risk a fine and a misdemeanor criminal charge. With many law enforcement agencies saying they likely won’t write tickets, retail employees are left to enforce the law by reminding customers to mask-up in order to shop at their business – which can cause potentially violent situations with those who refuse. Correspondent Megan Kamerick talked with retail worker Cody Westfall about his experience with a customer and psychologist Dr. Samuel Roll about this phenomenon.

Gene Grant and The Line opinion panel discuss the rise in COVID-19 cases and look at new public health orders that include face mask enforcements and an indefinite suspension of Phase 2 of re-openings. The Line also looks at legislation signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham that makes low-interest loans available to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic — and how it fits alongside controversial federal loan programs.

Host: Gene Grant    

In Focus Interviews:
Our Land Anniversary
Correspondent: Gene Grant
Guest:  Laura Paskus

Our Land: The Gila
Correspondent: Laura Paskus
Guests: Norm Gaume, former director, Interstate Stream Commission
Rolf Schmidt-Petersen, director, Interstate Stream Commission

Voting Study
Correspondent: Gwyneth Doland
Guest: Gabe Sanchez, UNM political science professor; co-director, Institute of Policy, Evaluation and Applied Research (IPEAR)

Mask Mandate
Correspondent: Megan Kamerick
Guests: Cody Westfall, Simply Diego’s pet store
Dr. Samuel Roll, UNM professor emeritus

Line Panelists:  Dede Feldman, former state senator  
Dan Foley, former state representative  
Dave Mulryan, founder, Everybody Votes