Saturday, December 31, 2005


Huevos Rancheros at Barelas Coffee House, 18 holes of golf at the Club, Band of Brothers Marathon on the History Channel, Party at the neighbors, home by 10, and hope we dont get hit by falling bullets fired by idiots. Happy New Year to all. 2006 will be a very important year for us all.

Friday, December 30, 2005


Here among other people are Rodger and Connie Beimer in Pasadena, California. They are among a lot of good volunteers who are decorating the New Mexico Float for the Rose Bowl Parade. Rodger and Connie are always doing this kind of stuff. They are having a great time. If you want to see more pictures just go to this site.

Things that should happen in the New Year

There was an interesting story in the Albuquerque Journal this morning about all the fitness centers gearing up for increased business as the New Year approaches. We all have resolutions that we make, however secretly, every year. This year though, I just want to see a few things happen.

1. Bobbi finds a job back in New Mexico
2. I get elected Land Commissioner so we can save some last great places in New Mexico
3. bush gets a reverse lobotomy. (How else to explain his cluelessness?) and the house or senate goes democratic.
4. We get serious about climate change
5. Other nations start respecting this country again. (See item #3)
6. Bill Richardson keeps up his hard charging for New Mexico
7. New Mexico gets some snow and rain
8. Intelligent design is only taught in catechism class and church schools
9. bushs tax cuts for the rich are discontinued
10. We all retain our health and if we don't we have access to decent affordable health care.

This is a list that just fell out in no particular order except for getting Bobbi back to the state. Our family has been very fortunate over the last year and I am happy about that.

All in all 2005 was not so great for many in the world given natural disasters and the continuance of a disastrous war brought on by lies and immoral leadership in this country. I see signs and hear things that maybe even some die hard bushies are beginning to think things truly aren't working. So, I guess I am optimistic about 2006. Especially after reading this NPR Poll out today.

Also, here is a Washington Post article on chances for Presidential Candidates. The comments on our Governor are pretty good.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My Big Sister Yet Again

I am really busy today, so I turn my blog over to my big sister , Carlota Baca for a guest blog. This is her newsletter for the New Mexico Association of Grant Makers. She probably wont like this picture either.

Director’s Column

M. Carlota Baca, Executive Director, NMAG

Last year at this time, I wrote an essay about families and the passages that they undergo through births, deaths, and the usual bumpy dynamics experienced by people who can’t choose their relatives.

The year 2005 marked the year when my brothers and I became orphans. It wasn’t a surprise and in fact it was a relief because Dad had lived longer than he wanted and was suffering the indignities of dementia. At about the same time Dad died, the U.S. was experiencing the political vulgarities of the Terry Shiavo case, about an unfortunate brain-dead woman in a profound vegetative state who became the unwitting tool of a number of demented, cynical and reprehensible politicians. (Hey, Carlota, tell us what you really think!)

The whole business – Dad’s sad lingering and the circus surrounding that poor woman in Florida – provoked me to call my lawyer and arrange a tight and aggressive right-to-die document. She drew up a legal statement that takes it about as far as one can go, given current legal restrictions. I told my brothers that now, if I get really loony, they can take out a gun and shoot me and nothing bad will happen to them. They seemed satisfied.

Family has been more than ever active this December: a niece returning from a semester in Bangkok, another niece and her little nuclear family driving in from their new “starter house” in L.A. (more than I’ll ever pay for a home!), a step-daughter in Austin embarking on a new life of travel adventure after chucking the job, a nephew heading to Central America to do some volunteer work for several months before he gets real and goes for an MBA, a brother announcing a run for political office, and the youngest in the family, Emma Kate, learning how to walk, all duly reported during the Annual Christmas Eve Posole and Tamale Feast in Albuquerque. In my brother Jim’s Thanksgiving Blog, he mentioned 10 things to be thankful for. Well, for what it’s worth, here are some things that are good in my life:

  • A family of four living generations that has provided a lifelong refuge of security and understanding when I am troubled, and a locus of fun and mischief when I take myself too seriously.
  • A blissful 20-year marriage with my beloved late husband, Dr. Ira S. Cohen, who remains in my thoughts in the most comforting way.
  • Colleagues who stimulate me intellectually and for whom I have the highest esteem and affection.
  • A professional position in philanthropy that brings me into contact with the better instincts and compassionate inclinations of humankind.
  • A privileged education that helps me dismiss, with hearty and healthy scorn, corrupt politicians, hypocritical evangelists, bigots of all stripe and hue, and extremists of either wing.
  • The music of Bach and the Beatles, the art of Tintoretto and Helen Frankenthaler, and the writing of Henry James and Joan Didion.
  • Watching with delight and alarm the unfolding sagas of all these people who never asked to be related to me.

With warmest wishes for a Happy New Year!

M. Carlota Baca, Ph.D.

Executive Director

New Mexico Association of Grantmakers

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

First Time Experience

Public service is a high calling. I really believe that. I encourage young people to do it when ever I can. It is a wonderful career where you can really help your fellow citizens. It is sometimes very frustrating and stressful, and frankly you don't get a lot of thank yous from the taxpayer. None the less, you can really help make peoples lives better.

Now, after saying that I will get to the point. It is not everyday you get to retire for the first time. Well, actually I am not retired yet as the process takes a few months, but I have gone through the routine of taking paper work to the Public Employees Retirement Association in Santa Fe so they can start working on it. It will probably be a few months before the actual retirement date. This is a strange feeling having really done it. I suppose I could change my mind at any time. I will now have the time I need to get started on the campaign for Land Commissioner and it will be nice to know that if I win I will end my short retirement next January.

So, here in a nutshell is what I have done in Government Service for the last 20 years.

1. News Secretary to Bruce King
2. Public relations for the New Mexico State Legislature
3. Public Information Officer and Policy assistant to Mayor Harry Kinney
4. State Director of the Alcohol Beverage Control Department
5. State Land Commissioner
6. General Manager-Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District
7. State Land Commissioner
8. Director-Bureau of Land Management Washington, DC
9. Mayor, City of Albuquerque
10. State Natural Resource Trustee

I also did four years with the United States Air Force and New Mexico Air National Guard.

During the years I didn't work for Government I worked as a consultant for National and Regional Environmental and Conservationist groups. I also consulted for BDM and Road 9, Inc.

I think I have at least ten good years left of work, whether it is volunteer or otherwise.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Women

We had a great dinner over at John and Lisa Newell's house. Here are pictures of some the family women.

These are the ones under 35.

This is my niece Sara.

This is Kelly, my niece Sara's daughter. She is a princess.

This is Stephanie and Emma. They are my brother's daughter and grand daughter and my other niece.

This is Anya. She is Lisa and John's daughter and the most photogenic child I have run across.

This is Amanda, John and Lisa's other daughter who is a delight too.

And this is my daughter Noelle who will be 21 in 9 days.

Christmas Morning-Beagle Heaven

It was a great Christmas morning. Especially for the Beagles who got some little toys and extra attention from Justin. We will go to dinner this afternoon at John and Lisa Newell's house. Lisa is my brother's wife's sister.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Sandals at Christmas

Justin and Noelle lit the luminarias tonight. Justin was wearing sandals. On Christmas Eve! So if we light the way for the baby Jesus his little feet wont freeze. My God, I hope bush looks at my blog tonight to see that just maybe wearing sandals at 5300 feet altitude in December in New Mexico might just make one think that global warming might be real.

How many carbs were consumed here tonight. Countless I think. Posole, chile con queso, tamales(three kinds, one veggie), chips, guacamole, bischochitos, my sister Carlota's chocolate cake, beer, wine, ginger snaps. It was great. Burp.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all Blog Readers.

Today will be busy as we prepare for our annual Christmas Eve Posole and Tamale Fest. I finally rounded up some true vegetarian tamales for Justin. The bags for the Luminarias are folded thanks to bagladies Bobbi and Noelle.

There is a great Oped in the Journal today written by a victim of America's torture policies. Everyone should read it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Things to Do before Christmas Eve

1. Pretend I don't have a cold--I am feeling better
2. Get a haircut
3. Take Rebecca, Will and Elysia of the Natural Resources Staff to lunch
4. Buy one more gift to finish my list
5. Take 6 dozen frozen tamales out of the fridge
6. Ask Justin and Noelle to fold the Luminaria bags
7. Check the shopping list with Bobbi
8. Help clean the house
9. Prepare the Posole, Tamales, Guacamole, Queso, Veggies, appetizers, ice the beer and wine
10. Light the luminarias
11. Greet family and guests
12. Party on Christmas Eve
13. Clean up the house before leaving for late night luminaria tour with family
14. Go to bed
15. Ten other things I have forgotten
16. Worry about signature petitions for filing my candidacy

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bad Cold and Good Karma

My cold took hold last night bigtime, but I gotta say I don't feel too bad. I have been taking that Airborne stuff and Emergen-C and I think it is working well. I sound like a ripsaw however.

Rodger Beimer has agreed to be my Campaign Treasurer. He will make sure the money is disbursed correctly and honestly. I am hopeful he will have a lot of money to watch over. Have you sent any in yet? Just address it to Jim Baca for Land Commissioner, 2309 Via Madrid NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104!

Senator Domenici said today that he will try to sneak the issue of drilling in the Arctic Refuge into another non germane bill and pass it when congress reconvenes. He and Alaska Senator Ted Stevens suffered a huge defeat last night when they tried to pass it within a defense bill. They failed to stop the filibuster that would have prevented it and so for a short time the pristine refuge is safe again.

As David Brower said about environmental protection,

"All of our victories are temporary, but our defeats are permanent."

That is true because of guys like these Senators who never give up and wield their power unmercifully against the earth.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

So, Now What?

So I announce this campaign and immediately get a really bad cold for Christmas. Bummer.

I will continue this blog as I run for office. I will pretty much let you know where I stand on the issues but I won't say much about my opponents. I will try and give you a little fun and helpful information every day with out giving away too much to my opponents about our strategy. I would like to make this campaign a lot of fun, as I have always found statewide campaigns to be. They are enjoyable because of the people you meet and the travel around this Enchanted State. I will try and give you a flavor of that!

I have some heavy things to do in the next seven weeks. I need to get 4000 signatures for my nominating petitions. You can download a petition from the Secretary of State's website right here.

Just fill in the information as follows.....Click on the image to make it bigger so you can read this. You might also be able to print it out on a good printer if you make sure your resize it for an 8 1/2 X 11 piece of paper. Then just get a few democrats to sign it and get it back to me at the address on the form. This is really an important thing to do.

I'm In!

December 21, 2005

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jim Baca-505 263-9995

Calling for “balanced, common-sense management of New Mexico’s State Lands,” former State Land Commissioner Jim Baca announced he will seek the Democratic Party nomination for New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands in the June 2006 Primary election.

Baca was Commissioner of Public Lands from 1982-1985 and from 1991 to 1993. He also served President Bill Clinton as Director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Department of Interior during Clinton’s first term. He served one term as Albuquerque’s Mayor and today he is New Mexico’s Natural Resource Trustee.

The New Mexico State Land Commissioner manages state trust lands for the beneficiary institutions in the state; primarily they are the schools and universities. The lands provide income into the State Permanent Fund which then provides an income to the schools, subject to appropriation by the Legislature.

“I recognize the importance of this trust for New Mexico’s school children, and I have dedicated my life to protecting New Mexico’s great landscapes. It’s a good combination, representing 21st Century stewardship for land and resources critical to our children’s future. I will actively seek to bring our State Constitution’s State Land provisions into the 21st Century. The state’s voters should be given the opportunity to vote on constitutional changes that will allow for designation of state trust land conservation areas, such as Whites Peak in Northern New Mexico. That area has been a long time favorite for generations of New Mexico sportsmen. It was almost traded away by the current Land Office administration until Governor Richardson and Attorney General Patricia Madrid objected the transaction.”

Baca added that the ability of the land office to work with other governmental agencies and beneficiary institutions should also be clarified with Constitutional Amendments.

“I remain a proponent of the sensible use of state lands for natural resource extraction or development. This has provided the State of New Mexico with an impressive Permanent Trust fund for our schools. I will work with the Land Office’s long time partners to ensure reasonable and timely development of our trust lands with a fair return to our schools. At the same time I will ask them to cooperate in saving our last great places in New Mexico. We can produce plenty of income for our schools and treat our lands with respect,” Baca added.

The State Permanent fund now totals about 8.5 billion dollars. During Baca’s first term as State Land Commissioner he led a successful fight to increase oil and gas royalties to a fair market return for the schools. At that time New Mexico had the lowest royalties in the Western United States. Royalties are the amount of money the oil and gas companies pay the state for taking oil and gas from state lands. Baca said, “Today’s healthy Permanent fund is due in part to the work we did in getting a fair price for our resources.”

Save the Enchantment

Stay tuned for a little announcement from me later today. In the meantime check this website out!

Download and wait for more information.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Rodger Beimer called me and said he saw that phrase on a bumper sticker this morning. Someone acted fast and efficiently on that one.

My friend Steve Cobble and I were discussing bush's in your face attitude about spying on Americans in order to protect us from terrorists. In the face of an impeachable offense bush seems belligerent and unfazed. Cobble was wondering if it was because rove had done some polling on it and found support for spying on citizens by the government. bush and rove never take a stand with out polling, but I told Cobble it was because bush just won't ever admit he was wrong. Cobble and I then agreed it might be both things at work. If I were a democratic leader I would simply lose all the rhetoric over this and say, "Do we as Americans want our government spying on us?" I bet very few would say yes.

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
John Adams

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Pena Blanca Farm Progress and Noelle

You might remember our jungle covered farmland in Pena Blanca. The first picture is an aerial taken last July before serious work started.
This is how it looks this Sunday morning as the crews continue to laser level the land for better irrigation and water conservation.Noelle is taking a real liking to the land there and thinks it would be a good place for a weekend home. I agree.

This is one of our cool mousers in the stable area. There are three of them there and they are really nice friendly cats. Fred Espinosa, our lessee, lavishes food and care on them.

This is a 'bar' that Fred built for his equestrian friends. Fred is quite a creative guy.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Cold Sunny Morning in the Bosque-Photos

Karly, Justin, Athena and Beagle

Older than me?


Grass the cows won't get

Rio Grande Bosque

Construction at Campbell Road and the Rio Grande on the new water pipeline.

We can't let Mayor Midnight Marty make this bridge permanent!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Erik & Canoe

Anyone who has lived around Albuquerque City Government and Politics over the last few decades will know this couple. Erik Pfeiffer was the city Economic Development Director for both Mayor Chavez and me. I have known Erik since the early 80's when he helped me with my first State Land Commissioner race. His wife, Canoe Ghandilon, has just had her first book published. It is called "The Emperor's Bracelet" and chronicles her emigration from France to America. They were in town quick book signing for many of their friends and they leave for New York in the morning for another event there.

Erik retired after I left office and he and Canoe lived in San Carlos, Mexico for three years before moving to Hawaii. He and Canoe are truly good people who worked hard for many years for the good of Albuquerque. I miss them, although we stay in touch via email and telephone. I read the first chapter of her book and I can tell it will be a good piece of literature.

Train Rides

The Albuquerque Journal had a really great front page story on the plight of some of our Amtrak train stations. I am hopeful this story will light a fire under the Mayor and the Congressional Delegation to work with Amtrak to utilize some part of the new transportation complex in Downtown. That was on track when I was Mayor and I am surprised it has fallen apart.

This is an old photo I carry around in my wallet. It shows mom, dad, my sister Carlota and twin brother Tom in the early 1950's waiting at the train station here to start one of our train rides. I am not sure if this photo is in Albuquerque or Belen. My mother Dixie was from Washington, DC. She met my dad Fermin there after he traveled to the nation's capitol with other young men to get their education and jobs under the tutelage of Senator Dennis Chavez. Consequently, after my mom and dad moved back to Albuquerque we would take the Santa Fe Super Chief back to DC to visit her parents. I remember these trips well and the magnificent train stations we would pass through.

Let's see if some leadership can be exerted here to show that Albuquerque wants to have a train depot that shows we care about the railroads contribution to the history of our city. I would suggest a sweetheart deal with Amtrak, who is truly broke. If nothing else it would be useful not to embarrass our city by having the train depot in a former storage shack.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Narnia Diversity

Justin, Karly, Noelle and I went to see the Chronicles of Narnia this evening. It is a good movie to send children to see although there is violence.

This C.S. Lewis fantasy is one of the few of the genre I never got around to reading. Bobbi and Noelle have read it and liked it. C.S. Lewis was a devout Christian and as everyone who reads about the movies now knows this movie is being embraced by the Christian community. It is really a story about Christ, redemption and resurrection and Lewis would be happy to know it follows the book 'religiously', according to Bobbi and Noelle.

I liked the movie because it really does show that Lewis was probably a Christian that Christ would have liked. (Except maybe for Santa Claus handing out lethal weapons to children in his book.) C.S. Lewis must be a guy who likes diversity. The forces of good in the movie are the most diverse group of holy warriors you would ever want to see. Half men half goats, half horse half men, cheetahs, gryphans, talking beavers and other animals, some creatures I couldn't really identify and regular humans. I don't think that Aslan, the Christ-like lion, would have told the half men half goats that they were to weird to fight the good fight. I am sure gay people wouldn't have bothered Aslan one bit. Or Christ for that matter.

So, I just don't buy into some folks saying the film being overly "Christian." The thing that really makes it good for Christians is its message of inclusiveness. This message probably missed the fundamentalist wackos and possibly the Pope. But, I think somhow in their subconscious the children will see that message.

Another Moyers Gem

This is another great speech, with some history, from Bill Moyers. I recently got an email from someone asking me to help draft Bill Moyers for President. Well, he will never be President but the thought of it is pretty thrilling.

Minimum Wage

Here is a report you simply must read on the minimum wage. Thanks to my good friend Steve Cobble for sending this along. The summary puts it in perspective. Read the full report.

"In the nine years since Congress last acted to increase the minimum wage, inflation has eroded about 18 percent of its purchasing power. Meanwhile, low-wage Americans and their families enter the 2005 holidays facing high and rising costs for home heating (up 21.6 percent in the last year), gasoline (up 37.0 percent), air fare (up 9.1 percent), and other seasonal expenses."

Nine years! Stop and think about that. Nine Years! This kind of widening gap between the rich and poor simply cannot continue. Right now the middle class taxpayer is facing the jaws of falling under the Alternative Minimum Tax from the bush administration and Congress. That great humanitarian bill frist said the senate wouldn't deal with it this year and a lot of middle class taxpayers are getting ready to 'bend over' in the next tax year. It will cost thousands of dollars for unsuspecting middle class guy, yes I said thousands. Oh, but the filthy rich will continue to get their tax decreases.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.
Woody Allen

On another matter

I was watching cable last night and saw a TV commercial for my potential republican opponent, State Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons. The commercial appears to be paid for by the State Land Office. Will some enterprising reporter look into the legality of this? Using state funds for promoting yourself is a bit of a problem for me. Especially with the election only about five months away. It is not like it is a public service announcement, because I checked and they said it wasn't. There was no disclaimer on it saying it was a political commercial either. Just asking.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cramp from Hell

6 am this morning I woke up as usual and was immediately launched out of bed by the muscle cramp from hell. Think of someone inserting a meat hook into your calf muscle and then twisting it until it is all wrapped around the hook. Think of this going on for about two minutes. This happens to me occasionally. One time at three a.m. one let loose on me and it terrified Bobbi who thought I was having an aneurysm.

I limped around the rest of the day and got a sore throat too. I took some of the Airborne fizzy stuff and an emergency Vitamin C, also a fizzy, and went home to rest. Now at 9:30 pm I am writing this stupid blog entry because I feel like I will have failed if I don't do an entry today.

Things could be worse, but only in the midst of another cramp.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Beagle Love

Our daughter Noelle, who will be twenty one on January 3rd, has arrived back in the states after her sojourn to Thailand for her study abroad program. We named her Noelle because she was supposed to be born on Christmas, but that didn't happen. Bobbi was so happy to have her nine days later that we named her Noelle anyway.

Noelle with her Uncle Dave Miller. He is the Safety Officer at the Airport.

Noelle with her brother Justin and his girlfriend Karly

Beagle Love. There are a lot of elements in this picture.

1. Evidence of the obligatory stop at the Frontier for Burritos and Chile
2. Beagles, one unseen, howling with delight at Noelle's return
3. Noelle's car keys represent her independence. She has to get used to traffic driving on the right side of the road. Thailand traffic patterns are all wrong, just like England.

Pondering Cash

I am still pondering running for State Land Commissioner this next year. I will decide by January 1st. But that is not the subject of this blog.

As I contemplate this move I decided I would get the Secretary of State's election manual and calendar and give them a read. I have to say I am astonished all over again at the lack of reporting requirements for raising money for statewide office. Essentially, no contribution need be reported until 30 days before the election and there is no limit on the amount of money that can be contributed by any one person. This is essentially unchanged since I first ran for State Land Commissioner in 1981.(I won that one) This is really unbelievable. This is legal and so far as I can tell there is little penalty for violating even these provisions.

If I run I will abide by this law because that is what the other candidates will be doing. If you don't take advantage of these lax laws you will be at a disadvantage in the election because your opponents will 'follow the rules'.

At the very least there should be reporting of contributions every month in the calendar year of the election and six months following it. There should be some limit on the amount of a donation that any one entity can make to a candidacy. How hard would this be to do? Why hasn't it been done? Even the City of Albuquerque has much more stringent reporting requirements and donor limitations. Obviously, donor limits for statewide office might be more generous than the city's limit of 10% of the elected official's salary from any one source. In the case of the Albuquerque Mayor's race that would be about $5000. Perhaps for statewide office in New Mexico $25,000 might be a fair limit. One of the problems is that really rich people can donate millions to their own campaign and that has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

If anyone out there wants to fund my potential campaign completely, give me a call. One million should be enough! Right!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Space Mountain

Governor Richardson and Richard Branson, of Virgin Airlines and about a dozen other succcessful businesses, will hold a news conference tomorrow that will put New Mexico into a very unique global position. It has to do with space flight for the masses, or at least for those who can afford it. You can read about it here.

I have always admired Branson. Especially his marketing skills. Imagine naming all of your business Virgin. It has all sorts of implications from purity to lust.

Branson recently announced formation of a new domestic low cost airline service in the United States. I hope he will fly his airline into Albuquerque because I worry that some of our tried and true airlines like Delta may not be around here much longer. We need a little more competition here.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Morning Again

My regular Sunday morning today. Coffee with Brian Sanderoff and then we joined my son Justin and his friend Brendan for a really good burrito at Hello Deli on Candelaria. I thought the frozen ice fountain looked kind of neat at the Starbucks on Rio Grande.

I still am reeling from former state republican party chair John Dendahl calling republican Attorney General candidate Bob Schwartz a buffoon. He said he looked like a buffoon too. Apparently Dendahl thinks that way about Bob because he worked as Governor Richardson's Crime Policy Advisor. In Dendahl's mind no bipartisanship goes unpunished. Now, I have on occasion said such stupid things too and was rightly chastised by the media. It will be interesting to see if the same happens to Dendahl. I think it might. Dendahl is so representative of the right wing hatred within parts of the republican party. I am hopeful moderate republicans will also distance themselves from this remark.

Some critics are beginning to whine about the costs of Governor Richardson's commuter train that will eventually run from Belen north to Santa Fe and then eventually to the border. Well, yes, it will be expensive but in 10 years it will look like the smartest thing we have done in New Mexico in a long time. No, like most public works projects it will not turn a profit, but neither does building endless roads to serve sprawl development. The real value here is that it will save on overall emissions that are threatening our global climate. If you have any doubts about this investment, just take a trip to other western cities and states to see the success of their invesments in light rail and commuter systems.

Speaking of which, I am proud of Senator Jeff Bingaman coming forward to state the obvious, that global climate change is real and we need to do something about it and quickly. Bingaman took this message to Montreal this week as a keynote speaker to assembled legislators from around the world. The bush administration embarassed us as a country at this meeting.

Friday, December 09, 2005


U.S. Delegation Walks Out of Climate Talks

What is going on in Kansas Toto?

First the Kansas school board mandates teaching intelligent design in the classroom. Then it becomes a disciplinary event if you speak Spanish in the school hallways? I remember when I was a student at Our Lady of Fatima Heights Catholic School in the mid fifties that my classmates who spoke spanish in the class room were punished by our Dominican nuns. I thought this kind of racism had pretty much ended. Read it here!

Leave No School Behind

Governor Richardson has committed to getting funding for new Albuquerque West Mesa High Schools and Middle Schools. This is good news for those areas and it is the right thing to do since so many people are moving there under our current sprawl development policies. This is a cost to us taxpayers but one that must be met. Let's hope the developers are doing their share too. At the same time, one can only wonder what is happening to investment in the existing schools within the core areas of Albuquerque. Certainly, some of them are under enrolled and they have available space, but they suffer from age and inferior infrastructure when compared to the new modern schools that are being constructed these days. We need to be thinking about updating and improving those existing schools and perhaps wholesale rebuilding of some of them. I am not naive and realize there will always be sprawl to some extent. However, the students in these older schools should not be left behind either.

Whatever happens, lets don't let the powers that be design these new schools to look like prisons, which most new schools resemble. Some windows would be nice. They are good for students to stare out of and daydream! I remember doing a lot of that myself.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Best Laid Plans

Trip to DC is cancelled due to a frozen airplane in Albuquerque and cancelled flights in the East. After waiting for some resolution for three hours I decided to bag the trip. Snow and freezing rain in DC makes for a bad time anyway. Bobbi will be home in a couple of weeks for Christmas so that will have to suffice!

The way I figure it....the Ice storm will arrive at the White House just as the Christmas Tree lighting is getting under way at 5pm. A lot of good New Mexico folks who went out there to see the lighting of the New Mexico tree will freeze their burritos if they are not careful.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I am off to Washington, DC first thing Thursday morning. Congress is not in session so it should be relatively relaxed around there. Will blog from the road.

"Some people think it's terrible that Washington doesn't work, but Mark thinks it's wonderful, because if it worked, something might actually be accomplished and then we'd really be in bad shape."
-- Heartburn
Nora Ephron

Items of Interest

The crew at the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District continues to screw up the public notification procedures for their meetings. After having to call a special meeting yesterday to reconsider three months of decisions that the board made without public notification, it now appears they may have screwed up the notification for the special meeting. When will this tree stooges kind of thing end? Why not just do it right? And, when will we get the legislature to take a hard look at the District? Reform is needed.

I am also kind of amazed at the Albuquerque Journal's continuing look at Governor Richardson's fundraising events and who is giving money. Frankly, this is fair game, but why is the Journal concentrating on Richardson? Shouldn't this be also done on Heather Wilson(number four on the list for contributions from Tom Delay) , Steve Pearce and Pete Domenici?

No, I am not crabby today. But here is a really cool new picture of the Crab Nebula taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.