Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Southwest fretting wildfire season

Some watershed managers in the Southwest have been taking advantage of conditions to burn dead fuels.
From prescribed burns to clearing brush, New Mexicans are preparing — perhaps more intentionally than 20 or 30 years ago, when the realities of climate change were not so painfully obvious. Without relief this season, it “could get really ugly” in Santa Fe and east toward the San Miguel County line, warned Todd Haines, Bernalillo District Forester for the New Mexico State Forestry Division. Santa Fe National Forest officials have set nearly a dozen prescribed burns in the past six months. Lit strategically, they also improve the health of the forest, serve as access points for fighting wildfires, and protect residential areas and their water supplies from out-of-control blazes. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

Friday, March 16, 2018

New Mexico Democratic Party leading state to legal cannabis

Enrollments in New Mexico's cannabis as therapy program are nearing 50,000 patients.
New Mexico Democrats adopted a party platform during last weekend’s pre-primary convention that, for the first time, supports the legalization of recreational marijuana use statewide. Specifically, the platform adopted last weekend by the Democratic Party of New Mexico – with more than 90 percent of delegates voting in favor – includes a provision that Democrats will support the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis in the state. [Albuquerque Journal]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Democrats secure funding to keep Chief chugging

Growth on the Front Range is driving planners to pick up the pace on passenger rail.
The federal Department of Transportation approved a grant request from Colfax County under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, better known as TIGER. The $16 million award, combined with millions of dollars in state and corporate investments, will “fund critical repair work in New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado,” said a news release issued Wednesday from New Mexico’s congressional delegation. “The Southwest Chief is an engine of economic growth in New Mexico that connects rural communities from Raton to Gallup,” U.S. Sen. Tom Udall said in the release. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham also praised the grant. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

Equip the Rail Runner to connect with Amtrak farther south in New Mexico then on to El Paso and put the Rail Runner into downtown Denver to connect with the California Zephyr, maybe into Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Legal cannabis for New Mexico's adults could help foot the bill for Positive Train Control.

It's time to connect the Southwest Chief to the Empire Builder at Shelby, Montana through Denver, too.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Investigations of Russian trolls confirm blogger's Dakota Access, Sanders concerns

This interested party tried to expose Senator Bernie Sanders as a planted spoiler as soon as he entered the presidential race as a Democrat.
A new report from the Republican majority staff on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology claims trolls from Russia exploited the #NoDAPL movement in order to undermine America's energy sector. According to the report, one of the Russian trolls attempted to capitalize on the wide reach of @People4Bernie, an independent group that supported Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the run-up to the presidential election in 2016. On its website, People for Bernie said "#NoDAPL" was one of its main causes and Sanders himself was an outspoken opponent of the pipeline. "@People4Bernie: If we can halt the pipeline at @SacredStoneCamp, we can halt it in Iowa too!" one of of the "Russian Tweets" read, according to the committee. The Sacred Stone Camp was the original #NoDAPL encampment -- others also cropped up as thousands flocked to North Dakota in 2016 to oppose the project.
Read the rest here.

And from Vermont Public Radio:
The defendants "engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."
Read or listen here.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Albuquerque could decriminalize casual cannabis

Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.
City councilors Pat Davis and Isaac Benton are planning an event on Monday with Emily Kaltenbach of the Drug Policy Alliance to announce the reintroduction of legislation that will decriminalize the herb. If the legislation passes, marijuana would still be illegal in the city. But officers would be instructed to either do nothing about it or write someone a $25 ticket, similar to a parking ticket, if they catch someone with an ounce or less. “I think New Mexico will be a state to legalize when we have a change in leadership next year in Santa Fe,” Davis said. [Albuquerque Journal]
State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) wants all adults in New Mexico to be able to grow, possess, and buy cannabis legally.