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Today's News

  • Why a 2,500-year-old Hebrew poem still matters

    At sundown on July 31, Jews around the world observed Tisha B’av, the most somber of Jewish holidays. It commemorates the destruction of the two temples in Jerusalem, first by the Babylonians and then, almost seven centuries later, in A.D. 70, by the Romans.

    Jews will remember these two historic calamities along with many others, including their slaughter during the First Crusade; the expulsions from England, France and Spain; and the Holocaust.The pattern of forced migration was set by the Babylonian conquest of 587-586 B.C., when the elite of Judah were marched to Babylon and the temple destroyed.

    Like the story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt, which happened several centuries earlier, the Babylonian exile dwells at the heart of Judaism. The trauma served as a crucible, forcing the Israelites to rethink their relationship to Yahweh, reassess their standing as a chosen people and rewrite their history.

    Psalm 137, the subject of my most recent book, “Song of Exile,” is a 2,500-year-old Hebrew poem that deals with the exile that will be remembered on Tisha B’av. It has long served as an uplifting historical analogy for a variety of oppressed and subjugated groups, including African-Americans.

    Origins of the psalm

  • Aquatomics place third at state

     The Los Alamos Aquatomics swim team finished third at the state championships last weekend, making it one of their most successful seasons ever.

    One year ago, the team finished eighth at the state championships and was intent on improving in all aspects this year.

    After a summer of strong performances, they did just that.

    Seven different swimmers won individual events, and the team came out on top in three relays.

    The relays ended up being a key factor for the team, because relay performances are worth double the points of individual races at the state championships.

    Assistant coach Linda Corliss, who has been with the team since 2008, said she had never seen a performance like that.

    “I can’t remember us ever doing quite that well,” Corliss said.  “I’m proud of everyone because they all put their heart and soul into this all weekend and came away with some great results.”

    Going into the final day of competition, Corliss said she tallied up what the results would be if everyone swam to their seed times.

    When the races took place, the final scores were more than 10 points higher than what was predicted.

    “That shows that everybody swam better than what was expected and really gave it their all,” Corliss said.

  • Q&A: BPU‘s Carrie Walker

    By The Pajarito Conservation Allaince

  • Mexican gray wolf program is travesty

    By David J. Forjan

    To the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

    Look, we’re all grown-ups here.  Let’s cut through all the BS.

    Every USFWS employee involved with the Mexican gray wolf recovery program has sold them out.  You’ve all sold out the Mexican gray wolves.

    Either by the “Sin of Commission” or the “Sin of Omission.” Either selling them out by direct action, like those who wrote the new recovery plan. Or selling out the Mexican gray wolves by their inaction, like not standing up or speaking up or screaming at the top of your lungs that the program has, and is continuing to, fail the wolves.

    Let’s also cut the BS about the reasons the program is failing. The real reason, the core problem, is money, power and influence. Some people who have alot of money then want power. 

    And some people with power want to influence things. Mostly to make themselves more money. In this case, that influence is also killing Mexican gray wolves. And killing them off.

    And let’s skip the pretense that this new recovery plan will succeed. It will fail for so many reasons that if it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable.

  • NM buried in known unknowns; policy organization could help

    A few people truly worry about New Mexico’s long term. But they don’t know what to do. These isolated individuals emerged in the past few weeks in Farmington, Roswell, Las Cruces and Albuquerque from conversations with nearly 40 people who ought to be thought leaders in the state.

    The individuals cover the state’s precious demographics, though most conversations have been with old White guys. But then I am an old White guy.

    For recent conversations, the question has been whether the individual gets in discussions and/or is thinking about the long term for New Mexico. A few answered, “Yes.” Ah, but what to do.

    I used to ask what the individual saw for New Mexico. That question generated the conventional wisdom: too much government, Central New Mexico Community College is doing good stuff.

    The Albuquerque-Denver comparison has resurfaced. This is not especially useful. Denver is the major leagues (think Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche). Albuquerque is AAA. Compare Albuquerque with Tucson, Des Moines, Omaha.

    Typical “future” thinking amounts to citing New Mexico’s position on “all the lists” and wailing.

    Defining the problem is what we have not done. A position on a list says only a little.

  • A spot for tea

    A few people truly worry about New Mexico’s long term. But they don’t know what to do. These isolated individuals emerged in the past few weeks in Farmington, Roswell, Las Cruces and Albuquerque from conversations with nearly 40 people who ought to be thought leaders in the state.

    The individuals cover the state’s precious demographics, though most conversations have been with old White guys. But then I am an old White guy.

    For recent conversations, the question has been whether the individual gets in discussions and/or is thinking about the long term for New Mexico. A few answered, “Yes.” Ah, but what to do.

    I used to ask what the individual saw for New Mexico. That question generated the conventional wisdom: too much government, Central New Mexico Community College is doing good stuff.

    The Albuquerque-Denver comparison has resurfaced. This is not especially useful. Denver is the major leagues (think Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche). Albuquerque is AAA. Compare Albuquerque with Tucson, Des Moines, Omaha.

    Typical “future” thinking amounts to citing New Mexico’s position on “all the lists” and wailing.

    Defining the problem is what we have not done. A position on a list says only a little.

  • 2 corrections officers stabbed by inmates at Santa Fe prison

     SANTA FE (AP) — Authorities say two correctional officers have been injured after being stabbed by two inmates at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe.

    State Corrections Department officials say one officer was treated and released from a hospital Thursday afternoon while the other officer is undergoing treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

    They say both officers were stationed at a unit that houses high-risk inmates.

    Authorities say the officers were attacked with homemade knifes in one of the housing units around 10 a.m. Thursday.

    The two inmates involved have been moved to the segregation unit and the facility has been placed on lockdown.

    The names of the two inmates and the injured officers weren’t immediately released.

    Corrections officials say the New Mexico State Police are conducting a criminal investigation into the attack.
     

  • ‘t@gged’ to start third season production in New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — A psychological thriller that follows three teenage girls is set to start production on its third season in New Mexico.

    State Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced Wednesday that AwesomenessTV’s series “t@gged” will begin filming in early August. He says production will wrap mid-September in Albuquerque and Jemez, New Mexico.

    Officials say the production will employ around 55 New Mexico crew members and 30 principal actors from the state.

    “t@gged” is a psychological thriller that follows three teenage girls, who become connected after a series of violent videos are sent to them from an unknown user known as Monkey Man.

  • New Mexico: Patients can skip surprise emergency-care bills

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico state insurance regulators are making it clear that emergency medical services cannot be billed at higher rates when patients are treated outside an insurance provider’s network of doctors and hospitals.

    The Office of the Superintendent of Insurance issued a bulletin this week to health insurance companies in response to public concerns about patients who receive surprise bills for services outside of an insurance provider’s network.

    The bulletin said insurers cannot bill policyholders for balances that accrue from out-of-network care during medical emergencies, clarifying provisions of current law.

    The guidance from Insurance Superintendent John Franchini does not apply to the treatment of non-emergency conditions at emergency facilities.

    Agency polling shows that about one-third of patients statewide have received large surprise bills over the past two years for out-of-network care.

  • Sessions cracks down on cities over immigration enforcement

    ALBUQUERQUE — Attorney General Jeff Sessions took new steps Thursday to punish cities he believes are not cooperating with federal immigration agents in a move that was met with bewilderment by local officials who said they did not know why they were being singled out.

    The Justice Department sent letters to four cities struggling with gun violence, telling them they would not be eligible for a program that provides money to combat drug trafficking and gang crime unless they give federal immigration authorities access to jails and notify agents before releasing inmates wanted on immigration violations.

    Baltimore, Albuquerque, and Stockton and San Bernardino in California all expressed interest in the Justice Department’s Public Safety Partnership, which enlists federal agents, analysts and technology to help communities find solutions to crime.

    “By taking simple, commonsense considerations into account, we are encouraging every jurisdiction in this country to cooperate with federal law enforcement,” Sessions said in a statement that accompanied the letters. “That will ultimately make all of us safer — especially law enforcement on our streets.”