News analysis: Has T or C flouted state election laws—again?

by Kathleen Sloan | September 13, 2021
10 min read

Twice in the last two years the Truth or Consequences City Commission has refused to hold a referendum on citizens’ proposed smart meter legislation. Part 1 of a two-part series recaps these events and lays out the commissioners’ and city staff’s reasons for dismissing officially verified special election petitions. As filing suit in district court is the only recourse available to petitioners denied their proposed legislation’s day at the ballot box, Part 2 will examine pertinent case-law precedents that seem to support or rebut the city’s rationale.

vote prohibited graphic
Need to Know
Need to Know
Aerial view Copper Flat mine site

News analysis: Go/no go determination for Copper Flat Mine finally in sight?

by Max Yeh | September 15, 2021
6 min read

Whether the owners of the Copper Flat Mine near Hillsboro can transfer the rights to leased water the mine MUST have to reopen and operate will be determined at a protest hearing to be held by the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer next September.

meter reader

Unmoved!

by Kathleen Sloan | September 14, 2021
4 min read

The Truth or Consequences City Commission refuses to listen to reasoned arguments about why its $50 monthly charge for opting out of smart meter installation is unfair.

One option for redistricting New Mexico House seats

Carving up voting districts: First drafts of state redistricting maps ready for public comment

by Patrick Lohman, NM Source | September 15, 2021
2 min read

Members of the public will get their first look this week at maps that could become the new political boundaries in New Mexico. The Citizen Redistricting Commission will hold a 3 p.m. Zoom tomorrow to solicit public input.

Culture
Culture
Cover of Embree Hale memoir

Embree (Sonny) Hale of Sierra County, New Mexico: Stories of His Life in Sierra County, and in the Black Range

by Rhonda Brittan | September 8, 2021

Published for the Hillsboro Historical Society, this rugged and touching book transcribes recorded interviews with one of the most colorful characters to grace these parts in recent memory,

Nomadland movie poster

“Nomadland”

by Michael Young | July 23, 2021

Continuing with his reviews of “movies with a conscience,” the Sun’s film critic assesses whether the acclaim for “Nomadland,” which swept the 2020 Oscars with six nominations and three wins (Best Picture, Best Director and Best Leading Actress) was merited.

Afghan citizens boarding plane

Reader at Large: July 2, 2021–September 3, 2021

by David Goodman | September 7, 2021

A digest of some of the best and most thought-provoking articles and books enjoyed by the author in the past month

At the Precipice book cover

“At the Precipice: New Mexico’s Changing Climate”

by Rhonda Brittan | July 12, 2021

The author makes the argument, backed up with in-depth reporting, that “New Mexico is a microcosm of what’s happening across the globe politically, economically, and certainly when it comes to the impacts of climate change.”

Opinions
Opinions
box of face masks

Sourcing for Yeh’s column advising vaccinated to wear masks

by Max Yeh | July 22, 2021

A reader asks for, and receives, citations of the medical research that shaped the author’s opinion.

box of face masks

Why the vaccinated should still wear masks

by Max Yeh | July 19, 2021

Vaccines work when and only after you get infected, not before. Therefore, vaccinated people who pick up the SARS-CoV-2 virus can spread it to others until their antibodies kick in.

Detail of American flag

What happened to overtime pay for holiday work?

by Frank Hogg | July 6, 2021

Have we fallen so far behind in terms of workers’ rights that we have utterly forgotten what used to be an assumed benefit?

chart documenting loss of journalism jobs

The Best Local News Sustainability Bill

by Steven Waldman | June 30, 2021

The Local News Sustainability Act would enact a series of tax credits that will help consumers buy local news subscriptions or donate to nonprofit news organizations; help newsrooms bear the payroll costs of retaining journalists; and help small businesses buy advertising in local media.  

Marcello Melendez III

Farming “for as long as I can”

by Luis Rios / photography by Luis Rios | August 5, 2021
6 min read

How a small Sierra County grower is coping with the drought

Of Recent Interest
Of Recent Interest

Revenue frenzy?

by Kathleen Sloan | September 9, 2021
7 min read

The City of Truth or Consequences must find up to $2.5 million in new revenues or expenditure cuts in order to end its longstanding practice of using funds meant to cover maintenance, repair and replacement of utilities infrastructure for general operations. But the city commissioners cut short a recent budget workshop aimed at helping them determine what sources of new income should be pursued and what expenditures should be cut.

department heds at Aug 9 budget meeting

News analysis: T or C’s financial paradigm shift

by Kathleen Sloan | September 7, 2021
7 min read

City Manager Bruce Swingle’s attempt to educate the Truth or Consequences City Commission about the urgent need to transition from an “electric company running a city” to a government that operates for and by the people will take time.

T or C police cars and headquarters

Police recruitment is a problem everywhere; T or C offers take-home car

by Kathleen Sloan | August 3, 2021
5 min read

Truth or Consequences has advertised for police officers since July 7, with no response. As an inducement, the city commission passed a resolution setting policy on take home vehicles that requires area residency for city employees but carves out an exception for police officers.

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