Water strategy shift could benefit Santolina

It’s just one sentence – 19 words – but its disappearance from a proposed 100-year plan to manage the Albuquerque Metro area’s water supply has critics saying its omission could dramatically draw down the aquifer in future years. The critics also charge it’s part of a plan by water insiders and consultants to flip Bernalillo County’s water strategy without any real public input and that it will work to the benefit of the proposed Santolina master-planned community on Albuquerque’s far West Side. This piece originally appeared in ABQ Free Press. The change is to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority’s Water Resources Management Strategy, which was last updated in 2007. The current version of the strategy’s Policy B says, “The Authority shall limit the use of ground water except to meet peak demands or during times of drought.”

But that sentence is missing from the water authority’s proposed revised strategy, which could be approved by the utility’s board of directors later this summer.

Employment at Rio Rancho Intel plant down to just 1,900

Employment at Intel’s Rio Rancho plant fell to 1,900 people at the beginning of the year, a drop of 400 people from the beginning of 2015, the company said Tuesday. Those lost positions were the result of retirements, relocations and resignations, and not layoffs, Intel’s Rio Rancho plant spokeswoman Natasha Martell Jackson told ABQ Free Press. The Rio Rancho plant had 5,500 employees in the mid-2000s. Intel announced Tuesday that it is cutting 12,000 jobs, or 11 percent from its worldwide workforce, by mid-2017. The company did not give specifics about those cuts and it did not say how they would affect the Rio Rancho facility.

NM Political Report on TV

Over the weekend, New Mexico Political Report’s senior reporter Joey Peters hit the small screen to discuss several local and regional issues. Peters appeared as a panelist on New Mexico in Focus, a local public affairs program that airs weekly on New Mexico PBS. He joined host Gene Grant, Albuquerque attorney Laura Sanchez-Rivet, Albuquerque Free Press associate editor Dennis Domrzalski and Vox Optima founder Merritt Allen to talk about several burning issues in New Mexico. The program kicked off with a discussion of the controversial Santolina planned community. The Bernalillo County Commission voted to authorize the Santolina master plan last week.

CABQ & APD out of step with community press corps | by Margaret Wright

Margaret Wright is an Albuquerque-based journalist who is a former managing editor of the Alibi and co-founder of the New Mexico Compass. Margaret has also worked as a teacher, social worker and waitress and is currently a reporter with the New Mexico Political Report. On Friday evening, Gilbert Montaño, the City of Albuquerque’s deputy chief administrative officer, was on the phone to make amends. “Moving forward, I’d be happy to sit down and chat,” he told me. “We’re not isolators when it comes to media.