Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The birth of hope

When two soulmates embrace and
Thus a third is made
Between them, life
Is made anew
Or when ancient life is imbue,
Those three are changed,
By the heavens soft words,
A mere woman no more
Now the gift of motherhood,
With life swelling within.
A father stands strong
To protect and provide for
Mother and child.

The greatest gift and power of god
Is given to yours from which springs life
Love brings forth love, hope brings forth hope,
And life brings froth life,
With whose continuance the world is ensured.
The heavens from above smile down
And bless those with love, hope and life.
---A Female New Mexican’s Political Point of View

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why Not a Paperless Court System

Faced with cutting the budget everyone is looking at ways to save money. The court system here in New Mexico has been asked to cut its budget by 2 ½ percent this year. If you have every seen a case file from one of the court systems you know that it is single sided pages and the files are very thick even for one case history. Perhaps the answer to the problem is to turn to electronic documents that can be sent to the court through email or hand delivered to the court on a jump drive device depending on the need for security. Think of all of the paper this would save along with all of the trees that could be saved. Electronic signatures are not unheard of in our day and age so the judges could have them ready for the signing of any legal document. Official court stamps could also be changed over to electronic stamps that could then be used by court staff. All of the Administrative staff at the courts are well versed in the use of computers so think how much easier it would be to retrieve documents for both lawyers and defendants if all the staff had to do was retrieve the case files from a data base. The court system could then charge a larger fee for any document that was required to be printed out for a case. This would discourage the waste of court time and paper. This would also help meet ADA requirement for sight impaired defendants since an electronic document can be enlarge or read by a computer program. A good number of the court documents have already been turned into electronic documents and are already on the court websites in this state. If putting records on computer systems in the medical field will save large amounts of money in this state why not do the same for the court system and save the money to pay Judges and court staff salaries. Just think how much less storage would be required for electronic files. I get the feeling that lawyers in this state would also not be averse to changing over to electronic document since they could bring along a laptop and make any last minute changes for the judges in their office with little trouble. The only programs that would be required for the format are Microsoft word and adobe professional to turn the finished document into a PDF file so that no further changes could be made once it was signed by a judge. These systems also provide a dating system for a history of any changes made to legal documents and a password if the judge should wishes to restrict access to the document for future use. The court system could also require that all future documents be printed out double sided so as to save paper.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A real chance for positive change in 2009

2008 has been a year of change for most Americans. It has not been change for the good as President Bush (Bust) winds down eight years of control by the Republican Party we can look back with a clear vision over the past eight years and see just how bad uncontrolled free enterprise can be for our country when it is a society all about me. When CEOs live in a world where workers have no value and companies are only there to be milked until the last dime is in exclusives officer’s own personal bank accounts and yet as the year comes to an end they are still taking their profits from the bank accounts of American voters who can ill afford the price. Where bailout is a word used to reward people who clearly have no idea of how to build or run a national company. Where middle class families face becoming homeless and unemployed all at the same time and yet the CEOs of the auto industry drive high priced new vehicles to ask for $17 billion in more bailout money. We have yet to find out where $700 billion in bailout money from the taxpayers has gone that should have been used to free up credit and save homeowners. More money our children and grandchildren will have to pay to the government in future taxes. This was the year where Americans learned that we have a world of the haves and the have not. Where the percentage of the very rich is small in compares to the working economically distressed yet the lions share of income is being diverted by the Republican controlled government to that small percentage of our population. Where has the middle class gone in this country? Will we ever see it as strong again or is this the beginning of the end?

Although not a petty picture to paint we still have hope for the future. The American voting public took to the polls in record numbers in November to provide this state and this country with real leadership that only wants positive change for the future. The people who take office next year will bring change to this country but it will not be without pain for many. They will need to stand up to major corporations and say fire your current leadership and find people who will bring about responsible and visionary leadership. Reward them only for success and punish them for failure. Bring their compensation packages back to earth and require accountability for their actions in the future. Homeowners will need to take responsible for paying their own mortgages and yet the government will be responsible to make sure the terms of those loans are reasonable and that people have jobs that enable them to have the ability to make monthly payments. Americans will be faced with reeducation into the field of green jobs and will not be able to fight change in the way they make a living in this country. We will be faced will driving smaller more environmentally friendly vehicles. Education will need to reduce the major amount of administration costs in order to pay teachers and educational employee’s higher wages and some will need to realize that education is a field where you work not for the administration or the person you hire to run the system but for the people you educate. Students and parents will need to look deep within themselves to find the respect for instructors and the process of education that made the system work in past generations. Government official will need to demand that the educational system make reductions in cost at the administration level and hold the frontline workers at current levels. Classroom space is far more important then giant towers for the administration with luxury board meeting rooms that are only used a few days out of the month. It is now time that educators should have to take a pay cut in order to become administration within the school system. We can not afford rich CEO types in the administration of the field of education. No one should ever dream of becoming rich from a job in the field of educationally administration. In the field of education the educator should be the primary employee which will be the way you improve the current educational system for the betterment of all Americans.

In New Mexico a good number of our national representatives are going to be new at the job and some good representatives will move on to higher jobs in the federal government. New state representatives will all take office in Santa Fe and all will have to find their way in a field that has little training except for on the job training. The one good thing about this is that they all have a positive vision for where they want to move our state in the future. This will clearly not make the old guard happy but just maybe our state will be better off in the future. So we all face the end of this year with the great hope that 2009 will be a better year for all Americans including New Mexicans. Americans are now faced with the chance for positive change so do we have the heart, passion, and courage to bring about that change?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Peace on Earth

Happiness with the Family

Merry Christmas

A Wish for a Sucessful New Year

A Gift for CEO's and College Presidents

Monday, December 22, 2008

APS Board of Education list of Powers and Duties

Below is a list of duties for local school board of education members.

SECTION E. - Powers and Duties
A local school board shall have the following powers or duties:
A. subject to the regulations of the department, develop educational policies for the school district.
B. employ a superintendent of schools for the school district and fix his salary.
C. review and approve the school budget.
D. acquire, lease and dispose of property.
E. have capacity to sue and be sued.
F. acquire property by eminent domain as pursuant to the procedures provided in the Eminent Domain Code.
G. issue general obligation bonds of the school district.
H. provide for the repair of and maintain all property belonging to the school district.
I. for good cause and upon order of the district court, subpoena witnesses and documents in connection with a hearing concerning any powers or duties of the local school board.
J. except for expenditures for salaries, contract for the expenditure of money according to the provisions of the Procurement Code.
K. adopt rules pertaining to the administration of all powers or duties of the local school board.
L. accept or reject any charitable gift, grant, devise, or bequest. The particular gift, grant, devise, or bequest accepted shall be considered an asset of the district or the public school to which it is given, and
M. offer and, upon compliance with the conditions of such offer, to pay rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction, or other appropriate disciplinary disposition by the courts or juvenile authorities, of offenders in case of theft, defacement, or destruction of local school district property. All such rewards shall be paid from school district funds in accordance with rules promulgated by the department; and
N. give prior approval for any educational program in a public school in the school district that is to be conducted, sponsored, carried on or caused to be carried on by a private organization or agency.

The below is a goal in the list of goals for a board member.

"Adopting a comprehensive Communications Plan ensuring an effective two-way communications system with students, employees, media and community."

Did they forget parents of those children in that list of people to have two-way communications with in this school system?

I have some suggestions for the list of duties for school board member before they are elected to the board of education in our school system.

  1. Have a clear understand of how the current educational system works and a strong desire to improve the quality of education for all current and futures students within the school system.
  2. A strong desire to foster a two-way line of communication with all stakeholders of the school system to include but not to be limited to educators, staff, administration, businesses, parents, and students.
  3. A desire to provide a quality technologically current environment that fosters learning for students of the school system.
  4. Provide for the best education of educators and instructional staff so as to raise the level of skills and qualifications among educational employees.
  5. Provide a stimulating, safe and inviting environment for all students of the school system.
  6. Forster a positive two-way line of communication between administration and educational staff that promotes the highest level of education for the students.
  7. Promote a sold working relationship between businesses, higher learning institutions and schools in order to promote success and long term achievement for all current and future students in the community.

OK, where is the concern for the education or even the quality of education of our children in the first list of duties for the people responsible for creating our system of education for our children? Little to nothing is said about student success in that list of duties. No real responsible to communicate with either the community at large or parents is spelled out in that list of duties.

No wonder few if any people coming out of the field of education bother to apply to become members of our local school board. You should have a business degree or a legal degree to apply for a position on our local school board of education not that it has helped raise our retention levels in any of our schools by even one student.

Parents, students, business leaders, community leaders, school administration and educational employees should all be actively involved in electing school board members for the betterment of the system of education for our children and not their own personal desires.

One last word on this subject no teacher should ever be told that they should leave the field of education because they are too smart to be a teacher because the implication is that only stupid people teach and that view of education can only further lower the expectations of our system of education in this country. We should encourage smart people of all ages to develop teaching skills and to spend at least some time in the classroom to further the education of our future workforce. Education is a life long process that begins at birth and ends at death therefore you can never be too young or too old to learn.

The Effects of Economic Globalization on the U.S Workforce

Will world globalization of our economy mean the end to the American Middle Class? When you speak of globalization most economists think of using world resources to benefit the world population and moving jobs to the most skilled workers therefore reducing waste. Like most great ideas in theory it is a wonderful world but put into real world practice it can have devastating affects on the world workforce and our own workforce. Americans have long held one of the highest standards of living of any other country in the world because their workforce enjoys protections from employer abuse and low wages. People in our country live in middle class homes, drive nice cars, and provide a safe environment for their children to thrive in while earning higher wages then most other countries. Businesses in this country are expected to meet demands for safety, basic wages and environmental protections.

In other foreign countries these basic rules do not prevail. Child labor is used preventing children from ever having a hope for a basic education. Public education does not exist and most children start work at an early age. Families live in slums with little food and not protection from the elements of nature. Life can and is often cruel and short for these workers. The workforce is more then willing to work for small amounts of income and work long hours without standing up for their human rights for a fear of lose of the little income they might be able to bring into their lives and slums.

The Bush Administration is now pointing to the American Auto workers who have already given up their middle class standard of living in order to acquire jobs at foreign run auto manufacturing companies in this country. The Administration would like American Auto workers working at American run companies to give up the wages and benefits that have enabled them to become middle class in order to keep their jobs. The result will clearly be a lowered standard of living for these auto workers and their families. The end result of this type of policy is to destroy the American Middle Class leaving only the very rich and the very economically distressed classes of people in this country.

It was from the economically distressed class of working people in this country that the middle class arose during the early nineteen hundreds. People died in union fights with corporate owners in order to give their children a better life. The history of the rise of unions in this country is not taught in schools and when we forget our history then we as a people are often required to repeat the lessons learned for the past.

The Bush Administration would love nothing more then to reduce the requirements for guest workers in this country to further damage the life style of the American Middle Class. For wealthy corporate owners nothing would increase their bottom line more then to reduce the cost of labor. Corporate America has never felt the need to be fair with the American workforce but now more then every in our country’s history they are providing huge benefits to the corporate elite while demanding a lower standard of living from the working middle class. You do have to wonder how the failing Republican Party could have become so out of touch with the American working class in this country.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pork Spending in New Mexico

President of the Rio Grande Foundation, Paul Gessing was on Eye on New Mexico today to give his “Piglet” book on pork spending in this state a lot of free publicity. Now you should know that he is the President of a group run by the right wing of the Republican Party and his views on pork spending are clearly very conservative in nature. You can read more about the group on New Mexico FBIHOP at this URL. LP has done a great job of detailing Mr. Gessing’s ties to the right wing.

Now we can all admit that there is pork spending in this state that must be cut in January. Smart cuts could help our state grow and balance the budget at the same time. We should remember that things such as educational supplies and front line pay for educators and educational support employees, health care for children, developing new technology methods for healthcare records, assisting the economically distressed, mental health care for the homeless who are veterans, drug rehab programs and mass transit are all programs that help move our state in the right direction and represent our core values in this state. Building new and larger prisons to house minority individuals, giving tax breaks to the rich, supporting oil and gas over green energy and paying high paid administration employees more money for less work are all items that drive our state in the wrong direction.

Now we don’t and cannot afford lobbyists to support our issues the way the rich and well connected can in this state but we can email our state representatives and express our views which will result in how we vote in future elections. Some of us can take time off from our jobs to go to the state capital to personally express our views on how we want cuts to be made that will affect the voting public in our state.

So now our state representatives must decide who they plan on listening to and were those pork spending cuts are going to be made in January. Do they help the economically distressed and the middle class in this state with affordable education, health care, green energy, and mass transit or do they support the very rich with more prisons, larger roads, bigger tax cuts, and higher wages for people earning over $100,000 presently.

The state treasury and state auditor live on yearly incomes of $85,000 each; therefore, why not the presidents of our two year colleges along with their long, long list of vice presidents? Maybe the savings could be used to make education more affordable in this state for the middle class.

State employees can and do take the railrunner to work each day so why must two year college presidents have their own personal cars that are paid for by the taxpayer’s money? College employees have to drive white school cars so why not the president of the college? Since when is it required to have a taxpayer funded luxury vehicle in order to do your job? Why should the voting public be paying for those luxury vehicles for college presidents?

Now it is up to the voting public to also come up with examples of how we can cut the budget without harming the programs that represent our core values in this state. Once you identify those items please feel free to email them to your state representative.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Political Christmas edition of getting to know your friends.

We come to the Political Christmas edition of getting to know your friends.Copy this entire list of blog questions and paste into a new e-mail that you can send to your friends then change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know. Tis the Season to be NICE! Even to republicans.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper
2. Real tree or fake? When I was a little girl my father would go to the mountains to bring home a thick tree. Nothing can ever live up to those trees so I go fake
3. When do you put up the tree? Few days before Christmas
4. When do you take the tree down? First weekend after Christmas
5. Do you like eggnog? No.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Baby doll that could walk
7. Hardest person to buy for? Myself.
8. Do you have a nativity scene? No
9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Email
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Feathers at an office party
11. Favorite Christmas Movie? Frosty the Snowman or A White Christmas
12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? June
13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes
14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Posole
15. Lights on the tree? Yes
16. Favorite Christmas song? Home for Christmas
17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay at home with the kid
18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? Rudolph
19. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas day? Christmas Day
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Being single
22. Favorite ornament theme or color? Christmas Red Birds Old style glass ornaments.
23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Duck
24. What do you want for Christmas this year? Spend time with my friends
25. Do you ever plan on running for an office? No!
26. What is the issue that is most important to you? Education
27. Who are your favorite elected officials? Obama, Clinton, Udall, Richardson and Butkus
28. Name former elected officials that most imspired you? JFK and Martin Luther King Jr.
29. What can you do for your country and community this next year? Use blog to educate voting public on issues. Support elected officials that stand for my core values.
30. Red or Green? Green

Happy Holidays

Friday, December 19, 2008

What is a Grand Jury

“A panel of citizens that is convened by a court to decide whether it is appropriate for the government to indict (proceed with a prosecution against) someone suspected of a crime.

An American institution since the colonial days, the grand jury has long played an important role in Criminal Law. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that a person suspected of a federal crime cannot be tried until a grand jury has determined that there is enough reason to charge the person. Review by a grand jury is meant to protect suspects from inappropriate prosecution by the government, since grand jurors are drawn from the general population.” From: The Free Dictionary by Farlex.

Grand Juries do not investigate anyone for a federal crime an investigation is carried out by the U.S. Attorney and his office. The current U.S. Attorney for New Mexico is a republican. U.S. Attorney’s are appointed by the federal government and serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States as we learned last year during the dismissal of our own U.S. Attorney Mr. David Iglesias.

This is a good example of why the voting public should be the ones to choose our legal officials. It is far better that our judges and district attorney serve at the pleasure of the voting public and owes no one person in government for their position.

Clearly it would be inappropriate for the lead government official of a state to commit in public to the press on a case that is currently before a grand jury or one that would be taken before a grand jury anytime in the near future.

President Bush Bails out Auto Industry-$17 Billion

This morning President Bush (Bust) made the announcement that he would use TARP money to bail out the Big three Auto Companies to prevent the loss of jobs which could only further harm an economy which is already in a serious recession. The deal gives the companies bridge loans until they can either come up with a plan to save their failing companies or prepare for a chapter 11 restructuring of their companies. The sad part is that at this point in time due to the current economic climate nothing else will work. These companies have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent change and now they are paying the price along with their employees. This is just another in a long line of examples of CEOs who don’t live in the real world and have no grounding in how to successfully run a company. These CEOs clearly think that their employee’s welfare is not their responsible. They make decisions that carry high risks and when they fail it is the economy (Taxpayers) and the workers who suffer the consequences. Clearly it is long past overdue for a change in the behavior of these corporate CEOs.

One has to wonder just how little they, corporate CEOs, listen to the people who work for them in their own companies. If it is anything like the place I work at then they pretend to listen and still make poor decisions. This country should come up with a process in which to deal with failed management that provides real consequences for the people who make bad decisions while refusing to work with or listen to their own employees. Until changes are made in the way we deal with management in this country companies will continue to fail and continue to look to the federal government for a bail out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Democratic Party of Bernalillo County Christmas Party

Lots of good food, good company, candidates, no elected officials, and lots of items for homeless children, democrats clearly have big hearts when it comes to children in need.

Richard for Mayor sounds interesting. He has the name and the history. Wonder who else will be tossing in a hat. Wonder what Chavez’s plans are for 2009.

Candidates are already setting up interviews for the board positions so more to come.

More women should consider running in local elections for school board because as parents they have strong feelings and experience when it come to educational issues.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Negative News Reports

What is with the Fox News station attacking the state governor and the railrunner? One does have to wonder what is with the negative tone of Fox News station as of late. First they turn an event where the governor is announcing 600 new green jobs to the state into a personal attack on the governor then they attack the railrunner because it is still working out a few bugs on the very first day it is open to the public.

Governor Richardson should not be expected or even asked to answer questions on a case that is being investigated at present. It would be incorrect for him to make commitments on anything having to do with that investigation. Why did the Fox News station not push Congresswoman Heather Wilson or Senator Pete Domenici as hard during the U.S. Attorney investigation? Is this possibility a case of selective reporting? Clearly the Obama transition team has looked into this issue and found no problems for our governor. Could this be sour grapes from the out going republicans in office at present?

And what is with the republicans in this country trying to prove that President Elect Obama is not a U.S. Citizen? I have a copy of his birth record which was looked over and found to be the real article by officials in Hawaii and it clearly shows that he was born in the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court Justices must be getting a little sick of these false charges.

One does wonder what they will come up with next. How far will these people go in order to attack the incoming administration? How is this helping our country move forward for positive changes?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CNM and APS Board Candidates

Today was the day for candidates to file to run for local school boards. I went down to the county clerk’s office to speak with candidates and get the unofficial list of those running for the positions. Maggie Toulouse Oliver has a very skilled group of people working for her. The official list will be mailed to the candidates. I asked many candidates to give me a call and set up an interview. As always the most important thing about elections is to educate the voting public on who is running and what their stands are on local issues. For Central New Mexico Community College I was happy to be able to call both Blair L. Kaufman and Robert P. Matteucci to let them know that they were unopposed in their races. I was surprised to learn that Richard Barr who is a republican will not be running in this year’s election.

For CNM Community College Board:

District No. 1 Robert P Matteucci

District No. 3
1. Nick D. Brennan
2. Deborah L. Moore
3. Jeff Armijo

District No. 5 Blair L. Kaufman (Look forward to seeing you at the party this week tell Ann I said hi.)

District No. 7
1. Jerry Leonard Scott
2. Michael D. Dewitte

Good luck to all of the candidates early voting starts on January 6 which does not give candidates a lot of time to get out the vote.

For APS:

District No. 3
1. Leonard J. Delayo
2. Agatha (Aggie) Lopez
3. Jeffrey C. Rich
4. Lorenzo L. Garcia
5. Anna L. Armijo

District No 5.
1. Carolyne De Vore-Parks
2. Renee Louise Rosales
3. Paula M. Maes

District No. 6
1. Mary Lee Martin
2. David L. Robbins

District No. 7
1. Patrick J. Marron
2. David Eugene Peercy
3. Michael L. Swisher

All of these candidates are faced with a limited amount of time to get their message out to the voting public and most will be knocking on doors from now until Election Day. Are we truly ready for this once more? For those of you that missed walking neighborhoods here is your chance to get out once more.

Just a reminder that Thursday is the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County’s Christmas Party and fundraiser. This year the party is raising money for homeless children without coats. I hope that all of the democratic candidates can make it to the party.

Here is an APS group that helps out with the homeless children in the city.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let it Snow Let it Snow

Tomorrow is the day that candidates file paperwork with the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office in order to be on the ballot in February for the Governing Board of Central New Mexico Community College. The deadline is 5:00 pm.

The Governing Board has completely supported President Kathy Winograd in her desire to increase administration while freezing instructional support for the college. They gave her an 11% raise after only six months on the job while giving economically distressed college employees 0% rises. Too often in the past board members have said that rises are given to the college in lump sums in which the college is given complete discursion on how that money is used to give employees pay increases. This year President Winograd felt that she deserved all of the money herself. She has also made it clear that if anyone is going to lose a job it will be the instructional support staff first because she is not planning on cutting either administration employees or their huge salaries. Clearly she does not want to do the job she was hired for in the first place. The new college motto should read Forget Students! It’s all about the Administration.”

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Railrunner to Santa Fe This Week

I don’t know about most people in Albuquerque but I look forward to taking the train to Santa Fe to do a little shopping. No, I don’t have much money to shop with and my car is so old that it will not make the trip to Santa Fe. Such is the life of an educational employee who has to deal with a college president who puts her own interest and paycheck above her low paid workers but every once in a while it will be nice to take the train to Santa Fe to do a little careful shopping. We have Governor Bill Richardson to thank for being the man who could look into the future of his and our state and have a clear vision that a train would be of great value for all of the people in this area. I am glad to hear people talking now about extending the train south and north. Even East and West would not be a bad idea for the future of the commuter system in our state. Albuquerque could become a central commuter hub in the future of our state. A train will bring a lot of economic development along the line and it will be good for small communities and our local environment. Weather which could cause serious accidents on the highways will be less of a problem by taking the train to the state capital. Everyone who took part in this endeavor deserves to take part in the credit of how well it has turned out for our state. The future looks good for green energy in our state and clearly we care about our environment.

From the Railrunner Website

"Governor Bill Richardson will be joined by state, local and tribal officials on December 15 for the inaugural train ride into Santa Fe. The first day of commuter service will begin on Wednesday, December 17."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Mexico cannot begin to afford University and College Presidents

President of UNM David Schmidly, $587,000 base salary per year, and President of CNM Kathy Winograd, $206,000 base salary per year, are just too expensive for this state to maintain over the long run. With them they bring a whole host of $100,000 vice presidents because they cannot be bothered with the task of running an institution. At a time when the budget gets tight they resource to freezing salaries for teachers and instructional support staff clearly these people live in a fantasy world and have no connection with the reality of working in a economically challenge state such as ours. They together have managed to drive morale to an all time low at the state’s two largest institutions of higher learning. The voting public needs to demand that the state government find a way to bring these two presidents back to reality before they do permanent and lasting damage to our higher education system.

Governing Board Elections are planed for early February for Central New Mexico Community College. The deadline to resister to run for a seat on the board is December 16, 2008 at the county clerk’s office in the city. The Board which picks the president and controls the direction of the college is a public office and anyone not connected with the college can run for the seats as long as they live with in the district of the seat they are running for at the college. The current board has refused to control the sitting president when it comes to pay issues. They gave President Winograd a $15,000 lump sum increase to her base salary and a few weeks later increased her base salary by 3%. Just this last week President Winograd refused to increase wages of the lowest paid individuals in her institution. She is also looking to get another large pay increase come next June of this year.

UNM President David Schmidly has also stopped any form of increases to instructional wages while adding yet another vice president to his current administration. He at a meeting last evening refused to even consider a pay cut even though other university presidents across the country are taking pay cuts in order to prevent harm to their universities. 700 people at the meeting were clearly not happy with his views on how to run our states largest University.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I simply want to teach students

Why is it that every time someone with a small amount of intelligent stands up and ask for more money for those who work in the field of education they always gets told the same response. Want more money go work in the industry because you are too smart to be a teacher. Is it that people just don’t want smart people working in the field of education? Want to know why our schools are losing ground in this country? It is because smart people get sick of being told that as teachers they will never be valued in this country. I have been fighting that same attitude for the past eight years and am getting very sick and tired of it. Why is it so very wrong to want people who work in the field of education to earn a living without having a rich husband or wife to support them? Why must you be retired before you can give back to your community in the field of education? Little known fact the longer you are a teacher the better you are at the job. What is wrong with this picture people? Why is the American public so blind to the fact that if you want good educators you give them a fair paycheck at the end of the day? What is it going to take to open the eyes of the voting public or are we just preordained to become a third world country because of this attitude. If I hear one more person tell me go back to the industry then I plan on asking them if they truly want this country to fail their children and their grandchildren when it comes to their education.

Most people wonder why I don’t just say I will go back to the industry I came out of and the answer is that education is well worth fighting for in this state and they might as well get use to seeing this person every time they turn around. I don’t and won’t stop fighting for this cause until New Mexico is much higher in the rankings of our states educational field. If you are an elected official plan on facing me down on more than one occasion. I will either be your best friend or in the case of people like the president of my college your worst enemy. I am not going to step aside or stay silent while the CEO types destroy our public educational system. The most interesting problem is that I try to support people until they vote against the interest of educational employees. Some even point out that they return my phone calls but what good is that if they then turn around and support individuals like my college president? They hate it when we point out the past but they love to point out their past behavior to us.

All the instructional support unit at my college has ever wanted was to be treated like the other staff members and paid the same for a day’s work but most now fear losing their jobs due to budget cuts. Enrollment will rise in the next few years meaning more money for the college because of the fee system setup by Michael Glennon but no more people will be hired to cope with that reality faced by frontline educational employees yet we are asked to do more work for less pay while administration gets double digit pay increases and add more people to their ranks everyday. People who work in the field of education don’t begin to know what the word fair means in this state and that is why we are ranked at the bottom in the field of education. Want a better educational system New Mexico then deal with this issue fairly.

Schools and Cars

How is Albuquerque Public Schools doing?

I ran into Brad Winters this morning on my way into my office and had a chance to ask him a few short questions about how Albuquerque Public Schools are doing with the downturn in the economy. APS just gave their educational assistances a 5% pay increase which was short of what they wanted but still it was an increase in pay. Mr. Winters said that he is pleased with the current financial position of the school district. He said that the problems with the Rio Rancho school district are not going to happen here in Albuquerque which is always good news for parents. Too bad the president of Central New Mexico Community College cannot say the same but clearly her own self interest are coming before those of the college. I also had a chance to ask Mr. Winters what he thought of the statements made by Mr. Lucero on breaking up the APS school district. He said that at this time he does not feel that it would be a good move for Albuquerque. He said that they were building a few new schools to lessen the crowding in that area of the city. Mr. Winters said that he would be opposed to any move that could increase taxes for the voting public here in Albuquerque at this point in time due to the current economic problems our country is facing. One would think that a more conservative approach would be the safe position at present when it comes to our school system.

Auto industry bridge loans fail to pass Senate.

Yesterday Congressman Tom Udall was the only federal representative in this state to vote in favor of the auto industry bridge loans. The measure failed in the senate late last night and now our country is facing the loss of our auto industry which could result in up to 3 million jobs. 10,000 of those jobs could be lost right here in New Mexico. The financial markets started the day down and could go lower as the day progresses. The auto industry is now asking President Bush (Bust) to do something before it is too late. One person interviewed on a morning show was smart to point out that lowering this country’s standard of living was not what American voters wanted to see. The Republican Party has taken the stand that the auto unions should be working for the same pay rate as individuals who work for foreign run auto companies. They feel that this country should be allowing other countries to dictate pay rates in this country and therefore dictate our standards of living. In other words the Republican Party feels that the economically distressed families in this country should be paid as poorly as they are in third world countries. I wonder is this their idea of change for our country?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Educational Reform in New Mexico

Our state’s educational system is underfunded and one of the poorest in the country and you do not need to look far for data to prove that statement. We need to look at what has caused education to fail in this state. Reform is not the same as smart reform for a system. We have seen over the last year what the corporate model of paying enormous salaries to administration and low wages to frontline workers has done to the business world. We are now 27th in the world when it comes to education in this country and if we continue to use the corporate model of administration for our educational system in this state we can look forward to dropping even further in those rankings. Our state deserves better our children deserve better.

There are a great many things that can be done to improve education in this state.
  1. Pay frontline educational employees better wages. You truly do get what you pay for in the field of education.
  2. Stop paying $100,000 and higher salaries to people who sit in meetings all day long doing nothing to improve the system. Our state’s educational system is clearly top heavy at present. Ask yourself can we truly afford these people at present?
  3. Provide materials for classrooms in this state. Children need a safe and well supplied environment in order to learn.
  4. Early education for low income children.
  5. Classes that education anyone who cares for a child before they start school.
  6. Tutors at all levels of educations to help students achieve.
  7. A campaign to explain to all New Mexicans the important of education to New Mexican students of all ages.
  8. Enforcement of laws that prevent children from leaving school to work at an early age. My father started work at the age of 14 in a coal mine where he could not even stand up to work but he wanted better for his children and for all of our children in this country.
  9. After school programs that help students and give them a broader more well rounded view of the world.
  10. Courses that teach parents to cope with business and life skills so that they can then teach their children those same life skills.
  11. Develop programs that match mentors with students to encourage them to believe that they can lean and that they do deserve a better life.
  12. Have business people work with students and teachers.
  13. Field trips to job sites to show students what type of jobs are out there for them.
  14. Field trips to colleges so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by the concept of college.
  15. Develop programs where high school students can get technical classes while still in high school.
  16. Develop programs that pay college level people to attend job training courses in areas where we need skilled workers.

So mush is being done and so much more can be done to improve education in this state but it will take caring leadership in the future if we have any hope of improving the educational system in this state. Our educational system is already showing signs of frustration from frontline employees. Children should never be put in a position to say things that only adults are concerned with but when no one is listening to frontline employees then strange behaviors start to develop out of a sense of hopelessness. The question remains which way our school system will turn in the very near future. Change is a double edged sword and in the wrong hands it can be used as a weapon of destruction.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CNM gives Instructional Support Unit 0% pay raise

While the president of the school got an 11% pay increase last June taking her income from $185,000 to $206,000 a year, she has managed to give people earning less than $25,000 at Central New Mexico Community College a raise of $0. This is the height of corporate CEO behavior. With the election for CNM School Board members coming in February of this next year now is the time to ask them why the lowest paid individuals in the college did not get a pay raise when the college received the money back in June to give a 2% pay increase. Where was that money spent? How can the AFT put a positive face on no pay increase and a week off that they would have already been pay for in the first place.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Transformative Leadership

Reason, passion and courage is the skills that makeup a leader who can bring about real change. First you find a cause to believe in that drives you to bring about change. Find an issue that causes you to feel fire in your heart. Second you show passion for that issue by speaking out publicly in favor of change. You should know exactly what you want the end result to look like and know what you are willing to settle for and what you cannot live with as a end result. Third you will have to have the courage to stand up to people who will find new and often innovate ways to attack you for your stand on the issue. The sad part of this process is that it will not only be people you expect but close friends that you would never think would attack you that will work the hardest at it. Fear of change is a powerful motivator when it comes to people close to you. Loss of control and image are also powerful motivators to cause friends and family to attack you for no reason. Courage is often referred to as character building. Hope is the willingness to give other people the desire to bring about change for the better.

Makes you want to just run right out to become a transformative leader does it not? If you do decide to become a transformative leader your life will never be the same because once you let it out it never returns to the box. The speaker that I listened to today talked about an aspect of a dissatisfied individual. Don’t feel bad because you will be in good company. People like John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Alice King and Barack Obama were and are dissatisfied leaders. The question is do you want to live a safe life or a life full of hope and belief in a positive future? Are you willing to become the agent of change or are you willing to settle for less in life? History remembers the dissatisfied transformative leaders who would not stop until they brought about real and lasting change.

Funeral Arraignments for Alice King

First Lady Alice King to Lie in State

Wednesday December 10, 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.
New Mexico State Capitol, Capitol Rotunda

First Lady Alice King's Funeral
Thursday December 11, 9:00 a.m.
Moriarty High School Gymnasium

Groups which King Family wishes donations to be given to in lieu of flowers:

The New Mexico Girls Ranch, which she helped to create.
The New Mexico Children's Foundation, which she founded.
The Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation, which she strongly supported.

Statement by New Mexico Democratic Party Chairman Brian S. Colón:

"New Mexico lost one of it great public servants on Sunday, First Lady Alice King. She was a champion for New Mexico's children and inspired everyone she met. As New Mexico mourns the loss of one of its most compassionate advocates, our thoughts and prayers are with the King family."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pay State Legislators $25,000 a year

Steven Robert Allen, executive director of Common Cause, a government watchdog group said “We’d be talking about a barely livable wage.” He was speaking about $25,000 a year for Legislative Compensation. Try explaining that to the state Legislators who at present insist on paying instructional support staff at CNM and Educational Assistances all over the state in K-12 under $25,000 a year. Where is the government watchdog group when it comes to that issue? I and I hope no other individual in this state would be willing to give them one red dime more in compensation until they find a way to support our educational system in this state. With our state facing a budget shortfall that will be cutting into funding for educational quality in this state why should we even be thinking about paying legislators more in income?

I understand that at present you have to be retired or run your own company just to be able to afford becoming a legislator but with a state as poor as New Mexico we cannot begin to afford to pay for government officials. This limits who can run for office and what issues they are willing to support but that is why we do provide some limited compensation for working individuals. I think that we should put forth a bill that required businesses to give employees time off without pay from their regular position if they were elected to one of these positions. This would be the same as requiring businesses to give people time off to serve as a juror in a court case or to do military serve. I think that the voting public would be able to support such a bill after all it is a form of public serve just like military serve. As for the cost of living in Santa Fe, with the railrunner starting on December 16 of this year most legislators can now stay in Albuquerque and communte to Santa Fe which will make it a lot cheaper.

Former First Lady Alice King

Former First Lady and wife of Bruce King passed away Sunday in Albuquerque after a stroke. Alice King was 78 and had made her mark on New Mexico as a woman who cared about our states children. Mrs. King lead the effort to create the Children, Youth and Families Department here in New Mexico. Mrs. King was a supporter of our new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her run for president. In 1986 Mrs. King was named to the NM Hall of Fame. Our prayers are with her family at this sad time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Education: Children Welfare vs Administrators Paychecks

Yesterday K-12 teachers and families turnout on a street corner in Rio Rancho to protest the poor management of their school system with the Rio Rancho school district facing a 4 million dollar short fall how can they not stand up and ask where the money went and how is it being spent currently. Families have a right to want to see their children receive a quality education and not to have administrators who have not been in the classroom for long periods of time entering those classrooms to teach. Education is one of those fields that require a great deal of work to stay current and it is hard enough for teachers who spend everyday in the classroom to stay current and effective. Parents surely have a right to be concerned when a school system says they plan on putting high salaries people in the classrooms who have not taught in years.

Chairman of the New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee, State Rep. Rick Miera, D, has gone on Fox News networks, a right leaning network, to warn families and educational employees that cuts will take place this next year in the educational budget. One does have to wonder who State Rep. Rich Miera is listening to when he speaks about budget cuts since he is looking at classrooms and educational employee’s retirement funds but he has said nothing about school administration. When schools pay lobbyist to speak for their interest seldom is it about the people who work in the classrooms or student’s welfare for that matter. Perhaps it is time to ask ourselves if we can truly afford school administrators who receive paychecks in the $100,000 through $500,000 range not even bring up benefits. What after all is more important our children or those high paid administrators. One does have to wonder what Rep. Rick Miera’s honest answer would be to that question.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Seat at the Table Both Nationally and Locally

While President Elect Obama is hard at work in Washington putting together a new administration, he has also developed a plan called a “seat at the table” in which any documents or meeting notes with outside groups will be published on his website. The goal of the Obama administration is to make government transparent by asking for comment and reaction along with suggestions related to issues that affect the voting public. To listen to what voters have to say on issues and give government back to the American people. Not a bad way to lead our country forward.

When it comes to our state and local government it would appear that we simply don’t and will not have a seat at the table this year. State Senators are already telling us that they plan on cutting budget items like education without even asking educational employees and parents what they want to see when it comes to cuts. It is one thing to say we all have to cut back and ask for input in what areas and it is a whole different thing to simply tell the voting public that this is how it is going to happen. Where is the dialog with the people who will be affected by these cutbacks in the budget?

The Rio Rancho School district is a good example of the lack of transparency in government in this state. Parents and teachers were not asked to give input into how to make cuts but front line teachers did have their emails closed. Administration was not asked to cut back on their hours while part time substitutes were given pink slips and administrators who receive higher incomes are then put in their place. Where is the plan to save money in these behaviors? Where is the attempt made to protect the children of that school district? I personally would like to see the state auditor’s office audit that school district to find out just how taxpayers dollars are being spent.

New Mexicans deserve a seat at the table when it comes to state and local issue. State Senators should remember just who they are representing in Santa Fe this January.

Friday, December 5, 2008

What is the Federal Supreme Court Up to Lately

Shame on Justice Alito

Being around local Judges over the past few years, I have picked up some skill in reading their body language somewhat. Would you say this is a look of “Bad child who is pleased with himself over what he is about to say in public?” I know that look, I have seen it lately. A person with such a gifted mind should not be poking fun at the Vice President elect over plagiarizing and copywriter issues. I am sure that the next few Supreme Court Justices to be appointed will most likely lean toward the left side because those are the justices most likely to retire within the following four years. Unless some unforeseen event occurs our supreme court should stay near the same in its makeup due to President Elect Obama. Roe v. Wade should hold for the next four years. It is a sad statement when the federal government feels that they have the right to meddle in personal issues that should only be between a woman and her doctor.

Justice Roberts and the Environment

Justice Roberts has said "I mean, maybe the (Energy) industry could have borne these costs two years ago, but they probably can't today," Roberts said. "Nobody has money in the bank today." His remarks were made in relationship to a case where they are seeking to protect fish from being killed by older power plant intake pipes. I know that he does not want to raise the cost of energy to consumers but we must not overlook the value of protecting the environment. These older plants were not designed to avoid harm to local wild life and the fish populations are being reduced which can only harm the environment in the long run and cost consumers much more money to repair the damage done by these older power plants. Supreme Court Justices like Roberts should be able to take more of a long view on issues unlike some elected officials who cannot say they will be in office for long periods of time. Even if he does wish to sound like an "everyman" he should also take into consideration the harm these older power plant are doing to the local environments and how best to reduce that harm to both wild life and the consumers pocketbook at the same time. If these companies cannot afford the changes at present then maybe a longer time limit should be placed on the settlement for changes that need to be made in order to still hold these companies accountable for their actions.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Value of Education in Dona Ana County

The Real World Value of Community College Classes for Dona Ana County High School Students

I read this article in the New Mexico Independent today and found that it brings up a lot of questions about education and how to encourage students to pursue higher education while staying in high school when they can find no way to afford it.

“On education, Fischmann said he’ll be looking for ways to foster a more “coordinated effort” between schools, unions, employers and the state labor department to help students become “self-sustaining” members of society. As a businessman, Fischmann said the state’s high dropout rate tells him that the state isn’t providing the right services to many students. With the high poverty rate in Doña Ana County, he said, many aren’t going to attend college, and the schools need to provide “something that feels relevant to these kids. … They need to see the connection to making a living.”

Fischmann said he doesn’t claim to have all the answers but will be exploring ways to improve education with that goal in mind.”

In Albuquerque at Central New Mexico Community College we have a program that allows high school students to take college classes at no cost to them. By giving these students a chance to see the value of taking higher education classes they are encouraged to stay in school and by allowing them to take technical classes it allows them to gain skills that they can use in the real business world. Technical classes have the added value that these classes have immediate real world application that can profit the high schools students upon graduation therefore allowing them to get jobs were they can afford to pay for more college classes with the end result being that it raises the level of education in the state and provides businesses with an educated workforce all at the same time. These types of programs also have the added benefit of reducing the dropout rates for high schools.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bye, Bye Governor “Big” Bill Richardson

Today President Elect Obama announced his chose of Bill Richardson as his Secretary of Commerce. President Elect Obama will be served well by Governor Richardson. We in New Mexico are very proud of him and no we will are not going to wait until he passes to tell him just how proud of him we are in this state.

Hello Governor “Lady Di “ Denish who will be our state's first Woman Governor. Lt. Governor Denish will be taking office in a time when money is tight and she will face a hard task of making sure that education for our children does not pay the price of fewer tax dollars. We wish her all of the luck that Governor Bill Richardson had in the future for our state.

I am sure now that Governor Richardson is back in the big leagues that he will not forget his home state.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not a Good Start for Change in the Future of New Mexico

The fur is flying even before the January 20, 2009 legislative body convenes. In November of 2008 New Mexico became a blue state by the hands of the voting public so who among the state democratic senate would be willing to hand control of the state senate over to the Republican Party at this point in history. This could bring a large number of democrats out to vote in the 2010 election if they felt that their voices had not been heard in the state senate. How could our country go blue and the state senate go red with its control? The attacks of Tim Jennings in order to protect a republican was not a welcome sight in this last election and he has clearly been a poor loser over this issue. Maybe it is time for Mr. Jennings to become a republican if he feels that is where his loyalties lie but to divide the party at this point is a sad statement of his values and beliefs.

We need people in the state senate who are going to be looking to make smart reforms when it comes to how we spend our money in the future. We like most states are facing some hard decisions on what to cut back on and what will be of benefit to the entire state. We need senators that value education over prisons. We need people who value renewable energy over oil companies. We need people who understand that the educational dollars should be in the classroom and not paying for high priced administration. We need people who understand that mass transit is a better bang for the buck then highways that get more and more clogged every year. We need elected officials who are willing to provide the jobs and education that will drive our state forward and not backward in the future. We need state senators that will listen to the needs of New Mexicans and not lobbyists. Power brokering for its own sake is not good for anyone in this state. The time for change is now. My advice to the state senators is to stop the fighting and get back to the job you were elected to do in the first place before the voting public thinks twice about ever voting for you again.

Monday, December 1, 2008

More of President Elect Obama’s Cabinet

President Elect Obama announces Senator Hillary R. Clinton as the next Secretary of State. I am sure that a great number of women are very proud of the New York Senator today. President Elect Obama has shown that he has great respect for the women of this country by placing intelligent women of all ethic groups into positions of power in his administration. For more names check out:

Just one request from the people of New Mexico please Sir give our governor the job soon because we a dying to hear his name called for your administration. Governor Bill Richardson would make the best Secretary of Commerce this country has even seen. He clearly has all of the skill, intelligent, and talent needed for the job. I am sure that all New Mexicans look forward to seeing Governor Richardson given the reorganization that he richly deserves by the Obama Administration.