Natalie Goldberg’s Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home

When longtime Zen practitioner and world-renowned New Mexico author Natalie Goldberg learns that she has a life-threatening illness, she is plunged into the realm of hospitals, physicians, and unfamiliar medical treatments, along with the reality of her own mortality. In navigating this foreign landscape, Goldberg, in her just published book Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home, illuminates a pathway through illness that is grounded in embracing suffering directly.

What does it mean to embrace suffering and can we actually accept our own mortality? These are among the questions, which will be explored when New Mexico People Places and Ideas host Stephen Spitz sits down with Santa Fe author Natalie Goldberg.

Produced with assistance of Roman Garcia and Lynn Schibeci

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Justice for Survivors of the First Atomic Bomb

On July 16, 1945, the world’s first nuclear bomb was detonated at the Trinity Site near Socorro, New Mexico.  Although the US government claimed the area was uninhabited, census records show that more than 40,000 people lived near-by. No warning was provided to these residents despite high levels of radiation.

Sixty years later, Tina Cordova co-founded the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium to seek justice for the survivors and their decedents. To date, however, none of the New Mexico Downwinders have received medical support or compensation. To find out why, New Mexico People Places and Ideas host Stephen Spitz sits down with Tina Cordova and two of the few living eyewitnesses to the 1945 Blast.

Produced with assistance of Roman Garcia and Lynn Schibeci.

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Masterpieces from the Prado Museum on the Plaza

In a major cultural event for Albuquerque, 92 full-scale mounted reproductions of artwork from the Museum del Prado in Madrid, Spain, are on display at Civic Plaza, free and under shade.

The Prado Exhibition boasts some of the world’s finest collections of European art of the 15th – 19th centuries including Diego Velázquez, Hieronymus Bosch, Francisco de Zurbarán, Titian, José de Ribera, Peter Paul Rubens, El Greco and Francisco de Goya. Because of New Mexico’s colonial history, these works will have special significance for many; for all, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. To find out more about the exhibition and its significance, New Mexico People Places and Ideas host Stephen Spitz sits down with UNM historian Dr. Charlie Steen who specializes in Early Modern European History.

Produced with assistance of Marshall Broyles and Lynn Schibeci.

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New Mexico Racing Champion, Bobby Unser

This month’s guest is Bobby Unser, three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and the older brother of four-time Indy winner, Al Unser, Sr., who founded the Unser Racing Museum in Albuquerque.

If you are interested in what it is like to first take the track at Indianapolis at speeds over 200 mph, while the owner of a million-dollar car nervously watches a rookie driver immediately go for top speeds, then you must hear Bobby Unser tell the story of his initial attempts to qualify for the 500. We will also ask Bobby what it is about this family –individually or collectively– that makes it the most successful family in racing if not in all of sports. (Besides Bobby and Al, Al, Jr. has won Indy twice and two other Unser’s have competed seven times in the 500.)

Finally, we cover the closest and most controversial 500 in history that came down to a duel between Bobby and fellow racing legend Mario Andretti, which, instead of three hours, took four months to decide.

Produced with the assistance of John Burgund.

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What Teacher walk-outs signal for New Mexico

Since first igniting in West Virginia earlier this year, teachers have walked off the job in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona arguing for higher wages. Teachers in New Mexico openly support these walkouts and also receive a very low salary.

What is behind this sudden burst of activism and what does it signal for New Mexico? For answers, New Mexico People Places and Ideas host Stephen Spitz sits down with the President of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, and veteran public school teacher, Ellen Bernstein, to discuss the latest in “teachers’ wars”.

Produced with assistance of Marshall Broyles and Lynn Schibeci.

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ART is a “bit of a lemon”

Albuquerque’s newly elected Mayor, Tim Keller, has pronounced ART (Albuquerque’s Rapid Transit bus system designed to run down the middle of Central) a “bit of a lemon”. Why?

Well, the electric buses leak, cant hold a proper charge, and don’t align with stations. Worse, Albuquerque spent $130M on the system, relying on an $80M reimbursement from the Feds, but Mayor Keller says the “check is not in the mail”. Now what? New Mexico People Places and Ideas host Stephen Spitz sits down with Mayor Tim Keller to learn more about these problems and the direction ART is headed.

Produced with assistance of Marshall Broyles and Lynn Schibeci

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Crime and Punishment in Albuquerque

Crime and punishment continue to dominate our politics. Crime was the #1 issue in Albuquerque’s recent mayoral election and was again a top issue at this year’s Legislative Session. Punishment is the #1 Answer, namely more police and prosecutors. But, are police and prosecutor understaffing really the reason for Albuquerque’s dramatic increase in crime?

Host Stephen Spitz will put this question to two national experts on crime, UNM professors Maria Velez and Christopher Lyons who are presently engaged in a nation-wide study of this issue.

Produced with assistance of Marshall Broyles and Lynn Schibeci.

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Where is New Mexico’s Climate Headed?

Where is New Mexico’s Climate Headed? The answer is South, according to UNM climate scientist and meteorologist Dr. David Gutzler. Specifically, toward a climate like that of today’s El Paso: “What we see in the data, the temperature is rising with a rate consistent with a middle-road climate change based on greenhouse gases,” according to Gutzler. “If we extrapolate out … the analogy I draw is the climate in the Albuquerque area would be roughly similar to El Paso.” It’s a frightening picture of tree less mountains where it’s much dryer and hotter. And, even though his background is in chaos theory and uncertainty, Professor Gutzler’s question “is not if we are headed there, but how rapidly.”

To get a complete picture, please join host Stephen Spitz as we explore what the latest climate change models predict for New Mexico and the Southwest.

Produced with the assistance of Marshall Broyles and Lynn Schibeci.

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Catch and Release Judges

Are Catch and Release Judges responsible for our high crime rate?

In 2016 New Mexico voters approved a Constitutional Amendment giving judges the power to release a defendant prior to trial based on that individual’s risk of danger or flight, not on how much an arrestee can pay to get out of jail. Critics, including Governor Martinez, say this Amendment is exacerbating New Mexico’s crime problem, and call for it to be “repealed and replaced”. Defenders of the Amendment, including the chairman of the state bail reform committee, former UNM Law School Dean Leo Romero, argue that while none of the 2010-to-2016-crime rate increase can be attributed to the later adoption of the November 2016 constitutional amendment, it will take time for prosecutors and courts to adjust to new rules.

Please join host Stephen Spitz and special guest, Professor Leo Romero, as we explore bail reform in New Mexico.

Produced with the assistance of Marshall Broyles and Lynn Schibeci.

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Who is Dolores Huerta?

Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history and is our special guest this month. A new documentary about her life, Dolores, is about to change that. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, she became one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century, and continues the fight to this day, at 87. As she lead the struggle, she was attacked by false charges of immoral conduct and child neglect, which resulted in her being forced out of the union she formed. Please join host Stephen Spitz and one of the giants of the civil rights era, Dolores Huerta. Produced with the assistance of Marshall Broyles and Lynn Schibeci.

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