Is there life on Mars? One reason for this centuries old question is Mars’ proximity and similarity to Earth; now, the latest Mars mission actually points to yes. NASA’s Curiosity rover has just found spikes of methane in the Martian atmosphere, a gas that on Earth is strongly tied to life. The Rover has also found organic chemicals in a soil sample collected by its robotic drill. And, the 96-mile-wide crater being explored by Curiosity appears to have been a lake billions of years ago. Finally, 100’s of rock and soil samples have been found containing water-deposited sediments. To learn whether there really is life elsewhere, please join host Stephen Spitz and the Los Alamos scientist who drives the Curiosity rover, UNM postdoctoral geologist Nina Lanza as together we explore the red planet. Produced with assistance of Jefferson White and Lynn Schibeci.
Our 60-day legislative session begins this month with Governor Martinez having the upper hand. However, New Mexico still has a divided government with a Republican Governor, a new Republican House, but with Democrats maintaining a shaky majority in the Senate. By law, the 60-day session must produce a budget and this month we will analyze key budget items, along with specific legislation, including: 1) a proposed a Constitutional Amendment which would distribute 11/2% of New Mexico’s $15 billion Permanent Fund to early childhood programs; 2) retention of 3rd Graders not reading at grade level; 3) the repeal of drivers licenses for “illegal” immigrants, and 4) new proposed voter ID and right to work laws. Joining host Stephen Spitz to discuss these issues are two former Albuquerque city councilors still very much in the political know: Democrat Miguel Gomez and for the Republicans, Greg Payne. Produced with assistance of Jefferson White and Lynn Schibeci.
New Mexico has one of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect in the Nation. But Children are resilient, aren’t they? Not so fast, says Dr. Bruce Perry, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, who recently headlined a child welfare forum in Albuquerque. Dr. Perry has researched how a child’s environment, particularly those who encounter trauma, affects brain development. Dr. Perry has been featured in a wide range of media including NPR, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Please join host Stephen Spitz as we learn about Dr. Perry’s clinical work with children who experienced trauma, how that stress led to both physical and mental health complications, and what can be done to improve the lives of at risk children. Produced with assistance of Jefferson White and Lynn Schibeci.
What explains the Republican success in the US Senate races and their historic victories in the New Mexico House and Governor’s contests? We couldn’t have a better analyst to answer these questions than Dr. Gabriel Sanchez. Dr. Sanchez is a regular guest on many shows about New Mexico elections, a political science professor at UNM, and the Research Director for Latino Decisions, a national research and polling organization. So please join host Stephen Spitz as we wrap the 2014 election and get the inside scoop on the significant races in and out of NM. Produced with assistance of Jefferson White and Lynn Schibeci.
Albuquerque police have shot and killed nearly 30 of our fellow citizens since 2010. With each killing, concern and protests grew. Then, on March 16,2014 the police shot and killed James Boyd, a mentally ill, homeless man, who had been illegally camping in the Sandia foothills. Unlike prior shootings, video footage taken by a police lapel camera was available and appeared to show that Mr. Boyd had been needlessly shot in the back while surrendering. The video immediately went viral and mass demonstrations ensued with the chant: “They say ‘justified’! We say ‘homicide’!” Then the Department of Justice, which had been investigating the APD for nearly 2 years, issued a comprehensive report finding that the APD had a practice of violating a suspect’s civil rights through the unjustified use of lethal force. This report fueled further demonstrations including at the city council chambers and Mayor’s office where only one protester, our guest, was arrested and charged with a felony. And, in truth our guest, UNM professor David Corriea has been among the most prominent critics of the APD but has declined interviews with the mainstream media. So please join host Stephen Spitz for this exclusive interview with one of the leading critics of the APD. Produced with the assistance of Jefferson White
The National Climate Assessment is out and, no surprise here, the US is still headed for disaster without major policy changes: “Summers are longer and hotter, and extended periods of unusual heat last longer while Winters are generally shorter and warmer.” Significantly conditions in the Southwest, including New Mexico, are expected to progressively worsen. But what exactly does this mean and what’s now happening with alternative energy sources? Two Los Alamos scientists have been studying these very questions and join host Stephen Spitz with the answers. Dr. Nate McDowell is the lead experimenter on how drought and a warmer climate affect plants, particularly trees native to New Mexico. We know intense heat and lack of water kills trees, but which ones die first, how long does this take, and what is the expected impact on all plant life? Dr. Jose Olivares is an expert on algae (pond scum) and will explain how algae’s use as a renewable transportation fuel can lower the climate change curve. Produced with the assistance of Jefferson White
Politics and process inside New Mexico’s “Roundhouse” are notoriously complex with legislative success dependent on personal connections, the power of lobbyists, and basic deal making. Our guest, former progressive Senator Dede Feldman, gives us an insider’s account of what goes on behind closed doors. Feldman’s book, Inside the New Mexico Senate: Boots, Suits and Citizens, details, among other things, the coup against Senate Majority Leader Manny Aragon, her battles to restrict fireworks sales and drug prices, and her perennial fights for ethics reform and open government. For example, if you are interested in how corrupt the New Mexico legislative process really is, be sure to join host Stephen Spitz and special guest Dede Feldman, as we go inside the New Mexico Senate. Produced with the assistance of Jefferson White
The Albuquerque post-recession recovery remains one of the worst in the nation with employment continuing to decline. The cause appears to be major cutbacks in Federal and State spending. There are, however, two rays of hope: 1) Innovate Albuquerque – a plan to create a research district based out of the old First Baptist Church complex at Central and Broadway. The goal is to create an incubator where start-up companies, researchers, students and entrepreneurs are all housed together, spurring creativity and innovation, and 2) A $100,000 “Living Cities,” grant from a collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest charitable foundations and financial institutions. Communities across the country applied, but ABQ was one of only five cities selected. According to Abq Mayor Berry, the “Living Cities” selection is an endorsement of local efforts to bring a “bus rapid transit” system to Central Avenue, revitalize Downtown and improve economic development through UNM’s “Innovate ABQ”. But will these plans work? Joining host Stephen Spitz are Abq Mayor Richard Berry, Gary Oppedahl, a serial entrepreneur and Director of the City’s Economic Development Department, and Robin Brule, the new coordinator of the Living Cities effort. Produced with the assistance of Jeff White.
UNM Professor David Correria joins us to discuss his recent article, “The Environmental Disaster You’ve Never Heard Of: The Kirtland Air Force Jet Fuel Spill”. Here is what has been uncovered so far: Somewhere between 8-24,000,000 gallons of aviation gas and jet fuel has leaked from Kirtland Air Force Base fuel tanks resulting in a toxic plume 1,000 feet wide, and more than a mile long, moving northeast from the Base and headed directly for Albuquerque’s municipal water wells and the Ridgecrest neighborhood. Unlike the crude oil in the Exxon Valdez disaster of “only” 12,000,000 gallons, the leaked gas contains a very serious threat to human health: ethylene dibromide or EDB. Every gallon of this aviation gas contains enough EDB to contaminate millions of gallons of drinking water. The EPA considers no amount of EDB in drinking water safe for human health; however, KAFB’s plume-monitoring wells have found dangerous EDB concentrations in shallow wells on the base at concentrations of 240,000 ppt. Nevertheless, in the 40+ years since this gas began leaking, almost no remediation has occurred. Please join host Stephen Spitz and Dr. David Correria to learn more about how and why so little has been done and why this spill has attracted so little attention. Produced with the assistance of Joe Green
Our guest this month Marilyn Mason. Dr. Mason is an internationally recognized consultant and speaker on leadership and coaching. She has conducted numerous seminars and made frequent radio-TV appearances including five on the Oprah Winfrey show alone. Her latest book, Becoming a Genuine Leader, explains how shame and vulnerability affect the way we interact with others and why some work environments are so toxic. The central thesis of the book is that some of our “first families” have left us with scars that cover up our shame for not measuring up to our parents’ demands. We explore with Dr. Mason how one can face that shame in order to change the present. So please join host Stephen Spitz for a discussion of how to change and manage challenging relationships. Produced with the assistance of Joe Green.