Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Bear Is Still Out Of Its Lair; A Strong Embrace For Cruces, Plus: Fun At The Top; $1,900 Hotel Rooms And $50 Steaks, And: On Alligator Alley: Udall, Balderas And Sanchez 

The bear market that has locked much of New Mexico in its embrace is the longest in modern history. Still, major portions of the state continue to tangle with this relentless downturn/stagnation. The Bear has now attacked the oil fields, costing NM thousands of jobs with many more expected to fall in the year ahead as oil and natural gas prices remain under pressure. . .

For much of 2015, Las Cruces, the state's second largest city, was actually in recession and losing jobs. The new year will apparently see more growls from the grizzly. NMSU economist James Peach reports:

More of the same is likely to be the story of the Las Cruces economy in 2016 and that is not a nice story. From Nov. 2014 to Nov. 2015 Las Cruces non-farm payroll employment decreased by 1,200 jobs. In fact, the Las Cruces economy has gained very few jobs since the start of the national recession in December 2007. In 2014, Las Cruces per-capita income was $30,593, or 64 percent of the average for all U.S. metropolitan areas. . .The poverty rate in Las Cruces (29.6 percent in 2014) is nearly double the national average (15.5 percent). By almost any measure, the Las Cruces economy is not doing well. None of these rather dreary statistics are likely to change much in 2016.

Geez. We may have to add Mr. Peach to our list of "No Bullshit Economists" of which his NMSU colleague Dr. Chris Erickson is a charter member. How about that for a career accomplishment, Peach?. . .

Well, there's that sour economy and then there's the one at the top. For example, the $1,900 a night presidential suite at the swanky Hyatt Tamaya Resort near Bernalillo that the hotel is promoting. . .

As for that high-end Ruth's Chris steakhouse debut in ABQ and that we mentioned yesterday, the newspaper reports those $50 plus steaks are now slated to arrive sometime in the first half of this year. Maybe the Tamaya can have them delivered when you book that presidential suite? Or maybe Susana can book the suite for her 2016 holiday staff party. We're sure Dominos or WisePies would deliver. (No, the pizza party jokes don't get old).

And here's a more serious angle on the Guv's infamous pizza bash that was accompanied with plenty of adult beverages:

When trying to learn the identity of the hotel guests who had complained about noise from her now infamous Christmas party at the Eldorado Hotel, Gov. Martinez told a police dispatcher, “It’s a public record — give it to me.”. . . Her demand for the name struck a chord among many who have asked for public records from her office. . . Her office’s slow and sometimes incomplete responses to public records requests not only have undermined Martinez’s claim that she leads the most transparent administration in state history, they also have resulted in several news organizations suing the administration over various public information issues. Notable among documents her office has been reluctant to produce are spending invoices for her contingency fund, the pool of taxpayer money used to pay for expenses at the governor’s mansion. It also was used to pay for the holiday party. . . 

The most transparent administration? Right. This administration is about as transparent as the Illuminati.


Speaking of WisePies:

The pizza chain keeps announcing grandiose expansion plans even as skeptics on the sidelines question the financial stability of the outfit that has promised to pay UNM $5 million over 10 years for the naming rights to the famous "Pit." On of the Gators sent the latest list of tax liens WisePies is dealing with. That follows another batch we reported on last year.

WisePies had a $100,000 payment due to UNM Dec. 31st and will have a $600,000 payment due at the end of this year. (We haven't heard anything about that payment due last week).


The year is only in its fifth day but already we have what may end up being the most over covered story of the year--a three year old ABQ girl kidnapped but later left to fend for herself at an empty parking lot. The news went gaga even thought he child was not harmed. The cops slurped it up, desperate as they are for any good publicity. And did you see how fast APD got out that lapel camera video of the officer's emotional rescue of the little girl? Our readers sure did:

Joe, ever wonder why it is that APD lapel camera video in "good" cases (Sunday's rescue of the child in the stolen vehicle) is immediately available, but in "bad" cases (shootings, beatings) there are long delays and even questions about whether the camera was on or not?

Well, not really. What is there to wonder about? We all know the answer.


Our top political sources long nicknamed "Alligators" for their sharp teeth and wit are back in '16 and as bold as ever. For example:

First, I was looking at the state transportation department newsletter and the photo of Gov. Martinez and her big anti-DWI campaign. I don't think anyone has mentioned the angle that her drunken behavior really takes away from efforts like anti-DWI where she is asking others to correct their behavior.

Second, you should stay on the (Dem US Senator Tom) Udall for governor story. I had some conversations over the holiday that tell me that's not an outrageous proposition and Tom's not denying it.

Udall would be 70 in 2018 when the Governor's chair is up for grabs. But Santa Fe is renowned for taking siestas so that shouldn't be a problem. . . And then there's Attorney General Hector Balderas. He's probably badgering the senior Senator to run for Governor so if Udall is elected he could then name Hector as his replacement in the Senate. . .

Meanwhile, GOP Lt. Governor John Sanchez, eyeing the Guv's race in '18, is having a recurring nightmare in which he is trying to run away from Susana but can't.

All of that ought to keep the Alligators well fed. . .

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