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Earthweek: Diary of a Changing World

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Week ending Friday, July 30, 2021


Earth’s Vital Signs

An international coalition of more than 14,000 scientists has signed an initiative declaring that world leaders are consistently failing to cope with the main causes of climate change and the deepening climate emergency. Writing in the journal “BioScience,” the...

Corruption allegations lay bare the need for long-overdue ethics reform

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For the past five years, New Mexico Ethics Watch has been digging into the murky, flimsy world of public officials’ financial disclosure statements as required to be filed under the Financial Disclosure Act.

In multiple reports, we have pointed out both the deficiencies in the law and in filed disclosure statements – pushing for more stringent requirements, more stringent and meaningful auditing, and setting out a path to reform either through rulemaking by the Secretary of State or legislative reform of scant, outmoded requirements.

With the news of a search warrant being executed against the House Majority Leader, Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, for alleged...

Dad goes to daycare

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There comes a time in the natural evolution of life that [it] makes sense to look for outside help when caring for your parents. — Lawrence Castillo

Dad was still vital and mostly self-sufficient, but he was bored and needed more to keep himself occupied. The idea of finding an adult daycare for him was finally addressed. He needed more interaction and more stimuli, plus we needed a short daily break.

We embarked on the adventure of finding a satisfactory place for Dad to visit a couple of times a week. The first thing we learned was that there were two differences in adult daycare centers. One choice would be for health care needs, and the other was for social interaction...

How media keeps the government honest

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The first sentence in New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act Compliance Guide states,”Access to public records is one of the fundamental rights afforded to people in a democracy.”

Citizens can hold public institutions in the state to account through IPRA, and the Open Meetings Act. These acts mandate transparency. Government watchdog reporters are often able to shine a light on documents, text threads and other communication officials would rather be kept secret by filing IPRA requests or notifying the Attorney General’s Office of possible OMA violations.

How do reporters use these sunshine laws to inform the public?

“Las Cruces Sun-News” reporter Algernon...

Should I buy Long Term Care insurance?

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I have been asked that question many times in my career, and of course, the answer is simple, it depends. It depends on several things, your assets, your marital status, your income, and your state of residence.

A recent article in “Forbes” stated that less than 8 percent own LTC insurance and less than 10 percent even have an LTC plan in place. Most people are just not prepared to deal with the expense and life change an LTC situation would bring. Costs can easily exceed $7,000 a month or more, and frankly, most people can’t afford the expense.

Many people want to depend on the government for this level of care, but frankly, the truth is Medicare will not take care of your...

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