Kaveh Mowahed

Reporter, News Host

Kaveh Mowahed wears several hats in KUNM’s news department, while working toward a PhD in the History of Medicine at UNM. He started here as an intern in 2013 and has been a reporter, production assistant, host, and data analyst over the years. Kaveh studied print journalism at Arizona State University, but soon after earning his bachelor’s degree he found his love for radio. Kaveh thinks hearing is the most valuable of the senses because of how it engages the imagination. When he’s not reading about 19th century medical treatments or editing audio for the radio, he’s usually home listening to records on a very old stereo that he insists sounds better than a newer one. 

Wikimedia Commons via CC


There are many ways to vote in New Mexico this election season. If you’ve requested an absentee ballot, you can return it by mail or in person. And if you’re not yet registered, or need to update your voter registration, you can still do that in person with same-day registration at many voting locations through the end of October.

New Mexico in Focus


Early voting has already started in some states like Pennsylvania and Michigan. In New Mexico, absentee ballots will start going out October 6 and early voting starts October 17. KUNM’s Kaveh Mowahed spoke with Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who said folks can avoid a busy polling place by requesting an absentee ballot by October 20.

CUNY Mapping Service

After COVID-19 hit, federal officials initially gave extra time to Census collectors to count every person living in the United States. But then they decided to end the survey a month early, increasing the risk of an undercount that could cause New Mexico to lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars for housing, food assistance, childcare, transportation and more. Native Americans living in rural areas are historically undercounted, and the pandemic has made data collection even harder. Reporter Shaun Griswold, who publishes at New Mexico In Depth for Report for America, has been keeping an eye on how the Census is reaching Native populations in the state and he gave KUNM an update on that process.

Tony Webster via Wikimedia Commons CC


In the wake of continued police violence, people across the country are calling for greater accountability for police officers. Some reformers are targeting a legal doctrine called qualified immunity that makes it nearly impossible for people to successfully sue officers for civil rights violations. New Mexico lawmakers are expected to take up the issue in January’s legislative session. State lawmakers on the Criminal Justice Reform Subcommittee discussed qualified immunity with experts during an interim meeting Monday

CUNY Mapping Service


The census taken every ten years determines how much federal money goes to New Mexico programs for things like schools, small businesses, health care, food assistance and housing. The U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday that all counting, including door-to-door efforts, will end September 30th – a full month sooner than expected. The time crunch threatens efforts to get an accurate count in New Mexico, especially in hard-to-count areas including rural and tribal communities. 

Wikipedia / CREATIVE COMMONS

A group of New Mexico prosecutors, defense attorneys and advocates filed a lawsuit in federal district court Wednesday to block Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from arresting undocumented immigrants in and around New Mexico courthouses, saying those arrests violate federal law and impede access to justice.

Ichigo121212 on Pixabay / Creative Commons


COVID-19 spreads most easily in confined spaces with lots of people, so at least a dozen states have released hundreds or thousands of prisoners early to reduce outbreaks in incarcerated populations. In New Mexico’s largest state prison in Otero County, about 80% of inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus. In April, the governor announced that some prisoners would be released to stem the spread of COVID-19, but the state prisoners still in Otero County are not eligible for release because they have a sex offense on their record. Journalist Jeff Proctor with the Santa Fe Reporter and New Mexico In Depth published a report last week about the coronavirus outbreak in the Otero County Detention Center. He spoke to KUNM’s Kaveh Mowahed about why only 71 inmates have been released statewide, and why none of them were in Otero County.

pefertig via Pixabay / Creative Commons

New Mexico could soon have a retirement plan for privately employed and self-employed workers after a bill to create an online retirement exchange passed nearly unanimously through the legislature and heads to the governor’s desk for her signature.

 

n8agrin via flickr

New Mexico is among a handful of states that allow vague reporting on spending by lobbyists – people whose business it is to push an issue at the Roundhouse or otherwise try to influence the government. A new report last month shows how money is being spent and highlights the lack of transparency when it comes to money in politics. Executive Director of New Mexico Ethics Watch, Kathleen Sabo, sat down with KUNM to talk about the group's findings.

State ethics commissions tasked with investigating lawmakers for bad behavior are in a tricky position when they have to ask those same lawmakers for funding year after year. New Mexico’s Ethics Commission is not yet fully staffed or fully funded for 2020 after receiving only $500,000 from legislators last session.

Kaveh Mowahed / KUNM

 

Lyla June Johnston is spending the first week of the legislative session in Santa Fe fasting to bring attention to climate crisis. The 30-year-old scholar, organizer and artist announced last month that she'll challenge New Mexico House Speaker Brain Egolf for his seat in the Democratic primary in June. KUNM caught up with Johnston outside the Roundhouse Thursday morning, where she's been praying and talking energy policy this week.

Arianna Sena / KUNM

Last year’s State Ethics Commission Act allowed New Mexico to join the 46 states that have similar independent good government panels. The State Ethics Commission has been active since Jan. 1, but adequate funding is still in question.

Albuquerque voters cast more than 97,000 ballots in Tuesday’s election, according to Bernalillo County.

The election was the first of its kind since the statewide adoption of the Local Election Act last year which combined city, county, school board, and other local elections into one.

Kaveh Mowahed

World Cup fever hit the U.S. hard this month, and Albuquerque soccer fans are still celebrating. The Albuquerque Sol are headed to the Premier Development League playoffs after finishing their regular season Monday. Their last home game was on Saturday.

Billy Wilson Photography via Flickr / Creative Commons License

You can let the fireworks fly in Bernalillo County this Fourth of July, as long as they don’t fly too far. Abundant rain this year kept Bernalillo County from banning fireworks and other fires.

andre dos santos via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A Harvard University report released last week shows that for renters making less money, Albuquerque is among the toughest U.S. cities for affordable housing.

Bernalillo County Commission Approves Santolina

Jun 16, 2015
Kaveh Mowahed

Bernalillo County commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve the Santolina Master Plan and zoning. The huge development west of Albuquerque is to include 38,000 homes, plus commercial and open space.

Commissioners spent a lot of time discussing Santolina’s jobs forecasts – developers say the plan would bring two jobs for each home built. This sparked a debate on the definition of the word “job.”

But critics say the jobs predictions are inflated.

Carolina Ödman via Flickr

Weather related deaths are down because more people know how to be safe. It’s Monsoon Safety Awareness Week and the National Weather Service wants you to know how to avoid the dangers of these seasonal storms.  

In New Mexico four people died in flash floods since 2013, and just last year lightning killed one person.

clang boom steam via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A special session of New Mexico’s legislature was held Monday to revisit unfinished business from earlier this year, but agreements on proposed legislation were seemingly already made behind closed doors.

A report from NMpolitics.net says many citizens object to the closed-door dealings because little is known of the negotiations or bill’s details.

Kari Greer / US Forest Service Gila National Forest

New Mexico’s 2014 wildfire season seems to have fizzled out, but the danger is not entirely behind us.

New Mexico State Forestry spokesman Dan Ware said favorable weather combined with a public awareness of fire prevention practices has reduced the number of fires this year.  “I don’t want to say that we are out of the woods yet,” he cautioned.

Kaveh Mowahed

It would have taken more than a breeze to cool down tensions in Albuquerque’s northeast heights Thursday afternoon at a demonstration about the conflict between Israel and Gaza in the middle east.

Courtesy of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

This weekend the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, IFAM, will feature an array of crafts from 150 master artists from 60 countries.

IFAM offers an opportunity for many craft people to support themselves and their communities, while also preserving cultural heritage and skills.

This year, Taiwan and Bangladesh are represented for the first time.

Billy Wilson Photography via Flickr

Some New Mexicans can legally light their fireworks this Independence Day.

There is no statewide ban on fireworks but nearly all New Mexico counties have banned them in unincorporated areas this year because of extra dry weather.  For many counties, the ban went into effect weeks ago.

In Bernalillo County, Fire Marshal Chris Gober will be working this 4th of July and he said fireworks make his job harder.

woodleywonderworks via Flickr

The Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission, the agency that regulates communications industries, is coming to Albuquerque next week to hear from young people about what media issues are important to them.

via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Diabetes is on the rise across the U.S. according to a report released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One out of every eleven American adults has diabetes, or 9.3 percent, up one percent over the last three years.  That equates to more than three million new diabetics.

WhiteHouse.gov

President Barack Obama held a press conference Thursday in Washington D.C.  He announced that his repeated promise, that people who liked their current insurance plans could keep them, was made in good faith and will be honored. Then reporters pressed him over a flawed rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Steve Burke via Flickr / Creative Commons License

On Monday Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico announced its plan to buy the Lovelace Health Plan by year’s end. The sale will not include any of Lovelace’s hospitals, clinics, or pharmacies. 

The companies have an agreement that will allow Lovelace Health Plan members to transition into BCBS coverage. A term of the arrangement will allow LHP members to continue to go to Lovelace doctors and facilities.

Cyndy via Flickr

Tres Lagunas. Thompson Ridge. Silver. Jaroso.  These are the familiar names of the massive wildfires that burned rural parts of New Mexico in 2013.  Although nearly 200 thousand acres burned here this year, the loss of property was relatively minimal.  But CoreLogic, an international analytics company that specializes in real estate, says the next fire could be closer to home. 

NMSupremeCourt.NMcourts.gov / New Mexico Supreme Court

On October 23, 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court spent two hours in front of a full courtroom hearing oral arguments from petitioners that think New Mexico should embrace same-sex marriage and respondents who think that marriage should be a heterosexual affair.  

The Courts did not issue a decision, and any decision they do issue is not necessarily final. Lawmakers could pass legislation or put the issue to voters as a constitutional amendment.

State Considers Raising Pay To Fill Vacancies

Oct 21, 2013
Spamoni via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Gov. Susana Martinez's administration is looking at the possibility of providing pay increases for certain public safety positions in state government agencies that have high vacancy rates.

Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell says positions being considered for possible pay increases include child-protection caseworkers, police officers, corrections officers and juvenile justice workers.

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