Khalil Ekulona

Your N.M. Government Producer, Host
NASA Goddard Photo via Flickr CC

In episode 45, we take a look back on four weeks of COVID coverage on the show. We offer about updates to stories we covered, revisit interviews and examine the impact to our lives and what we’ve learned in covering the pandemic so far.

Reese Brown via CC

In episode 44, we talk about CDC data and state data showing that the virus is harming, disproportionately, brown and black people around the U.S.—and here at home. We hear from Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez about the bureaucratic hurdles to accessing billions of dollars allotted to tribes in the relief package, and why that money hasn't reached the ground yet, despite the dire public health emergency unfolding for tribes.

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In episode 42, we talk to people of diverse faith backgrounds about how the pandemic is affecting them and their worship practices. On Monday, Legacy Church filed a lawsuit against the state, saying Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's weekend order banning gatherings—even in places of worship—was unconstitutional.  We spoke about the lawsuit with Legacy Church Pastor Daniel McCabe, who clarified what they're fighting for. 

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In episode 41, we're tackling the impact of the shutdowns on local news outlets and thinking about the public service of journalism, and reporters and producers as essential information disseminators. We also hear about a proposal to include funds specifically for local news, as papers and broadcasters make impossible choices while they try to cover the pandemic for their communities.

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The New Mexico Supreme Court in March ordered a halt to evictions for people who can’t make rent amid the pandemic. But last Thursday a property owner in Albuquerque tried to evict a family from Africa. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with Nkazi Sinandile, President of the Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque, about the challenges faced by her community and how that eviction was still happening. 

Nani Chacon

In episode 40, we talk about the shutdown's impacts on local arts and culture. The arts are not only providing a distraction as we watch movies and listen to music at home right now, but they offer solace, reflection and they give us something that helps make sense of our experience. They also become part of documenting, in a visceral way, what we are going through.

Bryce Dix / KUNM

Episode 39 is focused on migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees in our communities, and on Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, which are often overcrowded around the United States and are criticized for bad medical care. ICE announced it will review cases one-by-one and release vulnerable people. Officials and advocates say that's not anywhere near fast enough as COVID cases are cropping up around the country in ICE detention centers, and outbreaks in them could overwhelm regional hospitals.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

 

In episode 38, we're talking about the state's small businesses struggling to hang on during the shutdown and what resources they can find from government. We also try and find out what the holdup is with the federal relief money destined for the state's businesses. 

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In episode 37, we're talking about companies and federal officials squeezing through changes to environmental regulation, oil and gas leases, and laws about anti-pipeline demonstrators while the nation's been focused on the pandemic.

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In episode 36, we're talking about the struggle to pay rents or mortgages and to keep the lights on during the pandemic. Because when money's tight, people are forced to make choices. And some of those choices—about food and medicine—could interfere with their health and immune systems as we all try to avoid this virus.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

In episode 35, we ask people to reflect on shifts in their perspectives, about their lives, about how things have been working or not working for people in our country or around the world. KUNM's Nash Jones reports on delivery drivers working for corporate apps who saw a big shift in the urgency and necessity of their work. They speak about the human connections keeping them in it, despite the dangers. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

In episode 34,  we discover how prepared hospitals and health care facilities in New Mexico really are. And we go all over the state for this one.

Brad Charles

 

In episode 33, we learn about obstacles for tribes as they try to quell the virus' spread, including bureaucratic hurdles in accessing billions in federal funding that's been allotted to sovereign nations. National Native News anchor Antonia Gonzales tells us what she's learned from the reporting she's done. We also get to listen to her interviews with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Stacy Bohlen, CEO of the National Indian Health Board.

Hannah Colton / KUNM


  In episode 32, we talk about how the homeless population in New Mexico is being served in the era of Covid-19. We hear from Johnathon Stubbs, a person who has experienced homlessness. Elise Kaplan from the Albuquerque Journal joins the show to talk about her story "Exposed and at risk." Nicole Martinez of Mesilla Valley Community Of Hope tells us about the measures they are taking in Las Cruces to help flatten the curve. We also hear from CYFD Secretary Brian Blalock and Albuquerque Healthcare For The Homeless Policy Director Rachel Biggs. And Lisa Huval, the deputy director of Housing and Homelessness for the city of Albuquerque. 

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Episode 31 is all about jails and prisons during the pandemic, and it's packed. (Plus, Your NM Gov is airing weeknights at 8 p.m. on KUNM this week.) 

We hear from:

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In episode 30, we hear from college students whose futures are seemingly on hold. Mandolin Eisenberg and KUNM's own Taylor Velazquez tell us about their experiences. (And after their interviews, host Khalil Ekulona's ready to vote for either one for U.S. pres should they run.) We also hear from National Native News anchor and New Mexico PBS correspondent Antonia Gonzales about challenges students on tribal lands are facing in trying to get their educations online. And Dr. Stephanie McIver, the counseling director for Student Health and Counseling at UNM, talks about being easy with yourself as you make sense of the pandemic's impacts on your life. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 3/27, 8a: The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply shaken many of our basic systems in just a few weeks. Changes that once seemed unthinkable to many, like releasing prisoners, closing entire school districts, or disallowing evictions, have now come to pass. How are people and institutions adapting to provide necessities during this crisis? What might a post-coronavirus world look like? We want to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show at (505) 277-5866. 

Courtesy of NM Craft Responders

In episode 29, we hear from people who are creating resources and helping out in their communities. Longtime organizer Selinda Guerrero talks about all of the people working together on the Mutual Aid network, providing food and other necessities to folks that many government efforts don't reach. Rebecca Jones talks about the grassroots Navajo and Hopi COVID-19 relief project started by Ethel Branch. Szu-Han Ho and Miriam Langer are two N.M. college art instructors mobilizing a network of people to sew reliable masks for folks in the state. Plus, Gilbert Ramírez, deputy director of the city's Health Programs, tells us about the rent relief fund.

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The U.S. Senate passed a relief package Wednesday that includes a boost for unemployment. If the House also approves the measure and President Trump signs it, self-employed folks, gig workers or contractors, and furloughed workers qualify. The package also increases how much money people will get. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with Department of Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley about how the state was handling the spike in demand. 

Moyan Brenn via Wikimedia Commons CC

In episode 28, we talk to parents about what it's like to become the primary educators of their kids—and to be at home with them pretty much around the clock. And Amy Biehl High School Counselor Kathleen Moore offers wisdom and tips on working with your teen in this new world. 

Airman ST Class Kayla Newman

Let's Talk New Mexico 3/25, 8a: The coronavirus has now reached 11 counties in New Mexico, with 100 cases of COVID-19 now confirmed mostly in the Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces areas. "Non-essential" workers are now staying home. Amid all this fearful uncertainty, it's heartening to hear how communities are building new ways to care for each other. We're spending our mornings this week taking your calls about the coronavirus pandemic, and we want to hear what's happening in your home or neighborhood. How are you coping with the anxieties and sudden lifestyle changes? How are you staying busy and getting creative about keeping up with loved ones from a distance? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show at 277-5866. 

Amy G via Flickr CC

In episode 27, we hear from tipped service-industry workers about what they're facing as restaurants and bars around the state close their doors—unless you're ordering to-go. And host Khalil Ekulona calls his old boss, Ken Carson, who owns Nexus Brewery & Restaurant to talk about shuttering one location because of the impact of the COVID health measures. 

Your NM Gov is back and shifting gears with weekday news updates on coronavirus, plus community stories, resources and an eye on government response.

In episode 26, host Khalil calls his folks. Then, he talks with Karen Meyers, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Initiative about scammers who are using COVID fears to prey on people. We also hear from Aging & Long-Term Services Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez about what the state's seniors need, how people can pitch in and what changes are being made around the state.

As we go through each episode, we're talking about emerging resources in our community, and we'll continue posting them here. 

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It is the session wrap up with executive producer Marisa Demarco. We talk a lot about the theme of transparency in government and some things that we would like to see changed in legislative structure. Be on the lookout for live events. Just because the session ended doesn't mean that our work in informing you has!

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With one  day left in the 54th legislative session, Gwyneth Doland  from New Mexico PBS joins me to talk about the bills that passed and the bills that will have to wait until next year.  This episode moves fast so make sure to listen!

For more great coverage of the legislative session, check out New Mexico PBS here

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Courtesy of Meow Wolf

Julia Goldberg from The Santa Fe Reporter joins the show to talk about benefit corporations and HB118. Benefit corporations are a new positive trend in the business world. We talk about how New Mexico can get on board with a movement that is seen by many as positive for the community. 

Take a look at Julia's article on benefit corporations here 

Matt Grubs from New Mexico PBS joins the program to talk about Senate Joint Resolution 7. What is SJ7? If it passes it would pave the way for New Mexico to have a professional legislature. Matt discusses where it stands at the Roundhouse and what that would mean for the state. We also discuss the budget, the opportunity scholarship, and the legal settlement transparency act. 

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Julie Ann Grimm from the Santa Fe Reporter joins me to wrap up the week. We discuss the sexual harassment non disclosure agreement bill, budget secrecy in the senate, the new education secretary and more.

Cristina Carreon from the Alamogordo Daily News joins me to talk about the Red Flag law and how it is viewed in rural parts of the state. She provides updates on amendments being proposed for the bill as well as the view from law enforcement officers.

To read the Red Flag bill with current amendments click here 

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