KUNM-1 Regular Coverage

Marisa Demarco

Reporter

Marisa Demarco is a reporter based in Albuquerque, N.M. She's spent more than a decade in journalism, founding the New Mexico Compass, and editing and writing for the Weekly Alibi, the Albuquerque Tribune and UNM's Daily Lobo. She covered poverty and public health until September 2016 when she became a general assignment reporter at KUNM. 

Ways to Connect

Overnight Dreamform

Dec 29, 2019
lkmort via Pixabay CC

Saturday 1/4 from 10 p.m.-6 a.m.: Live for a sleeping audience, it’s Overnight Dreamform. On Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, I'm launching an all-night live performance . Local experimentalists will play from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tune in to KUNM on your radio or online here and sleep through the show. In the morning, you can leave us a voice message about your dreams to be incorporated into next year’s Overnight Dreamform. Help create a feedback loop of dreams. Call 505-84-SOUND to leave your dream message. That’s 505-847-6863.

Simon Law via Wikimedia CC

Dangerous dry-cleaning chemicals leached into the soil and the aquifer under Española decades ago. The Environmental Protection Agency pulled out recently after working on cleanup for 10 years, but some of the contamination remains. Now, the state’s taking over, and ignoring investigators’ recommendation to use a different cleanup method.

SUNfoto by Austin Fisher

The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it’s done funding the cleanup of a superfund site of toxic chemicals in Española, saying that after 10 years, it’s no longer legally obligated to keep trying. The plume is as big as 75 American football fields, spreads under downtown Española, and reaches the neighboring Santa Clara Pueblo and the Rio Grande.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Council District 2 in Albuquerque is home to the city’s oldest neighborhoods, the ones people often think of when they’re talking about the character of this place. That’s areas like Martineztown, Barelas, Duranes, Downtown, San Jose, Well’s Park. Voters there are choosing who will represent them on the Council, which has a lot of say in how those neighborhoods grow—and which companies get to move in. KUNM spoke about balancing the past and the future with a longtime Council incumbent and the newcomer gunning for his seat in a runoff election.

FIBONACCI BLUE VIA FLICKR CC

Latino youth are feeling psychological impacts of the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown, researchers say. A committee of legislators in New Mexico on Wednesday considered how this problem impacts the state and weighed increasing access to Medicaid.

Ed Williams / KUNM

As the U.S. prepared to detonate the first atomic bomb in New Mexico in the ’40s, the federal government sought uranium on Navajo land. Decades later, hundreds of mines still haven’t been contained, and the health impacts are severe and sometimes fatal. New research is showing some babies there are being born with the radioactive metal in their bodies. Chief Medical Officer of Navajo Area Indian Health Service Dr. Loretta Christensen spoke with KUNM about the study and what researchers are finding so far.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

When unknown political newcomers go up against a sitting city councilor with good name recognition, the politician who people know will usually win. Four Albuquerque City Council seats were on the ballot Tuesday, Nov. 5, and there was a big field of challengers for their seats. In two cases, the people in power did keep their positions, but longtime Councilor Isaac Benton is facing a runoff.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Public financing—where candidates can use public money to run their campaigns instead of bowing to high-dollar donors—has existed in New Mexico for years. But these days, even smaller races cost more than what’s allotted to candidates. One possible solution was Democracy Dollars, coupons distributed to eligible voters, who could donate them to the publicly financed candidates of their choice. The proposal failed by a small percentage when the votes were tallied Tuesday night.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Voter turnout was high around the state on Tuesday, Nov. 5, as people cast ballots for their local leaders. In Albuquerque, even though there were contested City Council races, some folks said they mostly went to the polls to weigh in on bonds and taxes for public education. 

ELEMENT5 DIGITAL VIA UNSPLASH / UNSPLASH LICENSE

Tuesday, Nov. 5, is Election Day, and all over the state, people will be choosing their local leaders and making decisions about where bond money should go. The polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The state tried out two new things this cycle as officials look to make voting more convenient.

CORECIVIC VIA FLICKR CC

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico on Monday, Nov. 4, filed the third in a series of lawsuits charging that prison guards are sexually assaulting and abusing women who are locked up. All three lawsuits say these individual cases are part of a larger systemic problem in the state’s Department of Corrections.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The 10-year census count will begin next year. But there’s plenty about it that might make some folks nervous in New Mexico. Just last week, the Census Bureau asked the state for access to citizenship data through driver’s license info. The state said no, it wouldn’t turn over the records. A local policy group says these tactics should not stop folks here from participating in the census.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Big-money influences political races at every level around the U.S. Part of the answer, advocates say, is giving candidates access to public money for their campaigns. Albuquerque voters are weighing a ballot question aimed at making the local campaign financing system a more realistic and competitive option.

BUSCHAP VIA FLICKR / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

National politics command a lot of airtime and attention across the United States, but local elections can have a bigger impact on the day-to-day. A citywide election is coming up in Albuquerque. Tuesday, Oct. 8, before 5 p.m. is the deadline for folks to register to vote online. And starting Tuesday, for the first time, people will be able to register to vote in-person on the same day they cast their ballots.

Aspen Reid via CC

Hundreds of families in New Mexico are involved in child abuse and neglect cases, but the state says there aren’t enough lawyers they can appoint to represent the kids and parents. A task force met for the first time on Thursday, October 3, to weigh how to make the system work faster and better as the courts make decisions about whether children should stay with their families or in foster care.

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