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

YNMG & COVID: The Lost Arts

Apr 10, 2020
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.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Small business owners are scrambling to stay afloat as the coronavirus pandemic slams all sectors of the economy. The state of New Mexico is putting programs in place to try and help, but access to federal grants and loans remains a frustrating mess. KUNM spoke with New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Alicia Keyes on Wednesday about how officials are trying to open the spigot for more money.

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Reports are emerging of people held in crowded ICE detention facilities around the country testing positive for the coronavirus. In New Mexico, a man who'd left the Otero County Processing Center told KVIA-TV this week that a young boy inside had contracted COVID-19, a report that was later confirmed by ICE officials. Immigrant advocates in New Mexico and elsewhere have been calling on ICE since March to create plans to prevent outbreaks and to release people most at risk of serious illness. On Wednesday, U.S. Representative Deb Haaland joined a coalition of Congress members in calling for the release of non-violent people who are being detained.

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.

YNMG & COVID: Down To Business

Apr 8, 2020
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. 

Marc Cooper via Flickr CC

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.

YNMG & COVID: The Roof And The Lights

Apr 7, 2020
William Warby via Flickr CC

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. 

YNMG & COVID: Hospital Readiness

Apr 2, 2020
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.

YNMG & COVID: Tribal Concerns

Apr 1, 2020
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.

YNMG & COVID: Homelessness

Mar 31, 2020
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. 

YNMG & COVID: Behind The Walls

Mar 30, 2020
Jobs For Felons Hub via Flickr CC

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:

YNMG & COVID: Cram To Understand

Mar 27, 2020
Max Klingensmith via Flickr CC

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. 

YNMG & COVID: Help Needed

Mar 26, 2020
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.

YNMG & COVID: Home School

Mar 25, 2020
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. 

YNMG: Closed For COVID

Mar 24, 2020
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. 

YNMG & COVID: Call Your Parents

Mar 23, 2020

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.

YNMG Hub For COVID Resources And Volunteers

Mar 23, 2020

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

Arianna Sena / KUNM

The 2020 legislative session is over. Gene Grant, host of New Mexico In Focus, recaps the biggest moments and topics, like the red-flag law (which passed), recreational marijuana (which didn't), free college tuition (partially funded) and more.

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This podcast is part of the project: Your N.M. Government. Funding for our legislative coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, the New Mexico Local News Fund and KUNM listeners. 

Overnight Dreamform

Dec 29, 2019
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

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 launched an all-night live performance. Local experimentalists played from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Listeners tuned into KUNM on their radios or online and slept through the show. In the morning, they left us voice messages about their dreams to be incorporated into next year’s Overnight Dreamform. They're helping create a feedback loop of dreams. Now, the audio is uploaded in full above, and anyone can participate. The dream line is still open. Sleep through the show, then 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.

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