Friday News Roundup: NM Not Offering Aid To Reopen Federal Parks

Oct 4, 2013

NM Not Offering Aid To Reopen Federal Parks - Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez's administration isn't considering offering state money to try to reopen popular tourism stops in the national park system closed because of the federal government shutdown.

Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said in a statement that national parks are a federal responsibility and the failure "to perform even basic functions like funding government operations is a sign of the terrible dysfunction and inability to work together in Washington."

Federal officials have turned down offers from the governors of South Dakota and Arizona for state assistance to operate Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Monument and Bandelier National Monument are among the tourist destinations in New Mexico that are part of the national park system.

NM Spaceport To Be Featured In Reality Show - Associated Press

New Mexico's Spaceport America will be featured in an upcoming reality show.

NBC announced Thursday an exclusive deal with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and One Three Media to create a series called "Space Race." The show will feature an elimination competition by real people vying for a free spot on one of Virgin Galactic's commercial space flights.

The company is hoping to launch the flights from New Mexico's futuristic spaceport in southern New Mexico next year, at a cost of $200,000 a head.

Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant at the spaceport, and much of its space will only be accessible by its high-paying customers. But according to a news release announcing the reality show, "Space Race" will have unprecedented access to Virgin Galactic's home in the state-of-the-art spaceport.

Pearce's Hometown To See Large Immigration Rally - Associated Press

The lone Republican of New Mexico's congressional delegation is facing an aggressive campaign from advocates who want him to support an immigration reform bill that grants citizenship.

Rep. Steve Pearce, who represents the state's border region in the state's most Hispanic congressional district, has been bombarded in recent weeks by advocates who have camped outside his New Mexico offices and crowded his town hall meeting. They also have had one-on-one meetings with him in an attempt to get the Republican to endorse a measure that would give immigrants in the country illegally a path to citizenship.

And this weekend, activists are planning to bus in even more advocates from as far away as Farmington for a rally Sunday in Pearce's hometown of Hobbs, a southeastern New Mexico city that rarely sees immigrant marches.