Let's Talk New Mexico

Let's Talk New Mexico, Thursdays at 8a

We discuss a wide range of topics and stories on the show. News reporters explore their beats in greater detail during the hour-long show and listeners have the opportunity to weigh in, share their experiences and ask questions of our panelists. We cover culture, history, policy, government, the environment, education, lawmaking, criminal justice, public health, inequality and solutions to the problems we experience in our communities. 

Listeners can:

  • call 505-277-5866 to participate live during the show
  • email LetsTalk@kunm.org
  • comment on our Facebook page
  • tweet us using the #LetsTalkNM hashtag

Find  our podcast on iTunes. 

Questions? Comments? Email the KUNM News Director.

Ways to Connect

Canva

Let’s Talk New Mexico 8/7 8am: This summer has marked big changes in the landscape of college athletics. From the NCAA allowing student-athletes to earn income based off of their name, image, and likeness, to major programs like the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma moving conferences, college sports is now in a new era. How will this new terrain affect schools like the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University? And what do the rising number COVID-19 cases mean for practices and games? On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be discussing what plans our state-run universities are making and how they are preparing to compete now and in the future. 

National Archives at Denver (NAID 292873)

Our July 22nd episode of Let’s Talk New Mexico focused on the New Mexico's Native American boarding schools, and it generated a lot of discussion among our listeners.  As so often happens due to time limitations, we weren’t able to include everyone’s input on the show itself. However, we have had an unusual number of listeners reaching out via email at LetsTalk@kunm.org ever since the show aired.  

We want to make sure that these important conversations continue, and that you, our listeners, get a chance to make your voice heard on the topics that affect New Mexicans. To that end, we’re going to start including follow-up posts for shows like this one that get a lot of feedback.

Here’s what you had to say: 

Province of British Columbia via Flickr, CC 2.0


Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/29 8am: Have you had trouble finding affordable child care? You’re not alone. Child care can cost over $20,000 a year in New Mexico and hundreds of child care centers closed during the pandemic, tightening the squeeze on an already precious resource. On July 1, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced an expanded eligibility for government assistance for child care. Starting next month New Mexican families making up to 400% of the poverty level -about $92,000 a year- are eligible for help.

National Archives at Denver (NAID 292873)

  Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/22 8am: Earlier this month, a plaque that marked the burial place of Indigenous children who died at the Albuquerque Indian School went missing. At the same time, Native American boarding schools have been in the national news after forensic technology revealed thousands of previously unknown graves of Native American children throughout the US and Canada.

Alachua County via Flickr CC 2.0


Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/8 8am: Have you noticed “help wanted” signs in the windows of your favorite restaurants and businesses? The COVID-19 pandemic has caused chaos in the economy for more than a year, and now there’s a labor shortage. Last week Axios reported 10 million Americans out of work, yet there are 9 million vacant positions waiting to be filled. Employers are frustrated, sometimes offering higher wages and hiring bonuses to get the help they need. Others are opting to close businesses earlier or stay closed on less busy days because they don’t have the staff for normal hours. Some business owners are angry, blaming the government for the pandemic related unemployment insurance bonuses they see as motivation for workers to stay home. 

Albuquerque Journal pool photo


  Let’s Talk New Mexico 7/1 8am:Most of our state’s COVID-related restrictions are set to lift on Thursday, July 1st, and many New Mexicans will be celebrating. However, the pandemic is not over yet. 31% of New Mexico's population still hasn't been fully vaccinated, and the WHO recently released a statement urging continued use of masks, even for fully vaccinated folks, in order to protect from the Delta variant.

Copyright: ©Donna Harlev, Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License


Let’s Talk New Mexico 6/24 8am: Both Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are now behind us, but what if you didn’t have a great relationship with your parents? What if you don’t have children? Our society continues to assume the idea of a nuclear family with a father, a mother and children is the norm. But New Mexico families take many forms, from grandparents raising grandchildren, to single parents, same-sex parents, and folks whose parents, or children, are no longer a part of their lives.  On this week’s Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re talking about why it’s important to recognize and honor different family structures in our state, both socially and legally.

Tom.Arthur via Flickr / Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/


Let’s Talk New Mexico 6/17 8am: Last September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instituted a moratorium on residential evictions to keep people without secure incomes from losing their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. New Mexico followed suit with a similar state-wide protection order. For ten months the moratoriums have protected thousands of New Mexico renters, but at the same time back rents have continued to accrue and landlords have gone without the income they count on. With the national order protecting tenants scheduled to expire on June 30th and no clear endpoint for the state’s moratorium, there is potential for a massive number of evictions if nothing is done. Join us this week as we discuss the national and state residential eviction moratoriums, as well as programs set up to help tenants get caught up on payments.    

Marisa Demarco / KUNM


  Let’s Talk New Mexico 6/3 at 8 am: The Rio Grande is swelling right now, but looks can be deceiving. Climate change is drying out this lifeline in the high desert. The river is a highly managed water system, so flows are supplemented and the impacts of global warming aren't always immediately visible. But climate change is taking its toll, and local managers say those miles-long dry patches we’ve been seeing could grow larger and last longer. The annual flows may drop even further, leaving thirsty cottonwood trees, parched ecosystems and dry farms.

Sandor Csudai / Creative Commons


Let’s Talk New Mexico 5/27 8am: Asylum seekers who arrive in the U.S. are often fleeing violence at the hands of police or gangs in their home countries. However, once they arrive in our country, they continue to face the threat of violence, including while in detention. A lawsuit recently filed against a private detention center here in New Mexico claims guards sprayed asylum seekers with a chemical agent to stop a peaceful hunger strike protesting living conditions in the facility. International law says states must protect asylum seekers and refugees, not harm them. On this week’s Let’s Talk New Mexico, we will  be talking about this lawsuit against CoreCivic in Torrance County, and what these private detention centers mean for New Mexico.

New Mexico In Depth


Let’s Talk New Mexico 5/20 8am: Life can be tough for kids in New Mexico’s foster care system. In fact, a lawsuit brought against the state in 2018 alleged that “New Mexico’s child welfare practices systematically re-traumatize vulnerable children” by severing them from contact with extended family members and their community, shuffling them from home to home, not providing adequate mental health care and not considering factors like tribal enrollment when placing kids with families. But that all may be changing for the better.

Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/13 8 am: Some of New Mexico’s immigrant workers are undocumented and often employed in low-paid but essential jobs, such as early childhood education. And, despite the myths to the contrary, they pay taxes! In 2017, undocumented workers paid almost $70 million in New Mexico state taxes and $12 billion to the U.S. in federal taxes, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Sarah Grice via Flicker CC 2.0

 

Let’s Talk New Mexico 5/6 8am: Home prices are rising everywhere, but especially in the West. Mortgage interest rates are low, people are free to work remotely, and relocation to places like New Mexico makes sense for those wanting to escape high costs of living in other areas. But lackluster home and apartment construction in our state over the last decade means that New Mexican cities have little inventory for renters or buyers, and would-be sellers often don’t list their homes because they can’t find a replacement. These pressures are filtering down to the rental market, encouraging rents to go up.

Canva / Creative Commons

Public schools in New Mexico started fully in-person classes this month for the first time in over a year. Some students chose to stay remote, others returned, and some of those who went back are already remote again due to COVID exposure. On this week’s Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re hearing from students about how it’s going.

Jose Antonio de Alzate y Ramirez, circa 1760

Let's Talk New Mexico 4/15 8am: The state of New Mexico, including land currently used by the University of New Mexico, occupies the traditional homelands of many Indigenous peoples. KUNM will soon be using a statement, known as a “land acknowledgement,” on our website along with  other documents that recognize and honor that history.

Cannabis Tours via Wikimedia / Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

 


Let's Talk New Mexico 4/08 8am: Last week in a special session of the New Mexico Legislature lawmakers moved to legalize recreational cannabis and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to sign the legislation. The changes allows individuals to grow for personal use or to sell with a micro-business license and they create a structure that will gradually increase taxes over time. A separate bill allows for the expungement of criminal records for some past marijuana offenses.

 

On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll look at what the legislation contains, how it structures legalization and the timeline.

Narih Lee / Wikimedia Commons


Let's Talk New Mexico 3/18 8am: March is Women’s History Month, and we are taking a look at  how the suffrage movement here in New Mexico continues to inspire activists today 

 

On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re discussing the role women have played in New Mexico's history, and  how women today continue to strive to break the glass ceiling.

Let's Talk New Mexico 3/11 8am: There’s now a third COVID-19 vaccine available in our state and more New Mexicans than ever are getting called in to get the jab. But how will the process be affected by the state's new goal of getting all K-12 educators and early childhood professionals their first dose by the end of March? And what about kids? Should they get vaccinated?

On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll dive into the newest phase of COVID vaccination with guests from the Department of Health and community health organizations. We'll also talk to disease and vaccine specialists and medical doctors who can answer your questions about COVID-19 and immunization.

Allen Ellison / Flickr

Let’s Talk New Mexico, Thursday, 3/4, 8a: Hundreds of New Mexicans say their utility bill costs have spiked recently, especially after the ice storms earlier this month. On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be discussing current and upcoming changes in gas and electric rates, and how utility companies and consumer advocates plan to help New Mexicans deal with these additional costs during the pandemic and beyond.

Nash Jones / KUNM

Let’s Talk New Mexico, Thursday, 2/25, 8a: February is Black History Month, and after a year that centered criticism of America’s racist past and present, many New Mexicans are paying attention to the role of race in our everyday lives. 

On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be discussing the 10th anniversary of the New Mexico Black History Festival, and also examining the American race narrative. And we want to hear from you! How did this summer's Black Lives Matter demonstrations change your view of race in the United States? What stories of Black History in New Mexico do you want to share? And how can we use the lessons of our history to make a more equitable state, country and world? Email us at LetsTalk@KUNM.org, or call in live during the show.

Cannabis Tours via Wikimedia / Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

Let’s Talk New Mexico, Thursday, 2/11, 8a: New Mexico has had a successful medical cannabis program for years, but full legalization for recreational use has proven elusive, even as neighboring states move ahead. This year, however, with the support of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the state could finally see lawmakers pass a recreational cannabis bill. If the bill passes, what will this mean for New Mexico’s economy? What are the different versions of legalization under consideration in the legislature? And how will legalization impact patients already enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program?

Christopher Webb via Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Let’s Talk New Mexico, Thursday, 2/4, 8a: Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham recently announced that New Mexico public school districts  would have the option of re-opening under several different in-person schooling models starting February 8th. But many New Mexicans have questions.  Will this return be safe? What happens if COVID rates increase? And what options are on the table for districts looking to enact one of the hybrid models?

christian.senger (flickr.com/photos/15181848@N02) / CREATIVE COMMONS

 


Let's Talk New Mexico 1/28, 8a: The state legislature is considering two new bills that could have a dramatic impact on New Mexico’s communities of color. House Bill 70 seeks to update our state’s domestic terrorism laws, but civil rights organizations claim that it targets communities of color, and that prosecutors should use existing laws at their disposal to hold white supremacists accountable. At the same time, New Mexican activists working to reform prisons and immigrant detention centers are pushing for House Bill 40 which would ban private prison contracts in our state, including at immigrant detention centers. 

Marisa Demarco


Let’s Talk New Mexico 1/21 8am: Last week, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham released her list of top legislative priorities for the year. The Governor and legislators, for the most part, agree the focus will be on pandemic recovery. That can mean new spending and creating new revenue streams, and that spending and fundraising will impact New Mexicans in a myriad of ways. Lujan Grisham asked legislators to legalize recreational marijuana, help make health insurance more affordable and to take a stand against greenhouse emissions. Legislators and interest groups have other plans to address climate change, public health and education.

Hyttalo Souza via Unsplash / Unsplash license

Let's Talk New Mexico 1/14, 8a: The COVID-19 vaccine has finally reached our state, and as of the beginning of this week, over 325,000 New Mexicans have signed up to receive their first dose. But folks also have questions: How does this vaccine work?  How soon can you expect to actually receive it? And how effective will it actually be, especially now that the new coronavirus variant strain has been detected here?

Megan Kamerick

Let's Talk New Mexico 1/7, 8a: The coronavirus pandemic has shut down performance venues and music festivals around the country. That's left many musicians with cancelled shows and tours, and struggling to connect with fans and make money.

American Rehab Part 6: Shadow Workforce

Dec 28, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 12/31 8a: Reveal’s American Rehab series investigates drug rehab facilities that send people to work but don’t pay them. In this final chapter, we answer two of the biggest remaining questions.

Since beginning this series, listeners have asked if rehabs are allowed to do this. Can they make participants work without pay as long as they’re providing housing and treatment? Does the work pay for the therapy?

American Rehab Part 5: The Work Cure

Dec 21, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 12/24 8a: One man’s journey into Cenikor leads to punishments and almost two years of backbreaking labor. The program will change him. But can it help Chris Koon put his addiction behind him?

American Rehab Part 4: Reagan with the Snap

Dec 16, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 12/17 8a: In the late 1970s, the drug rehab Cenikor was down and out. Founder Luke Austin had siphoned off almost all the program’s money, and participants were left eating cornmeal mush and green Jell-O to survive.

Reporters Laura Starecheski and Shoshana Walter explain how Ken Barun, a former rehab participant, brought Cenikor back from the brink, with the help of NFL football pad inventor Byron Donzis.

American Rehab Part 3: Cowboy Conman

Dec 9, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 12/10 8a: He was a liar, a killer and a wannabe country music singer. As Luke Austin moved from state to state and prison to prison, he created a persona. He claimed to have toured with Johnny Cash and made personal friends with Elvis Presley. By the early ’60s, he’d killed a man and joined a Synanon chapter inside the Nevada State Prison.

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