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 the audio of our shows online and in our podcast on iTunes. 

Questions? Comments? Email the KUNM News Director.

Ways to Connect

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.

American Rehab Part 2: A Venomous Snake

Dec 2, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 12/03 8a: By the end of the 1960s, Synanon was a widely respected drug rehab with a celebrated treatment program. It had intake centers and commune-style rehabs all over the country. It subsisted by turning members into unpaid workers who hustled donations and ran Synanon businesses. As the money poured in, Synanon’s founder, Charles Dederich, transitioned the group from a rehab into an “experimental society.”

American Rehab Part 1: A Desperate Call

Nov 25, 2020
Eren K. Wilson

Thursday 11/26 8a: For the next six weeks we will bring you this special series from Reveal in place of Let’s Talk New Mexico.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 11/5, 8a: There’s never been an election like 2020, and on this week's Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be looking at how the process played out and the consequences of Tuesday’s vote. From the President all the way down the ballot, join us as we sort through the results and what they might mean for our state. We want to hear from you! What’s been on your mind as you’ve watched results come in? What hopes or fears do you have for New Mexico or the nation in this moment?

Nash Jones / KUNM


Let's Talk New Mexico 10/29, 8a: As winter approaches and COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming rate, politicians will be making decisions that can mean life or death for their constituents. On this week's call-in show, we want to hear how things are going for you, and what you expect from the people you’re supporting at the ballot box. What lessons should our elected leaders learn from other countries that have avoided high death tolls? What do you hope to see from a next round of coronavirus aid money?

Jon S / Flickr / Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 10/1, 8a: Newsrooms in New Mexico rarely reflect the diversity of the communities around them, and journalists of color across the country are calling out racism in their industry. On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll hear from local veteran reporters and media educators who are challenging the status quo. And we want you to join in on the discussion.

U.S. Census Bureau via Flickr CC

The census is one of the more important events in our democracy. Every 10 years each person is counted so that resources can be allocated, programs created, and a general understanding of the population is had. It should be a clean process. Should be. The 2020 census has proven to be anything but clean. Mud has been thrown on the process, as people and institutions attempt to manipulate the numbers, subsequently stripping power from some and giving it to others. Peppered throughout this episode is an editorial from NoMoNo about why the census matters: The state is counting on us to be counted. If you haven't completed the census form yet, do it now. It only takes a few minutes. Click here to get started.

Mrs. Gemstone via Wikimedia / Creative Commons


Let's Talk New Mexico 9/8, 8a: Voting rights are the bedrock of American democracy, yet for many people, that right is not a reality. Voter suppression has a long history in the United States and has largely affected people of color and women. On this week’s call-in show, we will focus on the white supremacist roots of voter suppression and how they affect the COVID-impacted 2020 election. We will explore felon voter laws and the fragile history of voting rights for Black people and Native Americans.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The 2020 Census ends on September 30, a full month earlier than previously announced. Nationally, 15% of households have yet to be counted, and response rates are even lower in New Mexico. This week, we’ll discuss the final Census push amid the dangers of COVID-19, and how an undercount could exacerbate racial and economic inequities in our state.

pxfuel.com / Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 8/27 8a: School is back in session online, with some districts planning to stay that way all semester and others waiting to see whether it's safe to go back in person later this fall. On this week’s call-in show, we’ll center the thoughts and experiences of New Mexico students as they kick off this unconventional semester. And we want to hear from you!

SWOP

Let's Talk New Mexico 8/20 8a: Did you know that your kids can get free crafting kits from the Española Public Library? Or that you can take virtual tours of many of the state's museums? Or that several organizations around New Mexico provide free PPE to those in need? On the next Let's Talk New Mexico, it’s the return of our annual free stuff show (2020 COVID edition), and we’re talking about what’s available for no cost during the pandemic.

Paul Tashjian, Audubon New Mexico


Let's Talk New Mexico 8/11 8a: The Navajo community of To'Hajiilee faces severe water shortages and has worked with Bernalillo County to find a way to pipe in water from Albuquerque. But a land development company stands in the way. On this week’s Let’s Talk New Mexico, we'll discuss the To'Hajiilee water crisis, plus the aftereffects of the 2015 Gold King Mine spill and this year’s dramatic increase in water use in New Mexico's largest city.

Let's Talk Preventing Violence From The Ground Up

Aug 5, 2020
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico THU 8/6, 8a: With federal agents being sent to Albuquerque to fight violent crime as part of Operation Legend, many in the community are pushing back, saying more police officers aren’t what’s needed to make things safer. This week on the call-in show, we’ll look beyond the traditional criminal justice system, and discuss community-led and public health approaches to preventing violence.

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