Tag Archives: Mexico

Immigrants Who Escaped The Texas Camp Crackdown Are Facing Another Set Of Dire Circumstances In Mexico

Immigrants Who Escaped The Texas Camp Crackdown Are Facing Another Set Of Dire Circumstances In Mexico


Fernando Llano / AP

A Haitian immigrant wades across the Rio Grande to Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

The 35-year-old father weighed his options: head back into the US, where he could be sent back to Haiti, or stay in Mexico as authorities closed in around him and other immigrants.

Wood, who declined to give his full name out of fear of retaliation from the US or Mexico for speaking out, said he didn’t have a plan but needed to form one if he’s to take care of his wife and two daughters.

“I’d like to stay here in Mexico, but I’m scared because I don’t have permission to be here, Wood told BuzzFeed News. “But the US may deport us. I don’t know what to do.”

Like hundreds of immigrants who left the camp in Del Rio, Texas, this week in an attempt to avoid being flown to Haiti, the walls are closing in on them, this time from the Mexican side of the border. Immigration agents, flanked by armed soldiers and police officers, conducted day and nighttime raids on the streets of Ciudad Acuña, where they have been detaining and flying immigrants to southern Mexican states. For days, immigrants have been going back and forth across the precarious Rio Grande, moving to whichever side of the border seems friendliest.

On Thursday before dawn, Mexican immigration agents drove into the camp flanked by local police and the National Guard. The immigrants, most of them Haitian, who had been living at a park in Ciudad Acuña, were startled awake. The presence of Mexican authorities was enough to scare some of them back to the US side of the border, a place they had previously abandoned after the Biden administration started to send back hundreds of immigrants to Haiti. No one was detained at the park, but the threat loomed.

The Biden administration has moved thousands of immigrants from the Del Rio area to other parts of the border, to be processed into the country or removed. It has relied, in large part, on the Title 42 policy, which cites the pandemic as the reason for allowing border agents to quickly turn back asylum-seekers, to clear the camp in Del Rio of thousands of Haitians. In a matter of days, the US flew almost 2,000 immigrants back to Haiti. On Friday, more flights were expected to the country, which has been struggling following an earthquake and presidential assassination.


Rodrigo Abd / AP

Students gather before the start of classes in the Sante Bernadette school inside Fort Dimanche, which was once a prison, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Sept. 23, 2021. The sparse conditions show how far the country has to go as it rebuilds after an earthquake in mid-August.

On Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that the camp underneath the Del Rio International Bridge had been cleared and that no migrants remained there. Since Sept. 9, nearly 30,000 immigrants had been encountered in Del Rio, Mayorkas said. Another 8,000 had returned to Mexico voluntarily, and 5,000 others were waiting to be processed, which means they’ll either be expelled or allowed to remain in the country.

Mayorkas added that over 12,000 immigrants who had entered the US would have their cases heard.

He maintained that the use of Title 42 was necessary due to the pandemic and that it was not an immigration policy. He also noted that the policy allowed for exceptions.

On Thursday, a Mexican immigration agent, who only gave BuzzFeed News his last name, Rodriguez, said they, alongside the National Guard and local police, showed up at the park in Ciudad Acuña before dawn and frightened immigrants awake because the US was conducting an operation in Del Rio, and they were worried people would drown trying to get back into Mexico.

But their early morning presence had the opposite effect on some immigrants who had waded across the Rio Grande to get back into Del Rio, Texas. Mexican authorities soon blocked their access, cutting a yellow rope that immigrants had used to cross the river.

Although many Haitians had initially left their homes to go to Brazil or Chile after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, immigration policies in those countries had become more restrictive in the last five years, according to a 2021 report on Haitian women’s migration. The report, published by the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, said the tighter restrictions led many Haitians to head to Mexico.


Jose Torres / Reuters

Immigrants from Central America, Haiti, and Cuba line up outside the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance to apply for asylum and refugee status in Mexico.

One of them was Wood, whose 12-year-old daughter fainted from dehydration last week at the camp in Del Rio.

“If you go out onto the streets of Haiti, you have to pray to come back,” he said.

Wood immigrated with his family to Chile, where he tried to make a living — but without legal status there, finding a well-paying job was difficult.

He has considered going back to Chile, but that would mean having to travel through the Darién Gap, a jungle that UNICEF describes as one of the most dangerous routes in the world. It was the most difficult part of the journey up to the US–Mexico border, Wood said, adding that criminals violently rob immigrants and rape women in the region.

“It’s something you cross once in your life, not twice,” he said.

Standing in the camp Wood had been sleeping in with his family, Rodriguez, the immigration agent, said authorities had established a shelter in Ciudad Acuña for those who wanted to leave the park they had been camping in. He also said the immigrants could continue their refugee application process with the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance, but they would need to do so in the city of Tapachula in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

But Tapachula is a prison city for immigrants who don’t have documentation to leave the state or authorization to work. If they try to leave without paying smugglers thousands of dollars, they have to contend with National Guard troops. There have also been violent confrontations for years between immigrants trying to leave and Mexican authorities, under pressure from US officials, who are trying to keep them from heading north. Last month, Mexican officials condemned the “inappropriate” actions of their agents after they violently clashed with immigrants in Tapachula.


Jose Torres / Reuters

Mexican agents detain a member of a caravan of immigrants and asylum-seekers who were hoping to reach Mexico City and obtain paperwork that would allow them to travel the country. Immigrants had grown tired of waiting for the documents in Tapachula.

When Rodriguez told a group of immigrants they would have to go back to Tapachula if they hoped to complete their refugee process, they collectively groaned and protested, knowing what was waiting for them there.

Diana, 30, of Colombia said she sold water in Tapachula in an attempt to cover her rent of about $ 200, but it was difficult. Waiting to complete the refugee process takes months, and all the while they have to find a way to make a living without work authorization, she said.

“How do you expect us to survive?” Diana asked Rodriguez. “We have nothing, and then we try to leave and the National Guard beats us up.”

Read more here BuzzFeed News

TUES: Experts Warn Of Waning Water Supplies, Branson Flight Sparks Optimism In New Mexico, + More

TUES: Experts Warn Of Waning Water Supplies, Branson Flight Sparks Optimism In New Mexico, + More

  

New Mexico Lawmakers Warned About Shrinking Water SuppliesBy Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Some of New Mexico top climate and water experts warned state lawmakers Tuesday that the effects of the current drought on water supplies have been worsened by climate change, specifically an ongoing, long-term warming trend.

They told members of a legislative committee during a meeting that the drought is a harbinger of still drier conditions to come as temperatures continue to climb.

“We’re seeing in New Mexico as bad a situation with regard to water supply as anywhere in the West, if not worse,” said Rolf Schmidt-Petersen, director of the Interstate Stream Commission, noting that drought persists across the state and reservoirs remain empty despite the start of summer rains.

Schmidt-Petersen shared slides that showed conditions getting drier and drier over the last 20 years. He described the conditions this year as the most severe drought in two decades of dryness.

Retired professor David Gutzler issued a plea to the legislators, asking that they take New Mexico’s long-term water challenge seriously and provide cities, farmers and other users with guidance and ground rules for managing shrinking supplies.

Some of the discussion focused on developing a statewide system for building partnerships among local districts so water can be shared when shortages arise. Such arrangements already are in place in some parts of New Mexico, including Jemez and Zia pueblos and nearby acequias, which are traditional irrigation systems that deliver water to farmers. Officials say the agreements have been working well.

Southern New Mexico Highway Reopens After Mudslide, FloodingAssociated Press

Crews have cleared debris from flooding and a mudslide that closed a 7-mile stretch of U.S. 70 across San Augustine Pass east of Las Cruces for 24 hours, officials said Tuesday.

The flooding and slide occurred Sunday night and the highway was reopened Monday night after crews cleared all four lanes of mud, rocks and trees, the state Department of Transportation said.

Crews on Tuesday continued to remove remaining debris and to reopen on-off ramps for an entrance into White Sands Missile range, the department said.

U.S. 70 is a major travel route across southern New Mexico.

New Mexico Eyes Higher Plant Limit For Marijuana ProducersSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A New Mexico regulatory agency hopes to avoid a possible shortage by raising the number of marijuana plants that licensed producers could produce.

The Cannabis Control Division of the state Regulation and Licensing Department last week raised the previously planned per-grower limit of 4,500 plants to 8,000, and producers also would be able to apply for incremental increases of 500 with a total cap of 10,000, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

The change responds to concerns that the 4,500-plant limit would lead to a supply shortage, especially among patients in the state’s medical marijuana program.

New Mexico’s legalization of possession and growth of small amounts of recreational marijuana took effect June 29, and the legal market for recreational marijuana is expected to launch in early 2022.

The department has scheduled an Aug. 6 hearing on the program’s revised draft rules.

The department has until Sept. 1 to finalize the rules for producers. Draft rules for manufacturing, testing and selling cannabis products have yet to be released.

Navajo Nation Reports 6 New COVID-19 Cases, But No DeathsAssociated Press, Santa Fe New Mexican

The Navajo Nation on Tuesday reported six new COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths.

The figures released by the Navajo Department of Health brought the total number of cases on the vast reservation to 31,107 since the pandemic began. The death toll remains at 1,361.

The Navajo Nation recently relaxed restrictions to allow visitors to travel on the reservation and visit popular attractions like Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley.

The reservation is the country’s largest at 27,000 square miles and it covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

While cases are down, Navajo leaders are urging residents to continue wearing masks and get vaccinated.

“As of today, we have 11 confirmed cases of the Delta variant on the Navajo Nation along with several other variants,” tribal President Jonathan Nez said in a statement Tuesday. “Our contact tracers are doing their best to mitigate and isolate those cases to prevent any further spread.”

New Mexico reported 116 new cases today and one additional death, a woman in her 60s in Otero County. That brings the total number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 to 4,359 since the pandemic began.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported hospitalizations continue to inch upward with 83 people in New Mexico hospitals. Sixty-three percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated and nearly 72% have at least one shot.

US Says Order Coming This Week On Border Asylum RestrictionsBy Jake Bleiberg and Elliot Spagat, Associated Press

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue an order this week about how migrant children are treated under a public health order that has prevented people from seeking asylum at the nation’s borders, a Justice Department attorney said Tuesday.

The comment by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Stoltz at a court hearing in Fort Worth, Texas, comes as the Biden administration faces pressure from pro-immigration allies to lift the last major Trump-era restrictions on asylum at the border.

Stoltz told a federal judge that the CDC will release “a new order on the subject of the children” by the end of the week. It will revise a Biden administration policy announced in February that exempts children crossing alone from the ban on asylum.

Stoltz did not offer additional details on the changes during a hearing on a lawsuit that Texas brought to compel enforcement of the public health order that former President Donald Trump’s administration used to quickly expel people from the country during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government attorney said the CDC order this week will largely render Texas’ arguments moot. He did not elaborate, and CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said the agency had “nothing more to add right now.”

The CDC, in a three-paragraph order signed by its director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, on Feb. 11, exempted unaccompanied children from being expelled to Mexico until “a forthcoming public health reassessment,” which has yet to be published. Texas argues in its lawsuit that the administration’s justification was insufficient.

Higher COVID-19 vaccination rates have brought increasing pressure on the Biden administration to lift the public health order that was always intended as a temporary measure during the pandemic. While the administration has exempted unaccompanied children, some families and nearly all adults traveling alone are expelled from the United States — often to Mexico within two hours — without a chance to seek asylum.

The Associated Press reported last year that then-Vice President Mike Pence directed the CDC to use emergency powers to effectively seal America’s borders, overruling agency scientists who said there was no evidence the action would slow COVID-19.

Lifting the ban could encourage more people to come to the border to seek asylum at a time when the U.S. is under mounting strain. The U.N. refugee agency reported last month that the U.S. was once again the top destination for asylum-seekers in 2020, with about 250,000 new claims filed, more than twice as high as second-place Germany.

Texas, which has the busiest corridor for illegal border crossings, is seeking a court order forcing the federal government to cease what state Deputy Attorney General Aaron Reitz called “de facto non-enforcement” of the asylum ban. Reitz argued that the Biden administration’s posture “threatens the health and safety of all Texans.”

U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, a Trump appointee, questioned Stoltz about the timing of the new order and asked that the government inform him as soon as it is issued. Pittman did not rule on the request for an injunction but said he will put out a decision “as quickly as I can.”

Richard Branson’s Flight Sparks New Optimism In New Mexico – By Susan Montoya Bryan Associated Press

With Virgin Galactic making its highest profile test flight to date with boss Richard Branson aboard, it’s only a matter of time before paying customers get their chance and New Mexico realizes a dream that has been decades in the making. 

Former Gov. Bill Richardson is among those who have been watching the progress of the space tourism company, ever since he and his team recruited the British billionaire to New Mexico. The two shook hands on a promise — Branson would build the world’s first commercial spaceline for tourists, and New Mexico would build the spaceport. 

To naysayers who thought it was a boondoggle and a waste of taxpayer money, Richardson said: “You were dead wrong. You have to have a vision for the future, and it’s going to happen, and it’s going to be great.”

The two-term governor was among those who were elated to see Branson and his crewmates rocket to the edge of space on Sunday. About 500 guests — including celebrities, Virgin Galactic customers, politicians and a group of students — watched from just outside the terminal at Spaceport America, while others across New Mexico held watch parties and people around the world tuned in to a livestream.

Rick Homans, the state economic development secretary who led early negotiations with Virgin Galactic, was among those in attendance. He acknowledged it has been a long and difficult road that started with many unknowns for both the state and the space tourism company.

Was it worth it? Undoubtedly, he said.

“Look around here,” he said Sunday. “The attention of the entire globe is on Spaceport America now and on the industry that could grow here. And I think where we are right now is at the very beginning of something so much bigger, and so that investment is going to pay off in the decades to come.”

Residents of Truth or Consequences, an eclectic desert community about 30 miles away, are excited to be on the map again. The city first gained notary in 1950 when it agreed to change its name from Hot Springs to Truth or Consequences as part of a publicity stunt put on by a radio show of the same name.

Still, many residents are tempering their optimism as the space tourism venture has taken nearly two decades to get off the ground and it’s unclear how often Virgin Galactic will be flying paying customers to the edge of space and whether any spending related to those brief up-and-down trips will trickle down to shopkeepers and other businesses in town. 

They also questioned how many space fans and other spectators would be drawn to the area since security is high at the spaceport and guided tours are considered pricy by some.

Others have mixed feelings about having paid extra taxes to help bankroll the spaceport, saying their community is still in dire need of infrastructure improvements, namely a better drinking water system. There’s also a lack of housing for residents, much less adequate accommodations for tourists. 

“Our tax dollars are paying for the roads to go out there and everything so it would be nice if we could actually benefit from that,” said Patty Lane, who helps run a gift shop in the town of roughly 5,900 people. “We’re a small community. We need that.”

Lane said it’s clear that developing a viable commercial spaceline has become a competition, and she’s hopeful that will drive more innovation and more aerospace companies to consider moving to the state. Only then, with more private investment, can the industry really take off in New Mexico, she said.

Top state officials are looking for the same thing. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said the next step will be a push to get Virgin Galactic to relocate its manufacturing operations to New Mexico as more rocket planes will be needed for the future.

While Sunday’s flight helped to promote Virgin Galactic, state officials said it also gave millions of people around the world a look at New Mexico.

Lujan Grisham claimed there are potentially billions of dollars at stake as the space industry grows — from science and technology investments to tourism spending.

“We absolutely want more companies identifying New Mexico as their corporate headquarters,” she said, adding that the space industry could help to stabilize the state’s economy. 

That’s a battle many governors have faced in states where the oil and gas industry is a key economic driver and makes up a significant source of revenue for education and other government programs. Richardson said one of his objectives during his term was to create another industry, and that’s why he went after Branson and Virgin Galactic.

LaRene Miller was busy Monday getting visitors to sign the guest book at the T or C visitor center, where a wing of the building is dedicated to Spaceport America. About half of the 15 visitors over the last day included those who were passing through town to see the spaceport or catch a glimpse of Branson’s flight.

One group bought souvenirs. Another woman asked about the drive to the site.

They all had either watched the launch via the livestream or stepped outside to see the contrails.

Jeffre Dukatt, who runs a T-shirt shop in Truth or Consequences, is among the many residents who have been waiting years for the promise of the spaceport. 

“I got to see it in real life,” he said, describing his view from town of the ascending rocket plane. “It was like the moon walk to me.”

With two test flights remaining, Dukatt and others are hopeful they won’t have to wait as long for the next step.

New Mexico Sees 301 New COVID Cases Over The Weekend KUNM News

New Mexico health officials Monday reported 301 additional COVID-19 cases since Saturday, and four additional deaths. 

The three-day total included just under 100 cases in Bernalillo County, far and away the highest in the state, with the next highest case count in neighboring Sandoval County, which saw 33.  

State officials say 77 people are now hospitalized for COVID-19 in the state. That’s up from 62 hospitalizations reported last Monday.

Navajo Nation Reports 4 New COVID-19 Cases, But No Deaths – Associated Press

The Navajo Nation reported four new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, but no additional deaths.

The figures released by the Navajo Department of Health bring the total number of cases on the reservation to 31,100 since the pandemic began. The death toll remains at 1,361.

Tribal health officials on Sunday reported two new COVID-19 cases and three deaths.

The Navajo Nation recently relaxed restrictions to allow visitors to travel on the reservation and visit popular attractions like Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley. 

The reservation is the country’s largest at 27,000 square miles in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

While cases are down, Navajo leaders are urging residents to continue wearing masks and get vaccinated.

“The Delta variant continues to spread across the country, mainly among people who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19,” said tribal President Jonathan Nez. “Please continue to wear a mask in public and continue to pray for our people.”

US Drilling Approvals Increase Despite Biden Climate PledgeBy Matthew Brown, Associated Press

Approvals for companies to drill for oil and gas on U.S. public lands are on pace this year to reach their highest level since George W. Bush was president, underscoring President Joe Biden’s reluctance to more forcefully curb petroleum production in the face of industry and Republican resistance.

The Interior Department approved about 2,500 permits to drill on public and tribal lands in the first six months of the year, according to an Associated Press analysis of government data. That includes more than 2,100 drilling approvals since Biden took office January 20.

New Mexico and Wyoming had the largest number of approvals. Montana, Colorado and Utah had hundreds each.

Biden campaigned last year on pledges to end new drilling on federal lands  to rein in climate-changing emissions. His pick to oversee those lands, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, adamantly opposed drilling on federal lands while in Congress and co-sponsored the liberal Green New Deal.

But the steps taken by the administration to date on fossil fuels are more modest, including a temporary suspension on new oil and gas leases on federal lands that a judge blocked last month, blocked petroleum sales in  the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and cancellation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline  from Canada.

Because vast fossil fuel reserves already are under lease, those actions did nothing to slow drilling on public lands and waters that account for about a quarter of U.S. oil production.

Further complicating Biden’s climate agenda is a recent rise in gasoline prices to $ 3 a gallon or more in many parts of the country. Any attempt to limit petroleum production could push gasoline prices even higher and risk souring economic recovery from the pandemic.

“He’s walking the tightrope,” said energy industry analyst Parker Fawcett with S&P Global Platts, noting that Keystone and ANWR came without huge political costs because they were aimed at future projects.

“Those easy wins don’t necessarily have huge impacts on the market today,” Fawcett said. “He is definitely backing off taking drastic action that would rock the market. … What you’re going to see is U.S. oil production is going to continue to rebound.”

Haaland has sought to tamp down Republican concern over potential constraints on the industry. She said during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing last month that there was no “plan right now for a permanent ban.”

“Gas and oil production will continue well into the future and we believe that is the reality of our economy and the world we’re living in,” Haaland told Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn.

Interior officials declined further comment on permits issued under Biden.

Under former President Donald Trump, a staunch industry supporter, the Interior Department reduced the time it takes to review drilling applications from a year or more in some cases, to just a few months.

Companies rushed to  lock in drilling rights before the new administration. And in December, Trump’s last full month in office, agency officials approved more than 800 permits — far more than any prior month during his presidency.

The pace dropped when Biden first took office, under a temporary order that elevated permit reviews to senior administration officials. Approvals have since rebounded to a level that exceeds monthly numbers seen through most of Trump’s presidency.

The data obtained by AP from a government database is subject to change because of delays in transmitting data from Interior field offices to headquarters.

If the recent trends continue, the Interior Department could issue close to 6,000 permits by the end of the year. The last time so many were issued was fiscal year 2008, amid an oil boom driven by crude prices that reached an all-time high of $ 140 per barrel that June.

Decisions on about 4,700 drilling applications remained pending as of June 1, which means approvals are likely to continue at a heavy pace as officials work through a backlog left over from the Trump administration, said Fawcett, the industry analyst.

Environmentalists who share the administration’s goals on climate have expressed growing frustration as prospects for a ban on drilling fade. They contend the administration could take executive action that would stop further permits but has caved to Republican pressure.

“Every indication is they have no plans of actually fulfilling their campaign promise,” said Mitch Jones, policy director for the environmental group Food & Water Watch. “The result of that will be continued and increasing development of fossil fuels on public lands, which means more climate change.”

Economists and other experts have been skeptical about how much impact a permit ban would have. Companies simply could shift onto private and state lands and keep drilling, said University of Chicago deputy dean Ryan Kellogg.

The administration’s defenders say it’s being pragmatic in the face of a Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans and questions over whether the government could legally stop drilling on leases already sold to companies.

That’s meant forgoing a drilling ban in hopes of getting bipartisan support for a huge infrastructure package that includes clean energy incentives and other measures to address global warming.

“It’s the long game. … You’ve got to appease some of those oil and gas state senators,” said Jim Lyons, who was deputy assistant Interior secretary under Barack Obama and is now an environmental consultant. “It means jobs back home for thousands of workers. You can’t just pull the plug overnight.”

Las Cruces Area In Clean-Up Mode Day After Powerful StormsAssociated Press

Residents in Las Cruces were picking up the pieces Monday, a day after a powerful storm left a trail of toppled trees, washed out roads and downed power lines.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports crews around the city are hauling away massive trees and other debris.

The Sunday storm originated in the Roswell and Clovis areas but then picked up steam over the Sacramento Mountains, according to the National Weather Service. The result was a massive storm system that brought powerful winds and rain. It walloped Las Cruces sometime after 7 p.m. before moving on to Texas.

Winds around southern New Mexico, from Las Cruces to Santa Teresa, were as high as 80-90 miles per hour.

The weather has also led the New Mexico Department of Transportation to shut down US 70 at San Augustin Pass. The stretch from NASA Road to the entrance of White Sands Missile Range is expected to stay closed most of the day.

It wasn’t just rain and wind wreaking havoc in places. A dust storm also hit east of Lordsburg Sunday night, causing a pile-up on I-10. Hail was reported south of Cloudcroft, Alamogordo and in west El Paso.

 

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New Mexico Popular Painter/Publisher Urges Families To Reconnect With Local Museums And Support Cultural Forums

New Mexico Popular Painter/Publisher Urges Families To Reconnect With Local Museums And Support Cultural Forums

Popular Painter/Publisher Lori Faye Bock At Home With Genteel Teddyroo, A Jacob Ram

New Mexico Popular Painter/Publisher Urges Families To Reconnect With Local Museums And Support Cultural Forums

When? …. An Abiquiú 6 Pack by Popular Painter/Publisher Lori Faye Bock Featured at the Museum Store Association Summer Atlanta Market – July 13 to 19

New Mexico Popular Painter/Publisher Urges Families To Reconnect With Local Museums And Support Cultural Forums

Taking A Breather …. An Abiquiú 6 Pack by Popular Painter/Publisher Lori Faye Bock Featured at the Museum Store Association Summer Atlanta Market – July 13 to 19

Popular Painter/Publisher Lori Faye Bock Featured at Museum Store Association Atlanta Summer Market – July 13 to 19

Museums are an integral part of every community which help us all discover the past and peer into the future.”

— Lori Faye Bock

ABIQUIU, NEW MEXICO, UNITED STATES, July 13, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — With the pandemic seemingly under control in America, long time Abiquiu, New Mexico popular painter/publisher Lori Faye Bock urges families once again to venture safely out and rediscover cultural institutions such as local museums to reconnect with the past and peer into the future.

As a little girl growing up in Michigan, frequent visits to museums and other cultural institutions, life both at home and abroad, has contributed to a happy, informative and well-rounded life.

She invites everyone to discover the past and explore the future by visiting museums.

RICHARD F BOCK
Lori Faye Bock
email us here

New Mexico Popular Painter/Publisher Urges Families To Reconnect With Local Museums And Support Cultural Forums

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TUES- Gas Station Operator Sues New Mexico Over New Liquor Law, More – KUNM

TUES- Gas Station Operator Sues New Mexico Over New Liquor Law, More - KUNM

  

Navajo Nation Lifts Some COVID Restrictions On ReservationAssociated Press

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez signed legislation Tuesday to rescind an order that closed the reservation to outside visitors.

It lifts several COVID-19 restrictions that will allow tribal parks to reopen at 50% capacity with safety protocols in place as early as Thursday and also allow schools to eventually reopen under a required safety plan.

The Navajo Department of Health will issue a new Public Health Emergency Order on Wednesday, outlining safety protocols and requirements for reopening.

The mask mandate remains in effect for the entire Navajo Nation.

“Our gating measures and data show a consistent downward trend in new cases and deaths related to COVID-19, and we have a large majority of our Navajo Nation residents fully vaccinated,” Nez said in a statement. “We continue to meet with our health experts on a regular basis and they support the reopening of parks to our residents and our visitors.”

The Navajo Nation’s vast reservation covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Man Found Dead At White Sands National Park In New MexicoAssociated Press

A man has been found dead at White Sands National Park, authorities said Tuesday.

New Mexico State Police have identified the man as 63-year-old Jeffrey Minshew of Moriarty.

The National Park Service is coordinating with State Police to investigate the death.

A possible cause of death wasn’t immediately released, but authorities say foul play is not suspected at this time.

An unoccupied vehicle was found in the park about 11 a.m. Sunday.

That began a search and the body was discovered around 5 p.m. Monday.

White Sands rangers said there is no shade or water along any of the trails in the park.

They recommend hikers bring at least one gallon of water per person per day along with high energy snacks.

2 National Forests In New Mexico Lift Fire RestrictionsAssociated Press

Gila National Forest and Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands officials on Tuesday announced the lifting of fire restrictions due to reduced wildfire danger.

Officials cited the arrival of summer rains accompanied by higher humidity levels and lower temperatures.

Showers and thunderstorms with “abundant monsoon moisture” are forecast to continue well into July, Gila National Forest officials said in a statement.

Forest officials imposed the restrictions to reduce risk of human-caused wildfire during extreme drought conditions that included low fuel moisture levels.

The Gila National Forest is headquartered in Silver City and includes large areas of southwestern New Mexico.

Headquartered in Albuquerque, the Cibola National Forest and National Grassland includes districts near Grants, west of Socorro and south and east of Albuquerque.

Heinrich Says Senate’s Filibuster Rule Should Change Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Sen. Martin Heinrich says the Senate should make major changes to its filibuster rule though the New Mexico Democrat acknowledges that would allow Republicans in the future to approve policy changes he opposes.

Heinrich said during a town hall Monday in Albuquerque that Senate rules should be changed to make it easier to pass most bills because partisan gridlock has blocked legislation, making it difficult for many Americans to discern between the parties, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

“As much as I know that, at some point, (Republicans) are going to do things that I absolutely disagree with, on climate, on choice, on really important stuff,” Heinrich said, “it is just as important to begin to have the feedback with the American people to tell the difference between the two parties. Elections will have consequences.”

With the Senate currently split 50-50, Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote gives Democrats control of the chamber.

However, Republicans can block most bills because of a rule requiring 60 senators to vote to end debate on most matters.

Ways to change the filibuster rule include requiring senators to be physically present on the Senate floor and personally speak in order to block a vote, Heinrich said.

US Proposes Removing Colorado River Fish’s Endangered StatusBy James Anderson, Associated Press

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday it plans to propose reclassifying a rare Colorado River Basin fish called the razorback sucker from endangered to threatened status after a multiyear and multistate effort throughout the Southwestern U.S. to replenish its populations.

A proposed formal relisting, to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register, would classify the fish as no longer on the brink of extinction. But it would require continued management of the razorback’s survival in the Colorado River and several key tributaries. The Fish and Wildlife Service first said it would recommend the change in 2018.

Hundreds of thousands of razorbacks once thrived in the Colorado River and its tributaries, which flow across seven states and Mexico. By the 1980s, they had dwindled to about 100. Researchers blamed non-native game fish that preyed on the razorbacks and the construction of dams that disrupted their habitat.

The razorback was listed as endangered under federal law in 1991. It has been protected under Colorado and Utah law since the 1970s.

Their adult numbers have since reached more than 50,000, thanks to the work of Fish and Wildlife and other federal and state agencies, Native American tribes, hatcheries, dam operators and landowners, said Tom Chart, director of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program. The program was created in 1988 to rescue the razorback and other endangered aquatic species in the basin.

“The razorback was the most rare species we came across,” Chart said Tuesday. “Today we are finding fish that originated in hatcheries and were stocked out under the program 20 years later, and they’re behaving like they’ve always been in the wild.”

Ancient and odd-looking, the razorback gets its name from a sharp-edge, keel-like ridge along its back behind its head. It can grow up to 3 feet (1 meter) long and live up to 40 years.

Individual fish are protected under endangered status. Threatened status means biologists can take steps to improve the overall population even if some fish might be hurt.

Wildlife advocates oppose the move, saying the fish’s numbers aren’t yet self-sustaining and that climate change is bringing lesser and warmer river flows that will jeopardize the fish’s survival. Drought and increasing human demand are straining the rivers, which makes it harder for fish to survive.

“Our two core concerns here are the perilous climate future of the Colorado River Basin and, despite a robust program for stocking the razorback in the river, almost of none of those fish are reproducing successfully, with the exception of Lake Mead,” said Taylor McKinnon, whose work focuses on endangered species and public lands for the Center for Biological Diversity. “They spawn, but those spawn are being consumed by non-native fish. It precludes establishing self-sustaining populations.”

The proposed relisting acknowledges that “recruitment of razorback sucker to the adult life stage remains rare in all but one population, and the species currently depends on management actions in order for populations to be resilient.”

Chart said Fish and Wildlife has and will work with its partners to address climate change’s effects in the future, especially when it concerns water flow.

“Fundamental to this decision is the razorback sucker is not at risk of extinction now,” he said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

Top Elected Officials On Hopi Reservation Seek Second TermAssociated Press

The top two elected officials on the Hopi reservation are seeking another term in office.

The Hopi Election Board recently certified the candidates for the election scheduled later this year. Chairman Tim Nuvangyaoma and Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva are running for a second consecutive four-year term.

Nuvangyaoma is among four seeking the chairman’s post. He’ll face David Norton Talayumptewa, a member of the Tribal Council and former U.S. Bureau of Indian Education official, whom he beat in the 2017 general election.

Former Vice Chairman Alfred Lomaquahu Jr. and Andrew Qumyintewa also are running for chairman. Hopis will narrow the list to two in the September primary election.

The race for vice chairman has two candidates, including the incumbent, Tenakhongva. He and Craig Andrews, who also serves on the Tribal Council, will automatically move on to the November general election.

The Hopi reservation in northeastern Arizona is completely surrounded by the much-larger Navajo Nation with its villages situated among three mesas. The Hopi Tribe has more than 14,600 enrolled members, not all of whom live on the reservation, according to the Hopi Enrollment Office.

Like other tribes, Hopi struggled through the coronavirus pandemic, enacting tough restrictions to keep COVID-19 from spreading further. Around 1,300 Hopis have been infected with the virus since the pandemic began.

During a public forum last month, the candidates for chairman and vice chairman recognized the toll the virus has taken on the reservation where wearing masks is still required and the tribe is slowly reopening.

“It’s not part of Hopi, it’s not part of our culture out here, but yet we have to follow that to save each one of us,” Tenakhongva said. “We’ve lost a lot of people.”

Thousands of Hopis are eligible to vote in this year’s elections but aren’t required to register. Turnout for the 2017 election was low, with about 1,620 votes cast.

The Hopi chairman and vice chairman run separately. Much of their authority comes from the Tribal Council, which functions like a city government. The chairman presides over meetings but doesn’t vote except to break a tie.

Gas Station Operator Sues New Mexico Over New Liquor Law – KRQE-TV, Associated Press

A company that runs dozens of convenience stores and gas stations in New Mexico is suing the state over new liquor laws that took effect last week. 

Western Refining Retail claims a new provision that singles out McKinley County is unconstitutional because it prohibits gas stations from selling liquor based on population. 

The new rule states any dispenser or retailer licensee who sells gasoline in a county with a population between 56,000 and 57,000 people cannot sell alcohol other than beer. McKinley is the only New Mexico county that falls under that population threshold, and the change does not affect other businesses like grocery stores, package liquor stores, restaurants and bars.

Democratic Sen. George Munoz told Albuquerque television station KRQE that he sought the language targeting retailers attached to gas stations to address a problem in his western New Mexico district.

“People die in McKinley County because of alcoholism,” he said.

He added: “Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it should be readily available and convenient in every single location.”

Western Refining’s lawsuit seeks to stop enforcement of the new law, noting that 14 businesses in the county are affected.

The company runs 10 of those businesses. The state’s Regulation and Licensing Department shows the company has dispenser licenses at Speedway, Giant and Conoco gas stations in Gallup.

Officials with the state licensing department said they will not comment on the lawsuit until they have a chance to review the complaint.

According to an annual report on substance use published by the New Mexico Health Department, McKinley and Rio Arriba counties had extremely high alcohol-related death rates.

Overall, the report noted that New Mexico has extremely high death rates due to both alcohol-related chronic diseases and alcohol-related injuries. The state’s rate of alcohol-related injury death was about 1.5 times the national rate. 

Health officials said that while New Mexico’s rate for alcohol-related motor vehicle traffic crashes has decreased substantially over the past 30 years, disparities remain. 

The state at the end of June rolled out its latest anti-drunken driving campaign, which includes television, radio, billboard and social media promotions. Law enforcement agencies also have started their summer DWI checkpoints and patrols.

New Mexico City Pilots Bike-To-School InitiativeAssociated Press

A city in New Mexico is tapping into federal grant money and other funding to pilot an initiative aimed at getting more children to ride their bicycles and walk to school. 

Students at Nina Otero Community School and El Camino Real Academy in Santa Fe are among those receiving bike safety lessons this summer as part of the citywide effort, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. 

A $ 300,000 grant and matching money from the Santa Fe Metropolitan Planning Organization will pay for staffing and a consultant, who will help build staff and volunteer groups to keep bike safety a top priority.

Funding will also be spent on experts in fields like geographic information systems so recommendations can be made on improvements to trails, sidewalks and crosswalks around town.

“We’ll be looking into improvements on campus areas,” said Tim Rogers, Conservation Trust trails program manager and Safe Routes coordinator. “We have all been working primarily on the south side.”

Safe Routes to School initiatives span the nation, emphasizing pedestrian and bike safety for kids getting to school. Rogers said a Safe Routes program in Las Cruces is possibly the only comprehensive program in the state.

A 2015 study showed the longer Safe Routes initiatives were in place, the more kids started walking and biking to schools.

New Mexico Police Shoot Suspect During Chase In Santa Fe Associated Press

Authorities are investigating the third shooting by law enforcement officers in Santa Fe in the past two weeks.

In the latest case, New Mexico State Police officers shot and wounded a suspect Sunday morning during a foot chase in a neighborhood on the city’s south side.

State police officers were dispatched to help with a call that involved a man who was sitting on the train tracks near Interstate 25.

Authorities said in a news release that the suspect pointed a gun at officers before running across the interstate and toward a residential area. The man fired at least one shot at officers during the chase.

Officers fired back, shooting the unidentified man at least once. Authorities said he was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.

State police also are investigating two other shootings by officers in Santa Fe, including one on June 23 in which a suspect in an earlier shooting at park was killed by Santa Fe police near Loretto Chapel. That same evening, Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies killed a man who pointed a gun at them after leading them on a car chase.

Lawsuit Claims Man Who Sparked Treasure Hunt Retrieved Own LootSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A French treasure hunter has sued the estate of a Santa Fe, New Mexico, antiquities dealer who sparked a yearslong search across the American West by hiding a chest filled with gold, coins and other valuables.

Bruno Raphoz is seeking $ 10 million in a complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court in New Mexico. He claims the late Forrest Fenn deprived him of the riches by moving the treasure chest after he solved a riddle that would lead him to the loot.

The lawsuit comes a year after another man found the treasure in Wyoming, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

“It appeared suspicious to everyone,” Raphoz said in the lawsuit. “Our assumption is that (Forrest) Fenn went to retrieve the chest himself, declared it found publicly and kept the content for himself.”

In his autobiography, “The Thrill of the Chase,” Fenn said he buried the chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe. His book included a poem that contained clues on where the chest was hidden. For a decade, thousands of people roamed the Rockies in search of the treasure estimated to be worth at least $ 1 million.

Several treasure seekers had to be rescued from precarious situations and as many as six died.

Raphoz’s lawsuit is just the latest legal claim to be spurred by the treasure hunt. A number of people have sued, alleging Fenn betrayed them or gave misleading clues.

Shiloh Old, Fenn’s grandson, could not be reached for comment.

Raphoz said he used the clues to determine Fenn’s treasure was in southwestern Colorado. He informed Fenn he solved the puzzle and was on his way to retrieve the chest. However, his plans were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, and Fenn announced a short time later that the treasure had been found.

Fenn died in September at age 90 without saying who found the chest or specifically where.

Fenn’s grandson confirmed in December that Jonathan “Jack” Stuef, a 32-year-old medical student from Michigan, discovered it. Fenn said before his death that the treasure was in Wyoming, but neither Stuef nor Fenn’s relatives have specified where.

Podcast Explores Creation Of US Parks With Indigenous VoicesBy Matt Dahlseid, Santa Fe New Mexican

In the first minutes of the first episode of a new podcast called Parks, Shane Doyle speaks of being largely unaware of his family’s sprawling roots in the area known today as Yellowstone National Park while he was growing up in the small town of Crow Agency, Montana.

A member of the Crow Nation, Doyle’s ancestors were forcibly removed from the land that was eventually established as the world’s first national park in 1872. His family had been detached from this land for generations, and the park known internationally for its remarkable geothermal features and stunning wildlife was relatively foreign to him as a youth.

While obtaining his master’s degree in Native American studies, Doyle became well-versed in the onslaught of obstacles that confronted his and nearly 30 other tribes associated with the Yellowstone area.

The tribes contended with diseases like smallpox brought to the continent by European colonizers, broken land rights treaties by the United States government, the killing off of their primary food source — bison — and a forced assimilation into mainstream European American culture through Native American boarding schools.

“Quite frankly, there was an ethnic cleansing on this ground,” Doyle says in the 28-minute debut episode of Parks titled “Yellowstone,” which was released June 22. “And the cleansing was not just the people and the culture, but it was also the memory, it was the history, it was the way of life that existed for thousands of years that all of the sudden vanished.”

As the popularity of America’s national parks continues to surge, Parks co-creators and Santa Fe-based multimedia journalists Mary Mathis and Cody Nelson urge visitors to educate themselves about and acknowledge the Indigenous tribes whose ties to these sacred spaces span millennia.

The aim of the documentary podcast is to explore the history of tribes on these lands, the ways in which the lands were dispossessed, issues the Indigenous communities face today, and how they’ve kept their culture and traditions alive, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

“There’s so much that was written, but when it was written, it was from the point of view of Eastern colonizers,” said Mathis, 25, a former photo editor at National Public Radio and Outside magazine who serves as the host of Parks. “It wasn’t every story, it was just one story — the quote, unquote ‘winner’s’ story. We see that a lot in our education system and I think that was where the idea (for Parks) kind of came from.”

The first episode follows a format the Parks team plans to replicate throughout the project, one where Indigenous guests are closely involved in each step of the editing process so as to maintain complete ownership of their stories.

The guests’ feedback is considered at every point in the editing of an episode, creating a collaborative environment of storytelling.

“For a long time, Native people have not had ownership of the narrative about what the wider general public knows about Indigenous people, so it’s really critical that the guests have complete ownership of the process because that’s the most important part,” said Taylor Hensel, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation who serves as a story editor for the podcast. “That’s the only way to tell authentic stories.”

Mathis and Nelson began research for Parks last summer. The couple, who moved to Santa Fe from the Midwest last year, had to conduct all of their interviews via phone or video call because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nelson, 28, said the obstacle ended up shaping the show in a positive way.

“It forced us to get creative, which I think wound up being a good thing because the format we’ve taken is using the voices of our guests rather than the voices of me and Mary,” said Nelson, a former reporter for Minnesota Public Radio. “We’ve aimed to go really light on the narration and really heavy on our guests’ voices.”

Hensel was one of the consultants Mathis and Nelson reached out to early on while contemplating the path of the podcast. She works full-time as a producer for Nia Tero, a nonprofit based in Seattle that works globally with Indigenous people, specifically when it comes to land rights and the environment.

The Parks project excited Hensel, and she accepted an offer to join the small team as its third member.

Hensel said her view of national parks is tied to the history of dispossession and broken treaties that took the lands away from their original inhabitants.

“As a Native person, I live every single day knowing that this is stolen land, and this land doesn’t belong to the people who claim to own it. National parks are no exception,” Hensel said. “When I enter those spaces, I carry that weight with me, knowing that land was stolen from Indigenous peoples. It certainly is heavy and I personally believe that that land should be given back. I hope to see that one day.”

Hensel is also passionate about the words used when speaking about natural spaces such as national parks.

It’s common to hear language that discounts the history of Indigenous tribes on these lands, such as referring to the environments as “pristine” and “untouched.” Hensel works with Mathis and Nelson to be intentional and thoughtful about the words being used in the narration.

“Taylor is someone who is working with us consistently to decolonize the language that we use in the script,” Mathis said. “There have been rewrites and rewrites and rewrites of sentences where we maybe used a word that had some sort of power dynamic to it, and she’s really opening our eyes to the ways in which we really do need to decolonize our language, especially in journalism.”

Another unique aspect of the podcast’s production is the compensation of guests who share their stories.

The not-for-profit project is funded by donations and out of the pockets of Mathis and Nelson, who both freelance to earn a living. Nelson said they offer a small honorarium, sometimes around $ 50 or so, to guests for their contributions.

The Parks team plans on releasing an episode each month during the summer, then seeing where things go from there. They’ve already conducted all the interviews for the second episode, which will focus on Native tribes living in and around the Grand Canyon, and hope to release the episode in July.

Mathis and Nelson said their perspective on national parks has changed considerably while working on the project and speaking with Indigenous people whose lives have been impacted by land dispossession.

“It’s a far more complicated picture, I’d say, from what I’ve learned,” Nelson said. “It makes you think about everything a lot differently.

“I will still go to national parks; I’m not going to boycott the system, but I am going to live in a way that doesn’t become a party to this awful commodification of nature and the erasure of the people whose lands this is.”

US beats Mexico 4-0 in final Olympics tune-up for women’s soccer team

US beats Mexico 4-0 in final Olympics tune-up for women's soccer team

The Americans’ next match is an Olympics opening-round date with Sweden — the team that knocked them out of the quarterfinals in Rio five years ago.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn — Tobin Heath scored her second goal in as many games and the United States defeated Mexico 4-0 on Monday in the American women’s final match before the Olympics.

The United States is now undefeated in 44 straight matches, the second-longest unbeaten streak in team history. The Americans also extended their winning streak against Mexico to 15 games and improved to 39-1-1 overall. The lone U.S. loss in the series was in a 2010 World Cup qualifier.

U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski continued to finetune his lineups in advance of the Olympics later this month. The United States, a four-time gold medal winner, is aiming to become the first team to follow a World Cup title with an Olympic gold medal.

Heath started after coming off the bench and scoring in the United States’ first send-off game against Mexico on Thursday, when the Americans also won by a 4-0 score. She hadn’t played for some six months because of injury.

Carli Lloyd got the start Monday in place of Alex Morgan, and midfielder Rose Lavelle got the nod while Kristie Mewis and Megan Rapinoe were available off the bench.

Rapinoe, Mewis and Morgan all started the second half.

The United States scored all its goals in the first half. Horan scored on a volley in the sixth minute, followed by Lloyd’s diving header in the 11th.

After an own goal in the 37th minute, Heath scored in the 39th.

Next up for the United States are the Tokyo Olympics. The Americans play Sweden — the team that knocked them out of the 2016 Games in the quarterfinals — to open the tournament in Japan on July 21.

Mexico did not make the field of 12 teams for the Tokyo Games.

[embedded content]

Author: Associated Press
Read more here >>> CBS8 – Sports

Video shows fire in Gulf of Mexico after gas pipeline rupture

Video shows fire in Gulf of Mexico after gas pipeline rupture
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s state-owned oil company said Friday it suffered a rupture in an undersea gas pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico, sending flames boiling to the surface in the Gulf waters.

Petroleos Mexicanos said it had dispatched fire control boats to pump more water over the flames.

Pemex, as the company is known, said nobody was injured in the incident in the offshore Ku-Maloob-Zaap field.

The leak near dawn Friday occurred about 150 yards from a drilling platform. The company said it had brought the gas leak under control about five hours later.

But the accident gave rise to the strange sight of roiling balls of flame boiling up from below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

It was unclear how much environmental damage the gas leak and oceanic fireball had caused.

Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director for the Center for Biological Diversity, wrote that “the frightening footage of the Gulf of Mexico is showing the world that offshore drilling is dirty and dangerous.”

Sakashita added, “These horrific accidents will continue to harm the Gulf if we don’t end offshore drilling once and for all.”

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Author: AP
Read more here >>> ABC13

What is the Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' and how big will it be this summer

What is the Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' and how big will it be this summer

TEXAS (KXAN) — During the summer in the Gulf of Mexico, a ‘dead zone’ or hypoxic area forms where little to no oxygen in the water kills fish and other types of marine life.

What is the reason there’s so little oxygen?

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the annual Gulf of Mexico dead zone is primarily caused by excess nutrient pollution from human activities in urban and agricultural areas throughout the Mississippi River watershed. When the excess nutrients reach the Gulf, they stimulate an overgrowth of algae which eventually die and decompose, depleting oxygen as they sink to the bottom. The resulting low oxygen levels near the bottom of the Gulf cannot support most marine life.

Some fish, shrimp and crab swim out of this area, but not all animals or fish can get away and the lack of oxygen stresses or kills them.

For the last few years, NOAA has issued a forecast for the size of the hypoxic area leading into summer. Summer 2021 is expected to have a ‘dead zone’ of around 4,880 square miles. That’s actually slightly smaller than the five-year average size of 5,400 square miles.

The largest hypoxic zone was in 2017 when 8,776-squre-miles of the Gulf of Mexico had little to no oxygen. These measurements have been mapped since 1985, but this is only the fourth year NOAA has made a ‘dead zone’ forecast.

“Understanding the effects of hypoxia on valuable Gulf of Mexico resources has been a long-term focus of NOAA’s research,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “These forecasting models inform us of the potential magnitude of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone that might impact living marine resources and coastal economies.”

According to NOAA, river discharge in May and the associated nutrient load to the Gulf of Mexico has been shown to be a major contributing factor to the size of the dead zone which forms each summer. In May 2021, discharge in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers was about 2% below the long-term average between 1980 and 2020. The United States Geological Survey estimates that this smaller-than-average river discharge carried 90,500 metric tons of nitrate and 15,600 metric tons of phosphorus into the Gulf of Mexico in May alone. These nitrate loads were about 32% below the long-term average, and phosphorus loads were about 9% below the long-term average.

The USGS uses more than 3,000 stream gauges and sensors to measure the nutrients leading into the Gulf of Mexico to help get an idea the impact on the hypoxic zone.

While agricultural sources are the largest nutrient sources to the Gulf, urban areas, waste treatment and with natural sources also contribute significant nutrients to the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can impact the size of the hypoxic zone, as those storms mix ocean waters and add oxygen to de-oxygenated areas. Generally the improvement is just temporary as those waters start losing oxygen soon after storms move on.

NOAA will survey the Gulf of Mexico to confirm the size of this year’s dead zone and test how accurately the ‘dead zone’ forecast was.

The Interagency Mississipi River and Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force has set a goal to reduce the hypoxic zone to a five-year average measured size of 1,900 square miles. In order for this goal to be reached, nutrient reducing methods along the Mississippi River watershed need to work.

“The Hypoxia Task Force plays a critical role in managing nutrient loads in the Mississippi River Basin to reduce over time the size of the hypoxic zone,” said John Goodin, director of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds. “Through state leadership in implementing nutrient reduction strategies, support from EPA and other federal agencies, and partnerships with basin organizations and research partners, we will continue to tackle the challenge of Gulf hypoxia. This annual forecast will continue to inform our collective efforts.”

Author: Nick Bannin
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Forza Horizon 5 release date and Mexico gameplay joins Redfall news for Xbox

Forza Horizon 5 release date and Mexico gameplay joins Redfall news for Xbox

Forza Horizon 5 has been officially announced during the Microsoft and Bethesda E3 showcase.

Confirming earlier reports, Forza Horizon 5 will take place in an open world Mexico setting, and have a November 9 release date.

The exciting news was announced alongside a new gameplay trailer, which showcases the stunning Mexico setting.

According to Microsoft, the new Forza Horizon sequel will feature a “deep campaign” complete with new story missions.

One of the more interesting new additions is EventLab, which lets players create their own custom races, challenges and game modes.

“Create your own expressions of fun with the new EventLab gameplay toolset including custom races, challenges, stunts, and new game modes.

“Customise your cars in more ways than ever before. Use the Gift Drops feature to share your custom creations.”

The Mexico setting is shaping up to be one of the most diverse yet, containing deserts, jungles, hidden ruins, beaches and canyons.

Fans will even be able to explore a towering snow-capped volcano, as well as a huge stadium.

“Lead breathtaking expeditions across the vibrant and ever-evolving open world landscapes of Mexico with limitless, fun driving action in hundreds of the world’s greatest cars,” reads the official description.

“Take on awe-inspiring weather events like towering dust storms and intense tropical storms as Mexico’s unique, dynamic seasons change the world every week. Keep coming back for new events, challenges, collectibles, and rewards, and new areas to explore.

“Team up with other players and enter the Horizon Arcade for a continuing series of fun, over-the-top challenges that keep you and your friends in the action and having fun with no menus, loading screens or lobbies.”

With Forza Horizon 5 an Xbox exclusive, the game will be available as a free download for Game Pass subscribers at launch.

The Forza Horizon 5 announcement was followed by news of a brand new Xbox IP called Redfall.

The co-op shooter takes place in Massachusetts, where vampires have taken over a small town.

“The quaint island town of Redfall, Massachusetts, is under siege by a legion of vampires who have blocked out the sun and cut the island off from the outside world.

“Trapped with a handful of survivors against diabolical enemies threatening to bleed the town dry, choose your hero from a diverse roster, grouping up with others to create the perfect team of vampire slayers. Redfall is an open-world co-op FPS being developed by Arkane Austin and will launch exclusively on Xbox Series X|S and PC in Summer 2022.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Texas Says It Will Build Border Wall With Mexico

Texas Says It Will Build Border Wall With Mexico

McALLEN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said on Thursday that the state would build a border wall with Mexico, providing few specifics about construction that would extend one of former President Donald J. Trump’s favored projects.

It is unclear if the state has the authority to build a wall in an attempt to deter immigrants, a majority of whom have been fleeing poverty and violence from Central America.

Speaking at a meeting with state law enforcement officials in Del Rio, a small border city that has seen a large influx of immigrants since President Biden took office in January, Mr. Abbott said he expected to announce more details about the wall next week.

Mr. Abbott explained that he would start by setting up barriers to identify people trying to cross the border and by deploying additional law enforcement agents to assist the Border Patrol. He has blamed the increase in migrant crossings on Mr. Biden’s unwinding of Mr. Trump’s restrictive border rules.

“It is out of control and a change is needed,” he said. “Some of these border barriers will be built immediately.”

Then the governor revealed, to thundering applause, that Texas would also build a border wall.

“While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows,” Mr. Abbott said, adding, “Our efforts will only be effective if we work together to secure the border, make criminal arrests, protect landowners, rid our communities of dangerous drugs and provide Texans with the support they need and deserve.”

In March, Mr. Abbott put into action what he called Operation Lone Star, which allows the deployment of hundreds of agents and resources along the southwestern border to combat the smuggling of human beings, drugs and guns, said Victor Escalon, a regional director with the Texas Department of Public Safety. But deciding to build a border wall may be a first for a state executive.

Mr. Abbott’s announcement was quickly criticized by immigration advocates, who said it would most likely face legal challenges.

“There is no substantive plan,” said Edna Yang, co-executive director of American Gateways, an immigration legal aid and advocacy group in Texas. “It’s not going to make any border community or county safer.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas tweeted, “To be clear, this is an attempt to distract from his governing failures while targeting vulnerable immigrants.”

Mr. Trump made the border wall a signature campaign promise and often pressed his homeland security officials to speed the construction of the project, waiving federal contracting and environmental laws in the process.

During his campaign, Mr. Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, but he instead redirected billions from Defense Department funds that were initially meant for anti-narcotics or construction programs. His administration eventually built more than 450 miles of new wall, primarily in areas where dilapidated barriers once stood. Most of the construction was in Arizona, where migrants already struggle through rough terrain to cross the border, rather than in South Texas, an area prone to illegal crossings.

Private landowners in South Texas emerged as an obstacle to Mr. Trump’s construction, with many resisting the administration’s efforts to seize their land through eminent domain. And then Mr. Biden suspended construction of the wall on his first day in office, part of a series of actions to roll back Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda.

The Biden administration and Mr. Abbott have clashed over how to handle the thousands of unaccompanied minors who have crossed the border in recent months. The administration was unable to redirect federal funds designated for disaster aid to assist in border processing when Mr. Abbott refused to provide his consent.

At the time, Mr. Abbott said that the federal government, not Texas, was responsible for asserting control over the border.

When the migrant children filled detention facilities run by the Border Patrol, the Biden administration responded by opening temporary facilities in a Dallas convention center, a San Antonio sports arena and other vacant sites around the country. While Vice President Kamala Harris was in Guatemala this week, she discouraged potential migrants from traveling to the border, telling them, “Do not come.”

The Biden administration still uses a pandemic emergency rule, known as Title 42, that empowers border agents to rapidly turn away most single adults and many families crossing the border into the hands of Mexican authorities. Mr. Biden has exempted unaccompanied minors from the policy, which prevents most other migrants from having a chance to apply for asylum.

Some families, however, have been able to cross into Texas because of a change in Mexican law that barred the detention of small immigrant children, and a lack of shelter capacity south of the border. Instead of detaining those families, U.S. authorities release many into Texas communities.

Author: Edgar Sandoval and Zolan Kanno-Youngs
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News