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Santa Fe New Mexican: Friday, February 11, 2005 - Page 1

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   New Mexican (Newspaper) - February 11, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico                                THE SANTA FE owned Serving NewMextoo forl56years FRIDAY FEBRUARY 11 2005 FIFTY CENTS Group Tax cuts not helping economy Governor denies claims made in an analysis prepared by the former top economist of his administration By BARRY MASSEY The Associated Press Income tax cuts advocated by Gov Bill Richardson have not boosted New Mexicos economy according to a report released Thursday by a group supporting a cap on the tax reductions Job growth personal income job quality median income percent age of the population in poverty percentage of uninsured per capita income measures have not budged in recent said the study by New Mexico Voices for Children The tax cuts enacted by the 2003 Legislature at the behest of the gov ernor have not affected the trajec tory of New Mexicos economy in any discernible way according to the report The report takes aims at a central part of Richardsons fiscal policy cutting income taxes as a tool for economic development The analysis was prepared by a former top economist in the Richardson administration Gerry Bradley Until recently becoming research director for the Albuquer quebased group Bradley was the chief economist for the state Depart ment of Labor Richardson in a statement reiter ated his support for the tax cuts Please see TAX Page A6 Inside Bill would make police record suspect interviews Panel nixes interest cap on payday loans Senate votes to help retiree fund PageA7 HIGHWAY OF PERPETUAL CONSTRUCTION Luis Sanchez New Mexican Albert Vera and Isaiah Rojas both of Scott Derr Painting In Houston finish their work on the Paz bridge on on Thursday afternoon The painting crew blocked one of the northbound lanes during the project restricting traffic to two lanes More work planned for By MARISSA STONE The New Mexican Some drivers who have already endured three years of reconstruction along 285 are headed into more of the same As a 14mile project between Santa Fe and Pojoaque ends a project between Pojoaque and Espanola is beginning The project is expected fo take two years People want a said James Gal legos assistant district engineer for the state Department of Transportation The new million project was sched uled to begin in two or three years but will start this fall The project will accommodate regional growth and improve traffic safety said Carlos Padilla an engineering consul tant with the Louis Berger Group Ken Salazar whose family owns the Saints Sinners liquor store in Espanola said his wife commutes to Santa Fe from the couples home in Arroyo Seco between Pojoaque and Espanola Nancy Salazar who has driven through the PojoaquetoSanta Fe project for years is tired of the construction and the commute he said She wants to move because of But Marilyn Meyer welcomes the work The Arroyo Seco woman is tired of fighting traffic to get out of her driveway where vehicles a day pass It takes about five or 10 minutes to get on the she said Its desperately Work on the project which will be com pleted in phases will begin at opposite ends at 503 the turnoff to Nambe and at Upper San Pedro Road near the Dandy Burger restaurant in Espanola The recon struction will probably take two years Gal legos said The EspanolatoPojoaque highway is still being designed will be Please see WORK Page A8 About the projects What ending A 14mile project between Santa Fe and Pojoaque Time and cost Three years and million Whats starting A project between Pojoaque and Espanola Time and cost Two years and million Total construction time for both Five years Speaking out The public can attend two project meetings the first is scheduled for spring to give the department feedback on the improvements Lawsuit Car reeked of urine after repair By JASON AUSLANDER The New Mexican A Tijeras woman claims something didnt smell right after a Santa Fe auto dealer ship worked on her car In a lawsuit filed Wednes day in state District Court 26yearold Kellie Baxter alleges when she picked up her 2000 Hyundai Accent late last year at Santa Fe Mitsubishi and Hyundai the vehicles interior reeked of human urine Baxter who had disputed charges for repairs to her car claims she found traces of urine on the dashboard cup holders door panels and passenger seat of the car and has been unable to expunge the odor even after a profes sional cleaning A representative of the car dealership flatly denied the allegations Thursday Her story is general manager Monty Mitchell said It is abso lutely According to the complaint Baxters car broke down in Santa Fe County on Oct 28 2004 and she had the vehicle towed to Santa Fe Mitsubishi and Hyundai Dealership employees said the car would be ready the next day and the repair was covered under her warranty Three days later she says she was told the vehicle wouldnt be ready for another 12 days About two weeks later Baxter was told the repair was not covered under war ranty and a timing belt needed repair A week later the dealership said she owed for the job which included a deduction of for the three days she initially spent in a Santa Fe Please see CAR Paga A6 INSIDE TODAY Todays obituaries Jefferey Hopwood 55 died Feb 4 jimmie E Hernandez 71 Santa Fe died Feb 9 Alice R Mauthe 97 died Feb 8 Page B2 Todays forecast Cloudy isolated showers High 43 low 21 Page B2 INDEX Annies Mailbox B4 Local Bl Business D4 Lotteries B2 Classifieds C4 Opinion A9 Comics Police notes B2 Crossword W Scoreboard D2 Generation Next Cl Horoscope fr4 Sports Stocks Dl D5 Casting off the Wues The nearly three dozen plaster facecasts created by blind artist Sharon McConnell represent the partial fulfillment of her mission to immortalize Americas blues greats The public has a chance to see her LifeCast Blues series and photographs by blind photographer Safiwa Nairobi at the state Capitol In Pasatiempo N Korea boasts about its nukes suspends talks By TIM JOHNSON Knight Ridder Newspapers TOKYO North Koreas declaration Thursday that it possesses a nuclearweapons arsenal and will drop out of talks on giving it up sent the United States and its part ners searching for a way to reengage with the autocratic and isolated regime The North Korean claim came as Knight Ridder learned the intelligence community six months ago raised its estimate of the size qf North Koreas nuclear arsenal to between two and 15 bombs The lower assessment came from intelligence ana lysts at the Department of Energy caretaker of the nuclear arsenal while the higher number came from the Defense Intelligence Agency said officials who requested anonymity because the estimate is clas sified The officials however cautioned that the numbers werent based on hard evi dence but on assumptions based on such factors as the quantity and quality of North Koreas highly enriched ura nium The previous classified estimate put the number of North Korean nuclear weap ons between two and nine The United States Japan South Korea China and Rus sia have been urging severely impoverished North Korea to return to talks aimed at getting it to dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for security guarantees and economic assistance Secretary of State Condo leezza Rice said the North Korean announcement was a most unfortunate move most especially prouably for the people of North She urged North Korea to reas sess its decision to pull out of the talks saying a withdrawal Please see NUKES Page A8 Approximate known nuclear arsenals Who has the power A Israel Pakistan 3050 India 4595 Britain 200 Strategic H tactical less powerful El Estimate North Korea said Thursday that it has nuclear weapons If true it becomes the ninth nation believed to possess them 300 120 I France 350 Not confirmed by government Note Russia and the United States have and warheads in storage respectively SOURCES Arms Control Association Nuclear Threat Initiative The Associated Press House votes to make states deny licenses to illegal immigrants By MICHELLE MITTELSTADT The Dallas Morning News WASHINGTON The House on Thursday moved to deny drivers licenses to ille gal immigrants and to tighten asylum laws offering the first salvo in what is sure to be a contentious debate over immigration on Capitol Hill this year On a 261161 vote the House approved legisla tion that backers say would improve border security and hamper terrorists ability to travel inside the country The goal of the Real ID Act is straightforward It seeks to prevent another type terrorist attack by dis rupting terrorist said the bills author Rep James Sensenbrennef RWis Not so said a broad swath of critics who charged the measures champions used the threat of terrorism to crack down on immigrants and asylum seekers while placing the financial burden on the states The bill was opposed by immigrant and refugee advo cates state motorvehicle administrators the National Governors Association reli gious groups and civil liber tarians It will make it harder for those fleeing religious and political persecution to access freedom prevent legal immigrants from becoming citizens put more unlicensed and uninsured drivers on our roads and make the govern ment exempt from labor environmental contract immigration health safety and other laws when con structing border said Angela Kelley deputy director of the National Immigration Forum Though the legislation gained a boost this week with a White House endorsement its prospects in the Senate are unclear Several key Senate Repub licans have said the bill should be considered as part of a broader immigration Please see VOTES Page A10   

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