This week on New Mexico in Focus, fleeing Taliban rule, Afghans who were able to leave their homeland are now arriving in the U.S., including part of Fort Bliss Army Base that’s in New Mexico. The Line opinion panel offers thoughts on Democratic leaders reaching out to the White House to accept Afghans and what the state can realistically offer. 
Plans for the SunZia Transmission Project have been in the works since 2006, with $150 million already spent. The estimated $4 billion project is supposed to someday bring wind-generated power from New Mexico to markets in Arizona and California. Laura Paskus talks to John Ryan, SunZia New Mexico executive director, and Sandra Noll, who lives in Socorro County and worries how the project will affect migrating birds, ecotourism and the rural communities nearby. 
Organizer and activist Kay Bounkeua is taking over for former legislative powerhouse Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, who resigned in the face of alleged financial improprieties. Believed to be the first Asian American woman to hold office in the Legislature, Bounkeua sits down with NMiF senior producer Matt Grubs to talk representation and redistricting.  

The Line also looks at sobering numbers for pedestrian fatalities in New Mexico. Albuquerque has long had a serious problem, but what does the rest of the sprawling state do for people who prefer or have no other choice than to walk? The group also looks at continued pushback against the governor’s decision to require vaccinations for State Fair attendance and for key frontline jobs in the state. 

New Mexico in Focus airs on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME HD) Friday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 29 at 7 a.m.   

NMiF Segments 

Rep. Kay Bounkeua  

Matt Grubs 
Rep. Kay Bounkeua, NM House District 19  

SunZia Power Struggle 
Laura Paskus 

Sandra Noll, Protect Our Rio Grande 
John Ryan, executive director, SunZia New Mexico  

The Line opinion panel 
Michael Bird, public health expert 
Dan Boyd, Capitol bureau chief, Albuquerque Journal 
Dede Feldman, former state senator  

Gene Grant 

New Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues, and people that are shaping life in New Mexico and the Southwest. NMiF takes a multi-layered look at social, political, economic health, education, and art issues, and explores them in-depth with a critical eye to give them context beyond the "news of the moment." 

The producer of New Mexico in Focus is Matt Grubs, with Kathy Wimmer, associate producer. The NM PBS Public Affairs executive producer is Kevin McDonald. 

The McCune Charitable Foundation provides NMiF funding, along with viewers like you. Get updates, watch and follow New Mexico PBS on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and more.