This week, New Mexico in Focus covers the Sandia National Laboratories’ mixed waste landfill in Albuquerque where radioactive and other chemical wastes were dumped into unlined pits and trenches from 1959 to 1988. Advocates will offer news about the latest developments regarding the site, and whether it presents a serious threat to the city’s groundwater.

The program airs Friday nights at 7 p.m. on channel 5.1 and appears online on the NMiF website shortly thereafter. The show rebroadcasts Saturday at 5 p.m. on channel 9.1 and again on Sunday at 7 a.m. on channel 5.1.

Also scheduled is a look at the Albuquerque Police Officer Dear who fatally shot a 19-year-old woman suspected of grand theft auto. Dear is appealing his firing and awaits the results of an Internal Affairs Investigation and the issue of payday lending in New Mexico. Despite several successful lawsuits against lenders, and a push for reforms, companies can still charge high interest rates, according to advocates. There will be a push in the next legislative session to put a usury cap of 36 percent in place, but it’s unclear if that effort will succeed, despite popular support for more regulation.

Finally, the panel discusses a new naming rights deal for the Pit between UNM and local pizza chain WisePies, as well as the latest on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and pending federal rules on smog.

* David Correia, professor of American Studies, UNM
* Dave McCoy, executive director, Citizen Action New Mexico
* Leona Morgan, Diné NO NUKES
* H. Eric Nuttall, professor emeritus of Chemical/Nuclear Engineering, UNM

Line Panelists
* Janice Arnold-Jones, former state representative
* Dede Feldman, former state senator
* Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group
* Sophie Martin, editor, & attorney

* Floyd Vasquez

* Gene Grant

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Co-producers of New Mexico in Focus are Megan Kamerick and Floyd E. Vasquez Jr. Associate producer is Kathy Wimmer. Funding for this program was provided in part by the McCune Foundation Communications Fund, Santa Fe Community Foundation.