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Comment by bf on December 31, 2008 at 8:17am
Duke City Fixers and KOB-TV, Thanks for taking a continued interest in this, yet another of the daily humiliations and frustrations people are obliged to endure.

Since I was laid off 2 weeks ago, I've been able to get into the phone queue only once despite repeated attempts only to be disconnected after an hour on the line. Since then I've been frustrated for weeks trying to log on to the website to file a new claim!

I'm sure more than some people are having difficulties accessing the website.

I laughed when AP reported today the numbers of people filing for new claims are DOWN nationwide ... well, they likely don't have the full story. Of course, if people can't get through the phone lines, the websites, or into an office to open a claim they remain untallied. I suspect ABQ's reporting figures would be a bit skewed. Likely this same sort of dysfunctional meltdown is happening elsewhere throughout the country and AP takes the figures at face value. But it certainly is frustrating here and now for me.

"New filings for jobless benefits drop below 500K

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer Jeannine Aversa, Ap Economics Writer –



WASHINGTON – The number of newly laid off workers signing up for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week but those continuing to draw aid climbed to the highest level since 1982.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that first-time applications filed for jobless benefits dropped by a seasonally adjusted 94,000 to 492,000 for the week ending Dec. 27.
Comment by Sarahjmd on December 31, 2008 at 12:34pm
OMG! I didn't know that developers can use our tax dollars. Is this a general practice? I realize that we, the voters, would have to approve such a bond issue, but I can't believe that developers are even considered by the legislature to ask to be on a bond issue ballot. Am I the only one who doesn't know about this? Have the voters ever chosen to give money to developers before? Do I sound outraged?
Comment by bf on December 31, 2008 at 12:41pm
The email address for Mr Roybal doesn't work.

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at yahoo.com.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

:
67.132.251.242 does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 550 5.1.1 User unknown
Giving up on 67.132.251.242.

Any other ideas? Anybody?
Comment by bf on December 31, 2008 at 1:48pm
Well, because there's no getting through to them to find anything out, and they're saying they're out of money to fix their system, let's for fun wildly and frivilously speculate. Let's pretend they're not accepting claims and impeding the process because they don't have the money at all. Let's pretend the unemployment moneys were allocated and invested and were with the $25 million the State of New Mexico that went down the tube in the state's Bernie Madoff investment package. Just for fun.
Comment by Dr Dan on December 31, 2008 at 2:41pm
any state e-mail will end in "state.nm.us"
Comment by Michelle Meaders on December 31, 2008 at 10:46pm
It's an odd time to be out of money. The Federal fiscal year just started in October, and the State and City ones are only half over. There should still be enough in the current allotment Also, I thought NM's Unemployment Fund was so large that it can pay a little extra to families with kids.
Comment by Shady Lady on January 1, 2009 at 2:30am
It's an odd time to be out of money?!? Every major industry, including retailers, are asking for a bailout? Traditionally, NM has been immune, from recessions. This is the worst recession since the depression. Oil prices were at a record high, our NM budget was covered, provided energy prices stayed high. Must we forget, Southern NM's oil riches paid for our recent budget? Then again, perhaps the unemployment fund is managed by Mr. Madoff?
Comment by bf on January 1, 2009 at 2:12pm
OK, yesterday, I emailed Ms Denish, Mr Udall, Mr Heinrich, and Mr Bingaman.

Today, I just went to change.gov and posted under the New challenges, new opportunities, Thursday, January 1, 2009 07:50am EST. I was invited to do so by "To start off the new year, tell us your goals for 2009 in the discussion forum below." My comment is under moderation and I don't know if it will appear there. But here it is for you to consider and to add observations, comments, or suggestions of your own.

My goal for 2009 is to get local elected officials to take notice and truly repair the dysfunctional morass that the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has become. They changed their name a few years back from the Department of Labor. And I am concerned for several reasons. Primarily and in the long run because the WPA-like plan being developed to create new jobs will likely be obliged to partner in some way with this agency. I'm guessing that will be the case as similar approaches were taken in the old days of the New Deal when people were put back to work.

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions is currently in a state of complete and utter melt down, although to be fair I must point out the inherent problems with the system have merely been exacerbated of late. They sought to modernize and developed telecommuting requirements for applying for benefits and federal extensions but have provided a phone system and website that have a history of malfunctioning badly for the applicants, requiring interminable waits, disconnects, or inaccessibility. If the system has been designed to somehow "discourage" people from applying for benefits, so as to remain untallied as an unemployment statistic, all to present a rosier picture of New Mexico than perhaps actually ever existed, then the system is really doing its job.

The result of dealing with such a bureaucratic mire has damaging effects on the human beings who have been laid off, who are obliged to initiate a claim, report weekly for benefits, or who must recertify a claim to access the 6 weeks of federal extension to benefits (which was to have been 13, remember, until someone decided otherwise). It also can show the very poor regard that elected officials have for the state's citizens. Of course, the NM Department of Workforce Solutions currently says they don't have the money in their budget to fix this problem. Bill Richardson the recently departed Governor of New Mexico has been selected to head the cabinet for Commerce. Can he fix this mess? I sincerely hope some elected officials can fix this problem in the microcosm before it is carried into the macrocosm.
Comment by bf on January 2, 2009 at 9:24am
This morning, the ABQ Journal ran Dan Boyd's piece on the NM Dept of Workforce Solutions:

http://www.abqjournal.com/news/state/021044405020newsstate01-02-09.htm

I'm happy they're taking an interest.
Comment by bf on January 3, 2009 at 12:19pm

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