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How Is AMREP Corporation Doing?

seekingalpha.com has a article about AMREP titled “Amrep’s Rio Rancho Dream May Turn Out To Be A Desert Mirage“. Everyone who lives in Rio Rancho should know about AMREP (especially if they live in one of their shitty houses). Overall the article indicates that the company’s media business is on the decline and it’s not well understood how much it’s real estate is worth.

It is currently a company that engages mainly in the business of subscription fulfillment services, newsstand distribution services and product packaging and fulfillment services as well as a bit of staffing businesses. We will call these businesses collectively as Media services and they make up pretty much all of the company’s business activities on a regular basis. The second aspect of the stock’s value is its large ownership of land in the city of Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

In the 1960s, AXR purchased the massive plot of land in Rio Rancho and it was mass marketed to people all over the world as a retirement home or an investment property. The 1960s ads marketed them as wonderful investments at a mere $10/month attracted investors worldwide and particularly from New York. AXR then sold thousands of plots to different investors without considering the future development possibilities of Rio Rancho. Thus, Rio Rancho is now left with the legacy of this antiquated platting method where any meaningful area for development has already been developed and most of the land left has been divided in ownership due to AXR’s own past plot sales.

Be sure to check out their website, which is as shitty as their houses.

Thoughts About GT Advanced Technologies

In November of 2013 azcentral.com reported “Apple to buy vacant Mesa building, bring 2,000 jobs to Valley

The deal, which was announced by GT in a regulatory filing Monday afternoon, is seen as a coup for Arizona, drawing excitement and praise from Gov. Jan Brewer, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and a variety of economic-development officials.

Not even a year later the whole thing has fallen apart with GT Advanced Technologies filing for bankruptcy and laying off 727 people from the plant. I can’t help think about those people and how excited they must have been when the plant first opened and how shitty they feel today. I wonder if Tim Cook and the other managers at Apple are also thinking about these people loosing their jobs.

GT called it’s contract with Apple “oppressive and burdensome”. It makes me think that Apple is used to making whatever demands they want of Chinese companies and the Chinese companies get as much slave labor as needed to get done what ever Apple requests. GT was unable to respond like a Chinese company.. This could be bad for American manufacturing. Apple should be making their parts in America, but will they even try to work with another American company? Will another American company want to work with Apple? Will anyone learn anything from this?

I interviewed to work at GT in February of this year. I was not offered a job because I was unable pick up and move to Arizona immediately. I suspect I would have been offered a job as I think I was well qualified. I guess I could say that I was lucky I didn’t get laid off twice in one year. I don’t feel lucky, I just feel bad about the whole situation and everyone that is loosing their job.

Village at Rio Rancho

More Non News On The Village At Rio Rancho

Village at Rio Rancho

I’m still waiting for The Village at Rio Rancho to open. According to the Albuquerque Journal “Unser corridor attracting more business, development“, the area is growing with business. But its not clear what is going on with The Village.

The Village at Rio Rancho, proposed for 65 acres across the street from Rust, remains preliminary, according to Geisel.

“We are excited that the developer is starting to make plans for the next steps in the project,” he added.

Nothing To See Here - Baghdad Bob

More Bad News For The Intel New Mexico Site

Nothing To See Here - Baghdad Bob
Nothing To See Here – Baghdad Bob

From the Albuquerque Journal “Intel RR loses next-generation investment

Intel Corp.’s plant in Rio Rancho has been passed over again for next-generation nanometer chip technology, but the plant is still an integral part of the company’s global production chain, New Mexico site manager Kirby Jefferson told the Albuquerque Economic Forum on Wednesday morning.

“This site was not selected for the 10 nanometer chips, that’s for certain,” Kirby said. “They will do it at other facilities. Seven nanometer is the next one, and we still don’t know where that will be.”

This is the third time New Mexico has been passed over for next-generation chip technology. The Rio Rancho site currently produces 32-nanometer chips, following a $2.5 billion investment in 2009 to upgrade the plant from 45-nanometer technology.

Now, being three cycles behind the curve makes it more difficult to compete for next-generation chips.

“The investment would have to be extremely high here, because we’re so far behind,” Kirby said.

The New Mexico Intel site hasn’t had the latest upgrades in 3 generations and the longer it goes without getting those upgrades the harder it is to get future upgrades. It seems to spell doom for the Intel New Mexico site.

“The New Mexico plant is front and center with what’s going on at Intel,” he said. “Intel is committed to this community. The thinking all the way up the chain is to keep this operation going.”

Call me skeptical. If I was a highly skilled worker at this site I would certainly see doom and gloom and I would be shopping my skills elsewhere, further adding to the decline of the site. If I recall correctly, when Intel was producing the Sandy Bridge processor the Intel New Mexico site was supposedly providing the majority of income to the whole Intel corporation buy producing the majority of those chips while the other sites were ramping up Haswell.

It feels as if the Intel management has kick the Intel New Mexico site to the curb.

Filmed In New Mexico: Hieroglyph TV series

The Fox TV show Hieroglyph is filming in New Mexico and will be airing in the fall of 2014. I was able to tour the set at Q Studios and its obvious that Fox put a lot of money into the show. Hoepfully the show is as good as the money they are putting into it. The trailer can ben seen on YouTube.

The world of ancient Egypt — a time of magic, Pharaohs, gods and thieves — lives again in HIEROGLYPH, an exciting action-adventure series from creator/executive producer Travis Beacham (“Pacific Rim,” “Clash of the Titans”). When a dangerous scroll, The Book of Thresholds, is stolen from Egypt’s most secure vault, master thief AMBROSE (Max Brown, “Beauty and the Beast,” “MI-5″) is plucked from prison to track down the perpetrator. Having spent the past five years in the darkest of pits, Ambrose quickly learns that his prison cell might be safer than the dangerous new world in which he finds himself: Atum, the empire’s capital. Ambrose must answer to Pharaoh SHAI KANAKHT (Reece Ritchie, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”), a god in the flesh, a young ruler with a cool charm and a violent, frightening temper. The question for Ambrose is not whether he can trust his new boss, but whether he can trust anyone. Also stalking the halls of the palace is NEFERTARI KANAKHT (Condola Rashad, “Smash,” “Steel Magnolias”), half-sister to the Pharaoh, whose relationship with Shai’s closest advisor, MAGISTER BEK (guest star Hal Ozsan, “90210”), masks her own designs for power. Finding few leads in the palace, Ambrose’s investigation takes him to the doorstep of his long-lost love, PESHET (Caroline Ford, “Lake Placid: The Final Chapter”), a magic-wielding adoratrice, a type of homespun priestess who uses her femininity as a portal to the gods…for the right price. Peshet was the keystone in Ambrose’s merry band of thieves, an impressionable youth with great knowledge of magic, a woman who never saw a lock for which she didn’t have an unlocking charm. Five years later, Peshet has left her old life behind in a pious pursuit of divine contact. Ambrose’s journey also leads him to old friends, such as VOCIFER (John Rhys-Davies, “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark”), a peddler of mystical wares and Ambrose’s mentor. But he also comes face-to-face with foes both old and new, from RAWSER (Antony Bunsee, “EastEnders,” “Sex and the City 2″), the Pharaoh’s captain of the guard, who imprisoned him five years ago; to LOTUS TENRY (Kelsey Chow, “One Tree Hill”), a palace concubine and spy for a rival kingdom. As Ambrose unravels the mystery of The Book of Thresholds, he begins to see the extent to which sorcery has seeped into the halls of power in ancient Egypt, and how close it is to causing this great civilization’s downfall. HIEROGLYPH is produced by Chernin Entertainment in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series is created and written by Travis Beacham. The series is executive-produced by Beacham, Peter Chernin (NEW GIRL, “Touch”), Katherine Pope (NEW GIRL, “Touch”) and Anna Fricke (“Being Human,” “Men in Trees”). Miguel Sapochnik (“Mind Games,” “Repo Men”) also serves as an executive producer and directed the pilot.

Intel Is Spending 6 Billion In Israel, Nothing In New Mexico

There’s been rumor upon rumor that Intel will eventually shut down the Intel site in New Mexico. Its just a rumor but news from Reutes doesn’t help ”
Intel submits plan for nearly $6 bln Israel chip plant upgrade

Chip giant Intel Corp submitted a plan to Israel’s government to invest 20 billion shekels ($5.8 billion) in upgrading its plant in southern Israel, the Economy Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry said it promised Intel it would work to expedite bureaucratic procedures as much as possible to develop and promote employment in the country’s south.

As part of the investment, Intel would receive a government grant that Israeli media estimated at about 1 billion shekels.

The 1 billion shekels (or 289 million dollars) probably helps. Also note that Intel built the a brand new fab 42 factory in Arizona and it’s apparently going to stay empty for the time being.

Filmed In New Mexico: Manhattan TV series

The Manhattan TV show for WGN America is being filmed in New Mexico. Watch the preview on youtube.

Set against the backdrop of the mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb, MANHATTAN follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families as they attempt to co-exist in a world where secrets and lies infiltrate every aspect of their lives. MANHATTAN premieres exclusively on WGN America this summer.

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Costco To Dump 25 Tons Of Penut Butter In A Clovis, NM Landfill

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From NPR “Cases Of Edible Peanut Butter Dumped After Bankruptcy Dispute

So instead of selling or donating the peanut butter, with a value estimated at $2.6 million, the estate is paying about $60,000 to haul the 950,000 jars of nut butter — or about 25 tons — to the Curry County landfill in Clovis, where public works director Clint Bunch says it “will go in with our regular waste and covered with dirt.”

The last of 58 truckloads was expected Friday, he said.

Sunland made peanut butter under a number of different labels for retailers like Costco, Kroger and Trader Joe’s, along with products under its own name. But the plant was shut down in September 2012 after its products were linked to 41 salmonella cases in 20 states.

Throwing this peanut butter into a landfill was really the best idea?

Trade Adjustment Assistance Available For Laid Off New Mexico Intel Workers

TAA was approved for laid off Intel Rio Rancho, New Mexico employees on March 7th. Details can be viewed from the TAA website (use the Search for Trade Adjustment Assistance Cases webisite, type “Intel Corp” in the Search For Company Name box and look for TAW number 85006).

According to Wikipedia Trade Adjustment Assistance is:

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal program of the United States government to act as a way to reduce the damaging impact of imports felt by certain sectors of the U.S. economy. The current structure features four components of Trade Adjustment Assistance: for Workers, Firms, Farmers, and Communities. Each Cabinet level Department was tasked with a different sector of the overall Trade Adjustment Assistance program. The program for workers is the largest, and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program for Farmers is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Firms and Communities programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

TAA was designed to help workers who lost their job due to foreign competition find jobs in new industry with job training. In my case that is exactly what I’m doing, learning new skills in a new industry. I’m hopeful that TAA will help assist me. However some of the better benefits of TAA including lost wage assistance and help paying for heath insurance expired at the end of 2013. I’m not sure exactly what benefits will be available but it appears it will be limited to paying for school.

Also according the the Wikipedia article it does not look like TAA has been very effective and won’t be renewed in 2015. Hopefully it will be replaced with a more effective program.

I contacted the TAA representative in the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and was informed that the state is working out the details with the federal government. I should be receiving a letter in the mail sometime in the future which will explain what I need to do next. I was not given any indication of when that letter will arrive.