Recession-Driven Violence? "We are seeing more people at the shelter than we ever have before," Kristin Carmichael, manager at the Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families, says. "I really think that folks who used to hang on by their fingernails—to housing or by getting transportation out of town or to living with family members—they're seeking shelter."
The 12 months ending in April saw a 56 percent increase in demand at the shelter over the previous year. The 45-bed shelter measures demand by "days of care" provided. In that period, the days of care spiked to 10,500 from 6,700.
"Summer is our absolute busiest time, and we're coming into that time—so we could see even higher numbers," Carmichael says. "Shelters statewide are seeing this increase, happening around the same time the economy took a dive." Reach the shelter's toll-free crisis line at 800-473-5220. To volunteer, call 505-473-5200.
Broker Battle: As the Santa Fe real estate market sours, so do friendships. Such is the story behind a recent lawsuit filed by Pamela Nittolo, an associate broker at Santa Fe Realty Partners. Nittolo worked for the California-based Shaklee Corporation, a "multi-level marketing" company, before moving to Santa Fe and getting into the real estate business. Her complaint, filed late last month in 1st Judicial District Court, says she paid $36,600 toward the purchase of a condo on W. Santa Fe Avenue in 2007, but was then shut out of her role in the property's management by her partners, Prudential Santa Fe Real Estate broker Barbara Millstein and her husband, Harry Abramson. Nittolo claims Millstein and Abramson recently listed the property for sale "unilaterally," intending to deprive her of a commission on the sale. Millstein says that's news to her. "We were friends and we purchased a condo together as an investment. And that was it. And now we're looking at selling it and dividing up the profits," Millstein says. "If there's a suit, it's a frivolous suit, and there really is no merit to it." She says renters now live in the condo, but don't pay enough to cover the mortgage.
Books Before Bikes: This sad literacy news from City of Santa Fe spokeswoman Laura Banish suggests some SFR readers aren't reading too carefully. Banish, who organized Bike to Work Week (happening now!) for the city, placed an ad in last week's paper promising a chance to win prizes for anyone who found the Bike to Work Week logo hidden elsewhere in that edition. The ad ran on page seven. Banish says a shocking number of people responded they'd found the hidden logo…in the ad on page seven. Wrong answer, folks. Do Banish and all Santa Fe cyclists a favor by taking the city's new commuter survey, which you can find on our blog, SFReeper.com.