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Morning Word: Immigrant Advocates Ready to Defend Sanctuary Status

December 15, 2016, 12:00 am
Advocates Resolve to Defend Sanctuary Status
Immigrant advocates are gearing up to defend Santa Fe’s sanctuary city status ahead of Donald Trump being sworn in as president. The Republican has promised to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities across the country that don’t enforce federal rules. 
"Mixed Bag"
Donald Trump’s choice to lead the US Interior Department is no fan of transferring federal lands back to the state, but US Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Montana, will still face opposition from New Mexico environmentalists.
Santa Fean John Horning of the nonprofit WildEarth Guardians opposes the nomination. “Zinke’s pro-coal and pro-fossil fuel policy advocacy would be a disaster for our nation and our planet,” Horning said. The Western Landowners Alliance, a Santa Fe-based group that represents private landowners, managers and businesses, including Ted Turner’s New Mexico ranches, applauded Zinke’s selection.
Oil Money to Fund Health Initiatives
Money raised from selling 25 billion barrels of fuel from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be used, at least partially, to pay for health initiatives. Maggie Shepard reports that $1 billion is being set aside for opioid addiction research and treatment.

Traffic Deaths Up 
New Mexico has seen nearly 100 more traffic-related deaths this year than this time last year. And much of it is due to drunk driving. From January to November of this year, there have been 369 traffic fatalities. That's up from the 267 deaths the same time frame last year, according to the latest report out by New Mexico Department of Transportation and the University of New Mexico. 

Report: New Mexico Could Do More to Reduce Tobacco Use
A new report from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids shows that New Mexico could be doing a better job of stopping tobacco use.
"New Mexico receives over $130 million a year in revenue but only spends 5 and a half million on prevention, so it's only 4 percent," said John Schachter with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. "So that amazingly still ranks them 18th, because so many states are getting a failing grade. They're only spending one quarter of what the CDC is recommending. It's not enough, and we need them to step up and spend more."
Drilling Pollutes Drinking Water
The Environmental Protect Agency has determined common oil and gas drilling technology can, in fact, contaminate drinking water supplies, Laura Paskus reports.

Begay Helps Native Communities
Hometown golf hero Notah Begay, the first full-blooded Native American to ever tour with the PGA, has some good ideas for improving the financial and physical well-being of New Mexicans, especially its Native communities.


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