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Morning Word: Wholly Schnikes, Are They Closing a Whole Foods?

February 9, 2017, 7:30 am

Whole Foods Reportedly Plans to Close St. Francis Store
The feel-good grocer with the amazing produce section and the infuriating parking lot has fallen upon hard times—at least by Wall St. standards. Despite record sales, same-store profits are down this quarter. The company said yesterday it will close nine stores, and a list sent to this news outlet includes the smaller store on St. Francis known locally as "Half Foods." The closure could come within a matter of days.

Good News If You Just Got Called For Jury Duty
You're gonna get paid. Not "paaaiiid" paid, but you'll at least get a check. The state Board of Finance approved $600,000 for the fund that, yes, pays jurors. And by paying jurors, it assures the constitutionally guaranteed right to a trial in front of one's peers. As mentioned yesterday, it's been quite the drama.

Auditor Says PED Special-Ed Deal With Feds Doesn't Exist
A few years ago, the federal government stung Gov. Martinez' administration by withdrawing millions in funding for the state's 50,000 special education students. The Public Education Department, the feds said, wasn't spending enough state money on the students to be able to leverage the federal money. The state has since insisted there's a deal in place, but State Auditor Tim Keller released an audit yesterday that says the deal doesn't exist. The PED argues it's in the works.

Final Say
State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says he'd like to see any new development on the recently acquired land that is now occupied by Garrett's Desert Inn comply with city design standards, but that if Santa Fe gets "unreasonable" in its demands, he'll just approve the dang thing anyway. Santa Fe's Historic Districts Review Board has at times been rather exacting in its guardianship of the city's historic character.

Wilson's Links to Lockheed
Former New Mexico congresswoman Heather Wilson's ties to massive Air Force contractor Lockheed Martin are front and center in a national profile examining her consulting work for the company, which has run Sandia National Labs for two decades (a Honeywell subsidiary won the new management contract). President Trump nominated Wilson to be Secretary of the Air Force, for which Lockheed Martin holds more than $7 billion in contracts.

Navajo Nation President Vetoes Disaster-Relief Money
Saying the quarter-million dollar allotment didn't comply with reserve cash requirements, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye vetoed disaster-relief funds this week. Begaye also said some of the 33 chapters affected hadn't declared an emergency, though other Navajo Nation leaders claim the president himself signed off on a disaster declaration last month.  

Coal-Fired Power Station Faces Shutdown Vote
The owners of the Navajo Generating Station will poll themselves next Monday to decide whether to shutter the plant earlier than its 2019 lease expiration suggests. Power plants that rely on natural gas are far more economical these days—and environmental concerns abound—but the plant and the coal it burns provides badly needed money for the Navajo and Hopi tribes. It also provides power to pump water to the Central Arizona Project.

Red-Headed Estranger
No sad songs or waltzes on Saturday night. Willie Nelson postponed his concert at the Route 66 Casino due to illness. No word on a make-up date. Get well soon, Willie.

Thanks for reading! The Word wonders when cream cheese spread on a bagel became "schmear." Has it always been thus?

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