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Morning Word: A Dickensian Future For NM Schools

February 24, 2017, 7:30 am

May I Please Have Another Pencil, Sir? Please?
Apparently this is what cuts to public school reserve funds look like: crowd-funding to buy copy paper. The Las Cruces school district implemented a spending freeze two weeks ago after lawmakers and the governor cut some $46 million from reserve funds at districts statewide. Now it's assessing supply requests—for which it had already budgeted—on a case-by-case basis. 

Just When You Thought We'd Funded the Courts
Despite a just-signed (by the lieutenant governor) law that injects $1.6 million into the court system to fund jury trials through June, other parts of the justice system are still dangerously low on money. Almost $600,000 is needed to pay for attorneys to represent children and low-income adults in child abuse and neglect cases.

Here Comes the Water
For a while, the Aamodt water lawsuit was rumored to be the longest-running suit in the federal court system. The case, which dealt with water rights in the Pojoaque basin, has been around for half a century. It settled in the past few years, and the feds just awarded the first contract to build a public water system.

But It Makes My Lettuce So Cheap
A new study of the Colorado River says the waterway has lost nearly 20 percent of its volume since 2000. Some of that is due to drought, but researchers say one-third of it is due to climate change. That's a huge problem, because 40 million people in two countries and seven states depend on that water. Both Lake Mead and Lake Powell, which store river water, are less than half-full (and not just because we're looking at it that way).

3D Printing Company Makes Jump to NASDAQ
Sigma Labs, a Santa Fe company built on its quality assurance 3D printing software, is now the third New Mexico company to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The company earned about $6 million from its initial offering on the exchange.

By the Ghost of Linda Beaver!
Part of a bill to boost state revenue would make buying a car more expensive, raising the excise tax for a new vehicle from 3 percent to 4 percent. Car dealers oppose the hike (those commercials are not free). They reason higher taxes mean fewer sales, though New Mexico still has the lowest taxes around.

Turquoise Nightmare
Several more people have been indicted in what federal investigators believe was a scheme to sell cheaply made trinkets from the Philippines as Native American jewelry. The accused would send "source material" to a factory overseas so designers could copy some of it and ship it back here to be sold. If you want to play detective on your own, or just know a bit more, check out SFR's "How To Spy A Turquoise Lie."

Santa Fe Builder Faces Prison 
William Kalinowski is a fraud. A jury convicted the former home builder on nine counts of fraud and embezzlement last year after he promised dream homes to clients but took off with projects unfinished and millions in his pocket. He's expected to be sentenced today. He faces 82 years in prison.

Thanks for reading! The Word bought you this necklace down by the Plaza. The guy said it's very old and very genuine. Just like our love.

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