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Morning Word: Grab Your Racket, We're Heading to Court

March 30, 2017, 7:30 am

'The Journalism Racket'
Attorney Paul Kennedy seems to understand journalism a little differently from most of us. The profession is referenced in the Constitution's Bill of Rights, not as a "racket" but as an essential part of a functioning democracy. Regardless, that's the term Gov. Martinez' attorney lobbed at two former SFR employees during the first day of testimony yesterday. SFR is suing the governor. The paper believes she and her staff violated public records law and illegally blacklisted the paper because she didn't like critical coverage.

Santa Fe University of Art and Design Cuts Off Enrollment
The for-profit school has been building its reputation for a few years, but reputation doesn't equal enrollment. After deciding early yesterday morning to pull back from a planned sale, SFUAD announced to faculty and then students that there will be no new students next fall. The school expects a decision on any layoffs in the coming weeks. So far, there's no indication it will stop paying the city $2.23 million a year for its lease, though it can back out of the deal with seven months' notice.

Union Yes
Meanwhile, back at the (old) ranch, faculty at the Santa Fe Community College voted to unionize. The vote wasn't close, and now the college will figure out how to incorporate the union into the way it governs the school on Santa Fe's Southside.

What Shortfall?
Politicians and even the often pro-Susana Albuquerque Journal editorial board say it's time for the governor to reveal just what numbers she's looking at when she says lawmakers need to shore up New Mexico's existing budget for the third time this fiscal year. The governor has threatened not just a special session, but forced unpaid days off for state workers and closures of state parks and museums.

Governor Vetoes Native Education Bill
That budget issue, which admittedly is not pretty, is what's behind Gov. Martinez' veto of a bill that would have ordered school districts to better assess and respond to the needs of Native American students. Native students often have tough obstacles to overcome in even getting to school, let alone learning once they're there. The governor says she supports the bill's goal, but argues it asks school districts to do too much.

American Airlines Co-Pilot Dies During Approach to ABQ
The Dallas-Albuquerque flight was just a couple miles from landing at the Sunport when the captain announced a medical emergency. American Airlines says the co-pilot received CPR after the flight crew landed the plane safely, but was pronounced dead about 40 minutes after touchdown.

State Land Cleanup Bill Becomes Law
The governor did sign a bill to set aside $5 million over about a decade to help pay for cleanup and remediation of state land. The State Land Office has been footing the bill for pollution cleanup left behind by oil and gas companies, as well as paying for post-wildfire rehab.

It Keeps Flashing '12:00'
Santa Fe city government is thrilled with its new budget software, which lets city councilors and the public drill into the budget process—once they learn how to use it. But some sort of glitch was big enough to postpone today's planned budget hearings. The city's working on a fix. Also, at some point, nobody is going to get a VCR reference. Do microwaves still flash "12:00" when they're plugged in?

Thanks for reading! The Word wonders how frequent a donut habit can be when unaccompanied by an exercise habit.

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