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Morning Word: Truck Stops, Ugly Buildings and a Second Chance

May 10, 2017, 7:30 am

Free
Back in March, SFR published this story about OC Fero. The 75-year-old inmate has served a 30-year sentence for killing someone, and is eligible for parole. He's part of a group of inmates sentenced under a law that's supposed to give them the chance at freedom after those 30 years. But just 7 percent ever get out. Fero was paroled after the SFR story, which highlighted the control over freedom wielded by the Parole Board chair.

The road ahead
Santa Fe got its first look at a planned Pilot Flying J truck stop last night. The project is slated for the land just southwest of the new Highway 14/I-25 interchange. It's the diverging diamond one that feeds Cerrillos Road to the north. The travel center would have a Wendy's, a Dunkin' Donuts and another restaurant. It would also have 70 parking places for big rigs. Folks in the Rancho Viejo and Turquoise Trail neighborhoods are worried about air and noise pollution, traffic and crime.

Recapture repeal
New Mexico's San Juan Basin is home to the nation's largest methane hotspot. The natural gas is often lost from inefficient wells, and a rule finalized in November of last year requires oil and gas producers to recapture that lost gas. This week is the last chance for Congress to repeal the rule, which New Mexico favored. It looks as thought the Senate will give it a go. Oil and gas producers favor the repeal.

Cold, blocky and not soft enough
Not exactly music to an architect's ears. But that's what the designers of a proposed new Santa Fe County administrative building heard from county commissioners Tuesday. The county is trying to move forward with plans to replace the old courthouse on Catron Street. Architects have to balance county needs, the city's historic wishes and cost concerns if they're going to get the place built.

Trash day
KRQE's Larry Barker likes rules. He does not like rules that aren't followed. His latest foray into Santa Fe landed him at the home of John Valerio, who lives on Calle Feliz. Valerio's neighbors on the street are most definitely not happy with Valerio's "collecting" and "recycling," which essentially amounts to a yard full of stuff. Barker isn't happy, either, with the city's lack of enforcement of nuisance ordinances. He may have cajoled the city into cracking the whip ... or forced it fruitlessly into court.

Chan jury tours crime scene
Opening statements in the retrial of former SFSO deputy Tai Chan were Tuesday. After prosecutors and Chan's defense team presented their takes on what happened on the October 2014 night when Chan killed fellow deputy Jeremy Martin, the jury toured the Hotel Encanto, where the crime happened. The jury deadlocked in Chan's first trial last June.

Schools saved, jobs cut
Santa Fe Public Schools may have found a way to keep EJ Martinez and Nava elementary schools open next year, but the district still has to close what looks like a $1.78 million gap in next year's budget. That looks to the superintendent like cutting a dozen jobs from schools around the district. More cuts may come from the district's central office.

Perry to LANL
Rick Perry is headed to Los Alamos as he tours the nation's nuclear labs. Perry, who famously wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy, but couldn't remember he wanted to do so, is now the energy secretary. He toured Idaho's nuclear facility yesterday and generally championed the work being done.

Thanks for reading! The Word has learned that you can recycle those old blue bins in the new blue cart. Is that like identical matter occupying the same space at the same time?

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