Aug. 19, 2017
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Morning Word: Cringey Comments

August 3, 2017, 7:30 am

Yes, that was racist
Gloria Mendoza, a community organizer who was in the paper earlier this week as the face of Santa Fe populism, was featured again in today’s New Mexican. Only this time, it’s because she shared a racist image with a critic on Facebook. The paper also sought comment from Jim Williamson, the man Mendoza and others are supporting in an insurgent city council seat bid. “I am not one to criticize,” Williamson said. Well, we are.

Highway to receive improvements
Starting next month, workers will add shoulders, replace guardrails and smooth out steep dips to Highway 41. The improvements are partially in response to a high crash rate. But residents in Galisteo are concerned the upgrades will mean more traffic, particularly fast-moving heavy trucks.  

Pharmacist running for Pearce’s seat
A former Eddy County Commissioner from Carlsbad announced his candidacy for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. Republican Jack Volpato, who owns a pharmacy in the town, would be the third Republican and the eighth overall candidate to vie for the Second Congressional District seat vacated by Steve Pearce’s Congressional run.

Browning the state and nation
A rising population of non-white people is spearing population growth in most New Mexico counties. Across the Western United States, numbers of non-white people (particularly Latinos) are growing even as overall population declines.

New first responder system
New Mexico is now the eighth state to join a public-safety broadband network maintained by AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). Under a contract, the department of public safety would be able to grant first responders priority accessing AT&T’s communication networks “by the end of the year.”

New Mexico Superintendent gives and takes
New Mexico’s Office of the Superintendent of Insurance has warned health insurance companies that they can’t pile on unnecessarily high rates for services that patients receive outside the insurance provider’s network. Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by four doctors contends that Superintendent John Franchini improperly allowed hospitals in the state to drain a medical malpractice fund.

Criminal justice roundup
A few items unrelated to each other, save for cop involvement: Santa Fe Police have increased surveillance and patrols out of concerns that two biker gangs with chapters across the world are beefing locally. Albuquerque police released body camera footage of Officer Jon O’Guin shooting and killing 43-year-old Robert Savelli. The sister of the man shot and killed by Santa Fe police on July 19 is now pursuing a wrongful death claim.

Return of the chile
Late summer is chile season. The roasters are out, the masses are lining up, and the peppers are crisscrossing the country. They look quite juicy.

Thanks for reading! Today the Word is celebrating the birthdays of Tony Bennett, Martha Stewart, and our copy editor Charlotte. For her birthday, she requested that Oxford comma there.

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