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Morning Word: Santa Feans Rally Against Racism

August 15, 2017, 7:30 am

Love, anger at Santa Fe rally
Santa Feans held a rally last night in solidarity with victims of racist terror attacks in Charlottesville. The event was a mixture of support for the Virginia victims and anger at what some felt was ongoing racism in Santa Fe. Some in the crowd chanted to end the Entrada de Don Diego de Vargas, which is a traditional part of Fiestas and celebrates Spanish colonists’ reconquering of Santa Fe in 1692. Others pointed to Santa Fe Police Sgt. Troy Baker's tenure on the city's police force; SFR revealed in February that Baker posted hateful memes on his Facebook page, including one that pictured a car going after protesters and the caption "All lives splatter." 

Neo-Nazi leader grew up in New Mexico
Dillon Hopper, who calls himself the commander of the neo-Nazi Vanguard America group, is from New Mexico. According to The Guardian newspaper and online outlet Splinter News, James Fields marched with Vanguard America before getting in his car and killing protester Heather Heyer. Hopper grew up as Dillon Irizarry, but changed his name in 2006 in a Roswell court. He was recently in New Mexico to deal with the death of his mother.

Doña Ana GOP chair's future uncertain
A day after he posted, then took down, comments criticizing "leftist" protesters for creating racially motivated violence, the chairman of the Southern New Mexico county's Republican party still held his post. Some called for Roman Jimenez to step down and the state Republican Party condemned his statements.

Former state GOP chair running for Congress
Monty Newman, former mayor of Hobbs and head of the state Republican Party, is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat, which is being vacated by Congressman Steve Pearce as he runs for governor. Newman will take on State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn in the Republican primary. Several Democrats have announced their candidacies for the seat.

Silver City art find
It's been a while since anyone uncovered anything this valuable in the southwestern New Mexico town. A Silver City antique shop owner somehow ended up with a stolen Willem de Kooning painting likely worth about $150 million. The painting was stolen from the University of Arizona in Tucson 31 years ago.

Flagship Foods expands in NM
The company that brings you 505 Southwestern brand chile products is now bringing New Mexico about 200 more jobs. The Colorado-based business (we know, we know) made the announcement yesterday. It's getting half a million bucks from a local economic development grant.

Varela in hospice
Luciano "Lucky" Varela, a longtime Santa Fe legislator and titan of the state's budgeting process, is in hospice care, his son says. Varela's health has been waning and he suffered a heart attack this past winter. Be well, Lucky.

State cuts could have negative effect on NM's bottom line
The vacancy rate at New Mexico's Tax and Revenue Department is about 25 percent. That's pretty high, and lawmakers are worried it's creating inefficiencies. What's that? You're not surprised by inefficient government? We hear you, but the concern is that New Mexico is missing out on tax collection because of it. Fewer taxes coming in means more cuts, and ... well, you get the picture.

Thanks for reading! The Word thinks its a good day for a long, quiet hike. Or just a long, quiet moment spent sitting outside. Here's hoping you can find one.

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