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Say It Ain't So! Apparently Beards Have More Poop Than Toilets

NM study kills boners worldwide

Local NewsMonday, May 4, 2015 by Enrique Limón

Writer’s note: In a completely unrelated move, I decided to trim mine today. Not full on shave and remove all the feces, just enough to get me through the Santa Fe summer.

In a shocking revelation that is sure to stun many a hipster, man of leisure and overall #teambeard Instagram star, a new study reveals that beards are dirtier than the common toilet due to a rancid bacteria that likes to linger in in their oh-so-caressable hairs. 

Yes, New Mexico, rejoice! We’re in the viral news-o-sphere again, this time thanks to John Golobic, of Quest Diagnostics who trolled the Matador at last call swabbed a good sample of Northern NM beards, and sure, while some of the bacteria levels were normal, others where porta potty city. 

"I'm usually not that surprised, and I was surprised by this,” Golobic, a microbiologist, is quoted as saying. “…It certainly shows a degree of uncleanliness that would be somewhat disturbing,” he continues, going over a poop-ridden beard culture sample.

Take it away, KOAT Action News Team:

Happy Monday.

Game of Thrones for Noobs IV

Season 5 Episode 4: “Sons of the Harpy”

Pop CultureMonday, May 4, 2015 by Alex De Vore

The Story Thus Far
Arya Stark Karate Kid’d her way to a good old-fashioned corpse-washin’ inside the House of Black and White, but not without getting slapped in her face first. Brienne related how she was constantly called ugly as a child. Cersei’s son banged his new wife while Cersei herself felt old and weird but still learned from the High Sparrow that “lancing a boil is never pleasant.” Sansa was thrown into an arranged-marriage situation with some guy named Ramsay Bolton, Jon Snow chopped off a dude’s head (who I’ve since learned killed a baby at some point, so the decapitation is OK) and Daenerys didn’t do a goddamn thing. Oh, and Tyrion got kidnapped by, uh…some guy to be taken to uh…someplace. The opening credits were super-long.

The Gist
One wonders how much of a bummer it must be to be thrown onto a boat immediately after crossing the Narrow Sea, but this is what happens to Tyrion. He doesn’t even try to scream. Meanwhile, Jamie Lannister and Baron Chinstrap talk about fighting and fucking and fucking and fighting. There’s apparently “nothing like a fuck-mad Dornish girl” for Baron Chinstrap, and this could be why he’s psyched to be hanging with Jamie Lannister and sailing around the islands. Jamie doesn’t want to start a war, though how that might come to pass isn’t clear. What we do know is that someone killed Jamie’s dad. Was that Tyrion? I think it was.

Winter is coming again for Cersei ’cause the Iron Bank (whatever that is) is calling in its debts. The Royal Coin Master is like, “Blah blah blah,” and Cersei is like, “If you aren’t going to grow any hair, you could at least go with the golden knight to the town where the bank has its headquarters.” He leaves, and it seems like Cersei has sent him away so the council of dudes who work for her is disbanded, and she can get away with meeting the High Sparrow. Which she does. He doesn’t like wine, but he likes the sound of this holy army Cersei is cooking up. They both know how the world works, which is to say that she has rich guilt, and this dude might be sick of hanging on the streets.

Elsewhere, a weird group of cultists with sun symbols carved into their foreheads bust up the streets and stab fools in brothels in some town. No one is safe from their reign of terror—even practicing knights—but one thing is sure, and that’s these dudes are way too into God (or gods or whoever it is they worship).

The honeymoon is over for Margaery and the new boy king, as it would seem her brother is in jail and she wants him out, and the king just wants to eat his damn cereal. She is pretty much never going to give him any again unless he lets her brother out, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles when you’re the king and when your mom gives a holy army to the leader of hobos. The king learns that he too has an army and can have people killed. But he doesn’t. He probably wishes he had, because he can’t get his brother-in-law out, and his wife snips and snarks at him about how he’s the king, but he’s weak.

Over at the Wall, Stannis “No Nickname” Baratheon watches his homies practice their fighting skills, and all kinds of women whose names are not mentioned ask him irritating questions and try to get him to do stuff he doesn’t want to do. They attempt to sell him on the value of faith, but given how everyone is usually up to no good, they’re probably just biding their time. Jon Snow has to deal with the paperwork surrounding new recruits when he’d probably rather be out choppin’ heads. Some dude who murdered Snow’s brother is in a position to help, but it doesn’t make him happy. He’ll probably recruit him anyway, since that would be more dramatic.

Some lady appears and is like, “If you kill dudes, you can feel my heartbeat and my naked boobs.” Snow is mesmerized at first but tries his hardest to be too strong for normal boobs. He would need super boobs to make him give up on the dead girl he says he’s in love with. Seems like fly girls are in short supply at the Wall, and Snow might want to, like, give love a chance. Or at least listen to the rhythm of his boner. But NO! He swore a vow. Loser.

Stannis has a whole mess of paperwork, too, which is good news because his daughter and her half-snake face is asking questions about his level of shame in not having a son. He specializes in baffling, long-winded answers to simple, straightforward questions, so instead of being like, “Yup,” he relates a story about wooden dolls and telling dudes to go to hell. He doesn’t really answer her question, he just tells her that he could’ve sent her far away when she was a baby, but he didn’t.

Elsewhere, in the candlelit crypt of ancient statues, Baelish and Sansa reminisce about the past and check out the fine marble work. Apparently, a prince from years ago kidnapped and raped Sansa’s aunt, and tens of thousands of people died because of it somehow. They talk about towns and politics and other expositional things that involve the exchange of information that seems more for our benefit than theirs. Sansa asks dumb questions to which Baelish has all the answers. He gives her a lesson in how women can turn dudes into idiots and then kisses her while we are left to wonder why she wants to make out with a guy who owns a bunch of brothels.

We rejoin Jamie and Baron Chinstrap in a rowboat and—holy shit, does that dude have a wooden hand?! He does! Snakes are killed and eaten, gloves are used to hide the lack of hand, methods of dying are discussed (boring works for Chinstrap) and long walks are taken. It would seem that people hate the Lannisters around here, so when the weird sort of Persian guys appear, they’re both pretty nervous. The guys who live here have no sense of humor, and that’s how they wind up with a dagger in the throat. Jamie is a shit fighter, so it’s pretty lucky the guy trying to kill him gets his sword stuck in his wooden hand.

Some other lady (who I’m pretty sure is the one who was married to the king of the Persia-like place) and her daughters, meanwhile, have kidnapped the captain who sailed Jamie and his buddy to Dorne. They’ve buried this poor bastard up to his neck and put scorpions on his face and are, like, whipping him in the nose and stuff. One of them makes a pointless speech about weapons and then spears the guy in the face. Burn, guy.

We find Tyrion again, who points out that the dude who kidnapped him to take him to see the Khaleesi is an idiot, because he was going to visit Daenerys anyway. Tyrion plants the seeds of doubt in the guy’s head, and it turns out the guy pissed off Daenerys and wants to be her friend again by bringing her Peter Dinklage. This kind of pisses the guy off, so he slaps Tyrion in the face, and this somehow knocks him out.

We jump back to Daenerys’ hood, where some dude with a name I probably couldn’t spell right and actually just forgot while I was typing tries to point out to the queen that since she freed all the slaves, the city needs tradition to distract everyone from a billion years of slave-driven resentment. Down in the city itself, those Sons of the Harpy jerks (who wear the gold masks) take to the streets and are slashin’ any throats they can find. The guards suck at fighting and all get killed pretty quick, but Ser Barista or Barrister or whatever the old guy who hangs around Daenerys is called shows up to take a few out, despite his oldness. He gets stabbed real good, which maybe is supposed to be intense, but he’s old, so who cares?

The Bottom Line
There are pretty much no answers given to burning questions. For example, what’s up with Arya? Or why do those Sons of the Harpy guys have to kill shop owners for no good reason? It sucks that the old guy who is Daenerys’ bodyguard (maybe) might be dead, but once again, GoT is all about how people do terrible things to each other, so maybe he should have seen it coming. It is irritating that every episode brings a plot thread to light, only to ignore it the following week. Also irritating is that we literally get these 3-minute windows into everybody’s travels and escapades. It makes the overarching plot slog on at an unbearable pace.

Stabbings, nakedness, more violence per square inch than previous episodes this season.

Can we move these stories the fuck along, please? Who cares about that guy who got stabbed? You know the one. When are they gonna get back to the fucking dragons? 

D: Goddamn, this was a boring episode minus the last 2 minutes and all the throat-slashin’ therein. 

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO. GIFs via

Morning Word: Lab Worker Critically Injured

Employees at the Neutron Science Center in Los Alamos told to stay home today

Morning WordMonday, May 4, 2015 by Peter St. Cyr
Ater being criticized for months about lax safety procedures, executives at the Los Alamos National Laboratory could be in the hot seat again after an accident on Sunday injured several employees. That, plus the stars of Manhattan are back in Santa Fe this week, working on the second season of WGN's popular series.

It's Monday, May 4, 2015

A maintenance worker who was critically injured inside the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center on Sunday is being treated for severe burns at UNM Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque. Seven other workers were treated and released with only minor injuries. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but a lab spokesman told KOB that power to parts of the facility is still out and employees were notified to stay home today.

Read it at KOB. 

Victims of imprisoned Realtor Doug Vaughan’s Ponzi scheme will get the first crack at restitution, according to a plan filed in US Bankruptcy Court.
The plan lists 278 valid claims totaling just over $16.3 million from “restitution claimants,” or people who gave money to Vaughan from the mid-to-late 1980s through the 1990s in the belief he was using it for real estate investments. 
Read more at the ABQ Journal. 

Now that State Auditor Tim Keller has released a report showing weaknesses in the City of Albuquerque’s procurement process, a few media pundits are asking if the no-bid Taser deal is still the tip of the iceberg.

Joe Monahan has more. 

Spaceport America executives are looking for new ideas to generate additional revenue.

Read it at 

In one of his final stories in New Mexico, investigative journalist Patrick Malone, who’s moving to Washington for a job with the Center for Public Integrity, reports the man the pope appointed archbishop of Santa Fe, John Wester,  has some people criticizing his handling of sex abuse cases while he was the vicar of clergy in San Francisco.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, an organization that tracks sexual abuse by clergy, says Wester in San Francisco served as a cog in a churchwide system of shuttling accused abusers to new destinations that gave them fresh starts and access to potential new victims. Wester would not discuss individual abuse victims’ or priests’ cases, but vehemently denied that he or the Archdiocese of San Francisco protected abusers. 
Read more at the Santa Fe New Mexican.  

The Daily Lobo is reporting that the dean of UNM’s law school is resigning this summer. David Herring will remain a full-time tenured professor.

Read more here. 

If you need to make a quick round trip to Farmington, there’s a new charter service taking off from the Four Corners Regional Airport.

Read more at the Daily Times. 

Seth Rogen, who starred in the controversial and hilarious film The Interview, flew into Albuquerque early this morning. He’s putting together Preacher, a new pilot for AMC from Sony Pictures.

Read about it here. 

Actor Patrick Benjamin Hickey, who plays Frank Winter on WGN America’s Manhattan, is also back in Santa Fe this morning, working on the second season of writer Sam Shaw's popular series.

Read more here. 

Congrats to Hollywood executive producer Stewart Lyons. Tonight’s episode of The Night Shift on NBC marks his 100th television production since coming to Albuquerque. He’s best known for his work on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Read more at the ABQ Journal. 

Former Rio Rancho High School baseball standout Blake Swihart had a strong debut with the Boston Red Sox this weekend.

Read it here. 

The Albuquerque Isotopes had a good day and a big win over the Sacramento Bees on Sunday at the "Lab."

Geoff Grammer has game highlights here. 

This Weekend

Outdoor Vision Fest and more

Weekend PicksFriday, May 1, 2015 by SFR

Outdoor Vision Fest

SFUAD's campus turns into a vibrant, cutting-edge canvas for student artwork in dozens of large-scale video projections and outdoor art installations.

More Info >>


Creativity for Peace presents a screening of this film offering a realistic but hopeful look into the future of the Middle East.

More Info >>

Cinco de Mayhem! Burlesque and Variety Show

Winner of three Burlesque Hall of Fame awards Ms Tickle headlines this daring, raucous and raunchy side of performance.

More Info >>

Karen Marrolli EP Release

This singer-songwriter celebrates the release of her new EP Twilight Songs with this intimate performance.

More Info >>

Battlefields and Homefronts New Mexico: The Civil War and More

Experience military drills, camp life, lectures, re-enactments and more.

More Info >>

Science on Screen

Santa Fe Institute's Liz Bradley presents this screening of Jurassic Park with a brief discussion regarding its scientific context.

More Info >>

Get more information about how to spend your fun days when you sign up for the SFR Weekend newsletter, delivered to your inbox each Friday afternoon.

Morning Word: PNM Urges Regulators to Approve Rate Hike

Utility insists its request meets required standards

Morning WordFriday, May 1, 2015 by Peter St. Cyr
May Day. This year seems to be flying by quickly. Four months are gone already. At least we can all look forward to Cinco de Mayo parties this weekend (and double-digit electric rate increases sometime later this year).

It's Friday, May 1, 2015

The Public Service Company of New Mexico, which has scheduled its quarterly conference call with investors and stock analysts this morning, says its rate request should be approved by the Public Regulation Commission.

Read more at the ABQ Journal. 

The Department of Energy has agreed to pay $73 million in fines connected to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant radiation leak last year. The money will go toward roadwork and other infrastructure projects.

Read more at the Santa Fe New Mexican. 

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich say they oppose Gov. Susana Martinez’ idea to have New Mexico store more nuclear waste.

Read why here. 

Intel’s Rio Rancho plant manager Kirby Jefferson is retiring after 35 years working for the chip manufacturer. Some insiders have said they believe the fabrication facility may shut down in the next few years.

Read more at ABQ Free Press. 

Police body cameras purchased by the Albuquerque Police Department are in the spotlight. State Auditor Tim Keller says the former police chief appears to have violated the Government Conduct Act, city procurement ordinances and ethics rules. Jeff Proctor and Tina Jensen have been following the case for more than a year.

See their story here. 

Speaking of body cameras, there is a new smartphone app that allows you to record the police and automatically send your video to the American Civil Liberties Union for review.

Read it here. 

Last week, District Attorney Kari Brandenburg told ABQ Free Press that she fears for her personal safety after filing murder charges against two Albuquerque police officers. Now she says she doesn’t want the rumored threats by APD officers against her investigated by law enforcement.

Read more at the ABQ Journal. 

Bobbie Gutierrez, a former Santa Fe Schools District leader, has been hired as Española Public Schools' new interim superintendent.
A longtime education sector employee, Gutierrez served as Santa Fe’s superintendent from 2008 to 2012, when the Santa Fe School Board voted not to renew her contract. Prior to that, she served as the deputy superintendent from 2005 to 2008 and as an associate superintendent from 2002 to 2005. 
Ardee Napolitano reports for the Rio Grande Sun. 

Investigative reporter Matt Grubs sat down with Transportation Secretary Tom Church, who says after the state spent more than half a million dollars to build a Rail Runner stop in Santa Fe, he’s considering tearing it down before the Zia stop ever serves a single passenger.

See more at KRQE. 

Steps are under way to make the old Taos County Courthouse compliant with the American with Disabilities Act.

Cody Hooks, at the Taos News, has more.

Patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder won’t have to try traditional medications before applying for the state’s medical marijuana program. The Department of Health lost a lawsuit filed by a Santa Fe psychiatrist, who argued regulators had overstretched their rule-making authority.

Phaedra Haywood has the scoop. 

If you’re looking to purchase some new art or furniture to decorate your home or office, just go to the state pen near Santa Fe on Sunday. The New Mexico Department of Corrections is hosting an arts and crafts fair and allowing inmates to sell some of their pieces this Sunday. Make sure to buy some goodies; we hear they’re having a bake sale and selling items baked by inmates.

Katherine Mozzone has a preview here. 

Folks who are trying to find millions in buried treasure are excited this morning. The hunt is on after Santa Fe art collector Forrest Fenn released another clue about where he has buried a lucrative treasure chest. 

Read more here. 

If you're celebrating Cinco de Mayo a little early this weekend, have fun, drink responsibly and drive safe. See you right back here on Monday.

Christus St. Vincent Administration Won't Participate in Study Committee

The committee's purpose was to bring the community together about the impact of healthcare reform

Local NewsThursday, April 30, 2015 by Justin Horwath
A healthcare study group will be missing a key party: Santa Fe's largest healthcare provider. 

That's because top brass at the provider, Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, did an about-face. 

Hospital administrators have declined to participate in a study group established by city councilors last year whose purpose is to bring the community together to talk about the delivery of healthcare services by Northern New Mexico's largest hospital and other local providers in a changing healthcare landscape.

Councilors approved a measure calling for the committee, introduced by Peter Ives and Patti Bushee, in February 2014 under the administration of former Mayor David Coss. 

The balance on the group between hospital administrators and members with District 1199 New Mexico of the National Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees, the union that represents nurses and other hospital workers, became a point of contention during the council debate on the resolution. So too did the group's focus. Union officials preferred to examine the hospital's delivery of care. Hospital administrators preferred to examine the impact of national and statewide healthcare policy trends on local healthcare delivery. 

“What we would like to get out of it is very straightforward,” said David Delgado, president of the hospital board of directors at the time. “One is to better educate the community as it relates to the changing landscape. Two: Have an open dialogue between all the providers in relation to how we all lean on each other to essentially address the [Affordable Care Act] and the goals of the ACA—which are very positive.”

Yet in a Feb. 17 letter to the mayor obtained Thursday by SFR, Christus St. Vincent CEO Bruce Tassin writes that "so much has happened in the year since" City Council passed the resolution that created the committee, and that instead of joining the group, administrators would "like to instead propose a partnership with the city that focuses on growing and retaining a high skilled workforce for our community." 

"Given the current healthcare landscape," Tassin writes, "we prefer to focus our limited resources and time on growing and retaining local talent." 

Last October, hospital administrators and the union reached a three-year collective bargaining agreement that appeared to quell tensions between the parties about staffing levels at the hospital. 

Yet the relationship quickly soured after the hospital's termination of a top union nurse as well as the union's contention that the hospital administration is not following the terms of the contract. Union officials also allege hospital administrators are failing to retain full-time nurses for its workforce—and are rather relying on contract traveling nurses brought in temporarily from other communities and states. Administrators deny the allegations that it retaliated against the union nurse in firing her and say the mechanisms to track staffing levels of nurses are complex. 

"I feel I am not respected," says Sharon Argenbright, a clinical nurse at Christus St. Vincent's, as well as the union's executive vice president. "I’ll put it that way. I feel like my administration does not care about me...Yet that’s our job—to care [for] other people. So how long can you keep caring when no one cares about you? When administration doesn’t care about you?"

Argenbright, a appointee to the group, adds that she looks forward to using it "to discuss what’s going on so we have a louder voice so people get treated with respect—so they don’t leave."

"We are aware of the study group," Christus St. Vincent Spokesman Arturo Delgado writes in a prepared statement. "Given where we are today, we’d like to instead focus on our limited resources and time on growing and retaining local talent."

The original resolution called on the mayor to make appointments to the committee, including a Christus St. Vincent board representative; a member of a nonprofit that supports the hospital; its vice president of community health; and its chief medical officer. Likewise it called on four members of District 1199 New Mexico. Other appointees included county commissioners, city councilors, and other healthcare representatives not tied to Christus St. Vincent. 

The resolution called on the mayor to make appointments to the group. Mayor Javier Gonzales, more than a year after taking office, finally recommended appointees in the council's April 29 meeting. Included in his recommendations approved by the council on April 29 is Coss—who rallied alongside the union during contract negotiations during his mayoral tenure—as a consumer representative. 

The resolution states the committee shall seek to "better understand the capability" of the hospital to "continue to provide safe, effective and efficient health care services in the context of recent and evolving regulation of the healthcare industry."

It calls on the group to make findings based on community forums about how federal and statewide healthcare policy changes, like the Affordable Care Act, impact healthcare delivery locally.

The group, states the resolution, is to conclude its public meetings and duties eight months after the the appointment of its members. It's then to issue a final report to city councilors. 

Christus St. Vincent Letter to Mayor by justinhorwath

Resolution 2014 19 by justinhorwath

Lotsa Water on Water Street

City workers blame 'old' valve for eruption that shoots bricks into the air

Local NewsThursday, April 30, 2015 by Zoe Baillargeon

Ironically, a water line at the intersection of Water Street and Galisteo Street burst early this afternoon, flooding the lower half of Galisteo. (Insert drought joke here.)

The burst, which happened in front of the Collected Works bookstore, reportedly sent water up to ten feet into the air, littering the street with rocks and bricks. A gaping hole could be seen under the torrent of water, which eyewitnesses say quickly grew bigger. 

“It was marvelous,” said onlooker Delias Soveranes, laughing.

Soveranes, a plumber working up the street, said the city was attempting to shut down water to install a new line for a business when a valve exploded.

“It was crazy,” said Rachel Smith, who was walking down Galisteo Street when it happened. She reported the water was so powerful that debris such as bricks from the road were thrown up into the air.

City workers confirmed that an “old” valve was the culprit.

Up to 40 minutes after the eruption, the lower end of Galisteo Street remained flooded. Tourists, locals and business owners from up and down the street snapped pics with cellphones. Businesses like Collected Works stacked sandbags in front of their doors and stoops to stop the water, already lapping at street level. Some onlookers even took off their shoes and waded around the flooded area, laughing.

The water line in question is a cast iron, 6-inch main. One worker estimated that the force of the water coming out of the line was up to 100 pounds per square inch, “enough to kill you.”

Workers fanned out on surrounding streets to isolate the water and stop the flow. Estimates on when the water could be stopped were sketchy, but water began to recede later in the afternoon.

Street maintenance workers on site said that the entire neighborhood, including Don Gaspar Avenue to Sandoval Street, will be without water but could not specify when the outage would end, explaining that it “all depends on what we find down there.”

Despite the excitement of the moment, the reality of the wasted water isn’t lost.  
Sam Romero, a street maintenance worker, said he won’t even hazard a guess at how much seeped away.

“To guess, it’d be crazy,” he said.

Morning Word: Tapia Married “Family Matters” Star

Boxer’s widow says marriage to Darius McCrary was a mistake

Morning WordThursday, April 30, 2015 by Peter St. Cyr
Teresa Tapia claims she was depressed when she married actor Darius McCrary after the champ's death but quickly realized the union was a mistake. SFR asked her for copies of her annulment paperwork, and she promised to deliver them. Instead, she opted to sit down with a television news reporter.

It's Thursday, April 30, 2015

Teresa Tapia married Family Matters star Darius McCrary just a few months after five-time boxing champion Johnny Tapia died in 2012. Now, she claims their Las Vegas marriage was a mistake and was annulled before she married Jeffrey Padilla, who she believed (at the time) was Johnny’s half brother. DNA results, according to Tapia, show that Padilla isn’t related to the champ. Tapia divorced Padilla this year after he was detained for parole violations.McCrary was busted himself earlier this month in Michigan for failure to pay child support to another ex-wife.

See more at 

If you watched 60 Minutes on CBS on Sunday night, you know there’s a lot of debris from satellites that have been blown up that could cause problems for astronauts and rockets trying to get back to the moon or Mars in the future. Now, US Senator Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, is proposing strict rules of conduct in space.

Read more at the Los Alamos Daily Post. 

Federal investigators are releasing more details on the freight train collision that claimed one life near Roswell on Tuesday. The National Transportation Safety Board says that the two men in one of the trains jumped off after hitting the brakes. According to officials, the engineer might have lived if he hadn’t jumped.

Read more at 

Experts say fixing the behavioral health care system in New Mexico could take years.

Winthrop Quigley is Up Front.  

After being criticized for dodging reporters' questions, Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden has put three records custodians on administrative leave for “unprofessional conduct” that may have impacted the effective processing of public document requests. Reynaldo Chavez, who’s been with the department since 2011 and was given the department’s civilian employee of the award three years ago, has retained an attorney. Javier Urban has been named the acting records custodian for the department.

See more at KOAT. 

Meanwhile, the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government's board president is criticizing City of Albuquerque independent hearing officers’ decision to ban video recordings of personnel hearings.
“In trying to limit the recordings, hearing officers are trying to limit access,” [Greg] Williams said. “Because it’s a public hearing, you really cannot do anything to eliminate public access.”  

Joey Peters has more. 

Better find some nice canvas shopping bags and get used to taking them with you when you go shopping in Santa Fe.
As part of an environmentally friendly effort to change consumer behavior, the City Council voted 7-2 Wednesday to institute the 10-cent fee after finding that a ban on plastic grocery bags didn’t prompt enough shoppers to tote their purchases in reusable bags. City Councilors Bill Dimas and Ron Trujillo cast the dissenting votes. 
Read more at the Santa Fe New Mexican. 

Ellen DeGeneres really likes Lew Wallace Elementary School teacher Sonya Romero. After flying her to Los Angeles and gifting her and the school $20,000, she’s now bought Romero at new car. Sean "Puffy" Combs says he’ll pay Romero’s gas for two years. Combs upped the ante and gave the school another $10,000.
“I was in complete shock, and then everyone came in and I went, ‘Oh my goodness,’” Romero said. “Just last week my timing belt went out and my power steering. I drive a lot. I have kids and we have activities and live a little far from the school. So we drive a lot. So it was just this absolute blessing.” 
See it all here. 

You won’t be able to get your Bert’s Burger Bowl green chile hamburger fix in Santa Fe any longer. The shop’s owners say they’re retiring.

Read more at the Santa Fe New Mexican. 

A half-dozen Santa Fe residents originally from Nepal gathered at the Tibetan Association of Santa Fe Community Center last night to pray for victims who were killed, injured or displaced by Saturday’s earthquake.

Chris Quintana has the story. 

A 13-year-old girl from Las Cruces has been named one of the top 25 ballerinas in her age category in the world.

The Las Cruces Sun-News has video. 

While most of the tourism dollars being spent around Silver City this week are coming from Tour of the Gila fans, tourism experts say one of the big draws, the Gila Cliff dwellings, generate about $1.7 million a year.

Read more at the Silver City Sun-News. 

Councilors Pass Fee on Paper Bags

Some still doubt the ten-cent fee on paper bags seeks to shift consumer behavior

Local NewsWednesday, April 29, 2015 by Justin Horwath
Retailers in Santa Fe will soon start charging a 10-cent fee for each paper bag provided to customers. 

By a 7-2 vote, city councilors approved a bill that will clear the way for City Hall to start collecting that fee revenue from retail establishments and put the money toward environmental programs.

The bill's passage comes more than a year after the implementation of a ban on certain plastic bags in Santa Fe, a move that largely led to most stores switching to paper bags. Officials initially imposed the 10-cent charge as a part of that ban in order to encourage consumers to start shopping with reusable bags. 

Paper bags take a toll on the environment, too, pointed out a handful of children who testified in support of the bill in the April 29 meeting.

"Guess what?" District 4 Councilor Ron Trujillo, said of paper bags, "At one time they were a tree."

But officials removed the 10-cent charge after concerns that it constituted an illegal tax. Because that money will go toward specific environmental programs—like waste reduction, providing free reusable bags to Santa Feans and environmental education—it's now a "fee" and not a tax. 

That didn't convince Trujillo, who still considers it a tax. He voted against the bill—which Councilors Peter Ives, Sig Lindell and Chris Rivera sponsored. Councilor Bill Dimas also voted against it, too.

District 3 Councilor Carmichael Dominguez said that if consumers don't want to pay the extra dime, then they should shop with reusable bags.

"The reality is that these young people are going to be the taxpayers who are going to have to clean up the mess that I and my generation are making," he said.

"I’m lending my voice and my vote to the rhetoric of saying climate change is real," said Mayor Javier Gonzales before casting a vote in favor of the bill.

Zona Revived

Southside summer youth programs set for city-owned building that had been vacant

Local NewsWednesday, April 29, 2015 by Julie Ann Grimm

Children who live on Santa Fe’s Southside will have a new option for summer camp in their neighborhood following the city’s announcement today that the Boys and Girls Club will lease a city property in Tierra Contenta.

The building known as Zona del Sol has been vacant since February, when the city evicted a nonprofit of the same name that was supposed to provide services there. City officials said those efforts were insufficient.

The Boys and Girls Club can immediately provide a summer program for up to 50 kids between the ages of 5 and 18 there and is ready to put on after school learning, art and recreation opportunities beginning in the in next school year.

Roman Abeyta, the club’s executive director, says many of the kids who already use the Boys and Girls Club on the north side actually live on the other side of town.

“If you look at our numbers now, what has been happening historically over the last four or five years, the numbers enrolled have been declining at the Alto location and our clubs in Jacabo and off Highway 14 reach capacity every summer,” he says. “That is where the services are needed, and that is where the families live.”

City Councilor Carmichael Dominguez says Tuesday in a city press release that he is excited about the news.

“I’m grateful to the hard work put in by city staff and the Boys and Girls Club in making this happen, and I know the impact of this agreement will be felt by Santa Feans all across the south side who will have greater access than ever before to critical services. We can’t wait to see this site grow and evolve, and look forward to a long, fruitful relationship.”

During the term of the 20-year lease, the Boys and Girls Club may sublease portions of the site to other nonprofits, develop the property in ways that contribute to the mission, and offset the monetary value of the rent with the value of the services provided at the site, according to the city’s statement.

Abeyta says the club is already accepting registration for the summer program and expects to open the office at Zona for that purpose early next week. If more than 50 students apply, he says, the club will start taking action to lobby the city, county and state for funds to expand the facility. Program capacity could also increase if the club forgoes its license and grants from the state Children, Youth and Families Department, which set the limit.

“That would allow us to increase the occupancy of the building to whatever the fire marshal says we can hold,” he tells SFR.

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