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Morning Word: Another Fiery Wrong Way Crash Kills 2

Morning WordMonday, September 26, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Wrong-Way Crash Kills 2
Investigators are still trying to if alcohol was involved in another deadly head-on crash caused by a driver going the wrong way on I-25 just east of Santa Fe late Saturday night.

State Agencies Still Haven’t Defined Spending Cuts

With lawmakers and the governor scrambling to shore up the state’s budget, it’s still not clear exactly how state agencies plan to cut their spending, but some are leaving open jobs vacant. Lawmakers hope to get specific details on the cuts before the start of a special session sometime this fall.

Governor Wants Three-Strikes Bill Reheard

A measure to reinstate the death penalty won’t be the only high stakes criminal legislation proposals on the agenda once the Gov. Susana Martinez calls lawmakers back to Santa Fe for a special session. Steve Terrell reports the Martinez also wants a "three-strikes" law aimed at locking habitual felons up for life to get another quick hearing.

Weld Not Quitting Race

If you’ve been hearing gossip that Gary Johnson’s running mate, William Weld, is getting ready to quit the 2016 Libertarian Party ticket, it’s not true according to both men who say their focus and energy to try and win the election won’t be diverted by rumors.

State’s Oil and Gas Industry Off 5 Percent

The Albuquerque Journal reviewed the numbers and it looks like New Mexico’s oil and gas industry is still suffering from lower global prices.
Statewide production fell by about four million barrels from January to July, dropping from about 86 million barrels in the first seven months of 2015 to about 82 million for the same period this year, according to the latest statistics from the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division.
Fraud Charges Dropped
The Associated Press reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission won’t pursue fraud charges against two former Thornburg Mortgage executives related to an allegation they had filed a false financial statement.
The agency filed a lawsuit in 2012, alleging that Larry Goldstone, Clarence Simmons III and Jane Starrett hid the company's deteriorating financial condition at the start of the housing market collapse by issuing misleading statements. They also were accused of hiding a $428 million loss in a 2007 annual report.

A jury cleared Goldstone and Simmons in July of five counts of civil accounting fraud but deadlocked on five others.
Feds Target Immigrants Without Criminal Records
Immigrant advocates claim Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are using 48-hour hold detainers to target people without any criminal records, although the number of detainers issued since 2011 is down significantly.
ICE issued 409 detainers in fiscal 2015 in New Mexico, down from 3,170 detainers issued in fiscal 2011, according to data collected by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The data do not show how many of those individuals were deported.

The peak came at the height of the “Secure Communities” program that encouraged local law enforcement to cooperate with ICE through the use of detainers and other methods – a program local New Mexico law enforcement broadly rejected and which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he wants to revive.
Golf Legend Dies
Golf legend Arnold Palmer died on Sunday in Pittsburgh. He was 87. Palmer is credited with making the country club sport massively more popular.

Voice of the Lobos Remembered
Yesterday, University of New Mexico Lobo fans honored Mike Roberts, the school’s former radio announcer at a public viewing inside the Pit. The “Voice of the Lobos” passed away on September 13 after a battle with throat cancer. He was 83.

‘Surreal Experience’
This is so cool. An Albuquerque teen who survived cancer, and interviewed Peyton Manning last year, got another assignment as a special CBS sports correspondent and interviewed Denver Bronco Coach Gary Kubiak over the weekend. Austin Denton will travel to New York to present the segment on NFL Today. Oh, and the Broncos beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday 29-17.

County Seeks New Jail Psychiatrist

The outgoing doctor cites difficult working conditions for his resignation.

Local NewsFriday, September 23, 2016 by Steven Hsieh

Santa Fe County is accepting applications for a new psychiatrist to perform diagnoses and prescribe medication at Adult Detention Facility, a government-run jail that serves a large swath of northern New Mexico.

Dr. Luigi Dulanto, the previous psychiatrist, resigned on Sept. 8, citing challenging working conditions.

“Working in the corrections environment is difficult because of the population,” Dulanto tells SFR. “Inmates are very difficult to deal with. There are a lot of addiction problems in the jail. It is difficult to provide adequate service.”

“Many inmates want to get high on the medication I was prescribing,” he adds. “It was very upsetting.”

Dulanto says he plans to focus on his private practice in Santa Fe, as well as service he provides once a month at La Clinica Del Pueblo in Tierra Amarilla.

Whoever takes his place will be well compensated. With an annual salary of $281,379, Dulanto earned more than any other county employee. To put that into perspective, the jail psychiatrist brings in nearly three times as much as the warden, Mark Caldwell. County Manager Katherine Miller, the next highest paid county employee, earns $177,927 a year.

For the time being, an internal medicine doctor will handle inmates’ psych medications, according to Dr. Merrit Ayad, director of mental health for the county corrections department. The county is working on finding an interim psychiatrist until a permanent one is hired.

“It’s not ideal,” Ayad says. “We’re making one guy do another guy’s work. But we’re not falling apart. Inmates are still being cared for.”

Adult Detention Facility houses a max inmate population of about 660. Approximately 67 percent of those incarcerated at the jail have mental illness, while about 90 percent have substance abuse issues, according to Ayad.

Dulanto's resignation comes amid a push by county officials to improve mental health services in the region. A November ballot question asks voters to spend millions of public dollars to fund a mental health crisis center with an explicit goal of connecting people to services, rather than the criminal justice system.

Santa Fe County created the position of jail psychiatrist as a condition of a 2004 agreement between the county and the Department of Justice. Civil rights investigators examined the quality of healthcare at the facility after the death of Tyson Johnson, an inmate who expressed suicidal ideation before guards found him hanging from a sprinkler head. At the time of Johnson’s death, Management and Training Corporation, a private company, ran the jail.

In addition to a psychiatrist, the county corrections department also employs six therapists, four registered nurses, four licensed practical nurses and a special coordinator who oversees compliance with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.

Santa Fe County posted the job on its website on Sept. 22. The posting closes on Sept. 30.

Over the HoneyMoon

Santa Feans win big money in Miller Lite entrepreneur contest

Local NewsFriday, September 23, 2016 by Maria Egolf-Romero

 A few months ago, you read about Ayla Bystrom-Williams and her boyfriend/business partner James Hill in SFR’s My Millennial Life cover story. In case you didn’t, here’s a quick refresher. Born in 1985 and raised in Santa Fe, the two have spent the past few years building their business HoneyMoon Brewery, which makes alcoholic kombucha, right here in their hometown.  

The millennial pair is resourceful. They found assistance from local business incubators and sold their idea to Whole Foods before they even had a product. Last night, their resourcefulness paid off yet again and the pair won the Miller Lite Tap The Future Program contest.

HoneyMoon Brewery steadily defeated 14,000 other businesses during the competition, earning a six-figure prize at its conclusion. 

“It’s still so surreal,” says Hill. “They hand you this big check and you’re shaking hands with all of these miller executives. It’s an experience like we’ve never experienced before.” HoneyMoon Brewery received two checks from Miller, one for $20,000 and one for $200,000, “so they essentially handed us the brewery,” says Hill.

The sum was more than the pair had hoped for and they plan to sign a lease on building and order equipment as soon as they get home. “We will be licensed sometime in 2017,” says Hill. “We are really tired right now, it’s been a long stretch. But we feel really great, really humbled and really blessed.” 

This Weekend

Fests on Fests on Fests

Weekend PicksFriday, September 23, 2016 by SFR

Unify Festival

An all-inclusive festival includes health, music, yoga, ceremony and sustainability for four days of unification. Enjoy more than 50 musical performances on four different stages over the weekend in genres from electronic dance music to reggae from artists like Trevor Hall and Mike Love. The party goes until midnight every night and features an acoustic chill lounge until 3 am.

More Info >>

Robert Williams: Slang Aesthetics

A huge presentation of the artist's drawings and paintings created over the past 20 years. Williams—who's work is reminiscent of extremely skilled cartoons—also started Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine in the '90s and happens to be from Albuquerque. This is his first solo exhibit in New Mexico. Through Nov. 27.

More Info >>

Salute to Immigrants Week Kick-Off

George RR Martin personally begins the weeklong movie festival honoring immigrants. Admission to all five films is free for anyone with a green card. See Moscow on the Hudson, Sin Nombre, Avalon, The Lost City and Desierto.

More Info >>


Future Fantasy Delight Launch Party with Princess Nokia

Future Fantasy Delight is a Santa Fe based label founded by artist Nico Salazar specializing in illustration, fashion design and live art performance. Salazar, who is a graduate of Institute of American Indian Arts and has showed his own graphic works around the country. Princess Nokia is a musical collective lead by twenty-two year old Destiny Nicole Ortiz—a multifaceted artist from the New York City underground—puts on a crazy awesome live dance music performance that starts at 9 pm.

More Info >>

Gregg Turner

Gregg Turner (of Angry Samoans) brings his Roky Erickson-meets-doo-wop sound to the Burger Stand.

More Info >>

Steampunk Spectacular 5 – Cthulhu’s Revenge

Workshops, costume contest, murder mystery, burlesque show and entertainment planned throughout the day. Wear your best steampunk gear! This is a family friendly event and is open to the public. Visit www.steampunkspectacularnm.com for more info.

More Info >>


Museum Hill Free-for-All Community Day Celebration

A family activity bonanza gives you free access to the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Santa Fe Botanical Gardens, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Indian Art and Culture. AND, there are special family workshops happening in each museum, like treasure hunting in the Wheelwright and learning about bee pollination habits while exploring the flowers and plants of the Botanical Gardens. Enjoy live musical performances, circus demonstrations and 3 storytelling sessions with Joe Hayes. If you have a kid you are probably smiling right now.

More Info >>

Jessica Helen Lopez and John Macker

Lopez and Macker are each well-known in the poetry world for different reasons. Lopez is a slam poet who has published three compilations of her works to date and Macker is a renowned short story writer and poet who reads selections from his newest published work, Blood in the Mix.

More Info >>

Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival: Mr. Gaga

Enjoy dessert at a pre-reception with guest choreographer Amy Morrow for the film that opens the film festival's seventh season. The film focuses on GAGA, a dance movement language developed by Ohad Saharan, one of the pre-eminent choreographers of the modern dance world.

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: District Attorney Candidates Square Off

Morning WordFriday, September 23, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
District Attorney Candidates Discuss Issues in Santa Fe 
While most people were out enjoying the rain or watching Thursday night football, the two candidates for District Attorney in the First Judicial District squared off at a League of Women Voters’ candidate forum in Santa Fe on Thursday night.
Democrat Marco Serna offered some thoughts on the death penalty and marijuana decriminalization, while Republican Yvonne Chicoine said it’s not the district attorney’s place to speak on political issues and that the DA’s job is to simply enforce the law.
New Spaceport Director Appointed
The Spaceport Authority’s board selected Dan Hicks, long-range plans director at White Sands Missile Range, to replace exiting director Christine Anderson.

Former Mora Superintendent Faces More Charges
The Las Vegas Optic reports state police have filed a new case against former Mora Independent School District Superintendent Charles Trujillo.
Court documents in San Miguel County Magistrate Court accuse Trujillo of forgery and attempt to commit fraud in connection with a Luna Community College job application.

Trujillo resigned following an October investigation by the Optic that Trujillo faked his credentials to obtain his administrative license.
Griego ‘Over Scrutinized’;
Phil Griego’s criminal defense attorney contends the former senator is “being singled out” and “over scrutinized.” Thomas Clark says he also thinks state prosecutors “are placing an undue amount of scrutiny on the longtime politician in response a new search warrant of bank records.”

Democrat Political Operative Indicted
An Albuquerque man, and longtime political operative, has been indicted on a variety of election fraud charges. In 2014, Carlos Villanueva admits he obtained recently deceased voters’ absentee ballots to demonstrate how it easily they could be obtained. Villanueva says he immediately turned the ballots over to state election officials. He contends the felony charges are politically motivated.

UNM Police Chief Sued for Civil Rights Violations
Two former University of New Mexico football players and another man are suing the school’s police chief and other officers for violating their civil rights. The plaintiffs contend Chief Kevin McCabe and the others conspired to build a rape case against them despite knowing the men were innocent.

Obama Honors New Mexico Pioneering Author
Thursday at the White House, President Barack Obama awarded New Mexico author Rudolfo Anaya the National Humanities Medal for his “pioneering stories of the American Southwest.”
His works of fiction and poetry celebrate the Chicano experience and reveal universal truths about the human condition,” Obama said. “And as an educator, he has spread a love of literature to new generations.
Michael Coleman reports, “Anaya joined 16 other American arts and humanities luminaries, including humorist Mel Brooks and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, for the event in the ornate East Room.” 

That’s it for today. Enjoy the first weekend in the new fall season and see you back here on Monday.

The Fork

The Fork

The ForkThursday, September 22, 2016 by Gwyneth Doland

Forker Ed Brown wrote in to ask how to celebrate and I have ideas for you!

Santa Fe Brewing is hosting its fifth Oktoberfiesta fundraiser Oct. 15 and 16. The event includes beer, bratwurst, music, contests and vendors—and a portion of the proceeds benefit local nonprofits. Tickets cost $10-$25.

The NM Brewfest is a great excuse to wear your lederhosen. It happens Oct. 1 from 1-6 pm in the Villa Hispana at Expo NM (the state fairgrounds). There’s beer, music, food trucks, hijinks. Tickets cost $25.

Sierra Blanca Brewery in Moriarty is hosting an Oktoberfest this Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2 pm. Admission ($12) includes a bratwurst! They’ll be pouring their Oktoberfest beer. Kids are welcome (there’s a special Kid Zone) and their $12 admission includes a hot dog, soda and bag of chips.

Or head north for the weekend-long Red River Oktoberfest, Oct. 7-9 at Brandenburg Park. It’s kind of a big deal, with games, a pub crawl, lots of people in costume. Admission gets you a commemorative glass ($10) or stein ($20).

Meanwhile, New Mexico brewers are up in arms about a proposal to raise taxes on beer in order to help close a gaping hole in the state budget, the Albuquerque Journal reported this week. Right now New Mexico microbreweries pay 8 cents per gallon (for the first 10,000 barrels), which is less than the national median of 20 cents per gallon, but a heckuva lot less than the proposed $2.75 per gallon.

Brian Lock of Santa Fe Brewing, New Mexico’s biggest local brewery, said if the proposal became law it would make New Mexico beer too expensive compared to beer made elsewhere. He said he would hire more people to sell beer out of state because it wouldn’t subject to the in-state tax.

For dinner, why not keep it simple and do a beer-can chicken or, better yet, get out that rotisserie attachment for the gas grill and put a bird on it. (Ha! I said put a bird on it.) Anyway, the only difficult thing about chicken on the rotisserie, as you may have discovered, is that if you don’t tie the legs and wings together the chicken flops all over the spit. And I found something awesome for that: silicone cooking bands. They look like rubber bands but they’re heat-proof to 600 degrees. And they’re awesome. You can also use them to band together asparagus to drop a whole bunch in the pot or wrap up a butterflied leg of lamb or pork roast. A package of 20 runs about $6.50.

After dinner Friday night curl up on the couch for the premiere of Longmire Season 5 on Netflix.


What news do you want to see in this newsletter? We want to hear from you! Let us know! Email thefork@sfreporter.com


SFR Streams: An Exclusive Stream of the New Cloacas Album

Hear the newest album a full week before its official release

Music FeaturesThursday, September 22, 2016 by SFR

We're still about a week out from Cloacas' weekend-long album release party, and to celebrate we thought we'd offer up an exclusive stream of ...and the skies are not cloudy all day. 

The immediate assumption when one hears Cloacas’ particular blend of Americana, folk, gypsy-jazz and oddball experimentation is that we must have heard this someplace before. Indeed, all the elements are there for the perilous journey into same-old, same-old—acoustic instruments, lots of banjo, uh, vests—and yet for every straightforward time signature or familiar stylistic choice on the new album, there exists a bizarre counterbalance in the form of spooky circus music, a forlorn singing saw peering out from just behind the musical focal point or even, at times, an almost punk rock breakdown.

Think the stranger moments on an album like Squirrel Nut Zippers’ 1995 debut, The Inevitable, only with a deft enough hand and vision to steer clear of swing music corniness for sincere eccentricity; Cloacas, in fact, would probably already be huge were this 20-ish years ago. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re stuck in a time or place now irrelevant, rather that their catalog pulls from the old (and older still) and/or from the far and wide sounds of the globe to compress the nearly incompressible into something very then, but also very now. Take the Middle Eastern flair of “Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron Vernix),” a song that kicks off with a cacophonous orchestra of kazoos, or the looming darkness that sneaks up during “The Great Rhinehart Tire Fire of 1983,” which exists just shy of a Danny Elfman-esque soundtrack movement. There are those toe-tappin’ tunes with which one might whistle along as well, like “East Faught Shunt” (a banjo-driven number that wouldn’t sound out of place if performed by Kermit the motherfucking Frog) or “Just Another Day,” one of the more vocally-heavy numbers that is simultaneously jam-packed with gospel appeal and a down-south aesthetic.



Recorded as a sort of tribute to the then-active home of nonprofit weirdo-arts collective High Mayhem (they’re still around, they’re just not venue-ish these days), skies represents the most solid yet sprawling vision the band has been able to impart to date, and a rather impressive evolution given the sheer number of moving parts. It could be the top-notch mastering courtesy of local audio champ Will Dyar (look him up, anyone making an album around here) or the know-how and equipment at High Mayhem’s disposal, but Cloacas seems closer as a unit and more in sync than they’ve ever been, a notion all the more evident in that skies was mostly recorded live—minus a few vocal overdubs. They’ve also doubled down on recorded media and will offer the record digitally and on CD as well as on limited edition blue vinyl for a mere 200 fans. Each LP comes with a digital download code, by the way, but for all those vinyl nerds out there who always express the warmth and tone as the reasons why they so love records, skies seems tailor-made and an obvious buy.

Such a tremendous achievement also deserves a tremendous release window, which Cloacas has provided and then some. In addition to the exclusive week-long stream of the album on our website, the sextet has planned three days of release events to be held between Santa Fe, Taos and Madrid. As skies is the tightest they’ve ever been as a band and is far and away their most definitive and well-executed collection of songs made available in their relatively short existence, it would be highly advisable for pretty much everyone to be there. It isn’t out of the question for Cloacas to be headed into some semblance of success at this point, and it’s exciting to muse over what might happen next.


Day 1
7 pm Thursday, Sept. 29
$10 (comes with free CD or ten bucks off the vinyl release)
Iconik Coffee Roasters
1600 Lena St., 428-0996

Day 2
9 pm Friday, Sept. 30
Free
Taos Mesa Brewing Taos Tap Room (say that five times fast)
201 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, (575) 758-1900

Day 3
7 pm Saturday Oct. 1
Free
Mine Shaft Tavern
2846 Hwy. 14, Madrid, 473-0743

Morning Word: Death Penalty Reinstatement Would Cost State Millions

Morning WordThursday, September 22, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Death Penalty Cases Would Be Costly
At the same time New Mexico lawmakers are trying to shore up the state’s budget, the New Mexico Public Defender's Office is questioning the costs associated with reinstating the death penalty if Gov. Susana Martinez gets her way.

Griego’s Bank Accounts Under Review
The attorney general’s office wants to determine if former state senator Phil Griego was using campaign bank accounts as a slush fund. Griego’s financial records are under review after a judge signed warrants giving an attorney general’s investigator access to statements, checks and other documents. Steve Terrell reports Griego could face charges for misusing the political money. He already faces nine counts connected to the sale of a state building in 2014.

Secretary of State Candidates Disagree on Effort to Register Eligible Voters
The two candidates for New Mexico Secretary of State disagree on an effort by the interim secretary of state to get more elibigle voters registered to vote before the Nov. 8 elections. Republican Nora Espinoza says she thinks “the voter file is bloated and inaccurate, with some voters’ 'addresses' nothing more than commercial mailbox stores, and she maintained there are problems with duplicate and fake Social Security numbers.” Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver supports the campaign, funded by a federal grant, to get eligible voters registered. 

Baby Brianna’s Mother Mum After Prison Release  
KOAT news crews were in Grants when Stephanie Lopez, the mother of Baby Brianna, was released from prison after serving half of a 27-year sentence. They followed a vehicle that came to pick her up to a gas station in Los Lunas, but Lopez didn’t answer any of their questions. Watch video as Lopez takes her first steps to freedom. 

Juror Removed from APD Officers’ Murder Trial
A juror who was caught talking to someone about the murder case involving two former Albuquerque Police Officers on her cell phone was replaced with an alternate juror on Wednesday. KUNM is covering the trail and reports the judge also determined that the rifle Dominique Perez used to shoot James Boyd won’t be admitted as evidence in the trial.
The rifle wasn’t treated the way a potential murder weapon typically would be. It wasn’t locked away until the trial. Instead, it was returned to Perez after he killed Boyd, and in the two years since, it went back in circulation among police.
Balderas Has Questions About EpiPen’s Price Hike
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office has sent an investigatory letter requesting information from the manufacturer of life-saving EpiPen, an auto-injector of synthetic adrenaline that treats severe allergic reactions, after the price of the drug device jumped 500 percent. Balderas wants to make sure New Mexican children and families have access to life-saving medications.

More Mental Health Care Workers Needed
Speaking of which, mental health care professionals and service organizations are expressing concerns that there are not enough behavioral health care professionals to meet demand in northwestern New Mexico.
Presbyterian Medical Services in Farmington has 15 vacant behavioral health positions, according to Laura Ann Crawford, the northwest region director. She said she has spent three months trying to recruit people to fill those positions. Without doctors and therapists to see the patients, local providers reported people are waiting three weeks to five months before they can get an appointment.
Bear Cubs Will Return to Wilderness
The two little bear cubs that were left orphaned after their mother was killed after mauling a runner in the Valles Calderas this summer are about to released into the wild after gaining enough weight to survive on their own.

Cavity Ghosts and Other Delights: The Art of Nico Salazar

A local artist spans eras and influence for a new locally produced clothing line

Pop CultureWednesday, September 21, 2016 by Amy Davis
Courtesy Future Fantasy Delight

About seven years ago, I was wandering the Santa Fe Plaza on one of those impossibly perfect New Mexican days when—boom!—I realized I needed chocolate bad. My decadent afternoon snack of choice was the balls o' heaven known as bolitas at Señor Murphy Candymaker’s inside La Fonda (100 E San Francisco St., 982-0461) and who would have guessed that fateful candy craving would be the catalyst for meeting the Cavity Ghost creator himself, artist Nico Salazar. 

Salazar’s characters are brilliant and unique and entirely of himself. From Beastly Vandal, an ogre who lives for street art and slurping down horchata, to Cavity Ghost, who possesses one to eat sweets, to the Annunaki Hotties, the sexiest cosmic entities this side of the Milky way, Salazar’s cartoons are more than drawings; they are alive.

Raised in Pecos by very traditional Spanish folks (think horses), he shuttled between Santa Fe, Oxnard, California, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as his dad was a Navy man. You can see influences from the places Salazar haunted as a young one in everything from his kawaii girls to Cali punkz to the brujas in New Mexico. He is a veritable smoothie of cultures, and a delicious one at that.

Salazar is one of those rare talents who morphed from inspired drawings to pop plastic jewelry (he ran the now-defunct Soft Museum with fellow artists Autumn Dawn and Max Sanders and garnered worldwide acclaim while still studying at the Institute of American Indian Art) to painting and—drumroll—now a complete fashion line called Future Fantasy Delight. You can see burbles of manga mixed with ’80s video games and punk rock dusted with a taste of ’90's rave, all transformed into something unique and entirely Salazar. It even caught the attention of the Meow Wolf folks, who have funded his line; MW rocks the business end and Salazar has complete creative control. Everything is done in stoic black and white, and though the palette is simple and the line is sharp, the artwork itself is a drippy-dreamy psychedelic stew and features everything from leggings, pins, tote bags and nail decals to t-shirts and, coming soon, jumpsuits and bikinis!

The Future Fantasy Delight launch party goes down at a 21+ show at Meow Wolf (where you can also see an entire room of Salazar's artwork, by the way) on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 7 pm and features NYC-based musician Princess Nokia, who describes her sound as cosmic and three-dimensional with influences from the banjee girls in Harlem, teen brides in the Middle East and gay boys in East Asia. It's the perfect musical accompaniment to Salazar's dreamy line. Ooh, what a perfect whipped topping of genius for the party! Tickets can be found here, but entrance to the event is free if you show up by 7:30 pm.

Future Fantasy Delight Clothing Line Launch
with Princess Nokia
9-11 pm Saturday, Sept. 24. $15-$18.
Meow Wolf, 1352 Rufina Circle, 395-6369.

Morning Word: Unemployment Numbers Jump in August

Morning WordWednesday, September 21, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Unemployment Still High
The state’s unemployment rate is still the second highest in the nation and the numbers keeping getting worse. In August, unemployment was at 6.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—almost two percentage points higher than the 4.9 percent national average and way above the 2.9 percent unemployment rate in South Dakota. At least it’s not the worst rate; Alaska topped New Mexico with 6.8 percent of workers claiming unemployment. 

Lawmakers Will Consider Death Penalty Reinstatement During Special Session
State Rep. Monica Youngblood, R-Albuquerque, is going to sponsor Gov. Susana Martinez’ proposal to reinstate the death penalty in New Mexico during a yet-to-be-scheduled special session. The legislation isn’t likely to get passed by the Democrat-controlled state senate, but Martinez and her team get to put lawmakers on the record about the issue before the Nov. 8 election.
Amber Widgery, a death penalty policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said no state has enacted a law to reinstate capital punishment after a legislative repeal over the last 40 years. "I haven't seen a reinstatement bill get traction in recent memory," she said.
Martinez’ Popularity Among the Lowest in the Country
The governor’s popularity continues to fall and now she’s ranked the 11th least popular governor in the US. Steve Terrell reports, “There were some bright spots for Martinez in the poll. It showed that more people in New Mexico approve of her job performance than disapprove, so in the jargon of pollsters, she’s “above water. And the numbers are slightly better for the governor than some recent polls. According to the new poll, 50 percent of those who responded approve of Martinez’s job performance. Forty-five percent disapprove.” 

State Fails to Collect Tax Revenue from Health Insurance Premiums
“The state failed to collect nearly $200 million in taxes from health insurance companies during a recent five-year period,” according to a report released Tuesday by State Auditor Tim Keller and reported by Joey Peters.
The state Office of the Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) should have collected more than $193 million between April 2010 and April 2015, according to the report. OSI’s purpose is to collect premium taxes from insurers who do business in New Mexico. In the report, Keller noted that the $193 million total is based on a sample representing 26 percent of all premium taxes collected during the time period.

"The ultimate amount due to the State is likely to be far more than the sums identified in the Audit,” Keller wrote.
Drug Overdose Fatalities Continue to Rise in Santa Fe County
The New Mexico Health Department reports that drug overdose deaths dropped by 9 percent around most of New Mexico, but not in Santa Fe County, which saw a 6.7 percent increase.
Other counties that saw a rise in fatal overdoses between 2014 and 2015 are Bernalillo, Chaves, Doña Ana, Eddy, Guadalupe, Los Alamos, Quay, Roosevelt, Sierra and Taos. Each reported an increase of one to three deaths since 2014. Rio Arriba County had the state’s highest rate of fatal drug overdoses in 2015, at 81.4 deaths per 100,000 residents, despite a 30 percent decrease from 2014, when it reported 40 deaths and a rate of 110.2.
Garcia Gets Contract Extension
Santa Fe Public School’s interim superintendent Veronica Garcia now has a permanent contract extension through 2018. Garcia will earn $180,000 a year. 

Infrantry Bound
Very cool. Anissa Martinez, 18, who just graduated from Española Valley High School Valley High School in May, has taken her oath and will become the state’s first woman to join the Army’s infantry.

All in a Week
So the Morning Word takes a look at daily news from around the state, but if you want a good laugh about some of the stories that made news over the past week, you should check out SFR’s snarky 7 Days column online.

Morning Word: Another Fiery Wrong Way Crash Kills 2
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