SELECT title FROM cont_articles WHERE id='' LIMIT 1 Santa Fe Reporter

The Blame Game

IFAM’s loss of a day has a simple explanation

Local NewsTuesday, August 23, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Three days before the Indigenous Fine Art Market was set to open for its third year, organizers faced a tough choice. It was Tuesday, and a last-minute discovery in permitting paperwork would require them to either increase their insurance costs to operate for their planned three days beginning on Thursday, or to cut Saturday, Aug. 20 from the schedule. The latter won out.

Did “the city” intentionally thwart the small art event planned over Indian Market weekend in the Santa Fe Railyard, or did organizers drop the ball?

Social media has been aflutter with artists who planned to exhibit at IFAM on Saturday, and accusations are flying about the events that led to the change.

IFAM media representative Douglas Miles told the Santa Fe New Mexican he had heard artists complain that the city was “trying to squeeze more money out of Indians.” In an interview with SFR, however, Miles says that he “didn’t know what to think” of the situation.

“I don’t feel a conspiratory vibe. But I think it’s possible that there are people who don’t want IFAM to happen,” Miles tells SFR. “A lot of the inner-workings and the inner-minutiae I’m not privy to. To me it seems like a discriminatory move. … I just think that since this occurred, some of the artists started to feel like the city didn’t want them there.” Miles estimates the vendors were officially notified of the Saturday cancellation on Thursday, Aug. 18.

The Railyard is a city property that’s managed on contract by a nonprofit called Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation. Its director of events and marketing, Sandra Brice, tells SFR that confusion has been a pattern from IFAM. “It’s very disappointing,” she says, for the organization “to send out a spokesman who implied that we, on behalf of the city, would try to shut them down. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so untrue as well as so disrespectful to our efforts and those of a lot of hardworking staffers throughout the city who have bent over backward to help IFAM succeed from the very beginning. I’m confident that the artists will return under the professional management they deserve and hope we have a long, successful partnership for years to come.”

According to city Fire Marshal Reynaldo Gonzales, it was a matter of volume. “We estimated the number of visitors based on the last year’s numbers and there was an agreement between both parties,” Gonzales tells SFR. “Unfortunately, their insurance fell through and it was their decision not to do the event on Saturday.”  

IFAM founder John Torres Nez, who started the show after leaving the management team of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts and Indian Market, tells SFR via email that the original policy accounted for 12,000 visitors, whereas the market eventually discovered it was required to be insured for 40,000. He doesn’t echo any concerns about discrimination, though. “The Railyard folks were integral in saving the show,” he writes. On Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 23, as this story was going to press, IFAM posted a formal thank you note on its Facebook page. “No conspiracy,” it reads. “Just the unavoidable growing pains of a struggling, 100% volunteer organization trying to create opportunities for Indigenous artists.”

Morning Word: Governor Opposes Tax Increases

Morning WordTuesday, August 23, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Martinez Won’t Support Tax Increase
Gov. Susana Martinez says she won’t consider any tax increases as the state seeks to close a projected budget shortfall during an upcoming special session of the Legislature. Instead, “Martinez has instructed state agencies under her control to trim general-fund spending by 5 percent during the budget year that began in July, with some exceptions for matters of health and public safety.”

Voters Support Death Penalty
Martinez may be bucking a national trend where most states are moving away from imposing death sentences, but it looks like a majority of New Mexico voters support her call to reinstate the ultimate penalty in New Mexico, according to a Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by the New Mexico Political Report.
Republicans are most likely to support reinstatement of the death penalty—78 percent say they support the effort, to just 15 percent who oppose it. On the other hand, a slim plurality of Democrats oppose bringing back the death penalty, with 47 percent opposed compared to the 45 percent who support it. Independents more widely support the proposal, at 58 percent to 34 percent.

‘Junk Report’
John Hendry, the business agent for state film and television crews, disputes a University of Southern California report that claims the state is wasting its money by offering Hollywood production tax incentives. Last year, producers pumped in $385 million into the state’s economy.

Monsoons Return to State
We’ll be spending part of the morning weeding our yard. They seemed to have popped up overnight after the monsoon returned to New Mexico over the weekend. The good news, is the wet weather will continue for most of the week, according to forecasters. 

Vigil Named Medical Cannabis Program Director
The moisture is helping the state’s outside medical marijuana grow too. Speaking of pot, the communication director at the New Mexico Department of Health, who recommended patients essentially go back on to pharmaceutical drugs if their medical cannabis program cards expired before the department could process their renewals, got a big new promotion. Kenny Vigil, who also claimed there was no way to predict a 81 percent surge in patient registrations between June 2015 and June 2016, is now the Medical Cannabis Program director. His boss, Health Secretary-Designate Lynn Gallagher, spent Monday defending the administration of the program to lawmakers in Taos.

Trump Insists Mexico Will Pay for Wall
Donald Trump is spending more on campaign apparel like hats and t-shirts than on campaign payrolls. Maybe that’s why the 12-year-old Colorado middle schooler signed up to be the real-life co-chair of the Republican’s campaign in Jefferson County, Colorado. Last night, Trump told a mostly white crowd in Ohio that his plans to build a wall along the Mexican border hasn’t changed.

Coal Industry Billionaire Won’t Back Hillary
We’ve reported on high-ranking Republicans who say they won’t vote for Trump, but now we’re hearing that Jim Justice, the Democratic candidate for governor in West Virginia (and billionaire coal mine business owner), says he won’t be casting his ballot for Hillary Clinton.

Uber Offers Spanish-Speaking Service
Finally, Uber, the popular ridesharing service, is going to expand its Spanish-speaking driver services around the state, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Morning Word: State Unemployment Rates Still High

Morning WordMonday, August 22, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Unemployment Rates 3rd Highest in Nation 
At 6.4 percent, New Mexico still has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation in July, down a couple of ticks from 6.6 percent last year. Nationally, unemployment rates in July averaged 4.9 percent. 

MedPot Patients Finally Get a Break
The New Mexico Department of Health with has been struggling to keep up with processing medical cannabis applications. The program will extend existing patient cards 60 days so people can continue to buy their medication without fear of being arrested. Regulators are scheduled to be questioned by lawmakers at an interim committee meeting today in Taos.

State’s Use of Private Prisons Also Questioned
At the same time that the federal government is planning to stop using private prisons, including one in Cibola County, the ACLU thinks it’s time the state consider doing the same thing for five privately owned state prisons.

Espinoza Cleared
Acting Secretary of State Brad Winter cleared Nora Espinoza of allegations she violated the campaign finance reporting act, but suggested she do a better job with details on her future reports.

Joy Ride
Gary Johnson rallied his home state supporters at a big weekend rally in Albuquerque and even took time for a lowrider joy ride.

Clinton Picks Up Endorsement in New Mexico
No surprise here: Pueblo Indian governors in New Mexico are endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

Santa Fe Police Officers Finally Get Body Cameras; Raises Are a Different Matter
It took longer than expected, but the Santa Fe Police Department will begin issuing body cameras to officers by the end of August. Cops in the capital city also want a raise, but Andrew Oxford reports the city’s “flat” budget is standing in the way.
Meanwhile, a couple of the state’s biggest law enforcement agencies are boosting pay and redoubling efforts to recruit experienced officers, raising concerns among city officials that the Santa Fe Police Department might be left behind in the competition for personnel.

Hiring law enforcement officers in New Mexico has grown competitive in recent years, largely because of chronic understaffing at the Albuquerque Police Department amid tumult and federal oversight, but also because changes to the retirement age have enticed officers around the state to begin drawing their pensions earlier than they might have planned. 
Santa Fe’s Public Safety Committee recently approved a resolution calling on officials to work together on a plan for retaining officers.

Police Videos Released
Jeff Proctor got his hands on body camera videos that shows Albuquerque Police officers raiding a needle exchange program mobile trailer earlier this summer. The videos seem to contradict what the cops originally claimed about their interactions with health care workers.
Video footage shows a chaotic scene at the syringe exchange, with several officers in street clothes and balaclavas to cover their faces rushing the van with assault-style rifles while others shout commands at people standing on the sidewalk nearby.

The videos cast doubt on APD’s key claim: The detectives did not know the van was a syringe exchange prior to storming it. The detectives ask the Health Care for the Homeless staffers who they work for, but at no point do any of the officers ask about what is going on inside the van. One of the officers seems to have known without being told what Gabaldon was doing inside — exchanging syringes. That same officer enters the van and appears unsurprised by what he finds.

Relief for MedPot Patients

Health department and law enforcement say expired cards will get grace period to account for delayed processing

Local NewsFriday, August 19, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

A break is coming for medical cannabis patients who’ve have had a hard time getting their expired program cards renewed by the New Mexico Health Department.

On Friday, Health Secretary-Designate Lynn Gallagher informed licensed producers the department is extending its enrollment periods by 60 days.

That means growers will be allowed to sell medication to cardholders whose cards expire between June 15, 2016 and December 31, 2016 while program staff catches up on paperwork for thousands of renewals.

Producers have been prohibited from providing medication to any patient whose cards are expired by even one day.

Mikey B Innis, a patient in Albuquerque and industry consultant in New Mexico, Arizona, and Oregon, tells SFR he doesn’t think the delays should ever have gotten to this point.

“For the people who treat this as medication, it’s kind of a slap in the face that they were forced back to the street to get unknown and untested pot while they waited for their cards to be renewed. They just don’t know what they’re getting. It’s not right,” he says.  

Gallagher’s announcement comes ahead of an interim legislative meeting in Taos on Monday where lawmakers are expected to ask tough questions about cannabis program registration delays and a glitchy software program the department purchased from BioTrackTHC, a contract vendor, to manage patient and producer data.

State law requires the department to process patient applications and renewals in 30-days, but it has been taking up to three months. Gallagher claims the numbers are improving. 

"The department is taking about 42 days to process applications, which is only about one week beyond the normal 35 days to process patient applications. However, the department is implementing this temporary change in an abundance of caution, to ensure that patients’ enrollments in the Program do not lapse while applications are being processed,” reads Gallagher's letter.

To ensure no patients are needlessly arrested while they wait for their paperwork to be approved, Gallagher says her department has alerted law enforcement agencies to the temporary extension.

Gallagher also encouraged producers to help patients complete their paperwork in their dispensaries. (Read Gallagher’s memo here.) 

Martinez Bucks National Trend on Death Penalty

Why, Susana?

Local NewsFriday, August 19, 2016 by Steven Hsieh

Gov. Susana Martinez’ support for reinstating the death penalty in New Mexico bucks a national trend of turning away from state-funded executions for people convicted of especially heinous crimes, according to researchers who study capital punishment in America.

Since 2000, eight states have implemented legislation or followed court orders abolishing the death penalty. During that same period, no statewide attempts to reinstate capital punishment have been successful.

In fact, no state that abolished the death penalty has brought it back since the early 1920s, according to Frank Zimring, a law professor and death penalty expert at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Once the death penalty is gone, people tend not to miss it,” says Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. “It costs a lot of money and it doesn’t work.”

New Mexico repealed the death penalty in 2009, under the administration of Gov. Bill Richardson. The state last executed a prisoner, convicted child rapist and murderer Terry Clark, in 2001.

Gov. Martinez, a former prosecutor, on Wednesday announced that she will push lawmakers to reinstate the “ultimate penalty” during the next legislative session, raising criticism from Democrats and advocacy groups who say taxpayer-funded executions should remain a part of New Mexico’s past.

The governor cited the recent killing of a Hatch police officer and the kidnapping and murder of a 9-year-old Navajo girl as crimes that should be eligible for execution. (Martinez’ husband, Chuck Franco, is a retired police officer.)

It is not uncommon in the modern era for death penalty proponents to call press conferences after highly publicized killings of police officers, says Dunham, but these efforts “typically go nowhere.”

“I’m sure there are people who will pay attention and applaud. That doesn’t mean anything is going to happen,” says Zimring. “Welcome to the United States.”

New Mexico’s move to repeal the death penalty did not apply to two prisoners currently awaiting execution.

Robert Fry was sentenced to death in 2000 for murdering a mother of five. He was also convicted of two prior murders. Timothy Allen was convicted for the strangling death of a teenager.

Robert Fry
Both defendants are awaiting their fate on a sentencing appeal with the the Supreme Court claiming that the the 2009 repeal should apply to them as well. Attorneys for the prisoners presented arguments to the Court in October.

Ray Twohig, one of the attorneys representing Allen, says Martinez’ announcement doesn’t change anything about his appeal process.

Timothy Allen 
“It seems like a foolish, ill-conceived, unlikely effort that reflects she is living in the politics of the past,” Twohig says.

According to Dunham, Delaware is the only other state where inmates await execution despite the state having abolished capital punishment.

Governors in New Jersey and Maryland commuted the sentences of condemned inmates after repealing the death penalty. The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that executing prisoners after abolishing capital punishment would violate the state’s constitution.

While public opinion for the death penalty has remained steady over the last decade—about 60 percent of Americans support it—executions have declined. 2015 saw 28 executions in America, the fifth most in the world after China, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

This Weekend

To feel fall approach but still love partying.

Weekend PicksFriday, August 19, 2016 by SFR

Trickster Company Pop Up

The Trickster Company highlights innovative Native designs, with its focus on Northwest Native art. It brings a collection of jewelry, fashion and skateboards to present and sell in the museum gift shop.
More Info >>

Rose B Simpson: Emotive

Simpson's work continuously pushes the bounds of contemporary Native art. Her name is one of the most well-known in Native American ceramics today and she presents her newest ceramic vessels and sculptural figures. Through Sept. 10.

More Info >>


Opening August 19, 2016, form & concept presents ReFashion through October 30th. An Exhibit challenging people’s expectations of what fashion or wearability is.

More Info >>

SWAIA Indian Market

The annual event comes for the 95th time, with a whole crap ton of people and just as many jaw-dropping works of art. See live dance and musical performances throughout the day on the Bandstand stage and don't miss about a billion calories worth of delicious food from trucks and carts galore.

More Info >>

Kyle Hollingsworth Band

Funk and bluegrass are the genres things band creates in, and they switch between the two with a chord shift. Listen to their blend with a brew in hand at this event.

More Info >>

Santa Fe Pow Wow

The 12th annual event is for all nations and cultures. See dancers, drummers, singers and artist booths.

More Info >>

The Milky Way

Join the Santa Fe chapter of The Breastfeeding Taskforce in watching a documentary normalizing breastfeeding and eat light fare from Whole Foods after.

More Info >>

J. Michael Combs & Eagle Star

An afternoon of folk from an ensemble led by Combs on the accordion.

More Info >>

SWAIA Indian Market: Edge

See a different side of this market in a curated exhibit of contemporary works.

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: State Budget Fix Likely in September

Morning WordFriday, August 19, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Special Session Likely in September
It’s looking like Gov. Susana Martinez will call lawmakers into special session in September to deal with a massive budget shortfall that amounts to $635 million over two years. Let’s hope they don’t cut backroom deals before they get there. The public has the right to provide input before legislators start cutting programs.

Bishops Oppose Reinstating Death Penalty
The governor’s call to reinstate the death penalty is getting mixed reviews, but our little online (and unscientific) poll shows that Twitter followers oppose the idea by a wide margin. As expected, the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops is renouncing the idea, saying the state’s life without parole option renders violent predators harmless.

Student Scores Up; Still Not Good
It looks like New Mexico students are doing better on the PARCC tests, but only a third of them are ranked proficient.
The Santa Fe district’s test results were below New Mexico averages: 27.7 percent of students statewide passed their English tests and just under 20 percent achieved proficiency in math. Both state averages are up this year, compared with scores on New Mexico’s inaugural PARCC exams in 2015.
At least the district is continuing its Digital Learn Plan program and 2,500 students will be getting laptop computers to assist their studies.

Special Oversight at HSD Approved
The Associated Press reports, “A federal judge has agreed to the appointment of a court-appointed 'special master' to help ensure federally funded benefits are administered properly by the New Mexico Human Services Department, amid internal investigations by state and federal agencies into allegations that food aid applications were falsified.”

Auditor Reports on Rape Kit Backlog
We’re finally getting a better idea why it takes so long to process rape kits in New Mexico.
State Auditor Tim Keller on Thursday told a panel of lawmakers that officers’ discretion and the lack of structured policies on sexual assault investigations in New Mexico police departments are the main reasons the state has 5,400 untested rape kits, some of which date to 1988.
Survey: A Quarter of UNM Students Sexually Harassed
Meanwhile, a quarter of students at the University of New Mexico report they’ve been sexually harassed at least once in the past year; 11 percent of women say they’ve been forced to have sex, according to a new study.

Cannabis Laws Need to be ‘Untangled’ 
After a federal judge dismissed a Deming man’s request to carry his medical cannabis with him across the US-Mexico border without interference from US Border Patrol agents, the editors at the Las Cruces Sun News say it’s time to “untangle” conflicts between federal and state statutes that allow for the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana. 

The Fork

Indian Market

The ForkThursday, August 18, 2016 by Gwyneth Doland

I'll let everyone else cover the main attractions at Indian Market this weekend. As usual, I'm just here for the food. Like fresh sweet corn—and Indian tacos!! Oh, everything that is terrible for you piled up in one greasy mountain of delicious! Put it in my belly! Nom nom nom.

If you need to escape the city on this crazy weekend, you might cruise up to the Taos County Fair, because it will ALSO involve fried things that are terrible for you and delicious! On Sunday there's a pie eating contest, a pet parade and a watermelon eating contest. How can you resist? I went last year and it was so great.

Or... What about the Running of the Chihuahuas in Albuquerque? Again, this is ostensibly about dogs and charity and stuff but here's what you need to know: beer garden and food trucks. Also, tiny dogs in funny outfits. They get more amusing the more time you spend in the beer garden.

I had a fun dinner at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy earlier this month. Guest chef Jonathan Perno of Los Poblanos Inn was at the school for a pop-up dinner, which included this beautiful whole quail. It was not a class, just a marvelous five-course dinner prepared by Perno and students at the school, served restaurant-style. This Thursday and Friday, and next Thursday and Friday, the students are presenting their final projects at the school, so call for details about those adventurous dinners: 983-7445.

Last week I asked and you wonderful readers delivered: Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits collects corks for recycling! Thanks to Heather K. and Jennifer C. who both wrote in with that information. Susan’s (1005 St. Francis Drive #105, 984-1582) partners with a company called Recork that collects post-consumer and post-industrial cork, grinds it down and uses it to make new cork products. So next time you’re popping in for a bottle of wine, gather up all those old corks and drop them in the box at Susan’s. Remember this is only for NATURAL CORK, the stuff that comes from trees, so sort out all those plastic bottle stoppers and find some other good use for them. If you have a big collection of corks (at least 15 pounds), you can ship them to Recork for free. Send an email to with the weight and dimensions of the shipping box and they’ll send you a prepaid shipping label.

Speaking of drinking, I was in New York last weekend and had a magnificent margarita at Booker & Dax before dinner at Momofuku Ssam Bar. It was made with super smoky mescal, yellow Chartreuse and served over ice that I watched the guy shave with an antique contraption. It was awesome. Why is Chartreuse so damned expensive? (I KNOW why. I'm just lamenting it.)

Oh, also: Canton B. wrote in to recommend Café Fina (624 Old Las Vegas Hwy., 466-3886) as a great place for kids. He likes the outdoor playground and cozy inside play space. We wrote about it a few years ago, but the restaurant has added beer and wine since then. Check that out!

What news do you want to see in this newsletter? We want to hear from you! Let us know! Email

Morning Word: Martinez Wants Death Penalty Reinstated

Morning WordThursday, August 18, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Governor Pushes Wedge Issue
New Mexico is facing a huge state budget gap and mass emigration and consistently ranks low on national lists for education, child well-being and other issues. But Gov. Susana Martinez, a former prosecutor, plans to ask lawmakers to consider reinstating the death penalty. Ironically, she first made the statement to a reporter in Texas, the state which executes the most inmates in the country.

Thumbs Up
Public Regulation Commissioners hit the “like” button and approved PNM’s proposed solar energy plan for Facebook. The social media giant is considering building its data center in Los Lunas.
Los Lunas has offered an incentive of 100 percent property tax abatement over 30 years in exchange for a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes plan that begins with $50,000 a year with the construction of the first building up to $100,000 per year with the construction of the sixth building.
State Cop Faces Third DWI Charge
Morgan Ortiz, a New Mexico State Police Officer who was convicted of two DWIs before he turned 21, is charged again. This time it’s for aggravated DWI after hitting a car and raising a ruckus in the parking lot of a drug detox center in Albuquerque.

No Evidence Unearthed
The former state prison inmate who claims prison officials poisoned inmates and sold their organs finally got to dig for evidence on prison grounds near Santa Fe Wednesday. But Phaedra Haywood reports that Samuel Chavez came up empty-handed.

Helping Students
Officials with the Silver Consolidated Schools and the Juvenile Probation Office are teaming up to battle truancy in Grant County. The parents of students who are chronically missing from class can be charged with educational neglect and face $500 in fines and six months in jail.

Drug Tests
KUNM’s Marisa Demarco reports that University of New Mexico researchers are testing drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat other conditions might also be effective in fighting the development of cancer cells.

Controversial Ads Return
The New Mexico Truth ad campaign is getting a reboot. Joe Monahan reports that CHI St. Joseph's Children officials want lawmakers to reconsider a constitutional amendment and “let voters decide whether to spend about $110 million a year for ten years on very early childhood programs to arrest the child poverty rate and eventually contribute to a better prepared workforce.”

‘Welcome to the Show, Kid’
It took 20 games in the major leagues, but Albuquerque’s favorite baseball rookie, Alex Bregman, finally knocked one out of the park Tuesday in Houston. Watch the replay here.

Game On: No Man's Sky Ongoing Review Part II

Days 4-8

Pop CultureFriday, August 19, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Finally off-world, I recharge my warp drive. It took me ages to gather the components to craft the thing, but it will allow me to jump between star systems. ...In my travels thus far I’ve received any number of cryptic instructions, both from the mysterious Atlas and from fellow travelers. I’m not entirely sure what to do next, but I know I must venture forth. I steel myself, set my coordinates and, with a flash, I am gone.

The major drag of No Man’s Sky comes down to one undeniable flaw—the things I’m doing today are the same exact things I was doing on my first day. Even with the possibility of warping between systems, the gameplay loop of find planet/mine resources has grown stale. Now, it’s quite obvious that most games have the same rhythm: learn and use mechanics to progress, but without an overt storyline or even a variety of objectives, the game is best played in short bursts. But even then, it’s hard to justify. 


As such, the most enticing thing we can say (at least so far) is that finding new alien species like the Vy’ken or Korvax is marginally exciting. This is where learning those languages comes in handy and where you’ll get a chance to pick up new items or even trade up to a ship with more inventory slots. This is also a huge issue—the all-important inventory slots. Early hours will find you discarding items that seem pointless in favor of mining resources that seem more valuable (both monetarily and upgrade-wise), but this is always a tough decision and it’s possible to screw yourself. For example, I found myself stranded on a particularly radioactive planet on which my exo-suit’s life support system could only protect me for a couple minutes before I had to either retreat to my starship or find shelter. This wouldn’t be such a big deal had I not run out of plutonium to charge my ship’s thrusters; I literally could not take off in my ship and I was nowhere near the precious resources I needed to circumvent the issue. I did eventually find a small deposit of plutonium, but the process was so aggravating that I had to turn off my console before I lost my mind.

New tips for this week
Find Save Points
There are these small save points dotting every single planet that look kind of like light posts. These serve as waypoints. Find and activate them.

Don’t Go Swimming
There are structures beneath the water on certain planets that offer the potential to be resource-rich locations. It isn’t worth it, at least not until you’ve managed to upgrade your exo-suit to allow you longer underwater time. Not only is the default time limit for underwater operations outrageously minimal, you’ll bob up and down on the surface as you attempt to breathe air and, without the ability to keep your head above water long enough to recharge the your suit, it’s throw-your-controller-through-a-window levels of irritating.

New Ships!
Anytime you find yourself in the vacuum of space, it’s a good plan to use your scanner and reveal interesting waypoints. One such thing revealed will be the space station (there’s one in every system). Not only is this a great place to meet new aliens, learn new languages and buy or sell items, other ships will land inside and, assuming you have the money, you can speak with their owners about buying them. The aforementioned inventory slot issue comes into play here as certain ships have higher numbers of slots. Keep in mind that if you do buy a new ship, you’ll have to transfer your inventory over to it or lose your stuff forever. You can also find crashed ships on planets (again, use your scanner), but the cost of repairing them is often high. Don’t be impatient and spend time and money on a ship that only has one or two more inventory slots, though—you will find better ones elsewhere.

Scan the Wildlife and Plantlife
We touched on this briefly before, but it’s possible to construct a visor-like apparatus for your exo-suit, which will allow you to scan plants and animals for cash rewards. This is accomplished through the pause menu. You can also upload your found waypoints and locations for a few credits. Remember when we said touch everything? That still applies.

Don’t bother saving everything
We said that thing before about prudently choosing what to discard, but it’s wiser to sell the stuff than get rid of it. Adopt a “I haven’t used this in an hour” attitude and save your slots for the stuff you need right now.

Build Atlas Passes
As soon as you have this recipe, it’s wise to have a couple of these on hand at all times. They’ll open locked doors, help you reveal more locations on a planet and so forth.

Almost Every Shelter Has a Multi-Tool Upgrade Terminal
Again—interact with everything. Once you know what the upgrade terminals for the multi-tool look like, keep them in mind. You can upgrade all kinds of weird things such as grenade deployment speed, ricochet power for your boltcaster weapon, mining laser efficiency and on and on.

Go to That Ruin
There are ancient ruins scattered on all kinds of planets that come with neat surprises like a deeper understanding of alien languages. Learning these new words ups your reputation with the various alien species which allows for greater rewards and upgrades. It's worth it.

Space Dogfights Suck
Fighting hostile ships in space without substantial upgrades to your ship’s arsenal is, at best, annoying and, at worst, an exercise in utter frustration. You won't be able to speed out of the fray and recharging your shields in the heat of battle is just the worst. Think about getting better weapons immediately or you may as well just reload your game the minute hostiles show up.

If you’ve got the patience to keep going, good on you. For us, however, we feel as if we’ve got a clear idea of what No Man’s Sky is all about. We’ll keep going for review purposes, but unless something particularly interesting happens soon we’ll have to start thinking about a final score. As it stands, we’ve got an incredible technical achievement powering one of the more ho-hum experiences in gaming history. If exploration is your jam (and it’s worked in titles like Journey, though that game was short and sweet and provided enough peril as to be rewarding), then we’ve got good news for you…if you prefer action or narrative, you will probably be kind of sad.

The Blame Game

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