State Sen. Cliff Pirtle—the bearded, poetic, milk-loving, standard-time-hating Republican from Roswell—is a fascinating dude. For years now, he's been trying to essentially shift New Mexico into the Central Time Zone. It would mean year-round daylight saving time for the state. The federal government gets the final say-so on the measure, and while Pirtle's efforts have been for naught, he's still looking at a way to get the feds to take them seriously and have New Mexico join the Indianas, Arizonas and Hawaiis that eschew a time change.
‘This isn’t breaking news’
New Mexico and the Southwest have been warming for a generation. It's three degrees warmer, on average, than it was several decades ago. By the end of this century, some say Albuquerque will look like El Paso. The Southwest is warming twice as fast as the world at large. That has profound implications for our yards, our air conditioners, our forests and our water. Laura Paskus looks at the latest climate report out of the Trump administration and what it means for the way we'll live in the near future.
Mercer’s massive GOP influence
Sandia and UNM grad Robert Mercer is one of the wealthiest men in America, and his contributions to Republican causes have been hefty. Some say he's the person—other than Donald Trump—most responsible for the rise of the president. But he recently resigned from the hedge fund for which he was CEO, sold his stock in Bretibart (to his daughters) and denounced Milo Yiannopoulos, as his politics may be giving investors heartburn. Michael Coleman over at the Albuquerque Journal runs down the latest in the lifestyle of the rich, quiet and influential former New Mexican.
APD chief to retire before being shown the door
Both Dan Lewis and Tim Keller say they'd find a new chief of police if elected mayor, so it's not a huge surprise that Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden will step down at the end of the month. Eden has been atop the department since just before the Department of Justice determined APD had violated constitutional policing principles, forcing the city into a settlement agreement and ushering in an era of oversight by an independent monitor. Eden's department now claims the monitor it hired is biased and the city is in the midst of a crime wave.
The rise of problem gambling among women
Thom Cole has another good read about the "feminization of gambling" among women who look to slot machines to escape the problematic world around them. It's a different dynamic for women, who gamble to relax and find relief. Men tend to be attracted to the action and power of gambling. But for both, addiction can lead to ruin and even death.
Under pressure, UNMH changes payment policy
The University of New Mexico Hospital's Board of Trustees has changed the rules for how patients are expect to pay for nonemergency surgeries. Advocates for low-income health care say an earlier change to payment plans at the hospital made it difficult for some to get surgery when they needed it. The new policy will allow surgery for a $25-$300 copay and the promise by a patient to enter into a payment plan.
‘Seeing music everywhere’
Do yourself a favor and read the story of Santa Fean Rachel Kolb. The New York Times collaborated with Kolb, a former Rhodes scholar, to explore what music feels like to a deaf person. Kolb received a cochlear implant seven years ago and compares her experience with music now to when she was growing up. The Times' virtual reality team traveled to the Santa Fe Opera and produced an immersive video called "Sensations of Sound" in which Kolb describes the difference between just hearing sound and feeling it.
Chilly start to the week
After a lovely weekend, temperatures are expected to drop across the state through the first few days of the week. Santa Fe can expect to see highs drop to the low 50s before rebounding toward 60 at the end of the week. Albuquerque will cool to near 60 by the time Wednesday rolls around. There's a chance we could see smoke over the Jemez, but that's most likely going to be from a prescribed burn.
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