So close … too close?
Facebook had grand plans to soar high above the Earth, closer to the Sun, and to beam internet to remote terrestrial areas so everyone could see how their aunt feels about Donald Trump and vaccines. Alas, it was not to be. The company has abandoned plans for an internet-firing drone, and with it, a contract with Spaceport America. Facebook says its contract with the New Mexico facility only involved a bit of site preparation. It plans to purse aerial internet deployment in other ways.
Lots of questions in this unsettled edition of The Morning Word. The US Supreme Court handed down a ruling in a state-versus-state water dispute this week, and it could offer a glimpse of what's to come in the lawsuit between Texas and New Mexico. In the latest ruling, the court overturned a lower decision that Florida hadn't tried to provide a solution to its beef with Georgia. The decision means there's a lower burden of proof for states claiming harm from water use. It's not the same set of facts as the New Mexico case, but experts say it's informative.
Central Bark West
A New York City morning radio host and his partner are behind the $61,311 donation for Santa Fe's new dog park. Elvis Duran and Alex Carr, who have a dog named Max, agreed to pay for the entire park after intially wondering about donating a bench or two. The couple has a home in Santa Fe.
Liaise or malaise?
Santa Fe city councilors had pointed questions for the city's tourism director about the extension of a $48,000 annual contract for a Native American liaison. The contract is with Rima Krisst, a former spokeswoman for the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department, who's supposed to connect with local Native American communities about tourism. She also takes pictures for the city's Tourism Department. Councilors wondered what the city was getting out of the contract, since Krisst hadn't provided monthly updates ($) as required. Tourism Director Randy Randall said he'd waived the requirement since Krisst's production seemed obvious to him. The council gave a provisional go-ahead, provided they see an annual report soon.
Keeping an eye on you
Rio Rancho police have joined the ranks of law enforcement agencies that gather bulk data about who is on the road and when. The department recently revealed it's using license plate-reading technology to scan up to 15,000 plates a day. The department says it's to spot stolen vehicles. All that tech has captured two stolen cars in four months. All that data? Who knows where it goes.
Snap, crackle … fizzle
Los Alamos County canceled its Fourth of July fireworks show yesterday, citing concern over wildfire, heat and drought. The county, which has been ravaged by massive nearby fires over the past couple decades, says it will store its fireworks for next year. The city of Santa Fe is still planning its celebration at the Santa Fe Place mall.
Science fiction and housing
If you're hankering for something to do tonight, Creative Santa Fe is holding a community conversation about affordable housing … viewed through the lens of science fiction. It's part of the group's Disruptive Futures series, which aims to bring different people to the table to discuss important issues and think about them differently. Details in this week's The Interface column in SFR.
When I say draw …
Right as SFR was set to close the book on our annual political cartoon contest, the Supreme Court got all judgey and Justice Anthony Kennedy decided to retire and send the cable discussion shows into a paroxysm of political strategy. So, we've kicked the deadline back a few days in case you're inspired. You have until late Sunday night to get at it.
Thanks for reading! The Word isn't much for drawing. But if we could, oh boy …
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