A phone line that is supposed to provide translation services for immigrants detained at a private prison in Cibola County was down for two weeks during June and July, SFR has learned. The failure meant detainees and inmates were unable to speak with attorneys in some asylum cases and to access mental health care. The prison turned away some attorneys who arrived because communication wasn't possible. The problem went unnoticed by top ICE officials a week after it started at CoreCivic's facility in Milan.
Meanwhile, the FBI is taking seriously death threats made to local immigrant-rights attorney Allegra Love after Love and her group, Santa Fe Dreamers Project, were specifically named by FOX News personality Laura Ingraham on an April show. Love had to abandon her home for a time after a caller stated when, where and how he would kill her and colleagues.
Santa Fe City Clerk Yolanda Vigil will return to her post for another year, provided the City Council approves her new contract. Mayor Alan Webber says he and Vigil agreed on a one-year deal. Vigil, who is one of the state's last double dippers after a 2010 return-to-work ban on benefits, will make $100,500 in addition to more than $73,000 in annual retirement payments. Her office could see a significant shift in duties, as the city considers whether to merge its election cycle with the state's.
The same pension fund that pays Vigil and thousands of other public-sector retirees in New Mexico has a massive unfunded liability. The roughly $5 billion shortfall is partially to blame for a downgrade in the state's credit rating, which makes it more expensive for New Mexico to borrow money each year. Lawmakers are drafting legislation to once more try to shore up the funds after past attempts have failed.
The Santa Fe Opera's debut of Doctor Atomic this weekend is not just an artistic event, as our next two stories prove. SFR intern Eva Rosenfeld connected with downwinders—those present when the Trinity blast shook New Mexico without warning in the 1940s—and their families, who will perform in the opera at the request of director Peter Sellars.
But wait …
There is indeed more. Sellars and the Opera have also connected with local Pueblos to feature Corn Dance ceremonies ($) both before and during the performances. It's yet another nod to what the Santa Fe Opera head Charles MacKay calls delicate "social, political and spiritual worlds" surrounding the birth of the atomic age in New Mexico.
Vive la France
France pushed past Belgium in a physical match yesterday to gain a spot in this weekend's World Cup final. Les Bleus will find out if they face Croatia or England today. Those two nations square off at noon. Will Webber at The New Mexican has a fun story about Santa Fe's soccer craze ($).
It would appear the monsoon is legitimate, as an additional shot of moisture means Santa Fe and many other parts of the state could be in for an inch and a half of rain through Saturday. The statewide forecast map looks promising. Expect highs in the low 80s around Santa Fe with the normal differences elsewhere. Albuquerque will be around 90. Be careful around burn scars, where charred ground and rainfall could lead to flooding.
Thanks for reading! The Word thinks it's pretty cool when rain can improve your mood.
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