Plenty of oil, natural gas

If we're looking to fossil fuel our way into climatic oblivion, New Mexico stands at the ready. The US Geological Survey says New Mexico and West Texas sit astride the largest oil and gas reserves the agency has ever reported, and some of the largest in the world. Of course, getting it out comes with a cost both to the environment and to producers, who watch the price of such commodities to determine whether it's smart to spend on drilling.

Too many cooks

The city of Santa Fe has one job title for every three employees. That's 475 different classifications. A study of the city's workforce says that number could be cut by about a third, to 330. Such a change would help the city attract and retain good employees, a review said. It also found low pay has contributed to chronic shortages in jobs like bus driver and lifeguard. The City Council could adopt the review's recommendations, which would cost $1.5 million a year.

Hold your horses

The New Mexico Racing Commission voted to delay granting a license for a sixth racetrack-casino facility, citing a legal challenge that has the potential to stop any new facility in its tracks. The upshot is that Republican Gov. Susana Martinez won't be able to issue the license ($). That job would fall to the commission appointed by her successor, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The way I see it …

Gov. Martinez has given herself a Christmas gift, revamping her website to tout economic accomplishments that haven't yet been achieved ($). The governor boasts of $2 billion in new revenue. Even if true, that's a prediction by economists and depends largely on oil and gas revenue. The governor spent her two terms trying to diversify the state's economy. She also underscores new spending on schools, which she increased by several hundred million dollars, even as her administration appeals a court ruling that says that amount is still cheating underprivileged children out of an equal education.

Another look

Prosecutors in Albuquerque are asking to review all records school police have on an incident at Cibola High School on Halloween in which a teacher cut the hair of a Native student and called anoother a "bloody Indian." APS has apologized for the incident, but released few details from whatever investigation it conducted. The teacher resigned. Meanwhile, police in California arrested a teacher in short order for apparently pulling a similar stunt ($).

Hope notes

A group of young adults, Buddhist monks and suicide prevention groups are teaming up to write notes of love and support this weekend in Taos. The plan is to laminate the "hope notes" and post them around town, as well as out at the Taos Gorge Bridge, from which many have jumped to their deaths. The group says the goal is to let others know that they're loved.

Beaten and beaten

University of New Mexico coach Paul Weir has apologized for a fight his basketball players got into with the rival NMSU Aggies. It happened during warmups, and apparently some punches were thrown. Neither coach said they witnessed the skirmish. The Aggies went on to whip up on the Lobos, 100-65.

Stormy weekend

Santa Fe already has snow on the ground, and the rest of the state is likely to see precipitation in some form or another over the weekend. The National Weather Service continues a strong descriptive run, pegging the weather system as "cold and unsettled." Amen.

Thanks for reading! The Word looks forward to settling in to another cup of coffee.

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