‘Give it to me’
No one knows what former Gov. Susana Martinez said when confronted with a New Year's Eve inventory of the governor's mansion she was vacating. It showed a Native squash blossom necklace that belongs to the state as missing ($). Maybe it was the same reaction she had when trying to pry from 911 dispatchers the name of a hotel guest who had complained about noise from her holiday party years ago: "Give it to me." Maybe not. Either way, the governor claimed the necklace did not belong to the state, but to her. Records show the governor donated the necklace after it was gifted to her, but her office claimed the 2011 donation wasn't authorized.
Path for pot
Six Democratic state senators likely hold the key to legalized recreational cannabis. The Albuquerque Journal closes out its series on the issue by looking at the likelihood that such a bill could clear the Senate. Of note is that one of them is former gubernatorial hopeful Joe Cervantes. The Southern New Mexico lawmaker told SFR several times on the campaign trail that he's much more comfortable with the idea of recreational marijuana, though he has concerns about intoxication standards for drivers. He apparently is now a solid "no" vote, according to the article.
Ed Williams at Searchlight New Mexico couldn't be more straightforward: "Nearly half of New Mexico's population relies on a dysfunctional computer system for access to government-funded health coverage, food assistance, heating and other benefits." That system, called ASPEN, was built by Deloitte in 2013 and has been plagued with problems since day one, when it kicked tens of thousands of people off benefits rolls.
Fit for royalties
New State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard is looking to get a bill passed that would allow her office to charge up to 25 percent in royalty fees to oil and gas drillers on state land. That would match what Texas can charge. New Mexico is capped at 20 percent. Oil industry advocates claim it's a bad comparison, because most of Texas' drilling is on private land.
Ready to lend
After buying the property of the College of Santa Fe lock, stock and barrel, the city now owns 2,000 pieces of art in the school's collection. It had been on loan to the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, but when that school closed last year, the city of Santa Fe became the curator for the collection. Last night, councilors approved a resolution that allows the city to lend parts of the collection to local nonprofit art spaces.
Albuquerque has had a master plan in place for redevelopment of its rail yards since 2014. You've probably seen them in every TV show or movie ever produced in Albuquerque. There's gotta be a city ordinance requiring it or something. ANYHOW, an out-of-state company was slated to revamp the downtown property, but the mayor threw the switch on that contract. The city has now asked the state to approve a new environmental remediation plan, after which it can once again request proposals from developers.
If it's been a while since you've hung out and listened to a DJ, you might be surprised at what's going on. The fact that DJ Ernest Greene—you can think of him as Washed Out—is performing his latest visual album at Meow Wolf seems almost irresistable. Be not afraid: The album is called Mister Mellow. The show starts at 8 pm with a guest DJ. Tickets are $18.
Yesterday was kind of nice. Messy, sure, but warmer. Temperatures will cool off in the central and northern parts of the state over the next few days. The eastern half of the state will warm up a bit before bouncing around over the same period. The central mountains might see some moisture over the weekend.
Thanks for reading! The Word hopes you take time to breathe deeply today and take a moment to look around.
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