In the West Texas town of El Paso
The president visited El Paso yesterday to drum up support for a border wall, and was met with both support and jeers (with some of the latter coming, not surprisingly, from Democratic sweetheart Beto O'Rourke). When the mayor of El Paso countered the president's false claim that El Paso was a dangerous place before a border wall was built, Trump called the mayor "full of crap."
Eighth time’s a charm
To combat the rampant problem of repeat DWI offenses, New Mexico in 2016 declared that eighth and subsequent convictions should result in at least 10 years of incarceration; and in this state, house arrest with electronic monitoring counts as incarceration. A judge is still sending Kevin Patrick Ortiz to prison ($), though, sentencing the man to eight years behind bars and two on house arrest for his ninth DWI.
Grandfathered away from gentrification
A lawmaker from Ruidoso says that a 2001 law aimed at helping homeowners has actually backfired and hurts the middle class. The law, which states that a house's property tax can only be increased by 3 percent each year as long as the house's owner stays the same, was supposed to protect long-time residents of desirable and gentrifying neighborhoods. But Democrat John Arthur Smith points out that it sometimes gives tens of thousands of dollars of tax breaks to wealthy homeowners, and that it indirectly targets first-time home-buyers by making their taxes much higher than those of their neighbors. Smith's derision of the law was spurred by a Sunday Santa Fe New Mexican article ($) on the subject.
Not so fast, sunshine fiends
New Mexicans were gung-ho to create an independent ethics commission in November, and legislation on the subject emerged yesterday to a whole host of potential hurdles. Trip Jennings over at New Mexico In Depth breaks down the ways the law could be held up: Bills tend to die in the second half of the session, lots of committee reviews open the door for political hijinks, a delayed effective date could render it moot (Jennings references a 2007 instance in which a lawmaker suggested amending a bill to make the effective date 1,000 years after the legislation passed), and the ever-popular filibuster.
Teen goes to trial
In August 2017, Nathaniel Jouett murdered two librarians at a library in Clovis, and yesterday prosecutors recommended 96 years in prison for the teenager, who was a minor at the time of the shooting. Jouett says he was bullied, that he believed "life sucks," and that he acted alone. The trial is expected to wrap up by the end of the week.
Speed it up
A Utah-based company aims to convert the extended-stay Residence Inn on Galisteo Street into affordable housing ($). The rooms, originally intended to house people who need to be near Christus St. Vincent, already have kitchenettes, so the remodel could be easy. Just kidding, nothing's easy; folks in charge say a "best-case scenario" would be for construction to start a year from now. In order to be considered "affordable," monthly rents would have to fall in the $625 to $650 range, which also feels like an absurdly impossible goal.
Quaking in her boots
A Change.org petition is calling for the impeachment of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham after she withdrew National Guard troops from the US-Mexico border. Since online petitions are always incredibly effective and often spur government action and policy change, she should probably be very worried. It's now up to nearly 29,000 signatures.
Thanks for reading! Despite temps not being too terribly low, The Word simply cannot get warm. We recently heard about bougie heated ski boots. Do they make heated shoes, too?
Although most sites allow a few free views, the dollar signs ($) indicate links that require a paid subscription to the news source.