See you in court
A new development in the story about the Clovis dairy contaminated by tainted groundwater: New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, in partnership with the state Environment Department, is suing the Air Force, as the toxic plume is tied to Cannon AFB. The AG and ED say the USAF should have a better proposed timeline for cleanup. News of the poisoned groundwater first came to light in an October report by the Environment Department, but made national news in February when farmer Art Schaap learned he'd have to destroy his entire 4,000-head dairy herd.
Exercising our civic duty
Did you get your ballot to the County Clerk by 7 pm yesterday? Santa Fe conducted its first-ever all-mail election on a question about a tax levy to support tech in schools, and it passed overwhelmingly. The New Mexican reports that 59 percent of voters want to continue the levy ($), which will not raise tax rates but will provide computers and instruction to public school kids. School elections generally draw only a 10 percent turnout, but this one saw a "whopping" 34 percent of eligible voters participating.
Um … We’re right here
While progressive types (and types who generally care about the future of humanity) have been celebrating the advancement of a renewable energy bill that would see the closure of the San Juan coal-fired plant in the Four Corners, SFR's Leah Cantor explores another side of the legislation: In a shocking oversight, Indigenous tribes across the state say they were not consulted about the bill. It's especially egregious, considering the impact the San Juan Generating Station has on the Navajo Nation, both by way of employment and health/pollution concerns. (Here's an older but interesting article from NBC about the weight of coal on the Navajo Nation.)
The truth about the border
More than 76,000 migrants came across the US-Mexico border last month, more than double the same month in 2018. The New York Times reported this week about sexual assault on the border ($), and thousands of migrant children have reportedly been assaulted while detained on US soil. If there is an emergency at the border, it's a humanitarian crisis and not a criminal one, better solved with doctors and lawyers than any kind of physical barrier.
Bills bills bills
Your Roundhouse news for the day includes the advancement of the Criminal Record Expungement Act, which would see folks who have served their sentences for various crimes able to petition the court to hide their records from public view. It wouldn't apply to serious crimes like assault and murder. Also, the saga of minimum wage bills continues; SB 437, which was approved by the house, has been tempered by a Senate committee that lowered the proposed minimum wage from $12 to $11. It's creeping along with HB 31, the one the service industry really doesn't like; that one failed to advance Tuesday on a 4-4 vote.
Up, up and away
Chevron and Exxon say they expect nothing but increases in oil production in the Permian Basin over the next few years. With plans to increase wells, as well as technology that makes drilling even cheaper, extraction by Exxon alone is expected to top 1 million barrels a day in 2024 (they're currently at 600,000 per day). There have been many concerns whether the infrastructure in Southern New Mexico can handle all this industry; in short, it can't. There are already plans to house workers in temporary camps ($) rather than actual buildings, and the Houston Chronicle recently reported on how vibrations from heavy traffic can damage historic structures.
Send ’em in
Remember in October 2016, when police departments across the country warned us about mysterious clowns lurking in the woods? What a sweet, innocent time for our nation. Well, the clowns are back, and this time we welcome them. The World Clown Convention in ABQ has drawn hundreds of painted faces this week and, to be honest, it makes Albuquerque look like the happiest place on Earth.
Calling all treehuggers
If you're anything like certain SFR staffers, you harbor a secret burning desire to be a ranger in a national park or national forest, spending your days sniffing trees and lying in the sun. So, okay, maybe the job requires a little more than that, but you can apply for seasonal positions in Santa Fe National Forest until midnight tonight if you're ISO something physical for your summer vacation. Search for vacancies at USAJobs.gov.
Thanks for reading! The Word is really happy it's Wednesday. Like, really happy.