The Senate's last act before adjourning this year was to pass HB 447, which would create a tracking system for students in public schools. It's intended to prevent tragedies like the death of Jeremiah Valencia last summer, the 13-year-old Nambé boy who was killed after he was withdrawn from West Las Vegas Schools in 2017 and then sort of just vanished, as far as the school system is concerned. No state education agency was making sure Jeremiah and his sister were in school.
Who watches schools?
When a court decided in a landmark ruling last summer that New Mexico is unconstitutionally shortchanging its students by providing inadequate education, advocates were happy-stunned. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who took office after the ruling, has declared that she is not going to appeal it, but that she isn't keen on court oversight of schools ($), presumably because the problem started under a different administration and she thinks she can fix it without a babysitter. Counsel for the defense in the case says that the state "earned court intervention through many years of neglect."
Not just for stoners
We gave you the general Legislative round-up yesterday, but SFR's Will Costello also took a closer look at all bills having to do with cannabis and hemp. If you're interested in that kind of news, we have a monthly newsletter called Leaf Brief that tells you what's going on regionally and nationally. It came out yesterday, so if you sign up now, you have a month to gear up.
An Albuquerque priest who helps migrants has received threats serious enough that he saw fit to report them to police. Father Vincent Chavez of St. Therese Catholic Church has asked his parishioners to pray for the people who sent the messages. We figured we'd ask Exodus 22:21, and it was all like, "Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were a foreigner in Egypt," and we were all like, "Okay, sounds good."
Wow Bob Wow
Roswell landmark Alien Bob has lost his head. A vandal decapitated the green extraterrestrial. Noel Silva, who KOB reports "drove from Texas to Roswell to see aliens," called it "devastating."
And on that farm …
When 102-year-old John Stephenson died in 2017, he left behind more than just a century of stories: He owned and ran the Santa Fe Community Farm at San Ysidro Crossing and Agua Fria. The property had long provided produce to food banks and nonprofits, but operations went quiet after Stephenson's death. The farm is coming back to life ($), though, with help from Reunity Resources, which is taking over growing and expanding services. Mark your calendars for new produce-selling hours starting in June: Saturdays from 10 am-3 pm and Tuesdays from 3-7 pm.
Rain and wind and snow
Time to nerd out for a second: Over the weekend the National Weather Service tweeted that the states are competing to see who can sign up the most CoCoRaHS participants, and New Mexico is not winning. What is CoCoRaHS, you ask? It's a grouping of citizens who volunteer to track precipitation in their own yards to provide the most accurate rainfall data possible. Sounds easy and fun and like our civic duty, right? Right. Sign up today.
Thanks for reading! The Word is very pleased to see that projections show this El Niño lasting through fall 2019. Bring on the monsoons!