Perhaps the biggest deal ever to hit the Plaza (well, since, like, the 1600s or whatever): We are getting public restrooms. Wowza! Most locals probably have some secret potty or a friend who works downtown who lets us use employee bathrooms, but now we can worry less about visitors to our fine city asking where they can find a facility. The Legislature gifted us with $550,000 to build 22 stalls and a family restroom near the Water Street garage, and construction should begin in the fall.
Try, try again
Once again, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has rejected a petition to overturn a new law about state background checks for gun sales. She rejected a similar petition in March, and the new one fixed all her qualms but one: that it must aim to increase "the preservation of public peace, health or safety." Now the Republican authors say that she and the attorney general don't have the authority to make the call.
More $ than Alanis Morissette
Remember when we used to buy CDs at Sam Goody? They were $15 or something. Turns out the Regional Emergency Communications Center that serves Santa Fe charges $30 for one compact disc ($) of 911 tapes, and both public records buffs and Attorney General Hector Balderas say that ain't cool. The New Mexican requested a recording last year and learned of the fee, which the newspaper correctly found exorbitant for public records. The center told the paper it was because that counts how much time it takes for staffers to compile the records, too, but state law says that the fee can only equal the actual amount of money it costs to download the files to a device and send it to the requester.
Children are our future (if we have one)
If you haven't yet caught sight of SFR on newsstands this week, definitely take a look; this cover photo is pretty cool. And the story is just as epic. SFR's Leah Cantor examines what students are doing to fight climate change by acting locally in Santa Fe. Turns out 9-year-olds can lead the charge, and there are many impactful ways that student groups have lobbied for eco-friendly changes in our town.
Shoes gone rogue
A former Española police chief has been acquitted of child abuse ($) after witnesses cast doubt in jurors' minds about a public fight in Taos. Matthew Vigil's daughter, who was 13 in 2017, says he hit her in the face with a pair of shoes while shopping, and when she tried to call her mother, he took away her phone and refused to give it back. Vigil's wife (who is not the girl's mother) said the daughter blew things out of proportion, and police lapel cam footage from the day of the incident shows Vigil calling his daughter a "brat." In the past, Vigil has also been accused of harassment (pleaded guilty), drunk driving (charges dismissed), and battery of a household member (pleaded guilty).
Detained in the Fe
Renowned journalist Jenni Monet was arrested in Santa Fe on Friday April 5. She tried to buy some wine at a liquor store, but staff refused to sell to her, claiming she appeared drunk and smelled of alcohol. Cops showed up, and Monet refused field sobriety tests, then called the officers a few choice epithets. Monet says she is a victim of racial profiling, and says she has obtained legal counsel. She is charged with aggravated DWI and resisting arrest.
Get one o’ dem government jobs
An oversight committee has recommended the spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department lose his job. While investigators didn't find any criminal wrongdoing, officer Simon Drobik was paid nearly $194,000 last year (the highest of anyone employed by the City of Albuquerque), some of which was due to double-dipping as both a spokesman and with "chief's overtime," wherein private businesses can "hire" a city cop to keep watch. That isn't allowed. The independent investigation also found that it was legally possible for Drobik to bill the city for 26 hours of work in one day.
A humble request
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