Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber has talked more about a plan to build a teen center on the Southside ($), which could cost an estimated $4 million. He says the city has the funds to match $1.1 million in state funding, and while there have been concerns about whether the city can maintain such a facility, city councilors seem on board. Former Councilor Carmichael Dominguez has high hopes but still holds doubts that the project will come to fruition, however, citing historic inequity between the north and south ends of town. He says the city would "come unglued" if downtown was treated like the Airport Road corridor is.
Pay the housing troll
Santa Fe's "fee in lieu" provision expires at the end of the year, and depending on whom you ask, that's either a good or a bad thing. Developers are required to make at least 15% of new construction available for low-income residents, but they are currently allowed to pay a fee in lieu of that; and most developers have chosen to do so. It could be argued that the rule did stimulate construction of market-rate housing, but when there are thousands of residents who can't afford the market rate, it doesn't do us much good. Of more than 1,500 multi-family residences being built, 1,378 of them are assigned to projects that have committed to paying the fee in lieu. Our town needs anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 units to meet demand.
Pick your pronouns
The University of New Mexico's LoboWeb has rolled out a new feature of the school's affirmed name initiative, offering a variety of pronouns (or no pronoun at all) to be associated with students, staff and teachers' names. A lack of acknowledgment and recognition of gender identity is a huge contributor to distress in the trans community worldwide, and small steps like this will hopefully lead to larger ones toward the goal of equality.
The other LV
Las Vegas, New Mexico (or Li'l Vegas to its friends) celebrated its first-ever Pride Parade on Saturday. Gabriella Campos took some stunning shots for The New Mexican ($), and that same paper also published a nice profile of the parade's grand marshal ($). (Editor's note: A previous version of this story said Gabriella Marks, who is also a fantastic photographer, but not the creator of these images.)
Barbie back in her own world
The biggest news this weekend was clearly that the abducted Albuquerque therapy pig has been found. Barbie the pig's owner says that she was taken from their yard on Wednesday, and a multi-day citywide search eventually recovered her in the back yard of an abandoned home. Barbie is a bit famous in therapy animal circles, and it seems everyone's happy to see her home.
In Bernalillo County (which contains Albuquerque), stats compiled by the district attorney count 114 people who have been shot in 112 days this year. In all of 2018, there were 232 shootings where someone was struck. Not all shootings tallied have been fatal; national statistics say that about a third of gunshot victims die from their wounds, and ABQ's rates seem to hover around that mark.
Social media was blowing up yesterday with questions about smoke in town, so the Santa Fe Fire Department posted on Facebook that it is blowing in from a prescribed burn in the Mt. Taylor/Zuni area. And the National Weather Service shared an image with circles 'n' arrows 'n' (what we assume is) a paragraph on the back of each one. The air cleared by evening; if you have smoke management questions, NMFireInfo.com has some tips. Also of potential concern is a "pollen tsunami" and an extended allergy season abetted by climate change. (Did I type that right? Sorry, my eyes are already swollen shut as it is …)
Thanks for reading! The Word suddenly has a strong desire to buy batteries.