Senator blasts schools
Sen. John Arthur Smith (D-Deming), incited by comments by Santa Fe Public Schools board members about how the Legislature did not allocate enough funds to schools, clapped back last night at a meeting of the Legislative Finance Committee. Smith alleged it was irresponsible for the school district to use real estate sales to fund the school year, saying, "The management team in Santa Fe used nonrecurring revenue as part of their recurring budget. … That's total and complete mismanagement as far as I'm concerned." During the school board meeting in which members voiced displeasure, school board President Kate Noble had tried to keep the peace, saying the Legislators are not bad folks and are doing their best.
Health officials are investigating a possible case of measles in Southern New Mexico (TNM $). The national Center for Disease Control says one or two people out of every 1,000 who contract the disease will die, but those who don't die still suffer a whole lot. Measles was declared eliminated in the US in 2000, but due to the anti-vaxxer movement, a new rise in cases has swept the nation (WP $). It had spared New Mexico until now.
Horse school moved
Since Expo New Mexico has opened its dorms to house asylum-seeking migrants, a 4-H Horse School program scheduled to happen there in June has been moved to Las Cruces. It seems there aren't any hard feelings, though, as 4-H program leader Steve Beck wrote in a letter, "We appreciate Expo's desire to assist these (migrant) families during their hardship." 4-H does not anticipate that the change will cost anything extra.
City Council is not necessarily down with the scootness. The governing body is wary of the idea of electric scooter rentals in Santa Fe, saying the wee machines cause accidents and clutter sidewalks. Councilors floated the idea of pilot programs to try such things out in certain neighborhoods, but right now it isn't looking terribly promising (TNM $). (SFR's sister publication in Portland, Oregon, Williamette Week, gave scooters a try—this is what happened.)
Get psyched, fools
The Santa Fe Opera has announced its 2020 season, which features some operas you know (The Barber of Seville, The Magic Flute) and, in SFO fashion, one you don't: The company has commissioned an opera version of the groundbreaking play M Butterfly, playwright and librettist David Henry Hwang's spin on Puccini's syrupy Madame Butterfly in which a French diplomat falls in love with a young Chinese woman … who is actually a young Chinese man, and a spy. The coolest part: Composer Huang Ruo says that he actually turned the score of Madame Butterfly upside-down to compose some of the opera's music. At yesterday's press conference (TNM $), SFO General Director Robert Meya announced to chuckles that 2020 tickets are on sale already, so get on it. (If you're still trying to keep up with the upcoming season, SFR has a handy 2019 preview for you.)
They drink your milkshake
Environment writer extraordinaire Laura Paskus has penned a detailed look at the Copper Flat Mine in Southern New Mexico. A new extraction company will be starting up activity there again (it hasn't operated in over 30 years), and Paskus reports that locals are concerned; Hillsboro resident Max Yeh says "there is an indication [in federally penned impact reports] that the people who are not on the ground don't understand the local situation."
In addition to SFR's new issue that came out yesterday, you'll now find on newsstands our new Locals Guide (formerly Annual Manual and the Santa Fe Manual; but we think we like this name and will settle on it). Our once-a-year glossy 'n' beautiful mag has a new trained focus on Best of Santa Fe winners from the year before, as well as the perennial content you expect from SFR, like a restaurant directory and shopping guide. Pick it up in boxes around town or read online.
Kept in the dark
Folks might roll their eyes when burned-out streetlights are cited as a huge municipal problem, but they're showing to be a scourge greater than the sum of their parts in Southeast Albuquerque. There have been 26 pedestrian deaths in just five years in that city's International District, and local residents say the deaths can be attributed to the broken lights. Residents have been trying to get attention to the issue for a decade. Mayor Tim Keller says the district will get new lights soon, but previous money allocated to the project has gone unspent.
Thanks for reading! The Word loves brunch. The Word also loves surprises. Get both at SFR's next Secret Brunch, one month from today. A meal, a drink and gratuity are only $40, and you support journalism and make new friends at the same time.