As lovely as a tree

The Word kinda regrets not making the Sena Plaza tree the top story yesterday, seeing how much drama ensued. (That's a sentence you'll only read in a town like Santa Fe, right?) As crews began to dismantle the massive cottonwood yesterday afternoon, a man threw himself at the base of the tree and got combative when folks tried to remove him from the scene. The New Mexican reports ($) that the man is known around town as "the Tree Doctor," but did not release his actual name.

Cry me a river

Remember back in January, when MAGA-hat-wearing students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky mocked Native American activist Nathan Phillips on the National Mall? At the time, New Mexico's US Rep. Deb Haaland (Laguna) spoke out against the students' behavior, and now parents of the students are speaking out against her. A group of parents have filed a defamation lawsuit against Haaland for her refusal to retract comments about their sons related to the incident.

He said, she said

Documents released Tuesday reveal $1 million paid out to three public employees after complaints alleging sexual harassment and gender discrimination ($ TNM). Two of the complaints were against former State Police Chief Pete Kassetas, who counters that he is innocent and that the claims were never properly investigated. However, Allegra Carpenter, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, says, "Kassetas has derailed the careers of countless women (and several men) based on sexist and homophobic beliefs. He should never have been appointed or allowed to continue as chief of police."

Up the staff

Staffing shortages at the Southside library suggest a disparity between attention paid to the library's two more central locations. SFR's Katherine Lewin talked to staff, patrons and administration in the library system to get a better picture of what's going on at the newest branch, which sits on Jaguar Drive in Tierra Contenta.

No mine in the Pecos?

SFR's Leah Cantor takes a look at controversy brewing at the edge of the Pecos Wilderness, where a mining company wants to revive resource extraction and mine gold, copper and zinc. The company wants drilling to begin as early as October, but local residents and environmentalists are fighting the company (Comexico, a Colorado subsidiary of Australian mining company New World Cobalt Ltd.) with requests for rigorous environmental and cultural assessments.

Not-so-eternal return

Investors who bought in to Meow Wolf in 2017 for about $40 a share are now facing a forced buyback ($ TNM) for $83 a share, and not all of them are happy about it. Though the fine print of the online investment seems to allow this, one investor, Nick Perry, is looking into a class-action lawsuit alleging misrepresentation. "It's a pretty common theme that most of the people [I've talked to] are just everyday people who thought they might have had an opportunity through this company and felt they were misled," Perry said.

More trouble for Tonita

The Word has been telling you about the controversy surrounding Las Vegas, New Mexico Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron, and now State Auditor Brian Colón has expressed displeasure at her behavior as well. He is concerned about the manner in which she submitted her city's budget proposal, among other things. "This is a crisis. It is not just worst-case scenario," Colón said. "When you don't have your budget appropriately approved and submitted to the State of New Mexico, you not only jeopardize your state funding, you jeopardize federal funding."

Second verse, same as the first

More storms are possible today, but not before it reaches nearly 90 degrees in Santa Fe. So, basically, a repeat of yesterday. Don't forget your water bottle, your personal fan and your umbrella, because you'll need each one in turn.

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