Congressional wannabe video wars
Santa Fe District Attorney Marco Serna released his first video ad in his bid for US Congress, clapping back at opponent and former CIA operative Valerie Plame. Serna's video, "Exposed" takes aim at Plame's campaign video, "Undercover," in which she drives a Camaro backwards and talks about her life as a spy. Plame's video has been criticized for some of its claims. "Some people drive fancy cars and want us to believe they're a female version of James Bond," Serna says at the beginning of his ad. "They think they can impress us with make-believe lies and fairy tales about events that happened over a decade ago." Serna and Plame are two of eight candidates facing off in a Democratic primary to represent the 3rd District, currently held by US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, who is running for US Senate.
Free school—details TBA
Lawmakers are still determining how to financially back a proposal to provide free college education to all New Mexicans. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship last month, but details are still pending on how to fund the $25 to $35 million annual cost of sending approximately 50,000 people to school. Legislators are expected to tackle the ambitious plan in next year's 30-day session that kicks off in January. Higher Education Secretary Kate O'Neill told the Albuquerque Journal: "Quite honestly, we're still running scenarios to figure out … terms of cost."
Republicans protest Torres Small
Republicans yesterday targeted US Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-NM, one of a small group of Democrats who have not publicly taken a stand regarding the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry ($ TNM). The protest, lead by New Mexico Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce, is part of a national initiative: Republican National Committee and Trump Victory announced the "Stop the Madness" campaign earlier this week, which focuses on Democrats in Congress who won House seats last year in districts that voted for Trump in 2016. Such is the case for New Mexico's 2nd District.
NM youth obesity problem
New Mexico has the 11th worst youth obesity rate in the country, according to new data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Specifically, 16.9% of residents between the ages of 10 and 17 are considered obese; for young Hispanics, the obesity rate is 19.8%. Nationwide, blacks and Hispanic youth have higher obesity rates than white and Asian youths. "These differences by race, ethnicity and geography did not happen by chance," said Dr. Richard Besser, president and chief executive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "They are a result of discriminatory policies and systems that have been in place for decades."
Women in STEM
New Mexico’s female scientists, researchers, educators and students are striving to reverse the gender imbalance in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and professional advancement. In this week’s cover story, “Unhidden Figures,” Katherine Lewin takes a look at the troubling statistics, and the people who are trying to reverse them. Go behind the scenes of the story with this week’s accompanying Reported podcast.
Tom Hanks returns
Tom Hanks' post-Civil War adventure movie News of the World has begun principal photography in and around Santa Fe. Production will continue through November and is expected to employ more than 200 New Mexico crew members and 25 New Mexico actors, according to the New Mexico Film Office. Hanks is both a producer and star of the film, playing Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a widower and veteran of three wars, who "moves from town to town as a non-fiction storyteller." The film is based on National Book Award finalist and best-selling novel by Paulette Jiles. Hanks was in the state last spring filming Bios.
Ready, set, freeze
The National Weather Service seems very certain that tomorrow and Saturday will bring freezing temperatures, so we are choosing to believe them and have swapped the summer blankets for the down comforter. Specifically, Santa Fe will see lows of 23 and 26 degrees Friday and Saturday mornings, respectively. Today will be sunny, with a high of 60.
Thanks for reading! No judgement (well, maybe a little), but the Word feels like maybe it's a slow news day when the daily paper starts reporting on pizzas being delivered to the wrong address ($ TNM).