Lagging electorate

So far, Santa Fe voters have demonstrated a lack of enthusiasm about tomorrow's municipal and school elections ($TNM). This marks the first year in which municipal elections will be held in November, rather than March, as a result of the 2018 Local Election Act, which consolidated all local nonpartisan elections to odd years in November. While such consolidation is intended to increase voter turnout (and save money), election officials say it may take a cycle or two to catch on. As of Friday, 4,640 early voting ballots had been cast out of the county's 100,999 registered voters. Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber said local governments could have been more "vocal" in promoting the date change. Voters can cast ballots tomorrow from 7 am to 7 pm at designated Voting Convenience Centers.

Shut your trap

Trap Free New Mexico has launched an online interactive map to track the locations of illegal trapping. WildEarth Guardians' Southern Rockies wildlife advocate Chris Smith tells the Albuquerque Journal the tool's purpose is to help inform New Mexicans unaware that trapping is happening, to help people who encounter traps report them, and to show the "toll trapping has had on New Mexico as a whole." Anti-trapping advocates hope a previous and un-passed bill to ban the practice will be re-considered in the next full legislative session in 2021.

Sunday morning Meow Wolf

CBS News featured Meow Wolf on Sunday morning. The segment follows a similar trajectory as Meow Wolf's documentary, Origin Story, tracing the now multi-million dollar company from its early days a decade ago when, as co-founder and former CEO Vince Kadlubek says of the arts collective, "We're 20-somethings, we're punks, we're millennials, we're loud, we're grungy. You know, we're all these characteristics that didn't fit with the Santa Fe gallery style."  Kadlubek also shares the haphazard story of choosing the group's name, to which correspondent Conor Knighton asks: "So, it could have just as easily been, like, Meow Chair?" Yes, indeed.

Sad math

New Mexico is down 644 teachers, according to the 2019 New Mexico Educator Vacancy Report. Overall, the state has 1,054 educator vacancies. While the teacher shortage is 13% less than last year, experts such as Rachel Boren, director of Southwest Outreach Academic Research Evaluation and Policy Center, say the vacancies are significant and translate "to several thousand students who started the school year without a permanent teacher." Lack of interest in entering the teaching profession is cited as one cause for the shortage.

John Blair aims at LGBTQ ceiling

When John Blair was growing up in Santa Fe in the 1980s, "there were not any out LGBTQ officials in New Mexico," he tells LGBTQ Nation, which recently profiled the candidate for New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District. Blair is one of eight Democrats competing in the 2020 primary for the seat currently held by US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, who is running for US Senate. Blair, formerly New Mexico's deputy secretary of state, says the prospect of being New Mexico's first openly gay congressional representative was one of the factors that led him to run. The Victory Fund, which works to elect LGBTQ candidates, endorsed Blair on Oct. 24.

Now, we’re hungry

USA Today recently featured acclaimed Eloisa chef John Sedlar's top 10 picks for eating in Santa Fe. "In Santa Fe, green chile is king and red chile is queen – and both can be enjoyed in every meal," Sedlar says in the article. Moreover: "Fusion is the vocabulary of all American kitchens today, but Santa Fe has always been like that." Many of Sedlar's recs appeared in SFR's 2018 Readers' Choice food and drink category awards as well, such as Opuntia, a top three winner for best new restaurant just last year, as well as Izanami, 2018's top Asian restaurant.

One way to increase voter turnout…

Currently, buying a pre- or post-work beer in Curry and Roosevelt counties—at least in the unincorporated portions—has been strictly verboten. They are the only two of the state's 33 counties that don't allow for alcohol sales. That might change this week if voters approve three questions related to alcohol that will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

In Fido fashion

Over the weekend, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society commemorated Day of the Dead, and waived fees for adoptions. SFR took the opportunity to gather some winter-proofing tips for keeping your beloved dog happy and frost-bite free. Spoiler alert: Sweaters aren't just for fashion. Plus, some good news: New Mexico has yet to experience dog flu! Yes, that's a thing.

Good running weather

Warm and sunny today, with a high of 62. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west in the afternoon. If you enjoy that, you'll like tomorrow, which is predicted to be much of the muchness. But Wednesday! Wednesday has a  30% chance of showers, primarily after 11am.

Thanks for reading! The Word found this Forbes article on using virtual reality to increase concern about climate change mostly facile, but it did send her to Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and also to this project that uses VR to turn you into a rainforest tree, which were pretty interesting.