Testing one, two, three

Yesterday, New Mexico Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart announced a new testing system for students that will replace the previous system, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham had ordered the department to begin plans to end the use of PARCC earlier this year. In a news release, PED announced it has signed a multi-year contract with Cognia to provide the mathematics and English language arts assessment for grades 3-8. Tenth and 11th grade students will participate in the PSAT and SAT tests, respectively. "We believe this suite of assessments is more meaningful for students and less burdensome on classroom instructional time," Stewart said in a statement.

They’re here

Santa Fe has the 12th-highest number of Airbnb units per capita among US cities, according to a new report from national finance company IPX1031. The report says Santa Fe has 1,627 active Airbnb listings. A report on short-term rentals issued last June stated that non-compliance with gross receipts tax by STR hosts is costing the city $1.6 million each year. The new study evaluated 750 cities using data from AirDNA.

On the money

Rio Rancho says Donald Trump's September visit cost the city $239,475, but it won't be sending a bill. The city yesterday released itemized costs for Trump's rally at Santa Ana Casino, which includes: $96,838 in public employee time for planning related to the event; $76,847 in staff time the day of the event; $57,972 in lost productivity due to office closures; and $16,184 for other costs. Albuquerque sent Trump's campaign a $211,175.94 invoice for his September visit there.

State senate contenders

Both the Santa Fe County Commission and Los Alamos County Council have agreed to nominate Taos Land Trust Director Kristina Ortez to replace State Sen. Carlos Cisneros in the Legislature ($TNM), following Cisneros' death in September. The Taos County Commission has voted to nominate state Rep. Bobby Gonzales, D-Ranchos de Taos. Rio Arriba County will vote on a replacement on Thursday. Each county in the district is allowed to send potential replacements to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for consideration.

Out on a limb

The National Capitol Christmas Tree is on tour, and scheduled to hit Santa Fe today; it will be at Santa Fe Place Mall for visitation from 5 and 6 pm. The tree, a 60-foot blue spruce from Carson National Forest, began its journey to Washington, DC last week. The tree is scheduled to arrive on the West Lawn of the US Capitol Building on Monday, Nov. 25. It will be covered in ornaments made by children from New Mexico. You can track the tree's journey here.

Access and equity

Only three cities in New Mexico have abortion clinics, meaning women may have to drive hundreds of miles to receive one. Moreover, Dr. Eve Espey, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, notes that women are often in crisis when seeking abortions, and this lack of access predominantly impacts women of color, low-income women and women in rural areas. "Like with health care inequities in general, reproductive injustice has more of an impact on women of color, rural women and low-income women," Espey tells New Mexico Political Report.


Even though abortions are already unavailable in the New Mexico town of Kirtland, the Town Council yesterday passed a resolution opposing laws that help women seeking abortions access them. "A Resolution In Support of the Unborn" passed 2-0. "I need to be on the right side," Mayor Mark Duncan said of the measure. "And every unborn child has the right to be born." A similar resolution was passed by the Roswell City Council earlier this year, but rejected by the Farmington City Council.

Youth justice, or lack thereof

Juvenile facilities in New Mexico have decreased by half since 2015, which means when youth are arrested in New Mexico and have to wait for a judge to hear the case—which can take weeks or months—they may end up detained away from their homes. Approximately 350 youth were held this year in New Mexico away from home. Lawmakers were apprised of the problem in a committee hearing yesterday, as well as a proposal to have cities, counties and states share the cost of juvenile facilities.

Warm, warmer, warmest

Sunny, with a high near 57 today; north wind 10 to 15 mph. The low tonight will be approximately 28 degrees. Thursday and Friday also are predicted to be in the 50s, although Friday may be cloudy. Saturday will still allegedly be in the low 60s.

Thanks for reading! The Word really doesn't have time to watch the impeachment hearings starting today ($NYT), but is pretty likely to watch them anyway.


Thank you to readers who pointed out an error in yesterday's Word: As reported by The Santa Fe New Mexican ($), District 1 City Councilor Renee Villarreal received $1,500 in public financing in her unopposed race, but only spent one-third of that on an election night event—approximately $500. Yesterday's roundup said otherwise, due to an uncompleted sentence drafted by the Word at 5 am with insufficient caffeine. Apologies!