Weather responses so far
Santa Fe is in line to receive wind, rain and snow in the coming days, with the tumultuous weather likely to inflict some headaches for the holiday weekend ($TNM). As of the crack of dawn, Santa Fe Community College and the Higher Education Center were slated to open late—at 10 am—due to road conditions, with all classes and activities scheduled for 10 am or earlier cancelled. Santa Fe Public Schools also is on a two-hour delay. Find a complete list of delays and closures here.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other top lawmakers met yesterday for a discussion on how to deter terrorism in the state. The convening is the second following last August's mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. This week's meeting, also attended by US Reps. Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland, Xochitl Torres Small, New Mexico Speaker of the House Brian Egolf and Attorney General Hector Balderas, focused on background checks, as well as potential legislation for the 2020 legislative session tightening penalties for domestic terrorism. In a joint statement, officials promised to "sustain a dialogue about preventative, evidence-based measures" and work toward "developing a substantive framework for information- and data-sharing that will help both state and federal public safety officials stay on the front foot."
Follow the money
Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are leading in fundraising in New Mexico, according to recent data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Sanders has at least $379,000 in individual contributions, and Warren follows with $351,725. The next three top recipients are President Donald Trump with approximately $305,000, Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg at $236,499 and US Sen. Kamala Harris at $148,412.
Don’t bail on bail reform
Bail reform in New Mexico is working, according to Artie Pepin, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, who testified yesterday to lawmakers on the Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee. Pepin defended 2016 bail reforms—which allow judges to deny bail to high-risk defendants and waive bail for low-risk ones— as moving New Mexico "in the right direction toward a fairer justice system." The reforms have been criticized in the wake of rising and violent crime, particularly in Albuquerque. Pepin, citing a University of New Mexico study, said that 83% of defendants released during a nearly two-year period had no new arrests while awaiting trial.
Should City of Santa Fe publicly financed candidates spend money thanking volunteers who helped them win their races? That's the question posed by recent reviews of the Nov. 5 city council races ($TNM). Specifically, Jamie Cassutt-Sanchez, who won a three-way race for District 4 and received $15,000 in public money, spent $220 in gift cards on gift cards from Java Joe's for her volunteers. Incumbent District 1 City Councilor Renee Villarreal spent approximately $500 of the $1,500 she received in her unopposed race on an election night gathering. A city spokesperson says the city Attorney's Office has not yet reviewed the campaign reports.
Funny and true
Florida comedian Josh Pray's visit to New Mexico prompted him to record a video praising the state, which has gone on to garner attention on social media, with thousands of shares. In "5 Reasons New Mexico should be on your bucket list," Pray pays due to the state's diversity, green chile and beauty, while acknowledging that the altitude here can pack a punch. Watch it here.
No place like home
An undocumented Northern Irish immigrant makes his way to New York City, where a crime boss takes him in and asks him to deliver two mysterious briefcases. Pat accidentally ends up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he finds a job playing Santa Claus in the mall. Yup, that's the plot for SANTA FAKE, a holiday film starring Damian McGinty ("Glee"), which filmed here last year and is available to stream now. Also it's a musical. Here's the trailer.
New Mexico goes to Washington
Believe it or not, this is not another story about the US Capitol Christmas Tree. Well, not entirely anyway. Turns out it's not just New Mexico's timber heading to Washington, DC. Dozens of local businesses also will be there to give folks a taste of the land on which this year's Christmas tree grew. Michael Calhoun, Red River Brewing co-owner, sent 300 32-ounce cans of three beers: the Capitol Christmas Tree IPA, Capitol Christmas Tree Amber Ale and the Capitol Christmas Tree Blonde Ale. Other local products will include food from El Pinto, Garcia's Kitchen and Gruet's sparkling wine.
Spring wind, winter temps
If you were awake before 5 am, you might have witnessed some "patchy blowing snow." If not, no regrets: It wasn't that interesting. Slight chance of isolated snow showers this morning between 8 and 11 am (20%), but mostly sunny today with a high near 31 degrees. The real star of today will be the wind: west at 25 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Snow becomes more likely tomorrow night, with an 80% likelihood, as of now.
Thanks for reading! Sometimes The Word likes to start the day by looking at space photos. Don't judge.