Shortlist coming for Midtown master developer

The City of Santa Fe is closer to announcing a short list of master developers for the Midtown campus ($TNM). Daniel Hernandez, with whom the city contracted to oversee the project, said yesterday an announcement about which of the seven master developer proposals may advance could be forthcoming in the next few days, with a final master developer identified in the spring. A nine-member evaluation committee of city department heads and staff members has been going through proposals that were submitted at the end of October. Mayor Alan Webber says master developers are being evaluated for their financing, experience and understanding of the project. "We're looking for a fit with a developer so it's a partnership. Where have you done this before? Does your proposal and experience demonstrate that you understand the community values? Some have that, some don't."

NM lawmakers quiet on plutonium pit issue

US Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, D-NM, won't say yet whether they support nuclear watchdogs' call for increased scrutiny of the federal government's plan to increase plutonium pit production in the state. The National Nuclear Security Administration has said it does not need to conduct a larger review of the proposal to increase production by 2030 at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Activist organizations such as the Los Alamos Study Group say a review is required; the senators say they are awaiting debriefing by the US Energy Department next week before commenting. US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-NM, also did not comment.

Webber talks SFPD evidence room

Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber says the city will find money to address issues with the Santa Fe Police Department's evidence room ($TNM). An independent audit recently found 37 problems with both staffing and procedures. "Nobody's pretending we don't need to change how the evidence room and the process works and bring it up to best practices," Webber told The Santa Fe New Mexican. Webber, however, disputed defense attorneys' recent contentions that the audit indicates larger problems that could impact future cases.

No hate groups in NM

Here's some good news. Kind of. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center's 2018 Hate Group Map, New Mexico is the only state that does not have any organized hate groups. Since 2000, New Mexico's hate group presence has shifted from a high of six in 2013 to none in 2004, 2005 and 2018. Lack of hate groups does not mean the state has not experienced hate crimes. Last year, the FBI's Hate Crime Statistics Act report showed the number of hate crimes in New Mexico in 2018 was four times what it had been the year before. "It is not necessary to have an organized hate group in your community for hate crimes to occur," said SPLC interim research director Keegan Hankes.

SFHS senior semifinalist for Rover naming contest

Santa Fe High School senior Maximilian Looft has been selected as a semifinalist for NASA's "Name the Rover" contest. Looft's name, G.R.I.T, was the New Mexico winner in the high school category, and will now enter the next round of consideration to become the official name of the Mars 2020 rover. Looft, a writer for SFHS's The Demon Tattler, also was part of the Spring 2019 intern cohort for the New Mexico Fund for Public Interest Journalism, SFR's partner nonprofit. Looft and three other interns wrote about the sustainability programs offered at Santa Fe Community College. Their stories comprised the cover story, "Roadmap for Resilience," published by SFR last June. Looft specifically focused on hydroponics, and how they might be used to grow crops on Mars.

Step outside

Yesterday, the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico announced both a new outdoor education fellowship and a financial investment in the state's Outdoor Equity Fund. The fund, as SFR reported in the Dec. 10 cover story, "Moving Mountains" on the state's new Outdoor Recreation Division, is intended to provide under-served children outdoor opportunities. The Environmental Education Association donated $1,200 in registration fees from an outdoor education conference earlier this month to the fund. Applications for EEANM's new fellowship are open through Jan. 20. More info available here.

El Palacio scavenger hunt

If you're not following El Palacio Magazine on Instagram yet, this would be a prime time to start. The state museum magazine recently kicked off 10 weeks of scavenger hunts through its Insta profile. In a nutshell: El Palacio will be posting questions, the answers for which can be found through links to past El Palacio articles. The first person to correctly answer a question wins a pair of New Mexico Culture Passes. You can read the full details of the scavenger hunt contest here.

You star talks NM prisons

Netflix' second season of You dropped a few weeks ago ($NYT), with everyone's favorite hunky murderer Joe Goldberg, played by Penn Badgley. The star recently spoke to The New Yorker magazine about his character's misdeeds, which he has been reflecting upon while reading Crime and Punishment, and his own concern that fans find his character adorable. "He is a murderer," he recently Tweeted at them. Badgley also discussed using Twitter to discuss social injustices: "Right now, I'm considering how to post about my visit to a detention facility, in New Mexico," he told the magazine. "'Facility.' It seems silly to call it that. It's operated like a prison. And the people there are not criminals." The Word was unable to determine exactly which prison Badgley visited, but he did spend time on the US/Mexico border in December as part of ongoing immigration advocacy work.

T-shirt weather!

Seriously. Today is forecast to have a high of 50 degrees, which sounds like T-shirt weather to us. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. Tonight, a low of 24 degrees. Tomorrow, sunny again with a high near 51. After that, it will get a teensy bit cooler and much wetter, with snow and rain storms predicted for Thursday and Friday.

Thanks for reading! The Word finds award ceremonies somewhat repelling, but also manages to get sucked into caring about and watching The Oscars.