Funding for Blue Lake commemoration

Fifty years ago, citizens from Taos Pueblo traveled to Washington, DC, in hopes of protecting their most sacred site. They actually got the desired protections in a then-unheard-of case of repatriation, and this year, Taos and surrounding Indigenous communities celebrate the return of Blue Lake ($ TNM). A legislative proposal would devote $350,000 from the state general fund to help preserve photographs, transcripts and news articles and develop exhibits and educational lessons about the campaign; that includes funding for commemorative celebrations, a short documentary film and educational materials that eventually may reside at a heritage center at Taos Pueblo.

Get out and stay out

KRQE reporter Rachel Knapp was kicked out of a Senate committee meeting ($ TNM) yesterday for videotaping said meeting. Granted, there is a rule that folks are supposed to ask whether or not they can record these meetings, but that rule doesn't apply to news media … plus, the meeting Knapp was attending is livestreamed anyway. Supposedly legislators didn't want their words "edited to be used against someone," and said they might not be entirely truthful if they knew they were being recorded. Bill Anderson, general manager of KRQE, said afterward, "Nothing good happens in government when these people close the door and want to talk when no one's listening."

Citizens’ request

Antonio "Ikie" DeVargas claims the death of his daughter Carmela could have been prevented, had Santa Fe County jail employees not ignored her repeated requests for medical attention; Carmela died of meningitis. DeVargas is now seeking signatures for a petition calling for a grand jury to investigate "malfeasance and any other illegal act" committed by jail employees and county officials. DeVargas will hold a public gathering and news conference in the Roundhouse Rotunda (490 Old Santa Fe Trail) at 10 am on Saturday.

Eat up

This week's cover story from SFR serves a dual purpose: You get some reading in, and you'll also get new ideas of where and what to eat in our fair city. In "Pass the Plate," SFR's Cole Rehbein talks to a bunch of local chefs about where they like to go eat when they're not cooking, creating an appreciative and reverant kind of "food chain" around town from notable chef to notable chef. It also includes a shout-out to the steak with caramel sauce at La Boca, one of the Word's favorite local dishes (hot take: Also try special-requesting that caramel sauce on vanilla ice cream for dessert).

Way down south

In episode 14 of "Your New Mexico Government," a podcast devoted to the 54th Legislature, journalist Algernon D'Ammassa from the Las Cruces Sun-News dishes on what's happening in the legislative session to impact Southern New Mexico and how the hot button issues (recreational cannabis; the red flag law) look to people there, as well as the spaceport and its economic impact on the state. "Your New Mexico Government" is a collaboration between SFR, New Mexico PBS and KUNM radio.

Leave those kids alone

It wasn't too long ago that Searchlight New Mexico reported on the use of excessive tactics like restraint and seclusion in New Mexico's public schools (October 2019); SNM also found that APS repeatedly filed misleading reports to the federal government and refused to provide records to parents whose children were restrained or secluded. But lawmakers are already jumping into action this session to deal with the hot-button issue. Rep. Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque) is rushing a bill through the Legislature's drafting process which would require schools to report instances to the state Public Education Department. The bill may be doomed thanks to a loaded schedule, but Searchlight details other steps being taken to try and ensure students' safety.

Too much force

Up in Española, a new lawsuit about police brutality has spurred discussion about the creation of an advisory board and how best to protect citizens' constitutional rights. The Rio Grande SUN reports on various police abuses in the last few years (careful, folks, some of the descriptions are upsetting); lawyer Todd Bullion claims in his lawsuit that officers violated his client Isodorio Padilla's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizure, as well as his Fourteenth Amendment right to bodily integrity and to be free from excessive force. The suit also states that Española's use of force training was inadequate and that the city was indifferent to a culture of excessive force among officers—citing Rio Grande SUN coverage of previous excessive force allegations.

Bundle up (in a few days)

We have a pretty weekend coming up with a high of 52 tomorrow, Saturday, but don't get too used to it. A storm system is supposed to move in during the first part of next week and folks are saying snow sometime, but maybe on Monday. Whatever, who knows, just wear layers wherever you go.

Thanks for reading! The Word has mostly outgrown that voyeuristic obsession with true crime murder documentaries … mostly. So she may secretly watch a new episode of Investigation Discovery's The Murder Tapes that features a Farmington case from 2018.