Morning Word

Protesters Disrupt Gov’s Re-election Campaign Kick-Off

SFPD files more charges in Plaza obelisk case

COVID-19 by the numbers

New Mexico health officials yesterday reported 126 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total so far to 203,330. The health department has designated 190,087 of those cases as recovered. Bernalillo County had 39 cases, followed by San Juan County with 14 and Doña Ana County with 10. Santa Fe County had eight new cases.

The state also announced five recent deaths; there have now been 4,273 fatalities. As of yesterday, 99 people were hospitalized with COVID-19.

Currently, 65.7% of New Mexicans have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 56% are fully vaccinated. In Santa Fe County, 74.5% have had at least one dose and 64.1% are fully inoculated.

Yesterday, the health department and the Albuquerque Isotopes announced they will be holding COVID-19 vaccination clinics (with the Pfizer vaccine) during the Isotopes six-game homestand beginning running through Tuesday, June 8. Vaccinations will be held on the concourse at Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park during each of the six games; fans who want to receive the vaccine can do so from the time the gates open until approximately the fifth inning. Individuals who receive a shot will be given two reserved level ticket vouchers for any remaining 2021 Albuquerque Isotopes home game, excluding July 4, based on ticket availability.

Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center will hold a first-dose vaccination clinic for children and teens aged 12 and older tomorrow, June 5, with YouthWorks Catering and Culinary Program providing free to-go bags with sandwiches and salads for those who get vaccinated and their parent/guardian. Register through VaccineNM.org with the event code: PKIDS23. Also tomorrow: Santa Fe artist collaborative Projecxions will present a one-evening video and light project, “Projecting Gratitude,” created to express gratitude for Santa Fe’s essential workers and first responders, from 8:45 through 11 pm at Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

You can read all of SFR’s COVID-19 coverage here. If you’ve had experiences with COVID-19, we would like to hear from you.

Protesters disrupt Gov’s campaign launch

“I’m sorry that we picked the same location that the QAnon lizard people meeting was at,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham told supporters last night during the launch of her re-election campaign at the Albuquerque Museum, in which loud protesters armed with bullhorns attempted to drown out speakers. Protesters, indeed, carried signs with messages such as “Coronahoax” and “COVID1984,” the Albuquerque Journal reports, with one man repeatedly giving a Nazi salute and verbally attacking journalists covering the event. “I think there are a few people who are very confused about reality,” House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, told KOB 4, a point reiterated by Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe: “This is a fringe element using bullhorns,” Wirth said. “It’s embarrassing, quite frankly, for our whole process.” Lujan Grisham enters the race with the advantage of incumbency, as well as Democrats’ 14-point advantage over Republicans in voter registration. Her campaign also is likely to face ongoing criticism over a high-profile settlement with a former campaign employee, as well as issues with the Public Education; Children, Youth and Family; and Workforce Solutions departments. At least two Republicans—Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block and Navajo businesswoman and former 2rd Congressional District candidate Karen Bedonie, have announced their candidacies.

SFPD charge another suspect in obelisk case

The Santa Fe Police Department yesterday announced charges against another individual with alleged involvement in the Oct. 12 destruction of the obelisk on the Plaza. Austin Schweitzer, 22, was charged with criminal damage to property over $1,000; conspiracy to commit criminal damage; unlawful assembly; and criminal trespass. Last month, the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced resolutions for all but one of the original nine defendants facing felony charges in the case, in which the defendants will participate in a restorative justice program and community service. “The defendants’ charges have not been dismissed and will not be unless and until they complete this six-month to two-year program,” District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies writes in an op-ed. “Restorative justice does not mean the obelisk defendants are getting off with just a ‘slap on the wrist’ as has been implied in some venues. The defendants are court-ordered to participate in this rigorous program and must face the consequences of their actions on a community stage.”

Groups to PRC: Accept climate science

Yesterday, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and numerous environmental and community groups filed a motion asking the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to recognize the scientific consensus on climate change. The motion requests the PRC accept climate science as part of its decision-making in the Avangrid-PNM merger docket and, according to a news release from Western Resource Advocates, asks the commission to “acknowledge that climate change is caused by human activity resulting in an accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and a predominant source for those greenhouse gas emissions is the combustion of fossil fuels used by power plants, vehicles, buildings, and industry.” Steve Michel, deputy director of Western Resource Advocates’ Clean Energy Program, said in a statement the motion is important “because, if granted, it would mean the New Mexico PRC has determined that human-caused climate change and its likely consequences are no longer debatable. It’s a scientific fact, like gravity and the sunrise.” Western Environmental Law Center attorney Kyle Tisdel, which is representing the community groups, said the PRC “has an opportunity to help lead our state and the nation by recognizing the science and timeline of the climate crisis and by allowing this reality to help guide its decision-making.”

Listen up

OK, we’re a little late, but just a reminder that New Mexico History Museum’s Friends of History group organizes a monthly lecture on New Mexico history held on the the first Wednesday of each month. You’ll find all of them here. The most recent talk, from this week, featured Rick Hendricks, New Mexico state records administrator, a former state historian and editor of the Vargas Project at the University of New Mexico. The talk focuses on the ways in which the Pueblo people have fought to preserve tribal sovereignty as it relates to issues of land and water from the Spanish Colonial period to the present day.

Cheers

Of all the experiences the COVID-19 pandemic made difficult, drinking wasn’t necessarily one of them. However, Buzzfeed News couples drinking with travel to provide 21 “booze-filled experiences in the US,” and Santa Fe ranks first with the Santa Fe Margarita Trail experience. In short: visit the 45 participating bars (not all in one night) all of which will be serving different iterations of the margarita. Carry your margarita passport (yes, there’s also an app; the lite version provides a map to find the locations, but you’ll need the$2.99 version to collect stamps and receive a buck off each signature margarita) and collect stamps each time you imbibe. Five stamps will earn you a T-shirt. You can pick up a passport at any downtown TOURISM Santa Fe Visitor Centers or the participating bars (we’re not going to list them because, again, 45 bars). You can also trade in your old passport and exchange your stamps at the visitor centers.

Movies after dark

In another sign of summer, AMP Concerts kicks off its Movies in the Railyard series tonight with Toy Story 4, a free family event (however, registration is required and you can make a $10 donation if you so choose). Bring a picnic, chairs and blankets, but leave the umbrellas and booze at home. Bicycle to the Railyard if you can (we marked the start of the pandemic’s end when we stopped being able to find parking downtown). And if tonight’s outdoor moviegoing puts you into a summer-mindset, you’re in luck, as SFR has just published our annual Summer Guide filled with everything you want to know about summer movies, restaurant patios, summer music, summer camps and plenty of other ideas for outdoor and indoor recreation as the days grow even longer and warmer.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow

T’was a windy night, full of sound and fury, ultimately signifying nothing if the dry ground serves as any indication. Alas. Santa Fe continues to have a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms today, mainly after noon. Otherwise, it will be mostly sunny with a high near 73 degrees and northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northeast in the afternoon. Similar chances for rain continue through the weekend with temperatures in the high 70s.

Thanks for reading! The Word began her day watching The New Yorker Flamenco Queer video and thinks you should as well. Happy Pride month!

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