Morning Word

SFR Exclusive: Investigator Found Probable Cause in Ivey-Soto Harassment Case

CDC COVID-19 map turns green for NM

SFR exclusive: Report shows probable cause in Ivey-Soto case

An attorney state legislators hired to investigate claims against Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, concluded there was probable cause to believe Ivey-Soto violated the state’s anti-harassment policy twice, according to a document obtained by SFR. Lawyer Thomas Hnasko’s 29-page report to the Investigative Subcommittee of the Interim Legislative Ethics includes explosive, never-before-reported allegations, including one claiming Ivey-Soto in 2019 pinned down a now-fellow state senator on a couch. The report, in response to lobbyist Marianna Anaya’s sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Ivey-Soto, calls into question Ivey-Soto’s assertions in an op-ed published yesterday by the Albuquerque Journal that the investigator did not find probable cause and that the case is closed. Ivey-Soto’s assertions on the case have been the sole access point to information on the investigation due to confidentiality rules governing the process. Yesterday, Anaya’s lawyer filed a petition for declaratory judgment in Santa Fe’s First Judicial District Court arguing the confidentiality provisions in the anti-harassment policy amount to a violation of his client’s free speech rights under the New Mexico constitution. Meanwhile, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports Ivey-Soto alleges he was told if he didn’t resign as chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, the report of the investigation would be leaked, leading him to report an extortion attempt to the FBI, which he accuses Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, of orchestrating. A coalition of organizations continues to call for Ivey-Soto’s ouster, launching a new website as part of that effort.

Ronchetti proposes “putting abortion on the ballot”

As Republicans nationwide struggle to gain footing on the issue of abortion in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s reversal in June of Roe v. Wade, New Mexico GOP gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti yesterday proposed, in a new ad, putting abortion on “a statewide ballot so everyone gets a say.” In the ad, Ronchetti’s wife Krysty begins by saying voters “deserve to know the truth” regarding her husband’s stance on “women’s issues,” followed by the non-sequitur: “He’s a husband and the father of two girls.” Ronchetti then says he supports banning “late-term” abortion and “protecting access.” Ronchetti’s campaign website details this position further, defining late-term as up to 15 weeks. This follows what a recent Washington Post analysis describes as Republicans’ scrambling efforts to redefine late-term abortion, most typified by US Sen. Lindsey Graham’s recent attempt to introduce the idea of a national 15-week ban—a proposal that has garnered significant criticism. Graham’s bill has no chance of passing the Democrat-controlled US Senate. In New Mexico, a statewide ballot question on abortion would require the Legislature to approve a constitutional amendment. Ronchetti did not provide additional specifics on the idea. Incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham tweeted in response to Ronchetti’s latest: “It’s as if you don’t quite get it. We’re not interested in lies. We’re not interested in extremism. We’re not interested in a war on women. Stop repackaging your abortion ban.” The state Democratic Party, in a news release, described the new ad as Ronchetti’s “latest flailing attempt to redefine how he’s going to try to ban abortion in New Mexico.” A recent Albuquerque Journal poll showed voters were three times more likely to want abortion to remain legal in the state; a subsequent Journal analysis also shows increased voter registration by women here since the Supreme Court’s decision.

CDC, DOH reports low COVID-19 in NM

As of yesterday, all New Mexico counties are “green,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly “community levels,” map. Green indicates low case and hospital rates. The good news coincides with the picture of New Mexico’s COVID-19 situation described yesterday in a monthly public update from the state health department. The briefing also included an emphasis on the new bivalent vaccination boosters, which include protection against the Omicron variant and its subvariants, such as BA.5, which accounts for most of New Mexico’s cases. “I’m excited about the booster,” Acting Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase said. “I’m excited and have my fingers crossed.” To be considered “up-to-date” with vaccinations, people now must have the new booster, he said, echoing new CDC guidelines. Thus far, the state has distributed approximately 7,300 doses and has ample supply. Health officials also provided updates on monkeypox—New Mexico has had 33 cases, four of them in Santa Fe—West Nile Virus (four cases) and polio. As to the latter, New Mexico has not had any signs of poliovirus, but has seen a drop in vaccinations against it during the pandemic. “You can see some of the counties in our state actually have 60% or lower, so that would put you at risk if you didn’t get vaccinated,” Deputy Health Secretary and Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Laura Parajón said. Santa Fe County has a 76% vaccination rate for polio.

COVID-19 by the numbers

Reported Sept. 15: New cases: 250; 615,405 total cases Deaths: four; Santa Fe County has had 348 total deaths; there have been 8,497 fatalities statewide. Statewide hospitalizations: 84. Patients on ventilators: six

Resources: Vaccine registration; Booster registration; Self-report a positive COVID-19 test result to the health department; Curative testing sites; COVID-19 treatment info: oral treatments and monoclonal antibody treatments; Toolkit for immunocompromised individuals. People seeking treatment who do not have a medical provider can call NMDOH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453.

You can read all of SFR’s COVID-19 coverage here.

Listen up

Food expert and award-winning cookbook author Cheryl Alters Jamison is always excited about food and it shows. On the most recent episode of her show Heating it Up, Jamison talks with Chef David Martin, author of The Tequila Diet, during his recent visit to Santa Fe about “the world’s greatest spirit” (tequila); the cuisine of Mexico; and their shared (delicious) meal at Izanami, among other topics.

Words with friends

Tomorrow kicks off Santa Fe Reads 2022, part of the NEA Big Read program, which will feature community events centered around community and literature through Nov. 5. Events start at noon tomorrow at Ragle Park in a joint event from Santa Fe Public Library, ¡Globalquerque! and Santa Fe Indigenous Center where the public can learn about this year’s Big Reads events, which will focus on Tommy Orange’s award-winning novel, There There, which follows 12 characters from Native communities who are all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow and are “connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize.” Tomorrow’s event will feature 2 pm music from Jir Anderson, founder of Native Guitars Tour and rap artist G. Precious, along with traditional dance performances and youth activities with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe Children’s Museum and many other nonprofit booths. “The Santa Fe Public Library is honored to be selected to host an NEA Big Read program in 2022,” Maria Sanchez-Tucker, City of Santa Fe Community Services director said in a statement. “We are looking forward to once again coming together as a community to share a good book, conversation and connect through the power of reading.” Santa Fe Reads all features young-adult and picture-book selections. You can read the program guide for this year’s Santa Fe Reads here, the events for which culminate with a Nov. 5 event with Orange at the Santa Fe Indian School.

Close to home

Architect Thomas A. Kligerman may be most closely associated with “archetypal New England” homes, but his upbringing in New Mexico also influences his aesthetic, he tells Mansion Global. Klingerman is “drawn to shingle-style architecture,” the subject of his third book Shingle and Stone: Thomas Kligerman Houses, which includes an essay in which Kligerman discusses “his interest in developing a truly American style that reflects both the Puebloan style of the Southwest and the shingle style that has prevailed in along the East Coast since the late nineteenth century.” To Mansion Global, Kligerman says: “I am just as at home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as I am in Newport, Rhode Island…I feel lucky that I was in two places with such distinct architecture. One is wood frame and shingles, and the other, in New Mexico, is adobe, so mud bricks and stucco, with flat roofs rather than sloped roofs. Both are American styles, but the two styles couldn’t be more different. I was lucky to have a foot in both worlds.” (We spotted a photo on Instagram from Santa Fe Kligerman posted earlier this summer). Also on the architecture tip, the Discover blog includes Taos in its list of “6 US Towns with Charming Architecture,” noting: “Its mud-brick buildings and old time mercantile storefronts are backed by dramatic snow-capped peaks of the Sangre de Cristo range for an enchanting and almost otherworldly landscape.”

Fall in place

If you like sunny breezy fall days with temperatures near 80 degrees, you’re going to enjoy this weekend. The National Weather Service forecasts clear skies ahead, with a possibility of rain returning on Monday.

Thanks for reading! The Word thought she’d help spread the word that Merriam Webster added the phrase “pumpkin spice” to the dictionary this month (plus 369 other new words FWIW…yes, FWIW is one of them).

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