Morning Word

Baldwin Lawyers Raise Professional Conduct Concerns in “Rust” Case

Albuquerque foundation to manage this summer’s Traditional Spanish Market

Baldwin lawyers raise conduct concerns in Rust case

Following Clovis Republican state Rep. Andrea Reeb’s withdrawal as special prosecutor on the Rust case earlier this month, lawyers for Alec Baldwin earlier this week withdrew their legal challenge to her serving in that role. But in their Tuesday filing, Baldwin’s attorneys say while their client doesn’t object to First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies appointing a new special prosecutor, Baldwin “does not waive the rights to raise the disqualification issue in the future or to otherwise challenge the prosecution as a whole” on the grounds that the state’s conduct has violated Baldwin’s constitutional rights. That conduct, as detailed in the filing, includes public comments by Reeb, Carmack-Altwies and the latter’s public spokesperson, which Baldwin’s attorneys say raise serious questions under New Mexico Rules of Professional Conduct regarding making “any extrajudicial or out-of-forum statement in a proceeding that may be tried to a jury that the lawyer knows or reasonable should know” creates the possibility of prejudicing the jury. Moreover, the filing notes what it describes as “another troubling development regarding the state’s prosecution of the case”: new New York Times reporting that references June 2022 emails between Carmack-Altwies and Reeb that discuss publicizing the latter’s appointment to the case. “At some point though, I’d at least like to get out there that I am assisting you,” Reeb wrote, “as it might help in my campaign lol.” The state has charged both Baldwin and Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed with involuntary manslaughter for their roles in the Oct. 21, 2021 on-set fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. A workplace safety settlement in that case, which includes a $100,000 fine against the production company, has been finalized.

New management for Traditional Spanish Market

This summer’s 71st Traditional Spanish Market (July 28-30) will be managed by the Albuquerque-based Atrisco Heritage Foundation, following an agreement made with the Spanish Colonial Arts Society that was announced yesterday. “We are proud to preserve a community and cultural event with a longstanding history in Santa Fe, and we are excited for the future of the Spanish Market,” Atrisco Heritage Foundation CEO Peter Sanchez said in a statement. “We are grateful for SCAS’ many years facilitating the market.” SCAS board member Donna Pierce described Atrisco as “the perfect organization to carry forward Spanish Market…their history as a Spanish land grant people and as a non-profit organization, along with their successful record of sustaining organizations and programs such as Mariachi Spectacular and Fathers Building Futures, make them a perfect selection to manage Spanish Market.” The new management follows what the Santa Fe New Mexican characterized earlier this month as infighting and money problems for the annual market. The new agreement may not have put all of the conflict to rest, with at least one SCAS board member telling the paper he has resigned and does not support the decision to have Atrisco run the market.

SFPD targets stolen cars, makes child solicitation arrest

The Santa Fe Police Department has completed its “Operation Caught in 60 Seconds” initiative, which it conducted between Feb. 11 and March 10, targeting stolen vehicles. According to a news release, the operation resulted in four arrests, with police locating three stolen vehicles and conducting approximately 458 close patrols. “In addition to the enforcement, detectives and police officers also educated the public on the dangers of leaving their vehicle running with the keys in the ignition,” SFPD says, noting that “approximately 102 citizen contacts were made during this operation and 344 vehicles were located running with the keys in the ignition and left unattended.” Subsequently, SFPD says it identified a 40% reduction in stolen motor vehicles in February versus January. SFPD says its Property Crimes Unit remains focused on reducing said property crimes.

SFPD yesterday also reported the arrest of Joseph Vukosovich, 51, who was charged with four counts of child solicitation by electronic communication device; one count of attempt to commit a felony to wit: sexual exploitation of a children; one count of sexual communication with a child, and one count of attempt to commit a felony to wit: criminal sexual penetration in the first degree. The arrest was part of a coordinated investigation between SFPD, the Albuquerque Police Department and the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. “The mission of our Office is to keep New Mexicans safe and to build strong relationships with community advocates,” Attorney General Raúl Torrez said in a statement. “Today’s arrest, and the months of prep work, are a direct result of our mission coming to life.”

Dems announce grants for future wildfire protection

New Mexico’s all-Democratic congressional delegation this week announced more than $11 million in federal funding via the US Department of Agriculture’s new Community Wildfire Defense Grant program, itself a $1 billion initiative funded by the infrastructure law, intended to “help at-risk communities implement plans to protect themselves from wildfires,” a news release says. “All of our communities need to be prepared for the new reality of drier conditions and increased wildfire risks,” US Sen. Martin Heinrich said in a statement. “These critical projects funded by the Infrastructure Law will help at-risk communities in New Mexico take preventative actions to make our forests more resilient on the front end and protect our homes from future fires.” Last year’s “devastating wildfire season highlighted the clear need for increased wildfire resilience to help protect our communities,” US Sen. Ben Ray Luján noted in a statement. While the state has already received close to $4 billion through the Hermits Peak Assistant Act to recover from the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, “more investments are urgently needed to make New Mexico’s communities more resilient against the next wildfire,” he said. The grants include $8 million for the Cimarron Watershed Alliance’s Colfax Collaborative Wildland Urban Interface Project and $1.8 million for its Flying Horse Ranch Fuel Break project; $1.3 million for the Forest Stewards Guild’s community wildfire mitigation work in the greater Santa Fe fireshed; $235,000 to the International Association of Fire Chiefs for its community wildfire protection plan; and $63,000 for the Sandoval community’s wildfire protection plan update.

COVID-19 by the numbers

Reported March 22: New cases: 268; 673,265 total cases. Deaths: six; Santa Fe County has had 402 total deaths; 9,090 total fatalities statewide. Statewide hospitalizations: 61; patients on ventilators: four

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent March 16 “community levels” map shows two counties (San Juan and McKinley) are now yellow—aka medium—level. The rest of the state remains at green—aka low—levels. Corresponding recommendations for each level can be found here.

Resources: Receive four free at-home COVID-19 tests per household via; Check availability for additional free COVID-19 tests through Project ACT; CDC interactive booster eligibility tool; NM DOH vaccine & booster registration; CDC isolation and exposure interactive tool; COVID-19 treatment info; NMDOH immunocompromised tool kit. People seeking treatment who do not have a medical provider can call NMDOH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453. DOH encourages residents to download the NM Notify app and to report positive COVID-19 home tests on the app.

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

Listen up

In the most recent episode of St. John’s College’s Continuing the Conversation podcast, Santa Fe tutor (that’s SJC-speak for professor) Paola Villa and host/SJC tutor Sarah Davis unpack the concept of “home” in Johnny fashion, considering its personal and philosophical ramifications in a wide-ranging discussion (natch) that incorporates topics ranging from Elvis to French poetry to anatomy and beyond.

Tragedy plus time still equals tragedy

Thirty years ago, cult leader David Koresh faced off against the federal government in a 51-day siege that lasted from Feb. 28 through April 19. In conjunction with that anniversary, a new Netflix three-part documentary began streaming yesterday: Waco: American Apocalypse, directed by Santa Fe resident Tiller Russell (Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer). The documentary series includes new interviews from people involved with the events, including one of Koresh’s “spiritual wives;” the last child released alive from the compound; and several journalists who covered the story, along with law enforcement agents who played roles in the standoff. Russell tells SFR his goal was to humanize the people whose lives were changed irrevocably by Koresh and all that unfolded at the compound: “I was repeatedly struck by the humanity of all of the people involved,” Russell says. “They felt like people who were caught in these impossible circumstances. And so I just wanted to approach it from the human condition point of view; not passing judgment, not being biased, but let everybody articulate their human and emotional experience.”

In the weeds

New Mexico cannabis company Dynamic Jack CEO Alissa Jubelirer delivers another life in the biz installment to Rolling Stone magazine, this time focused on the “five hard truths” about running a cannabis company (in January, as we noted at the time, she wrote about what she learned raising funds to start the company). The story—content from the magazine’s “invitation only” fee-based Culture Council—doesn’t contain too many shocking revelations. Jubelirer advises knowing the business from all angles before launching. “While I felt relatively comfortable with the legal, regulatory and strategy pieces of a cannabis business before I launched Dynamic Jack, I was far less familiar with the actual production and cultivation of cannabis,” she writes. “Had I known when I launched what I know now, I might have been able to avoid some painful mistakes.” If you can’t know everything, have partners who fill in the gaps, she advises, and “don’t follow your gut” when it comes to assembling your team: “Get the cold, hard facts, and don’t discount or rationalize them,” she says. “One of the beautiful things about cannabis is the common love most of us share for the plant, but do not let that cloud your judgment.” Another cold hard fact: “Someone is going to have to bankroll/backstop the company for at least a year, probably more.”

Caution to the wind

As we head into what looks like a chilly and potentially wet weekend, the National Weather Service forecasts a partly sunny, dry day today, with a high temperature near 44 degrees and west wind 15 to 20 mph.

Thanks for reading! The Word finds it calming to virtually visit the sheep barn at the Farm Sanctuary (because sheep are awesome). Also: She initially skipped Bono and The Edge’s Tiny Desk appearance because she’s not much of a U2 fan, but then watched it anyway and was completely charmed (in no small part thanks to the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Choir)

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