Lawsuit: ENMU women basketball players allege sexual assault
Three female student athletes at Eastern New Mexico University contend in a federal lawsuit filed yesterday that after recruiting them to the school, head women’s basketball coach Meghan De Los Reyes “forced them to receive what she called ‘treatments’ from her husband Glen De Los Reyes, an unlicensed and unqualified athletic ‘trainer.’” Rather than provide the three women with “actual physical therapy or training,” the suit alleges Glen De Los Reyes sexually assaulted them. In addition, the plaintiffs say ENMU—particularly ENMU Athletic Director Paul Weir—”knew other ENMU student athletes had accused Glen De Los Reyes of sexual assault in the 2021-2022 school year” and that “multiple athletic trainers [had] reported the allegations of sexual assault to Weir and continually expressed their concerns about Glen De Los Reyes’s work on female athletes.” (Prior to becoming athletic director in 2021 at ENMU, Weir was the head men’s basketball coach at the University of New Mexico.) Nonetheless, the school “failed to investigate and Weir failed to report the allegations to ENMU’s Title IX coordinator” and, in fact, “took no action to protect ENMU’s students,” the suit says. The Albuquerque Journal reports a university spokesperson released a statement that the school had completed in early March a “non-athletic department led investigation into complaints within the women’s basketball program and the use of volunteer services” and had “no findings of an abusive nature nor that any ENMU employee forced student-athletes to seek volunteer services. We did identify opportunities to improve training practices and internal policies with regards to volunteers and volunteer services.” The school also on April 18, “announced a change in leadership for the women’s basketball program based on a complete review of the entire program.”
City solicits charter commission feedback
As SFR staff writer Andrew Oxford reported earlier this month, public participation with the City of Santa Fe’s Charter Review Commission has been scant—at the time of the story, the nine-member commission had been meeting every two weeks for the last few months and had received suggestions from approximately two people on proposals to changes to the city charter ranging from making it easier for city voters to bring initiatives and referendums to the ballot to stripping away most of the mayor’s voting rights. Next month, the commission plans to forward recommendations to the mayor and council, which will decide which—if any—of the group’s ideas to add to November’s municipal election ballot. And yet, the city has done little to promote the commission’s work—until this week. On Wednesday, the city put out a news release soliciting feedback and promoting a new web page that allows residents to read the proposals and submit their thoughts. Response at last night’s commission meeting remained underwhelming, with no public attendance in person or virtually, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. Former City Councilor Steven Farber, however, did submit public comment online, noting his continued opposition to the city having a full-time mayor and his concern about the lack of outreach by the city on the commission’s work. A former member of the city’s Home Rule Charter Commission, Farber writes: “Having the materials online does not substitute for an outreach program that would keep the citizenry advised of the important work of the Charter Review Commission. This is our Constitution and it should be a front and center topic of discussion, debate, and consideration at this stage of the proceedings—even before recommendations are made to the City Council for presentation to the electorate.”
Harsh tax rules for cannabis shops
While most businesses can deduct a percentage of costs for a variety of expenses—from office supplies to payroll—cannabis businesses must pay taxes on most of their revenue. SFR staff writer Andy Lyman delves into an often-overlooked facet of the federal tax code—280E—which makes it illegal to claim deductions on the sale of federally illegal drugs, and its repercussions for local cannabis businesses. For Ben Snelgrove, who recently sold his Eldorado dispensary—the rule contributed to his decision to sell. “If you went on a month-by-month basis, just the inability to be able to deduct that expense, and be able to claim that and get at least some of it back, that pretty much ate into anywhere from 25% to 30% of my overall profit margin, after overhead,” Snelgrove tells SFR. He may not be alone. Albuquerque-based Certified Public Accountant John Grisham, a partner with the national firm Carr, Riggs & Ingram, says the rule has taken many local cannabis business owners by surprise and many won’t be “able to cope,” he says. In fact, his firm is selective about taking on industry newbies because many have never owned a business before, let alone one with the nuanced legality of cannabis. “They are shocked by this idea that they’re going to owe a lot of tax,” he says. “They just think it’s going to be raining money.”
Disney starts filming “reimagined” classic children’s book
Filming is underway through May in and around Albuquerque for a new Disney adaptation of Judith Viorst’s award-winning and best-selling 1972 children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. According to a New Mexico Film Office news release, the as-yet-untitled project will employ more than 500 New Mexicans: 245 as background talent, 323 as crew members and 10 as principal actors. While George Lopez recently exited the film—reportedly due to scheduling conflicts—plenty of star-power remains on the cast including: Eva Longoria, Cheech Marin and Jesse Garcia. Directed by Marvin Lemus, the film is based on the screenplay by Matt Lopez that “reimagines” the original story to focus on “a Mexican-American family that has recently lost their connection to each other and their roots, who embark on an epic road trip that immediately goes hilariously wrong. Only Alexander, the supposedly cursed member of this family, can find a way to bring everyone back together.” And, while it’s a bit of short notice, yesterday’s news release also includes word of an open casting call through today for various background and specialty roles, with people at least 9 years of age of Hispanic descent, cumbia dancers, musicians, jugglers and puppeteers encouraged to participate (email firstname.lastname@example.org). “We’re very excited for this project to come to fruition,” Lemus said in a statement, “and are especially excited about everything we’ve experienced in New Mexico thus far.”
COVID-19 by the numbers
Reported April 27: New cases: 175; 679,679 total cases. Deaths: eight. Statewide fatalities: 9,200; Santa Fe County has had 408 total deaths; Statewide hospitalizations: 63; patients on ventilators: seven. The state health department will stop reporting daily COVID-19 cases on May 11.
The Centers for Disease and Prevention most recent April 27 “community levels” map shows all counties remain green, low levels, in New Mexico for the third consecutive week.
Resources: Receive four free at-home COVID-19 tests per household via COVIDTests.gov; 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.
You can read all of SFR’s COVID-19 coverage here.
On a recent episode of Outside’s podcast The Daily Rally, thru-hiker, The Outdoorist Oath Executive Director and National Monuments Fellow Gabaccia Moreno shares her story of preparing, upon moving to New Mexico, to thru-hike the Continental Divide Trail; the injury that ultimately derailed that plan; and the lessons learned from the experience. “My friend Angela, when I told her I had to exit the trail, she told me that wounds are very good slow-me-down medicine. That’s what I kept telling myself. This is life telling me that this is not my time to hike a marathon a day. This is my time to slow down and embrace that,” she says.
Start the presses
Print Santa Fe Director Miranda Metcalf tells SFR she jumped at the opportunity to launch an offshoot of the 10-year-old Print Austin event. An art historian and self-described “print adorer, print enthusiast and print champion,” Metcalf also hosts the Hello, Print Friend podcast, which to date has close to 200 episodes featuring interviews with fellow print champions, artists, activists and curators. A Santa Fe resident, Metcalf says when the Print Austin Director/founder Cathy Savage discussed the possibility of expanding, Metcalf knew Santa Fe would make a good fit because “we have beautiful spaces and a community of and supportive to artists.” This weekend’s events will feature a three-day art fair,”Fistful of Prints,” featuring both local and national artists at the Center for Contemporary Arts (despite its recent and possibly temporary closure), with a opening soiree tonight; a performance from Diné artist and Institute of American Indian Arts alum Marwin Begaye; and a procession featuring masks made earlier in the week during workshops with Dennis “WolfBat” McNett, along with large-scale puppets. Find all the events here.
Seeing is believing
In his invigorating essay for the New Yorker, “Georgia O’Keeffe Before She Was Famous,” critic Jackson Arn takes the measure of the current Museum of Modern Art Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition, To See Takes Time—the artist’s charcoal, pencil, watercolor and pastel works on paper—(through Aug. 12) and propounds that O’Keeffe—like Mark Twain and Susan Sontag—misjudged her own talents: “O’Keeffe devoted the better part of her ninety-eight years to grand, sometimes grandiose oil paintings, despite the ample evidence that she was spectacular with charcoal and watercolor,” Arn writes. Moreover, the essay argues O’Keeffe persisted with “a medium that maintained her fame at the cost of muffling her gifts.” Her “endless pelvic bones, cow skulls and yonic flowers” more popular than critical appeal, Arn says, because they are works that “reward glances, not scrutiny.” By contrast, the works on paper in MoMA’s exhibition—most completed by the time O’Keeffe turned 30—demand scrutiny. These works on paper also undercut some of the O’Keeffe stereotypes, such as her image as a “cozy-hermit” in Abiquiu whose worked lacked technical excitement. Arn certainly makes a strong argument to see the show—if for no other reason than to view O’Keeffe through a fascinating new lens.
The National Weather Service forecasts a fittingly erratic end to April: Today, Santa Fe will be under a wind advisory until 6 pm, with north winds 25 to 35 mph and gusts up to 50 mph expected. We also have a 70% chance for precipitation—possibly even a little snow this morning (it’s sticking on the Colorado border), turning into rain, accompanied by patchy blowing dust between 9 am and noon. The day will start off cloudy, then turn mostly sunny, with a high temperature near 59 degrees. The weekend, on the other hand, will be sunny, less windy (though still breezy) with highs in the low 70s on Saturday and the high 70s on Sunday.
Thanks for reading! The Word is enjoying perusing LitHub’s roundup of the best book covers of April (almost as much as she will enjoy having April end).