Morning Word

City of Santa Fe Decries Desecrated Pride Flag

Feds award NM $675 million for broadband

City reports, condemns homophobic graffiti

The City of Santa Fe yesterday reported that its pride flag, painted on the Plaza in honor of Pride month, had been “defaced with homophobic graffiti,” according to a city news release. An image provided by the city shows a cross drawn over the flag with the words “Jesus Saves” written inside the cross. “Pride was a joyful celebration of community and justice for all, and it was a celebration that showed Santa Fe at our best,” Mayor Alan Webber said in a statement. “In contrast, this is a cowardly act of bias and bigotry that all of us should condemn.” Santa Fe City Councilor Signe Lindell, in a statement, said she was “saddened to see religion used to justify defacing the temporary pride flag on the plaza. This kind of intolerance reminds us all of why that young person contemplating suicide needs public symbols of their acceptance in our community.” Similarly, Equality of New Mexico Executive Director Marshall Martinez said it was “incredibly disheartening that such a simple statement of acceptance and affirmation, would be attacked in this way. New Mexicans have always valued our family, friends, and neighbors because of our differences and this single act of bigotry will not change those values or our unity!” City Manager John Blair noted that across the country “homophobes are attacking the queer community and we are fighting for our very right to exist. There’s no place for Christian nationalism anywhere in this country and there is absolutely no place for this hate in Santa Fe.”

Feds award NM more than $675 million for broadband

The US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration yesterday announced allocations of $42.45 billion for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program—part of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories secured grants, with New Mexico receiving more than $675 million. “It is no accident that this funding made up the largest percentage of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law; broadband projects are incredibly expensive and a vital part every aspect of our lives,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “This funding empowers New Mexico to continue to bridge the digital divide and create equal opportunities for our residents. I’m grateful to President Biden and New Mexico’s congressional delegation for their roles in securing this funding for our state.” US Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, D-NM, both released statements about the funding, with Heinrich noting that expanding internet access “improves the quality of education our students receive, makes health care more accessible and affordable, strengthens public safety, and grows our economy.”

Santa Fe Animal Shelter loses more board members

Four members of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society board of directors have resigned in the last few weeks, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports, leaving the board with three members versus the nine it had previously. While some have refused to discuss their departures, at least one cited in a letter last month policy changes at the shelter as the reason for her departure. Specifically, former board member Sheila Vaughn pointed to Shelter CEO and Executive Director Jack Hagerman’s implementation of a Capacity for Care model without support from stakeholders as “internally divisive,” among other problems. Hagerman, who took the head job at the shelter in November 2021, tells the New Mexican the resignations came as a result of “interpersonal conflicts within the board,” and said they provide an opportunity at the shelter to “build the board in a direction that honors the mission of the organization.” Hagerman has written animal columns for SFR and sparked a backlash in April with a piece about felines.

ABQ movie theater seat dispute ends in gunfire

Albuquerque police yesterday arrested 19-year-old Enrique Padilla following a shooting Sunday at the Century Rio theater near Jefferson and Interstate 25 that left Michael Tenorio, 52, dead. According to the Albuquerque Journal and court records, Tenorio and his wife Trina bought tickets for seats 8 and 11 in Row F for the 8:50 pm showing of No Hard Feelings. A theater employee asked two people in seats 9 and 10 to move down so the Tenorios could sit together. When Padilla and a date arrived at the theater, they began arguing about the seats. Though a theater employee attempted to deescalate the situation, when she left Padilla threw an entire tub of popcorn into Trina Tenorio face, leading Tenorio to push him into a wall. From there, shots were fired. “There was a sense of chaos here,” Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said on Sunday. “A lot of people were running from the theaters and trying to get out of the way.” Tenorio died at the scene; Padilla, who ran, was found with a gun-shot wound in his stomach, though it’s unclear how or by whom he was shot. He has been charged with an open count of murder; shooting at a dwelling or occupied building; and tampering with evidence. Police are seeking videos or other evidence from the shooting.

Listen up

Known for its beauty and remarkable geologic structures, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument closed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and remains shut. The Bureau of Land Management reports that it has been meeting with the Pueblo de Cochiti—with which it co-manages the site—to discuss the pueblo’s concerns about reopening. On a recent episode of the KRQE news podcast, hosts Chris McKee and Gabrielle Burkhart talk about the Burkhart’s reporting on the ongoing closure, and discuss Tent Rocks’ history and geology with University of New Mexico Professor and geologist Gary Smith, who has studied the area since the 1980s.

Spotlighting IAIA—in St. Louis

The exhibition Action/Abstraction Redefined: Modern Native Art, 1940s–1970s aims to expand “the narrative of midcentury abstraction” and highlights “groundbreaking paintings, sculptures, textiles and works on paper that challenged stereotypical expectations of Native American art during the postwar era.” In doing so, the show spotlights groundbreaking artists such as Fritz Scholder, Lloyd Kiva New and Linda Lomahaftewa, with a particular emphasis on the role the Institute of American Indian Arts has played. While the show originated in 2018 at Santa Fe’s IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, an expanded version re-opened this week at the Saint Louis Art Museum, after Assistant Curator of Native America Art Alexander Brier Marr worked closely with IAIA to enhance the original show after he saw the exhibition. “We felt it was important to go deeper into the presentation of some of the key artists,” Marr tells the Art Newspaper, such as ceramicist and textile artist Anita Fields, who attended IAIA in the early 1970s and is now closely associated with the St. Louis area. Marr says the museum has been adding to its own collection of Native American works, with the new exhibition inspiring them to “see what is missing.” For instance: In March, the museum purchased Scholder’s New Mexico #45 (1966)—”the first post-war painting by a Native American artist to join its collection.”

And the graphic novel goes to…

Oscar award-winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis’s graphic novel Mother Nature will publish in both physical and digital forms Aug. 8 and—in case you’re wondering why we’re discussing this—the story is set in New Mexico. Kinda. Catch Creek, New Mexico is fictional, but based on the Four Corners area, according to Curtis’s co-author Russell Goldman, as relayed in a story from The Journal. Goldman describes the Four Corners region as “an amazing part of the world where every major source of energy is mined, and where the climate and resource crises are acutely felt.” To that end, the story’s plot: “After witnessing her engineer father die in mysterious circumstances on one of the Cobalt Corporation’s experimental oil extraction projects, Nova Terrell has grown up to hate the seemingly benevolent company that the town of Catch Creek, New Mexico, relies on for its livelihood and, thanks to the ‘Mother Nature’ project, its clean water.” Nova thusly “wages a campaign of sabotage and vandalism on the oil giant’s facilities and equipment, until one night she accidentally makes a terrifying discovery about the true nature of the ‘Mother Nature’ project and the malevolent, long-dormant horror it has awakened, and that threatens to destroy them all.” Yes, the graphic novel—with illustrations by Karl Stevens—has been adapted into a movie, reportedly by Comet Pictures and Blumhouse Productions. Yes, Curtis intends to direct said movie (here’s a Publishers Weekly interview from last spring with all three creators).

Feel the heat

The National Weather Service forecasts a slight chance of rain before noon, then a slight chance of thunderstorms after noon. Otherwise, it will be partly sunny, with a high temperature near 91 degrees and southwest wind 15 to 20 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. The whole state looks hot and windy this week, with record-high temps in Roswell.

Thanks for reading! The Word is following up on her travels by reading an essay in The New Yorker about why traveling is bad.

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