City begins land use code discussions
An open house tonight kicks off the start of public discussion and feedback on proposed changes to the City of Santa Fe’s land use code, which governs development in the city. The open house from 6 to 8 pm tonight at the Southside Library and a Planning Commission meeting from 6 to 8 pm tomorrow night at City Hall will introduce the draft assessment report of recommendations from staff and the public for proposed changes to Chapter 14 of the code. The land development code outlines how new development and redevelopment occurs in Santa Fe and “thus is an important tool for establishing and maintaining the city’s physical character,” the report reads. “The LDC establishes zoning districts for different areas of the city, identifies allowed land uses within those districts, sets development and design standards to ensure that development is of high quality, and lays out procedures for considering and approving development applications.” Daniel Alvarado, a senior Planner and Land Development code review project manager for the city’s Planning and Land Use Department, tells SFR via email the report is a draft for comment, not a final report “and certainly not the final draft of the code.” Detailed drafting, the report says, “will begin in the late fall of 2023 following discussion of this report.” A dedicated website for the land development code process indicates the second phase will begin next year and include “substantive revisions” to the procedures, regulations and zoning districts in the code; the third phase will integrate land use code updates to the general plan, which is undergoing its own separate revision process.
US Rep. Vasquez will vote yes to “condemn” NM gov
US House Republicans hope to “condemn” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for a now-rescinded 30-day suspension of open and concealed weapon carry in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. A House resolution, which members of the House Rules Committee discussed earlier this week, essentially reiterates the legal issues at play and “condemns” the governor “for blatantly violating the Second Amendment to the Constitution and depriving the citizens of New Mexico of their right to bear arms.” US Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández who represents New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District and is a Rules committee member, has not issued a statement on the resolution, but did speak during the committee meeting on the issue of gun violence, as well as the need for Congress to focus on federal rather than state issues. US Rep. Gabe Vasquez, D-NM, who represents the more historically conservative 2nd Congressional District, however, said in a statement he will vote yes on the resolution, noting: “We must produce constitutional, legal and enforceable solutions that will help protect our children and our families.” Vasquez’s statement also notes “we should all be equally concerned that the Republican-controlled House is on the verge of a government shutdown because of its internal chaos and inability to govern.” US Rep. Melanie Stansbury in the 1st Congressional District says she will vote against the resolution.
The governor, in a statement provided to SFR by her office, characterized the resolution as “meaningless” and said Congress should be focusing on passing “meaningful gun safety laws that will save lives in Albuquerque and across the country. Republicans in Congress have already shown they won’t lift a finger to get guns out of the wrong hands. The fact is that they lack the courage to take on the NRA and far-right special interests. I will—without hesitation—continue to stand up for victims in New Mexico and fight to keep our citizens safe.”
Insurance chief orders more access to behavorial health care
New Mexico’s Superintendent of Insurance Alice T. Kane yesterday issued an emergency order that requires commercial health insurers to “expand timely access” to behavioral health services. The order comes in response to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Sept. 15 declaration of a public health emergency due to drug abuse. According to a news release, Kane’s order requires major medical health insurers to cover out-of-network behavioral health services at costs applied to “comparable in-network services such as primary care physician or specialist visits or inpatient hospital stays.” In-network behavioral health services will continue to be provided with no out-of-pocket costs pursuant to legislation passed in 2021. “The effects of untreated substance use disorders and behavioral health conditions have been devastating to the people of New Mexico.” Kane said in a statement. “My office is committed to reducing barriers to vital care and doing everything we can to improve timely access to critical behavioral health care services.” The Sept. 19 order applies to all fully-insured individual, small and large group health plans, including those sold through the New Mexico health insurance marketplace, beWellnm. “Consumers can consult the back of their health insurance ID card to determine whether the order applies to them. If the card references OSI’s Managed Health Care Bureau (MHCB) for consumer assistance, the order applies to your coverage,” the news release says.
Dark Winds renewed for third season
AMC announced yesterday it has renewed the made-in-New Mexico western noir television show Dark Winds for season three. The first two were seasons filmed here at Camel Rock Studios, the first tribally owned film studio. Based on Tony Hillerman’s Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee detective novels, the show stars Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon and Jessica Matten. Season two just ended, and season one is currently being featured on Max “as part of a two-month programming pop-up of select AMC Networks’ shows on the Warner Bros. Discovery streaming service,” an AMC news release notes. “We started this journey with very high hopes for this series, given the remarkable source material and extraordinary creative team behind it, and it has delivered on every level,” Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks said in a statment. “From the beloved novels, to an incredibly collaborative producing team that includes Robert Redford, George RR Martin, showrunner John Wirth and star Zahn McClarnon, to the entire cast and crew, there is so much storytelling yet to come in this universe. Thanks to the fans for embracing this series and the critics for celebrating and shining a light on it.”
The most recent episode of ¡Colores! on New Mexico PBS turns an eye to Indigenous fashion, with designer and beadwork artist Sage Mountainflower (Ohkay Owingeh, Taos Pueblo and the Navajo Nation). When she was a child, Mountainflower says, she would scribble on her shoes with a Sharpie. “I was just drawing my own little designs, like doodling and things like that. I wanted to add something that was native on it, and now it’s so amazing how the Indigenous fashion is just booming and evolving.” Acclaimed Indigenous designer, Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo) also appears on the show as part of the ongoing “Making History” series from the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Oooh, that smell
Nothing says New Mexico like the scent of roasting green chile…in Brooklyn. Harper’s Bazaar reports on New Mexico’s favorite New York outpost, Ursula in Brooklyn, run by Albuquerque native Eric See, whose quest to replicate his native home’s cuisine has received much acclaim since he founded his restaurant mid-pandemic in the spring of 2020 (including two James Beard nominations). Harper’s spoke with See as he traveled with his father back to New York from Albuquerque, 1,400 pounds of chiles in in tow to throw his fourth annual New Mexican Chile Roast, which took place Sept. 5 at the Meat Hook butcher shop in Brooklyn (here’s the menu). See walks writer Andrea Aliseda through the roasting process and she writes: “When I turn the corner of Brooklyn’s Graham Avenue, my nose knows I’ve arrived before my eyes do. The street is perfumed with a toasty vegetal waft, laced with a hint of spice from the chiles roasting in the barrels.” (Aliseda does not mention that waft is New Mexico’s official aroma, so we will). Aliseda chronicles the event, noting that “…for a balmy afternoon in this corner of Bed-Stuy, New Yorkers get a little taste of a cherished New Mexican tradition.” New York isn’t the only place celebrating chile season. Oklahoma City El Coyote New Mexican Bar & Cantina restaurant owner and chef Jonathon Stranger wanted to evoke a sense of Santa Fe where his dad grew up and where his family still has a home. “There is a place in Santa Fe on Canyon Road called El Farol, which has been there forever,” Stranger tells the Oklahoman newspaper. “What we really, really wanted to dial in here is this overall sensory experience of New Mexico.” Stranger is celebrating his restaurant’s one-year anniversary with a Hatch Chile Roast on Sept. 23.
Running away from home
The Washington Post profiles Uriah Augare-Deal, a high school cross country and track athlete who lives in Maryland—where he attends and runs for Springbrook High School—but who grew up in Gallup, where the story begins. Augare-Deal had returned home to see his ailing grandmother, who died while he was home, leaving the young athlete with a sense of guilt for having left. But both he and his older brother, Kendon, the story notes, were seen as rising sports stars from the start, and that recognition continued in Maryland. Still, the change in culture was palpable. Augare-Deal, who the story says “associates” with both the Navajo Nation and the Amskapi Piikani from the Blackfoot Confederacy, and his brother would come home from school “and I can recall just them saying, ‘Oh, my gosh, Mom, there are no Natives, and it’s only us,’” their mother tells the Post. And while non-White students comprise 94% of the population, Augare-Deal says he’s fairly certain his classmates had never seen a Native American person before he and his brother arrived there. While he began to acclimate, he also ran to work through his grief and became one of the school’s top runners; at meets, his mother attached eagle feathers to the back of her son’s jerseys for protection, attracting looks from other runners. “At first, the glances concerned the runner,” the story notes. “Now Augare-Deal hopes his feathers are seen by runners at every meet he runs, fading into the distance as his long legs carry him home.”
The National Weather Service forecasts increasing clouds today, with a high temperature near 78 degrees and southwest wind 5 to 15 mph. Tonight may bring isolated showers before 9 pm and again after midnight with a 20% chance for precipitation.
Thanks for reading! The Word enjoyed watching this year’s Vogue World show Royal Albert Hall (especially Annie Lennox and the choir’s performance at about the 32-minute mark).