Morning Word

Police Arrest Teens, Seize Guns and Drugs, from Santa Fe Drive-By Shooting

Mexican wolf Asha returns to New Mexico

SFPD arrest teens, seize guns and drugs, from drive-by shooting

Santa Fe Police, in conjunction with the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office, the Bernalillo Sheriff’s Office, state police and homeland security department this week arrested two teenagers in connection with an Oct. 14 drive-by shooting in Santa Fe in which no one was injured. According to a news release, the multiple agencies executed search and arrest warrants resulting in the apprehension of Joshua Horne and Abraham Pineda, both 16 and residents of Santa Fe. In addition to making the arrests, police also seized multiple firearms, ammunition and illegal narcotics they believe to be fentanyl. Santiago Randolph, 19, of Santa Fe, and Robert Valencia Jr., 16, of Rio Rancho, were both identified as well and voluntarily surrendered. A remaining suspect identified as a person of interest in the drive-by shooting, Ezekial Deras, 18, also from Santa Fe, is currently sought for unrelated active arrest warrants and remains at large. “Our community is safer with these guns and drugs off the street, and I’m deeply grateful to our law enforcement partners for their work and collaboration,” Santa Fe Police Chief Paul Joye says in a statement. “As a community, our youth are being traumatized and attacked by drugs and violence, and it’s incredibly important that aside from law enforcement, we have community partners who can engage our at-risk youth before decisions are made that ruin and scar lives forever.” The charges against Pineda, Randolph and Valencia Jr. include shooting at or from a motor vehicle; aggravated burglary; conspiracy; criminal damage to property; and negligent use of a weapon. Pineda, Horne and Valencia Jr. were slated to be booked at San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center; Randolph was been booked at the Santa Fe County Adult Detention Center.

Gov. Lujan Grisham renews gun violence order

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced yesterday she will renew executive orders declaring gun violence and substance abuse public health emergencies today through Dec. 1. “The work of local and state partners, especially law enforcement, in the last two months is yielding real results for the Albuquerque community,” the governor says in a statement. “But now is no time to slow down, and we will continue our efforts to eradicate gun violence.” The governor first announced a state of public emergency on Sept. 7, and then curtailed the order as it related to bans on concealed carry in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County following multiple legal challenges. In early October, the state unveiled a new dashboard that tracks violent crime in Bernalillo County. Yesterday, the governor’s office said since the Sept. 7 order, there have been 1,441 arrests, 86 guns seized and 2,511 traffic citations issued in that region. The order also directs state police to hold gun buyback events, three of which will happen tomorrow in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Española.

City hires new director for Midtown redevelopment

recent SFR cover story examined the progress to date and the forthcoming plans for the City of Santa Fe’s Midtown project. Those plans include a new director, announced yesterday, who will oversee the new Metropolitan Redevelopment Area on and around the campus: Karen Iverson. In a nutshell, state statute allows municipalities to designate areas as “blighted” or under-used in order to establish MRAs. That designation, in turn, lets the city establish public/private partnerships that don’t violate the state anti-donation clause, and access additional federal funds. The city previously developed the Santa Fe Railyard with such a mechanism. The City Council took steps last summer to create the formal MRA designation for the Midtown Campus; Mayor Alan Webber tells SFR one of Iverson’s assignments will be creating a map to further define the MRA area. Iverson, an Albuquerque native, previously launched the City of Albuquerque’s MRA: the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency, which the city’s news release says “tripled its development pipeline to $160 million and implemented several innovative programs to catalyze investment, activation and redevelopment in downtown Albuquerque” under Iverson’s leadership. The MRA, Iverson tells SFR, is “a really broad tool set that at the state level allows the local community to decide what kinds of tools to implement, and we’ll be going through that process with the local community as we set up the new MRA commission and are looking at designating potential areas for reinvestment.” The City Council will next appoint members to the commission, and Iverson, who will be paid a salary of $109,999, will oversee its operations.

Mexican wolf Asha returns

Perhaps jealous of all the attention Marty the Moose has been receiving or, less anthropomorphically, for her own reasons, Mexican gray wolf F2754—known by some as Asha—has returned to New Mexico. The US Fish & Wildlife Service reported yesterday the wolf, who is transmitting her location via a radio collar, had been documented crossing out of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area north of Interstate 40 in New Mexico and was last located in the Jemez Mountains west of Jemez Springs. Both FWS and the state Department of Game and Fish are monitoring the wolf’s movements. As environmental journalist Laura Paskus reported for SFR in January, the wolf left her pack—disbursed—last year and walked out of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area and 500 miles to New Mexico, where Game and Fish employees tracked her via helicopter and captured her on private land not far from Angel Fire. FWS returned Asha to the wild in Arizona in June. She is protected under the Endangered Species Act, FWS said via news release yesterday, and “anyone convicted of killing, harming or harassing an endangered Mexican wolf is subject to a fine and/or criminal charges.” Wildlife advocates yesterday released statements urging the government also leave Asha alone. “This is an incredible wolf who has shown us that she’s determined to see what’s beyond the current recovery area,” Greta Anderson, deputy director of Western Watersheds Project, says in a statement. “There’s no reason to remove her. She’s never had conflict with livestock, never displayed any human habituation, and simply wants to run north. I hope we let her, and see what we can learn from her wandering.”

Listen up

No, we don’t have an advanced set list for Lisa Loeb’s concert tomorrow night in Santa Fe (7:30 pm, Scottish Rite Temple), but we’ll go out on a limb and predict an evening of overall positivity (whether she sings “What the World Needs Now” or not). Sure, her ‘90s hit “Stay (I Missed You)” is probably guaranteed, but so is new music, which has been evolving naturally over the years, she tells SFR, into family-friendly and more collaborative work. And she recognizes her audiences these days span generations. “I’ve been doing this for so long that there are parents and grandparents and kids,” she says, some of whom know her for more than music. “I had a show on The Food Network; on my life as a single woman for a dating show on E!” she notes. “It’s so many different things.”

Indigenous artists on home and community

Harper’s Bazaar magazine interviews three Indigenous artists regarding why “community building is inherent to their work,” including Rose. B Simpson (Pueblo of Santa Clara) and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation), also a New Mexico resident, along with Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock). Simpson’s exhibition Counterculture displays at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York through January, 2024; Quick-to-See Smith had her first New York respective at the Whitney this year (currently on display at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth through Jan. 21), and curated the show “The Land Carries Our Ancestors: Contemporary Art by Native Americans,” on view through Jan. 15 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Dennis founded Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio in New York. All three artists reflect upon the impact their homelands have on their work. “I don’t think I really knew how impacted by home I was as an artist,” Simpson says. “I had to leave my ancestral homelands where I grew up and was born, in Northern New Mexico, to realize how important it is to me—that it is not just the people but the place that is family to me.” Regarding community building, Quick-to-See Smith says she’s argued for inclusion for Native artists and artists of color for a long time, and is happy to finally see their inclusion in shows. “I don’t know how long this is going to last, it’s like manna from heaven,” she says. “But I’m doing it, and I’ll keep doing it if I can get the door cracked so that I can bring my community in with me.”

NM adventures

Santa Fe is “more than just a pretty place,” author and screenwriter Judith Hennessey writes for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. For those without a subscription to the newspaper, one can read the story and view Hennessey’s photos on her travel blog. She first visited Santa Fe in 1998 when, apparently, arriving at the Santa Fe Regional Airport was a pleasant experience. She was expecting New Mexico to be like Arizona; it was not. “I knew I wanted to spend more than a weekend soaking in this mysterious feeling,” she writes, adding: “And so I have returned, like so many writers, artists, archeologists and architects in the past. For more than two decades I return several times a year; each time I discover something new. Each time I dig deeper. The more I dig the more I understand what makes Santa Fe and New Mexico so unique.” The story continues to provide a look at the history of the city, along with some outdoor, art and cuisine recommendations. The blog also provides another story Hennessey wrote for the Post-Dispatch on Ted Turner Reserves’ Vermejo property. “I have dreamed of going on Safari since I was a young girl,” she writes, an idea inherited from her father who went on safari in Africa several times. The COVID-19 pandemic made it seem as if the dream would never be realized, until she found Vermejo. “This was the adventure I was looking for,” she notes, “and I didn’t even need a passport or an international flight.”

Fall back

The National Weather Service forecasts a sunny day, with a high temperature near 61 degrees and north wind 10 to 15 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Look for much of the same throughout the weekend. Don’t forget: Daylight Saving ends at 2 am Sunday, ushering in daylight earlier for school-children and newsletter writers, and less light in the evening for everyone else. And, yes, we’re sharing the John Oliver bit again and probably will until this madness ends.

Thanks for reading! The Word knows the critics may be predictably correct about the mediocrity of the “new” AI-assisted Beatles’ song, “Now and Then,” but she found it really moving nonetheless. The Word is a sap.

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