President Obama, Biden campaign for Gov. Lujan Grisham
gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign committee yesterday released a new video in which fellow Democrat and former President Barack Obama endorsed her re-election bid. Lujan Grisham faces GOP challenger Mark Ronchetti in the Nov. 8 contest. “When it comes to health care, Gov. Lujan Grisham has delivered,” Obama says. “She capped the cost of insulin, and created the Health Care Affordability Fund to help tens of thousands of New Mexicans access care. And while other states were banning abortion, she took action to protect the rights of women. This November, you have a choice. Build on this progress, or take New Mexico backwards.” In a statement, Lujan Grisham said she was “honored” to earn Obama’s support. “I’ve worked hard to build on his legacy by making health care more affordable in New Mexico, and I will always fight to ensure that women can access an abortion in this state,” she said. Obama’s former vice president, current President Joe Biden, also plans to return to New Mexico to support Lujan Grisham. Biden, who came in June for a briefing on the state’s wildfire recovery, will visit on Nov. 3 visit for as-yet-to-be-detailed campaign activities, The White House announced yesterday.
Ronchetti, in response to Biden’s pending visit, tweeted that he looked forward to it: “Biden-MLG policies have led to higher gas prices, open borders, and drugs in our neighborhoods,” he wrote. Ronchetti also has received an endorsement: from Mark Lee Dickson, described in a Huffington Post story yesterday as a self-identifying 36-year-old virgin and “the architect of Texas’s radical abortion law.” Dickson, who says HuffPost has successfully helped pass 50 ordinances in Texas cities and elsewhere banning abortion, has now “set his sights” on New Mexico, with both Clovis and Hobbs set to vote on such proposals next month in which he played a hand. Dickson, the story says, has endorsed Ronchetti several times, including in this Facebook post from earlier this month in which they are pictured together.
DA: Rust review will now begin
First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced yesterday the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office has turned over its investigative report on the Oct. 21, 2021 shooting incident on the Rust film set, in which a gun fired by Alec Baldwin killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza. “The District Attorney and her team of investigators and prosecutors will now begin a thorough review of the information and evidence to make a thoughtful, timely decision about whether to bring charges,” spokesperson Heather Brewer said in a statement. “As with all cases that the District Attorney handles, her focus will be on upholding the integrity of the process, enforcing the laws of the state of New Mexico, and pursuing justice.” SFR has filed a public records request with the sheriff’s office for its report. According to spokesman Juan Rios, the department plans to redact confidential information from the case file before releasing it as a public document, which may take until Nov. 10. The report, however, does not “set forth any recommendations relative to criminal charges, Rios said. Rather, it’s an extensive report of findings of fact. “We’ll continue to work with the district attorney’s office and their review of the case,” he said. Earlier this month, Rust Movie Productions settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Hutchins’ husband Matthew Hutchins, who announced the movie would resume production (not here) and he would be serving as an executive producer. An administrative complaint against Rust Productions by the state environment department’s Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission—which the movie company has appealed—remains pending, with an eight-day hearing scheduled for April 2023.
City of Santa Fe maintains AA+ bond rating
Independent rating agency Fitch Ratings this week affirmed the City of Santa Fe’s bond ratings at AA+ and says the outlook for those bonds is stable. Those bonds include: $16.6 million general obligation bonds; $38.8 million senior lien gross receipts tax revenue bonds; and $55.1 million in subordinate lien GRT revenue bonds. The city’s financial performance, Fitch says in its report, “remains sound through the current recovery from the pandemic. The city’s primary revenue source, state and local GRTs, remained stable in fiscal 2021 as strong construction sector activity pronounced offset declines in the tourism sector. Significant restructuring of city operations imposed in anticipation of pandemic-induced revenue pressures lead to a nearly 8% decline in general fund expenditures.” The agency’s AA+ rating, City Manager John Blair said in a statement, “is a meaningful indication that the city’s finances are stable, secure and that city financial leadership has taken appropriate measures to ensure financial resilience. This rating reinforces the city’s continuing commitment to sound financial management.” City Finance Director Emily K. Oster, in a statement, described the ratings as “a testament to our city’s strong financial health.” The good news follows ongoing travails with the city’s audits; earlier this month, city officials said they expect to complete the 2021 audit—which was due last December—in June 2023.
COVID-19 by the numbers
Reported Oct 28: New cases: 546; 626,714 total cases; Deaths: two; Santa Fe County has had 357 total deaths; there have been 8,633 fatalities statewide. Statewide hospitalizations: 108. Patients on ventilators: three. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent Oct. 27 “community levels” map, which uses a combination of hospital and case rate metrics to calculate COVID-19 risk for the prior seven-day period, nine New Mexico counties are now “yellow,” aka have medium risk levels (two more than last week): Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, Torrance, Socorro, Cibola, Grant, De Baca and San Juan. The rest of New Mexico’s counties continue to have green, aka low, levels. Corresponding recommendations for each level can be found here.
Resources: CDC interactive booster eligibility tool; NM DOH vaccine & booster registration; CDC isolation and exposure interactive tool; curative testing sites; COVID-19 treatment information; 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.
With winter approaching, your garden may not be top of mind. But The Garden Journal podcast always provides plenty of horticultural fodder, regardless of the weather. On the most recent episode, hosts Christine Salem and Alexa Bradford talk to Bill McDorman, a “preeminent leader in the global seed saving movement,” about the Heritage Grain Alliance; the perils of seed patenting; and McDorman’s recent participation in the Ninth Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
Halloween weekend is night
Halloween and Día de Muertos proper fall on weekdays this year, which means this weekend is filled with plenty of opportunities for costumes, candy, crafts and carousing. Today kicks off the new Día de Muertos Celebration on the Plaza (Oct. 28-29), featuring music, performances and, of course, memorial altars—ofrendas. The Museum of International Folk Art will also host its annual Day of the Dead event 1 to 4 pm on Sunday. At 7 pm tonight, Second Street hosts “Nightmare on Rufina Street,” with a slew of local bands performing covers; a costume contest; and a pop-up art market. At 9 pm tonight, Chomp food hall (505 Cerrillos Road) hosts a “Freaky Friday ’80s Vs ’90s Halloween Dance Party,” with Dj D-Monic Dynamite Sol and $500 in costume contest prizes (costumes required to enter; $10 tickets here ). Joe West’s Theater of Death production, “Virus” continues through Oct. 30 at Beer Creek Brewing. El Rey Court (1862 Cerrillos Road) opens its Pumpkin Patch from 6 to 9 pm tonight and tomorrow, providing a chance to pose for fall photos while enjoying a cocktail and some Tender Fire pizza. Carlos Gilbert Elementary School (300 Griffin St.) holds its annual Halloween carnival—in person this year—from noon to 5 pm tomorrow, featuring a costume contest, games, a haunted house, music by DJ Melanie Moore and other attractions. The fourth annual Trunk or Treat goes down at noon on Sunday, Oct. 30 at Santa Fe Place Mall. Believe it or not, that’s not all (that might not even be helped). Find even more spooky-fun events in SFR’s online calendar.
NM announces Excellence in the Arts award recipients
Two Santa Fe artists are among the eight recipients of the 2022 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts, announced yesterday by the state Department of Cultural Affairs. Contemporary wood santero sculptor Arthur López’s work has been exhibited internationally, and he previously received a 2019 United States Artists Fellow in Traditional Arts; The Folk Art Society of America’s Award of Distinction in 2017; and the City of Santa Fe’s 2015 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Santa Fe architect Beverley Spears, FAIA, is the author of American Adobes (UNM Press, 1987) and Early Churches of Mexico: An Architect’s View (UNM Press, 2017); Spears in 2002 became a member of the national College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects; the following year, the Old Santa Fe Association honored her “for her contributions to the character and traditions of Santa Fe.” Her firm, Spears Horn Architects, also has received numerous design awards. This marks the 48th year for the Governor’s awards.
It may have looked winter-like in Red River yesterday, but in Santa Fe, it was mostly just chilly. The National Weather Service forecasts a warm, sunny dry weekend ahead, with a high temperature of 54 degrees today and 57 degrees on Saturday and Sunday. Our next storm doesn’t look likely to hit until later next week.
Thanks for reading! On the one hand, The Word doesn’t find the agenda to obliterate women’s bodily autonomy particularly amusing. On the other hand, Amy Schumer can make anything funny.