Mayor will propose gun ban for city spaces
In his new weekly letter about city government, Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber says he intends to propose a ban on guns in municipal spaces—comparable to Albuquerque’s ban—in the wake of the horrendous May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas , as well as those in Buffalo, New York and Laguna Woods, California. “This is sickening,” Webber writes. “Saddening. depression ringing Motivating. We need to talk about it, and we need to do something about it.” The proposal to ban guns in city buildings, parks and spaces is one of seven actions the mayor suggests, including increasing the pressure on the state Legislature to pass more meaningful gun reform. “Our message to the State on gun safety legislation: Lead, follow or get out of the way.” If the Legislature fails to do so, the mayor adds, lawmakers should amend the state Constitution, which preempts local governments from enacting restrictions more stringent than state law. “If you won’t pass additional meaningful gun laws,” Webber writes, “then do away with the Constitutional prohibition against our taking action.” Webber’s letter also cites gun buy-backs; gun violence prevention programs in schools; various behavioral interventions; and violence intervention programs as steps that need to be taken to curb gun violence. Webber says he intends to proclaim Friday, June 3 as Gun Violence Awareness Day in Santa Fe.
Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire 50% contained
Despite difficult weather conditions throughout Memorial Day weekend, the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire saw only small growth and increased containment. As of last night, the fire was at 315,223 acres and 50% containment. Fire officials also announced they are decreasing the number of virtual community meetings as of yesterday from daily to three times a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. “We know there are some concerns about changing the frequency of these community meetings,” Public Information Officer Chris Barth said during last night’s meeting. “Know that this change is a direct result of the positive progress firefighters have made in containing this fire and limiting fire growth.” Downgraded evacuation orders were issued over the weekend for Upper and Lower Colonias and Lower La Posada communities; Areas in the Pecos Canyon corridor, such as Holy Ghost, Cow Creek and Calf Canyon, remain in “go” status. While today will present red flag conditions for firefighters, weather forecasts show increased moisture, higher relative humidity and slightly lower winds Wednesday through Saturday, although a chance for thunderstorms could bring erratic winds and lightning.
ICYMI, on Friday, the US Forest Service reported the cause of the Calf Canyon Fire: a prescribed pile burn conducted by the agency in January, which remained dormant before re-emerging in April. New Mexico’s April 22 wind event created significant fire spread, and the Calf Canyon Fire merged with the Hermits Peak Fire, which was caused by an escaped prescribed burn. “The pain and suffering of New Mexicans caused by the actions of the US Forest Service—an agency that is intended to be a steward of our lands—is unfathomable,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement responding to the revelation of the fire’s cause. The announcement, she said, is “a first step toward the federal government taking full responsibility for the largest wildfire in state history.” (The human-caused Black Fire in the Gila National Forest could end up surpassing Hermits Creek/Calf Canyon; it’s currently at 246,648 acres and 26% containment). US Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, D-NM, also released a statement saying learning the US Forest Service also caused the Calf Canyon Fire “adds to our sense of outrage. The destruction of these two fires caused is immeasurable and will be felt for generations. The federal government must take responsibility for the damage both fires caused.”
State launches infant formula website
In response to the ongoing national shortage of infant formula, the state health department has launched a new website, NMformula.com, with resources for both the public and families eligible for the state’s Women, Infants and Children program. “This website provides medically reliable information for families with questions about how to ensure their children receive proper nutrition,” Acting Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase said in a statement. “We are committed to assist families in New Mexico during this national formula shortage until it is resolved and want to remind anyone caring for an infant to understand the necessity of assuring formula is used in ways that are both accurate and safe for the child.” Early Childhood Education and Care Department Chief Health Officer Dr. Janis Gonzales said the site includes information that will help people learn “how to increase their supply of infant formula safely and responsibility.” ECECD also recently created the NM Infant Formula Support Network on Facebook. A DOH news release says New Mexicans can also help others who are in need by donating through Human Milk Repository of New Mexico.
COVID-19 by the numbers
Reported May 27:
New cases: 795; 533,867 total cases
Death’s: 22; At last count, Santa Fe County had 297 total deaths; there have been 7,778 total fatalities statewide. Hospitalizations: 113. Patients on ventilators: 15
Case rates: Santa Fe County had the highest COVID-19 case rates in the state for the week of May 16-22, 45.9 per 100,000 population, according to the health department’s most recent report on geographical trends; DOH says its weekly reports will update on June 1, due to the Memorial Day weekend holiday.
Community levels: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “community levels” tracking system—which uses case rates along with two hospital metrics in combination to determine the state of the virus on a county level—classifies nine NM counties as “yellow” or medium for risk: Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Sandoval, Bernalillo, Cibola, De Baca, Grant, and Doña Ana counties. The rest of the state remains “green” for low community levels. The CDC updates its community levels on Thursdays. CDC recommendations for individuals and communities based on the community level rankings can be found here.
Resources: Vaccine registration; Booster registration Free at-home rapid antigen tests; Self-report a positive COVID-19 test result to the health department; COVID-19 treatment info: oral treatments Paxlovid (age 12+) and Molnupiravir (age 18+); and monoclonal antibody treatments. Toolkit for immunocompromised individuals. 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.
KSFR’s Garden Journal podcast features a Homegrown edition the last Saturday of the month with guest Jannine Cabossel, aka The Tomato Lady. On the most recent episode, Cabossel offers tips and tricks for preparing your vegetable garden now that June is (almost) here, along with some very handy advice on how to deal with weeds (yes, pulling them is one of the options).
We’re not going to spoil Season Four of Stranger Things, which dropped on Netflix last week—except to say we support any storyline that helps put Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” back on the music charts. Parts of the season filmed in New Mexico—Albuquerque, specifically—a place Production Designer Chris Trujillo says he visited before production to ensure it could stand in for the landscape of the show. What most surprised Trujillo about New Mexico, he tells Condé Nast Traveler, what “how much variation there is. There’s everything from these white sands to stark yellows and tans. And then there’s the very beautiful painted foothills desert landscapes, too. The vastness and the variety of desert there was really surprising.” He’d only spent brief periods in the desert prior to Stranger Things, he says, “camping here and there on occasional cross-country trips. I knew there was something special about it, but [taking] this special extended tour of all the different flavors of New Mexican desert was incredible.” The show also filmed in Atlanta and Lithuania.
All for the best
A few of the outdoor activities Travel & Leisure recommends in its “23 Best Things to Do in Santa Fe” story will have to wait until the fire danger ebbs and trails reopen. The rest of the list includes the usual suggestions (Meow Wolf, margaritas, museums) along with a couple of solid, if less-over-hyped, ideas, such as visiting the Chuck Jones Gallery; taking glass-blowing classes at Liquid Light Glass; and chowing down on fish tacos at Bumble Bee Baja Grill. Santa Fe, T & L writes, is “a bit of an anomaly” as far as capital cities go. “The New Mexico capital is surprisingly small, with just over 80,000 people, and is set in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Instead of skyscrapers, you’ll find Pueblo-style architecture, and the entire city revolves around the traditional plaza, where arts and handicrafts are still sold to this day.”
Much as we enjoy the endless churn of lifestyle magazines’ takes on Santa Fe as a skyscraper-lacking margarita-drinking village, the only take we really value is SFR readers’ picks for the city’s best everything. At least for another 16 hours or so. The 2022 Best of Santa Fe voting comes to an end at midnight when the calendar turns to June, but that leaves you all day and most of the night to get going (it should not take that long). Yes, it’s a full ballot with lots of choices for the best in arts, dining, entertainment, cannabis, business, shopping, health and more. But you don’t have to fill out the entire ballot to participate. If you’re into recon, scope last year’s winners here. If you’re the social media type, share your choices with the hashtag #BOSF2022. And be sure to mark your calendars for Friday, July 29 when the Best of Santa Fe party returns to the Railyard for five hours of music, games, booths, giveaways and more.
Waiting for rain
Santa Fe today should be sunny with a high near 78 degrees and north wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southwest 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. The National Weather Service also forecasts a chance for some rainstorms around these parts later this week.
Thanks for reading! The Word thinks Abba’s Hologram reunion concert sounds very strange.