Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Santa Fe Schools Face Staffing Crisis |

COVID-19 in numbers

New Mexico health officials reported 1,025 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, underscoring concerns from state health officials earlier this week that the state’s case curve had stabilized and is no longer improving. The number of cases yesterday was the highest since August, bringing the nationwide total to 257,970; DOH has designated 228,486 of these cases as recovered.

San Juan County had 237 new cases, followed by Bernalillo County with 212 new cases and Sandoval County with 66. Santa Fe County had 42 new cases.

The state also announced 14 more deaths, 10 of them recently; There have now been 4,854 fatalities nationwide. 349 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized yesterday.

Currently, 80.5% of New Mexicans aged 18 and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 71.2% are fully vaccinated. In the 12 to 17 age group, 64.5% of people have received at least one dose and 55.4% are fully vaccinated. In Santa Fe County, 91.3% of those over 18 have received at least one dose and 81.3% are fully vaccinated.

You can read all of SFR’s COVID-19 coverage here.

SFPD faces personnel crisis

According to a recent survey by the National Education Association Santa Fe, nearly 200 educators and other staff in Santa Fe public schools are considering retiring in the next two years. NEA Santa Fe President Grace Mayer shared the results of that poll at the Santa Fe Public Schools Education Committee meeting (around the 57-minute mark) last night. The survey, which Mayer said included responses from 400 employees, rated opinions on topics ranging from childcare and testing to student homelessness and housing costs in Santa Fe. Nearly 200 of those surveyed said that Santa Fe housing costs – which continue to rise – could deter them from staying here. “I think we have to find out how we can react to this crisis together,” Mayer told the board of directors. “There are several [crises]and they really affect our community and our ability to maintain employment in the district. ”With schools already facing staffing issues, board president Kate Noble said she plans to put in a resolution that will declare the district ahead of a staffing crisis . “We need to bring this up as loudly as possible,” said Noble, pointing out that efforts should push the legislature and the city of Santa Fe to increase investment in public education and affordable housing. The SFPD’s personnel crisis currently reflects a national problem. A report released this week by New Mexico State University’s Southwest Outreach Academic Research Evaluation & Policy Center confirmed that the number of open teaching positions rose from 571 in 2020 to just over 1,000 in 2021, a number that the center’s director, Rachel Boren, described it as “harrowing”. ”

Former NM officer now advocates for car dealerships

Ken Ortiz, former secretary of the General Services Department of New Mexico, is now president of the New Mexico Automotive Dealers Association, defending state law that bans the direct sale of automobiles. Last month, Nambé Pueblo leaders announced a new partnership between Tesla and Nambé Pueblo in which the electric car maker will set up a sales and service center, the first of its kind with a tribal nation. The agreement also enabled Tesla to circumvent state laws and work directly with a sovereign nation. As cabinet secretary, Ortiz led the start of the state’s switch to an electric fleet. In his new role, Ortiz posted a comment this week reiterating the support for EV dealers and their sales benefits. “Consumers need retailers today more than ever,” writes Ortiz. “Whenever an unforeseen mechanical, software or electrical problem occurs with new vehicles, manufacturers need a well-distributed and well-trained service network. The existing trading community across the state is adequately paid and well established to meet these needs. ”Meanwhile, good government guards have questioned Ortiz’s rapid transition from civil servant to his new role. “The post-Tesla perception this generates is worrying,” said Heather Ferguson, executive director of the Common Cause New Mexico state accountability group. “Each of these things diminishes the national reputation of the state, whether companies come here and get a fair chance. That harms our economy. “

Drive on

The City of Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Metropolitan Planning Organization will host a pop-up event this weekend from Saturday, October 9th, 8:00 am through Sunday, October 10th, 4:00 pm, around a protected bike path to the east on the Paseo de Peralta of Cerrillos. to demonstrate road to Old Santa Fe Trail. According to a press release from the city, protected bike lanes have “a physical / vertical separation between bike and car lanes. They have been installed in hundreds of cities across the United States, but not yet in Santa Fe. It has been shown that this type of cycle path improves safety and comfort for all road users and especially for cyclists. ”Coincidentally, the Sunday demonstration coincides with the Santa Fe Century race, so there will be many cyclists nearby (more information the latter can be found below in our summary of the autumn weekend). If you want to explore the protected cycle path, you can plan your route with the cycle path and trail map. The MPO will also collect data to see how the public is reacting to the protected lane; you can learn more about the project here. And if that sounds funny, don’t forget Biketober (aka Santa Fe Bike Month), with plenty of opportunities to spin your bikes all month long.


If you haven’t checked out the Nativescape monthly podcast, now would be a great time. As described, Nativescape, presented by the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, offers “a collection of narratives from the creative world of Native Americans focusing on contemporary art, culture and Native American issues,” and aims to “voices, Inspiration, thoughts and ideas of the modern Indian country. ”The October program offers the artist, author and educator Shonto Begay (Diné) a special reading of his 1995 book Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa. (Begays show at the Wheelwright closed earlier this month, but you can follow the virtual opening here).

US Mint chooses NM woman for upcoming coin

The United States Mint announced this week that Adelina “Nina” Otero-Warren, the first Hispanic woman to run for US Congress and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools, will join five women in the next time American Women Quarters Program will be part of the year and will run through 2025. Author Maya Angelou, astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, the first female boss of the Cherokee nation Wilma Mankiller and the groundbreaking Sino-American film star Anna May Wong will also be part of the series. “These inspiring coin designs tell the stories of five extraordinary women whose contributions are indelibly engraved on American culture,” United States Mint assistant director Alison L. Doone said in a statement. “Generations to come will look at coins with these designs and be reminded of what can be achieved with vision, determination and a desire to improve the odds for all.” The coin that represents Otero-Warren, the one in New Mexico Campaign time was leading, her picture will show on the left, flanked by three individual yucca flowers (New Mexico’s state flower). The inscription reads: “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, “QUARTER DOLLAR”, “E PLUIBUS UNUM”, “NINA OTERO-WARREN” and “VOTO PARA LA MUJER”, the Spanish counterpart to the suffragist slogan “Votes for Women”. ”

Don’t sleep in the fall

To be clear: Autumn is the most beautiful time of the year. And the shortest. Get it while you can guys, because soon these trees will be bare, the temperatures will drop and those happy days will just be a faint yellow memory … Where have we been? Oh yes – the weekend! Saturday and Sunday is the last chance to take a ride on the chairlifts to admire the aspens, then listen to music and have a beer at Ski Santa Fe. Don’t want to wait until Saturday to start partying? Then not: The Santa Fe Brewing Company’s Oktoberfiesta starts today at 2 p.m. with live music, raffle giveaways, beer (natch), and an entrance fee paid for through a donation that goes to local nonprofits. This week’s SFR Picks includes information about the event as well as recommendations for Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday October 11th when there will be plenty of events at both the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and the Full Circle – indoors and outdoors at Farm Reunity Resources. Do you need a little road trip this weekend? The New Mexico Wildlife Center in Española hosts an open house Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering the chance to breathe in the fall air of northern New Mexico and perhaps experience a surprising encounter with animals. And once you’re there, you can head north for the Abiquiú Studio Tour, which runs all weekend to see art and the best scenery in the world. Also experience the fun of summer at the Railyard on Sunday, when the Santa Fe Century returns for 2021 and starts and ends for the first time at the Railyard, where you’ll not only find a whole lot of cyclists but also live music from Gold Tides, Rumba de Burque and The Sticky Live Funk.

Falling away

Santa Fe should be mostly sunny today and tomorrow, with high temperatures in the mid to high 70s and a bit breezy on Saturday afternoons with winds in the range of 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. On Sunday, the National Weather Service predicts a plunge with a 30% probability for showers and thunderstorms after noon and a maximum temperature of only 63 degrees. Thereafter? Pack up, buttercups: some parts of the state could freeze for the first time by Wednesday.

Thank you for reading! The word returns on Tuesday October 12th, possibly with a handful of fallen leaves. For today, she plans to spend a few more minutes admiring 480 Otis, winner of this year’s Fat Bear Week competition, and then catching up with the Bad Art Friend story everyone is talking about.

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