Santa Fe City Hall Nixes Richards Ave. land purchase; The expansion project continues (2023)

The city will proceed with the Richards Ave plan.

on aspecial meetinglast night,The Santa Fe City Council voted unanimouslysuspend the purchase of 23 acres of state land to expand Richards Avenue between Siringo Road and Rodeo Road. The vote follows last Friday's decision by the state Gaming Commission to reject the city's $2.1 million bid for the land. The collapse of the agreement dates backCity government's long-discussed plans to connect the north and south ends of Richards Avenue, argue supporters of the measure, which will ease traffic in the southwest corner of Santa Fe, but get more drivers to use residential streets, according to local residents. Despite the setback, city officials say they will move forward with the Richards Avenue connection. "We are going to fully move forward with the project," Regina Wheeler, director of public works, told the board. That could mean the city will buy land to build the connection between the north and south ends of Richards Avenue, Mayor Alan Webber told SFR. However, he would like the city to be able to use the larger lot for affordable housing. "It's a clear opportunity," he says.

Anti-Crime Bill Targets Retail Thieves

House Bill 234would create a new category of organized retail theft for those who steal or engage in goods worth at least $2,500 or more directly from others over the course of a year, and would redefine “extortion” to include organized crime in luxury stores. retail. The bill, introduced last week by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other officials, follows the governor's recent establishment of the Advisory Council on Corporate Crime Reduction. The bill, sponsored by State Representative Marian Matthews, D-Albuquerque, would also allow multiple retail theft crimes to be aggregated over a period of time to target repeat offenders. "Virtually everyone I know has a history of shoplifting and wants it to stop," Matthews said in a statement. "Organized retail crime puts retail store employees and shoppers at risk, and it's about time New Mexico laws took this behavior seriously."A press release announcing the billNotes onRetail Industry Leaders Association Report 2021which estimated the economic impact of New Mexico's stolen sales at $819.8 million. “There is no question that organized retail crime is negatively impacting the bottom line of New Mexico businesses, especially small ones,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement. "This insidious crime also means higher prices for New Mexico consumers - it's time to crack down on organized retail theft."

HSD cancels a Medicaid RFP

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Following the news that the Minister of Human Services, Dr. David Scrase and Medicaid Director Nicole Comeaux will be leaving the department, HSD announced yesterday that they arecanceled the procurement process for selecting managed care organizationsto serve the state's 800,465 Medicaid Centennial Care members. Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grishamannounced last weekScrase is retiring on February 24th. Last week,HSD announced the departure of Comeaux, who has headed the Health Care Department since January 2019. A press release published yesterday states that theoriginal call for proposalswill be revoked "so that new agency leadership can assess the design of the acquisition" in light of the planned departures of Scrase and Comeaux. That proposal was launched in September 2022, when the state entered into contracts with its current managed care organizations: Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico; Presbyterian Health Plan; and Western Sky Community Care - expires at the end of 2023.HSD listed at the timethat starting in 2024, the state Medicaid program known as Centennial Care 2.0 will become Turquoise Care and will begin operations with the newly awarded MCOs. HSD said yesterday that "the current contracts will remain pending a new accelerated call for proposals (RFP) so that there is no interruption in the services provided".

Difficult lessons in nature

AND Christian Science MonitorSpending time in Mora County, studying the effectsLauffeuer am Hermits Peak/Calf Canyonand the ensuing flood has hit the children and, like the Mora Independent School District, is trying to help them recover. The story begins with a field trip to a farm that lost half of its 300 acres in the fire, where students are given "seed bombs" to plant anywhere to demonstrate their resilience, part of the District's "Expeditional Learning" model. to take students outdoors. . The district also hired a second social worker and "doubled down on the logistical arrangements," as "I want them to recover," says MISD Superintendent Marvin MacAuley, a former US Forest Service firefighter.the exhibitionabout 400 students from the district. "I want them to succeed. I want them to be valued members of the community who appreciate their cultures and traditions and bring our area back to life.”

COVID-19 numbers me

Reported on Jan 30th:new cases: 353 (including weekends); 664,708 total cases.Died: five; Santa Fe County had388 deaths in total8,948 deaths statewide.across the stateAdmissions: 67.patients on ventilators: Cinco

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ICYMI, once oThe World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 remains a global health emergency.but said the pandemic was "probably at a transition point".

The latest January 26 report from the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionMap of “Municipal Levels”shows four counties classified as “yellow” (medium risk) for COVID-19, up from one last week: De Baca, Curry, Quay and Roosevelt counties. The rest of the state, including Santa Fe County, is green, meaning low risk. Appropriate recommendations can be found for each level.Here.

resources: Receive four free home COVID-19 tests per; Check availability of additional free COVID-19 testsACT project;interactive CDCBoost permissions tool; NM DOH vaccine and boosterrecord; Centers for Disease Control and Preventionisolation and exposureinteractive tool; COVID-19TreatmentInformation; NMDOHImmunkompromittiertes Toolkit. Individuals seeking treatment who do not have a physician can call the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453. DOH encourages residents to download thenm notification appand report positive home tests for COVID-19 in the app.

You can read all of SFR's COVID-19 coverageHere.

To hear

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In a recent episode ofboardsmagazineWhat is the nextPodcast, Host Mary Harris speaks with New Mexico State Senator Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, whose home was among those of Democrats allegedly attacked byRejected Republican Candidate Salomon Pena. Lopez explains to Harris the experience of having her house riddled with bullets and the aftermath;a grand jury on fridayaccused Peña of 14 crimes. López describes herself as grateful for Peña's concern, but says she still has questions like: "Why? Why me? Why my family?

there is no love lost

driving off roadincludes Santa Fe in its summary ofThe eight best places for a romantic Valentine's Day."Imagine a Valentine's Day in the desert," goes the story, "with warm sunshine and light, fluffy snow enveloping the village's traditional homes."driving off roadIt remains "an ideal choice for a romantic getaway for a variety of reasons, from lively restaurants and bars to shopping and spas," not to mention the "Winter Music and Arts Festival" on Valentine's Day weekend, which offers more options to spend time in the afternoons.” (We assume that “Winter Music and Arts Festival” refers to thisWinterkunstfestival Art + Sol, an inaugural event running from February 11-19). Coincidentally, New Mexico itself doesn't rank as highly for singles, according to him.a new study from WalletHub, so if you come for Valentine's Day, bring your date. New Mexico is ranked 36th overall; but it ranks number one when it comes to its share of single adults. We are ranked 26th in dating opportunities; 43. for dating economy; and when it comes to "romance and fun" we are nearly 46th.

to the earth

Landships, "real street attractions" and "cultural icons among the competitive real estate of Taos" are no longer the domain of just "retired hippies".Afterstaymagazine, a new generation of homeowners is turning to Earthships in their quest for solutions to the climate crisis. The structures use recycled materials as building blocks and incorporate various sustainability features such as rainwater harvesting and solar panels.staychats with friends and co-workers Steve Jewett, Izzy Tang and Trent Wolbe, who will pilot an Earthship (built in 2009 byBiotectura ErdschiffFounder Michael Reynolds and his team) on the outskirts of Taos as "an entrepreneurship experiment that cuts through and alters narratives of abundance and scarcity through 'a more meaningful vacation home'". As the story notes, "Like many shipowners on Earth, they come here year-round and rent the space when they leave."Night charter for coastal vesselsThey're not cheap, but they include Netflix.) Wolbe, a graduate ofEarthship-Akademie, datastayThe trio opted to buy (they paid $396,000) over build because it was easier: "The agent grew up on an Earthship and has some properties for rent," says Wolbe. "The process was crazy. First, there are no real Earthship inspectors. The bank inspection took a trillion years, as did the title work. We had to make every effort to give the bank so many different documents and explain to them many times what this place was about. And then getting insurance was a different story.” Still, building the "carbon/waste footprint" is better than buying, he notes. No one believes Earthships offer "a perfect solution" to the climate crisis, he adds. "But it forces you to slow down and be aware of the that's around you."

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ANDNational Weather ServiceA return to low temperatures is forecast for today, with a high of nearly 38 degrees, mostly sunny skies and 10 to 15 mph winds from the south-southwest in the afternoon. Cold but get over itfreezing fog and freezing drizzlein the eastern part of the state.

Thanks for reading! the thought of the word"This Beautiful Planet"by Dorothea Lasky, today's "poem of the day" was a fitting end to this long, long month.

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