Aug 28 First News -- Santa Fe bans plastic grocery bags

Aug 28, 2013

  There will be no plastic grocery bags in Santa Fe six months from now. City council last night approved an ordinance outlawing the bags while still allowing heavier plastic shopping bags to be used in other retail stores. Paper grocery bags will be available but each one will cost 10 cents. Councilor Ron Trujillo cast the only “no” vote against the ordinance. He said the plastic bag ban should apply uniformly throughout the city, regardless of the type of bag being used.

A developer’s plans for the old Manderfield school in the historic district are changing once again. Agents for Clare Marist say she plans to drop the idea of including a coffee house in development of the property.  That step may remove the biggest stumbling block facing development of the property.  The New Mexican reports that neighborhood groups had protested any major commercial development at the site.  Clare Marist and her father plan to buy the vacant building from the school district for nearly $1 million.

The number of New Mexico counties offering same-sex marriages is now up to six.  Valencia, San Miguel and Taos counties have joined Santa Fe, Bernalillo and Dona Ana in allowing gay couples to web.  About half of New Mexico’s total population lives in these six counties.  While the practice is spreading, the state Supreme Court has yet to issue an opinion on its validity. Republican state Sen. Bill Sharer of Farmington says he is working on reversing the trend but he hasn’t disclosed a plan to do that. 

There’s word from Washington that the FAA is beginning to process Virgin Galactic’s application to fly passengers into suborbital space.  The aircraft that will make the trip are still in the testing phase in Mojave, California, but Virgin expects that phase to be completed before long.  The Las Cruces Sun News says flights could begin sometime next year. 

One of the country’s biggest insurance companies says Albuquerque is still a dangerous place to drive. A study by Allstate Insurance calls Albuquerque “below average.” It says drivers in Albuquerque are involved in an accident every nine years and are 13 percent more likely to be involved in a crash than the national average.    

Weather: A slight chance of an afternoon thunderstorm continues today and through the rest of this week.  Look for highs today in the mid 80s, warming up to near 90 by Friday.