August 12 First News: New Mexico & Mexico will create a new bi-national business hub. (listen)

Governor Susana Martinez has announced the creation of a 70,000 acre, bi-national, master-planned community around the Santa Teresa-San Jeronimo border crossing. It’s the first of its kind venture to encompass two countries with infrastructure development for world-wide business relocations. Martinez noted the favorable location as the mid-way point between seaports in Long Beach, California and Houston, Texas. Chihuahua, Mexico Governor César Duarte also welcomes the project that will likely see launch of a pilot program of a Dual Customs Clearance facility between the U.S. and Mexico.

The US Army has doubled-down on its opposition to the proposed 500-mile long SunZia Southwest Transmission Project across southern New Mexico. They say a 45-mile stretch of it would be disruptive to operations at the White Sands Missile Range.  The Army had first stated its concerns to the US Bureau of Land Management earlier this year. The BLM will render a final decision next month and the Albuquerque Journal reports that the US Army sent an official notice of objection last week. SunZia has been in the works since 2008 and the project manager says any re-routing now will kill the $1.2 billion project as new environmental studies would take years to complete.

Santa Fe this week hosts the 92nd annual Indian Market. The week-long celebration of Native arts and culture, anchored by the upcoming weekend’s Native arts market on the Plaza, is the largest cultural event of its kind in the southwest. The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts sponsors the event, which it says brings more than 80,000 people to the state and region, generating over $100 million in revenue.

Santa Fe Public Schools begins the new school year on Wednesday August 14th for students in grades 1 through 12. Kindergarten students will start classes on Friday the 16th.

At today's meeting of Santa Fe's Public Works and Land Use Committee, they'll consider a resolution that would allow collaboration with local non-profit organizations for  the creation of farm stands that would sell fresh produce from community gardens and orchards. The measure has previously received support from the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission and the Food Policy Council.  It's headed toward full city council at the end of the month.

A report just made to New Mexico's legislative interim committee on investments says that 24 made-in-New Mexico film projects between 2002 and 2008 made almost no money for the state. They were all given interest-free loans as part of incentives that were discontinued in 2011. In total, the 24 projects received $243 million in such loans.  All repaid their principal but only 2 reported profits, paying New Mexico just $1.3 million. The Farmington Daily Times reports that one, five-year $15 million loan is still due for the TV series "Crash."

The City of Santa Fe is giving advance notice of a temporary closure of the Genoveva Chavez Community Center for thorough annual maintenance. The basketball gymnasium and track will be closed beginning one week from today on Monday, August, 19. The entire facility shuts down on Saturday, August 24th and re-opens just after Labor Day on Tuesday, September 3rd. During the closure, GCCC members can use the Fort Marcy Complex and Salvador Perez Pool.

A "heads up" to local motorists as County Road 73 - Tesuque Village Road today begins a lane-reconfiguration project expected to last several days. New bicycle lanes are being striped in a work zone that extends north at US 84/285 approximately 1 mile to the bridge before the Tesuque Village Market.  The road will remain open at all times though there will be intermittent lane closures.

Weather for Santa Fe – A 40% chance for showers and thunderstorms today under partly sunny skies.  High temperatures in the upper 70s. A drying trend sets in for the remainder of the week with just slight chances for precipitation and daily highs from the upper 70s to the low 80s.