August 13 First News: Santa Fe County Commissioners Fail Again To Decide On Gravel Mine (Listen)

Aug 13, 2014

The failure of the Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners to render a decision on a gravel-mining proposal on La Bajada Mesa has many of the thousands of opponents of the plan frustrated. Commissioners delayed a decision again on the issue after taking-in hours of public testimony Tuesday. They point out that since the first hearing on the topic back in March, not a single person outside of the applicants has testified in favor. No word yet on when a vote on Rockology’s bid to mine gravel on 50-acres on the Mesa will occur.

U-S Mayors are taking on more these days—that word from Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, who just returned from a trip to New York where he attended a U-S Conference of Mayors task-  force meeting. Gonzales says mayors and cities are becoming the nation’s “drivers of innovation:” *****081314-Gonzales-1 :21***** Gonzales says those issues include children’s health, the quality of education and good jobs. He says the task force will focus on three areas: early childhood development; local autonomy in setting wages—for instance, Santa Fe’s living wage—and delivering broadband technology to eliminate the so-called “digital divide.”

Another negative evaluation for New Mexico's embattled Department of Children, Youth and Families.  KSFR's Dave Marash has the story. ***** Marash :51 *****

TEXT:  The Department has "made little progress," in setting up new home visiting services two years after winning a federal grant to pay for them, according to an independent evaluation by the RAND Corporation.  The Albuquerque Journal reports, CYF got $2.65 million in federal money in September 2011 to set up pilot programs at sites in Luna, Quay and McKinley counties and Albuquerque's South Valley, but the RAND report says the agency has actually begun visits in just 2 of the 4 areas.  A Department official blames state procurement rules for the slowdown, but says some home visits do take place in all 4 locations.  For KSFR News, I'm Dave Marash.

A federal judge has ruled against a Public Education Commission member seeking to be placed on the general election ballot despite failing to turn in enough nominating signatures to qualify as an independent candidate. District Judge Martha Vazquez last week denied Tyson Parker's request for an injunction against the secretary of state's office. Parker sued last month, contending that New Mexico's election laws discriminate against independent candidates by requiring them to submit an unfairly high number of voter signatures on nominating petitions. Vazquez ruled Parker hadn't showed he was likely to succeed in his constitutional challenge. She said the U.S. Supreme Court and 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have rejected similar election law challenges. Parker said Tuesday he's considering whether to appeal the ruling.

A prehistoric elephant skull called one of the most intact ever found is now part of a New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science exhibit in Albuquerque. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that rare fossilized skull is part of the FossilWorks display, a laboratory where fossils are painstakingly prepped for research and an eventual installation. Museum spokesman Randall Gann says the public can watch staff and volunteers as they work to clean the skull. The three-million-year-old stegomastodon fossil was found at Elephant Butte Lake earlier this year. Officials say the stegomastodon doesn't yet have a name

Santa Fe Weather: Partly sunny today with a high of 78 with a 40-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Tonight: Mostly cloudy with a low of 58 with showers likely—there’s a 60-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms. Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy with a high of 78 and a 40-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms.