August 19 First News:Local Representative Easley to be memorialized at Roundhouse tomorrow. (listen)

The public is invited to attend a memorial service for Representative Stephen Easley tomorrow at 2PM in the Roundhouse rotunda.  The Eldorado resident was a freshman democratic representative for District 50 and died at age 60 last week of undisclosed causes after a recent hospitalization. Easley’s district runs through Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Torrance and Valencia counties.  Commissioners in each can nominate a replacement of their choosing irrespective of party affiliation with Governor Martinez making the final selection.

Today’s meeting of Santa Fe’s Finance Committee looks at that proposal to create a local farm stand program selling produce from community gardens and orchards.  The idea has already passed muster with the Food Policy Council, the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission and the Public Works Committee.  It arrives before full city council next week. Also being considered at today’s meeting is the proposal to allow expanded areas for beer sales and consumption at Fort Marcy Park.

Ranked-choice voting in Santa Fe, approved back in 2008, will not be implemented in the upcoming March 2014 municipal elections. That's the assertion of city clerk Yolanda Vigil as reported over the weekend by the Santa Fe New Mexican.  Ranked choice seeks to eliminate run-offs by re-tabulating votes when a given contest does not produce a candidate garnering more than 50%. Voters cast ballots indicating their order of preference for a number of candidates rather than just one individual. The process cannot be used by the voting machines currently certified for use in New Mexico. Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar told KSFR earlier this month that new machines, too, may be hard-pressed to meet all the requirements ....***clip

The Los Lunas gunstore that sponsored a prairie dog killing contest last week reports that at least 500 and perhaps as many as 1500 of the creatures were killed by contestants vying for a new rifle. KRQE-TV’s website says the prize went to a man with 239 kills. The store says it plans to hold another contest in December. Meanwhile, Republican representative Terry McMillan of Los Lunas says he’ll support an effort to ban such contests in the next session of state lawmakers.

It's been one year since Santa Fe Community College President Ana "Cha" Guzman took her post and today, the school's governing board will conduct a performance review evaluation. In recent days, Guzman has cited some of her accomplishments which include an uptick in both student enrollment and achievement. Critics have pointed out that a number of teachers and staff have opted to take early retirement since Guzman took over.

A “heads up” to Santa Fe motorists as a number of city streets will today see the start of road work expected to be completed by early October. It’s part of the City’s 2013 Summer Maintenance Program and involves both fixing surface deformities and laying asphalt sealant materials to prevent water from infiltrating pavement. Some 30 roads will be involved with work on each one expected to last several days.

Weather for Santa Fe – The summer monsoon pattern is now favoring Arizona more than New Mexico. Look for mostly sunny skies with highs in the low 80s and a 20% chance for late day showers. Our best chance for any rain this week will be tomorrow with precipitation probabilities pegged at 40%.