August 4 First News: Anti-Israeli Protestors Upstage Senator Udall's Santa Fe Event (Listen)

Aug 4, 2014

Senator Tom Udall’s opening of his re-election campaign headquarters on Cerrillos Road on Saturday took second-stage to a protest by the newly-formed group, “Santa Feans Against The Gaza Invasion.” The grand opening featured Udall’s Democratic Senate Colleague, Al Franken of Minnesota. Jeff Haas is the group’s founder. Haas led a crowd with picket signs expressing outrage over Senators Udall and Franken’s support of the Israeli offensive against the people of Gaza: *****080414-Haas-2 :18***** Haas notes the people of Gaza have stated they’d rather die standing up than die on their knees, and that every additional bomb dropped on Gaza by the Israelis creates more freedom fighters among the survivors.

Saturday also saw a protest against Israeli aggression in Albuquerque, as we hear in this report from KSFR’s Joe Gallegos: *****

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales is hoping free Santa Fe Trails bus shuttles will boost the city's nightlife. The New Mexican reports that Gonzales is proposing a shuttle service between the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, downtown and the Santa Fe Railyard. Gonzales says the system would start out as a pilot project and run between August 28th and December 20th

He says the transportation would mean a lot more people would be able to safely take advantage of Santa Fe in a whole new way. He says more university students would be able to attend events and help the downtown area grow. Officials say the shuttles would run every half-hour from 6-11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. University President Larry Hinz says the service would be a welcome opportunity.

Motorists traveling to Taos can expect traffic delays because of highway construction. The Department of Transportation said repaving on state Route 68 starts Monday and is to be finished in mid-September. The work will start north of the community of Pilar and go to near Rancho de Taos. The department said traffic delays can be expected Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. because one lane will be closed through the work area. Taos is a popular tourist destination, and Route 68 is the main highway from Espanola to Taos. Travelers may be able to avoid the construction project by taking what's called the High Road to Taos, which is a route through the mountains between Santa Fe and Taos.

Federal land managers are under fire from animal welfare activists for seeking extra holding space for wild horses removed from Western rangelands. With current facilities nearing capacity, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is accepting bids until August 29th from contractors interested in either operating short-term corrals in 31 states in the Midwest and East or long-term pastures. After removing horses from the range, the bureau places them in short-term facilities until they're either adopted or shipped to pastures in the Midwest where they spend the rest of their lives.

An Alamogordo city official has been suspended without pay for allegedly allowing the water bills of family and friends to go unpaid. The Alamogordo Daily News reports that Customer Service Manager Armando Ortega admitted to allowing some family members' water accounts to be delinquent. However, Ortega denies giving preferential treatment to friends. Records show that 17 outstanding water accounts were tied to Ortega's relatives and associates. The Alamogordo City Attorney says that about half of the more than nine-thousand dollars in outstanding balances have been paid off.

 Santa Fe Weather: Mostly cloudy today and tonight with a 50-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms. Today’s high, 76, the overnight low, 56. Tomorrow: Partly sunny with a high near 80 and a 30-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms.