Oct. 14 First News: New Mexico Lab employees face job uncertainty (Listen)

Santa Fe City Council holds a special meeting tomorrow to review proposed city charter amendments.  Such changes are likely to be the focus of a special election held concurrently with the March 2014 municipal election. Among changes being considered is an expansion of mayoral power along with designating the post a fulltime position with higher pay and barring other employment. Another meeting at the end of the month will seek to codify the final charter amendment questions to be put before voters.

A group comprised of 25 Latino youth will testify in Las Cruces today before the Legislature's interim Water and Natural Resources Committee regarding the proposed Gila River Diversion Project. The group is concerned that the Project, which would cost taxpayers about 200-million dollars, would also end the Gila’s status as the last free flowing river in New Mexico. The group is part of the Hispanic Access Foundation, a national nonprofit working to expose more Latinos to public lands and the importance of preserving them for future generations.

With no resolution of the federal budget stalemate over the weekend, the 18-thousand New Mexico employees of the state's two national laboratories face job uncertainty after this week. Los Alamos National Laboratory employees were told that barring a breakthrough they’ll be shutting operations by close of business Friday. If no resolution is reached in Washington, LANL will keep a small workforce to secure and safeguard the Lab’s nuclear materials

Interstate 25 in Albuquerque at the Paseo del Norte interchange tomorrow sees start of an ambitious 14-month reconstruction.  It's been estimated that site in particular is used by some 155,000 motorists daily and is often the scene of traffic delays.  The $93 million re-design is expected to create 3,000 jobs. Albuquerque is contributing $50 million of costs via gross-receipt tax revenue bonds. The remainder is funded by a mix of county, state and federal sources.

A reminder that today is Columbus Day, a federal holiday. All city, county and state offices are closed along with Santa Fe Public Schools. Santa Fe Trails bus service is on a Saturday schedule as is the Rail Runner commuter line.

Weather for Santa Fe – Sunny, breezy and cool both today and Tuesday with highs around 60 degrees. Overnight lows in the mid 30s. A 30% chance for showers Tuesday night and Wednesday, perhaps falling as snow at higher elevations.