Oct. 16 First News: Santa Fe police say shift change saves money and cuts crime (Listen)

Oct 16, 2013

  Santa Fe Police say the switch from officers working four ten-hour days to five eight-hour shifts is paying off and helping cut crime. Numbers released by SFPD show savings of 106-thousand dollars. Police spokeswoman Celina Westervelt adds the change ensures there are about eight more officers on the street during a 24-hour period and that there is more coverage during shift changes when criminals are most likely to strike. Westervelt was asked how rank and file officers feel about the change ******Westervelt 1  :16***** Published reports indicate the Santa Fe police officers’ union is not as pleased with the change as the administration.

New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich took to the Senate floor Tuesday to discuss the results of the fifteen-day government shutdown on New Mexico's economy and middle-class families.  Heinrich shared examples of two state businesses feeling the impact: *****Heinrich 1  :22**** Heinrich added that it's time to reopen the government, take the threat of default off the table, and time to stop playing games with the Americans’ livelihoods.

U.S. Democratic Senator Tom Udall now has an official republican challenger for his seat in next year’s election. Doña Ana County Republican Party Chairman David Clements has declared his candidacy. The New Mexico Politico blogsite describes the 33-year-old Assistant District Attorney as a prominent leader in the GOP’s “liberty” movement. Clements accuses Tom Udall of disregarding his oath to uphold the Constitution and says an all-out assault on our economic and civil liberties has begun. He also favors restraining federal government to instead empower people to look within themselves to create opportunity.

That plan to redevelop eastside Santa Fe's old Manderfield School has been put aside by the prospective purchasers.  Michael and Claire Maraist had wanted to turn the long-vacant facility into residential units, artist studios and perhaps also a cafe. That required zoning changes that met with opposition from the Upper Canyon Road Neighborhood Association.  The Maraists were scheduled to seek a less-ambitious rezoning request from the city's Planning Commission this week but have now withdrawn. The couple still has a contract for a $1 million purchase of the property from the Santa Fe School District.

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss is in Las Vegas, Nevada today to address a US Travel Panel. He'll be commenting on the negative economic impacts of the federal government shutdown, noting that one-third of hotel stays in Santa Fe are government related and paid for by federal travel per diems.  Meetings and conferences regarding the Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories also account for significant use of the Convention Center.  All tolled, the activity adds up to millions of dollars for Santa Fe's economy.

Well-heeled space tourists coming to New Mexico’s Spaceport America will want more six-star hotels and other hospitality industry amenities.  That’s what attendees at Tuesday’s annual International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight heard from speakers.  The Las Cruces Sun News quotes Michael Blum, a former senior manager at PayPal who holds a $250,000 ticket for a future flight, as saying other fliers will be looking for ritzy places to stay and things to do. He’s encouraging local businesses to cater to the needs of visitors with tremendous net worth.

Governor Martinez is in Las Cruces today where she’ll introduce her administration’s state-wide Alzheimer’s plan. Martinez will present the initiative while touring a healthcare facility dedicated to caring for people with dementia and will highlight the jobs such institutions create. The governor later attends a breast cancer awareness luncheon at NMSU’s Pan American center.

Weather for Santa Fe – partly cloudy today with a 40% chance for mixed rain and snow showers through midday and a high near 50 degrees.  Clear tonight with lows in the upper 20s.  Sunny skies tomorrow and highs in the mid-to-upper 50s.