New wells are to be drilled in downtown Santa Fe to check for groundwater contamination. The Journal Santa Fe says the City will work with the state Environment Department on the project with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency. A decades-old underground petroleum plume was found some years ago as construction began on downtown's new county courthouse. More recently, workers at the Public Education Dept. building have complained of exposure to contaminants in basement offices. Proposed sites for the new testing wells have been named and await approval by the Office of the State Engineer.
A new statewide poll finds strong support for granting same-sex couples the right to marry in New Mexico. The poll of 500 voters was commissioned by Why Marriage Matters New Mexico, a combined effort of Equality New Mexico and the American Civil Liberties Union. The poll shows 51% of respondents supporting same-sex marriage overall and an even larger number—53%— saying the state Supreme Court should rule in favor of marriage equality. The high court hears arguments on October 23rd. At this evening’s meeting of the City’s Public utilities Committee, there’ll be a request for approval of a new high speed internet project. Two years ago, the city approved a plan to provide one-million dollars to improve broadband speed, availability and pricing. Locally-owned telephone and Internet provider Cyber Mesa Computer Systems Incorporated was selected to design, build and operate the fiber optic linked system that will operate as a publicly provided utility. The venture is financed by a 22-million dollar gross receipts tax bond. The matter is headed toward full city council at the end of this month. A Chinese delegation visiting Santa Fe from the Shandong Province of China will be received by city officials today. Mayor David Coss will address the entourage this morning at the Community Convention Center where the assembly will also exchange gifts. City councilor and mayor pro tem Rebecca Wurzburger will speak about cultural tourism and economic development. The Chinese delegation is looking at Santa Fe for ideas on how to repair their own cities with special focus on how to better integrate the environment, cultural preservation, and a tourism economy. The “Be Well New Mexico” outreach campaign sponsored by our state’s Health Insurance Exchange puts in a stop today at the Medical Dental Building on Saint Michaels Drive in Santa Fe. It’s just part of a seven million dollar effort to encourage state residents to investigate health insurance options now available for enrollment via the exchange. The second of three special Santa Fe City Council meetings on changes to the city charter comes up tomorrow evening. The recommendations made by the Charter Review Commission could become the basis for a special election to be held concurrently with the regular March 2014 municipal election. Among the proposals put forward is an expansion of mayoral power and new limits on campaign contributions. The meeting is set for 5:30 Thursday at Santa Fe Public Schools offices on Alta Vista Street. Santa Fe Mayor David Coss is expressing condolences to the family of local World War 2 veteran and hero, Vicente Ojinaga. Ojinaga, age 95, died Monday. He was Santa Fe's last surviving member of the infamous Bataan Death March in the Philippines under Japanese domination. Many of the thousands of U-S soldiers who died were from New Mexico regiments. Weather for Santa Fe – Sunny and seasonably warm today and tomorrow with highs in the lows 70s. Friday and the weekend promises much cooler weather with Friday’s overnight lows expected to bring the first descent into the upper 20s.