Oct. 29 First News: Santa Fe County Commissioners to name nominee for District 50 House Seat (Listen

Oct 29, 2013

  When Santa Fe County’s Board of Commissioners meets today, they will present their choice of nominee to replace the late District 50 representative, Stephen Easley. The legislative district also includes portions of Bernalillo, Torrance and Valencia counties, with commissioners from each selecting their own nominee.  All of the individuals named will be considered for the post by Governor Martinez who has the authority to make final selection.

Reductions in federal funding are threatening Santa Fe’s public transit system. The Journal North reports Santa Fe Trails’ fleet of 36 buses is expected to shrink to 23 by 2016 due to annual cuts totaling up to 800-thousand dollars. The federal legislation that supports the system includes cuts to the funding formula, prompting smaller cities like Santa Fe to weigh future options. Those options include extending the operating life of the buses, using bond funding or buying less expensive buses that have a shorter operating lifespan.

Santa Fe County's unwanted prescription drug take-back program this past weekend took in some 150 pounds of pharmaceuticals. The collaborative effort among the County Sheriff, Santa Fe Police and the DEA anonymously harvested the drugs at six disposal locations. Additional drug take back events are planned for 2014 as well as establishing permanent collection sites at the Sheriff’s office and State Police District Headquarters.

New Mexico Public Education Secretary designate Hanna Skandera will likely get a vote on her confirmation in the upcoming January 2014 legislative session.  Skandera was named to the post three years ago by Governor Martinez.  It was just during the last legislative session that lawmakers took up confirmation hearings only to adjourn without a vote.  Today's New Mexican reports that state senator Linda Lopez, the chair of the Senate Rules Committee, says a vote will be taken and if not confirmed, Skandera --quote--"is gone that same day"--end quote.

Another item on the Commission’s agenda today will seek to sign off on an agreement between the State Department of Finance and Administration and the County for a $450,000 grant targeting improvements for the County Fairgrounds. The money was authorized during the 2013 legislative session.

Ray Sandoval, the campaign manager for Santa Fe mayoral hopeful Roman Abeyta, says he wants police to investigate an unauthorized posting of his picture in a Craigslist personals ad. The posting was widely circulated by emails sent to the Abeyta campaign and others, as well as to the Kiwanis Club, for whom Sandoval organizes the annual Zozobra event. Sandoval says the mailing is political and an attempt to harm Abeyta's campaign. The photo in question shows Sandoval in his underwear in a non-sexual pose.  Sandoval posted it to friends on Facebook two years ago while in the midst of an exercise regimen.

A regional meeting of forensic scientists continues through Wednesday in Santa Fe. Fidely Nathanson, a forensic scientist with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, says the meeting serves training needs and provides updates on trends and technologies. Nathanson stresses forensic scientists’ work is not “as seen on TV,” but rigorous:” ****Nathanson :10***** Nathanson also says synthetic pot sold in smoke-shops is a serious problem being discussed at the conference.

Weather for Santa Fe – mostly sunny and windy today, highs in the upper 50s.  Cloudy tonight, a low of 35 and a 20% chance for showers, possibly mixing with snow after midnight.  Still a slight chance for mix precipitation early Wednesday before turning sunny by afternoon, highs in the upper 40s.