Entrada Organizers Apologize To Pueblo Indians, Santa Fe County Considers Possible Land Swap

Aug 1, 2018

Conquistador Reenactment Leaders Apologize To Pueblo IndiansAssociated Press

Organizers of the annual reenactment of a 17th-century Spanish conquistador reclaiming Santa Fe from Native Americans have issued an apology to Pueblo Indians.

Santa Fe Fiesta, Inc. in a statement Tuesday said organizers "regret the suffering, trauma and pain the Pueblo people endured" during the years of the reenactment.

Organizers of the annual Fiesta de Santa Fe recently agreed to discontinue the reenactment after months of closed-door discussions about how to resolve the growing discord over "the Entrada."

The event, which was performed each autumn on the Santa Fe Plaza during the annual Fiesta de Santa Fe, had become a symbol of colonialism for some Native Americans, as well as a painful reminder of New Mexico's bloody past.

The pageant depicted the re-entry of conquistador Don Diego de Vargas into Santa Fe after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Tours Tribal Pueblo In New Mexico- Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

A tribal leader in New Mexico says U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson's visit to his community offered a chance to show the Trump administration official the need for funding and services.

Carson toured a low-income housing development at San Felipe Pueblo, north of Albuquerque on Tuesday with tribal leaders. The Albuquerque Journal reports the tour was closed to the press.

San Felipe Pueblo Gov. Anthony Ortiz says the area that the group toured doesn't have the capacity to serve the level of need for housing within his community.

A spokesman for Carson says the visit marked his second to a tribal community since he became HUD secretary in 2017.

HUD administers a federal block grant program established to provide housing assistance to Native Americans.

State Police Say Man Fatally Shot By Officer Tried To Grab Gun- Associated Press

The New Mexico State Police says a wanted man fatally shot by an officer July 15 during a traffic stop in Albuquerque tried to grab the officer's gun and after saying he wouldn't go back to prison.

The State Police says Officer Kevin Smith fatally shot 23-year-old Jonathan Molina of Albuquerque after Molina resisted being handcuffed and tried to grab Smith's gun.

According to the State Police, Molina was wanted on multiple outstanding warrants from the New Mexico Corrections Department for parole violation for charges of distribution of a controlled substance, escape from custody, and aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer and from the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office for probation violation for charges of obstructing police.

A multi-agency task force is investigating the shooting.

Los Alamos County Offers To Swap Land With Santa Fe County- Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

Santa Fe County officials are undecided on a land swap offer from Los Alamos County, which is looking to enable development on a vacant mesa-top property along the border shared by the two counties.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Los Alamos County has offered to give Santa Fe County about 2 square miles of Santa Fe National Forest land in exchange for the mesa land and a tract that contains a Los Alamos County well field.

With the forest land, Santa Fe County could collect about $2,800 per year in federal compensation for nontaxable forest land.

Some Santa Fe County commissioners expressed doubts about the trade on Tuesday.

Most commissioners asked for more information before they make a decision.

Great Lakes Aviation Sued Over Unpaid Fees In Four CornersFarmington Daily Times, Associated Press

The city of Farmington says Great Lakes Aviation failed to pay landing fees and terminal fees before the company ceased Four Corners Regional Airport service.

The Daily Times of Farmington reports Farmington filed a complaint in state district court last week asking for the court to order Great Lakes to pay the alleged unpaid fees.

The city alleges Great Lakes owes $693.88 for landing fees and $2,584.49 for terminal rent in September. It also alleges the airline owes $394.25 in landing fees and $2,311.72 in terminal rent for October.

The Cheyenne, Wyoming-based Great Lakes Aviation offered commercial flights to and from Farmington until November 2017. The airline cited a pilot shortage as the primary reason for leaving the Four Corners Regional Airport.

Great Lakes Aviation CEO Doug Voss says he has not seen the lawsuit.

New Mexico, Texas Oil Boom Sparks Electricity Demand SurgeAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Electricity demand on Xcel Energy's grid is reaching all-time records thanks to the oil and gas boom in southeastern New Mexico and West Texas.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Xcel Energy New Mexico and Texas president David Hudson says oil and gas production in the Permian Basin is driving accelerated load growth on the grid.

The regional transmission network delivered 6.15 gigawatts of electricity to customers on July 19. That's about 350 megawatts more than the company had predicted in peak demand on any given day for this year, and the highest amount ever managed by the network.

Hudson told the Journal that a heat wave in July contributed to the surge, but the Minneapolis-based company is seeing extreme strength in load growth in New Mexico's Eddy and Lea counties.

Virgin Mary Mural Defaced In Historic New Mexico TownSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A mural of the Virgin Mary in one of the oldest health resorts in North America and in a historic Hispanic and Native American community has been defaced.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a mural of la Virgen de Guadalupe in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, was recently desecrated after vandals painted over her face and praying hands.

It's the second time this year that the mural has been vandalized in this close-knit and devoutly Catholic town.

The mural on an old dance hall was first vandalized in January, prompting the community to come together in February to repaint it. But sometime last week, it was defaced again.

Bridget Trujillo, part owner of Oliver's Country Store near the mural, says residents feel violated.

No arrests made been made.

Activist Denies Rape Accusations In New Mexico Court FilingAssociated Press

An activist who has been described as having assisted elders and others during 2016 pipeline protests at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota is disputing accusations that he raped unconscious women.

Redwolf Pope says in a court filing that videos of what authorities describe as assaults represent recordings of consensual sex with former girlfriends. He says text messages, witness accounts and testimony from one of the women will support him.

Santa Fe police say Pope recorded the sexual assaults of females who appeared to have been drugged.

They also say he surreptitiously planted cameras in apartments in Santa Fe and Seattle. He says the devices were set up because his roommates stole from him.

Police have reviewed multiple photographs and videos in their investigation.

Pope was arrested in Phoenix last week.

Parents Say Vandals Hit Children's Graves In New MexicoLas Cruces Sun-News, Associated Press

Parents say the burial sites of children at a southern New Mexico cemetery have been vandalized.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports parents visiting the Masonic Cemetery this weekend found broken toys, vases ripped from the ground, destroyed solar lights and a beheaded teddy bear near their children's gravesites.

In addition, parents say decorations in carefully arranged displays were unceremoniously piled atop graves like garbage.

Martha Rodriguez, who went to the cemetery to put flowers on the grave of her infant grandson, Jason Blake Guiterrez, found the mess Sunday morning.

Michael Ocheo, superintendent of Masonic Cemetery, says the area recently saw strong windstorms but couldn't say if weather and vandals were responsible.

Public Comment Ends On Proposed Nuclear Waste Storage FacilitySanta Fe New Mexican

A proposed storage facility for high-level nuclear waste in southeastern New Mexico has drawn widespread opposition from businesses, lawmakers and environmentalists.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had received more than 2,300 comments as of Monday night when the public comment period closed. A spokesman for the NRC said most were in opposition to the project but a final count will take several weeks.

Holtec International has applied for a license to operate a nuclear waste storage facility between Carlsbad and Hobbs to accept spent fuel rods from nuclear plants around the country.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will evaluate the comments over the next year and prepare a draft environmental impact statement for release next summer. That draft will be open for public comment and a final statement will be released in 2020.

Opposition to the facility has come from the New Mexico Cattlegrowers Association, environmentalists and nuclear watchdogs, and city councils in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Jal and Lake Arthur.

Supporters of the project say it will bring about 100 temporary construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs with annual salaries from $60,000 to $80,000.