Santa Fe Fiesta Turns Page On Tribute To Conquistadors, $2B Power Line Project Lacks Details

Sep 8, 2018

Santa Fe Fiesta Turns Page On Tribute To Conquistadors - Associated Press

Civic leaders in New Mexico's capital city are turning the page on a grinding dispute over the annual re-enactment of a 17th century conquistador reclaiming Santa Fe after a Native American revolt.

The controversial pageant was being replaced Friday by new gestures of reconciliation at Santa Fe's autumn festival that starts with Catholic Mass and a performance by Indian Pueblo dancers.

Public statues and tributes to early Spanish conquerors have encountered mounting criticism tied to the brutal treatment of American Indians centuries ago by Spanish soldiers and missionaries, as activists draw parallels to the controversy over Confederate monuments.

The Santa Fe Fiesta previously included a depiction of the re-entry of conquistador Don Diego de Vargas into Santa Fe after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

Regulators: $2B Power Line Project Lacks Location Details - Associated Press

Developers behind a proposed $2 billion high-voltage power line that would funnel wind and solar energy from rural spots in New Mexico and Arizona to larger markets will have to make another run at getting needed approvals from regulators in New Mexico.

The Public Regulation Commission voted unanimously to reject the proposed location of the lines, finding that the application by the SunZia lacked information needed to determine the project's environmental impact on communities it would span.

A hearing examiner had determined earlier that developers didn't adequately research the zoning and land-use requirements of the property surrounding the proposed route.

The SunZia transmission project has been years in the making and not without controversy. Disputes initially rose over its proximity to a U.S. military installation, and environmentalists and ranchers have raised concerns about wildlife and rangeland.

Feds: US tribal items sold at Paris auction houses declines - Associated Press

A federal report shows the number of Native American cultural items listed for bidding declined significantly at five Paris auction houses after widespread uproar two years ago halted the sale of an Acoma Pueblo ceremonial shield — an item tribal leaders say was illegally taken from their New Mexico community.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office's report this week analyzed sales and listings at auction houses that tribal and federal officials identified as primary markets for the items.

The federal report found that 1,400 Native American cultural items were listed for sale at the auction houses between 2012 and 2017, with about half selling for a total of $7 million.

Figures also show that after a peak in listings in May 2016, the number of items listed and sold dropped significantly in the following year.

Flooding Causes Post Office In Mescalero To Close Associated Press

Flooding has caused the post office in Mescalero to be closed until further notice.

All retail and P.O. box operations in Mescalero will be run out of the Post Office in neighboring Tularosa.

The U.S. Postal Service also says customers can mail items, purchase stamps or pick up packages at the location in Tularosa.

The agency emphasized the closure in Mescalero wasn't permanent.

GOP Candidate Draws Fire Over Remarks On Opponent's Heritage - Associated Press

A Republican congressional candidate in New Mexico is drawing criticism for questioning her Democratic opponent's Native American heritage over her immigration views and because she wasn't "raised on a reservation."

Janice Arnold-Jones told a Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt on Thursday she didn't doubt Deb Haaland's "lineage is Laguna" but said Haaland "is a military brat, just like I am."

Arnold-Jones says Haaland's mentioning of her Native American heritage "evokes images that she was raised on a reservation."

Haaland, a member of Laguna Pueblo, has said she moved around as a child because of her parents' military service.

Democrats, including Haaland, immediately denounced the Republican's remarks as bigoted.

Arnold-Jones told KRQE-TV in Albuquerque she's "flabbergasted" that critics think "facts are offensive."

Haaland and Arnold-Jones are seeking to represent central New Mexico's open U.S. House seat.

Man Pleads Guilty In Robbery Of Albuquerque Bank - Associated Press

A man has pleaded guilty to a federal bank robbery charge in a heist four months ago at an Albuquerque bank.

Jesus Manuel Almanza of Albuquerque will face up to 20 years in prison for his guilty plea on Thursday.

Authorities say Almanza walked into a Wells Fargo branch in late April, jumped over the counter of the teller station, demanded money and fled in a car.

The car was traced back to a home where the 23-year-old Almanza was located and eventually arrested.

Investigators say a search of the home led to the discovery of the clothes used in the robbery and a large sum of cash.

Sentencing for Almanza hasn't yet been scheduled.

NASA Technology To Be Launched From New Mexico Spaceport - Associated Press

NASA technology designed to protect spacecraft from heat and pressure when entering a planet's atmosphere will be launched from Spaceport America in New Mexico as part of testing.

NASA said Friday the system will be aboard a suborbital rocket being launched Sept. 12 by UP Aerospace. Once the rocket reaches space, the umbrella-like shield will deploy.

The shield is made from woven carbon fabric and supported by semi-rigid ribs. NASA says it would allow exploratory spacecraft larger than the Curiosity rover to successfully land on other planets within the solar system.

The shield was designed and built by NASA's Ames Research Center in California.

As part of the launch, NASA also will be testing other technology for launch vehicles and measuring the internal environment of suborbital vehicles that are carrying experiments.