Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin Remains Defiant About Certifying Election Results

Griffin doesn’t plan to certify election despite court order

Otero County Commissioner and Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin says he will not vote to certify the county’s June 7 primary results. The state Supreme Court ordered the commission to do so on Tuesday, following an emergency request from Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. After the court’s ruling, Toulouse Oliver yesterday sent Attorney General Hector Balderas a referral of what she says are several instances of potential civil and criminal violations of the state’s election code, including the decision to hand count the election returns; remove the secure containers mandated by the Legislature to be in use for voters to return mailed ballots; and to discontinue use of the state certified voting systems or tabulators. “All county officials take an oath to uphold the constitution and laws of New Mexico,” Toulouse Oliver said in a statement. “The Commissioners in Otero County have violated the public’s trust and our state laws through their recent actions and must be held accountable.” A spokesperson for Balderas says “the commission “must comply with the rule of law or we will take legal action.” Griffin, however, tells CNN he’s “not planning to move off my position. Why have a commission if we just get overridden by the court system?” Commissioners have cited unfounded concerns based on conspiracy theories involving Dominion Voting Machines. The commission is scheduled to meet in an emergency session at 4 pm today to discuss the issue. Griffin may or may not be there. He’s scheduled to be sentenced today in Washington, DC for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol after he was convicted of illegally entering the grounds.

Guv, officials will report on post-fire flooding this morning

Officials on the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire reported a spot fire yesterday afternoon that had crossed the Pecos River and was moving northwest, approximately one mile north of Beatty’s Cabin. While the fire, officials said, didn’t pose at the time a threat to structures or communities, Operations Section Chief Jayson Coil acknowledged in an afternoon update that for residents of Eagle Nest, Angel Fire and Taos, “it looks ominous, very black out to the south, you can smell smoke and there’s ash falling in Taos.” As of late yesterday afternoon, Coil said the fire had not crossed the main ridge system. At the same time, officials continue to warn of potential flash flooding in the burn scar, with several communities under flash flood warnings last night in southwestern Mora County and northwestern San Miguel County. Hydrologist Pheobe Suina (San Felipe and Cochiti pueblos) yesterday also delivered a presentation on post-fire flooding. A flood map is available hereAs of last night, the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire was reported at 336,638 acres and 72% containment. Officials on the Midnight Fire last night reported that fire at 4,896 acres and 69% containment. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, along with state and federal officials, will provide an update on wildfire recovery efforts, including watershed restoration, flood mitigation and prevention efforts, at 11:45 a.m. today; the update will stream on the governor’s Facebook page.

NM settles Gold Mine King litigation

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, Environment Secretary James Kenney and Natural Resources Trustee Maggie Hart Stebbins yesterday announced a $32 settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency in the Gold King Mine litigation. According to a news release from the governor’s office, the US under the settlement will make cash payments to New Mexico of $18.1 million for response costs; $10 million for restoration of injured natural resources; and commit to providing an additional $3.5 million to state water quality and cleanup activities through Clean Water Act and Superfund grants. The settlement stems from an August, 2015 incident in which contractors attempting cleanup work on behalf of the EPA caused a release of millions of gallons of acid mine drainage and tons of toxic metals from the Gold King Mine in Colorado. The accident caused the Animas and San Juan Rivers to turn bright yellow through Colorado, New Mexico and the Navajo Nation to Lake Powell in Utah. In January of last year, the environment department announced an $11 million settlement with the companies responsible. “This groundbreaking settlement is significant in that all parties recognize that natural resource restoration is an essential element in making whole the communities along the San Juan and Animas rivers who were impacted by the Gold King Mine release,” Stebbins said in a statement yesterday. “My office will work with stakeholders in this region whose livelihoods and environment were directly affected by the contamination to identify and fund restoration projects that compensate them for losses.”

COVID-19 by the numbers

Reported June 16:

New cases: 1,091; New Mexico had 6,357 cases for the seven-day period ending June 13, comparable to last week’s seven-day case count (4% higher); 550,337 total cases

Deaths: three; Santa Fe County has had 307 total deaths thus far; there have been 7,872 total fatalities statewide. Hospitalizations: 161. Patients on ventilators: 16.

Case rates: According to the most recent DOH report on geographical trends for COVID-19, for the seven-day period of June 6-12, Los Alamos County had the highest daily case rate per 100,000 population in the state: 133.3, followed by Cibola and Grant counties at 75.7 and 75.4, respectively. Santa Fe County has the fifth highest at 64.8.

Community levels: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “community levels” tracking system—which uses case rates along with two hospital metrics in combination for its framework—for the seven-day period of June 9-15, nine counties show high—or “red”—levels—seven more than last week. Twelve counties, including Santa Fe County, are classified as having yellow or “medium” levels. CDC recommendations for individuals and communities based on the community-level rankings can be found here, but include the recommendation for people living in counties with “high” community levels to wear masks indoors and on public transportation. The CDC updates its map every Thursday.

Resources: Vaccine registrationBooster registration Free at-home rapid antigen testsSelf-report a positive COVID-19 test result to the health department; COVID-19 treatment info: oral treatments Paxlovid (age 12+) and Molnupiravir (age 18+); and monoclonal antibody treatments. Toolkit for immunocompromised individuals. People seeking treatment who do not have a medical provider can call NMDOH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453.

You can read all of SFR’s COVID-19 coverage here.

Listen up

Cline’s Corner podcast host Lynn Cline sits down with Jackie Gibbs, youth mentor, teacher and culinary program director for Santa Fe’s YouthWorks, which has been active throughout the state’s wildfire crisis in preparing and providing meals for evacuees and emergency responders. YouthWorks has myriad education and job programs geared toward at-risk and disadvantaged youth, which Gibbs discusses.

Art disruption

The New York Times profiles New Mexico artist Cannupa Hanska Luger in a story titled, “Cannupa Hanska Luger Is Turning the Tables on the Art World,” which examines how Luger “playfully critiques what White audiences want,” while upending “long-held ideas about what Native American art should look like.” The story details Luger’s “Mirror Shield Project” at Standing Rock Indian Reservation; his “Future Ancestral Technologies” video, performance and installation series (which Santa Fe audiences may recall from SITE Santa Fe’s Displaced exhibition); and “Every One,” his 2018 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Queer and Trans relatives bead project. Writer Joshua Hunt visits Luger at his home in Glorieta, where they talk about his work. “Luger’s art is process-oriented, not object-oriented, and what drives him is not the thing he’s making but the thrill of making it,” Hunt writes. “All of these things are just byproducts of something incredibly special,” Luger tells him. “Ceramic chips and paint fades, but creation is perfect.” The story also examines Santa Fe’s history with Native American art, which Luger grew up around as his mother, artist Kathy Whitman-Elk Woman, sold her art each summer at the Santa Fe Indian Market. The in-depth story includes photographs by Cara Romero, an enrolled citizen of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe.

So many choices…

A busy weekend in Santa Fe awaits, with a plethora of events to keep you busy in the warm and possibly wet weather. To start, the Currents New Media Festival kicks off tonight and runs through June 26, with 75 artists exhibiting new media installations, sound performances, video works and augmented reality across the city. The festivities begin at noon with 18 works to explore at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds; the evening events start at 5 pm and runs until 11 pm at the Center for Contemporary Arts. Get your tickets here. Other must-do events this weekend include the NM Musicians All Together Fire Relief Benefit Concert at 7 pm, Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center—with a virtual option if you’d rather watch and help from home. On Sunday, you’re likely to see everyone you know at 6 pm on the Plaza for the Juneteenth Love and Happiness event courtesy of local DJ/MC/Vital Spaces director Raashan Ahmad and the Earthseed Black Arts Alliance, with food trucks, poets, guest speakers, drummers and, yes, lots of dancing. Find the details on these and many more events via SFR’s calendar and in SFR Picks.

Umbrella check

More rain may be on the way today, according to the National Weather Service, which forecasts scattered showers and thunderstorms and a 50% chance for precipitation after noon. Today will be an otherwise mostly sunny day with a high temperature near 87 degrees. Those odds for rain continue this evening. As for the weekend, a 30% chance for rain tomorrow, a 50% chance on Juneteenth, with the odds rising to 60% on Sunday night, straight on through to Monday.

Thanks for reading! The Word is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ziggy Stardust by listening to a previously unreleased version of David Bowie singing “Starman” and looking at Adobe’s new Bowie toolkit.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

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