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September 26, 2018
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First News: SF Finance Committee members want more information before considering an ordinance against passive panhandling.
(2012-07-31)
(KSFR) - Santa Fe's Finance Committee has postponed action on a proposal that would expand the city's current ban on panhandling to include those who hold signs soliciting for money along roadways and intersection median strips. Committee members found the proposal too vague and noted that newspaper vendors and demonstrators routinely engage in actions like those of passive panhandling. The committee will revisit the issue in two weeks after further clarification and full city council takes the matter up in September. The New Mexico ACLU has previously said the content of panhandling speech is constitutionally protected and the city could potentially face a legal challenge to restrictions.

The state's A-F grading system for public schools is drawing fire from a group of scientists, principals and superintendents. The nonprofit group called Coalition of Excellence in Science and Math Education says the system is too complex to understand. The Albuquerque Journal reports they say it also adds elements that are not compatible. The state's education chief, Hanna Skandera, says the system should be complex to capture all the factors that make up a good school.

Santa Fe's Buckman Direct Diversion water project could start pulling water from the Rio Grande once again this week. The Journal North reports it could even be today. Intake of river water into the Buckman has been turned because of ash sediment found in the river after recent rains. The city's reservoirs stand at 43 percent of capacity and the well-fields have been making up the difference.

New Mexico's annual back-to-school tax-free holiday kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday. The law allows consumers to buy certain items up to certain price limits without paying the gross receipts tax. The state estimates retail sales will go up about $25 million and consumers will save $4 million in taxes. Among the hundreds of non-taxable items are clothing and footwear of $100 or less and computers of $1,000 or less. Despite its back-to-school name, having a child is not a requirement.

Negotiations continue between vendors wanting to hawk their wares at the annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and the Florida-based concern overseeing participating sellers. Monday's contract deadline has been extended as vendors oppose requirements they pay the company 30% of their daily gross sales or a fixed fee, whichever is higher. Sellers say the rate will result in higher costs they'll have to pass on to Fiesta-goers. Both sides meet again today to tackle the issue and hope to have an agreement by the end of the week.

When the Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners meets this afternoon, they'll consider a resolution calling for three General Obligation Bonds to be put before voters on the November ballot. All tolled, the 3 bonds would provide $35 million for a variety of projects involving water management, open space & trail development and road construction & maintenance. The meeting gets underway at 1 at downtown's County Administration Building and public comment will be taken.

Weather for Santa Fe - July ends on a sunny, hot and dry note today with highs near 90 degrees. Monsoonal moisture remains well to our west with just a 10-to-20% chance for an afternoon shower Wednesday through Saturday. Less than an inch of rain has fallen in Santa Fe this month- that's only half of the average usually received in July.
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