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Take a Hit of Fresh Air

A city in san antonio, texas.

If you consider yourself a fellow news junkie, you’ve been on a bit of a bender.  
Santa Fe in particular hasn’t had much time to breathe. 

Scores of journalists from around the country marched into the First Judicial District Courthouse Wednesday, less than a week after a jam-packed legislative session skidded to a halt half a mile away in the Roundhouse.   

The first criminal trial in the deadly Rust movie set shooting has begun, as prosecutors argue charges of involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering against film armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. The case has created a national buzz since cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed during filming in 2021. The man holding the gun at the time, actor and producer Alec Baldwin, is preparing for a potential trial of his own, even as his legal team hints that it might have the goods to get the case thrown out — even before what promises to be an even bigger wave of reporters crowds into the courthouse. This week on the show, Executive Producer Jeff Proctor speaks with local journalist Julia Goldberg from the Santa Fe Reporter about the national media circus that’s accompanied the start of the proceedings and discusses the legal strategies at play with Albuquerque-based attorney Ahmad Assed.  

And as that buzz amplifies to a head-pounding roar, we’re getting our arms around some of the legislation that passed through the Roundhouse and now awaits Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s signature in Santa Fe.  

Our legislative focus this week is House Bill 151, which mandates affirmative consent policies at public colleges and universities across the state. The idea of affirmative consent, simply put, is the understanding that only yes means yes. Democratic state Rep. Liz Thomson of Albuquerque and an advocate who’s led this conversation for years, Alexandria Taylor, join me for a conversation explaining the thought process behind the bill and how affirmative consent education could be applied in K-12 settings, as supporters originally intended.
Call that conversation a bit of a palate cleanser after the sometimes-cynical legislative session — and just before what is certain to be a difficult couple weeks in the courtroom with the first of the Rust trials. One of the most refreshing parts of my job here at NMPBS is meeting and speaking with people who have a genuine interest in contributing to the public good, as Taylor clearly does. 
Regardless of politics, I have to imagine everyone who watches the show this week will come to the same conclusion about our first guest, Nichole Rogers, the newly elected Albuquerque City Councilor for District 6. I had the pleasure of speaking with the city’s representative from the Southeast Heights for nearly 20 minutes, touching on her inspiration for entering a city council race in the first place, the ongoing federal investigation into alleged corruption within the Albuquerque Police Department’s DWI unit and the pressure and responsibility she feels as the first Black woman to ever hold a council seat in Albuquerque.

Councilor Rogers told me while she’s honored and grateful to carry that distinction, she didn’t campaign on the historic reality. She says she wanted people to choose her for her intelligence, experience and vision. This week you’ll have the opportunity to witness all three. 

-Lou DiVizio, NMiF Senior Producer