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  • Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
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View Sample Pages : Santa Fe New Mexican, March 06, 2005

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New Mexican (Newspaper) - March 6, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico THE SANTA FE r owned Serving New Mexico for156years SUNDAY MARCH 6 2005 ONE DOLLAR Massive water bill comes due for Santa Fe By TOM SHARPE The New Mexican The cost of water is about to take a larger bite out of Santa Fe wallets City water customers who already pay some of the highest water rates in the country can expect to see big ger monthly bills in the near future In addition city voters this month are being asked to subsidize Santa Fes water system by raising the local grossreceipts tax rate After decades of putting off major improvements a growing community is looking at spending million over the next 20 years to upgrade its water system A major chunk of that money would go to the citys share of a project to begin diverting water directly from the Rio Grande The first step comes March IS when voters decide whether to add a quarter of 1 percent to the gross receipts tax rate Thats an extra penny for every spent on every thing from tacos to toilet paper If voters approve the tax rate within city limits climbs to percent July 1 If voters shoot it down city officials warn expect even bigger waterrate increases ahead In madeforcableTV ads Mayor Larry Delgado gently reminds vot ers that much of the new tax revenue would come from tourists and other Please see WATER Page A7 Inside City Council presents united front on tax vote Santa Feans show little inter est in election Man fights the water system Page A8 Lawmakers look to boost lowest wage The Senate is gearing up for a vote on whether to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in eight years as Democrats and Republicans offer up competing proposals Page A3 Real Estate Guide The United Slates is experiencing what one official calls the strongest housing market in history Find out why and sit down with a realestate agent running for Santa Fe mayor in this months Real Estate Guide Inside A new funding idea With parents asked to raise extra money and even supply schools with everydayitems some in the philanthropic community are looking at permanent endowments and major donors as a better way for public schools to raise money Santa Fe El Norte Bl Todays obituaries Annie G Montoya 96 Santa Fe March 2 Brent Baca Albuquerque March 2 John C Tubbs 65 Santa Fe March 3 Merrill E Noble 81 Feb 18 Sumner S Koch Santa Fe Feb 20 Tomas A Gonzales Feb 27 Please see Page B2 Todays forecast Cloudy scattered Showers High 51 low 28 Page B2 Annies Mailbox D4 Business 01 Classifieds Crossword Focus Horoscope Local news Lotteries Hl D4 El D4 Bl B2 Movies G5 Mutuals D2 Opinion Fl Police notes B3 tQuc Pasa 122 Scoreboard C2 Sports Cl Travel Gl The Wests Oldest Newspaper 11 sections 112 pages 156tli year Issue No 65 Publication No 596 440 Late paper Classified ads News tips Main office 9840363 9863000 9863030 9833303 Anywhere there is hate there is going to be violence And anywhere there is antigay rhetoric allowed in our schools and in the Legislature there Will be RACHEL ROSEN friend of the Maestas family Photos by Tina New Mexican Hundreds of supporters gathered Saturday on Santa Fe Plaza for a candlelight vigil In honor of a 21yearold Santa fe High School graduate brutally beaten last week James Maestas was unconscious for several days after the attack but his condition Is Improving a family friend told the crowd A LIGHT FOR JAMES h Vigil draws support for beating victim and pleas for tolerance Christiana Christine director of Crossroads for Domestic Violence in Santa Fe stands behind the Plaza stage after addressing the crowd By JULIE ANN GRIMM The New Mexican As the sun set over the Plaza on Saturday hundreds of New Mexicans gathered in the frigid night air to take a stand against a crime that had chilled the com munity The candlelight vigil for a Santa Fe man who was brutally beaten last week lasted for nearly two hours as people lined the ramp of the Plaza stage to spill their emotions into the microphone about a crime police say was motivated by antigay sentiment James Maestas is still fighting for his life in a hospital follow ing an attack by at least three men who last Sunday kicked and punched him into unconscious ness A family spokeswoman said the 21yearold Santa Fe High School graduate has some lung injuries but is showing signs of improvement Maestas was unconscious for several days and had been on a paralytic drug so his body Please see VIGIL Page A5 Paydayloan money attracts the elite of New Mexico lobbying By STEVE TERRELL The New Mexican Inside Industry handing out money to politi cians on all sides Paydayloan bills and where state lawmakers stand Page A4 Representatives of the payday loan industry have argued in the Legislature this year that their stores provide jobs for New Mexico While consumer advocates have questioned the quality of those jobs theres no dispute that payday loans have been an employment boon for one group lobbyists According to a list provided by Lt Gov Diane Denishs office 11 people considered by some a whos who of New Mexico lob byists are working on behalf of House Bill 65 a paydayloan bill sponsored by Rep Patty Lund strom DGallup that passed the House last week on a 598 vote despite opposition from consumer advocates and highranking state officials What this means is that theres a strong push against any good regulation of payday said Denish who said shell ask Gov Hill Richardson to veto HB 65 because she said it protects pay day lenders more than consum ers Payday loans are shortterm cash advances against borrowers1 paychecks Usually a borrower who cant repay the principal when its due can extend the loan while never reducing the princi pal The bill would limit payday to give borrowers 24 hours to change their minds impose limits on delinquent fees and returnedcheck charges and consider the loan forgiven once a customer has repaid twice what was originally borrowed But consumer advocates say the bill is full of holes because it doesnt eliminate tripledigit interest rates common in the industry and doesnt prohibit rollovers and bncktoback which thev say keep pay day borrowers in a cycle of debt Among the lobbyists work Please see PAYDAY Page ;