Netflix commits $1 billion to make New Mexico home to one of the world’s largest studios


Netflix is committing $1 billion in production spend at its ABQ Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico along with plans to expand those studios, the company said.

In an announcement alongside New Mexico’s Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Albuquerque Mayor, Tim Keller, Netflix’s chief executive Ted Sarandos said the company would add 300 acres to its existing space in ABQ Studios, creating one of the largest film production facilities in North America.

That means roughly 1,000 new production jobs in New Mexico over the next ten years, the company predicted and an additional 1,467 construction jobs to complete the expansion.

“My administration has expanded our state’s competitive film incentives, facilitating higher-wage employment for New Mexicans all across the state, and increased opportunities for rural communities,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The proposed expansion and $150 million in capital expenditures will add ten new stages, post-production services, mills, backlots, and training facilities, wardrobe suites, a commissary, and other flexible buildings.

New Mexico’s government is providing $17 million in funding and the city of Albuquerque is providing another $7 million in financing, including $6 million in infrastructure in-kind financing.

The city is also issuing bonds to abate property and other taxes over a 20-year term to cover the first $500 million investment by Netflix to build out the production facility.

As part of the deal, Netflix has also agreed to lease 130 acres from the State Land Office in addition to the private purchase of another 170 acres.

New Mexico’s Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary, Alicia J. Keyes, said the deal could ultimately result in $2.5 billion worth of spending in the state.

Netflix also committed to supporting the state’s indigenous, latino, Black and other underrepresented content creators and filmmakers.

Productions filming in New Mexico currently include “The Harder They Fall” and “Intrusion” — and the company expects to begin shooting the next season of “Stranger Things” in the state.


#e-commerce, #governor, #mayor, #netflix, #new-mexico, #north-america, #secretary, #tc, #ted-sarandos


1 America, 1 Pandemic, 2 Realities

Journeys through two states found Americans leading starkly different lives in the pandemic. New Mexico feels at a standstill. In South Dakota, life is going right on.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #new-mexico, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #south-dakota


Yvette Herrell Ousts Xochitl Torres Small From New Mexico House Seat

The Republican former state legislator succeeded in picking off the first-term Democrat in a rural district where President Trump is popular.

#house-of-representatives, #new-mexico, #torres-small-xochitl, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government


Footprints Mark a Toddler’s Perilous Prehistoric Journey

Mammoths and giant ground sloths roamed the same terrain that a young adult swiftly moved through while toting a young child.

#animal-behavior, #children-and-childhood, #feet, #fossils, #mammoths-animals, #new-mexico, #paleontology, #quaternary-science-reviews-journal, #research, #sloths-animals, #white-sands-national-park-new-mexico, #your-feed-science, #youth


Virgin Galactic readies first spaceflight from Spaceport America for ‘later this this fall’

Virgin Galactic is getting ready to fly its first mission to space from its Spaceport America facility in New Mexico. This is the site that the company will use to host all of its commercial flights, and making it to space from this launch locale is crucial to getting to that point.

Earlier this year, Virgin Galactic successfully flew a number of tests of its SpaceShipTwo launch craft from New Mexico, but these didn’t include a trip to space. That launch, which will be performed by two of the company’s test pilots (while also carrying a number of experiments for the passenger hatch) should happen before the year is out, hopefully putting Virgin Galactic on pace to begin offering its commercial services next year to paying passengers.

Those private astronauts will include one newly announced individual: Dr. Alan Stern, a noted and well-regarded planetary scientist who has held a number of positions, and is most recently the associate Vice President of South West Research Institute’s Space Science and Engineering Division. Dr. Stern is the first researcher named to be flying on board Virgin Galactic’s commercial spacecraft on a NASA-funded science mission.

This won’t be the first of SpaceShipTwo’s commercial flights, it seems. Stern’s trip will take place on a “yet unscheduled” suborbital flight from Spaceport America in the future. Stern will be conducting two key pieces of science aboard the spacecraft, including actually wearing instrumentation that monitors his vial signs throughout, as well as using a low light camera to see how well observing space from the vantage point of inside the SpaceShipTwo cabin works.

#aerospace, #alan-stern, #new-mexico, #outer-space, #private-spaceflight, #science, #space, #space-tourism, #spaceflight, #spaceport, #spaceport-america, #spaceshiptwo, #suborbital-spaceflight, #tc, #virgin-galactic


Pandemic Highlights Deep-Rooted Problems in Indian Health Service

Few hospital beds, lack of equipment, a shipment of body bags in response to a request for coronavirus tests: The agency providing health care to tribal communities struggled to meet the challenge.

#arizona, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #disease-rates, #indian-health-service, #medicine-and-health, #native-americans, #navajo-indians, #new-mexico, #nez-jonathan, #poverty, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #shortages, #tests-medical, #united-states-politics-and-government


Why New Mexico’s 1680 Pueblo Revolt Is Echoing in 2020 Protests

Indigenous groups in the Southwest are imbuing their activism this year with commemorations of the 340-year-old Pueblo Revolt, one of Spain’s bloodiest defeats in its colonial empire.

#albuquerque-nm, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #floyd-george-d-2020, #george-floyd-protests-2020, #native-americans, #new-mexico, #race-and-ethnicity


New Mexico Mystery: Why Are So Many Birds Dropping Dead?

Scientists say that the wildfires in the West combined with drought and record heat waves could be triggering one of the Southwest’s largest migratory bird die-offs in recent decades.

#animal-migration, #birds, #new-mexico, #wildfires, #wildlife-die-offs


Inside a Nursing Home Devoted to Treating Those With Covid-19

In a New Mexico long-term care facility, residents rely on care providers for medical care and moments of connection.

#canyon-transitional-rehabilitation-center-albuquerque-nm, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #elderly, #native-americans, #new-mexico, #nursing-homes


Santa Fe Board Crushes George R.R. Martin’s Plan for ‘Medieval Castle’

An architect proposed a seven-sided tower called the “Water Garden Keep.” Neighbors feared it would attract Mr. Martin’s fans, and a review board said it did not fit Santa Fe’s Southwestern style.

#architecture, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #martin-george-r-r, #new-mexico, #roofs, #santa-fe-nm


Forrest Fenn, Art Dealer Who Enticed Thousands to Hunt for Hidden Treasure, Dies at 90

Mr. Fenn announced in a 2010 book that he had hidden a chest of gold nuggets, diamonds and other jewels somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. People reacted.

#books-and-literature, #deaths-obituaries, #fenn-forrest-1930, #gold, #new-mexico, #poetry-and-poets, #rocky-mountains, #santa-fe-nm, #the-thrill-of-the-chase-book, #treasure-troves


A Nostalgic (if Isolating) Road Trip Along Route 66

Driven by an early fascination with the American West, a photographer set off to travel part of America’s most celebrated highway.

#albuquerque-nm, #antique-and-classic-cars, #arizona, #automobiles, #gallup-nm, #holbrook-ariz, #hotels-and-travel-lodgings, #native-americans, #navajo-indians, #new-mexico, #photography, #roads-and-traffic, #travel-and-vacations, #winslow-ariz


Waymo’s Boris Sofman and TuSimple’s Xiaodi Hou to join us at TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

One of the areas of autonomous driving technology with the most potential to have a near-term and dramatic impact remains trucking: There’s a growing lack of drivers for long-haul routes, and highway trucking remains a relatively uncomplicated (though still very challenging) type of driving for AV systems to tackle.

Many companies are pursuing the challenge of autonomous trucking, but TuSimple and Waymo are leading the pack. TuSimple CTO Dr. Xiaodi You, who co-founded the company in 2015, and Waymo’s Boris Sofman, who leads the company’s autonomous trucking engineering efforts, will both join us at TC Sessions: Mobility on our virtual stage. The event takes place October 6-7, and we’re excited to hear from these two technology leaders working at the forefront of the industry.

TuSimple has accomplished a lot since its debut five years ago, including recently laying the groundwork for a U.S.-wide network of shipping routes in partnership with UPS, Xpress, food service supply company McLane and Penske Truck Leasing. The company is also seeking a sizable new funding round to help it scale, while actively testing with regular routes between Arizona and Texas.

Waymo, which originated at Google as that company’s self-driving car project before spinning out under parent entity Alphabet, adding self-driving trucks to the list of technologies it’s developing in 2017. Sofman joined in 2019, when Waymo hired on much of the engineering talent from his prior company, smart toy robotics maker Anki. Sofman’s resume also includes developing off-road autonomous vehicles, which likely comes in handy as Waymo seeks to roll out testing of its autonomous long-haul trucks across Texas and New Mexico.

In case you’re wondering, this won’t just be one long webinar. We have some technical tricks up our sleeves that will bring all of what you’d expect from our in-person events, from the informative panels and provocative one-on-one interviews to the networking and even a pitch-off session. While virtual isn’t the same as our events in the past, it has provided one massive benefit: democratizing access.

If you’re a startup or investor based in Europe, Africa, Australia, South America or another region in the U.S., you can listen in, network and connect with other participants here in Silicon Valley.

Get your tickets for TC Sessions: Mobility to hear from Bryan Salesky, along with several other fantastic speakers from Porsche, Waymo, Lyft and more. Tickets are just $145 for a limited time, with discounts for groups, students and exhibiting startups. We hope to see you there!

#africa, #alphabet, #anki, #arizona, #articles, #australia, #automation, #av, #boris-sofman, #cto, #emerging-technologies, #europe, #google, #lyft, #new-mexico, #porsche, #science-and-technology, #self-driving-cars, #self-driving-truck, #south-america, #tc, #technology, #texas, #transportation, #united-states, #ups, #waymo, #x, #xpress


Virus Response Fueling G.O.P. Bid to Retake New Mexico Seat

A district flipped by Democrats is suddenly in play again as Republicans mobilize opposition to pandemic measures, signaling the tenuous hold Democrats have on some seats they picked up in 2018.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #elections, #elections-house-of-representatives, #grisham-michelle-lujan, #las-cruces-nm, #new-mexico, #politics-and-government, #torres-small-xochitl, #united-states-politics-and-government


SpaceX reveals plans for a Texas spaceport resort in new job ad

SpaceX has big plans for its Boca Chica, Texas site – where it’s currently building and testing Starship, the company’s next-generation passenger and cargo spacecraft. A new job posting spotted by CNBC’s Micheal Sheetz seeks a “Resort Development Manager” to be based out of Brownsville, the nearest neighboring town to the small Boca Chica area where SpaceX has built out its existing test and development site.

The job posting seeks a manger to “oversee the development of SpaceX’s first resort from inception to completion,” with the ultimate aim of turning Boca Chica into a “21st century Spaceport.” That would include overseeing the entire design and construction process, as well as getting all necessary work permits and regulatory approvals, and completing the ultimate build of the facility.

SpaceX has provided some concept designs of what its ideal spaceports might look like, and CEO Elon Musk shared his intent to build floating spaceports for both interstellar and point-to-point Earth travel back in June, when the company announced it was seeking Offshore Operations Engineers, also to be located in Brownsville.

This new posting suggests that SpaceX will seek to create an end-to-end experience out of spaceflight, perhaps more in line with what Virgin Galactic is building at its Spaceport America site in New Mexico. Virgin has placed a lot of emphasis on the customer experience it is providing for its private space tourists, both in terms of its passenger space vehicle cabin, and the amenities available on the ground at the launch site.

SpaceX is readying its own vehicles for private astronaut launches, with announced plans to offer orbital return flights to paying customers using Dragon, which is now closer than ever to human flight certification thanks to having completed a return trip to Earth with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board. That demonstration mission is the final requirement in its certification process, and SpaceX now looks on track to potentially fly private spacefarers as early as its target window of sometime next year.

#aerospace, #ceo, #commercial-spaceflight, #elon-musk, #hyperloop, #new-mexico, #outer-space, #space, #space-tourism, #spaceflight, #spaceport, #spaceport-america, #spacex, #tc, #texas, #transportation, #virgin-galactic


C.D.C. Warns of the Dangers of Drinking Hand Sanitizer After Fatal Poisonings

Four people died and nearly a dozen others were poisoned after swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizer, federal health officials said.

#alcoholic-beverages, #arizona, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #cleansers-detergents-and-soaps, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #food-and-drug-administration, #new-mexico, #poisoning-and-poisons


For the Navajo Nation, a Fight for Better Food Gains New Urgency

As the pandemic has brought home the importance of the global movement for food sovereignty, members are planting and sharing.

#food, #food-insecurity, #gardens-and-gardening, #native-americans, #navajo-indians, #new-mexico, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #seeds, #shortages, #supermarkets-and-grocery-stores


A Land Art Pioneer’s Adventures in Time and Space

Nearly 50 years after Charles Ross began working on “Star Axis,” the artist’s gargantuan work in the New Mexico desert is nearing completion.

#art, #new-mexico, #rock-and-stone, #ross-charles-1937, #sculpture, #stars-and-galaxies


A Timely Case on Police Violence at the Supreme Court

The justices will hear arguments in October over whether excessive force claims against the police are barred when the people they shoot get away.

#albuquerque-nm, #fourth-amendment-us-constitution, #immunity-from-prosecution, #new-mexico, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings, #search-and-seizure, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #supreme-court-us


When America Tested Nuclear Weapons on Itself

It’s been 75 years since we blew radioactive ash over New Mexico. Now the Trump administration is talking about testing bombs again.

#new-mexico, #nuclear-tests, #nuclear-weapons, #radiation


Virgin Galactic brings on Disney Parks leader Michael Colglazier as new CEO

Virgin Galactic is shuffling its uppermost leadership ahead of the private space tourism company’s commercial service launch: It just announced Michael Colglazier, who had been president and managing director of Disney Parks International, will join as the new Virgin Galactic CEO, replacing George Whitesides, who will assume the newly created position of chief space officer.

Whitesides said on Twitter that the move is in anticipation of the company’s move to debut its commercial service. Virgin Galactic is in the final test flight stages at its operational spaceport in New Mexico. It has already flown unpowered test flights of its launch vehicle carrier aircraft and the SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane, and will next move to powered flight tests prior to kicking off flights for its paying ticket-holders.

Whitesides was the first CEO of both Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company (a subsidiary formed specifically to focus on Virgin spacecraft manufacture). Virgin Galactic was originally founded by Richard Branson, who also provided significant funding to the company ahead of its public debut last year via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) created by Chamath Palihapitiya specifically for the purpose.

Colglazier’s experience at Disney in the Parks department should be a clear signal about the direction Virgin Galactic is headed with its human spaceflight business. The company has always put a lot of emphasis on the overall “experience” it provides its private space tourists, including ground activities and training, and installing an executive who was responsible for one of the world’s foremost “experience”-based tourism operations is a smart move.

The background of departing CEO Whitesides is very different: He was chief of staff at NASA prior to joining Virgin Galactic in 2010, and his new position as chief space officer, as well as chair of the company’s Space Advisory Board, does seem to make a lot more sense, given his experience, relative to the company’s goals as an ongoing, revenue-generating business. Whitesides will also step down from the Virgin Galactic board of directors as part of this shift, and Colglazier will join that guidance body.

The executive changes take effect on July 20, the company says. It reports its next results on August 3, and while it now looks like we’ll probably have to wait until next year to see it begin its first commercial tourist flights, it’s likely that the status of its program and progress will be in focus.

#aerospace, #chamath-palihapitiya, #george-whitesides, #michael-colglazier, #new-mexico, #outer-space, #personnel, #richard-branson, #space, #space-tourism, #spaceflight, #spaceshiptwo, #tc, #virgin-galactic


The Legacy of the First Nuclear Bomb Test

The 75th anniversary of what’s known as the Trinity explosion, the world’s first nuclear weapon test, comes as tensions over nuclear devices intensify.

#hiroshima-japan, #manhattan-project, #nagasaki-japan, #new-mexico, #nuclear-tests, #nuclear-weapons, #oppenheimer-j-robert, #plutonium, #trinity-test, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #world-war-ii-1939-45


3 Die in New Mexico After Drinking Hand Sanitizer, Officials Say

A spokesman for the state’s Health Department said the cases were related to alcoholism.

#cleansers-detergents-and-soaps, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #hygiene-and-cleanliness, #new-mexico, #poisoning-and-poisons


Projects to Stash Carbon Dioxide Underground Get a Boost

The government, after years of delays, is finally clarifying rules on tax breaks for companies that use carbon capture to fight climate change.

#carbon-capture-and-sequestration, #carbon-dioxide, #coal, #environment, #farmington-nm, #federal-taxes-us, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #internal-revenue-service, #new-mexico, #tax-credits-deductions-and-exemptions, #united-states-politics-and-government


Virgin Galactic to buy seats on rockets and train private astronauts for Space Station trips

Space tourism company Virgin Galactic has just revealed a novel extension of their business mode, through a new agreement signed with NASA enabled by the Space Act Agreement. The arrangement will see Virgin Galactic purchase seats on spacecraft bound for the orbiting International Space Station, as well as provide training and supplies and resources for those individuals. Virgin Galactic is in the process of developing its own, sub-orbital space tourism program using its own spacecraft that will launch from a carrier airplane, but this deal would involve use of other spacecraft that have the capacity to reach orbit and the ISS – which Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo can’t do.

The most likely candidate for where Virgin will be procuring those seats right now is SpaceX, although Virgin’s press release announcing the news does not mention the Elon Musk-led company. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, which is currently docked at the ISS after its first ever successful astronaut-carrying launch last month, is likely to become the first human-rated private spacecraft certified by NASA upon its return to Earth, likely happening sometime around August. Crew Dragon can hold as many as seven people per launch, and NASA is only ever going to use a maximum of four seats, the agency has said, with hopes that private individuals, including researchers and tourists, will buy up remaining tickets to help offset the costs of launch.

Virgin Galactic will essentially be operating a launch services business for private astronauts, similar to the one set up by Space Adventures, which has an agreement in place with SpaceX, and which previously brokered trips to the ISS for private astronauts including Anousheh Ansari aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft. Again, SpaceX hasn’t been mentioned here specifically, and Virgin Galactic will likely also be seeking access to Boeing’s Starliner crew spacecraft once it’s operational and certified to transport human to the ISS, too. It is interesting to note that SpaceX’s arrangement with Space Adventures thus far focuses only on orbital fly-and-return missions for Crew Dragon, and not on any flights that would involve actually docking at the ISS.

Also worth noting is that Virgin Galactic will be procuring and training private astronauts including individual citizens, as well as government-sponsored scientific research missions. So publicly-funded scientists that aren’t specifically NASA astronauts will likely also go through Virgin. The private spaceflight company says it will use its Spaceport America facility in New Mexico for “some elements of the training program.”

Virgin Galactic’s move from being a private spaceflight launch provider, to a services and procurement company working between NASA and private spaceflight launch companies, is definitely a large and significant shift in its business. It should definitely decrease the company’s time to revenue as it continues to develop and test its own human launch capabilities, a process which obviously carries a lot more overhead than working with existing, already certified launch providers as an intermediary provider.

#aerospace, #anousheh-ansari, #boeing, #commercial-spaceflight, #flight, #international-space-station, #new-mexico, #outer-space, #private-spaceflight, #russia, #science, #space, #space-adventures, #space-tourism, #spacecraft, #spacex, #tc, #virgin-galactic


New Mexico Takes Down Statue of Its Conquistador

The agitation against honoring Juan de Oñate reflects a tension that has long festered between Native Americans and Hispanics over Spain’s conquest of New Mexico more than four centuries ago.

#acoma-pueblo-nm, #albuquerque-nm, #albuquerque-museum-of-art-and-history, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #hispanic-americans, #indigenous-people, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #native-americans, #new-mexico, #onate-juan-de-1550-1626


Teresa Leger Fernandez Beats Valerie Plame in New Mexico House Primary

Ms. Leger Fernandez, a progressive who emphasized her long history in the district, overcame a well-funded challenge from Ms. Plame and defeated several other Democratic rivals.

#new-mexico, #plame-valerie


Pandemic, Protests and Police: An Election Like No Other

Voters cast ballots, many by mail, in eight states and the District of Columbia, with limited polling stations open and concerns about the virus and civil unrest looming over the process.

#absentee-voting, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #curfews, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #elections-governors, #elections-house-of-representatives, #elections-senate, #ernst-joni, #feenstra-randy, #indiana, #iowa, #king-steven-a, #new-mexico, #pennsylvania, #primaries-and-caucuses, #united-states-politics-and-government


The Top U.S. Coronavirus Hot Spots Are All Indian Lands

Living conditions make it difficult to contain the virus’s spread.

#arizona, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #food, #native-americans, #navajo-indians, #new-mexico, #politics-and-government, #quarantines, #united-states, #water


A New Viral Outbreak Is Killing Rabbits

This virus is deadly, long-lived and highly contagious, but it doesn’t affect people or other animals.

#agriculture-department, #animals, #arizona, #australia, #california, #canada, #colorado, #epidemics, #house-rabbit-society, #nevada, #new-mexico, #north-america, #rabbits, #texas, #veterinary-medicine, #your-feed-science


For a City Already in a ‘Death Spiral,’ What’s After Lockdown?

In Farmington, N.M., the economy was already struggling. Now everyone knows someone who is out of work because of the coronavirus. Very few say they know anyone who got sick.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #duckett-nate-1977, #farmington-nm, #grisham-michelle-lujan, #labor-and-jobs, #new-mexico, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #politics-and-government, #rural-areas, #shutdowns-institutional, #unemployment


A Red Corner of a Blue State Fights to Reopen

In Farmington, N.M., the economy was already struggling. Now everyone knows someone who is out of work because of the coronavirus. Very few say they know anyone who got sick.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #duckett-nate, #farmington-n-m, #grisham-michelle-lujan, #labor-and-jobs, #new-mexico, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #politics-and-government, #rural-areas, #shutdowns-institutional, #unemployment


New Mexico Invokes Riot Law to Control Virus Near Navajo Nation

The lockdown in Gallup, on the edge of the country’s largest Indian reservation, comes in response to a worsening outbreak.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #curfews, #gallup-nm, #grisham-michelle-lujan, #native-americans, #navajo-indians, #new-mexico, #quarantines


How New Mexico Flattened the Coronavirus Curve

It has two things missing elsewhere: political leadership and a strong health system.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #grisham-michelle-lujan, #new-mexico