Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Clips From Our Newsroom Floor: The Spaceport Launch, A New Dem Chair To Come, At The Movies, And: The Year Was 1993 

It would be a powerful political moment for Governor Martinez if Virgin Galactic were able to launch tourists into suborbital space from the NM Spaceport in the election year of 2014. but that's looking increasingly dicey. The latest:

Virgin Galactic, the main Spaceport America tenant...expects to apply soon for a necessary FAA permit regarding its plans to carry tourists to suborbital space...The agency’s review period of the application could take six months or longer....

"Apply soon?" How long is that? "Six months or longer?" How long is that? Well....

Martinez dragged her feet on the Spaceport during her first two years in office. This year she embraced the project and the Legislature approved a Spaceport liability bill. The project will be a legacy of former Governor Big Bill--if and when it gets off the ground.


Who will be the new chair of the NM Democratic Party? One thing seems certain--it will be an attorney who is selected when state Dems meet Saturday in Las Cruces to name a replacement for Javier Gonzalez who served four years and is not seeking re-election. ABQ attorney Sam Bregman and Carlsbad lawyer Roxanne Lara waged a spirited campaign for the some 400 central committee votes that will decide the issue. ABQs Cornelia Lange is the third candidate in the race. Gonzales sang his swan 
song to the Santa Fe paper.


Heather Wilson
She had a pretty good run but it's over and she's out of here, not unlike many other job seeking New Mexicans. Former five term ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson is headed to South Dakota to become president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. The move comes in the wake of her 2012 loss to Dem Martin Heinrich for a US Senate seat. 

Wilson was a protege of former GOP US Senator Pete Domenici but he too is long gone. 

Wilson was always a figure who evoked emotion among both supporters and detractors and one of our Alligators had a parting bite for her:

Ahhhh, Heather Wilson, the Steve Alford of NM politics, she professes to love New Mexico then just four months later leaves the state. Notice how her bio now cites her past work for Oak Ridge labs and the Nevada test site. Didn't see her talk about that during the NM senate race. I guess now she can go public with her efforts to take work from LANL and Sandia...

Wilson was known as a moderate Republican when she took the congressional seat in 1998, but she moved to the right as the GOP became more conservative. At the same time her district and the state were getting more blue. Once she lost to Heinrich, it was over for good.


Reader and ABQ attorney Brian Colón writes:

This Sunday, April 28th at 1 p.m. please join with other local residents for a special event, ABQ5k4Boston. 

ABQ5k4Boston is a 5k run that will support Boston's First Responders Fund (BFRF). 100% of the registrations/donations will be forwarded to that organization. BFRF is committed to proving 100% of those funds to address the needs of the victims/families of the April 15th explosions. Find out more and register for the run here.


We're at the movies this Friday with reviewer Eric Lucero:

Oblivion (3 Stars out of 4): This sci-fi, post-apocalyptic epic brings together the considerable talents of visionary director/producer Joseph Kosinski and action superstar Tom Cruise in what can be called a
“War of the Worlds” (H.G. Wells, 1898) of our time. Cruise was in the most recent re-make of that classic tale, but ‘Oblivion’ goes way beyond Wells' scope.

Some purists may question the plot, but the story is as old and as traditional as the art of film itself--Boy gets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy gets Girl back, with a dash of “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) and Star Wars (1977) thrown in. Our joy is in its timeless retelling.

Kosinski really amps up his game this time out. Cruise is smartly supported by the ubiquitous Morgan Freeman who plays with relish a mysterious freedom fighter. Talented British actress Andrea Riseborough plays with affect his duty partner on Station. French actress and model Olga Kurylenko, a Bond Girl, adds "eye candy." There’s something for all. A must see in XD (Cinemark’s version of IMAX).

Oblivion is playing at theatres across the metro.


In a first draft of the Thursday blog we did not make it clear that two women--not one--were disparaged on Facebook by Bernalillo County GOP Executive Director Steve Kush and a former GOP executive director. Both women testified for the increase in the minimum wage before the Bernalillo County Commission and are with Working America, a labor advocacy group.


Here's a golden oldie sent in by one of our longtime readers. It's a 1993 newspaper ad promoting our KANW 89.1 FM radio coverage of that year's run-off election for Mayor of Albuquerque.

In those years we teamed with former State Senator and top lobbyist Odis Echols. He passed away last month at the age of 82.

Odis was with us when we began Election Night coverage on KANW in 1988 and he held forth for another ten years. The program continues to this day and in 2013 marks its 25th year.

Our first encounter with Echols--who became a broadcaster under the tutelage of his father who owned a radio station in Clovis--was back in '76. We called an election together for ABQ's KRKE-AM but memory fails whether it was a primary or general.

In '78 Odis joined me on KRZY-AM for an exciting night of coverage of the results of the Bruce King-Joe Skeen gubernatorial clash. Republican Skeen narrowly lost to Bruce for the second time. Our broadcast area was the size of a small closet with barely enough room for both of us at the sole microphone at our disposal. Somehow we managed.

By the way, that 1993 ABQ mayoral run-off election featured Democrat Marty Chavez and Republican Dave Cargo. Marty won by less than 600 votes--the narrowest margin ever for an ABQ mayoral election. Odis was pretty breathless that night, but if you knew him you know he never ran out of words.

The year was 1993. I was there and that's how I remember it.

Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan.

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