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Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Clippings From Our Newsroom Floor 

This one graph pretty much tells the story of the ABQ economy. Traffic at the ABQ International Sunport has crashed. It's down over 20 percent since 2008 as airlines cut back on flight options (in November Southwest is scheduled to cut 11 flights here) and demand for flights drops because of the stagnant economy.

We blogged recently of our somewhat spooky  Saturday night at the Airport in which we were literally the only person walking through the terminal. . .

A bit of good biz news locally is the drop in gas prices. We've seen them in the $2.79 a gallon area and it appears they could go lower as oil prices finally break downward. The city has a large population of workers making $15 an hour or less. An extra $30 or $40 bucks a month in their wallets due to declining gas prices is in effect a tax break for them. That's money that will flow back into the city's economy--not the coffers of Exxon. . .

The fiscally challenged campaign of Dem Guv hopeful Gary King has also kept his running mate Deb Haaland out of the spotlight so friends of hers got together and produced a four minute video of the first Native American candidate to be on a Guv ticket. . .

And a bit of  humor as "Oh, Susana" becomes "No, Susana" in this music video. . .

More media as Dem Secretary of State candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver comes with radio spots--one in English--the other in Spanish--as she works to shake loose votes in rural New Mexico. Both Oliver and GOP Secretary of State Dianna Duran are expected to soon unveil TV spots. . .

Reader Phyllis Kennedy writes:

Joe, Something you wrote in the September ABQ Free Press (N.M. Democratic Party Needs to Find an Identity) made me think of President Obama’s "call to expand access to high-quality preschool to every child in America.” New Mexico is one of 36 states eligible for a multi-million dollar, multi-year expansion grant. I hope they take advantage of it. The application deadline is October 14. It’s a rigorous application yet I know we’re up to it. . . 

Former ABQ Journal reporter Jeff Proctor--now a producer at KRQE-TV--goes long and deep on the ABQ Police Department's Repeat Offender Project (ROP) team--the team that included the officer who shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd and that set off an international outcry. The news report burrows into just what is meant when critics cite the toxic "culture" of APD that led to the many police shootings and the US Justice Department's civil rights probe of APD. An excerpt:

For more than 20 years, Albuquerque’s ROP team had a symbol: a hangman’s noose. The team plastered the ominous insignia all over its wanted posters, internal memos and other documents. Symbolically, the ROP team and the rest of the Special Investigations Division have been a band apart. They also have kept themselves at a distance physically from both command staff and the rank and file. At the ROP office, in Special Investigations headquarters near the Albuquerque International Sunport, there was a large noose painted on the wall.It wasn’t until the summer of 2012, when this reporter asked then-Chief Ray Schultz whether a hangman’s noose was an appropriate symbol for a unit at a police department that was at the time under federal investigation for use of excessive force, that Schultz vowed to scrub it from ROP letterhead and office walls. It’s unclear whether that has happened.. . .

Some of you are going to throw tomatoes at us, but indulge us for one more round of Albuquerque vs. "Burque." Here's reader Nancy Lucía López

One thing that makes me prefer Burque over ABQ is that it is a nod to Albuquerque's original spelling, Alburquerque. If people want to complain that it isn't traditional to use Burque as a name for our city, I have to laugh since my father had such complaints about the "r" being dropped from the original Spanish spelling. I can imagine all my ancestors listed on the Spanish census of Alburquerque in 1750 saying Burque, but not saying ABQ.

That's it for this week.

I'm Joe Monahan reporting to you from--oh, what the heck--Burque

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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