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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Waiting For More Of the '16 Political Pieces To Fall Into Place, The Crash In The Number Of APD Cops And Happy Thanksgiving, New Mexico! 

We head into Thanksgiving '15 waiting for the political pieces to fall into place for Election '16. For example, after our first draft of this blog appeared ABQ GOP State Rep. Conrad James announced Wednesday morning on Facebook that he would not seek re-election next year. He did not mention any future political plans.

Its been speculated that James could seek the state Senate seat of GOP Sen. Lisa Torraco but after the James news broke she said she will seek re-election. James made no mention of any future political plans in his announcement. He is the first Republican African-American to serve in the House from Bernalillo County.

James represents a swing district so his departure may be good news for the Dems as they try to retake the seat in their battle to retake control of the state House which the R's took over in 2014. . .

New Mexico lawmakers are not about to legalize marijuana in '16 or probably '17 for that matter, but the day could come as the state seeks new revenue sources and sees what is happening in our neighbor to the north. The latest:

Preliminary data. . . has confirmed what tax revenues have already shown: Coloradans love legal pot. All told, dispensary sales in the state were $290 million for the quarter, a 53 percent increase over last year's $190 million quarterly sales. Year to date, dispensary sales are about $740 million. "Marijuana is going to be a $1 billion business in Colorado this year, or very damn close," said Roy Bingham, founder and CEO of BDS. "It's the fastest growing industry in America, I would say."

Gov. Martinez has expressed opposition to legalized marijuana. Could she change her mind before her term ends in 2018?

Reader Larry writes of our blog Tuesday citing UNM studies documenting the halt in population growth here and the outflow of people:

Look at the positive side of our exodus. We will be in a more sustainable relationship with our water, food and clean air supply. For the economically minded this may make us more attractive in the future to something other than minimum wage employers. Sometimes you really do need to think long term.

COP CRASH

Just how understaffed is APD? We're finally getting numbers that show the stark reality and likely one of the reasons the criminal element is spiking our crime rate:

So far this year, 90 Albuquerque police officers have left, and city councilors are worried. The city says as of Monday, there were 512 officers for patrol, including commanders and lieutenants. That means on an average night, if no one calls out sick or is on vacation, there are 90 cops for the entire city and its half a million residents. That's one officer for every 5,500 people. On Fridays, which are busy for APD, the number jumps to 144 officers.

When you see conservative Republican City Councilor Trudy Jones raising an eyebrow at this extreme understaffing, you know Mayor Berry's base voters are even starting to take notice.

Reader and film reviewer Eric Lucero checks in with some picks for the holiday weekend:

Creed (PG-13) 3 Stars out of 5. It’s not Rocky, 1976, but it is a worthy boxing sequel (the 7th) that years later allows actor Sylvester Stallone/Rocky Balboa to mold Adonis, (Michael B. Jordan, Fantastic Four) into a champion. He's the troubled son of the late Apollo Creed who began the film series as a foe of Rocky's but ended as a friend. Jordan has both the convincing boxing physique and acting temperament. The franchise stands revived!

Spectre (PG-13) 4 Stars. This latest (24th) Bond adventure is nostalgic, retro, and bristling with action. If this is Daniel Craig’s (James Bond) final outing as the enigmatic, post-modern and quintessential spy, it’s his best and rates atop the best of all Bond performances. This is director Sam Mendes’ (American Beauty, Sky Fall) second and final turn with the highly successful franchise. Spectre manages to demolish both Bond’s world view, and ours as well. It is thoroughly entertaining.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (PG-13) 3 1/2 Stars. This much hyped closing chapter of the Hunger Games saga should have been concluded in Part 1 as in the original novel. That aside, after much filler Part 2 finally gets around to the overthrow of the evil President Snow and his Nazi-like regime. The final frames are very dark but Katniss’s (Jennifer Lawrence) gives a defining performance as the “face of the rebellion." The finale is glorious and sublime as director Frances Lawrence deftly brings closure for loyal fans. The whole family will enjoy the Mockingjay.

Happy Thanksgiving, New Mexico!

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