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Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Clippings From Our Newsroom Floor 

They weren't kidding when they told us it would take years for APD to clean up its act. The force remains at historically low staffing levels and the president of the police officers union is arrested on child abuse charges, even as the mayor and council finally move to solve a five year old pay dispute with officers.

Then there's the controversial hiring by Chief Eden of a new APD training academy director who is under investigation by the BernCo sheriff's office where she used to work. And there's more. . .

A judge orders APD to finally stop stonewalling and release cellphone video taken by a witness to the Los Altos Skate Park killing of 17 year old Jaquise Lewis (God only nows what that will ultimately reveal). And then there are those rumors on the street about possibly more police video surfacing of the slaying of 19 year old Mary Hawkes that could be incriminating for the officer who shot her.

Solutions? You know the drill. Get a new police chief; purge the APD command staff; get the police force up to 1,000 officers pronto by putting up the cash and conducting aggressive national recruiting; have the city council pressure APD and Mayor Berry to move more quickly to implement required Department of Justice reforms.

Like we said, it's going to take years. And the heads of the city's economic groups, the Chamber of Commerce, AED, the Economic Forum and NAIOP, can have all the self-congratulatory luncheons they want, but no major business is coming into this town until they get involved and help clean up this mess. Don't say we didn't tell you.

FISHY STUFF

This is one that sent off a a fishy smell:

The state is having second thoughts about spending roughly $10 million to buy an office complex to house the Albuquerque offices of the Department of Children, Youth and Families – property that sold for $1.5 million last spring. Instead of moving ahead with the purchase now, the state will seek competitive proposals for leased space to consolidate CYFD offices. However, the administration of Gov. Martinez says it still may fall back on its previous plan to purchase the campus of older, largely vacant buildings in Southeast Albuquerque.

That report was from the ABQ Journal's investigative unit. Not bad but what about an update on that federal grand jury probe of Jay McCleskey, the governor's top political adviser and widely recognized as the most influential figure in state government, despite not having an official position? Only one story so far? What's with that? Everyone gone Christmas shopping?

PARKING IT

Sometimes the amateurs are better than the pros. There are some pretty cool amateur videos out promoting the state's parks:

Governor Martinez announced the winners of the Find Your New Mexico True Park video contest to help encourage more New Mexicans to explore the state over the summer. The winning videos are here. The (state) created this promotion in order to highlight parks throughout the state and to stimulate in-state tourism. Winners were selected in three categories: New Mexico State Parks, New Mexico Historic Sites, and the National Park Service.

The "Day at White Sands" video is only a minute long but captures the allure of New Mexico quite well.

THAT'S FUNNY

Here's a funny to end the week on:

After digging to a depth of 10 feet last year outside Buffalo, New York, scientists found traces of copper cable dating back 100 years. They came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a Los Angeles, California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet somewhere just outside Oceanside. Shortly afterward, a story in the LA Times read, "California archaeologists, reporting a finding of 200 year old copper cable, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers."

One week later, the local newspaper in Santa Fe, New Mexico reported, "After digging 30 feet deep in his pasture near the community of Santa Fe, Frankie Lopez, a heck of an engineer and a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Frankie has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, New Mexico had already gone wireless."

Just makes a person proud to be from New Mexico.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

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