Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Clippings From My Newsroom Floor 

Sure it's hot and it's going to get hotter:
If you doubt that climate change is transforming the American landscape, go to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sweltering temperatures there have broken records this summer, and a seemingly permanent orange haze of smoke hangs in the air from multiple wildfires.

Take a ride into the mountains and you'll see one blackened ridge after another where burns in the past few years have ravaged the national forest. Again, this year, fires in New Mexico and neighboring states of Colorado and Arizona are destroying wilderness areas. Fire danger is expected to remain abnormally high for the rest of the summer throughout much of the Intermountain West. But "abnormal" fire risks have become the new normal.


A member of the New Mexico Legislature writes of our Monday blog on Gatorgate"--the controversial 2011 Louisiana hunting trip taken by First Gentleman Churck Franco and a security detail of two state policemen.

Reading your columns on GatorGate has raised three new questions for me:

1) The reports are that each State Police Officer had a 12 year old son with him. State Administrative Rule 1.5.3 relates to Administration and Use of State Vehicles. Specifically, Rule 1.5.312(B) states: “Authorized passengers. Only authorized passengers may occupy a state vehicle. A person who is not a state employee must obtain written authorization from the director or designee before occupying a state vehicle. Failure to comply may result in suspension of driving privileges.” 

Did these two officers each get written permission from the Director of GSD to take the 12 year olds with them (and if not, should their driving privileges be suspended)?

2) Questions have come up regarding whether the First Gentleman routinely gets this level of “security.” Has anyone done a public records request to see the payroll of officers assigned to cover the First Gentleman? I think we might discover whether he is regularly secured, or if “security” was the excuse for the extra pay the officers received.

3) I understand the First Gentleman has gone back to work providing courthouse security. Do two state police offices secure the First Gentleman while he provides security at the courthouse?


NM Dem Senator Pete Campos sends this:

Campos said he plans to retire after completing his sixth year as President of Luna Community College. “We have made significant progress at Luna Community College by improving the quality of education offered to students of all ages.I will continue to lead this effort until my retirement...

Campos was re-elected to the Senate in 2012.


Former NM Governor Dave Cargo died last Friday at the age of 84 and will be laid to rest today at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Tributes have come in to the blog throughout the week. Our remembrance is posted on Monday's blog which you can find by scrolling down. Reader Mike Santullo writes:

Dave Cargo was ahead of his time. He always thought of the “big” picture. He was never afraid to take positions on crucial issues that went against the grain. He was the King with the common touch who gave a “Voice to the Voiceless” and reached over to both sides of the political aisle to accomplish this. He will be sorely missed and will always be remembered as an innovator and a man of great courage and decency..

Former NM GOP Chairman John Lattauzio writes from Utah:

Joe, thank you for reminding us of Dave Cargo's wit and accomplishments. I enjoyed his company and friendship. My memories include the Governor's leadership in promoting New Mexico to the Hollywood filmmaking industry. You may also remember the part the Republican Party played in his 1993 mayoral bid. The party faced court hearings due to our support for Dave. We prevailed. Governor Dave Cargo will be missed.

In Santa Fe, reader and TV host Lorene Mills says her program this weekend will feature a 2010 interview she conducted with Cargo.  "Report from Santa Fe" airs at 6:00 p.m. Saturday for the east side out of KENW Channel 3 in Portales; 8:00 a.m. Sunday for Albq/Santa Fe on KNME, Channel 5. The program can also be viewed here.

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by. Reporting from ABQ and southern California, I'm Joe Monahan.

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