Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pence Plays Here Today, Johnson To Rally Saturday, WaPo Puts Glow On Berry And Fewer Cops Means More Deadly ABQ Speed Demons 

With states far more important to a GOP presidential victory than New Mexico, maybe the reason VP candidate Mike Pence is making stops in ABQ and Roswell today is to build up  his profile for a 2020 presidential run of his own. Just a thought. . .

Then there's Gary Johnson's second quixotic presidential bid as the Libertarian party candidate. He's rescheduled an earlier ABQ campaign rally. It will now be held this Saturday at 2 p.m at the ABQ Convention Center.  If you smell something funny in the air while you're there, well, you know what that is. . .

It's stuff like this in the WaPo that keep a number of the Alligators speculating that ABQ Mayor Berry will seek a third term next year and forgo a run for the '18 Guv nod:

Next month will be the first anniversary of Albuquerque’s There’s a Better Way program, which hires panhandlers for day jobs beautifying the city. . .A van is dispatched around the city to pick up panhandlers who are interested in working. The job pays $9 an hour. . . At the end of the shift, the participants are offered overnight shelter as needed. In less than a year since its start, the program has given out 932 jobs clearing 69,601 pounds of litter and weeds from 196 city blocks. And more than 100 people have been connected to permanent employment.

Jeremy Reynalds, director of the homeless shelter Joy Junction, takes issue with the WaPo's glowing take on that homeless program, saying the root cause of the homeless problem is mental health and the mayoral administration can't say it's doing much on that front. As for the politics, Berry could just as easily use this good PR in a guv run as well as mayor.

What budget crisis? The news:

Gov. Martinez is in Colorado attending a meeting of the Republican Governors Association. Her office announced she was traveling to Aspen for a summer meeting of the association and will return to New Mexico on Wednesday. Martinez is the chairwoman of the fundraising arm of the Republican Party that focuses on the election of GOP governors across the country. The association is paying for the governor’s travel.

Maybe someone up there can tell her how to cut a deal with the Legislature on how to keep the state afloat as it deals with a budget shortfall upwards of $700 million?

We've told you how the speed demons have taken over the streets and freeways of ABQ as the severe APD staffing shortage continues unabated. And that means this:

. . . The number of fatal crashes in Albuquerque is on the rise. So far this year, there have been 39 fatal crashes. They include 11 deadly motorcycle crashes and eight involving alcohol. In 2015, there were 47 deadly crashes. . . APD said half of the crashes this year are related to speed and pedestrians not using crosswalks. “The contributing factor to a lot of these accidents are excessive speed. If you slow down, people won't get as injured as much, fatalities wouldn't be so high.  APD also said there is a correlation between fatal crashes and citations. Fatal crashes are on the rise while the number of citations being written are decreasing. 

Be careful out there.

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