Keeping the Peace
Burque’s fair-trade mecca faces closure
A cooperative of more than 800 South African Zulu works full-time to create brightly colored baskets and bracelets fashioned from telephone wire. These crafts catch the eye upon entering Peacecraft, Albuquerque's only retailer that deals exclusively in fair-trade products. The items sold here provide enough income to support the Zulu co-op’s members and families, says Sharon Cantrell, Peacecraft's outreach director. The trade also creates jobs for fathers, she says, in a region where many families are split apart when men have to travel across the continent to find work.
A Mother’s Plea
Tears flowed down the face of Sylvia Fuentes as she spoke to the City Council at the Monday, Nov. 15 meeting. She begged councilors to take a hard look at police training and the culture behind 2010’s steady pace of officer-involved shootings. She talked about those victims who were mentally ill and not criminals firing weapons at officers.
Ain't I a Woman?
Transgender Day of Remembrance
On a July night in 2009, Teri Benally was with some acquaintances in an Albuquerque park. She told her friends she was going home and left. That was the last time they saw her. According to news reports, Teri was found badly beaten and unconscious on Maple near Coal the next morning. She died, at the age of 42, in the hospital.
Sergio Salvador salvadorphoto.com
A Dose of History
Boutique lodging is the cure for an ailing hospital
On Sept. 5, 1926, Albuquerque began weeklong festivities to mark the opening of the Santa Fe Hospital. Built in the Italianate architecture style, the facility was designated to treat employees of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway company. In the '40s the name was changed to the AT & SF Hospital and later, in the '80s, was purchased by a group of psychiatrists who named it Memorial Hospital. This week sees another grand opening for the building at Central Avenue and I-25. It's come back to life as the Hotel Parq Central.
Odds & Ends
Dateline: Massachusetts—A former pastor at St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill has been charged with stealing $83,147 from the church—most of which was used to pay off his extensive pornography bills. According to Haverhill police reports, Rev. Keith LeBlanc had a credit card he used exclusively for online pornography. By the time he was caught, the credit card had racked up a $25,000 balance. Haverhill’s Eagle Tribune reports that Comcast cable bills from the church rectory show that LeBlanc charged $4,021.14 worth of “adult” movies to the church during his tenure. An Archdiocese of Boston investigation led by attorney Mark Dunderdale led to LeBlanc’s removal from the pulpit in June. “Father LeBlanc admitted to Dunderdale that he has an addiction and needs help,” police Detective Glenn Fogarty wrote in his report. According to Det. Fogarty’s report, LeBlanc has been sent to St. John Vianney Center in Pennsylvania, a church-run retreat that specializes in “behavioral health issues” of clergy. LeBlanc was pastor at St. John’s for six years.