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 V.17 No.20 | May 15 - 21, 2008 

Chief Public Defender John Bigelow, left, will step down in July, and Hugh Dangler will take his place.
Amy Dalness

News Feature

Defender in Chief

Gov. Richardson appoints a new public defense boss

It's not a title that's on the lips of New Mexicans every day. Many may not even know it exists. But New Mexico's Chief Public Defender (CPD) is in charge of a government agency that handles about 90 percent of the criminal defense work in the state. The department has a $42 million operating budget and close to 300 lawyers who represent 60,000 people a year. The CPD must work closely with the governor to ensure the department has enough resources to represent all of its clients and must maintain a good relationship with New Mexico's district attorney's office and the state courts.

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Newscity

Derby Seeks a Home

DCD leaves the longtime shelter of Midnight Rodeo

Albuquerque's derby athletes got good enough that it wasn't safe for them to be playing at Midnight Rodeo any longer, says Nan Morningstar, a derby founder. And the derby has yet to find a permanent residence or set up a schedule as a result.

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Laura Berg
Marisa Demarco

Neverending Stories

Berg Goes to the Ball

VA nurse accused of sedition honored two-and-a-half years later

Laura Berg is not a black-tie kind of person. But she found herself in nice clothes at a PEN American gala in New York City getting a First Amendment award. She says she felt a little like "Cinderella tapped to go to the ball" on April 28, sitting alongside the likes of Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison. The PEN American Center counts among its literary missions the defense of free expression.

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Answer Me This

Mayor Martin Chavez wants to pass ... Which ex-New Mexico politician is in the clink? Big things poppin' for a New Mexico-based electronics store. Was a state employee up to no good?

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Thin Line

The Company the Mayor Keeps

Eileen Welsome says reporters in Albuquerque should look more closely at large projects funded by the taxpayers "and why these projects end up being three to four to five times what the original estimates were." Welsome published the results of weeks of investigation and six public records requests at ClearlyNewMexico.com last week.

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Council Watch

Out, Out, Little Green Spot

Anti-smoking activists showed up at the May 5 meeting to support Councilor Michael Cadigan's anti-smoking bill even though it was not on the agenda. Cadigan said a great deal of misinformation had been spread about the bill, which adopts state law as city law and eliminates an exemption allowing smoking in retail tobacco stores.

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The Radford Files

Well, Excuuuuuse Me ...

Miley’s sorry. Really sorry.

Miley Cyrus, star of the “Hannah Montana” series, is sorry because, um—well ... it’s not really clear what she’s sorry for, but whatever it is, it has to do with a series of photos taken by Annie Leibovitz for the June 2008 issue of Vanity Fair. One photo shows Cyrus’ bare back and shoulders; in another, she’s draped across her father, Billy Ray “Achy Breaky Heart” Cyrus.

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Ortiz y Pino

Talking Tough

I’m not sure how it got started, but the last man standing in the Republican Party’s nominating process circular firing squad, Sen. John McCain, has developed a reputation for “straight talk.” It's not deserved.

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Eric J. Garcia

Odds & Ends

Dateline: New York--A rude motorcyclist who flipped the bird at a police cruiser and then popped a wheelie is recovering from injuries after crashing. Suffolk County Police said Frank Patti, 26, of West Islip, rode by the police car at a service station in Copiague at 7:30 p.m. last Sunday. Police say Patti made an obscene gesture to two officers in the car, popped a wheelie and then sped away. Police gave chase and, shortly thereafter, Patti turned into a parking lot and crashed into another police car that had joined the chase. Patti was treated for minor injuries at Southside Hospital. He’s charged with fleeing police, resisting arrest and several traffic violations.

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Letters

The readers write.

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