mayor richard berry
Time and the Mayor
Larry Bob Phillips’ “Back to the Bosque” reminds us that art happens now
The Daily Word in APD, Ted Cruz and the spirit of David Bowie
The New York Daily News has no chill towards Ted Cruz.
But did Sean Penn really think meeting El Chapo would have a good outcome?
David Bowie may have passed but his spirit is definitely kept alive and it warms my heart.
The Daily Word in the SPU shooting, same-sex marriage polls and "Desiree"
A shooting at Seattle Pacific University left one student dead and a couple others wounded.
Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered today to pay respects to Prince Joshua (P.J.) Avitto, a 6-year-old boy from Brooklyn who was stabbed and killed in an elevator.
A Virgina base is on lockdown after a stabbing this morning. A suspect hasn't been apprehended.
According to a Washington Post/ABC poll, about 50 percent of America thinks same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.
If you're going to the Albuquerque Sunport, watch out for “Desiree.”
Mayor Richard Berry responds to the protest that took over his office.
Five teens in Santa Fe who shot at cars with BB guns called the cops on themselves when one of their victims started chasing them.
APD Chief Gorden Eden wants the police union to cooperate with DOJ reviews and reforms.
It looks like police officers in Spokane aren't allowed to make whoopee on the job anymore.
The Daily Word in Washington mudslides, a coin-flip removal and gay marriage in Michigan
After two major mudslides occurred in Oso, Washington, authorities say up to 90 people are missing, and the death toll has risen to 17.
If Michigan won't recognize same-sex marriage, the federal government will.
President Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia today to smooth things over with King Abdullah.
Nine mid-level commanders charged with safe-guarding the US nuclear arsenal have been fired for “creating a culture that enabled” cheating on proficiency exams.
Mayor Richard Berry doesn't think a federal takeover of APD is a good idea.
Phillip Chacón flipped the coin, called heads and lost his city council seat.
A “new state-by-state comparison” puts New Mexico near the bottom in regards to university graduation rates.
Just in case you forgot why New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment …
In case you're planning on playing basketball at the University of Georgia, know this: “Orgies and gangbangs are inappropriate.”
The Daily Word in New Mexico jobs, Costa Concordia and record-breaking rain
A shooting at Washington Navy Yard broke out this morning, with police reporting that one of three possible shooters was “down,” though reports aren't clear on exactly what that means. Reports also state that at least seven people have been killed, and eight have been injured. This is still a breaking story, so check news sources for more information.
Engineers are attempting to raise the Costa Concordia cruise ship that capsized off the island of Giglio in Italy. The ship, which capsized in January of 2012, killing 32 people, is being watched closely by environmentalists who fear that a toxic spill from the ship could pollute the waters.
Search-and-rescue teams in Colorado are grounded due to heavy clouds in the sky, and more than 1,000 people are still unaccounted for after massive floods in Larimer County and surrounding areas.
New Mexico's health care system is in turmoil as an investigation looks into allegations that 15 of its largest mental health providers defrauded Medicaid of $36 million over the course of three years.
In today's city council meeting, a proposal will be introduced that will make it illegal for Albuquerque's employers to refuse paying the new minimum wage, unless they want to face criminal charges.
Albuquerque's rainfall over the weekend broke a record, y'all.
I think someone in Northampton took Stephen King's IT a little too seriously.
The Daily Word in Coca-Cola's vault, Bernalillo same-sex hearing and "sex boxes" in Switzerland
The United States and Britain team up to show Syria's government that when you “cross a line” (referring to a gas attack that killed at least 355 people, though some reports have stated the death toll was over 1,000), the world is going to get involved.
Police in Spokane, Wash., have arrested a second teenage suspect in the fatal beating of 88-year-old Delbert Belton, who was a WWII veteran.
After being found guilty last week for the Fort Hood shooting spree four years ago, the sentencing phase of Maj. Nidal Hasan's trial starts today.
There's a Coca-Cola vault? I want to go to there.
In preparation for a hearing this afternoon on same-sex marriage, Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver has printed 1,000 same-sex marriage licenses.
Kids at Joy Junction learn how to capture their wishes and dreams with a camera via the Pictures of Hope program.
Mayor Richard Berry's office initiates the "Equity in Pay Task Force," aimed at closing the wage gap between men and women.
For those who find themselves taking long drives and suddenly getting the urge to have sex, Zurich, Switzerland now has “sex boxes” where people can drive up and give it a go. It's also safer for the prostitutes.
And now, the big question: Do we really want to see a John Lennon clone?
Feds Launch Full Investigation of APD
Scrutiny centers on civil rights violations and excessive use of force
It’s an announcement some community members have been waiting a long time to hear.
After a preliminary inquiry was initiated last year, Tom Perez, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, says his office has collected enough evidence to initiate an investigation into whether the Albuquerque Police Department perpetrates a pattern of federal law violations.
“In particular, the investigation will focus on the use of force by APD, including but not limited to, the use of deadly force,” Perez said. The investigation will move as quickly as possible, he added, and his office’s chief priorities are to be fair, independent and thorough. “We will peel the onion to its core and leave no stone unturned. We will follow the facts wherever the facts lead us,” he said.
Jewel Hall, president of the Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Council, welcomed news of the investigation. “Areas that I hope they’ll also look at are diversity, the administration and the culture of the department,” Hall said.
Perez praised both Mayor Richard Berry and Chief of Police Ray Schultz for cooperating transparently with the preliminary review. Berry and Schultz emphasized they’ll continue to collaborate openly with federal investigators.
They also tried to put a positive spin on the announcement, saying they welcome any opportunity to improve the accountability and responsivity of APD. Berry said Albuquerque isn’t the only city with a police department subject to formal DOJ scrutiny.
“There have been 14 cities around the country that have gone through this recently,” he said. “I think policing is changing, and ... I’m proud of our police department. They’ve done a wonderful job at driving crime rates down. But if there’s things we need to fix, we’re not going to shy away.”
Berry said that more than 60 reforms the police department proactively enacted in the past year to training, policies and procedures have already made a difference.
He also defended his 2011 veto of a City Council request for the DOJ to investigate civil rights violations claims against the police department, saying he’d had concerns the legislation violated the Open Meetings Act.
“There are individual officers that are bad actors,” Schultz conceded, but added that rank-and-file officers themselves have been instrumental in indentifying areas for improvement. He said that he’s been aggressive about seeking out nationwide best practices to put into place here.
“I came back to this organization because I was confident knowing what the department’s capable of and what I can do for the city,” said Schultz, responding to a question about whether he’s still the right man for the job. “I could easily turn and run away. I’ve done 30 years. I’ve got my time in. But no, this to me is a challenge—to bring the department to the highest level possible.
Perez said his office is seeking feedback and information from community members about APD conduct. Citizens can email the DOJ investigative team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call a toll-free voicemail box in English or Spanish at (855) 544-5134.
The Daily Word in LEGO ISS, world's tiniest man, lost snakes and lizards
According to an FBI spokeswoman, 5 students were injured when a classmate opened fire at an Ohio high school.
New Mexico National Guardsman Anthony Baldonado faces murder charges after a shooting over the weekend.
Mayor Berry works on plans to revamp Route 66.
The Bracket Big Board says that despite last week's losses, the Lobos are still a huge threat in the NCAA tournament.
Japanese astronaut built tiny LEGO space station while inside of the real space station.
Ever wondered what's actually written inside those Oscar envelopes?
Napolese man pronounced shortest in human history.
Pediatricians now recommend HPV vaccine for pre-teen boys.
WikiLeaks has published 5 million new super-secret e-mails.
I lose stuff all the time, but I've never lost $49K worth of exotic, venomous creatures.
I mishear things all the time, but I've never mistaken “Mom on board” for “bomb on board.”
Is that a 19-inch TV in your pants, or are you just excited to see me? Minnesota man caught with stolen 19-inch TV in his pants.
Kids reenact of the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Lost in Translation
Commissioner contends a key APD report never made it to the mayor
Balloon book launch party pics
Hors d’oeuvres and hot air
Last night I attended a release party for a new book about the history of our beloved balloon fiesta, The World Comes to Albuquerque. The soiree was at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum and it was a pretty swanky affair, with a jazz band and lots of cheese plates. I like to stand by those.
The nice folks at the Balloon Museum gave me a free copy of the book. It’s full of dozens of pictures, plus essays from balloonists and a tad about the history of ballooning. I’ll probably review that later, once I have time to read it.
For now, I will review the Balloon Museum itself: beautiful. Nice, futury layout, cool exhibits and great views. The space is little, for a museum, but worth checking out if you haven’t been. I’m definitely going back sometime when there isn’t a social engagement diverting me.
A Deadly Force
A range of public reactions to Albuquerque Police Department shootings took center stage at the Monday, Sept. 20 City Council meeting. So far this year, there have been 11 officer-involved shootings, and seven people have died. Brian Swainston and several other men said they saw the most recent incident, which happened Downtown on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Officer Leah Kelly shot Chandler Barr, who was cutting himself with what was later discovered to be a butter knife. Police Chief Ray Schultz says Barr lunged at Kelly.
The latest word in New Mexico government is “transparency.” Mayor Richard Berry’s administration released its new transparency website, ABQ View (cabq.gov/abq-view), on Aug. 25. Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit that focuses on the issue, says the city site “achieved not just every mark on Sunshine Review’s transparency checklist, but also nailed all our suggested data as well. Data is even downloadable in different formats.”
ICE in Albuquerque
The mayor invites Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check arrestees
It's not a policy or a policy change, says Mayor Richard Berry. Instead, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement setting up shop in the newly refurbished Prisoner Transport Center is an agreement. In fact, he says, the old policy is still in place that only allows Albuquerque Police Department officers to check into someone's immigration status if it's relevant to an investigation. But that’s not the case for the feds. Every single person arrested by APD or the county sheriff who ends up at the transport center in downtown Albuquerque will have their immigration status evaluated by ICE. "I want 100 percent of the people checked," Berry says in an interview. "I want racial profiling out of the equation."
Immigration Debate Heats Up Council Chambers
Two resolutions—one to boycott city business with Arizona and another aimed at Mayor Richard Berry's agreement with federal immigration authorities—failed at the Monday, May 17 Council meeting. More than 100 people attended the meeting to decry the mayor's plan to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into the Prisoner Transport Center. There, agents will check the immigration status of everyone arrested for any reason.