Alibi V.28 No.38 • Sept 19-25, 2019 

On Assignment

A Glimpse of Albuquerque

All the News That’s Fit to Print

City Councilors Borrego, Peña and Sanchez
City Councilors Borrego, Peña and Sanchez
Eric Williams Photography

Electric vehicles, a Spanish Twitter feed, gun violence, postponing city biz and a reminder to be kind are just some of the happenings in the city of Burque over the last few weeks.

No Business

Due to the just-in-case security threats that might have happened due to the Monday, Sept. 16 visit from the Trump campaign in Rio Rancho—and Trump’s overnight stay in downtown Albuquerque—the regularly scheduled Albuquerque City Council meeting was rescheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Too Many Tears

Burque reeled last week when five people were killed, and six other people were hurt, in three separate senseless gun shootings, on opposite sides of the city and within a couple of hours. Crime stats can be down and there still can be people out there with anger and guns that no number of police officers on the street can thwart. Compassionate, sustainable plans to address poverty, substance abuse and gun access would go a long way to curbing deadly violence. City Council President Klarissa Peña said in response to the tragedy, “We are going to continue our work to ensure that every neighborhood is safe, that every person has access to the services they need, as we move Albuquerque forward and past these cycles of violence.”

Electric Avenue

Students from the Global Warming Express Program at the Mountain Mahogany Community school welcomed the first electric, hybrid or alternative low-emission fuel car that will begin to replace some of the gas-guzzling city vehicles buzzing around the city.

“Thanks to Mayor Keller for helping Albuquerque reduce the carbon dioxide exhaust with electric cars, these are great steps to a cleaner and healthier Albuquerque and world,” said Nola, one of the students attending the press conference.

Mayor Keller said not only was his administration adding electric and hybrid cars but also charging stations around town. This is good news for those of us who have already made the switch to electric cars. Keller said the city will have 50 electric hybrid vehicles within the year with plans to replace 63 percent of the city’s fleet. The city’s first electric car is a blue Chevy Bolt. Keller also announced $2.78 million in federal funding for some electric buses. These will join the ABQ RIDE fleet and will traverse along regular routes and not along the Central Avenue ART scar.

“We can’t afford to wait for someone else to take the kind of bold action on climate change we need to protect our community,” Mayor Keller said. “Transistioning to electic, hybrid an other alternative fuels will lower the city’s carbon footprint, reduce harmful emissions, improve public health.”

Twitter en español

The city of Burque has its own Spanish language Twitter feed. The account handle is @AlcaldeKeller or twitter.com/alcaldekeller. The feed will have the same news and updates that go out on the English Twitter feed. Mayor Keller said this makes city information more accessible to more of the city’s residents. Check it out—it is a fun way to sharpen your language skills and keep up.

Hurrah for APD

Albuquerque Police Department Chief Mike Geier released some stats showing how the cops have been handling citizens who may be acting out due to a mental health crisis. In years past, too many of our residents were just shot and killed when crisis intervention methods didn’t resolve the situation in a timely manner.

The report shows the first decrease in behavioral health-related calls. The number of suicide and or crisis calls doubled between 2010 with 2017 ending up with 6,525 calls. The number dropped a little in 2018 to 6,302 calls. The majority of the call are suicide calls. In 90 percent of those calls, there was not a weapon involved. In 72 percent of the encounters, the person was transported to emergency services, 3 percent were arrested and the best news was that officers did not use force in 99 percent of the encounters.

“We continue to invest in quality training for field officers,” Geier said. “We are also being proactive with a team of detectives and clinicians who work with people and attempt to prevent crisis-situations.”

Kind and Loving

City Councilors unanimously agreed to rename the Albuquerque Regional Sports Complex the Jennifer Riordan Spark Kindness Sports Complex. We all lost Jennifer Riordan last year when she died in a freak accident aboard an airplane. Riordan was a prominent community member who not only talked the talk but walked the walk; she strived to make Albuquerque, New Mexico and the world a better place.

She was also a sports mom with two kids who spent time at ball fields. Councilor Ken Sanchez sponsored the resolution and said Jennifer was present at the grand opening of the new Westside sports complex before her death. “This is a very appropriate fitting for an individual that gave so much to their community,” Sanchez said. Jennifer’s husband, Michael said Jennifer’s family motto was to be kind, loving, caring and sharing.

Send your comments about the City Council to carolyn@alibi.com.

The next meetings of The Albuquerque City Council:
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 5pm and Monday, Oct. 7, 5pm
Vincent E. Griego Chambers
Albuquerque Bernalillo County Government Center
1 Civic Plaza
View it on GOV TV 16 or at cabq.gov/govtv