Saturday, June 13, 2009

Slideshow: GLBT "Get Their Freak On" at Sunny 2009 Festival

After a morning parade up Central, thousands of festival goers paid $13 dollars to attend the 2009 Albuquerque Gay Pride Festival at Expo New Mexico on Saturday afternoon.

To watch videos of the festivities visit our 12 Second TV page, and make sure to check out Mary Ellen Broderick's videos filmed aboard the Bernalillo County Democratic Party's parade float.

Santa Fe will celebrate their Gay Pride Week at the end of June.

A history of Albuquerque's Gay Pride is posted here.

Next year I think we'll go to the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation's Mud Volleyball Tournament or to the Thirsty Ear Music Festival.

Hey if photos are eye candy for you too then Matt Reichbach, over at NMFBIHOP, recommends you take a look at some pics from around the world on the Boston Globe's blog The Big Picture.

Now you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, 770KKOB and 12 Second TV.

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Photo Slideshow from Albuquerque's Gay Pride Parade

For complete parade coverage, including videos, read our post below.

Now you can follow our blog, What's the Word, on Facebook and on Twitter here.

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Gay Pride Parade Rolls In Albuquerque

It didn't rain in Albuquerque on Saturday morning, but there were still thousands of rainbows flags flying during the city's Gay Pride parade.

The annual event, on Central (from Girard to the NM Expo), comes one day after President Barack Obama's Justice Department filed a federal court brief supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). You can read the brief here.

People here say they feel betrayed by the President. They tell us they simply demand their civil rights be recognized by the state. They want the same "marriage" benefits straight people enjoy, including access to partner social security benefits, health insurance and property. Barbara Wold, the editor of Democracy for New Mexico, and her partner Mary Ellen Broderick have been together for 19 years. Wold posted her opinion on the federal action, writing "this really hurts."

Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish led the parade and rode in the backseat of a convertible with one of her grandchildren. Her supporters walked the street urging people to support Denish's 2010 Democratic Gubernatorial primary campaign.

Albuquerque Mayor Chavez out on a Gay Pride Parade float. on

A domestic partnership bill failed in the NM Senate earlier this year. Thousands of people are expected to watch the parade. We saw many having breakfast before the parade at businesses along Central with patios. They had a great front row seat to the parade spectacle.

Rainbow flags flying in ABQ Gay Pride Parade on

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Property Crime Rises 9 Percent in ABQ.

We attended Albuquerque Mayoral Candidate Richard "RJ" Berry's Friday morning news conference. Berry show us his company truck which was stolen on May 23rd and recently recovered burned out and destroyed.

From a Campaign News Release:

Berry To Take Property Crime "Head On."

Candidate for Mayor says more needs to be done to protect our citizens.

In front of a pickup truck that was stolen from his family's place of business and burned beyond recognition, Richard Berry today announced his plan to attack and reduce property crime in Albuquerque, a category of crime that by all accounts is out of control. In announcing his three-point plan, Berry released video footage and photographs of crimes committed at his family's place of business and at a tenant's rental unit.

Berry used the videos and photographs to highlight dangerous situations that often occur when property crimes are committed.

"The videos and photographs are pretty shocking and demonstrate what is happening all over this city every day," said Berry. "

Berry says:

We are in need of new solutions and new commitments if we are going to reduce property crime in Albuquerque. This is a quality of life issue. We need a Mayor who will take this head on and get results.

Richard Berry's plan includes:

1. Make property crime response and investigation a top priority within the Albuquerque Police Department. I will work with our police department and bring in experts if needed to determine what is working and what is not. We will work to eliminate overlaps and to fill gaps in our crime prevention efforts. While a revamped task force that focuses exclusively on this type of crime is a definite possibility, organizing and restructuring areas within the department to ensure we have the needed resources to fight this problem is a must.
2. Restore critical funding for crime prevention programs that work. Youth Gang Prevention, Substance Abuse Programs and Neighborhood Deterioration grants have seen funding cuts by Mayor Chavez in this year's budget. Citizen education programs are also under utilized. A few of the programs have been temporarily restored with Federal Stimulus money from APS, but this takes away from other education needs and the funds will run out in 2010. Full and ongoing funding for these vital programs should be a priority rather than a trolley car or a swimming hole at Tingley Beach.

3. Work to stop thieves, but also work to shut down outlets for stolen property. One way to decrease property crime is to stop businesses from buying stolen property from thieves. I will reach out to the District Attorney's office, the legislature and the courts in an effort to bolster our crime fighting efforts. We are below the national average for solving burglaries; we can do better.

According to FBI statistics released recently, property crime in Albuquerque has increased from 29,293 reports in 2007, to 31,907 in 2008, a nine percent increase in one year.

But in contrast, other western cities of comparable population size have seen their property crime rates decrease.

El Paso, whose population exceeds Albuquerque's by approximately 90,000 people, reported only 19,702 property crimes in 2008, a difference 12,000 less crimes. And in Denver, a city with a population that exceeds Albuquerque's by approximately 70,000, the city saw a decreasing rate of property crime and reported only 19,316 crimes in 2008, once again far less than Albuquerque.

"Even though the officers within our police department are working hard to protect our citizens, Albuquerque is still losing the battle with property crime, and like many people who live here, I've felt its affects first hand," said Berry. "Like most folks I'm fed up with the situation. I believe it's time to invest our resources toward reducing this problem. After twelve years of Mayor Chavez, Albuquerque needs a fresh approach, with new leadership and a new focus, to make a real difference."

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Solar Plants and Smart Grids Coming to New Mexico

Governor Bill Richardson today announced the construction of New Mexico’s first solar thermal power plant, a 92 megawatt concentrating solar thermal facility in Santa Teresa. The Governor was joined at a press conference in Santa Fe by the three companies involved in the project- El Paso Electric, NRG Technologies, and eSolar. Work on the “New Mexico Suntower” project is scheduled to begin early next year.

The announcement came on the same day that Smart Grid announced that a team of well known Japanese companies Hitachi, Toshiba, Fuji, and Panasonic plans to construct a working Smart Grid system in an unspecified New Mexico town by 2010.

Richardson says the Solar plant will be a cutting-edge facility that will turn New Mexico's renewable energy potential into reality and add a "green boost to our economy."
This keeps our state on the path toward efficiently utilizing our natural resources and moving us toward a clean energy economy. We are setting an example for the rest of the nation and sending a clear message that New Mexico will play a key role in developing the new energy economy.
Solar thermal power tower technology utilizes a field of mirrors to concentrate sunlight on receivers placed on top of towers that are about 180 feet tall. This allows liquid housed in the receivers to be heated to very high temperatures and produce super-heated steam, which then turns a turbine that produces electricity, similar to other power plants. There will be 32 mirror fields when the Santa Teresa plant is completed, consisting of approximately 390,000 tracking mirrors focused on 32 power towers.

"What we’re highlighting here today is but one step in a journey that will require more steps and more renewable projects like this solar plant. This is the right step at the right time,” said David Stevens, CEO of El Paso Electric.

“Governor Richardson’s leadership has made New Mexico one of the best locations in the nation for developing solar energy. In addition to their obvious encouragement and support for increased renewable power, the state offers precisely the kind of renewable energy incentives and pro-business policies that the solar industry needs to grow rapidly into a major provider of clean energy for our families and our communities,” said Michael Liebelson, Chief Development Officer, Low Carbon Technologies for NRG.

“This project is a marriage made in heaven-- bringing together the right solar resources with the right incentives and business policies, and the right technology. Together with NRG, we are working to usher in the next generation of renewable energy power generation, and we are incredibly excited to accelerate the deployment of solar energy in New Mexico and across the United States,” added eSolar CEO Bill Gross.

The project will create 220 green construction jobs in Southern New Mexico, and will provide more than 20 permanent, full-time jobs when the plant is fully operational.

The smart grid effort is led by Japan’s public research and development organization for environmental technologies, NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization). The Japanese government is expected to invest between $20.3 and $30.4 million in the project, which will include digital monitoring and distribution of power as well as solar power generation and storage.

Following construction, the Japanese companies will retain ownership of the grid and control it in large part via the Internet.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Denish Unveils Virtual Campaign Headquarters

Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish announced she's unveiling a new 2010 campaign website at

Denish said:
This site will be our virtual campaign headquarters, where we can share information about the campaign, discuss policy ideas, organize volunteers, raise money, and more. I hope you will take a few moments to explore the site, and urge your friends to do the same.
In a campaign email Denish said her campaign will focus on issues she's worked a lifetime on, including:
Protecting the jobs of today and creating the jobs of tomorrow. Investing in education at all levels in order to ensure that New Mexico's workers have the education and training to attract next generation jobs. Making quality health care more affordable. Ensuring that our communities are safe. And always striving to make our state government reflect the honesty and character of our people.
Last week, former GOP Party Chairman Allen Weh, who's exploring running for Governor in the Republican primary, launched a bilingual website,; and Greg Zanetti, the only declared Republican Candidate for Governor, is recruiting donors and delivering his campaign message at

And, speaking of the wired world, Governor Bill Richardson has a new Facebook page for his supporters here.


After our original post, former NM GOP Party Chairman Allen Weh, who's touring the state, announced he'll be using a new Twitter account at to update his supporters while he's on the road, exploring his options for the 2010 Governor's race.
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Whata-Mess at a Whataburger Store in Albuquerque

One of our police sources just shared a hilarious story from the night beat in Albuquerque. Local cops responded to a call at the 24-hour Whataburger on Carlisle, near Walmart, just after 11pm on Monday night.

When they got to the store all the windows had been broken out and they found two men, who they later identified as employees, standing outside in nothing but their underwear.

Police asked the men what was happening. The men told them this incredible tale.

The employees said they had received a phone call from their "corporate office" asking them to test a fire suppression system in the back where hamburgers are cooked. After pulling the chain, a yellow powder flooded through pipes. The men told the "corporate office" what had happened and the person on the other end of the line instructed them to quickly leave the building, strip to their underwear, and break all the store's windows, apparently to ventilate the building.

Police sensed something was amiss. They called the store's general manager and were told that the company had sent emails to employees warning them of the prank call. These two didn't get the message.

We are still trying to determine how many stores have been suckered by the pranksters across the country.

Note to new night manager: Check your email daily, or you might get caught with your pants down.

UPDATE: Uh oh, I'm treading gently here. I just got an email from a "Mr. Jones." He claims:
The guys who broke the windows are from the chat messenger "BEYLUXE MESSENGER" im [I'm] here everyday lisening [listening] to them do pranks ... they do fire alarms , sprinklers , windows they are the ones who made 3 KFC girls get naked and pee on each other, btw it was 2 Whataburgers [Whataburger's] yesturday [yesterday] 1 guy broke 12 windows and on another location 1 guy broke 1 window.
Day after Update:
Apparently last night some hotel guests received prank calls. The caller's suggested hotel guests break their windows by telling them that there was a GHOST on the property.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Teamsters Union Endorses Richard Romero for Mayor of Albuquerque

Nearly two weeks ago Mayor Martin J Chavez picked up the AFSCME union endorsement.

On Sunday, Richard Romero's campaign announced that he's picked up the Teamster's endorsement.

From a news release:

ALBUQUERQUE (June 7, 2009). Richard Romero received the endorsement of the New Mexico Teamsters Union in his run for the Mayor of Albuquerque.

"We stand with those who champion working families, and Richard Romero has a proven record as a fighter," said Walter R. Maestas, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local Union 492. "We are proud to be the first union to endorse him for mayor."

"It's an honor to receive this important endorsement," said Romero. "As mayor, I will continue to stand up for our city's workers and the unions that back them. My roots are with this union—my father was a warehouse man at Sandia Labs and a proud member of the Teamsters."

The union pointed to Romero's strong record of standing with working families, citing that as a State Senator and Senator Pro Tem Richard Romero:

Fought for minimum wage increases;

Opposed privatization of prisons and stood up to voice strong disapproval of the unethical action taken by Manny Aragon in becoming a lobbyist for private prison operator, Wackenhut, while simultaneously serving in the Senate;

Carried the collective bargaining bill that allowed state workers to organize

Romero is a former teacher and principal. He served as President Pro Tem of the NM state Senate from 2001 to 2004. Richard is facing Rep. RJ Berry and Mayor Marty Chavez, who has qualified for public financing but has not yet officially declared whether he will seek a fourth term as mayor. Albuquerque's municipal election will be held on October 6, 2009.

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