Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

After a real hectic November and early December I completely took a holiday break from politics, blogging and almost anything that was not family and home related. I hope everyones Christmas was as happy as mine. It was an easy going mostly stay at home couple of weeks. Now as 2007 comes to a close I hope you all had a great year and I wish everyone the best for 2008.

I am not one to make resolutions, I just never have done so. If you make resolutions I hope you are able to keep them. I intend to get back to blogging now so I hope for you thats a good thing. There was an interesting comment left on the Dr. Sex Graffiti post today and besides the interesting but flawed point of view, the comment comes as we near the two year anniversary of the trial coming to an end. I will write my rebuttal to the comment on my Jan 2 blog post. One final note, January 7, will mark the two year anniversary of this blog. Hard to believe I have been doing this two years. In those two years this blog has gone from one visitor to 34,260!
Wow, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Decision made on Congressional Race.

I have made a decision in the Northern Congressional Race. I sent out this News Release today.

NEWS RELEASE- 12-10-07

Sheriff Greg Solano announces today that he will not run as a candidate for the northern congressional seat being vacated by Representative Tom Udall. Sheriff Solano will continue with his run for Lieutenant Governor in the 2010 Primary Election. Sheriff Solano states “ My family, supporters and I have weighed the issues and the races of Lieutenant Governor and the House seat and have decided the place where I can best serve the citizens of New Mexico is in the Lieutenant Governors race. “

Sheriff Solano went on to say “I feel confident the Democratic Party will prevail in the Northern Congressional Seat and I look forward to supporting the Democratic candidate in the general election”. “Now is the time for New Mexicans to make real changes in Washington by electing Democrats for President and into all of the Congressional Races. We must turn away from those who have supported President Bush’s failed policies and wars”. Sheriff Solano wants to thank all those who emailed and called him expressing support for a congressional run. “It was very humbling to be asked by citizens and my peers to consider the run and I am very thankful for the support”.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Funny Friday- Rock and Roll Sheriff Darren White

Thanks to Jeremy Jojola for posting this fun video of Rock and Roll Sheriff Darren White who is trying to succeed Pete Dominici as Senator from the Great State of New Mexico. Doesn't Sheriff White look serious as he croons "Just say no!"

Friday, November 30, 2007

In Rememberance of Robert Craig "Evel Knievel"

One of my child hood hero's has always been Evel Knievel. I couldn't wait until wide world of sports with Howard Cosell would show his next jump. I watched every movie or TV show he came out in no matter how cheesy it was. To this day I own both the VHS and DVD copys of all his jumps and the movie of his life starring George Hamilton.

Evel Knievel's Failed Caesar's Palace Jump

Hearing of his death reminds me of my first big jump (on my bicycle). We lived in an apartment at Hopewell and Sixth Street in Santa Fe. I was probably 11 or 12 when I built a ramp over an arroyo that was about five feet wide. I got way back and began pedaling that bike as fast as I could. I hit that ramp and sailed into the air for just a few seconds before my bike went head first into the middle of that arroyo. My arm crashed onto an empty beer bottle which broke and cut a good 4 to 5 inch gash into my right forearm. I am looking at the scar and laughing out loud right now. I have to admit I took a few more jumps with better success later. My mother was not happy with the bill for stitches I do remember that also.

Years later I got his autograph and framed and hung it on my wall. It eventually faded with the sun and me not being to bright at the time tried to trace it with a sharpie and ruined it. I always wanted another and In January I got the address to his condo in Florida and asked for another. Turns out he was selling them and I purchased a Photo and he sent it to me in one of his custom stationary envelopes which he also signed. A few weeks after I got the autograph he survived a stroke. I was glad I had gotten a hold of him when I did.

Here is Evel at his home in Florida signing my Photo.

Evel Knievel gave me hope, inspiration and a male figure to look up to. I never had a father and while my mother was a great role model I needed male role models to look up to. I found those as a very young boy from the likes of Evel, Elvis, and other Fifties rock and roll icons. Granted as I grew older I learned of the faults that Evel, Elvis and others had but by then I had learned some good lessons. Lessons like no matter how poor or bad things were you could still be somebody. You could still accomplish something in life. When I was young I never even considered college as an option. I was working since 12 years old and was a young entrepreneur from the age of 18. People like Evel showed me that the difference between success and failure was dependant on no one else but yourself.

I always use to say I would recreate his first paid stunt in which he would jump a motorcycle over two pickup trucks parked end to end. I still haven't done it only because my first bike and all the bikes I have owned since were all heavy street bikes. At 44 years old now I really need to buy some cheap off road bike and take the jump (don't tell my wife !) before I get older and I have to do it on a hover round.

My kids grew up on Evel Knievel videos and have seen all his jumps. I took them with me to see his son Robbie Knievel jump a bunch of semi's at Rt 66 Casino right here in New Mexico. I waited for hours after the jump to get his autograph to place in my game room next to his fathers. He brushed right past the 4 of us who waited outside his trailer, jumped into his SUV and drove off. It's the last time I will see one of his jumps. Every year Butte Montana, the birthplace of Evel, hosts Evel Knievel days, a festival dedicated to Evel. Every year I said I would go but just never made it. This is one of the few regrets I have in life. I have been told that Evel would stay signing autographs until every one who wanted one got one. Every one who has met Evel says he is the nicest person you could ever meet if you were one of his fans.

Evel used to say he did not believe in god that he only believed in himself. I have my DVR set to record anything that has to do with Evel and one day a few months ago I found it odd to see that Robert Schuller's Hour of Power mass had been recorded. I looked at the description and was surprised to see that Evel was getting baptized. Evel was besieged with numerous health problems including Hepititis C, and two strokes. In the mass Evel acknowledged that he used to be an atheist but now believed in Jesus Christ. He actually looked and spoke really well but I remember telling my wife that he must feel like the end is near and decided to be baptized. As a believer in Jesus Christ myself I am glad he found god.

Evel Knievel announces his new found belief in Christ.

I guess you know your getting old when all the icons of your younger years start dying. Evel you had a great 69 years and I feel as though I have lost a family member. Thanks to you for inspiring me and I hope they have Harleys in heaven.......

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Real American Gangster- Frank Lucas

I haven't seen the movie with Denzel Washington yet, I rarely go to a theater waiting instead until the movie is released on DVD or even worse until its on cable tv for free. But I do often read articles related to the drug war and drug cases throughout the world. In doing so I ran across this article about the daughter of Frank Lucas. Frank Lucas is the real drug dealer whose life is depicted in the new Denzel Washington movie "American Gangster". Frank's daughter, Francine Lucas, who grew up at times with both of her parents in prison talks about her life as daughter of one of the most notorious drug dealers in Harlem. Its an interesting article which led me to another even more interesting article on the subject.

Frank Lucas

It seems the movie was based on an article by Mark Jacobson which was printed in the August 2000 edition of the New York The Magazine. The Article titled "The Return of Superfly" was an in depth interview and article on the life of Frank Lucas. It is a great read for anyone. You realize the true Frank Lucas when he laughs while describing how he oversaw the "Cadaver Connection". The Cadaver Connection involved Franks people smuggling drugs from Vietnam in the coffins of dead soldiers. When asked about the truth that he smuggled drugs into America in this matter his reply to Mark Jacobson was, "We did it, all right . . . ha, ha, ha . . . " Lucas chortles in his dying-crapshooter's scrape of a voice. "Who the hell is gonna look in a dead soldier's coffin? Ha ha ha."

I have lived with people who had a hard life and who will do things others would not for money. Things that like cleaning bathrooms, digging ditches in the snow, or cleaning out sewers. I have also met others who will do illegal things to get money. Rarely in your life will you meet someone who will smuggle drugs in the coffins of our dead soldiers.....and then laugh about it. Frank also tells the story of how he once paid a cook on Henry Kissinger's plane $100,000 to smuggle drugs into the country on the military plane carrying Henry Kissinger on one of his diplomatic missions. Frank laughs as he tells the Kissinger drug smuggling deal just as he did when telling the story of the Cadaver Connection. Frank only speaks of one homicide he committed when speaking to reporter Mark Jacobson however Frank Lucas is believed to have caused the deaths of many. Frank Lucas spent very few years in prison as a result of deals with prosecutors, how he lived to a ripe old age of 80 after turning states evidence is pretty amazing in itself.

The one thing people say about Frank Lucas is that he is a nice guy. Even the judge who sentenced him to 30 years in prison says he is likable and jokes with him like you would with an old friend as she talks to him on the phone. I guess thats the life of a drug kingpin and murder who lives to an old age, you get to be a paid consultant on the movie of your life and you get to joke around on the phone with the judge who sentenced you. I wonder how many mothers and fathers are remembering their children who died at the hands of Frank Lucas, whether directly by his hand or indirectly after losing their lives to the drugs he peddled.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Governor Richardson.

I am not very good at remembering peoples birthdays yet I remember that November 15, is Governor Bill Richardson's Birthday. The only reason I remember his birthday is because we share the same birthday, yet the years are somewhat different. I am going to spend my birthday helping a friend lay out a cement pad at his house. I think the Governor probably will be doing less manual labor, however I bet he will still be fitting in a campaign stop or two, birthday or not.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Will Red Light Camera's Leave Albuquerque?

The two of you read this blog regularly,(lol) will know that I have often derided Albuquerque's Red Light Camera Program. I have always felt that the program was more geared towards revenue than it was towards safety. Especially when you look at the exorbitant fees the private company that runs the program charges. Now Mayor Chavez has announced he is forming a task force to investigate whether or not the camera's are effective at preventing accidents. Many States and locality's have done similar studies after trying out the camera's and ended up canceling the program.

Below is KOAT TV's coverage of the Task Force.

Mayor Chavez announcement came after two different T.V. stations did investigative pieces over just where the money was going. KOAT TV's investigation revealed that between 2005 and 2007, New Mexicans paid $10.6 million in red light and speed tickets. The city spent $4.8 million to run the safety program, which means $5.8 million is in the city general fund - all generated from the red light and speed program. When KOAT TV asked the city's chief financial officer, Gail Reese, how a program Mayor Martin Chavez claims is not out to make money is making millions. She responded with "Over time this program's costs will equal the revenues.
"It is an expensive program. Safety is an expensive thing,".

Here is the KOAT piece on the profits the City of Albuquerque has made from the program.

As I said earlier RedFlex charges Exorbitant fees to Albuquerque. The city spends about $200,000 a month leasing these cameras and speed vans, and on top of that the company leasing the cameras to Albuquerque, RedFlex, also charges for every single ticket: $18 for red light runners and nearly $25 for speeders. What I hope is that the task force appointed by Marty Chavez or one of the news outlets does a comparison between the contract RedFlex has with the city of Albuquerque and other contracts the company and similar companies have with other cities across the state. I have a feeling there are vast differences and communities that fight for a good deal and want to save taxpayers money are successful in doing so.

This red light program needs to be completely restructured or ended all together. One of the things that we who are law enforcement administrators often try to do is to eliminate the perception that we have quota's or that we make money from tickets. Most agencies do not. The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office gets about $6000 a year back from magistrate courts from tickets we issue. We issue about 30,000 tickets a year so as you can see it really is not much. Especially when you consider the over ten million dollar budget we have in the Sheriff's Office. This program flies in the face of trying to get rid of the perception that tickets are to generate funds. What tickets should be about is education and deterrence.

Here are some links to past blog posts I have had on red light camera's. When you read them you will see that you heard it here first. The things this task force will study are the things I have advocated looking at all along.

Sheriff Greg Solano Red Light Camera Blog Posts.

Note: I use KOAT TV a lot for embedded video in my blog posts because they are nice enough to post their video on YouTube. Its a great convenience and I think a great way to get free publicity for their station.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Is rape of a prostitute not a rape?

I was surprised to read this story about a prostitute who made an appointment with a man by using criagslist in Philadelphia. When she arrived at the home she was raped at gunpoint by the man and several of his friends. The case was taken to court and the judge involved threw out the rape case and only allowed the man Dominique Gindraw to be charged with Armed Robbery For Theft of Services. There was outcry from several groups however Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni still won a retention election which occurred weeks after her ruling. Blogs run by Prostitutes or "sex workers" as they call themselves tried to organize an online "vote no on retention" campaign against Judge Deni but failed in their efforts to remove her.

The accuser testified that she initially agreed to have sex with Gindraw and a friend of his in exchange for money, but that Gindraw refused to pay her, held a gun to her head and forced her to have sex with several men, according to a transcript of an Oct. 4 court hearing. "She consented and she didn't get paid. … I thought it was a robbery," Judge Deni told the Philadelphia Daily News. The reduced charges against Gindraw are still pending in the Municipal Court, but the district attorney's office has refiled the rape charge at a different local court, the Court of Common Pleas, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.As I stated in the first sentence of this blog post, I could not believe this. I have every belief that the Court of Common Pleas will find that these men are all guilty of Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault and more.

The editors of our local newspapers are often pushing their opinion that magistrate and municipal judges should be lawyers. I have not usually agreed, having personally known several judges who were not lawyers but were good judges. In what is often called the peoples court I think common sense and someone who is closer to the "common man" will do better. On the other hand I know some bad judges who are lawyers. What do you think about this case and should judges be lawyers? Do you think Judge Deni was a lawyer? Yes or No ? Post your comment first on whether you think she is a lawyer or not and then click here to find the answer and see if you were right.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Santa Fe goes High Tech.

Yesterday I was proud to unveil SORIS the which stands for Sex Offender Registration and Identification System. The system brings to mind Star Trek type technology which is now no longer a science fiction story but reality. The System was donated by the company that designed it, BI2 Technologies. The equipment is valued at $10,000 and Santa Fe County will be the only jurisdiction in New Mexico to have the SORIS system as part of a pilot program to create a national database of sex offenders.

The system is an iris recognition biometric scanner and software to recognize and identify a person based on a scan of their Iris. With this equipment a persons true identity can be had in seconds based on a scan of the persons eye. Once a national database is populated and more and more law enforcement and jails use this system we can better track offenders and find offenders who move to other area's and change their identity. Here is the Santa Fe New Mexican Story on the system.

Below is the Fox News at Nine story on the SORIS System:

And here is the KOB TV News story on the SORIS System:

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Lots of Phone calls about the House Race.

I have received a lot of phone calls about the possibility of running for Rep. Tom Udall's House Seat should Tom run for Pete Dominici's Senate Seat.

I have addressed the topic in my other Blog, "The Road to Lt. Governor".

Here is some of the news coverage of the topic:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Robert Montoya speaks out about daughter reporting him DWI

Larry Behrens got an exclusive last night when KOAT TV interviewed Robert Montoya. Robert Montoya was arrested by my deputies after his daughter reported him speeding and drunk driving with his 13 year old sister and a 15 year old friend also in the car with her.

You can see the video of the jail house interview here.

KOAT also did a story on Bill O'Reilly blasting Governor Richardson over DWI in New Mexico. You can see that story here.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Video of Sheriff Greg Solano on MSNBC with Dan Abrams

Below is the you tube video of my appearance on Dan Abrams MSNBC show which aired live last night. I was also scheduled to appear live on Star Jones Show on Court TV today however it was canceled due to technical difficulties in getting the satellite feed into a Santa Fe or Albuquerque studio in time. Vic Vela of the Albuquerque Journal did a story on the national airplay this story is getting and KOAT TV is planning to do a story tonight as well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sheriff Greg Solano to Appear on MSNBC with Dan Abrams

I have just agreed to appear on MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams tonight at 7:40 New Mexico Time. I will be discussing the Robert Montoya DWI arrest which has garnered much national attention due to the heart wrenching dispatch tape where the 15 year old girl is frantic as she calls the Sheriff's Office on her own father. Tune in if you can!

O'Reilly Factor Video on Robert Montoya DWI Case

Here is a You Tube Video of the O'Reilly Factor Video which I mentioned in my last post. In the Video O'Reilly uses the D.W.I. Case to bash Governor Richardson and gives the case as a reason he is unfit for the Presidency.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

O'Reilly Factor Bashes Governor Richardson over D.W.I. Case

Tonight I watched the O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, I usually do not watch anything on Fox News due to their usual biased reporting which I have talked about before. I watched it tonight because I knew they were doing a story on the 6th time D.W.I. arrest of Robert Montoya. If you have not read about Robert Montoya he was arrested on Saturday October 27, 2007 after his 15 year old daughter called 911 to report him driving drunk at 100 miles an hour while his two teenage daughters and one of their friends were in the car. The 911 tapes are horrible to listen to as you can hear the fear in his daughters voice as she pleads with him to stop the car. Below is KOAT TV's You Tube video of the 911 calls.

This case has been covered by many national news outlets and most local news. Inside Edition, Fox News, have covered the story and Good Morning America will cover it tomorrow morning. As usual Fox news twisted the story and used it to claim that Governor Bill Richardson has failed on D.W.I. in New Mexico and can't be a good president because he has not even been able to tackle D.W.I. in New Mexico. The only guest from New Mexico was Pat Frisch Program Director and sometimes Talk Show Host from ultra conservative republican radio station 770 AM KKob in Albuquerque. Pat Frisch is hardly qualified to speak with any credentials on the D.W.I. problem in New Mexico. Fox news staff was in contact with my office all day and I have a suspicion that they did not ask me or anyone with real knowledge of D.W.I. to come on air because they would not blame Governor Richardson for this incident as O'Reilly wanted to do. Before the show even completed I fired off this email to Bill O'Reilly.


I watched tonight your story on the sad arrest of Robert Montoya after the frantic call from his daughter as he raced down the highway while drunk. I was in contact with members of your staff all day and someone much more qualified than Pat Frisch who's only credentials in New Mexico is that he is a talk show host on a conservative radio talk show. Rather than talking about the real problems of repeat D.W.I. offenders you chose to capitalize on the suffering of the Montoya children and use this incident to attack Presidential candidate Governor Bill Richardson. While D.W.I. is a serious problem across the United States Governor Richardson has done more than years of previous governors including former Republican Governor Gary Johnson who as you know even tried to legalize drugs in New Mexico. Same usual twisting of news to suit the Fox Political Agenda.

Sheriff Greg Solano Santa Fe County 35 Camino Justicia

This is a sad case and I really feel for the 15 year old daughter who called in her own father. Usually repeat offenders get suspended sentences and with good time they spend little time in jail. Because of the publicity and the additional charges of Child Neglect Mr. Montoya will probably get a somewhat severe sentence. He deserves it and I hope the sadness and pain he has caused his daughter makes him really think twice about his life and this may be the final thing that makes him stop drinking. If this does not do it nothing will. I really believe state and local officials are doing all they can to change the drinking and driving problems in New Mexico. We are making headway. Unfortunately there will always be people like Robert Montoya and at some point the only way to keep the citizens safe is to keep these people in jail as long as possible. I hope his daughters get some counseling and overcome the pain this man has caused in their lives. I know my family and many others are praying for them.

Halloween Safety Tips

I want to offer you all some Halloween Safety Tips you can use to keep your kids safe this Halloween.

· Carry a flashlight or glow sticks
· All young children should have parental supervision.
· Teenagers should have a map of the areas parents want them to stay in.
· Walk, don't run.
· Stay on Sidewalks
· Obey traffic signals
· Stay in familiar neighborhoods
· Don’t cut across yards or driveways.
· Make sure costumes don't drag on the ground.
· Shoes should fit (even if they don't go with your costume)
· Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house.
· Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props.
· (If no sidewalk) walk on the left side of the road facing traffic
· Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.
· Approach only houses that are lit.
· Stay away from and don't pet animals you don't know.
· Inspect all candy and items and do not keep anything that is not pre wrapped or may have opened.

Call the dispatch at 505-428-3710 to report any suspicious activities or unsafe activities in the area of trick or treaters. Check for sex offenders living in your area; do not go to these homes when trick or treating.

Extra Sheriff’s Deputies will be on patrol as well as fire personnel throughout the night to help ensure your safety.

Sheriff Greg Solano Wishes you all a happy and safe Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Red's - A short story.

When I was young there was a story often talked about but usually not believed. It was the story of how one night the devil himself came to Reds Bar in Espanola. Mothers used the story to try and keep their daughters from going out drinking and partying. Although there are many variations to the story as my Halloween treat to you I have written my version. Parts are from memory of the story as told to me when I was young and parts are filled in by me to complete the story. Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!


By Greg Solano

It was a long day at work, but thank god it was Friday. Julie began putting things away on her desk and began the process of shutting down the IBM Computer. Since her company switched to the expensive IBM computer things are a lot easier during the day. Keeping track of accounts and delinquencies is definitely easier. At the end of the day before the computer she just closed up the ledgers locked them in the file drawer and left for the day. Now it took about 45 minutes to backup the data to the tape drive and shut down the computers for the day. On Fridays it seemed to take for ever.

Julie never used to complain, not even to herself, things have changed lately. Her mother’s death changed everything. Her mother never liked Julie’s job. As a collection agent for a finance company her job was to hound people every day and get them to pay their delinquent loan payments. Julie was good at her job, relentless and without sympathy she was known in the company as the “Pit Bull”. Loan officers though out the company wanted their delinquent accounts assigned to her. She would collect and keep them out of trouble.

Julie’s mother Christina used to call her Jewel’s and as a devout Christian who’s own mother came to Santa Fe New Mexico from Mexico City only sixty years ago Christina always thought her beloved Jewel’s work was not a good job for a Christian. Calling people all day to get blood from a turnip, “how could you do it me hita? “ she would often say. Now Christina was gone and Julie felt lonely. Julie partied a lot but never was able to have a stable relationship. It was usually one night stands or just guys she partied with. Julie hadn’t partied at all for over a month now, not since her mother’s unexpected death.

Christina died in a horrible car accident. Her 1979 Caprice Classic was destroyed by the semi load of trees coming down from the ski basin. It was one of those freak accidents that no one could have ever believed would happen. She was headed home after her day at work cleaning the homes of the rich on Bishops Lodge Road. As she headed home a Semi truck passing her in the opposite direction dropped its load of trees just as it passed her car. The huge steel car was crushed and Christina died probably never even realizing what had happened.

The IBM was through with its back up and shutting down. Julie picked up her purse and headed home. On the drive home Julie began thinking of going out tonight. Many times she would head over to Espanola and party at Red’s. This was a very small bar that had live music on weekends. It was the in place even though it could easily be described as literally a hole in the wall. “What the hell? Julie said to her self.” It has been such crappy week I need to get out.

At home Julie began looking through her closet for a dress; she picked out her black long dress with some black silk high heels, black panty hose finished off the ensemble. Some deep red lipstick and she was on her way. Julie glanced at her watch and saw that it was eight o’clock as she pulled into Espanola and headed down the strip to Red’s. She adjusted her dress as she stepped out of her long Red Monte Carlo. The large steel door of the 77 Monte Carlo squealed loudly as she slammed it shut. Julie’s high heels clicked loudly on the pavement as she headed to the door of Red’s bar and lounge.

Red’s was a dark small bar. The long bar ran along one end of the room with several tables scattered around the rest of the room. A very small dance floor was situated in front of a corner that was cleared out to make room for a band. Three men were set up and playing a Cumbia. The singer was a short olive skinned man with a pretty good voice, another Hispanic was on the drums and the band was rounded out with a bass player. Reds smelled of old beer which had seeped into the dark red carpet night after night for the past twenty years. Julie waited for her eyes to adjust before heading to the bar. “Hey Al, how’s it going?” “Julie! Where you been it’s been a long time, sorry about your mom, it was horrible” Al said as he passed her a Coors. “Let me have a shot also, lets kick this night off right” said Julie as she took a big swig out of the cold Coors can.

The bar was packed tonight and as usual the ratio of men to women was at least three to one. It wasn’t long before men began asking Julie to dance. She obliged them all, she was in the mood to party. Of course it was only a dance, she didn’t pay attention to the flirtatious advances that came during and after the dance. She danced and drank the night away and before she knew it the clock struck eleven. Julie sat down and used the bar napkin to wipe the sweat from her face. Another man walked up and asked her to dance. “I need a break come back in a little bit” she responded. As she sucked down what had to be her ninth or tenth coors her attention was drawn to the front door as it swung open. A tall dark skinned man entered the door. He was gorgeous she thought to her self as he looked over the room. He was dressed in black with black silky hair that reminded her of Elvis Presley and a body that looked sculpted by Michael Angelo himself.

Their eyes met and it was as though he came here looking just for her. He walked straight to Julie’s table and outstretched his hand to her. All of a sudden she wasn’t tired any more. She took his hand and headed straight to the dance floor. Neither said a word and it didn’t even dawn on Julie that this was weird. Julie was mesmerized and the two began dancing. All of a sudden he was the only man she saw in the bar. The couple all dressed in black and in the center of the dance floor became the center of attention. Yet they paid no attention to anyone else. “Julie you’re a beautiful woman” the man said as he finally spoke. “How do you know my name?” she asked him. “I met you here a few months ago” he said. “I am sure I would remember you” she said as she put her hand on his chest.

“You were pretty lit up and having a good time” his lips cracked a smile as he said this. The two danced and laughed for the next hour. As the clock reached a few minutes until midnight they were still dancing when he glanced up at the clock. “I’ve got to go” he said, “why don’t you come with me?” “No, let’s stay” she pleaded, “its early; last call is not until 1:15”. She held onto him trying to keep him dancing as he began trying to pull away. “I’ve got to go, come with me, let’s go!” His voice changed from the smooth man to a sort of growl. Julie was used to getting her way so she began kissing him and pulling him closer. She ran her hand through his hair and as she did so she felt two bumps, the bumps were unnatural, hard and almost seemed like small horns.

Julie felt strange for the first time she looked at the man whose eyes now seemed to turn red; he had a goatee where there was not one before. There seemed to be heat coming from his body, it was like standing in front of a fireplace. His hand pulled up to her neck and long nails that were not there before scratched across her neck. She could hear screams but they weren’t from her. She hadn’t realized it but the band had not only stopped playing, they were running out of the bar along with everyone else. The bumps on his head had extended at least two inches into the air and his clothes were smoking. The bar smell had changed from stale beer to burnt flesh. Julie could feel warm blood slowly coming down from her neck. She backed up slowly with out even realizing she was doing so.

The devil himself had now appeared before her, he smiled and then ran out the door a glowing tail swinging behind him. Julie wanted to run but could not move. She stood there in shock, the only one left. She walked out, still stunned and got into her car and drove away. It was a long drive home, 45 minutes. She was trying to comprehend what had just happened to her. Her heart was still pounding and her chest was heaving. The long road between Espanola and Santa Fe was dark and seemed even more so than usual. Then up ahead she could see a red bright light. Maybe it’s a cop she thought; as she drove closer the light appeared to be in the center of the road. She slowed down and the closer she got she realized it was a man, a man who seemed to be glowing red. Even though it was still far away she could see his face, it was the devil from Red’s Bar. He was grinning, his arms outreached toward her. She swerved the car to the right, and hit the brakes. The car slid into a ditch on the side of the road and stalled. Panic struck as she tried to start the car.

Julie looked into her rear view mirror and saw the demon standing behind her car, still grinning. He touched the trunk of her car and flames quickly encircled the car. Julie tried to open the door but it would not open. She screamed so hard that hardly anything came out. The demon turned and walked away. Screaming and frantic Julie tried the door again and it still wouldn’t open. She began praying the Our Father….. Our Father, who art in heaven hollowed be thy name. Thy kingdom com, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Suddenly she felt something, something calming. At the drivers door was a cloudy white light, in the center of the light Julie could swear she saw her mothers face and heard “Jewels, come to me”. The door opened and Julie stepped out. She walked towards the light as the flames continued into the sky. The light dissipated and Julie sat on the hill side and watched her car go up in flames.

Tomorrow she would start a new life……

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sheriff Joe Arpaio VS The Phoenix Times

Last week and again this week I read Julia Goldbergs blog post on someone I have discussed in previous blog posts of my own with some amazement. Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Maricopa County Arizona is both hated and revered across this nation. Emails extolling his greatness are forwarded back and forth to hundreds of thousands of computers across the nation. I could not count how many times I have received this email, usually from someone who just moved to Santa Fe and thinks I should be like Joe. Public hangings would resume on the Santa Fe Plaza with me being the first recipient of the treatment if I was like Sheriff Joe.

My counter on this blog keeps track of how search engines lead people to my blog as well as how many visit per day. The search term Sheriff Joe Arpaio is always in the top 5 even though I have only mentioned him in 3 of my 217 previous posts on this blog. I first became intimately aware of this sheriff prior to my being elected to my first term. Our local jail was the number one topic of the election at the time. The jail was privately run and was receiving criticism from the public as well undergoing an investigation by the Department of Justice. I studied jail models from across the country and was shocked and amazed that our jail was under so much scrutiny from the Department of Justice while tent jails both in New Mexico and in Sheriff Arpaio's county seemed like comparing a Holiday Inn to an outhouse.

In the latest episode Sheriff Arpaio's Deputies arrested Michael Lacey, the executive editor, and Jim Larkin, chief executive of Village Voice Media — a company that owns a number of alternative weeklies including The Village Voice, The LA Weekly and The Phoenix Times.

The Phoenix Times and its editors have been in a long running battle with Sheriff Arpaio, after publishing a series of stories about his real estate dealings. They were arrested for unlawful disclosure of grand jury information. In a strange twist they were also being investigated for publishing the Sheriff's home address. I always thought everyone knows where every politician lives and if they did not know they could find out pretty easily. I cannot count the number of people who have knocked at my door and come to my home to ask for help, advice or just to let me know what they think about me or one of my deputies. Its part of being an elected official, at least in New Mexico it is.

Seems now the Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas has not only dropped the charges against the news editors but he has also canceled the investigation into publishing of the Sheriff's Home Address. So, why are Grand Jury Proceedings Secret anyway? Most states who have Grand Jury systems follow Federal Grand Jury Rules.

Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provide that the prosecutor, grand jurors, and the grand jury stenographer are prohibited from disclosing what happened before the grand jury, unless ordered to do so in a judicial proceeding. Secrecy was originally designed to protect the grand jurors from improper pressures. The modern justifications are to prevent the escape of people whose indictment may be contemplated, to ensure that the grand jury is free to deliberate without outside pressure, to prevent subornation of perjury or witness tampering prior to a subsequent trial, to encourage people with information about a crime to speak freely, and to protect the innocent accused from disclosure of the fact that he or she was under investigation.

Courts have taken seriously any attempt to publish or report secret proceedings in Grand Juries. In a 2004 article published by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Reporters are cautioned that judges will go after reporters who reveal information from secret Grand Jury Proceedings. In the Article published by The Phoenix Times the paper acknowledged they may be in trouble for publishing the subpoena's from the Grand Jury however decided that the publics right to know the far reaching effects of the subpoena was more important. The County Attorney in dropping the charges and investigations has since stated that the subpoena's were overly broad in their scope.

In my opinion a hard headed Sheriff and his attorneys have met their match in a hard headed newspaper. The two are butting heads and I wonder how much public money is being spent in this pissing match. Both sides have made errors and one can argue who is more right or wrong. In either case the public loses. All though the offenses are not necessarily on the same scale this reminds me of the Clinton/Monica Lewinski special prosecutor investigations in that no one really won and in the end what was the point of the investigation anyway? When public officials or the media go on witch hunts they can easily lose focus of their primary responsibilities and what their true mission really is.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Funny Friday- Be a Cop.

After my last sobering post I thought we would do a Funny Friday especially since I have not done one for a while. In this clip the officers from Reno 911 talk about recruiting efforts at their department. As you all know its getting harder and harder to recruit new officers so these two unveil their newest recruiting tool.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cop Killings up 54% from last year.

An alarming number has crossed my desk, cop killings are up 54% from last year. The latest killings of two officers in Odessa Texas along with a third fighting for his life from the same incident have added to these numbers. A healthy respect for law enforcement as well as the fact that officers can shoot back have often done more to protect officers than guns and bullet resistant vests. There is concern that these factors are on the decrease while the end result is the increase in those willing to shoot cops. In 2005 there were 59 gun related killings in the entire year. In 2006 the number decreased slightly with 52 officer killings. As of Tuesday 60 officers had been killed with guns, this number is up 54% from the same time last year. With 2 and a half months to go in the year, the year end total is due to be a sobering reminder to all officers of the need to be aware of your surroundings and to use the tactics and training you have all received to keep you from becoming one of these statistics.

128 officers from New Mexico are listed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C.. At the State Memorial located at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy several new sections of granite have been added over the years to accommodate the ever increasing deaths in New Mexico. I have often thought that the location of the memorial was one of the best in the nation. It is located in the courtyard of the academy grounds just below the living quarters. Young officers from across this state are forced to see it every day. There is no better reminder of the need for young recruits to pay attention to their training and fully understand the career they are choosing to enter. Over the years I have seen several young officers decide the career is not for them and quit during the first year as they realize what they are getting themselves into. On the other hand those that stay and are able to adapt to the life changing career are in for one of the most rewarding careers you can have.

The top killer of officers has always been traffic accidents however through October 9, 2007 gunshots sit at 60 while traffic accidents sit at 61. In response the International Association of Chiefs of Police wants to re institute the ban on high caliber sniper rifles and armor piercing handgun ammunition in the U.S. as well as 39 other restrictions. Among those other 39 restrictions are the following proposals.

-- Congress, as well as state, local, and tribal governments,
should enact laws requiring that all gun sales and
transfers proceed through a Federally licensed firearms
dealer, thus ensuring that a mandatory Brady background
check will be conducted on the transferee.

-- Congress should enact an effective ban on military-style
assault weapons. (In early September, on the third
anniversary of the expiration of the previous Federal
assault weapons ban, four police officers were shot in
Miami, one fatally, by a criminal armed with an assault

-- Congress should enact effective bans on .50 caliber
sniper rifles and armor-piercing handgun ammunition.

-- Congress should enact legislation to allow federal health
and safety oversight of the firearms industry.

-- State and local governments should regulate and/or limit
the sale of multiple handguns as a measure to reduce gun

-- The Federal government should increase funding to ATF for
personnel and technical assistance to combat gun violence.

-- Congress should repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which
restricts the sharing on gun trace data.

-- State and local governments should mandate that every gun
sold comes with a local or security device that meets
minimum safety standards to help protect against accidental
discharge and misuse.

A report written by the International Association of Chiefs
of Police, which is available on the IACP's website at, was released at a news conference
on September 19 in Washington, D.C. IACP law enforcement
representatives, two U.S. Senators, three U.S.
representatives and the Mayor of Milwaukee stressed the
importance and urgency of the recommendations. Paul Helmke,
President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
attended the news conference along with other
representatives of the Brady Campaign.
Gun restrictions have always been contentious and many cops themselves are against gun restrictions because they are avid gun enthusiasts as well. I do not own a personal weapon although when working at a law enforcement agency I have always had a department issued weapon. I do hunt and for some reason have just never bought a hunting rifle. I usually borrow one from a friend or family member. I just keep saying I am going to buy one and then before I know it hunting season is here and I borrow one because its to late to buy one, sight it in and get used to it. At least that's the excuse I give myself. Actually I often forget to apply for a hunting license and then half the time when I do apply I do not draw a tag.

I have spoken before about my disgust with the Republican Party in the last 6 years. They claim to be the party of Law Enforcement and because of that many law enforcement organizations have backed Republican candidates. Yet the truth of the matter is the Democrats hold the record in recent years of actually voting for and passing Law Enforcement related bills and funding. The Bush Administration has killed the C.O.P.S. programs which were the brain child of the Clinton Administration. Under the C.O.P.S. Programs officers were provided bullet resistant vests, thousands of new police officers were hired and trained across the country and grants were plentiful for community policing and other similar programs. Police were placed in the schools and funded by federal grants. School officers are on a sharp decline since federal funding has ended for this program under the Bush Administration.

I believe in a citizens right to protect themselves and to own firearms. I also believe that reasonable restrictions, licensing and registration of firearms should take place. Those with mental disability's and criminal records should lose that right. I can think of no valid reason that Armor piecing bullets and sniper rifles should be sold in local gun stores. Fully automatic rifles and sniper rifles should only be sold with added restrictions and licensing if at all. We should look for reasonable solutions to allowing citizens to have the means for sport and self protection while still maintaining the ability to protect citizens and law enforcement from gun violence.

The only problem that would remain is determining what is reasonable. That should be easy enough. LOL.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Who wants to go see the Dallas Cowboys vs The Washington Redskins?

The Solano for Lt. Governor Campaign is having a Halloween fund raiser which will be held on October 26, at the Fraternal Order of Police on Airport Road in Santa Fe. The event is a dinner and dance which will culminate with the giveaway of two lower level 30 yard line tickets to the Dallas Cowboys vs the Washington Redskins game in Dallas Texas on November 18, 2007. This is a sold out game that promises to be a great game between two division rivals. The cowboys are on a winning streak and being that the game is in Dallas the excitement for this game is at an all time high. Click here for information on how to donate to the campaign and have some fun while doing so!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Tell me bout the good ole days.

I got hooked on blogs as a form of edutainment (education/entertainment). I read some blogs for fun and some for education. Every now and then I get both. I had fun reading this blog however I immediately had to Google the word hagiography thus the educational part kicked in when I learned a new word. Remember when we used to have to pull out the dictionary and actually turn pages to look up something?

I have a Palm Trio Cell Phone and with it I can Google anything, get and send faxes, read and send email and read and draft word and excel documents. Basically my office is in my pocket, I also read and write blogs from my cell phone. It boggles the mind. Remember when every family had an encyclopedia set in the house? They were sold door to door and were quite expensive. For most middle income families they were purchased on an installment plan. Our family did not have much money so ours was kind of old and was given to us. I do remember that when ever I had to look something up I usually ran across a few other articles or something that caught my eye which meant every time I picked up one of them I ended up reading for a while. I included a photo of what encyclopedia's looked like in case some of you young ins have never seen one.

Now I rely on blogs, online newspapers, CNN, CNBC, and the evening news to pique my interest. I used to read Newsweek, Time, Popular Mechanics, and many other magazines. Now the only time I read these are at the hospital or some other waiting area. I do still read trade magazines but thats pretty much it. Only a few times a week do I hold an actual paper in my hand although I have subscriptions and get the daily's I read the online versions every morning, sometimes still laying in bed with my laptop. I do still read weekly, and monthly papers by holding the paper in my hand and turning the pages without a mouse. When they get better at online publishing that will probably end also. Times they are a changing, I have now become my grandmother who used to tell me how things used to be back in her day.......

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pendulum has swung too far in Juvenile Detention Programs

I am back, I apologize for my two weeks of non blogging I just kept not being able to get to it. Nothing major keeping me from it just every day busy stuff. As many of you have seen in the media Santa Fe County is experiencing an increase in burglaries recently just as the city has over the last year. Many of the arrests we make on burglars caught in the act or after the fact are juveniles. A few years ago the state passed reforms on the handling of Juvenile criminal offenders designed to reduce the numbers of juveniles incarcerated and divert those juveniles to programs rather than incarcerate. For the most part it was a good idea rooted in intervention and the idea that you only incarcerate the worst offenders.

The State came up with a scoring system which is used to evaluate juveniles when they are arrested. When an officer arrests a juvenile they call a Juvenile probation officer on the phone. The officer details the circumstances surrounding the arrest to the probation officer who uses the scoring sheet to add up the points. A juvenile must score above a certain number of points in order to be placed in the detention center. Points are given for whether the crime was a violent one, whether injury's or death are involved, the juveniles past history etc. The scoring is heavily weighted towards incarceration of violent offenders.

This means that those who are arrested for non violent crimes such as burglary, graffiti, D.W.I., and many gang related cases and other non violent crimes are usually not incarcerated. Think about it, you call the police because some kid just plowed into your car. We get there and he is drunk, you think as we put him or her into the back of out squad car that the offender is going to at least spend the night in detention. Instead we drive away with the child call his or her parents and have them pick up the child at our office. They go home with their parents suffering no short term legal consequences.

I say short term because I am not saying they don't suffer any consequences. They will eventually report to a probation officer and may or may not even see a judge. They will receive treatment, be monitored and pay reparations. However, what kind of message do we send in the short term when they just go home and find that they will not be detained even for one night? We have arrested at least five juveniles for burglary in September alone. Burglary is a felony punishable by prison if an adult commits the crime. In a burglary someone knowingly breaks into your home, vehicle or business in order to commit a crime, usually theft. It is a personally devastating crime. It robs victims of the sense of security in their own homes and creates fear and insecurity among its victims for years. It goes way beyond the value of the items taken. Yet children can commit burglary's with out any fear of incarceration.

Prior to the laws being changed in New Mexico the pendulum may have been to far in the opposite direction. Children were incarcerated for the most minor offenses which included running away from home. Children incarcerated for minor offenses were mixed in with those whom were incarcerated for major offenses including murder and rape. Those kids whose only crime may have been unhappiness at home or real home parenting issues were exposed to real criminals and as such likely to become friends with and end up assisting or emulating those children who were already lost to society. Someone recognized this and changes in the laws were sought and passed. In my opinion it was the right idea but those who drafted the regulations were over zealous in their execution.

The time has come to revisit the juvenile incarceration system and give more latitude towards including certain crimes such as DWI, felony burglary, auto theft and other serious felony's as crimes in which juveniles can be incarcerated. Juvenile Probation officers should be given more latitude to make individual case decisions based on the circumstances of the arrest and yes I do think some first time, one time juvenile burglars maybe should not go to detention. However, those who are caught during a burglary spree, or who admit to multiple burglary's should at least spend one night away from home to think about what they have done. I also believe D.W.I. should always be an immediate incarceration. The public really has no idea that kids who commit these types of crimes do not get incarcerated. I know that changes will not occur until the public is aware of whats happening and only then will the pendulum began its slow swing back to somewhere in the center.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Together We Can Change History!

Together we can change history, Or at least we can correct it.

R. Parker from the windy city posted my comments lamenting the fact that I lost out on a lunch due to misinformation from Our Campaigns, on the Our Campaigns web site. Within 20 minutes of R. Parker's post, the web site was corrected. If you don't remember back in July, I made an attempt to win a free lunch from Joe when he had a contest on his blog which offered the meal if you could answer this question: What were the names of the four candidates who sought the 1982 Democratic nomination for the District 3 northern congressional seat in New Mexico. One of the names I submitted was Charles Perez which I obtained from Our Campaigns, Joe insisted this was incorrect and that the candidate was actually George Perez.

I claimed a conspiracy and called for a congressional investigation. LOL. Anyway, today I found a large number of visits to my blog from the Our Campaigns website. I investigated and found that R. Parker posted my comments along with a link to my blogpost. about 20 people followed the link to my blog. George can now relax knowing that history has been corrected. And me ? I'm still hungry.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

O.J. Simpson In Jail Again.

After a busy Saturday, I was watching E Hollywood True Story on Sunday, relaxing with my granddaughter when the show was interrupted for breaking news. O.J. Simpson was in jail again, this time the charges were not yet released but it was related to a reported armed robbery in Sin City. This case is very interesting in that O.J. and some acquaintances are accused of breaking into a hotel room at the Palace Station Hotel and retrieving some personal belongings he claims were stolen from him years ago. O.J. and accomplices are accused of taking these items at gunpoint.

He has made statements to police and the press and claims he did go to the room and retrieve items that were stolen from him, however he denies doing so at gunpoint. There seems to be no dispute that the items were stolen from him years ago. Therefor all he had to do was call the police and have them retrieve the items rather than engaging in his own sting operation. This will probably be a text book case for not taking the law into your own hands. What I have not seen happen yet is whether the alleged victims in the case will also be charged with possession of stolen items. The fact that the victims reported the crime seems to mean they are not afraid of being investigated.

Casino's are usually filled with camera's and O.J.'s trip from the lobby to the room is probably on film footage some where. That footage may or may not reveal some evidence. The fact that two weapons have reportedly been recovered and a previous arrest was already made means the noose is tightening around the case. Everyone remembers the first O.J. case and I am sure the D.A.'s Office in this case made sure they had a case before making the arrest.

The police department in this case is in a no win situation. The first line of defense will be to attack the police. Remind you of the last O.J. case? Police will be accused of "going after O.J." because he is a celebrity, because they wanted to get him after the last case, or just because.

O.J. will be made out to be the victim. Someone who could not rely on police, or did not trust the police so he had to take the law into his own hands in this case. In Sin City there is a good chance a jury will buy this argument. In one of the most liberal, do as you wish cities in America two wrongs just might make a right. I personally could never believe the verdict in the last O.J. Simpson case. As a police officer I have seen cases go awry when they go from the investigation to the courthouse. I have also seen local attorneys like Gary Mitchell make the police out to be the bad guys and in the process set a killer free. Don't get me wrong the defense attorney's were doing their job and in the battle of the courtroom they prevailed in the eyes of a jury. It is the system we call American Justice and most of the time it does work. None the less I still could not believe the O.J. verdict.

I can see the pavlov's dogs rushing to eat as the media hears O.J.'s bell being rung. It will be a long fall where my guess is we will see not much else on the news for the next few months. Of course maybe I am just as bad, I am here writing about it also.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Interesting comments on previous post

There has been some interesting comments on one of my previous posts. In the post I ended my ramblings with a comment on Eye on Albuquerque's thoughts on whether I will continue blogging now that I have announced a run for Lieutenant Governor. I ended my post with a the quote "you never have to remember what you said if you always say the truth".

This has sparked interesting comments and even a lesson from one reader on how to lie effectively. It's not the kind of thing I thought people would learn by reading my blog but they are some interesting comments.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tips to prevent burglaries.

As reported first by the Santa Fe New Mexican's Jason Auslander and then picked up by all the rest of the media, the demographics have changed in residential burglaries during the last few months in Santa Fe County. One of the interesting notes in many of these burglaries is the fact that many of these homes had alarm systems which the owners did not activate before they left the home. This brings to mind the fact that this is a good time to remind everyone on some simple steps you can take to prevent burglaries at your home.

  • Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break into.
  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
  • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day. Use motion detector lights outside.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or fliers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the post office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
  • Push-button locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
  • Know who belongs or does not belong in your neighborhood. If someone looks suspicious, call the police to have them checked out.
  • Keep your yard clean and bushes and trees trimmed. You don't want to give burglars a place to hide or remain concealed as they come in and out of your yard.
  • If you have an alarm system, use it, even if you are only leaving for a short time. While they may not prevent burglary's they do reduce the amount of items taken and many times when the alarm goes off the burglar will leave with out taking anything. Whether you have an alarm system or not buy signs that say you have an alarm and place them around your home.
The thing about burglaries is that one or two people can do 5 or 6 burglaries in a day. A few days of doing this and the crime rate can rise dramatically in just a short time. When we catch these persons the crime rate drops just as dramatically. We will catch these people and things will return to normal. The most effective way to catch these burglars is through help from the public. Deputies can not be everywhere and most burglars are caught when someone calls in a suspicious person or vehicle or when a burglar is caught in the act. I ask everyone to be extra vigilant and be our eyes and ears, it is a cliche but its also very true that crime prevention begins at home.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tribute to September 11, 2001 Victims.

Today we honor the sixth anniversary of those who died in the September 11, 2001 Attacks on America.

2948 Victims died on that day.

3251 Children lost a parent on that day. The youngest victim was 2 year old Christie Hanson, the oldest was 85 year old Robert Grant Norton.

333 Firefighters and 60 Law Enforcement Officers, and 125 members or our Armed Forces died that day.

How do we honor those heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice on that day? We raise a new generation of heroes. Ready to take their place. Years ago we had hundreds of applicants for Police and Firefighter jobs. Today across New Mexico we have hundreds of vacancy's for these positions. Parents, talk to your children about the honor and pride of serving your country and your community. Lets raise a new generation of heroes.

Below is my tribute to the victims of 9-11.

Alfred Gilles Padre Joseph Marchand- The only New Mexican to die in the September 11, Attacks. He was a retired Alamogordo Police Officer who wanted to be a pilot someday. He was working as a flight attendant on United Flight 175 which was crashed into the World Trade Center South Tower.

Names of those Killed in the September 11 Attacks.

Death, destruction, charity, salvation, war, money, real estate, spouses, babies, and other September 11 statistics.

Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes.

Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.

* Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 9/5/02): 2,819

* Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343

* Number of NYPD officers: 23

* Number of Port Authority police officers: 37

* Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60

* Number of employees who died in Tower One: 1,402

* Number of employees who died in Tower Two: 614

* Number of employees lost at Cantor Fitzgerald: 658

* Number of U.S. troops killed in Operation Enduring Freedom: 22

* Number of nations whose citizens were killed in attacks: 115

* Ratio of men to women who died: 3:1

* Age of the greatest number who died: between 35 and 39

* Bodies found "intact": 289

* Body parts found: 19,858

* Number of families who got no remains: 1,717

* Estimated units of blood donated to the New York Blood Center: 36,000

* Total units of donated blood actually used: 258

* Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609

* Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051

* Percentage of Americans who knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks: 20

* FDNY retirements, January–July 2001: 274

* FDNY retirements, January–July 2002: 661

* Number of firefighters on leave for respiratory problems by January 2002: 300

* Number of funerals attended by Rudy Giuliani in 2001: 200

* Number of FDNY vehicles destroyed: 98

* Tons of debris removed from site: 1,506,124

* Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99

* Jobs lost in New York owing to the attacks: 146,100

* Days the New York Stock Exchange was closed: 6

* Point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average when the NYSE reopened: 684.81

* Days after 9/11 that the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan: 26

* Total number of hate crimes reported to the Council on
American-Islamic Relations nationwide since 9/11: 1,714

* Economic loss to New York in month following the attacks: $105 billion

* Estimated cost of cleanup: $600 million

* Total FEMA money spent on the emergency: $970 million

* Estimated amount donated to 9/11 charities: $1.4 billion

* Estimated amount of insurance paid worldwide related to 9/11: $40.2 billion

* Estimated amount of money needed to overhaul
lower-Manhattan subways: $7.5 billion

* Amount of money recently granted by U.S. government to
overhaul lower-Manhattan subways: $4.55 billion

* Estimated amount of money raised for funds dedicated to
NYPD and FDNY families: $500 million

* Percentage of total charity money raised going to FDNY and NYPD families: 25

* Average benefit already received by each FDNY and NYPD widow: $1 million

* Percentage increase in law-school applications from 2001 to 2002: 17.9

* Percentage increase in Peace Corps applications from 2001 to 2002: 40

* Percentage increase in CIA applications from 2001 to 2002: 50

* Number of songs Clear Channel Radio considered "inappropriate" to play after 9/11: 150

* Number of mentions of 9/11 at the Oscars: 26

* Apartments in lower Manhattan eligible for asbestos cleanup: 30,000

* Number of apartments whose residents have requested cleanup and testing: 4,110

* Number of Americans who changed their 2001 holiday-travel plans
from plane to train or car: 1.4 million

* Estimated number of New Yorkers suffering from post-traumatic-stress
disorder as a result of 9/11: 422,000

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Albuquerque Public School Board Votes to Arm Officers

Earlier this evening the Albuquerque Public School Board voted 4-3 to create their own certified police force and to allow officers to carry guns on school campuses. At least half of this vote was a no brainer to me. When someone sees an officer in uniform they expect that if something goes wrong the officer is equipped and trained to handle and help. Whether the problem is on school grounds or across the street, when someone runs up to the officer for help he or she must be able to respond. If we just want someone to run up to an armed encounter and yell at the kids or run to the phone and call for help we might as well just let the gym teacher and principal patrol the school grounds.

In Albuquerque the majority of the A.P.S. officers are retired or former police officers with years of training and experience. You don't send a carpenter to build a cabinet with out his hammer. Police have many tools as well, the most important is common sense and what those in the profession call verbal judo. This is the ability to handle a situation through verbal skills and the ability to reason individuals into complying or using their police authority to obtain compliance. When dealing with unreasonable, deadly and armed individuals that is when an officer must reach into their tool belt, ( my son when he was young called it my batman belt), and use the other tools they have. Firearms are an unfortunate but necessary tool which can not just take a life but save one as well.

I am not sure why this vote was not 6 to 1 or 7 to 0 but at least they got it right. Yes training and certification costs will increase but so will the ability to take real action when and if the need arises. Can you just imagine your child running from a gunman and the officer running to the parking lot to get his or her weapon from the car trunk? The weapon might as well be at home in the dresser drawer. My daughter is a sophomore in high school in Santa Fe. Although we do not have full time officers in schools, when the officers are in the school I would not want one that has to run to their car to get their tool belt.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Bloggers vs Newspapers?

Among the 46 blogs I keep tabs on and regularly read is "Burque Babble". The blog is written by Scot Key a middle school teacher of humanities and film. In his latest blog titled "On Blogging, The Tribune and Wearing Really Tight Clothing" he discusses the expected demise of the Albuquerque Tribune and Bloggers. He talks about what a blogger is and then discusses how blogging needs to develop more credibility. In the below excerpt he lists what he feels bloggers are missing.

Unfortunately, what’s missing from even the most laudable of blog reporting is: A. a sense of what used to be known as “credibility”; B. a readership that goes beyond the micro-community. All blog news reading is filtered by an assumption of bias, and the fact that nobody is reading anyone from the other political side. It reminds one of the old days where all newspapers were openly one-sided, only with fewer rich wingnuts running fewer newspapers and more geek wingnuts running more blogs.
I like to think there are many flavors of bloggers out there however, one of the things I like about reading blogs and writing them is the fact that they are biased. I don't read them for the news although Joe Monahan's and Heath Haussamen's blog among others contain news mixed with some slant or opinion of the news. I read them for the opinion pieces, I have to admit I read blogs that are completely opposite of what I believe although I favor those whom lean towards my beliefs. One thing I decided not to do was to promote blogs which do not agree with my philosophical and political beliefs. Therefor their are some blogs which I read however I do not list them in my links on my own blogs.

I listen to a lot of talk radio and from time to time, when I can stomach it, I listen to Rush Limbaugh and other left wing radical radio shows. It is good to see what the other side is saying and what their perspectives on the issues are. Each morning the first thing I do is make a quick run through the online editions of several newspapers and the 46 blogs I monitor. I use bloglines to keep track of all the blogs and recommend it to others.

I read the papers for news and the blogs for opinions, fun, and curiosity as well as some political news you wont find in the standard media. To be honest I like it that way. When bloggers move towards traditional news is when the real power and reasons to read blogs will go away. I write blogs because it allows my creative side to speak out and allows me to say to the world ( or at least my small readership part of the world) what I want to say in the way I want to say it.

The world according to Greg.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sheriff Interviewed on Los Angeles Public Radio Station

The Kid Nation Story continues with interviews on CNN, TV-Guide, and People Magazine. The Latest was an Interview on Southern California Public Radio Station KPCC. You can hear the Interview here. (Real Player required)

Along with many media interviews on Kid Nation the New Mexican had an interesting article on Commissioner Harry Montoya's stance and press conference over the Medical Marijuana issue. The article garnered many comments which were interesting to read, at least when the comments did not go off topic. I received phone calls today from Medical Marijuana groups applauding my comments in the article. I described my stance on this issue in a blog post on July 2, 2007. One thing I was asked to consider by one of the national proponents who called today was a program where rather than the state being the distributor and grower the State would license and strictly regulate private companies to grow and distribute the drug. I asked them to email me more information and they said they would.

Besides the calls from organized proponents I spoke to or received calls from individuals who told me stories about their loved ones who suffered and whose symptoms were relieved by the drug. They told me about the embarrassment and fear of getting arrested as they asked around for someone who might know someone who could sell them the drug. Normally law abiding citizens were forced to choose between comforting a loved one and breaking the law.

Somewhere among all the hype and controversy is an answer that will work for most people. Notice I did not say everyone, one thing I have learned is you can't please everyone. I am still committed to keeping drugs, marijuana and other drugs, illegal for all but the very few ill people who have been certified by a competent physician as in need of the drug. I spoke at length about my view on legalizing drugs in this blog post. Also by clicking here you can see all my blog posts related to drug legalization and medical marijuana.

One final note, Eye on Albuquerque, the anonymous blogger from Albuquerque ponders whether my run for Lieutenant Governor will cause me to cease blogging.

He or she notes: "It will be very interesting to see if Sheriff Solano continues to blog during his campaign for Lt. Governor. Blogs are great for expressing opinions and while opinions can garner support they can also create enemies who will use his posts against him."

Not only will I continue to blog, I have even started a new blog which will detail the run for Lieutenant Governor in a personal and honest way that I believe has never been done in New Mexico politics. One thing I vowed when I first ran for office was that "politics will not change me, I will change politics".

I truly believe this and this is not some made up campaign slogan. I will not formulate an opinion based on what polls say or based on what might be best for the campaign. I had a job before politics and should the voters decide I am not right for the position I am running I will have a job and continue to serve my community in other ways. So come here and read my ramblings and yes I am sure my opponents will try and use these writings against me, the good thing is that "you never have to remember what you said if you always say the truth".

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Efforts to Recall Sheriff Lee Baca a Bust.

Sheriff Lee Baca who released Paris Hilton from jail faced a recall effort which has gone nowhere after two months of gathering signatures.

Andrew Ahlering, a former county employee accused the Los Angeles sheriff of giving Hilton preferential treatment by allowing her to return home after serving less than four days of a 23-day jail sentence. The effort gathered a dismal 40 of the nearly 400,000 signatures needed by December to get a recall measure on the ballot. Ahlering, also said he had raised less than $100 for the campaign.

In the immense population of Los Angeles County either Sheriff Baca has amazing support or Andrew Ahlering is doing a horrible job of gathering signatures. The whole Paris Hilton case was way over publicized and the Judge in the case used Paris Hilton to make an example of celebrity's who get in trouble. It is highly debatable whether Paris served a fair amount of time in jail. One thing appears for sure, Sheriff Lee Baca is going nowhere.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sheriff interviewed on CNN

Early this morning I was at the roundhouse taping an interview for CNN. The subject was the Kid Nation Reality Show and its continuing criticism from parents and others. The criticism is bieng covered by everyone from People Magazine to the New York Times and L.A. Times and now CNN. The show is to air at 6 pm New Mexico time on CNN's show "Out in the Open" .

Hitting the dusty trail again.

On Thursday afternoon I was off on my yearly ride in the Chama area, this time we were at the Quinlan Ranch for our three day trip. My friends and I arrived on Thursday night and I was greeted at the campfire by none other than former County Commissioner Javier Gonzales, Former Attorney General Candidate Geno Zamora, and Mayor Marty Chavez. For more on the political side of this trip see my other blog "The Road to Lieutenant Governor".

Upon our arrival at the ranch we unloaded the horses and gear and settled into our tents. We actually had pretty good cell service at the base camp and It was funny during the trip to read this story in the New Mexican on my blackberry while having my morning coffee. The story in the New Mexican was about people paying big bucks for luxury camping trips. As you can see by this photo our tent was not as luxurious.

The first night was spent settling in and saying hello to old friends and some new ones. After a great dinner there was campfire music and conversation until about 1am.
One of our hosts "Don" really likes to build a campfire and soon our campfire became a bonfire. As it grew and grew I swear I could hear Zozobra groaning in the background.

In my next post I will detail the first day of riding, Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lessons learned from the John Hyde Case?

The recent developments in the John Hyde case highlight a major problem with mental health care in New Mexico. A lack of in patient facilities to treat those in need of mental health care. Las Vegas Medical Center is the primary facility for mentally ill patients from all over New Mexico. The waiting list is long and most individuals court ordered to the facility spend months in jail before getting a bed in the facility.

Let's think about that for a second, people with mental health issues who need in patient treatment are awaiting that treatment in a jail. Those who do not mess up bad enough to get arrested and then have the courts send them to jail prior to getting a bed, roam our streets as members of our homeless population. Or they live semi normal lives until the day they snap. Take a look at the recent cases of John Hyde and Cho Seung-Hui the Virginia Tech Killer. Both had brushes with the mental health systems in their states and both states failed them and their eventual solution was mass murder.

New Mexico needs to expand our mental health system and provide expanded in patient care. The waiting lists are too long and continued outpatient care is lacking in resources and funding. those in need of constant care and monitoring need a system that provides that care as well as funds the care. Many mentally ill individuals are unable to hold down jobs especially with out assistance and monitoring to ensure they are taking their medications. Going back to the Johnson administration we have cut and underfunded mental health facilities and programs. New Mexico needs to invest in these programs and begin to be proactive in preventing these kinds of deaths.