The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Nov 26, 2009

The Blue Barrier of Fear

It's been a very bad couple of days for Chavez' old chief now Berry's new chief. Tuesday, Sergeant... uh, Chief Schultz received the bad news that his five years of serving as Albuquerque's top has earned him the dubious distinction of overseeing the metro area's rise to number eight on the list of the nation's most dangerous cities (read it here).

For Mayor-Elect Berry the news was an embarrassment because candidate Berry ran on a platform of fixing the crime problem created by the Chavez administration and presumably Marty's Chief Minion, Ray Schultz. In point of fact, the selection of Schultz itself made Berry look rather less than honest and both the media and the public can easily spot hypocrisy and/or political expedience.
A new mayor has not only the power but the duty to surround himself with "his" people. Chief Schultz was but one of the early missteps made by an inexperienced but ultimately honest politician.

Berry's mistake? Listening to his soon-to-be Public Safety Director. Darren White has been working with Schultz for more than just the past 5 years, but since he was a new APD patrolman and young Darren's first sergeant. Our Eyes tell us that White promised his first boss that he'd be staying on within hours of the election.

In his naiveté, Berry failed to realize the very real political implications of the Schultz choice - implications that should have been readily apparent to both White and Berry's other top appointment, David Campbell. It appears that both White and Campbell are busy following their own agendas.
[End Sidebar]
Late Wednesday afternoon things got even worse for the new chief (same as the old chief). For the past two weeks a lightly covered law suit was going forward in U.S. District court in Santa Fe. In it former Officer Sam Costales was suing APD and Chief Raymond Schultz for retaliating against Costales for giving testimony for the defense in the case of State of New Mexico vs. Unser.

Costales claimed that Schultz and the department created an atmosphere where he feared for his life and was ultimately forced to leave the department. Wednesday afternoon the jury found for the plaintiff and Costales was awarded $662,000.

The jury found that Chief Ray Schultz personally violated Costales' civil rights as did the Albuquerque Police Department. In addition, the jury found that there is a "blue wall of silence" and that the actions of Chief Schultz were retaliatory.
The lawsuit also named Sheriff Darren White and police union official James Badway, but claims against them have been settled.
The jury finding makes it look like the entire department acts in unison to close ranks and protect their own even if the "offender" is one of their own. The reality is a little more subtle than that and a hell of a lot more dangerous.

Our observation is that while rank and file officers are regularly drawn and quartered publicly, while the favored few - the good ol' boys - are regularly protected from the consequences of their own screw-ups and misdeeds. Our Eyes even tell us that some of Ray's Favored have even been protected from allegations of criminal conduct.

It's no surprise that when Sheriff Darren White called Schultz to complain about Costales' testimony in the Unser case, Chief Schultz sprang into action to punish the officer who had the temerity to testify against the Sheriff's deputies. It's not a "blue wall of silence" as much as a blue barrier of fear where the mighty Favored Few are protected at all costs and the rank and file never know when they might be sacrificed to "prove" that the department is capable of policing itself.

All of which brings us to another of Berry's campaign promises... transparency. How can APD operate transparently when officers fear retribution? Transparency requires honesty and honesty is the first casualty of fear. Officers shouldn't face retribution for telling the truth, speaking their minds, or doing what's right. They should be rewarded not retaliated against.
It's telling that there was only one currently serving officer courageous enough to testify for the plaintiff. Our Eyes tell us that Sergeant Paul Heh testified yesterday much to the chagrin of Chief Schultz. Part of his testimony was that he feared 5th Floor retribution simply because he was called to testify.

If you're on the street and run into Sergeant Heh, tell him thank you and watch his back. You can bet that Schultz and crew will be looking for some payback.
[End Sidebar]
Until December 1st, Chief Schultz, his cronies and his cover-ups belong to the little vindictive outgoing mayor. Before Mayor-Elect Berry has even taken office, Chief Schultz has become an embarrassment to his administration. That's two strikes in as many days. After December 1st, the mess that is the APD 5th Floor will be owned by Berry.

The only questions remaining are how many strikes will Berry allow Schultz, how much more political capital is Darren White willing to burn on his favored friend, and how long will it take for the new mayor to figure out his mistake?

Give Thanks for Energy

by Marita Noon

During a recent trip, a flight attendant asked me where I was going. She smiled and asked, “Vacation?” “No,” I said, “I’m giving a speech.” She wondered about my topic. "Energy," I replied. "Great, I used to be a nutritionist," She responded. I told her that it wasn’t that kind of energy.

As we head into Thanksgiving, you may think you need lots of her type of energy—and you’d be right. But without my kind of energy, you’d need a whole lot more of her kind of energy to create the "old fashioned" Thanksgiving that so many of us picture when we think of the nationwide holiday.

One of the big traditions of Thanksgiving is the entire multi-generational family gathered around the table. Back in the day of the picture perfect holiday, travel meant hitching up the horse and wagon. Today, to accomplish this, family members often have to travel great distances to get to the site of the big meal. Thanksgiving is reported as the busiest travel season—whether by auto or air. But even before the travel takes place, energy is a big part of the picture.

The travel has to be planned. Air travel takes a visit to one’s favorite travel website. Travel by land often requires a Mapquest search for the best route. Both need energy to function. Then when the actual travel takes place, regardless of the method or distance, fuel is needed to make the trip possible.

Even the big meal takes more energy than one might assume. First the turkey has to be raised (I’ll not belabor each phase of energy used there). Then to get it to the store in a safe and sanitary manner, requires refrigeration and transportation—both are energy dependent. Once at the store refrigeration is, again, important. To go to the store to make your selection demands fuel.

Let’s jump to the big day. Most people stuff the bird and cook it in the oven—though the fried turkey has increased in popularity. Either way, energy is required for cooking—natural gas, electricity or propane. And, that does not include the veggies, the mashed potatoes (that need a mixer), or the freshly baked rolls. The Thanksgiving feast typically includes some sort of salad. At my great aunt’s home in Massachusetts, salad was green Jello with chopped celery and a dollop of mayonnaise. In modern homes the salad is usually lettuce based. Again energy is needed to keep things fresh and cool.

Once the meal is ready, many people use an electric knife to cut the turkey and a hot plate to keep things warm while the final preparations are made. Both need energy.

Around the table, the ambiance may be created the "old fashioned" way with candles and a flickering wood-fueled fire. But even fire is energy—the first used in civilization. But maybe you have music playing on the stereo—tunes downloaded from iTunes (thanks to energy).

Post meal, fat and happy, many households will retire to the sofa to watch the big game of the day. Once again energy is a central feature. It gets all the on-site participants to the stadium—lit by energy. Energy powers the television cameras. Perhaps the image gets to your home via satellite or cable. Neither is possible without energy. Once in your home, that flat screen TV needs electricity and rare earth to give you that great picture. Whatever you are drinking is hot or cold thanks to energy.

But it is not over yet. In most homes, while the men watch the game, the women clean up. Whew! The dishwasher makes it so much easier. And the hot water coming straight from the tap is expected. Once again, energy.

If you are the cook, by the end of the day, you are ready for all of those people to head home. You are lacking energy and are ready to crawl under your electric blanket—all warm and snuggly.

Once you start thinking about it, you can see myriad other ways that energy makes your Thanksgiving the picture-perfect event of which you’ve dreamed. Maybe your digital camera was used, your computer to view the shots, your printer to print out copies for everyone. You get the picture.

When you come to the table and bow your head to give thanks for the family, friends and food—don’t forget the energy that made it all possible.

Marita Noon is the executive director of the Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE), a nonprofit, membership-based organization working to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom and the American way of life. She can be reached at or

Nov 18, 2009

Ghosts of Mayors Past

On election night we were thrilled when The Almighty Alcalde went down to defeat and the city chose a new mayor in R.J. Berry. We believed that the new administration would bring with it a whole new crop of leaders who would - that the very least - open up the doors of government and let a fresh breeze blow through the stagnant recesses of city hall. Barely a month and a half later, one of the chief architects of cronyism and cover-up was introduced as the new chief of police.

Yep. The new is old again and like Dickens' Ghost of Christmas Past, Ray Schultz appeared at last night's news conference dragging his chains of scandal and was introduced as the new - now old - police chief. The chief's links of cronyism, cover-up, spin, and scandal are plain for all to see - except it seems the mayor-elect.

When asked about the obvious contradiction between campaigning against The Once Almighty Alcalde on crime and hiring Marty's top cop, Mayor-Elect Berry answered that he'd "sit down with his team" after December 1st ( Huh?!

Meanwhile, The Ghost of the Chief Just Past (and apparently future) indicated that he " look[s] forward to is having the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about what we are doing for property crimes" ( In other words, Chief Schultz is planning to drag his chains of propaganda back into office and try to convince his new boss that property crime is down when property crime is up, less is more, and the sky is green.

The truth is that keeping Chief Schultz makes about as much sense as keeping Marty on as CAO (or Ed Adams as COO for that matter). Further, our Eyes tell us that the decision to keep Chief Schultz was never vetted by the team that was in charge of the APD "seven hour grilling" as Monahan put it.
It appears that Ed Adams will be staying as the new/old COO. Apparently, Adams has a clause in his contract that stipulates that he has to be kept around at his full CAO salary of almost $150,000 a year. If true, it's yet another example of one of Marty's despicable deals. But while the city may have to pay Adams, Mayor-Elect Berry doesn't have to give him any real authority.

How about sending him over to the pound to clean up cages, or make him low man on the totem pole in Council Services? Councilor O'Malley would more than likely loooove to order Ed Adams around and the pound always has some s#%t that needs cleaning. Hell, he's been waist deep in Marty's muck for years.
[End Sidebar]
It seems like Mayor-Elect Berry is taking advice from a very small group of individuals - each with their own agenda, each with their own motives and all with various working relationships or ties to the Chavez administration. So it's no surprise that Berry's choices are looking more like the old and less like anything new.

Appointments like Chief Schultz drag with them the weight of the chains that they have forged with the previous administration. Each link was created either at the direction of the previous mayor or through their own bad acts. The full weight of these Ghosts of Mayors Past will be firmly attached to the new administration on December 1. Worse, those who carry those chains have no interest in opening the doors of government and ushering in a new and open administration.

Nov 16, 2009

Days of Diego

A little over a week ago, The Albuquerque Journal did a front page story on AFD union boss Diego Arencón (Subscription). According to the Journal, Arencón pulls down $81,000 a year as a Firefighter First Class.
The increased salary was negotiated as part of union agreements adopted in 2008 and goes to whoever serves as president.

It's intended to motivate rank-and-file firefighters to try for the job, said Diego Arencón, the union president. He's held the position for the last 2 1/2 years.

"It's an incentive for the lower ranks to get involved," he said.
The article implies that Arencón's super salary is part of the collective bargaining agreement between the City of Albuquerque and the firefighter's union. The problem is that the CBA does not address the salary of the union president. Our Eyes tell us that Diego's enhanced pay is the result of a side agreement with Mayor Martin Chavez - an agreement that Chief Ortega refused to sign.

Our Eyes also tell us that Arencón makes a bit more than the $81,000 revealed by The Journal. Once longevity pay is added to the mix, Arencón pulls down right around $90,000 - a tidy little sum by any standards.

In addition, Diego is given a Monday through Friday 8 hour a day schedule. More importantly if you have a fire at your home or business while Mr. Arencón is on duty, you can be sure that the Firefighter First Class won't be there to fight it. Diego's days are spent exclusively working for the union.

But wait... it gets better!

The President of Local 244 also receives a stipend, all expense paid trips, and a union debit card. This is where it really gets fun because our Eyes got a look-see at Diego's debit card.

In addition to having a sweet double your paycheck deal from the city, in 2008 Arencón spent over $41,000 on his union debit card - over 42% on food alone. Yannis, Starbucks, Imbibe, The Q Bar, Flying Star, The Gold Street Cafe, Maloney's Tavern, McGraths - they're all on the union dime. Even Lowe's was listed as a food expense and that's just too weird to contemplate. There were even a few unexplained MasterCard reimbursements (view the report here - credit numbers redacted).

Some of the expenses were justified like dinners with The Almighty Alcalde, Imbibe-ing with Commissioner Archuletta or the Mayor's office assistants, and Sushi with Lawrence Torres. There were also a few expenses justified for various fire stations and individual union members. There was even a "labor relations expense" for "mediations" incurred at Jubilation Wine and Spirits for $55.56 (that's one way to lubricate negotiations).

Starbucks was by far Mr. Arencón's favorite caffeinated watering hole visiting the coffee outlet over 152 times. What's concerning about the repeated Starbucks expense, or the bar tabs at Imbibe or the over $4,300 in credit card reimbursements, is the overwhelming lack of expense justification.

A review of the expenditures makes Mr. Arencón look like he's living and partying on the union's debit card - which means that his $91,000 taxpayer funded salary is subsidized by a union stipend and as much as $41,000 in union debit card purchases. That's over $132,000 in potential income. And remember, anything that's not directly attributable to union business could be considered income by the IRS.

Look... as a taxpayer we have a real problem with Martin Chavez buying a union president by doubling his taxpayer funded salary for union only work. This may sound funny, but we kind of expect firefighters to well... fight fires. It may be legitimate to allow the union president to have time to do union business, but we certainly shouldn't be paying him more than other firefighters to do it - that should be the responsibility of the union.

On the union side... What the hell?!! Over $41,000 on the union debit card?! Most disturbingly, there's little justification for many of the expenditures.

IAFF Local 244 members elect their board and their president. We haven't seen the organization's bylaws, but we'd bet that spending by the board has at least a few restrictions. More importantly, anyone who spends union dues for any reason has the responsibility to its members to justify each and every expense. You know... dates, times, who, what, when, and where.

We'd bet that days of Diego's sweet mayoral deal are about to evaporate like a number of Marty's Minions' city jobs. But it's up to the members of IAFF Local 244 to hold their leaders accountable and to demand justification for spending their dues.

Nov 12, 2009

Sheriff Shuffle: Callaway Hatch Act

The race to replace outgoing Sheriff Darren White is heating up and with over 30 applicants, candidates are pulling out all of the stops. The truth is that whichever candidate lands the selection will be miles ahead of the other contestants in the upcoming 2010 election.

One of the aspiring Sheriffs is Conrad Candelaria and he's getting support from one of the top APD cops - Deputy Chief, Michael Callaway. Candelaria is a Commander with the Albuquerque Police Department in charge of the Southwest Area Command.

It's no surprise that Candelaria is getting support from The 5th Floor Brass at APD. What is a surprise is that Deputy Chief Callaway decided voice his support by sending a letter of recommendation to each of the commissioners on the Bernalillo County Commission.
November 10, 2009

Bernalillo County Commission
1 Civic Plaza
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Honorable Commissioners:

It is with great pleasure that I am offering this letter of recommendation for Commander Conrad Candelaria for appointment as the Sheriff of Bernalillo County. Conrad Candelaria is an experienced, executive-level law enforcement professional who possess the requisite knowledge, skill and capabilities to effectively lead the Bernalillo county Sheriff's Department.

I have known Conrad for the past twenty years as our careers have been parallel throughout the ranks of the Albuquerque Police Department. Under Conrad's leadership, the Albuquerque Police Department and the Westside community have built positive relationships and worked collaboratively to improve the quality of life within the community. Conrad has also been responsible for influencing, implementing and developing several strategic initiatives to effectively address problems and concerns. I am certain Conrad possesses a unique vision for the Bernalillo county Sheriff's Office to further the County's goals and objectives.

In summary, Conrad is a conscientious, dedicated, knowledgeable individual who has earned the respect of his community and criminal justice colleagues alike. Thank you for your consideration and service to the citizens of Bernalillo County.


Michael D. Callaway
Deputy Chief of Police
Albuquerque Police Department
We know what you're thinking... And??? The personalized letter was provided to each county commissioner on official APD letterhead - a potential violation of the Hatch Act (view the letter here).
Prohibited Activities

Covered state and local employees may not-

* be candidates for public office in a partisan election
* use official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the results of an election or nomination
* directly or indirectly coerce contributions from subordinates in support of a political party or candidate
Bernalillo County Sheriff is a partisan elected position. The Bernalillo County Commission will be appointing or nominating the next Bernalillo County Sheriff. By sending a letter of recommendation to Bernalillo County Commissioners, Deputy Chief Callaway is using "official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the results of an election or nomination."
Penalties for Violating the Hatch Act

If the Merit Systems Protection Board finds that the violation warrants dismissal from employment, the employing agency must either remove the employee or forfeit a portion of the federal assistance equal to two years salary of the employee. If the Board finds the violation does not warrant the employee's removal, no penalty is imposed.
We suspect that Commander Candelaria solicited Callaway's endorsement, but you never know. It's possible that DC Callaway was acting on his own initiative. Either way, there's something just plain wrong with campaigning for a law enforcement position using a letter of endorsement that clearly violates the law.

----- Update -----
We got so carried away with what appears to be a blatant violation of the Hatch Act that we completely forgot about other potential violations. One of our Eyes quickly reminded us of our omission, so... After a little digging we found that the Deputy Chief has indeed crossed at least one more line.

In addition to the Hatch Act, it appears DC Callaway has violated Administrative Instruction No. 7-19 - which contains a list of compaing no-nos.
B. Activities Prohibited No City Employee Shall:

1) Become a Candidate for any elective City office;

2) Actively campaign for or against a Candidate for any elective office while on duty or represent a Candidate while on duty. Volunteers assisting in City functions under the supervision or direction of City employees shall not campaign for a Candidate while performing such duties for the City; [emphasis added]

3) Receive, disburse or account for assessments, contributions or other funds for any Candidate;

4) Receive or offer to receive any money, gratuity or benefit from any candidate;

5) Wear on one's person political badges or buttons while on duty or while in a City uniform at any time;

6) Take either a position for or against any Candidate for elective office while representing either that such position is an official City position on such Candidate or that such position is taken in one's official capacity as a City employee;

7) Circulate nominating petitions within or on City property while on duty, at the place of one's employment or at any time or any place while in City Uniform;

8) Serve as an election judge or clerk in a City election;

9) Use any City-owned properly, equipment, supplies, vehicles or space either to campaign for or against a Candidate. [emphasis added]

10) Display or distribute any political stickers, posters or materials on or from City-owned vehicles or City property;

11) Display or distribute any political stickers, posters or material for or against any Candidate while on duty or at the City employee's work place, other than bumper stickers displayed on the employee's private vehicle, including vehicles parked in City owned parking lots; or

12) Use the employee's position or status to influence the support of other City employees or City officials for or against any Candidate or issue. [emphasis added]

C. Hatch Act Any City employee whose principal employment is in connection with an activity which is financed in whole or part by loans or grants made by the United States or a Federal agency is subject to the provisions of the Hatch Act in addition to the prohibited activities set forth in this memorandum. Each City Employee is responsible for determining if Hatch Act prohibitions apply to his or her employment with the City.
You might want to look at items 2, 9, and 12. Looks like Deputy Chief Callaway has some more splainin' to do.

Nov 10, 2009

Golden Parchutes - Welcome Back Lawrence!

Many of our readers have been buzzing about a transfer of former APOA President Lawrence Torres from the HR department back to APD. We've had our Eyes do a little digging and all of the rumors have been confirmed. On November 4th Lawrence Torres became a member of the Albuquerque Police Department... again.

Torres took a job in the Human Resources department about 3 1/2 years ago after serving as APOA President. According to our Eyes, his new (now old) job as Employee Relations Director was viewed as a reward for working with The Almighty Alcalde on union issues while serving as the APOA President.

The Eyes have it that Mayor-Elect Berry has been told expect a greater than $30 MILLION budget shortfall next year - despite Chavez administration claims of $12 MILLION. Torres' HR position was unclassified and with a looming deficit and a salary of over $82,000 a year... his job was certainly on the chopping block.

The problem for the Berry team is that Torres managed to take his $82,000 a year salary with him even though he's classified as a Patrolman 1st Class. P1Cs typically make between $48,000 and $51,000 a year.

There's yet another problem for the newly acquired patrolman, he may have let his state certification lapse. Our Eyes tell us that there has been some scrambling by The 5th Floor to make sure that Torres is still certified. They question whether or not Torres kept up his certification after his departure and note that his file down at the training academy suddenly grew after a hasty visit from Deputy Chief McCabe.

Torres isn't the first of Marty's Minions to be transferred from an unclassified position to a classified one and the Berry team is busy compiling a list of folks like Torres who have gotten special deals from the departing Alcalde. Some of these golden parachutes are going to be extremely hard to find and even harder to do anything about.

The Torres Transfer doesn't appear to be one of them even though Chief Schultz signed off on the transfer. Compensation for P1Cs is covered under the collective bargaining agreement and our Eyes tell us that sending Torres $82,000 salary with him is illegal.

Torres started his career as a member of the APOA. He left the union for the greener pastures of the Chavez administration - a move many members viewed with contempt. Now he's back in the union complete with an $82,000 a year parachute. Welcome back Lawrence!

Nov 6, 2009

Congressman Teague Has A Split Personality On Energy

Marita K. Noon

If there is one thing T. Boone Pickens knows how to do, it is make money. When T. Boone gets behind something, financial gain is the incentive. There is nothing wrong with making money, but his motives cannot be viewed as purely altruistic. When the price of natural gas was high, he advertised converting the world to wind power as wind power needs back-up base-load power and the only source that can ramp up and down quickly is natural gas. Now that natural gas prices are lower, he no longer promotes wind power. He is, however, pushing a new scheme to increase natural gas usage. Natural gas is a clean-burning fossil fuel, so using more natural gas is good.

However, when T. Boone partners with Congressman Harry Teague, one has to look askance. At best, Teague appears to be a bit schizophrenic.

While we do not currently know what version of cap and trade will pass through Congress-or even if any form will pass, we know that Teague voted for the Waxman/Markey Bill (AKA cap and trade). The purported goal of cap and trade is to get America off of fossil fuels by making their emissions taxable in some form-and therefore more expensive for the consumer. One variant of cap and trade basically eliminates coal from America's energy portfolio, which means our coal-fired power plants that provide about half of our base-load energy needs will all have to be converted to natural gas--additionally upping the price. So Teague has essentially voted to make natural gas--a fossil fuel his company helps produce--more expensive and then supports a bill (H.R. 1835) that would use taxpayer money to underwrite the conversion of vehicles from gasoline or diesel to natural gas. We the taxpayers will get hit on both sides of his efforts.

In addition to his apparent split personality, the opinion editorial produced jointly by the Teague/Pickens team has several other flaws.

In their proposal, they recommend tax incentives for converting fleets to be fueled by natural gas. On the surface this sounds good-we trade an imported fuel for a domestic one. The use of natural gas has already been tried in agricultural and oil field vehicles since the 60's and was not reliable.Yet, this is being tried in several government agencies as a way to be more environmentally friendly--even though the infrastructure is not there. To solve this, Teague/Pickens then encourage opening more NGV fueling stations. This will take years and years to make happen due to right-of-way issues, environmental regulations and excessive costs--which their approach would have underwritten by the taxpayer (as are, or course, the aforementioned tax incentives). By the time a NGV infrastructure could be functional, something totally different could be in place.

Another flaw is their idea that NGV will reduce our dependence of foreign oil. We currently use foreign natural gas and their plan would increase natural gas use--therefore using more from foreign sources. I am all for natural gas use and I support getting off of foreign fuels of all kinds. But switching our vehicles to NGV will not do that. What we need is to open up drilling options-for both natural gas and oil! Their op-ed cites a study indicating that the continental United States has enough natural gas reserves to last 118 years. That may be true, but how much are we currently allowed to access? Much of America's natural resources are off-limits due to environmental NIMBYism! With all of the nonconventional fuels coming online, I believe we could be almost energy independent now--or at least have energy security (meaning we get our fuels from friendly countries such as Mexico and Canada). But we must be able to access them.

Additionally the Teague/Pickens piece claims that natural gas burns cleaner and produces "virtually no particulate emissions." I agree that natural gas burns cleanly, but so do most other fuels today. America and Canada derive the largest single percent of energy from coal, yet they both have some of the cleanest air of the industrialized world. Wasn't Waxman/Markey about CO2, not particulate emissions? Come on Harry, make up your mind.

Teague's action in voting for Waxman/Markey was a vote to shut down fossil fuels when the next generation of fuel--whatever it may be--is not yet available. After all, as they state, "Wind and solar are not helping you drive to work in the morning."

Marita Noon is the Executive Director at CARE (Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy), the nonprofit organization working to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom and the American way of life. Find out more at Note: The above is in response to a previously published op-ed

Nov 5, 2009

Eye Told You: Back in the Saddle

There's a lot going on during the final days of the Chavez Administration as all of Marty's Minions are working to save their as, uh... career posteriors. Outgoing CAO, Ed Adams is furiously squirreling away favored unclassified employees in classified positions.

Back in October we told you that The 5th Floor planned to move Commander Joe Hudson and Lieutenant Rob Smith back to the SID playpen (read it here). When the little scheme was revealed, The 5th Floor brain trust decided that it was a good idea to wait (read it here).

Well... the wait is over and Hudson and Smith are back in the saddle over at SID. Meanwhile, the entire reserve program is still on hiatus.

Look, the reserve program was never the problem. Reserve officers work under the direct supervision of paid, sworn, and certified APD officers. State law clearly indicates that they cannot be paid. If a reserve officer is paid, they're no longer a reserve officer and by law they must be state certified. When David Young started posing as a "John" and started playing with the equipment of suspects, he was acting as a police officer not as a civilian technician.

Hudson and Smith should have known that just as they should know exactly how far any officer can go in furtherance of their duties. One way or the other, Hudson and Smith screwed up. The 5th Floor is busy doing what it always does... acting like it never happened.

Nov 3, 2009

Eye Poll: Time to Go

We rarely see this kind of landslide in an Eye Poll. Last week, Eye readers sent a loud and clear message that it's time for Chief Schultz to go.

In our unscientific, poll a whopping 78% of readers said "yes, absolutely" when asked if APD needs a new chief. Only 17% of readers wanted to keep the chief, while 4% didn't know (view it here).

There are a lot of reasons why readers are ready for a change over at APD, but a lot of it comes down to the chief's inability to keep politics out of the police department.

Police officers are hired to do a job - a difficult, tedious, dangerous, and all too often thankless endeavor. When the primary function of the chief becomes anything other than protecting the public, he loses the trust of the public and just as importantly the faith of the men and women he leads.