New Mexico In Depth is speaking with the candidates for New Mexico governor on the issues of early childhood, child wellbeing and education in New Mexico. Jeff Apodaca of Albuquerque is a former media executive and is one of three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity. Sylvia Ulloa: What would early childhood education in New Mexico look like in an Apodaca administration? And what is your plan for offering early childhood care and education in rural New Mexico, where they often lack infrastructure and access to skilled early childhood educators?
Tom Chudzinski rode out of Albuquerque on a Greyhound bus before the sun rose one morning last month, his only remaining possessions tucked into a backpack, a small duffel bag and a cardboard box, which held his disassembled bicycle. The retired architect had pulled into Albuquerque five months earlier in a motorhome crowded with the keepsakes from his 62 years of life: power tools, drafting instruments, personal records and clothing. He was living in the home while traveling the western U.S.
The unraveling began on June 3, when Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies knocked on the door of his motorhome and, smelling alcohol on his breath, arrested him on suspicion of drunken driving. Although they hadn’t seen him driving, they believed he had crashed his RV into a parked vehicle at a truck stop that sits on a dusty patch of mesa on the city’s far west side. This story was produced in collaboration with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit news organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A member of an Albuquerque city committee charged with working with APD on mental health issues is confused by the department’s apparent conflicting responses after a reverse sting operation made news last month. On one hand there was a “productive” meeting with police officials who said the department would change how future sting operations are conducted. Police officers arrested of mostly homeless people, some struggling with mental illness. On the other, a letter about the reverse sting operation from Police Chief Gorden Eden days after the meeting reflected none of these promised changes.
Attorney General Hector Balderas’s office announced today it has cleared TeamBuilders and Pathways, the final two behavioral health organizations the state of New Mexico accused of ‘credible allegations of fraud’ in 2013. This is a developing story.
Chances are good that SJR1 will clear the House, too, a powerful lawmaker from that chamber said. “This is an issue on which we need to be pragmatists,” Republican House Majority Leader Nate Gentry of Albuquerque said. “We have a very delicate balance right now where we have the support of district attorneys. We have the support of the criminal defense attorneys. You don’t see that often.”
Storefront lenders scored a win Tuesday in Santa Fe when the House Business and Employment Committee unanimously voted to block an effort to ask New Mexicans to vote on whether to cap interest rates on installment loans this November.
If I learned one thing from the young people I’ve met while reporting this project, it’s that my daughter needs me to listen without judgment, forsaking the temptation to give advice or prattle on about my own childhood experiences.