Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Catching Up

I've been so busy lately I haven't blogged some of the stories I've written for The New Mexican in the past few days.
Carlos Jaramillo

First of all, rest in peace Carlos Jaramillo, a former Santa Fe (and Espanola) police chief, who died in Arizona on Sunday at the age of 78.

I first got to know Carlos after he was appointed police chief in 1996 by Mayor Debbie Jaramillo. That appointment was an extremely controversial one because the mayor was his sister-in-law. The appointment was responsible for a voter backlash in the city elections, which took place about a month later. But after the dust had settled, Chief Jaramillo won the confidence and respect of most his troops, including some officers who had called his appointment a "slap in the face" from the mayor.

After his stint as police chief, Jaramillo worked as head of security for the Legislature during sessions. I'd frequently run into him on the first floor near the snack bar and joke with him that I never was afraid anyone would steal my Frito pie if he was around. As the former mayor told me Monday night, "People just took to Carlos. He was a funny, likable guy."

My condolences to Carlos' family, as well as the Capitol workers and old cops who miss him.


Last week I wrote about U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan being touted as a possible replacement for the retiring Charlie Gonzales, D-Texas as chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. I quoted from an article in Roll Call published last month.

I also quoted U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich saying that it would be good for the state if Lujan gets the post. "As the Hispanic population grows in the U.S., so does the influence of the (Congressional Hispanic Caucus)," Udall said. "Serving as the chair is a significant responsibility with the ability to influence the national agenda."


Also check out this fun little story I did about a project of the New Mexico Centennial Steering Committee. It's a series of 2-minute radio spots concerning stories from the state's history.

There are 16 posted on line for the next few weeks. You can find them HERE

I especially recommend the one about the Socorro County sheriff encountering a UFO in 1964 and the one about lawman/gunslinger/politician Elfego Baca, one of the most unique characters in this state's history.