ABQ mayoral race right around the corner

So much of the attention this year has been on state politics. But there's a mayoral election in the Duke City in 2009, and you know it will be hot.

Mayor Martin Chavez is interested in the post. Again. But he's gotta get a court to OK him to seek a third term.

Update, Jan. 6

(Actually, I missed this one, but a court already ruled Chavez can ran again, so he's good to go. Sorry, I missed that one...)

Then you've got one-time Senate President Pro Tem Richard Romero.  He needs money, and as of Jan. 1. will collect seed money for his publicly financed campaign. Up to $100 per person from ABQ residents.

Michael Cadigan is another. He needs more name id, many would say, and to expand his base. The same might be said for Ken Sanchez. And don't forget other dark horse Democratic possibilities. . .

So, those are the Democrats making the most noise so far.

As for the Republicans, Darren White maybe? If you've heard of others, send 'em to me.

Denish: 15-20 people have expressed interest in Lt. Gov. job

OK political junkies, wake up from that post-Christmas nap and ponder this: Lt. Gov. Diane Denish said today that 15 to 20 people have expressed interest in her job, when she moves to the Governor's Office when (if) Gov. Bill Richardson moves on to Washington to be Commerce Secretary.

Denish said there are a number of "qualified, credible people" who have spoken to her about the post.

However, Denish gave no hints as to whether she had a favorite, saying simply in an interview that she is "going to appoint that person when there's a vacancy in that office."

You've probably heard the same names I have: Lawrence Rael, Hector Balderas, Lucky Varela, John Garcia, Joe Maestas, Dan Lopez.  A new one I heard the other day is Pojoaque Gov. George Rivera, and then came Stuwart Paisano's name as another possibility.

But it seems there are others, according to Denish's numbers.  Any women contenders? Anyone we never heard of? Send me your nominations now. . .

Draft schedule for free downtown SF shuttle

This is a draft but I hope it helps those who've been calling for info on taking the free shuttle around downtown Santa Fe from the Railrunner starting Wednesday a.m. Not sure that it's posted anywhere else, so feel free to link.
Santa Fe Pick Up Shuttle Schedule                                             
    Arrivals                Departures                       
    Inbound                Outbound 
Start    Train Arrives exactly at 6:42 AM            Start    Santa Fe Depot      

b    PERA    6:45 AM        b    PERA    6:45 AM                   
c    Lot 9    6:48 AM        c    Lot 9    6:48 AM                   
d    Cathedral     6:50 AM        d    Cathedral    6:50 AM                   
e    Main Library    6:52 AM        e    Main Library    6:52 AM                   
f    City Hall    6:54 AM        f    City Hall    6:54 AM                   
g    Sheridan    6:56 AM        g    Sheridan    6:56 AM                   
h    Hilton    6:58 AM        h    Hilton    6:58 AM                   
End    Santa Fe Depot    7:00 AM        End    Santa Fe Depot    7:00 AM                   
                    Train Departs exactly at 7:12 AM                       

Start    Train Arrives exactly at 7:44 AM            Start    Santa Fe Depot      
b    PERA    7:47 AM        b    PERA    11:10 AM                       
c    Lot 9    7:49 AM        c    Lot 9    11:13 AM                       
d    Cathedral    7:51 AM        d    Cathedral    11:15 AM                       
e    Main Library    7:53 AM        e    Main Library    11:17 AM                       
f    City Hall    7:55 AM        f    City Hall    11:19 AM                       
g    Sheridan    7:57 AM        g    Sheridan    11:21 AM                       
h    Hilton    7:59 AM        h    Hilton    11:23 AM                       
End    Santa Fe Depot    8:00 AM        End    Santa Fe Depot    11:25 AM                       
                    Train Departs exactly at 11:30 AM                           
Start    Train Arrives exactly at 8:54 AM            Start    Santa Fe Depot   
b    PERA    8:57 AM        b    PERA    3:53 PM                       
c    Lot 9    8:59 AM        c    Lot 9    3:56 PM                       
d    Cathedral    9:01 AM        d    Cathedral    3:58 PM                       
e    Main Library    9:03 AM        e    Main Library    4:00 PM                       
f    City Hall    9:05 AM        f    City Hall    4:02 PM               
g    Sheridan    9:07 AM        g    Sheridan    4:03 PM               
h    Hilton    9:09 AM        h    Hilton    4:05 PM               
End    Santa Fe Depot    9:11 AM        End    Santa Fe Depot    4:07 PM               
                    Train Departs exactly at 4:10 PM                   

Start    Train Arrives exactly at 12:05 AM            Start    Santa Fe Depot   
b    PERA    12:08 PM        b    PERA    4:59 PM               
c    Lot 9    12:10 PM        c    Lot 9    5:02 PM               
d    Cathedral    12:12 PM        d    Cathedral    5:04 PM               
e    Main Library    12:14 PM        e    Main Library    5:06 PM               
f    City Hall    12:16 PM        f    City Hall    5:08 PM               
g    Sheridan    12:18 PM        g    Sheridan    5:10 PM               
h    Hilton    12:20 PM        h    Hilton    5:12 PM               
End    Santa Fe Depot    12:22 PM        End    Santa Fe Depot    5:14 PM               
                    Train Departs exactly at 5:17 PM                   

Start    Train Arrives exactly at 5:46 PM            Start    Santa Fe Depot       
b    PERA    5:49 AM        b    PERA    6:00 PM               
c    Lot 9    5:51 AM        c    Lot 9    6:03 PM               
d    Cathedral    5:53 AM        d    Cathedral    6:05 PM               
e    Main Library    5:55 AM        e    Main Library    6:07 PM               
f    City Hall    5:57 AM        f    City Hall    6:09 PM               
g    Sheridan    5:59 AM        g    Sheridan    6:11 PM               
h    Hilton    6:01 AM        h    Hilton    6:13 PM               
End    Santa Fe Depot    6:03 AM        End    Santa Fe Depot    6:15 PM               
                    Train Departs exactly at 6:18 PM                   

Domenici's last show

Sen. Pete Domenici has been doing calls with radio reporters since 1988. But like the rest of his public service, that, too is coming to an end.

Domenici's office this morning posted the audio from his last press conference.

As he talked about topics including the auto industry bail out bill, Domenici was nostalgic.

"I can't say I'm looking forward to a new time in my life because I loved what I was doing," he said. "So I'm kind of worried about what I'm going to do next, whether I'll like it."

DOT releases shuttle schedule ahead of Railrunner opening

If you're planning to commute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe or vice-versa on the NM Railrunner, I probably don't have to tell you it starts Wednesday. This Wednesday.

But I have been getting calls and e-mails from people wondering how to get to, say, the state Capitol, once they step off the train at the Santa Fe Railyard.

Of course, you could always walk the five blocks and stave off that holiday weight gain.

Or, the Department of Transportation released this handy map of shuttles and other buses that will meet the train. Looks like many state government workers would be able to take the free "Santa Fe Pickup" shuttle, which whooshes around Downtown.There is also a South Capitol shuttle and other city of Santa Fe buses.  While there is a route map for the new shuttles, there is no schedule yet.

I called around to see where and when a person who works at the Capitol might get on the Santa Fe Pickup. Turns out there is no set schedule yet, although buses are set to pick up train riders after each train Wednesday. Drivers will determine how many people want to get off at say, the PERA Building and set schedules from there, I'm told. The plan sounds good, although I see the Santa Fe Pickup won't run as late as those famous Senate debates during the session: service on that shuttle ends at 6:30 p.m. But who knows, maybe with big demand, that will change. . . 

If you are traveling from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, check out Duke City buses or the Railrunner site for connection information.


Details set for Alice King funeral

The public funeral service will be at 9 a.m. Thursday at Moriarty High School, in the gym. She will be buried at the Moriarty Cemetery after that.

Her body will lie in state at the Capitol Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The King family is asking that  donations be made instead of flowers to the New Mexico Children's Fund, New Mexico Girls Ranch or Carrie Tingley Hospital at The University of New Mexico.

RIP Alice King

Update, 5:00 p.m. Monday
See my obituary and recent video of Alice King here.

Former First Lady Alice King died tonight at Presbyterian Hospital, her son Gary King said. She was 78 and had suffered a stroke Thursday.

The people I've talked to in the past few hours as I've written her obituary have mentioned that there aren't many women like Alice anymore, and they are right. She was tough, a farm girl at heart, but someone who soon grew to know the likes of the Carters and the Clintons. She gave countless hours of her time to New Mexico's children, work that culminated in the creation of the state's Children, Youth and Families Department. She was one of a kind and will be missed.

On a personal note, I'll never forget the first time I interviewed Alice, when I was a reporter at the Tribune. For reasons too long to get into here, the interview with her and Bruce took place in a pickup truck belonging to their son, Bill. I sat in the driver's seat, with Bruce next to me and Alice in the back. I had set out to interview Bruce, but should have known better. They came as a package.

I most recently interviewed the Kings in late July at their ranch. The interview went well until Alice started to look a little antsy; whatever she had whipped up in her pressure cooker in the kitchen was nearly done, and she had to go, with guests on the way. She got up to stir, came back and I asked for ten more minutes. She obliged. I knew time -- like my video tape -- was running out, but wish I would have asked for more.

Photo by Kate Nash
. Taken Nov. 25 at the Capitol.