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New Mexican (Newspaper) - October 1, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico THE SANTA FE MEXICAN OCTOBER SATURDAY TREASURER SCANDAL State corruption laws on hold By Steve Terrell The New Mexican The state government would have more power to seize property purchased by public officials with bribe or kickback money stop retirement benefits for officials convicted of corruption and give more prison time for cor ruption convictions under laws proposed by Gov Bill Richardson In addition Richardson wants to prohibit people or businesses who are bidding on government contracts from donating to state political campaigns at least during the bid ding period or while negotiating a contract New Mexicans deserve a government that is transparent and accountable for spending taxpayer money in a fiscally responsible man Richardson said in a statement We must hold public officials to a higher standard and close any ethical loopholes that threaten to erode the public trust in govern ment at all Richardson announced Friday that he will off until January asking the Legislature to pass these and other parts of his anticorrup tion The proposals were spurred by last months arrests of state Treasurer Robert Vigil and former Treasurer Michael Montoya on federal charges of extortion and racketeer ing The governor had talked about introduc ing the legislative package during the special session scheduled to begin late next week The session originally was called to con sider proposals to help New Mexicans deal with high gasoline prices and expected jumps in heating bills this winter But since the Trea surers Office scandal and this weeks rejec Please see LAWS Page A8 BALLOON FIESTA Luis Sanchez New Mexican A sign at the Eagle Dancer store on the Santa Fe Plaza welcomes visitors who are in town for the 2005 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta The festival started Friday and ends Oct 9 in Albuquerque Business drifts north Santa Fe restaurants retailers see rise in commerce By Wendy Brown The New Mexican Santa Fes WalMart parking lot was so full of people camping out in their recre ational vehicles and cars this week that Cecil Phillips of Butler hesitated to leave his prime spot in the lots southeast corner to buy gas Like most of the people camped out there Phillips was waiting to head south for the 2005 Albuquerque International1 Balloon Fiesta this weekend Eventually the fear of running out of gas got the better of him He arose early Wednesday morning and hurried down Cerrillos Road in his 2005 Holiday Ram bler to fill up on diesel fuel Thankfully no one had taken his spot by the time he returned Had Phillips tried to leave Friday morn ing he probably wouldnt have had the same luck The parking lot was jammed with RVs and cars and he would have had trouble navigating his large RV through the crowd to leave never mind coming back Downtown tourists cheerfully packed the sidewalk in front of the Palace of the Governors snapping pictures of each other and carefully recording the citys architecture on video cameras Stew Bush of Carlisle stood in front of the Plaza Restaurant on Friday wait ing to get a seat He his wife Helen and friends Mario Chavez and Michelle Simo neau of Santa Fe discussed Thursdays rainstorms and the Balloon Fiesta while they waited Bush who lived in Santa Fe in the late 1970s said he and his wife come to New Mexico every year for the Balloon Fiesta and always visit Santa Fe This is a tradi he said We go to the Plaza Restau rant and Alden Hoskie a jewelry vendor at the Palace of the Governors said he has met people from Indiana Minnesota and Miami this year There are a lot of people he said And there probably will be even more this weekend Hoskie said people usually leave Santa Fe to go to the balloon ascen sions in the morning and then return here in the afternoon and evening The morning is one of the best times of day to launch balloons because the air usually is calm as it is right before sunset Jimmy Healy of Amarillo Texas said he usually visits Santa Fe once a year but this is the first year he plans to attend the Balloon Fiesta Im looking forward to he said Its going to be lots of Melanie Brittain an artist who sells her work on the Plaza said she enjoys talking to the balloon pilots who visit her table They have all kinds of she said Theyre like fishermen and every flight has a But not everyone who visited Santa Fe this week planned to go to Albuquerque this weekend Ken Osier of Albuquerque drove his van and trailer north to stay in Santa Fe because he doesnt like all the crowds and traffic during the Balloon Fiesta Its a freaking mad he said We left Albuquerque trying to escape the next 15 The fiesta started Friday and ends Oct 9 50 CENTS Contact Wendy Brown at 9863072 or [email protected] Newk panel to manage hiring LANL braces for cut in funding for nations weapons programs By Andy Lenderman The New Mexican Los Alamos National Laboratory has created a ninemember council that will manage all the labs hiring and have the power to approve or reject hir ing by all its divisions Director Robert Kuckuck said in a memo to employees Wednesday that the action was being taken because of tight budgetprojections for the federal Department of Energy and a pending change in who will manage the lab Although Kuckucks memo cited the reality that we must constrain lab spokesman Kevin Roark said reduced hiring is not the goal The goal is not to have more people on the payroll than you can pay The new laboratory hiring council created by Kuckuck will review all job postings and liking requests Previously the labs divisions could hire and fire on their own usually with some level of higher approval Roark explained The tight budget bring into focus the reality that we must constrain hiring to ensure staffing levels that can be sustained and do not cre Please see LAB Page A5 Morry Associated Press Forsale signs dot devastated neighborhoods in Biloxi Miss The area is in the midst of a postKatrina housing boom HURRICANE KATRlNA Realestate rush on waterfront stirs Biloxi blues By Matt Apuzzo The Associated Press BILOXI Miss Rubble piles bear For Sale signs Homes without roofs are being sold as is Placards announcing We Buy Houses Cash are posted on corners throughout middleclass neigh borhoods The Mississippi coast wracked by Hurricane Katrina is caught up in a realestate rush as specula tors and those looking to replace their own wrecked homes pinpoint broken and battered waterfront neighborhoods In the weeks since the hurricane prices of many homes even damaged properties have jumped 10 to 20 percent But what Katrina spared the realestate rush now imperils The arrival of speculators threatens whats left of bungalow neighborhoods that are among Please see BILOXI Page A5 OBITUARIES Ann Mark Standtey 80 Santa Fe Sept 29 Antonio Benavidez Sept 20 Elizardo Ortiz 89 Nambe Sept 28 Joanne Baker 71 Sept 23 MaWon Pitney Aug 22 Seferino Gurule 71 Canoncito Sept 28 PageC2 Index A tocjjBy owned and independent newspaper Annies Mailbox JAILED JOURNALIST ENDS SILENCE New York Times reporter Judith Miller was released after 85 days in jail for refusing to name a source She testified Friday about the leak of a covert CIA operatives identity Page A3 Health ScienceDl EA D6 Local GOOD THINGS COMEIN3S With the introduction of a i new 3 Series sedan to take a look at the of three uncluttered Drive El Police C2 Time TODAY Mostly sunny High 81 low 48 PageC8 Main Late News 9863030 Five sections 40 pages TV Book 56 pages 156th year Issue No 274 Publication No 596440 Serving New Mexico for 156 years V ;