Phil Casaus will speak to Northern NM Press Women

Phil Casaus (photo courtesy APS)

Phil Causaus
(photo courtesy APS)

Phill Casaus, editor of The Santa Fe New Mexican, joins Northern New Mexico Press Women and their guests at Joe’s Dining (Rodeo Plaza) Saturday at 11:30 a.m. He joined the paper last September after a 30-year career in journalism, mostly in New Mexico. Phill will discuss—and answer questions about—his plans for the local daily. Phill has previously worked in sports and on cityside for the ABQ Journal and was editor of the ABQ Tribune, before moving to Denver and the Rocky Mountain News.

Phill a native of ABQ, attended the University of New Mexico and his wife is a native of Santa Fe.

Finally, Phill was executive director of the ABQ Public Schools Education Foundation just prior to being named editor of The New Mexican.

Please email Emily Drabanski: edrabanski@yahoo. com  by Thursday, Feb. 8, to reserve a seat at the luncheon.  Please feel free to invite others to join us at the luncheon, but we need to get the group reservation to the restaurant.  Everyone pays for their lunch with a separate check. PLEASE NOTE: Joe’s charges a 24% gratuity–this pays for use of the meeting space and audio equipment.

Host of Native America Calling to Speak to Albuquerque Press Women

Tara Gatewood

Tara Gategood on Native America Calling

Tara Gategood, host of Native America Calling will speak to Albuquerque Press Women on Monday, February 12 at 12:30 p.m. The meeting is held at the Golden Corral. (5207 San Mateo NE). She will be discussing her call in show on KUNM and the concerns her listeners have and how well they track with information available in the main stream media.

In 2005,Tara joined the Native airwaves with the now 22 year old nationally syndicated call-in radio show Native America Calling. Each weekday she leads thought-provoking conversations with invited guests and callers on issues specific to Native American and Alaska Native communities and the people they connect to.

For more than 20 years she has worked in Indian Country in the arenas of art, music, health and community development. She has morethan 19 years of experience as a journalist. Beyond radio broadcasting, her palette of story sharing also includes working in Washington, D.C., South Dakota, Minnesota, Massachusetts and New Mexico. She reported and photographed for several news organizations and her past works can be found in the Boston Globe, Aberdeen American News, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Transmission Magazine, Albuquerque The Magazine and Native Peoples Magazine.

She is a member of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) and is a former board of directors member of UNITY: Journalists for Diversity. She is the recipient of several NAJA awards for her work in print and broadcast journalism. She was also named one of the National Center for American Enterprise Development (NCAIED) 2015 “Native American 40 Under 40” Award winners. She is also the voice of the Indigenous Foundation music programheard on Santa Fe New Mexico’s KSFR 101.1 FM each Saturday.

Everyone is welcome at Albuquerque Press Women events. Individuals are responsible for their own meals. No reservations are required. Non-members will be charged an additional $5.

A Public Defender Looks at the Bail Bond Issue in Albuquerque

Public Defenders have the very difficult job of representing people accused of crimes who cannot afford independent counsel. On Monday, January 8, Richard Pugh the District Defender for the Second Judicial District in Bernalillo County will speak to Albuquerque Press Women and Friends at 11:30 a.m. at the Golden Corral (5207 San Mateo NE).

For the last four years Pugh has been the District Defender in Bernalillo County. He will discuss current changes in the court system and the use of bail under the recently passed state constitutional amendment.

Previously Pugh worked in the Roswell office, Albuquerque felony division, and as a public defender contractor. Pugh has tried more than 60 felony cases throughout several judicial districts and is on the Board of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorneys and the National Association of Public Defenders Workload Committee.

Everyone is welcome and individuals are responsible for their own meals. Non-members will be charged an additional $5.

Veteran Journalists Look Forward to 2018 NM Legislative Session

Sherry Robinson

Sherry Robinson

Matthew Reichbach

Matthew Reichbach

Sherry Robinson and Matthew Reichbach will share their insights about what the 2018 session of the New Mexico legislature will look like when they speak to Albuquerque Press Women and Friends on Monday, December 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the Golden Corral (5207 San Mateo NE).

It’s a 30 day short session and the last opportunity New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez has to shape her legacy. Will she be haunted by the issues she has pushed or the opportunities not taken?  Will the national fervor for tax cuts find a sympathetic hearing in this state? Will the swirling cultural changes over inappropriate behavior of men in the public eye affect this legislative session? Will New Mexicans still feel the unrelenting pressure of not enough money to fully fund government? These two veteran journalists have plenty to say.

Sherry Robinson has been a New Mexico journalist since 1975 when she began writing for the Gallup Independent. A graduate of the University of New Mexico, she still covers the NM Legislature for the Gallup Independent, but has written for a variety of publications in the intervening years. She has authored a number of books including Apache Voices: Their Stories of Survival as told to Eve Ball, I Fought a Good Fight: A History of the Lipan Apaches and El Malpais, Mt. Taylor and the Zuni Mountains. Robinson is also a long time business writer in Albuquerque and has written about science for the University of New Mexico, editing the university’s research magazine Quantum. Robinson is also a member of APWF and New Mexico Press Women, and has won numerous awards for her writing.

Reichbach is a native New Mexican from Rio Rancho who edits the New Mexico Political Report. In this excerpt from his website, he explains he has covered New Mexico politics since 2006. The founder and former editor of New Mexico Telegram, Matthew was also a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and was one of the original hires at the groundbreaking New Mexico Independent. In his time as a political reporter, Matthew has covered numerous elections, the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. He formerly published “The Morning Word,” a daily political news summary for NM Telegram and the Santa Fe Reporter.

Everyone is welcome at meetings of Albuquerque Press Women and Friends. Individuals are responsible for their own meals, and non-members will be charged an additional five dollars.

New Mexico Press Women Members are Award Winning Government Watchdogs

New Mexico print reporters were honored nationally for serving in their role as watchdogs by writing about state government, state and local law enforcement and providing a convenient way to track political contributions.

While total NMPW submissions were fewer than other states, members swept the top four categories in the writing division of the 2017 National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest, earning first place awards in News Story, Continuing Coverage or Unfolding News, Investigative Reporting and Enterprising Reporting.

Online news entities with a small staff and a freelance writer accomplished this, revealing a streak of New Mexico independence and tenacity. “I’m thankful your organization still devotes the time and resources to doing stories like this,” wrote one judge, of New Mexico In Depth, but the judge could have been speaking about any of the winners who were smaller or independent entities. “It is the ‘watchdog’ role to a T, and one that very few media organizations now have the resources or desire to carry out.”

Members received 23 awards overall, including 11 first-place recognitions. Winners were announced in September at the NFPW Communications Conference in Birmingham, Ala.

The governor’s communication staff was the subject of an article written by freelancer Peter St. Cyr, who is director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and an NMPW board member. “Silence is Deafening: Martinez administration dodges interview requests with an army of spokespeople who do not speak” won first place in News Story – Print-based. The article was published in the Santa Fe New Mexican, and as the title suggests, St. Cyr reported on the lack of information and stonewalling by the governor’s communication directors and public information officers statewide.

The state Human Services Department and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, were the subject of a statewide scandal last year. Joey Peters, senior reporter with NM Political Report, began his coverage when employees testified in federal court that their supervisors had asked them to inflate the assets of SNAP applicants to deny them emergency assistance. The scandal led to federal oversight of the department. Peters received a first-place in Continuing Coverage or Unfolding News.

Two articles and a website submitted by New Mexico In Depth Executive Director Trip Jennings won first place awards for Investigative Reporting, Enterprising Reporting and Web site edited or managed by entrant – Nonprofit, government or educational.

“Puff of Smoke,” written by Jeff Proctor and published in collaboration with the Santa Fe Reporter, received a first place for Investigative Reporting. The articles’ big reveal was how investigative grand juries, used by Santa Fe district attorneys to review police shooting cases, are actually used to proove justifiable homicide by a public officer, rather than consider if there’s enough evidence for an indictment as a traditional grand jury would do. The fatal shooting of Jeanette Anaya by State Police Officer Oliver Wilson led to the investigation.

Another fatal shooting, this time of Albuquerque police officer Daniel Webster allegedly by convicted felon Davon Lymon was the subject of a series of articles by Jeff Proctor, including “Davon Lymon: 15 years on law enforcement’s radar,” which received a first place Enterprise Reporting award. The case became politicized, but Proctor learned that Lymon was not arrested after he allegedly sold heroin and firearms to undercover federal agents weeks before the shooting. It also revealed a lack of communication between local and federal law enforcement agencies.

The Openness Project, a joint effort between New Mexico in Depth and DataMade, a Chicago-based civic technology company, is a website that tracks political contributions made to New Mexico politicians running for public office. It received a first place in the Web and Social Media division, Website edited or managed by entrant category for nonprofit, government or educational. “I was a political consultant for 20 years and would have loved to have access to a site like this,” wrote a judge. “I want to applaud you for tackling this subject matter and getting a site up that can benefit many!”

Another first-place sweep by NMPW members took place in the Books and Creative Writing division. Five authors received top honors for their books in the nonfiction books for adult readers: biography or autobiography and history categories, Children’s books: fiction and nonfiction categories, and Short Stories: single story category.

“The War Within: the story of Josef is Patricia Walkow’s self-published account of her in-laws experiences in World War II Germany. Walkow is an award-winning author who lives in Corrales and specializes in essay, memoir and historical fiction.

At nearly 1,000 pages, Don Bullis’ “New Mexico Historical Encyclopedia,” describes 700 historical incidents. “Pick up this massive volume to virtually any place, and be treated to an enjoyable yarn of the old West,” commented the judge. “New Mexico, perhaps more than any other locale, is where the varied players of the American Story met.” Published by Rio Grande Books, Bullis’ encyclopedia is not his first foray into New Mexico and Old West history. He’s a well-known, award-winning author of 10 nonfiction books and two novels.

“Grandpa Lolo’s Matanza,” written by Nasario Garcia and illustrated by Dolores Aragon, is a children’s picture book that tells the story of the New Mexico tradition of matanza, roasting a whole pig to feed the entire village, through the eyes of eight-year-old Junie López. Also published by Rio Grande Press, an imprint of LPD Press, a New Mexico publisher, Mantanza is Garcia’s second award-winning book with Aragon.

“Sea Shoes,” written by Vickie Mayhew, is her second children’s picture book, published by Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC. A father and son are walking along the beach when the boy’s removed shoes are swept into the ocean where they have an amazing adventure.

“Slightly Imperfect” is Teresa Civello’s coming-of-age story, originally published in Oasis Journal, about her 13-year-old self in the weeks before her 8th grade graduation.

Also in the writing division, Bud Russo received a first-place award for Specialty Articles: History for his features published in Southwest Senior, “Beale’s camels could have changed the way the West was wonand “Sighting of ‘smoke’ led Jim White to Carlsbad Caverns.”

Nineteen NMPW members earned an additional twenty-three awards—11 second places, seven third places, and five honorable mentions.

New Mexico Press Women is the state affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women. It provides professional development, networking and First Amendment right protection to professional journalists and communicators.

Entries published in 2017 are now being accepted for the 2018 Communications Contest. Membership is open to women and men and is not required to enter the contest. For more information on the association and contest please visit the website at:

By Jessica Savage