This week on New Mexico in Focus, a talk with cartoonist Stephan Pastis, creator of the nationally syndicated “Pearls Before Swine,” about his latest book and how he moved from a career in law to being a full-time cartoonist. Pastis recently featured the first work published in years by Bill Watterson, the legendary creator of “Calvin and Hobbes,” in a special series of “Pearls” strips.

The program airs Friday nights at 7 p.m. on channel 5.1 and appears online at shortly thereafter. The show rebroadcasts Saturday at 5 p.m. on channel 9.1. and again on Sunday at 7 a.m. on channel 5.1.

As work begins this week on the $1.4 million reconstruction of the 4th Street Mall in downtown Albuquerque, host Gene Grant talks with City Councilor Isaac Benton and urban designer Jeff Speck about how to make Downtown more vital and pedestrian-friendly.         

The Line opinion panel looks at the growing immigration crisis, as children and families flee Central America, and the plans that are underway to house up to 700 of the immigrants. Gov. Susana Martinez has said she wants to make sure people, especially children, receive proper care.         

Also this week, a look at the latest issues with the Albuquerque Police Department and the criticism over APD’s decision to send undercover officers to a recent protest, and the upcoming gubernatorial race. 

Isaac Benton, Albuquerque City Councilor
Stephan Pastis, cartoonist and creator of “Pearls Before Swine”
Jeff Speck, urban designer and author, “Walkable City”

Line Panelists
Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group
Dan Foley, former House Minority Whip
Sophie Martin, attorney
Laura Sanchez-Rivét, Sanchez Legal Solutions

Megan Kamerick, NMiF producer

Gene Grant

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New Mexico in Focus is produced by Matt Grubs and Kathy Wimmer. Funding has been provided in part by the McCune Foundation.