A new program reaching out to the Duke City's homeless population—and the services that are still missing
NOTE: The names of the homeless people in this story have all been changed.
NOTE: The names of the homeless people in this story have all been changed.
The people have spoken. The nominations are in for the best local bands, players, albums, venues, engineers and labels of the past year. The second round for all the marbles runs Feb. 21 through Mar. 6. This year you can cast your votes once each week (that’s up to three times if you check your calendar carefully). And the cherry atop the BOBM sundae is a fantastic live showcase of nominees on Mar. 24. This thing was a blast last year, so let’s do it again!
Drumroll, please! Best of Burque, the original Albuquerque reader’s poll, enters its latest incarnation on Valentine’s Day, 2018. Voting runs Feb. 14 through March 13, a four-week period during which, for the first time, you can cast your votes once each week. So if you want to express love for your Best of Burque faves on a weekly basis to give the objects of your affection an edge in the results, your wish has been granted!
Al McCly came to Albuquerque in 2001 to see how far he could get from his estranged wife. Before long, he had lost his car, been in jail and lived underneath a tree in an abandoned lot all due to his problems with alcohol. McCly explains that camping under the deserted tree was easy. With his last few bucks he bought all the supplies he'd need to live in the open. “I didn’t have to pay rent or worry about anything,” he says.
It’s pretty easy to ignore trash. You throw it in the dumpster, leave it in a container alongside the curb, a truck picks it up and shoots it off to the landfill. Few think ever again about that trash rotting in a landfill; even fewer consider the gas coming off those landfills. The fumes are mostly methane gas, but also carbon dioxide, organic compounds such as nitrogen and sulfur, and toxic chemicals such as benzene and vinyl chloride.
In August of last year, when John Hyde infamously put Albuquerque in the national spotlight, not many locals were talking about Kendra’s Law. There was no reason, really, until the ill-fated day when Hyde shot and killed five city residents, including two police officers. Soon afterward, the law—which makes mental health outpatient care mandatory under certain circumstances—became synonymous with the Hyde killings.
You Can't Make This Stuff Up--It has been a strange and decidedly terrible past couple of weeks in the world, evident from the headlines barraging our nation's front pages. So many bizarre and unimaginable incidents have transpired that I feel the need to slap myself around and splash water in my face to make sure I'm not in the middle of some prolonged nightmare. It’s times like these that made me decide to become a journalist instead of a fiction writer. You can’t make this stuff up.
Roughly half of the 64 percent of eligible New Mexican voters who bothered to vote in the 2004 presidential elections cast their ballots for John Kerry. You know who you are. You’re the wide-eyed hopefuls who awoke Black Wednesday with third-degree heartburn and both ears still ringing from the blows ... of the news that amidst widespread allegations of voter disfranchisement, fraud and electronic vote flipping in states like Ohio and New Mexico, it took less than half a day for DNC "strategists" to convince Kerry to throw in the towel.
For those of you laggards who have not yet filled out your absentee ballot or voted early, here is some important information on the upcoming election. Pay attention.
The first time we fall for the ol’ “bait ’n’ switch” tactic, we should justifiably feel angry at the con man who tricked us. But if we fall into the same snare a second time, it really is ourselves we should be pissed at. And subsequent pratfalls ought, at some point, to produce at least a wary kind of learning--either that or we deserve whatever we're being dished.
Dateline: Wisconsin--A 20-year-old man has been charged with armed robbery in a hold up that took place in his parents’ Campbellsport tavern last Thursday night. A bartender told investigators that she was closing up CC Cody’s Tavern late Thursday when a man in a gray hooded sweatshirt and ski mask entered and pointed a gun at her. The man told her to get down and then shoved her to the floor. The bartender said when she turned, the cash drawer and her purse were gone. The bartender easily identified the robber, however. She told police she recognized his voice as belonging to Chad Rinas, who had just finished his shift working at the bar, which his parents own. Law enforcement officers arrested Rinas several hours later at a Campbellsport mobile home park. Rinas was charged with armed robbery with use of force, obstructing an officer and two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping.
’Zine on the Screen--On Sunday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. the Blue Dragon Coffee House (1517 Girard NE) will host a special film screening/event courtesy of MAP21. Media Arts Promotion 21 is an all-ages Albuquerque mentorship collective created to share and promote art projects produced by local youth. This Sunday, MAP21 members will hold a free screening of A Hundred Dollars and a Tee Shirt, a short documentary about ’zine (homemade self-published magazine) culture. A post-film discussion will cover making and distributing ’zines. Anyone who comes to the screening gets a free copy of the latest MAP21 ’zine made by Albuquerque youth, including musicians, poets, dancers and filmmakers. Portions of this event will be filmed for a documentary the group is making about how this new organization is being built by and for ABQ youth. For more information, call 266-0852.
America doesn’t have quite the same legacy of colonialism as, say, England. That is not to say that we haven’t, at various times in history, supported, occupied or otherwise controlled ground not permanently attached to our contiguous 48. (And it isn’t, in any way, intended to deflect claims that we may very well be trapped in the long and arduous process of doing exactly that in today’s Middle East.) Nonetheless, our nation has never maintained a globe-spanning empire, and our citizens have never suffered the inevitable ennui that happens when that empire begins to crumble. (Just ask the Brits, the French or the ancient Carthaginians.)
New York kid Dito Montiel may have been born on Nowhere Street, but he spent a good chunk of the ’80s hanging out with some of NYC’s heaviest hitters. After his band Gutterboy (billed as the most successful unsuccessful band in history) was signed by Geffin Records for an unprecedented $1 million, Montiel became the toast of the town. His list of fans/friends includes/included Andy Warhol, Bruce Weber, Liza Minnelli and Allen Ginsberg.
Mr. T must be listed in the celebrity has-been phone book under “T.” It makes sense, since his new reality show comes right on the heels of the one they gave Gene Simmons. Which means--alphabetically speaking--Bob Uecker should be getting a call from Hollywood producers any day now for his new reality series. (I’m thinking, “Celebrity Euchre Tour with Bob Uecker.” ESPN2, call me for the pitch on that one.)
Newfangled SXSW Showcase Application—Applying for a spot in the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin may seem mystifying at first, but there's really not much to it. In fact, it's easier than ever since the application process for SXSW has gone totally digital this year. Just go to the SXSW website, create a user account and password, and fill out a fairly straightforward online form. You'll pay a $30 fee and upload your music and press right there. And that's it. Then all that's left is to compulsively check your e-mail until Feb. 9, when the last acceptance and rejection notices will be sent out from SXSW HQ.
A year ago, “ABC Primetime” ran a piece on a pair of twins, Lamb and Lynx Gaede, whose folk-pop act called Prussian Blue is serving as a conduit for the white nationalist (ahem, nazi prick) movement due to parental encouragement. In a realm of music typically comprised of sweaty, drunk, agro dudes playing some genre of hardcore, the innocent-looking teenage girls seem like unlikely purveyors of hate--a paradox that, partially due to the ABC program, garners a great deal of press which their website thanks for helping to spread their message.
The music of Baird Hersey’s a cappella vocal group Prana shares many of the ethereally beautiful and exotic qualities of whalesong. Unlike our finned relatives’ vocalizations, however, Prana’s music is instantly accessible, with a profound capacity to quiet and focus the listener.
Start your weekend with an Atomic musical science project. Albuquerque moody rock three-piece Nunchuk plays with Emperors of Japan and Under the Blood this Friday, Oct. 20, at Atomic Cantina (21-plus). It's free, of course. (LM)
“I have to have a certain kind of pen,” says William Elliott Whitmore, guitarist, banjoist, singer and tattooed troubadour. “I can’t have a ballpoint.”
Ballet Folklorico—One of Old Mexico's most popular dance companies, Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. As part of the festivities, the group has launched a world tour, which comes to our own National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. The company specializes in dramatizing Mexico's varied regions and cultures through authentic folk dances. It's renowned for its elaborate costumes and choreography as well as its lush, beautiful music. Tickets are $15 to $35. 724-4771.
In last week's Alibi, a guy wrote in to say how annoying it is when so-called music fans gripe about their favorite indie bands signing to major labels. He has a point. Why should anyone be upset because an artist they like has achieved some measure of tangible—that is, monetary—success?
Kiran Desai does not at first seem like an angry woman. Her voice as high and quiet as a young girl's, the first impression the 35-year-old novelist presents is of shyness, or humility.
Japanese culture is one of the fastest moving, most mutable and just plain weirdest on the planet. Perhaps it has something to do with history. With some several thousand years of advanced society under its belt, Japan has a hell of a lot of art, literature, cuisine, religion and politics to draw upon. Maybe it's the population. With the world's 10th largest citizenry, Japan currently boasts some 128 million people contributing to its culture on a daily basis. Of course, it could be related to the level of technology the country has achieved. Information flows through that society so fast now that trends are measured in minutes instead of months.
Electric Haiku: Calm as Custard, a combination of dance, video and sound performed by Cathy Weis, comes to the North Fourth Art Center this weekend. In 1989, Weis began to explore the partnering of dance and video after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In her upcoming performance, she focuses on the question: “When technology and the human body become partners, who leads?” Friday, Oct. 20, and Saturday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission, and $12 for students and seniors. For more information or tickets, call 345-2872 ext. 18.
From marrying his cousin to lounging deliriously in gutters, Edgar Allen Poe led a life off the beaten path. Known for his twisted tales of horror and madness, Poe is now becoming a part of Sol Arts' Wax Poetic Series. The Series dramatizes the lives and works of American poets, including Mark Twain, Anne Sexton and E.E. Cummings. Kristen Loree, the creator of the series, directs this latest addition. The spooky portrayal of Poe’s works will show at Sol Arts Performance Space (712 Central SE) through Nov. 5. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 general, $8 students and seniors. 244-0049.
Yet Another Excuse to Eat Chocolate--There's a new haven for chocolate lovers in the Northeast Heights with your mama's name written all over it. Not literally, of course, but your mother will probably love this place. Kocoa Tree is a chocolate boutique from the gals who own Glazed Hams and More (5850 Eubank NE), sisters-in-law Dianne Kennedy and Connie Kennedy-Windiate. The shop is conveniently located right down the street, in the old To Die for Fudge space in the shopping center at Eubank and Osuna (right next to the Barley Room). I walked in this weekend just as Dianne and Connie were stocking the shelves with gourmet chocolates, which they say will include house-made fudges and big, imported Belgian truffles. (They showed me a box--they're the size of golf balls.) There's also a quaint coffee bar area, and lots of gift basket filler like Gund stuffed animals and jewelry. Like I said, this place was made for moms. They should be open by now, but call them at 796-0102 to get the proper store hours.
Vinegar and I have a long, and occasionally sordid, history. I can remember my first vinaigrette dressing on a salad, and the very first time I ever sprinkled red wine on sautéed spinach—I was hooked for life. Then there was the time that cider vinegar was used as a weapon pointed straight at my 10-year-old potty mouth. My fifth grade teacher, Sister Mary Ruler-Smack (not her real name—I don’t want to get smacked again), was affronting my dignity yet again by requiring me to participate in group sing-a-long, at which point I decided to inform her that she “looked like my butt.” I was marched by my ear to the cafeteria area, where I was shoved into a folding chair to await my fate—it was either hold a bar of soap in my mouth for one minute, or drink a cup of cider vinegar. My choice seemed easy, but I was in for a nasty surprise.
It's an auspicious night for carousing with Left Brain, Killgracy, Lucid Illusion, Natural Reaction, Coalition and 7of9. At The District, Friday, Oct. 13, around 7 p.m. (LM)
Welcome to Best of Burque Restaurants! You may have noticed that we've got a spiffy new name (changed from the old Readers' Choice Restaurant Poll) and an appetizing new look to match. Inside, you'll discover close to 100 categories you've never seen before--along with all the tantalizing results, selected through thousands of votes cast by Alibi readers like you. Why do we do it? Because it combines two subjects that are very dear to our hearts: food and Albuquerque businesses. When you vote in a Best of Burque poll, you're rewarding the best local restaurants with invaluable recognition. Not only that, you're helping to amass an indispensable guide to the best food our city has to offer. Just keep eating and voting, and we'll do the rest. Bon appétit!
Out of the blue this year, Euphoria Smoothies floated in on a heavenly cloud to present us with smoothies, stuffed pretzels and love, man, lots of frickin’ love. The stuffed cheddar and jalapeño pretzel complements the "mochacchino chill," and we compliment you, Albuquerque, on your good taste.
1. Euphoria Smoothies
2. The Standard Diner
3. Slate Street Café
4. Tie: Bumble Bee's Baja Grill, The Grove Café and Market
There's a reason this place is named Euphoria Smoothies. I've got four words for you: stuffed chocolate crumb pretzel. The thing is filled with creamy chocolate and covered in chocolate drizzles and crumblies. The moniker could also have something to do with the “Raging Bull” smoothie, a power lifter in which Red Bull is a key ingredient. Though that's less likely to induce "euphoria" than it is to bring on the "hyper-talkative ADD" portion of your afternoon.
1. Euphoria Smoothies
Pillowman—In Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, a fiction writer in a totalitarian state is questioned about his violent short stories due to their similarity with a series of strange events around town. A new production of the play, directed by Grubb Graebner, is currently playing at the Vortex Theatre (2004½ Central SE). The Vortex has a distinguished history of producing McDonagh's plays, so odds are they'll do this one justice. The Pillowman runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 6 p.m. There'll be a free post-show discussion with the cast and crew on Sunday, Oct. 15. The play runs through Oct. 29. $12. 247-8600.
The day after 9/11, I hung a U.S. flag from my dorm room window like so many of my fellow Americans. As I finished tacking it up, a man with a digital camera asked if he could take my picture. I agreed, and the next day my image was seen across the nation in USA Today.
Get into the Halloween spirit when Bram Stoker’s Dracula comes to the town ... as a ballet. That's right—we're talking vampires in tights. Directed and performed by the New Mexico Ballet Company, Dracula, which premiered in 1999 to rave reviews, is sure to be a crowd-pleasing, spooky good time. The story of the most infamous undead bloodsucker and his many victims will be performed at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW), Friday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $26. For more information, call 292-4245 or visit www.nhccnm.org.
Readers’ Choice--All right, I get it. You've been sniffing out some really amazing new food finds and I've ... been ignoring you. So I'll just shut up and let the people speak for a change. All the readers who chimed in here will receive a gift pack with free passes to Laffs Comedy Club and goodies from the new Jinja Bar and Bistro at Paseo Del Norte and Ventura. Here's what you've been talking about.
I have a personal list of terrible food ideas. No. 3 is mixing orange and vanilla. I adore the sharp, citrus bite of orange as much as its sunny, sweet, pick-me-up flavor. I also love the warm, almost sensual scent and taste of vanilla (even though the vanilla perfume craze of the late ’90s almost killed it for me). But to mix the two seems not only unnecessary, but also a gross disrespect to the very different auras, like blending spring and autumn. If this isn’t dramatic enough for you, the taste of a Creamsicle, for me, is like licking asphalt and then licking the undercarriage of my car. Thanks, but I’ll pass.
Neither Kamikaze Kim nor Muffin have illusions about their assets—or their liabilities.
For some, the sound of progress is the sound of nothing at all.
A resolution to install quiet zones at the nine railroad crossings within Albuquerque city limits passed the City Council unanimously last Wednesday, Oct. 4. The proposal, which aims to modify rail crossings to be safe enough so train whistles are no longer necessary, has garnered some controversy since it was first discussed this spring [Re: News Bite, “Minor Chords,” June 1-7; News Feature, “Quiet the Trains,” Sept. 14-20].
Those were hard days opposing the invasion of Iraq. Millions marched for peace, and still George W. Bush ignored us. But we’ve easily forgotten that Democratic congressional leaders also gave us their backs. Being against the war back then wasn’t for risk-averse politicians. Calculating office-holders wanted room to maneuver in case Bush came out of Iraq a hero.
In October, the FBI and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) executed search warrants on two California produce companies. It does seem kind of surreal, actually, that the FBI would carry out a spinach bust, but e.coli contamination in packaged spinach did, after all, sicken 199 people, including five New Mexicans, and lead to the death of three people.
Beyond the Big City--Three years ago, New York City native Gideon Elliot found himself living in rural New Mexico. There might be days when he wakes up wondering what the hell he’s gotten himself into, but I, for one, am glad he’s here. His website, New Mexico Matters (newmexicomatters.com), is easily the best website I’ve found that synthesizes the state’s news.
At the Oct. 4 meeting, councilors debated what will or will not be allowed in various neighborhoods. Councilor Isaac Benton moved an administration bill putting a six-month moratorium on adult businesses Downtown. The bill passed unanimously.
Last month I was invited by the New Mexico National Guard to see firsthand the deployment of Guard units from around the country on the Mexican border near Columbus.
Dateline: Poland--Police have launched a nationwide hunt for a flatulent political dissident. Hubert Hoffman, 45, was charged with “contempt for the office of the head of state” for his windy actions after he was stopped by police in a routine check at a Warsaw railway station. He complained that, under President Lech Kaczynski and his twin brother Jaroslaw, the country was returning to a Communist-style dictatorship. When told to show more respect for the country’s rulers, Hoffman allegedly farted loudly. He was immediately arrested and taken to jail. Hoffman later posted bail, but failed to turn up at a Warsaw court hearing early last week. The judge in the case rejected an appeal by defense lawyers to throw the charges out. A court spokesperson said, “Such a case of disrespect is taken very seriously.”
The Calm Before the Storm--Having weathered three major film festivals in as many weeks (four, if you count the Gallup Intercultural Film Festival), New Mexico’s film scene is finally quieting down for a bit.
Jesus Camp, the new documentary from Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady (The Boys of Baraka), has become highly controversial among Christians. Apparently, dedicated lovers of Jesus feel the film portrays them as ultraconservative, right-wing wackos. Interestingly enough, the specific subject of the film, evangelical youth minister Becky Fischer, is just fine with the end product--perhaps because she is an ultraconservative right-wing wacko.
In 1964, a progressive British television production company decided to make a documentary ostensibly examining the class system in England. Producers gathered up a group of 7-year-old schoolchildren from diverse backgrounds and interviewed them about what their lives were like and what their futures might be. On its own, “Seven Up!” would certainly have been a well-regarded benchmark of naturalist cinema. But, seven years later, British director Michael Apted--who had served as a researcher on the original film--found himself talked into making a sequel. Though he’s had a good deal of commercial success (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist, The World is Not Enough), Apted has found time every seven years to hook up with the subjects of his first film gig. The result has been one of the most enlightening experiments in the history of film, an ongoing documentary about, well, life itself.
All things considered, this has been an impressive season. The new shows have proved, by and large, to be a diverse, smartly written and highly original crowd. With virtually no new reality shows, sitcoms or game shows on the schedule, fall 2006 may have to go down on record as one of the best in recent years.
Say Goodnight to Sonny's Bar & Grill--I just got a very heartfelt e-mail from local musician Chris Valencia that opens with the following: "On Sunday, Oct. 15, Sonny’s Bar & Grill will be closing its doors for good." Uh ... what? "After recent pressure from APD, the mayor and his effort to transform our neighborhood into the next Scottsdale, management has decided to sell their interests and move to Colorado." Oh, OK. ... Wait, what?
Tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson—he of the big round tone, killer rhythmic sense and elegant understatement—began his career playing with drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He’s also worked with a who’s who of jazz luminaries from earlier generations, including Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter and Charlie Haden. Respectful of the tradition, Jackson brings a depth of experience and feeling to his always forward-looking work.
“The Neighbor of the Beast”? It's the kind of joke that sneaks up on you. For weeks, I'd been wondering, "Why is it 668 and not 667?" Staring at the trio's bootleg cover, it dawned on me: 667 would be the house across the street—668 is right next door.
Disco never died—shag carpet just went out of style. The first thing Dennis (Sam) Gibson did when he opened the Albuquerque Mining Company (AMC) in 1986 was rip out the blue shag nightmare, but the disco ball remains 20 years later.
A sneak preview at the special shapes to be unveiled at this year's Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The Balloon Fiesta is here yet again. From Oct. 6-15, hundreds of balloons will fill the skies above Albuquerque, leading to dozens of car accidents across the city. Will you be one of those hapless gawkers? Let's hope not. Go to Balloon Fiesta Park and enjoy the event the proper way.
Calling all Contracts!--Friday, Oct. 6, is the deadline for submitting your application for the New Visions/New Mexico Contract Awards being handed out by the State Film Office. If you’re a New Mexico filmmaker with a film/video project in the development, production, preproduction or distribution stage and you haven’t sent in your application, you need to get on the ball. Don’t make me tell you three times! Contracts of up to $20,000 are being offered. Application forms are available online at www.nmfilm.com/locals/nm-filmmakers/nv-ca-app.php.
We did not invade Iraq in retaliation for 9/11 (despite what our administration might have previously said). We did not invade Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction (despite what our administration might have previously said). We did not invade Iraq to steal all of the country’s oil (despite what much of the rest of the world might have said). No, we invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the Middle East!
Famed New York director Martin Scorsese rarely abandons the Big Apple for another zip code. And only once before has he attempted a remake (1991’s juicy Cape Fear). But, with the release of his newest film, he’s managed a surprising one-two punch.
The new TV season has barely gotten into second gear. Tons of new shows have yet to premiere. And yet, what’s more fun than talking about your favorite new series? Why, talking about what shows are about to fail miserably, of course.
You Write the Songs that Make the City Sing—Ask any honest musician, no matter how prolific, and they'll be straight-up with you: It ain't easy writing original music. Even the professionals get their share of funks where the chords clash and the lyrics just aren't flowing like they used to. What happens if you've lost your inspiration? What if your knowledge of music theory is a little flat, or you can't seem to find time to get your ideas down? These are just a few of the potential pitfalls of the songwriting process that a new city-sponsored program, The Albuquerque Songwriters Series, is hoping to guide you through.
For the sixth year running, High Mayhem will pack more than 30 exceptional performances into three evenings at Santa Fe's Wisefool performance space (2778 Agua Fria, unit D). Friday, Oct. 6, through Sunday, Oct. 8. Visit www.highmayhem.org for a current schedule of performers and ticket information. (LM)
“Just when I think that my faith in mankind has reached its limit, I run into Little Bobby somewhere. And my faith is restored.” --Anonymous quote overheard in a bar.
It's hard to tell whether Mark Mallman is kidding.
After our interview, I'm pretty sure he and his Billy Joel/Elton John-like piano-based tunes (most of which are about booze) are for real. That's Mallman, according to his press photos: longish hair, a leather jacket, a tiger superimposed over his upright, pentagrams in music notes all over his site.
Bleeding Eardrum's Michael Burke may have bitten off more than he can chew.
Foodie Finds at the Balloon Fiesta--Besides all the usual eye-openers like coffee, breakfast burritos and T.J. Cinnamons Mini-Cinns, our beloved Balloon Fiesta is starting to offer more diverse food-related activities throughout the day. Here are my best picks for food events at the 2006 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. (And be sure to check for last-minute schedule changes before you head out at www.balloonfiesta.com!)
So what do Phil Collins and seafood have in common? I was eating a fine dinner at 30-year-local Pelican’s (the Montgomery location; There’s another one on Coors, one in El Paso, Texas, and one in Oklahoma City, Okla.) when I noticed that the only background music that I had heard since I entered the place was anything and everything by the Phil-ster. When “In the Air Tonight” inevitably came on, I vaguely remembered that weird urban legend about how Phil wrote the song after he and another man watched his friend drown. Wow—just the kind of thing you don’t want to think about while you’re eating. I wanted to find a friendlier way to link the two things.
Joe doesn't just talk, he speaks in stories and recipes. Every few sentences are punctuated by at least one ingredient, usually three or four, and animated snippets of past conversations, all the while pulling his words along like meat from a grinder. Joe S. Sausage is a real person (the last name is a professional gesture) from a town directly bordering Lake Michigan in Wisconsin—deep in the heart of sausage country. His accent is a thick Midwestern brogue, but with a few dead-on Italian embellishments when the right word comes up. As in, “I foand oat aboat mortadella.”
It's your tax dollars at work—the ones you spend on booze, anyway. All operating costs of Bernalillo County's detox program are covered by a $1.7 million grant provided by the Liquor Excise Tax. The Metropolitan Assessment and Treatment Services center (MATS) opened its doors with a three- to five-day detox program on Halloween weekend, 2005. Immediately, there were "heads in the beds," as County Commissioner Deanna Archuleta says.
Come Nov. 7, chances are you’ll see some names on the ballot that you won’t recognize. But if the New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (NMJPEC) has its way, you’ll be well-informed when it comes to judges.
By the time the House of Representatives gets around to voting on 2007’s federal budget on Nov. 13, the midterm elections will already be over. The pomp and circumstance that goes along with any election year will be an afterthought, replaced by the comparatively unsexy task of number-crunching and figuring out the government’s expenditures for next year.
Mirror, Mirror—If you Google Newsed the names "Lance Williams" and "Mark Fainaru-Wada" last week, you would have seen a whole lot of headlines laced with words like "freedom" and "integrity." Mostly, these headlines graced the top of commentaries, spawning by the hour.
To hear Mayor Chavez and his press claque describe it, you would think that our city’s newly enacted Kendra’s Law was a milestone in the advance of civilization—a basic public safety guarantee and a true silver bullet that will end once and for all the peril posed to our community by mentally ill persons.
Way down on the Nov. 7 ballot, below all of the state and county races, there is a proposal that could have a larger impact on our local economy and quality of life than anyone we elect. The Quality of Life proposal asks voters to fund the operation of arts and cultural organizations in Bernalillo County using a 3/16 percent increase in gross receipts taxes. That’s about $50 a year for the average citizen—about what it costs for a tank of gas and dinner these days.
In New Mexico, we’ve developed our own way of testing the “six degrees of separation” theory. Any person can be connected to any other person on Earth through a chain of no more than five acquaintances, so the theory goes. Some call this an urban myth. Scientists have not proven the theory, despite decades of trying.
Dateline: Kentucky--A northern Kentucky man was arrested on burglary charges after breaking into a home wearing only a thong and carrying a knife. Rodney McMillen, 36, was arrested over the weekend after police found a particularly convincing piece of evidence: a videotape of McMillen committing the crime. McMillen allegedly broke into a Fort Mitchell woman’s apartment about 3 a.m. on Sept. 20 clad only in thong underwear and carrying a knife. The woman fended off the attacker, who fled the apartment. At the scene, investigating officers found a videocamera, which McMillen had been using to document his crime. Too cheap to buy a new videotape, McMillen had simply recorded over some old footage of his family. Investigators used the remaining footage to identify McMillen’s relatives. The near-nude burglar was eventually tracked to his mother’s home in Norwood, Ohio. McMillen was lodged at the Hamilton County Justice Center in Cincinnati awaiting extradition to Kentucky.
According to Ping Chong, the problem with most political theater is that it's too preachy. It focuses too much on the message, ignoring form, art and humor. “It's just ranting,” he says.
The concept of a backyard party has been lifted to a whole new plateau. There will be no keg. There will be no slip 'n' slide. But at Corkfest 2006, there will be tons of live music from morning ’til night, along with some of the best local art in the city. Best of all, everyone—and I do mean everyone—is invited.
In commemoration of National Coming Out Day, Sinatra-DeVine Productions will perform Paris is Burning … Life is a Masquerade at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. With a cast of over 100, this wildly entertaining annual performance is brought to life by the finest female impersonators in the state. The show features such talents as Geneva Convention and Tequila Mockingbird from the Dolls, dance geniuses Raquel and Throb, and the legendary Angelica Del Rio. Tickets are $15, $20, $25 and are available by calling 724-4771. Proceeds benefit Albuquerque Pride, AIDS Emergency Fund and the BeautyMark Foundation. For more information, visit www.sinatradevine.com.
This Friday, Oct. 6, a host of new exhibits will be opening in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Is it possible to make an appearance at every one of these receptions? Probably not. But it wouldn't hurt to try, would it? Come on. Challenge yourself.