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 V.13 No.4 | January 22 - 28, 2004 

The city condemned, then razed, the Zia Motel after discovering a meth lab
Singeli Agnew

Newscity

Tweaker Town

Local officials say crystal meth use “out of control”

A few years ago, I met a Euro-hippie who was hanging out in Nob Hill. He was travelling around the country on a Greyhound bus, choosing his destinations based on recommendations from one of those travel-on-a-shoestring books. He said he was pleasantly surprised by Albuquerque's charm—the mountains, affordable bars and cafés, amiable weather—especially because his guidebook advised him not to stop here at all, calling our town uneventful, dirty and worst of all, dangerous. But thankfully he checked it out anyway and seemed to enjoy it.

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Left to right: Gnathic, Aaron Pacheco and Phil Anderson of Brain Sweat
Singeli Agnew

On Assignment

Defining Hip Hop

Gnathic's tiny apartment is immaculately clean. Lit warmly by white Christmas lights and a lamp by the futon which serves as the central couch, it is not exactly where you'd think to find the heart of hip hop in Albuquerque. Gathered around the main and only real room in the apartment, however, are two MCs, a DJ, a break dancer, a graffiti artist and a guitarist—all of whom claim to be, more or less, a part of the growing sub-culture known as hip hop. According to these 20-something men, hip hop is alive and well in the Duke City.

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Ortiz y Pino

Health Care Still a Hot Issue

Forget about market-driven solutions

Concern about health care lately has mostly focused on the Richardson administration's proposals for slowing the growth of the Medicaid portion of the state budget. But events in the last few weeks remind us that Medicaid is only one piece in the whole crumbling mosaic that is our health care financing system.

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Payne's World

When it's Broke, Fix it

New water utility authority ails Albuquerque

If Britney Spears could wriggle free of her pre-dawn Las Vegas nuptials in a matter of hours, why can't Albuquerque annul the incestuous shotgun wedding its water utility was forced into last year with the Bernalillo County Commission? Sure, Britney's 5:30 a.m. trip down the aisle of the Little White Wedding Chapel might have been the result of “a joke that went too far” (now there's one I wish I'd thought of ...) but a joke that went too far is also about the best spin that can be used to describe what the state Legislature and Gov. Richardson did to Albuquerque ratepayers and our water utility last year.

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Scott Rickson

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Germany—Police have arrested a shopper who tried to get a refund on two computers after allegedly replacing the working parts with potatoes. The man arrived at a department store in Kaiserslautern and complained that a machine he'd purchased several hours previous did not work. Employees opened up the computer and found it stuffed full of potatoes. According to the British newspaper The Guardian, bemused shop assistants gave the man a new machine free of charge. Store employees became suspicious, however, when the man returned a short time later complaining that his new machine was also filled with potatoes. A company spokesman told The Guardian, “The second time he said he didn't need a computer anymore and asked for his money back in cash.” Staff at the store called detectives and the man was arrested on suspicion of fraud. “It is hard to imagine how the potatoes could get into a computer's casing,” said computer technician Roman Zukoan. “When computers leave the factory, they are packed in plastic to prevent damage from condensation.”

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Letters

The readers write.

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