Gus Pedrotty—Gus, as he likes to be known—stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.
Union? No. The fight for a union at La Montañita Food Co-op is over and workers have lost. Pro-union workers, sounding sad and defeated, have reported that the union representing them has stopped unionization efforts before it came to an employee vote because of lack of support.
The International Aerospace and Machinists' Union (IAM), which is representing the workers, requires a pre-vote poll to see if the majority of workers support a union. If enough workers had signed their names, pledging that they would vote for a union in the upcoming election, the process would have continued as planned and the election, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 4, would have occured.
Your business has been chosen for a feature article in the New Mexico Business Journal. ... Imagine that. Your business is doing such a great job, leading the way in productivity, efficiency, employee retention, customer service and satisfaction, well-paying job creation and just about every other newsworthy category and, as a result, a monthly business magazine wants to do a story on you.
Dateline: Swaziland—In this week's good news/bad news category comes word that the king of Swaziland has officially postponed the start of the school year in his country. Unfortunately, the week-long delay is so that young boys can participate in one of Swaziland's most sacred rituals—weeding the royal fields. Opposition leaders and many parents have criticized the move by King Mswati, which affects some 30,000 students who attend the kingdom's state schools. The weeding is the last part of the traditional Incwala rituals, in which Swazis selebrate the start of the harvest season and sanctify the monarchy. “I have no problem with culture, but it should be dynamic and must not supersede daily routines that make the country tick,” said opposition leader Mario Musuku, who has three children in school. “This is a clear sign of absolute dictatorship.”
Palestinian Pic—The “People Before Profit” film/lecture series returns on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. with a screening of Jenin, Jenin. The film is described as a riveting and troubling documentary account of the Israeli Defense Force's spring 2002 military invasion of the Jenin Refugee camp deep in the Palestinian West Bank. The night's speaker will be Ben Jones, who recently returned from a three-month tour in Jenin, Palestine, working with the International Solidarity Movement. The screening/lecture is free and open to the public and will take place at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center (202 Harvard SE).
Goddess of Arno, Burque's premier Balkan dance band, will host their first Balkan dance party of 2004 on Saturday, Feb. 7, at R.B. Winning Coffee Company at 8 p.m. (Beginner dance lessons will be given at 7:30 p.m.) Cost is a meager five bucks, and kids under 12 are admitted free. Also that night, reggae fans can get their groove on at the Sunshine Theater in the company of Michael Franti and Spearhead. ... The following evening, local bands Dead City, Cole Mitchell and the Currs and Rakes of Mallow will rock the Atomic. ... In non-musical, but nonetheless important, news: The Monte del Sol Charter School will present Moises Kaufman's “The Laramie Project” on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7 at Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe. All ages are welcome for $5. Both shows begin at 7 p.m. Call (505) 989-4423 for more information. ... Jason and the Argonauts, led by the incomparable Jason Daniello, are headed out for a long-ish tour of Arizona and northeast Texas beginning on Feb. 6 in support of their recent live album. And, with any luck, they'll get back to discover they've been invited to SXSW, and will be headed to Austin along with the 12 Step Rebels and Mr. Spectacular for the festival that begins March 17.
He's written 15 books, some 300 art songs, and dozens of orchestral, chamber and choral works. Yet despite winning the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for his orchestral piece Air Music, earning renown as America's undisputable living master of the vocal idiom, and enjoying the luxury of spending the past 40 years of his life only writing music on commission, composer Ned Rorem has until now seen his early symphonies largely ignored.
Consisting of guitarists Hank Shermann and Michael Denner of Mercyful Fate, two members of King Diamond's “solo” band and singer Martin Steene, Force of Evil is essentially Mercyful Fate (or King Diamond) without King Diamond. To his credit, Steene doesn't often attempt to mimick Diamond's caterwaul, but he does manage to employ every Satanic cliché in the metal canon. The lyrics are laughable, but the music is Don't Break the Oath-era piercing, with Shermann and Denner offering up a solid duel attack. Not exactly groundbreaking, but not entirely bad, either.
Maria Chabot was 26 years old and Georgia O'Keeffe was 53 when the two women met in New Mexico in 1940 and quickly became friends. Chabot, an aspiring writer, began spending summers at the famous painter's Ghost Ranch. Later, she organized the restoration of O'Keeffe's decaying adobe house in Abiquiu.
Up in upper Nob Hill lies a very cool little restaurant and coffee shop called The Café Next Door, so named because it is attached to Sisters and Brothers alternative bookstore (4013 Silver SE, 266-7321). And if alternatives are what you're looking for, you'll certainly find them here. The menu is small but chock full of none-too-common dining options like wheat-free rye sandwich bread, vegan mozzarella, miso mayonnaise, organic coffee and soy ice-cream. Those of you who think you would never touch soy ice-cream with a 10-foot spoon might reconsider if your dining companion happened to order a two-scoop sundae topped with caramel and chocolate sauce (as mine did). No, it really doesn't taste as good as ice cream, but if I were a vegan or lactose intolerant I would probably really enjoy a soy sundae. Even more surprising was the vegan tofu “egg” salad. If you guessed that there weren't any eggs in that egg salad you'd be correct. But if you guessed that it tasted like wet cardboard you'd be wrong again. The stuff wouldn't pass for egg salad but it was reminiscent of the real thing and didn't incur any tastebud objections. Shocking but true. Check this place out for coffee, sandwiches or dessert any day of the week.
Uh-oh, Valentine's Day is creeping up and you've neglected to make plans. Some of the most popular, most “romantic” dining destinations are already completely booked but most still have reservations available. Take a look through this week's “Chowtown” listings for our recommendations on lovebird grub. If you're single (and loving it!) you might ignore Feb. 14 completely or you might choose to celebrate your freedom by dining out with similar-minded friends. Get drunk! Eat like pigs! Be equally affectionate with all of your table mates and make the other patrons think you're having a meeting of the Polygamy Society! Wait, you say you weren't planning on making plans? Don't worry, wallowing in self pity is always on the menu for Valentines. Here's a simple recipe: Take one bottle of extremely cheap wine, add one bag sour cream and cheddar-flavored potato chips and one pint triple-chocolate chunk ice cream. Combine with four hours of Lifetime Television for Women and let the big tears roll! Best if served with one box Kleenex and one stack of old love letters.