Best Albuquerque Haiku:
Monsoons in the hills.
Acequias frothing with
—James Asolas, 2006
• A Veterans Affairs nurse writes a letter to the Alibi criticizing the Bush administration and its handling of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War. She’s investigated for sedition. Her office computer is seized. The story goes national, appearing on NPR and in the New York Times. Ours is the first paper that’s not the O.C. Weekly to run the now-syndicated ¡Ask a Mexican! column. Readers react. Big. We conduct our first citywide scavenger hunt. News Editor Christie Chisholm profiles an ongoing “mental health emergency” as treatment centers across the city close down for lack of funding. Well-loved Alibi Account Executive Greg Medara and his wife Lauda are killed in a car accident. We still smoke cigars in Greg’s honor.
Best Local Microbrew: Kelly's Oatmeal Stout
Best Country Bar: Cowboy's
Best Local Band Overall: Black Maria
Best Poet: Tony Santiago
• Albuquerque turns 300. We’re all kinds older than the state. Centennial what?
• Red-light cameras are installed at intersections around the city.
• New Mexico experiments with medical marijuana.
• Legendary Polynesian pop purveyor Freddie “Kekaulike” Baker dies. For decades, Baker played the organ at the Polynesian Lounge in the New Chinatown Restaurant. The Honolulu-born performer married Jane Ong, whose family owned Albuquerque’s original Chinatown Restaurant (on Gold Street) in 1965. Baker’s first local gig was at the long-gone Tiki-Kai nightclub on Central—which was also owned by the Ong family.
• Ang Lee’s controversial romantic drama Brokeback Mountain takes home Best Director and Best Screenplay at the 78th Annual Academy Awards, but loses Best Picture honors to Paul Haggis’ Crash—which, in retrospect, kinda sucks as a movie.
• Michael Bay begins working on the most expensive movie (to that date) to shoot in New Mexico, the $150 million adaptation of Hasbro’s toy line Transformers. The majority of filming is done at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo.