Weekly Alibi
 Dec 2 - 8, 2004 
Active Denial System
The search for new hi-tech weaponry brings defense dollars to local labs and a few ethical questions as well.
NEWS/OPINION
Tired of Waiting
Despite five years of public and private-sector buzz, plans for Downtown's Santa Fe railroad tracks have been all talk and no action.
Guest Editorial
After 18 years of Israeli imprisonment, Mordechai Vanunu is a deliberate and living testament to the strength of the human spirit.
MUSIC
Sonic Reducer
Take a bow, Eminem. Your Encore sounds more tired than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking competition.
FOOD
The Dish
Ladies and gingerbread men, 'tis the season for edible housing. This week's Dish is sure to put the icing on your weekend gingerbread house-building plans.
FILM & TV
Film Festival Preview
With more than 200 features, shorts and documentaries, the Fifth Annual Santa Fe Film Festival has something for every taste.
ARTS/LIT
Performance Preview
Alan Clements' Spiritually Incorrect explores oppression and nonviolent struggle through an improvisational monologue.

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news

The Daily Word in the might of Putin, self-decapitation and what the future holds for the ABQ Isotopes

The Daily Word

A 650 year old tree named Yoda died in El Malpais.

Next season the Isotopes may no longer be the LA Dodger's farm team.

Some folks think skateboarders are going too fast through one ABQ neighborhood.

A man engineered his own decapitation.

Vladimir Putin is shooting his mouth off about the might of Russian armed forces.

Some letters between RFK and JFK are up for auction.

The singer of Survivor died.

Justin Bieber was arrested following an ATV collision.

Negativland is releasing a new album of biblical proportions.

Check out this Pretticons video directed by Richard Kern. Quite different from Kern's earlier work.

news

The Daily Word in nude photos, Joan Rivers and dinosaur battles.

The Daily Word

Hackers leak nude celebrity photos snatched from the cloud.

Doctors will wake Joan Rivers from her medically induced coma.

A radioactive boar is running loose in Germany. It has not yet grown to gigantic proportions.

Famous authors’ day jobs might surprise you.

Watch footage of Katy Perry as a teenager. A couple minutes will suffice.

The Portuguese man-of-war is beautiful, as these photos illustrate.

You’ll be able to use your iPhone 6 like a credit card.

APD arrested a shooting suspect last night.

Police are searching for a suspect in Saturday’s fatal shooting.

Happy birthday, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Opinion

The Revolution Will Not Be Posted On YouTube

Berry's historic veto endangers Albuquerque's future

Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry made history yesterday. In addition to debuting a YouTube communiqué strategy, Berry became the first mayor in Albuquerque's history to veto an election amendment. According to the announcement, Berry vetoed R-14-91 because he couldn't "in good conscience" allow citizens of Albuquerque the opportunity to vote on a) lessening criminal penalties for possession of marijuana in quantities of one ounce or less and b) raising the Albuquerque gross-receipts tax rate one-eighth of a cent to fund social services for addicted, mentally ill and homeless citizens.

In this historic address, Berry cites his unwillingness to sign a bill that would raise taxes without any "clear and concise plan" on how to spend resulting funds and "flying in the face of state and federal law" by decriminalizing the possession of an "illegal drug." And the big, bad "illegal drug" is ... marijuana, a drug so innocuous even notoriously conservative local media outlets refer to it by slang terms like "pot" or "weed."

Deferring a vote on lessening penalties for possession of marijuanawhich is a far cry from actually decriminalizing marijuanais rather short-sighted, but the greater injustice in this veto is stalling funding for a citywide crisis of addiction, mental illness and homelessness. These three issueswhich overlap and are at the root of immense suffering, both for those grappling with these afflictions and those impacted by resulting crimemust be at the core of any "urban renewal" strategy.

The City Council can override Berry's veto with a vote of 6 to 3. Three other ballot initiativesgranting the City Council approval authority over the Mayor's hiring of police and fire chiefs, changing the voter-initiative process to prevent costly special elections and a bond proposal that would fund "metropolitan redevelopment"are also included in Berry's veto. Within the scope of these combined, largely progressive initiatives, consider the urgency of funding social services for our city's homeless, mentally ill and addicted residents when communicating with your City Councilor. If you're not sure who that is, find out here.

For my money, raising sales tax one-eighth of a cent, from 7 percent to 7.125 percent, is a prudent investment in the future of Albuquerque. And if lessening criminal penalties for possession of marijuana allows Albuquerque law enforcement to focus on addressing the institutional failures clearly outlined by the US Department of Justice and preventing violent crime, so much the better. Whatever your opinion of the ballot initiatives proposed in R-14-91, let your City Councilor know what you think. This is an issue that deserves your attention and civic engagement ... even on Labor Day weekend.

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