Eighty crimes, from murder to shoplifting, are included in an amendment introduced by City Council member Craig Loy. Loy feels the current wide-ranging Nuisance Abatement Ordinance needs more teeth. Promoted as a necessary measure to control nuisance properties such as large apartment complexes and places like the Blue Spruce Lounge, the amendment actually includes all real property, both commercial and residential, plus personal property and vehicles.
My track record with keeping New Year's resolutions has been decidedly lame in recent years—viz., my vocabulary continues to demonstrate a propensity for scatology and obscenity; my addiction to television sports remains un-remediated and my vows to begin each morning with 15 minutes of quiet reflection hold sway until, oh, sometime right before Three Kings Day on Jan. 6. So this year, I've decided to abandon resolutions and instead attempt a series of predictions about improbable but very desirable revolutions I think will occur in the upcoming year.
Dateline: New Zealand—According to police reports, some 40 drunken Santa Claus clones rampaged through the streets of Central Auckland last Sunday, stealing from stores and assaulting security guards. The New Zealand Herald reported that the event was designed as a protest against the commercialism of Christmas. Police said some of the red-clad Santas threw beer bottles, one jolly old elf tried to climb the mooring of a cruise ship and a security guard was punched during the fracas. One of the bearded troublemakers allegedly attacked a Christmas tree. “They came in, said ’Merry Christmas' and then helped themselves,” convenience store staff member Changa Manakynda told the Herald. The event's organizer, Alex Dyer, said the event would end only when someone was arrested. The mass protest was linked to the online site www.santarchy.com, which records similar events going back 12 years. Police said attempts at identifying the criminals led to some confusion. “With a number of people dressed in the same outfit, it was difficult for any witnesses to confirm the identity of who was doing what,” Senior Sergeant Matt Rogers told Reuters News Service.
Tarantino Two-Step—Quentin Tarantino is planning on releasing his long promised single-film cut of Kill Bill. Tarantino said he spent so much time working on the two-part film that he wanted to take a year off from it. Starting early next year, though, Tarantino will begin editing the two films, Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Kill Bill: Volume 2, into one epic saga. The mega-version is expected to differ in several respects from the original releases and will hit theaters sometime late in 2006. A special DVD version, featuring plenty of supplementary material, will come out shortly after. ... Of course, this is all on top of directing duties for the horror anthology Grindhouse, which Tarantino is splitting with pal Robert Rodriguez. Grindhouse is expected to begin official filming sometime in January.
Born in New Mexico, Based in Austin—Rock 'n' rollers The Dirty Hearts may not live in New Mexico any more, but that doesn't mean they can't come back for a visit every now and again. The Dirty Hearts are originally from Española (Low Rider Capital of the Free World!), where they joined forces after each member's former bands "either got jobs or pregnant" roundabouts of 2002. They've since moved on to the exponentially more fertile musical pastures of Austin, Texas, but they'll be coming back New Mexico-way on Friday, Dec. 30. Too bad the gig's in Santa Fe. Regardless, this band is worth the drive. They'll play at the Second Street Brewery (1814 Second Street, Santa Fe) sometime after 9 p.m., along with singer-songwriters Calida and Billy Bartley. Don't let the odd booking shake you—just check them out at www.myspace.com/
... And that's before the "special goat dance" competition. Have a New Year's Eve bash to remember through pieced-together accounts of what your friends tell you later with Black Maria, Unit 7 Drain and Sin Serenade. It's free, over-21 and at Burt's Tiki Lounge. Balls! (LM)
Meet Midget Mogul Productions, a mighty little music promotion team headed by a man named Peter Martin. Peter is the guy who coordinated the first successful Nob Hill bar crawl this past October, uniting every bar and restaurant in the "Haunted Hill" neighborhood under a progressive circuit with live music at each stop along the way. Peter hopes to continue that momentum at this weekend's Nob Hill New Year's Eve Crawl (see "Lucky 7" for details).
Spot of Tea—John Cacciatore, owner of Dartmouth Street Gallery, takes tea-time seriously. Recently, at his home just west of Downtown, I sat down with him at a table specially designed for serving tea. He let me sniff a beaker full of oolong that he got on a recent trip to Asia, informing me that it's quite possibly the best tea to be had anywhere in Albuquerque.
Best and Worst Brands for Equality—I'm all excited because the Human Rights Campaign (you know, the nonprofit responsible for those ubiquitous square blue and yellow "="stickers) just came out with a new consumer buying guide geared towards the GLBT community. It's called Buying for Equality: A Guide to Companies and Products That Support Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Equality. The information for rating companies listed in the guide comes from the HRC's 2005 Corporate Equality Index, which researched policies and procedures that affect employees at Fortune 500 and Forbes 200 companies. (Companies with less than 500 employees were not included in the research.)
Just as its name implies, The Spicy Food Lover's Bible should be kept as a pantry staple for hot-heads, filed right alongside the garam masala, hot sauce and red chile flakes. "Pope of Peppers" Dave Dewitt (editor of Fiery Foods & BBQ magazine) and expert partner-in-peppers Nacy Gerlach investigate the hot stuff from every angle, penning a hardbound school of spice that delves into the science, history, geography, nutrition and flavors of piquant foods everywhere. The Bible's collection of recipes is extensive and takes its inspiration from virtually every heat-seeking place on the planet.