V.23 No.37 | 9/11/2014
Crib Notes: Sept. 11, 2014
From UNM athletics to t-shirts that didn’t jibe with TEDxABQ, test your knowledge of last week’s New Mexico news with the Alibi pop quiz.
A paean to analog Burque music comps
Captain America waxes nostalgic and visits the lab where a diverse, new sampler of the present-day ABQ music scene was formulated.
What’s going on around the TV dial this week? How about a zombie TV series, two reality shows about building log cabins and the “History of Sex”?
V.23 No.36 |
County Commission Offers Alternative to Berry's Tender Mercies
On Friday, Aug. 29, Mayor Richard J. Berry made history. In his YouTube communiqué debut, Berry became the first Albuquerque mayor to veto an election amendment. According to Berry's statement, R-14-91 contained proposals he couldn't "in good conscience" allow Albuquerque citizens to vote on. Translation: Berry claims his ethics prevented him from permitting us to weigh in at the polls on a) raising sales tax one-eighth of a cent—to fund social services for the addicted, homeless and mentally ill—and b) to reduce criminal penalties for the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.
R-14-91 also contained ballot initiatives to a) grant the City Council approval authority over the Mayor's hiring of police and fire chiefs, b) change the voter-initiative process to prevent costly special elections and c) a bond proposal to fund "metropolitan redevelopment." In layman's terms, Berry's veto was a political strong-arm tactic to get the City Council to drop the tax increase and penalty reduction initiatives. Otherwise, these other three issues wouldn't get to voters. And it worked. On Wednesday, Sept. 3, the Council compromised (read: caved).
And that, as they say, could have been that. But on Friday, Sept. 5, the Bernalillo County Commission issued a press release calling for voter input on the tax increase and marijuana penalty reduction initiatives that Berry nixed. In the release Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley said, “It’s critical that we hear directly from the people about how to move forward on these two issues that have such a major impact on our community. We need to look for ways to divert people with serious mental illness out of jail and into treatment instead. This issue impacts all of us and Bernalillo County residents are ready to talk about solutions.”
In the same release, Commissioner Maggie Hart-Stebbins states, “Better access to mental health services and marijuana penalties are clearly on the minds of Bernalillo County residents. Both of these issues have a significant impact on public safety and county government so it makes sense to give the voters a say in this community discussion.”
The County Commission will convene on Monday, Sept. 8, at 10am to make a final decision on which questions voters will get to address. That's where you come in. O'Malley and Hart-Stebbins want your input on the tax and marijuana penalty initiatives. Based on the overwhelmingly critical responses to Berry's veto video and the veto post on his Facebook page, many of you have something to say. So say it. If the Commission adds these initiatives to the ballot, all Bernalillo County residents—not just city folk—will have an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in creating local public policy.
These are difficult times for our city, and we appear to be at a crossroads. It's easy to be cynical. But rather than reposting memes—especially those featuring Mark Twain's belief that voting makes no difference—take a few minutes this weekend to engage your representatives on issues that matter to you. To facilitate that conversation, scroll on for quick links to contact O'Malley and Hart Stebbins. Use your voice. It's more powerful than you know.
Click here to email Debbie O'Malley or call her at (505) 468-7027.
Click here to email Maggie Hart-Stebbins or call her at (505) 468-7108.
V.23 No.36 | 9/4/2014
NFL has a season kickoff, “Schoolhouse Rock!” returns and Brittany Murphy gets the Lifetime movie treatment.
V.23 No.35 |
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 marijuana—which is a far cry from actually decriminalizing marijuana—is 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 issues—which overlap and are at the root of immense suffering, both for those grappling with these afflictions and those impacted by resulting crime—must 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 initiatives—granting 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.
The Daily Word in "Longmire" cancellation, kids with guns and affirmative consent
Nidal Hasan, who was sentenced to death last year for fatally shooting 13 people at Ft. Hood, Texas, in 2009, has asked to be made a citizen of the Islamic State.
California passes an “affirmative consent” bill to address the problem of rape on campuses.
A police officer in Atlanta was arrested for allegedly killing a woman he met online and then burning her body.
Soaring rents prove problematic for people living in urban areas, as that's where everyone wants to be.
The Washington Post on young children and guns.
Albuquerque authorities are investigating a robbery at a Dairy Queen, during which an employee shot and killed the suspected robber.
So, not only did they still a car, but they left a bag of caca and a gun?
A judge will decide today whether to grant the $350,000 buyout for former APS Superintendent Winston Brooks.
“Longmire,” formerly shot in Garson Studios in Santa Fe, has been canceled. Now fans wonder whether another network will pick it up for a fourth season.
A couple guys found out why those rocks in Death Valley move.
The Daily Word in webworms, drones and four-legged airmen
The webworms are here.
A drone flew over downtown Burque.
Life in Rio Rancho is stressful.
An Albuquerque man caught a large rainbow trout.
The NCAA won’t impose sanctions on the UNM Women’s soccer team.
Local citizens have been using arroyos as dumps.
City officials and community organizers are working to make bicycling safer.
Not everyone thinks the Tesla gigafactory is great idea.
The Sandia Mountains are loaded with rocky cliffs.
Kirtland AFB working dogs N689 and P357 retired.
V.23 No.35 | 8/28/2014
Crib Notes: Aug. 28, 2014
From béisbol to “Breaking Bad,” test your knowledge of last week’s New Mexico news with the Alibi pop quiz.
Taxi Driver (1978) at KiMo Theatre
See Martin Scorsese's classic film starring Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster. Part of the De Niro Done Right film series.
10 Year Anniversary Tour: Senses Fail • post-hardcore • No Bragging Rights • To The Wind • Knuckle Puck at Launchpad
Indian Bread at Maxwell Museum of AnthropologyMore Recommented Events ››