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.
The Daily Word in yearbook woes, the job market and free pot
Economists say the job growth in August wasn't very good, but there's no reason to worry.
In Florida, a missing autistic boy was found unharmed; however, the man he was found with is suspected of four murders.
A Maine mother is fighting the state over a do-not-resuscitate order placed on her injured child.
Another individual has come forward to sue Penn State in regard to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Open space officers located a group of hikers who went missing yesterday in the Embudito area. All three were unharmed.
The autopsy report has been released for the gruesome killing of Emily Lambert in March in Carlsbad, N.M.
People in Portales, N.M., are outraged at topless photos in a high school yearbook.
Starting next summer, citizens in Berkeley, Calif., who make less than $32,000 can get free pot. Assuming they have a medical marijuana card, of course.
V.23 No.36 | 9/4/2014
The Daily Word in nude photos, Joan Rivers and dinosaur battles.
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.
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.
V.23 No.33 | 8/14/2014
The Daily Word in driving, shooting, falling and dying.
Tony Stewart ran over Kevin Ward, killing him during NASCAR training.
A police shooting sparks violence and looting in MO.
A rocket attack assist resulted in a Ukraine jail break.
James Corden will be the newsest face of late night talk.
A double-decker bus crashed in Times Square.
Be careful what you eat in Colorado.
Cigarette butts can help store electricity.
Don’t take a selfie by a cliff.
APD seeks a suspect in a home invasion on Coal.
There was a shooting at Wyoming and Central.
Happy birthday, Hulk Hogan.
V.23 No.30 |
The Daily Word in mole man invasions, pot blocking and lame witchcraft
Well, kids, let’s see what’s going on in the news today:
The city of Albuquerque has decided that supporters of a marijuana decriminalization measure need to have more signatures on their petition than the city had originally told them. OOPS. Too bad the deadline was Monday. And no, they don’t get an extension.
Murderers of a retired educator in Chimayo claim to have held a ‘witchcraft’ ceremony after the killing. Which sounds super creepy, but apparently only involved "wrapping a ribbon in something and putting it in a baggie." I guess it's creepy if the 'something' was an eyeball. But way less creepy if the 'something' was a, I dunno, pencil. Basically, my feelings about this story are dependent on what got wrapped in a ribbon and then put into a baggie.
An Albuquerque man tried to stretch the family food budget by killing, then butchering the family dog. Which was a chihuahua, by the way, which could feed maybe one person? I don't think this guy thought things through.
And the Duke City is due to become the Cake City this weekend. Cake kind of sounds like Duke and it’s the best I could come up with before my coffee hits bottom. Also, I’m still thinking about that witchcraft thing. And the pot thing. And the dog thing. Is there something wrong with the state this week?
A team of surgeons removed 232 teeth from the mouth of a 17-year old boy in India.
Two more mysterious holes leading to the blackest depths of the Earth have opened up in Siberia. Scientists think it’s happening because of an eruption of gas, but the Internet thinks it’s probably mole men.
And Harrison Ford’s ankle injury is probably going to prevent puffins from having sex. Dammit, Harrison Ford. First Indy 4 and now this?
V.23 No.31 | 7/31/2014
The Daily Word in WWI, wacky weather and other worries.
Happy 100th birthday, World War I.
Massive, explosive decompression brought down MH17.
I wonder if Palin TV will show Lidsville.
Watch the trailer for the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode.
Now worry about kissing-bug disease.
Sexual harrassment at Comic-Con exists.
Get ready for the new mass extinction.
Progress Now NM is pushing for $25 fines for marijuana possission.
An Albuquerque hot dog cart was stolen.
Happy birthday, Steve Morse.
V.23 No.26 |
The Daily Word in the ArtBar, Bigfoot and OMG raccoons
It's Wednesday, July 2,
and ArtBar by Catylyst Club will be closing its doors due to problems with the State Alcohol and Firearms department,
Joline Gutierrez Krueger of the Journal is freaking out about raccoons,
whereas the state of Georgia says it's okay for you to bring guns wherever you want! Including bars, government buildings and airports,
and in a revelation straight from my nightmares, plants can hear themselves being eaten.
V.23 No.22 | 5/29/2014
CC BY Dank Depot
Wherein the readers write about legalizing/decriminalizing marijuana and bringing equity to the primaries.
V.23 No.20 | 5/15/2014
CC BY Steve Jurvetson
Wherein the readers write ... about nepotism in New Mexico and the Tesla gigafactory and legalizing marijuana.
V.23 No.16 | 4/17/2014
The Daily Word in bongs, Don Chalmers and another APD shooting fatality.
APD shot and killed a suspect at Wyoming and Zuni this morning.
Here are the last 38 APD shootings in order.
There was a big marijuana party in Denver yesterday.
Here’s how to clean your bong.
Happy birthday to the Queen of bloody England.
A stowaway teen flew to Hawaii in an airplane’s wheel well.
It’s time for the first post-bombing Boston Marathon.
Here’s what happens when undercover journalists accidentally investigate each other.
Rest in peace, Don Chalmers.
Submit to Reddit’s ABQ spring photo contest.
What’s going on in Albuquerque today? One might ask.
In my opinion, the pygmy loris is the main attraction at the Albuquerque Biopark. He’s in the Nightwatch exhibit.
The Daily Word in Russian jets, dead babies and the blood moon
Introducing the marijuana vending machine.
A Russian jet buzzed a US Warship in the Black Sea, threateningly.
Don’t miss tonight’s “blood moon” lunar eclipse.
Utah authorities found seven dead babies in a woman’s home.
“Seaweed.” Finally we can talk to dolphins.
Graphene will change our lives.
There’s a pyramid in North Dakota.
An abused Albuquerque toddler is hospitalized.
Ho Ho’s had a sewage problem, but they’re open again now.
Happy birthday, Rod Steiger.
V.23 No.15 | 4/10/2014
Compfight cc via eggrole
Wherein the readers write—about legalizing recreational use of marijuana in New Mexico, informing consumers about GMOs and dealing with the problem of police violence in Albuquerque.
Comedy Open Mic at Back Alley Draft House
See some live comedy at this open mic hosted by Drew Wayne.
Open Mic Jam Night at Lizard Tail Brewing
Afro-Cuban Folkloric Dance at Maple Street Dance SpaceMore Recommented Events ››