I am a longtime Alibi reader, and I've had enough. To be specific, I've had enough of Greg Payne and his childish column, “Payne's World”--which is a little like Michael Jackson's Never Land: seems nice and harmless on the outside, but it's really sick and twisted on the inside.
Payne's most recent vomit-as-column is his weird obsession with clerical errors in recent mayoral campaign finance reports. From the sound of it, Payne must be a pretty scrupulous and ethical guy to be lobbing such criticisms.
But Payne is no great authority on the matter. According to an investigative story in the Albuquerque Journal that appeared on July 15, 2001: Payne had a complaint filed against him for failure to pay rent; Payne had a complaint filed against him for failure to pay for services rendered during his 1999 City Council campaign; Payne was before the City's Board of Ethics for discrepancies in his 1999 City Council campaign finance report on outstanding invoices and debts.
It's actually disturbing that the Alibi keeps rewarding Payne with a regular column, considering Payne's record (and I don't mean his journalistic record). I suppose the key question is, why is Payne, a self-avowed conservative, peddling wares for Mayor Marty Chavez' re-election this year? Chavez, himself no stranger to having a record, has found a real chum in Payne. Perhaps it's because Payne was the biggest apologist for Marty during the ABQPAC scandal, and even appointed a pro-Marty appointee to the City Ethics Committee. Payne now says he works for Daniels Insurance, a job he got a few years back just as Daniels Insurance was up for a big city contract under Marty's regime. Jamie Koch, president of Daniels Insurance, is a longtime supporter of Mayor Marty's.
Payne has been nothing but a childish flame-thrower since he popped onto the scene, first bringing negative campaigning to a new low with his attack on Tim Cummins in the 1999 City Council election, and now throwing the same garbage at anyone who stands in Marty's way for 2005. What we need are people to build up our city, not break it down. Plus, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw Coke cans.
Gabino Venegas Albuquerque
Butt Out, Brother
[Re: “The Kids Aren't Alright,” May 5-11] As usual, Marty does not get it. The shows at the Launchpad and the Sunshine for all ages are great events for kids my son's age, 16, to attend without having to deal with drunk 20-year-olds or hipster doofuses like Marty. If the father of a drunken 14-year-old could be bothered to get off his butt and attend a show at either venue, he would soon be aware that giving a beer to an underage person there would be more unlikely than Don Schrader picking up a lunch check. Unlike everywhere else liquor is sold in New Mexico, at these shows underage kids have no access to the areas where the deadly hooch is. They can get within inches of it at Journal Pavilion, Isotopes Park, Albertsons, and certain politician's relative's backyards, so let's just start there with the clamp-down. Marty needs to stick with the weed cleanup and keep his nose out of my son's life.
Mark Edmands Albuquerque
More Doom for Downtown
This is in response to Michael Henningsen's piece on mixed age venues Downtown ["The Kids Aren't Alright," May 5-11]. I know this issue has been done to death, but nonetheless please allow me to share my anecdote.
For Cinco de Mayo my friends and I walked to a popular club near my house. As we approached the bouncer, my 40-year old friend—and believe me when I say there's no sighted person on the planet who would confuse him for a minor—was turned away because he had forgotten his license. It was no big deal to walk home to get it because, fundamentally, we all agree that minors shouldn't be drinking. The irony came about when we returned to the bar with proper identification in hand. Inside, I met two other friends from another circle—both 18 years old. What's that all about? By the way, this particular bar does not mix minors with the over 21 crowd, so perhaps Alibi readers will appreciate the irony.
The reason I am writing about this is because I believe the mission of Mayor Marty™ has nothing to do with keeping minors away from alcohol—his daughter being a case in point. I have noticed another pattern, however, and it goes something like this: Launchpad, Joe Anderson, Sunshine Theater, wash, rinse, repeat. Does the mayor really have any interest in curbing sound levels Downtown, keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors, ad nauseam, or does he just have a personal score to settle?
K. Alexander Albuquerque
Abstaining from Reason
[Re: “Love in the Time of Abstinence,” Mar. 10-16] Health education is going straight down the shit hole. The growing population of educators and parents who believe that their child will become a stripper if exposed to anything but pure and "holy" abstinence education is a bit sickening. The idea of informing the mass of horny teenagers about prevention is slowly dying. Parents, educators, priests and whomever else, believe that neglecting the importance of birth control, condoms and other necessary preventions is thinking about the whole picture. I am constantly hearing opinions that state that "giving out condoms and teaching students how to use them is promoting premarital sex." It is not promoting anything! It is simply giving those who choose to jump on the band wagon a few years before expected a way of having fun without giving you a grandson 10 years too early.
New Mexico ranks third in the country for teen births with an astounding 67.5 out of every 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19. If these teenagers don't have a way to obtain birth control, then how do people expect this number to decrease? Most teenagers do not have the guts to march into their local Walgreen's and buy a pack of "Spermicidal Trojans." They simply think "I'll just do it without a condom this one time." Wrong answer, honey.
I believe this record of growing teen births in New Mexico could decrease incredibly if more of the allocated local and state funding going to health education would not only teach the importance of abstinence and/or waiting until you are "ready" to have sex, but also teach the value and proper use of condoms, birth control and other important techniques of preventing pre-marriage tots from running around the house. Don't wait until it's too late my fellow New Mexicans. I know one thing, though. I can't imagine seeing my little brother become a father before I even marry.
Shandea Williams Student, University of New Mexico
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