By Marisa Demarco
YIT Founder in Court—Youth in Transition's Donna Rowe is promising to see her case all the way to trial. She was arrested on charges of refusing to obey an officer at an Oct. 4 protest [Feature, "The Exiles Among Us," Oct. 19-25]. Rowe planned an all-night protest in Civic Plaza to bring attention to the lack of resources for homeless youth in the city. Civic Plaza is considered a park and closes at 10 p.m.
When Rowe and seven other protesters were asked to leave the plaza at the park's curfew, she says she planned to move to the other side of City Hall to the sidewalk. Because of the nature of her protest, it was very important to her that it be near City Hall and that it last all night, but the protesters were told the whole City Hall block was off limits.
Rowe, who was homeless in Albuquerque years ago, says the limitations seemed strange. "I've actually slept on the steps of City Hall before and not had any problems with that," she says.
City Attorney Bob White confirmed that an all-night protest cannot take place in Civic Plaza or in the Crossroads Mall area. Protesters can't obstruct sidewalks, either. "As long as you were moving, you would be allowed to do your protest," he says.
Rowe's court date is set for Dec. 1. She will be using a public defender, she says, but "I know enough about that to make sure I get adequate representation." She will be using a First Amendment defense.
Roller Champions—The Doomsdames rolled out of Midnight Rodeo on Saturday, Oct. 14, as the first-ever season champions of the Duke City Derby League, having destroyed the Derby Intelligence Agency in a 132-70 win [Sports Preview, "Rivals," Oct. 12-18]. It was an exciting game, says league founder Nan Morningstar. The event was also packed, she adds, with about 600 people in attendance.
But it was never a close game.
"It was the standard Doomsdames' smashing of anyone who plays them," she says. Morningstar's team, one of only three in the league, was knocked out of the championship running in the semi-finals. With staffing problems they couldn't overcome, Morningstar's team, the Hobots, didn't make the cut. "I think we have a much better chance next year," she says. And the D.I.A. gets better every game, she adds, so the Doomsdames should have plenty of competition next season.
But just because the off-season has begun doesn't mean there's not plenty of derbyness to be had in Albuquerque. If there's enough recruitment before next season, Morningstar says the league would love to incorporate a fourth team. A recruitment camp on Saturday, Nov. 18, will begin the process. Interested parties can call Morningstar at Free Radicals at 254-3764. There is a $5 suggested registration. Potential roller girls should bring skates, wrist, knee and elbow pads, and a helmet if they have them.
The Duke City Derby is also hosting a traveling team, Pikes Peak from Colorado, for the first time at Midnight Rodeo on Saturday, Nov. 14. And all those travel games add up to Albuquerque's league attaining an invitation to February's regional tournament in Tucson, Ariz.
For more info on the derby or for advance tickets to the games, go to dukecityderby.com or drop by Free Radicals at 2215 Lead SE.
Cruising Improvement?—On May 25, the Albuquerque Police Department began using software to crack down on cruising in the Downtown area [News Feature, "Cruising Crackdown," May 25-31]. From 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday through Monday, officers have kept an eye on traffic control points that document license plates. Drive by one of those points three times in two hours and you could get a cruising ticket. So after five months, have the cruising troubles bar managers reported (violence, noise and air pollution, traffic congestion) lessened?
Yup, says Mike Webb, who runs security at OPM. "Actually, with the barricades they put out and the police presence they have on Gold Street, we haven't had problems with the cruising," he says. There's no longer violence in the street, though there's still plenty of cruising.
Mayor Martin Chavez passed the cruising ordinance in May 2005, though it wasn't fully enforced until a year later. Under the two statutes regarding cruising, only two tickets have been issued, says Janet Blair, spokesperson for Metropolitan Court. Still, "it seems to be working," Webb says.
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