[ Re: Letters, “Toking and Driving”] In reference to the letter by A.M. in the April 3-9 issue concerning legalization of marijuana: I feel that I can give A.M. a few pointers when it comes to trying to convince Americans to do anything about anything.
For starters, don't try to convince anyone that legalizing pot will reduce traffic accidents. That point is a loser for obvious reasons. Do not intimate that the reason Albuquerque’s young people take to the streets to smoke marijuana is because they do not have the “freedom of toking in the homes they share with their families,” also a loser for obvious reasons. A.M. should have consulted with one of those Regents Scholars he/she knows on those two points. Also, don't mention other nations when trying to make a point about what is good for America. Americans do not care what other countries do; we are rugged individualists who like to forge our own paths.
Do get your facts straight. Marijuana is not legal in the Netherlands; it is tolerated within certain confines. If you are trying to convince Americans about what is good for America, you must talk about the two major things that drive our society and political process—those being money and morality. Do talk about how much taxpayers spend per year to apprehend and jail marijuana smokers, and how much money tax revenues from the sale of marijuana could bring into government coffers. The available statistics are too numerous to put in this small letter, but on the cost side it is estimated to be $4 billion per year and zero on the tax revenue side. Google “marijuana prison cost” if you're interested. On the morality front, you should talk about the moral reasoning of throwing someone in jail for possession of something as relatively innocuous as marijuana and the effect that criminal record will have on that person’s ability to get a decent job—it could possibly be considered tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment. What is a reasonable amount of time for someone to endure when paying his or her “debt to society” for smoking or possessing marijuana? The rest of their lives seems harsh to me.
I applaud your effort and your activism; many more thinking people should get involved in our national mindset about many more things than the legalization of marijuana, though it's probably a good idea to think about those things when you're not under the influence of marijuana—it might cause you to write a letter to an editor with some fairly lame reasoning.
I would like to nominate one more business for Best of Burque 2008, for the category "Best Ballot Stuffer." I find it interesting that this business took not only best spa, but also the top three hairstylists of Burque. Do they have healing hands like Jesus? Or perhaps it's their golden shears. Please don't insult our intelligence; if you're going to stuff, at least make it believable. First off, if you've ever had an experience at Betty's Bath and Day Spa, you know something is awry when they place second to a business known mainly for its salon, if known at all. Second, there are so many great hairstylists here that it's highly unbelievable the best are all at the same location. Perhaps I will cheat on my stylist at Studio Red with the ones with the golden shears. Course, affairs with people who manipulate is usually a bad idea, so probably not. In conclusion, nothin' beats free advertising. Sincerely, a Burque bettie.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Alibi does its best every year to weed out ballot stuffers, personally tallying hundreds of paper submissions, but the task proves difficult and sometimes impossible. In an effort to stamp out stuffers and ensure Burqueños’ votes really count, Best of Burque 2009 will only accept online ballot submissions. We encourage people to campaign for their causes, businesses and bands, but next year they’ll have to do it in the cyber realm. Please look for BoB 2009 categories in the paper next spring, then join us on alibi.com to place your bids.
Latin or Traditional New Mexican Band?
[ Re: Feature, “Best of Burque,” April 3-9] Here is how I would do it:
Best Latin Fusion Band
2. Micky Cruz
(as voted by the readers)
Best Traditional New Mexican Band
1. Al Hurricane
Best Salsa Band
1. Son Como Son
In your “Best Anything We Forgot” section you name Calle 66 best Salsa band. According to who? [Editor’s Note: The winners in this section, as all winners for BoB ballot categories, are decided exclusively by readers.] There is a reason Son Como Son draws the best crowds at the Cooperage, home to live salsa every weekend for more than a decade now, or why they draw the best crowds for the NM Jazz Workshops summer series “Salsa Under the Stars” at the Albuquerque Museum amphitheater every Friday night during the summer, or why they are invited to perform alongside some of the best musicians in the world in any genre up at the Telluride Jazz Festival every year, or why they were given a second place in your Best Latin/Traditional New Mexican Band, of which Son Como Son is neither. They play salsa Cuban style, and they are one of the best bands in Albuquerque, period. Book them to play one of your Crawls and watch them rock as hard as the usual suspects you have at those events. Here is some advice to the Alibi from someone who has been involved in the salsa community from the time I stepped off the plane that brought me here to Burque from the South Bronx in 1982: Do your research and go see this great band.
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Valles Caldera Forest Restoration Monitoring at Valles Caldera National Preserve
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