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 V.13 No.17 | April 22 - 28, 2004 

Letters

More Press for Your Buck

Dear Alibi,

[RE: Letters, “Our Humble Establishment”, April 15-21]: One item of substance appears through the fog of clichés and whines in the letter from the management of Cowboys. Cowboys wants some editorial control over your newspaper in return for its advertising dollars. That's exactly the kind of business that I don't want to get any of my customer dollars.

P.S. Unlike you guys, I do hate going to the Journal Pavilion.

Reber Boult
Albuquerque

Oye Como Va

Dear Alibi,

[Re: Letters, "Defending Our Facility", April 15-21]: I hope Christine Lorello of the Urinal Pavilion doesn't want to become professional marketing director someday. The first rule you learn is to choose your battles wisely and to know when to let sleeping dogs lie.

Examples: 1) Questioning Michael Henningsen's credentials as a music journalist is kind of like questioning Carlos Santana's credentials as a guitarist. People may know a lot about their favorite genres, but I have yet to meet anyone in New Mexico or anywhere else with his breadth of music as a whole. Attacking Henningsen's professionalism will do nothing to help one's cause of one day being considered a "marketing genius."

2) Using a miniscule technicality to claim that Clear Channel doesn't own the Pavilion is ludicrous. Clear Channel owns this whole city and a lot of other cities. When the Pavilion opened, there were over 150 major ADA violations in every aspect of the facility. The architect had met with the city, county and state, before construction started, and agreed in writing to meet all the ADA requirements. Upon actual construction, however, they simply ignored the agreement. It was an outrage that a brand new facility built 10 years after the ADA was passed, would have the testicles to simply decide that they didn't want to follow federal law. Why wasn't this covered by Channels 4, 7 or 13? Why wasn't it in the Urinal? How about the ever less left-leaning Tribune? Because Clear Channel owns all their asses, that's why. They own all our asses. "Oh, you have a problem with us discouraging wheelchair users from coming to our facility? Well maybe we should look at our ad budget for your station ..." Actually, the Pavilion would be closed as we speak were it not for John Asscroft (sic) shutting down the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department. This facility is touted as being the gem of the Mesa del Sol city of the future that the State Land Office and UNM love to gush over and give themselves awards for vision and such. I guess the cities of the future won't allow wheelchair access. The last time I was at the Pavilion, it was because Carlos Santana comped us in, and forced, I repeat, forced the Pavilion to seat us in the handicapped section in front (you know, that area supposedly for wheelchairs, that normally is occupied by corporate fat-comps and female band-aids?).

As for the folks who work the Pavilion, yes they are providing you a job. Crack dealers provide jobs as well so let's not get all gooey-eyed here. Bottom line. Michael Henningsen is a great music journalist in a field that has very few. Clear Channel is a wonderful example of the need for anti-trust law. I'd like to ask Ms. Lorello if Clear Channel doesn't own the Pavilion, then how is it that they have managed to avoid paying their seriously overdue rent to a county that needs every penny of revenue? If you want to grow up to be a big marketing girl someday, then don't write letters that open your company to these kinds of questions.

Mark McKee
Albuquerque

Editor's Note: In fairness to Ms. Lorello, it apparently wasn't clear to her that I was the sole author of the remarks she objected to, hence my replacement of her “Alibi staff” references to “[Michael Henningsen]” in her letter.

The One Who Knows

Dear Alibi,

[RE: Alibi's Inagural Photo Contest, April 1-7]: Thanks for the disgusting cover photo of the Lynard Skynard roadie. "Gordy" Anderson is as much a local punk rock "legend" as Bill Eisenhood is a local weatherman legend. J.C. Almighty.

Corky "Clyde" Jarvis
Albuquerque

Where There's No Law

Dear Alibi

Mr. Ortiz y Pino: I hope that you will mention the International Criminal Court in a future column. The 9-11 hearings and reports show the futility of treating terrorist attacks from abroad as “law enforcement.” Of course that did not work since Osama bin Laden went to Sudan and Afghanistan where there was no law. Invasions and war have not been a solution either.

The International Criminal Court will provide an option between futility and war when enough nations are Member States. Member States agree to apprehend their own citizens accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and to prosecute those that aid and abet the worst criminals. The reports from the 9-11 Commission and witnesses make no mention of establishing an effective international criminal justice system but they should be encouraged to do so in their recommendations designed to prevent future attacks.

Most New Mexican Congressmen are opposed to the International Criminal Court. They say an American soldier could be hit with a politically motivated law suit. Our Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan are being hit by much worse that that. There is info at amicc.org and iccnow. org or I will be glad to speak with you.

William B. Pratt
Bosque Farms, NM

Send El Paso Packing

Dear Alibi,

[RE: "Plundering A New Mexico Treasure", April 15-21]: Kudos to Alibi staff reporter Jeremy Vesbach for exposing the El Paso Corporation's plans to exploit and even irreversibly damage Valle Vidal in hopes of extracting coal-bed methane.

I trust Gov. Bill Richardson will intervene in some way and stop El Paso Corp. from moving forward with their dastardly agenda. I recently visited the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas and was reminded how lucky the people of New Mexico are to live in such an enchanting place. In fact, in today's edition of the Santa Fe New Mexican, Gov. Richardson proclaimed that he wanted the Land of Enchantment to be a clean energy leader. I hope he'll put his words into action and in the process prevent out-of-state plunderers like the Bush-friendly El Paso Corp. from causing an environmental catastrophe in this beautiful and delicate corner of New Mexico.

I also have faith that once this Alibi story makes the rounds and everyone from environmental activists to Boy Scouts finds out about it, there will be enough of an outcry to send El Paso Corp. packing.

Andrew W. Griffin
Alexandria, LA

Where There's No Law

Dear Alibi,

Mr. Ortiz y Pino: I hope that you will mention the International Criminal Court in a future column. The 9-11 hearings and reports show the futility of treating terrorist attacks from abroad as "law enforcement." Of course that did not work since Osama bin Laden went to Sudan and Afghanistan where there was no law. Invasions and war have not been a solution either.

The International Criminal Court will provide an option between futility and war when enough nations are Member States. Member States agree to apprehend their own citizens accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and to prosecute those that aid and abet the worst criminals. The reports from the 9/11 Commission and witnesses make no mention of establishing an effective international criminal justice system but they should be encouraged to do so in their recommendations designed to prevent future attacks.

Most New Mexican Congressmen are opposed to the International Criminal Court. They say an American soldier could be hit with a politically motivated law suit. Our Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan are being hit by much worse that that. There is info at www.amicc.org and www.iccnow.org or I will be glad to speak with you.

William B. Pratt
Bosque Farms, NM

UNM Free Speech

Dear Alibi,

The hate-inspired incident that occurred at the UNM Duck Pond awhile ago should remind all of us that freedom of speech, like all of our civil liberties, is not absolute. We've all heard, as we mature, that one doesn't yell fire in a crowded theater. Criminal law prohibits an individual from getting in the face of another person and saying, "I'm going to kick your ass." Fighting words are not protected speech, and civil laws prohibit slander and libel whether it is directed at a private or public figure.

The author's position sarcastically implicit in a letter submitted to the Daily Lobo on Friday, April 9, 2004, is that the student who criminally disrupted Tribe2's performance at the Duck Pond was merely being offensive, rude or was perhaps having a bad stress management day. While some in attendance that day may have been offended, or "hurt beyond repair," by the suspect's remarks that Native people are "all monkeys speaking jibberish and should go back to the reservation," the ridiculous remedy suggested by the letter's author is to build more prisons and lock people up for acting immature, or for simply offending anyone by being rude. Such suggestions, as well as the author's sarcastic tone, may minimize for some the serious criminal nature of the offenses committed that day, others remain determined to see that the individual face his deserved consequences.

Several states, including New Mexico, have enacted hate crimes statutes that enhance criminal penalties upon a showing beyond a reasonable doubt that the felony, or misdemeanor crime was motivated by hate directed at, inter-alia, a race of people. In other words, the New Mexico and United States' constitutions protect a person's right to hate someone, but if hatred is shown to motivate a criminal act, the people demand additional retribution. What crimes did the suspect commit that day? As the District Attorney's office reviews the case, it will become apparent that the state may bring criminal trespass, assault, and disorderly conduct charges before the court. If convicted, the suspect will face a separate proceeding to determine whether the conduct falls within the hate crimes statute. In this case, the misdemeanant may be required to undergo some form of behavior modification, such as hate management counseling or community service.

Additionally, the student must face administrative consequences to be determined by the Dean of Students' office. Such consequences may range from verbal warning to dismissal and being barred from campus. It will be interesting to see which direction the University will take in this matter. Whatever actions it decides upon, the student will be afforded due process. He must have some explanation as to what motivated him to act the way he did. If the music and performers disrupted his mathematical train of thought that day, I am willing to bet that next time he would take the time to resolve the problem in a more rational manner, according to the policies established by the university.

As a final consequence, the suspect student's words and actions may result in civil litigation in the form of civil assault and slander. Sadly, this incident amply demonstrates how reckless, immature and senseless behavior can seriously disrupt one's life in a negative way. But I'm confident the suspect's lawyer will clearly explain to her client the implications awaiting him.

In the student's defense, he may want to call as a witness, or better yet, as an expert witness, the sarcastic author of last Friday's letter. The author can try and convince a judge or jury with his childish and sarcastic reasoning that the "verbal terrorist" suspect merely was being offensive. Call your next witness, please.

John Gates
Acting Associate Director, UNM/Native American Studies
Albuquerque


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