Politics can get nasty. But when two elected officials nearly come to blows in a middle school parking lot, you know something's amiss. That was the case nearly two years ago, when City Councilor Miguel Gómez and former two-time County Commissioner Ken Sanchez came inches away from a brawl following a Westside neighborhood coalition meeting nearly two years ago. It took a burly city employee, James Lewis, the mayor's chief administrative officer, to break up the ruckus. The argument stemmed from a dispute over the 2003 city road bond, which failed to pass due to the controversial extension of Paseo del Norte through the Petroglyph National Monument.
At the Aug. 15 meeting, Councilor Craig Loy's bill banning cruising Downtown and Councilor Sally Mayer's massive revision of the city's animal ordinance were postponed. Another Mayer bill that added foxtails to the list of banned weeds passed.
In some ways the Alibi food editor probably ought to be the one writing about this year's City Council races because there are enough tasty prospects involved in them to tempt even jaded political palates. There are some recipes for disaster mixed in, as well.
When New Mexico voters created a state secretary of education back in Sept. 2003, Gov. Bill Richardson promised that the new position would be an integral part of his administration's education reform initiative. Richardson pledged that a cabinet-level secretary would hold public schools accountable for how state funds were spent, ensuring that the lion's share went into the classroom and not administrators' pockets.
Dixie Prowell had never done anything like it before. Prowell, 58, an Albuquerque CPA, was moved by Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's hobby ranch. Sheehan wants Bush to explain exactly what her son died for in Iraq. While Prowell doesn't agree with all Sheehan says, "I agree with her quest for the truth. She has been able to say he lied in such a poignant way. Her ’emperor has no clothes' story really appeals to me."
Dateline: Sweden—Bored with books? Last weekend, the Malmoe Library in southern Sweden initiated the Living Library project. The project enables people to “check out” a real live human being and is designed so that people can confront their prejudices. Nine people, including a homosexual, an imam, a journalist, a Muslim woman and a gypsy were all available for members of the public to “borrow” for a 45-minute conversation in the library's outdoor café. “Maybe not all journalists are know-it-all and sensationalist, just unafraid and curious. Maybe not all animal rights activists are angry and intolerant, but intelligent and committed,” librarian Ulla Brohed told the AFP news organization. The Living Library project only lasted through the weekend, but officials are considering running it again later this year.
This is to offer my heartfelt sympathies to anyone who missed this year's National Poetry Slam. Congratulations to Team Albuquerque who won the team category competition. Being present for this year's National Slam was like going back in time and attending the best rock concert I can remember. Performances were sophisticated, witty, beautiful, humorous, clever, amusing, thought provoking, imaginative and dramatic. Yet, they were delivered in today's language and they were about today's topics--the way rock was then. These events made me feel young again and hopeful.