Mayor announces 2004 agenda. Last week, Mayor Martin Chavez announced his list of 2004 New Year's resolutions.
The 26 items ranged from the politically pragmatic (increase the police force to 955 sworn officers), to the culturally enriching (the new Japanese Gardens at the BioPark will enable kids to “understand marvelous, contemplative nature,” the mayor explained), to basic capital outlay (finish the balloon museum, open more community centers, build new fire sub stations), to the humane (reduce rates of euthanasia at city animal shelters) and finally to the it's about time! (Tingley Beach will get a makeover, starting in March).
Shhh ... don't talk about water. It seemed more like Mad magazine or National Lampoon, but at a closer look, it was indeed the Albuquerque Journal, running a frontpage headline on Tuesday, Dec. 30, that read “Rio Rancho Gaining Momentum.”
Odds & Ends
Dateline: Serbia—Children in the central Serbian town of Kragujevac watched in horror as a helicopter carrying a man dressed as Santa Claus crashed into the street in front of them. A crowd of children had gathered to greet Santa Claus on New Year's Day when the helicopter shuttling him and his bag of presents crashed a few hundred yards from them. The pilot, co-pilot and Santa were all injured, Beta news agency reported. Hospital officials reported that, despite the injuries, no lives were in danger. The cause of the crash has not been determined. Serbs celebrate Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7, but children receive presents at New Year—a holdover from the years of communist rule when Christmas was not an officially celebrated holiday.
Ortiz y Pino
Women Prisons Need Attention
Why a 2,000 percent increase in inmates over the past two decades?
At breakfast with friends on the Monday morning after Christmas, I heard a piece of information that scared me silly. Well, two pieces of information if you count Mad Cow Disease, a subject that demands its own full-column treatment in the near future, once I finish reading the books Fast Food Nation and American Mad Cow.
What's for Dinner?
Mad Cow Disease a real downer for the beef industry
Watching the reaction of various public officials to the first documented case of Mad Cow Disease in the United States brings to mind the performance of Mayor Vaughn, the political head of Amity in Steven Speilberg's classic Jaws. Despite all the obvious signs that there might just be trouble lurking off the waters of the coastal community, Mayor Vaughn insists that the locals continue to swim in the ocean because doing otherwise would be bad for the summer tourist season. Instead of acknowledging the problem early on, clearing the beaches and letting Brody, Quint and Hooper get to work, the shark continues to feast and hysteria eventually overtakes the town. Needless to say, the Amity Chamber of Commerce had something of a public relations challenge in the aftermath.
In reply to comments in Council Watch (Dec. 25-31) by Dr. Ruth Weiner regarding the Old Town Missile—if anyone outside the pro-nuclear community had been aware of the true intent of the museum and this display, we could have recruited thousands of e-mails saying it sucks without scaring anyone.