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 V.17 No.18 | May 1 - 7, 2008 

J. Nathan Simmons on the set of “Comanche Moon.”
Phillip Weaver

News Feature

Non-Speaking Extras Speak Up

Background actors work to form a union

After being cast for a local film, J. Nathan Simmons had to wait nine months for his paycheck. That's just one reason why he’s helping organize the New Mexico Background Actors Union. Since August 2007, a group of background actors has collected 138 signatures through an online petition. The group hopes to present the petition, which outlines basic safety and fair working conditions, to Gov. Bill Richardson.

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The map of potential boundaries. It may change as the South Valley Incorporation Group progresses.

Newscity

South Valley City Limits

Residents work toward self-governance

Seven city councilors would vote to support the South Valley in its efforts to become its own city, town or village. So said the South Valley Incorporation Group at a Wednesday, April 23, meeting.

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Answer Me This

Which New Mexico mountains are hot!-hot!-hot!? How much was raised during the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer trek? Who does Mayor Marty want to keep out of Albuquerque? And a not-so-tasty treat for elementary school children.

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Thin Line

Greenwashing

“Living green doesn't mean you have to go out and change every aspect of the way you live every day. There are some very simple ways to be more eco-friendly," said KOB's "Good Day New Mexico" host Mary Ann Orate while introducing an awkward Earth Day segment on Tuesday, April 22. During the three-minute bit, Orate gleaned tips from a "green expert" in New York City.

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Council Watch

Come and Get It! Free Money!

No, not you, silly. Not unless you’re a large multi-state developer or a defense contractor.

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Ortiz y Pino

What are We Paying For?

In recent weeks I have been reminded over and over that what is usually billed as our “health care crisis” has a lot in common with our “education crisis” or our “mortgage crisis”—that is, it is yet another situation resolvable by the simple expedient of throwing bushel baskets of money at it. In this light, the essence of such social dilemmas is purely financial. We have an answer—all we lack is the wherewithal to pay for that answer or the guts to write the checks (or to hock our kids’ future).

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Eric J. Garcia

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Congo--Police in Kinshasa have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men’s penises. The penis snatchings have set off a wave of panic and attempted lynchings in the capitol of the West African nation. Rumors of penis theft began circulating earlier this month in the city, quickly dominating local radio call-in shows. Listeners were urged to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings. Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure. “You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We’ve had a number of attempted lynchings,” Kinshasa’s police chief Jean-Dieudonne Oleko told Reuters U.K. last week. Police have been arresting the accused practitioners of witchcraft as well as their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis-nappers were beaten to death by angry mobs. “I’m tempted to say it’s one huge joke,” Oleko said. “But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it’s become tiny or that they’ve become impotent. To that I tell them, ‘How do you know if you haven’t gone home and tried it?’ ”

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Letters

The readers write.

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