With no appeal process, Albuquerque residents are suing the city over red light cameras
Next time you find yourself running out of conversation topics with an Albuquerquean, try this: Ask them how they feel about the red light cameras.
Next time you find yourself running out of conversation topics with an Albuquerquean, try this: Ask them how they feel about the red light cameras.
I shall never forget that hideous summer sixteen years ago, when like a noxious afrite from the halls of Eblis typhoid stalked leeringly through Arkham. It is by that satanic scourge that most recall the year, for truly terror brooded with bat-wings over the piles of coffins in the tombs of Christchurch Cemetery; yet for me there is a greater horror in that time—a horror known to me alone now that Herbert West has disappeared.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
YIT Founder in Court—Youth in Transition's Donna Rowe is promising to see her case all the way to trial. She was arrested on charges of refusing to obey an officer at an Oct. 4 protest [Feature, "The Exiles Among Us," Oct. 19-25]. Rowe planned an all-night protest in Civic Plaza to bring attention to the lack of resources for homeless youth in the city. Civic Plaza is considered a park and closes at 10 p.m.
Often it's the stuff you can't see--the stuff you never think about--that turns your life upside down. Recently, a combination of late summer rains and inactive pumping stations damaged or destroyed many homes in the Barelas and Martineztown neighborhoods.
You might be one of the 21 percent of New Mexicans living below 125 percent of the poverty level. It's not unlikely, given that 101,651 people in Albuquerque are part of that statistic. You want to file for divorce or determine why your Social Security checks have stopped coming. Maybe your landlord hasn't fixed the heater for more than a month, and winter's made its entrance.
Joke of the Month: Hot Singles--October is one of Albuquerque’s finest months for several reasons: The air gets crisp, the leaves change color in the Bosque, there’s a gradual citywide permeation of piñon essence and roasting green chile, the Balloon Fiesta hovers in all its glory and hype and, of course, Albuquerque The Magazine’s annual “Hot Singles” issue hits the stands. Yes, for the last three Octobers the “Hot Singles” issue has entertained and bewildered scores of Albuquerqueans—most of them in checkout lines at natural grocery stores—and this year is no different.
Albuquerque must exert some magnetic force on aging radicals. We attracted Mark Rudd of the Weather Underground, the group famous for bombing the Capitol. And for quite a while we’ve had Dave Foreman of EarthFirst!, the group that introduced America to eco-terrorism.
Dateline: England--A 47-year-old computer user tracked down an e-mail correspondent using details obtained online after the pair exchanged insults in an Internet chat room in what officials are calling “the first instance of a web-rage attack.” Paul Gibbons traveled 70 miles from his home in south London to Mr. John Jones’ home in Clacton, Essex, and beat him with a pickax handle in December of 2005. The two originally became acquainted with one another in an Islamic chat room on yahoo.com. Their exchanges soured after Gibbons accused Jones of spreading rumors about him. “There was an exchange of views between the victim and the defendant which were threatening on both sides,” prosecutor Ibatayo Adebayo told the court last week in London. Gibbons pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and will be sentenced in early November.
This pancake recipe is a hand-me-down from an old chemist, Alex’s grandfather. If you take the time to hunt down the required wheat germ and some proper flour, you will resolutely swear off pancakes from a box until the day you die. Granddaddy Brown did. Never again will you contemplate a $6 stack of fluff that will languish in your gut for the rest of a lackadaisical Sunday. Not that these thick flapjacks won’t send you flying into a food coma—they will—but it will be a rocking-chair-on-the-stoop coma you can relish with old-time vigor.
Roughage Riders of the Purple Cabbage
My wife and I just got a basketball-sized head of purple cabbage from a local farm. We like fish tacos and coleslaw, but it would take us three cabbage-laden meals a week to finish all of it before it goes bad. I’m just not prepared for that kind of gastrointestinal assault. Do you have a good sauerkraut recipe, or some other advice for preserving our leafy lode?
—Cabbage Patch Kid
Dear Kid: My ancestors are from Russia, which means three cabbage-laden meals a week would have been nothing. So quit complaining and take it like a man.
My first 24 hours in Albuquerque were a nightmare. From the moment I drove the moving van off the exit ramp I felt like a can of beer at a church picnic, and I made so many mistakes with the locals I wondered if I’d ever fit in here. I remember mapping out my journey before I left and thinking that there were some weird street names, and when I stopped to get directions, I asked for “Ju-wan Tay-bo” and “Men-u-el.” The gas station clerk looked at me, shook his head, and told me to take “Central Avenue” south until I found it.
Cinema from South of the Border--The Instituto Cervantes at the National Hispanic Cultural Center will present a feature from Argentina as part of its Cine en Construcción film series on Thursday, Oct. 26. The film’s director, Ana Katz, was recently named a winner of the “Cine en Construcción” prize at the Festival International del Cine de Donostia-San Sabastián in Spain. The film, El Juego de la Silla, deals with the return home to Argentina of Victor, who has spent several years in Canada. To make up for lost time, he organizes a series of gatherings and family rituals. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles. Following the film, a discussion will be held with Nicolás Tacconi, one of the stars of the film, and with Dr. Luisela Alvaray, a visiting professor at UNM. The screening will begin at 7 p.m. in the NHCC’s Wells Fargo Auditorium (located at 1701 Fourth Street NW). Admission is free and open to the public.
Halloween is here, and nothing sets the mood better than a good horror movie--except maybe a bad horror movie. Frankly, I’m good with either this time of year. If you’re looking for something to watch this holiday while digesting all of those Tootsie Rolls, Smarties and mini Snickers bars, here are a few suggestions. These recently released box sets might be just the thing to stir up childhood memories of Halloweens past--no matter what decade you grew up in.
As I understand it, Neale Donald Walsch got into an auto accident, broke his neck, lost his job, became homeless for a while, got a job at a radio station and started talking to God. In that order. In their numerous confabs, God told Neale that he needed to take up writing. According to Mr. Walsch, God commanded him (well, asked politely, anyway) to write three books. Those books made so much money that God apparently returned later to amend his original commandment, adding six sequels and countless spin-off products (Conversations with God: A Windham Hill Collection on CD, anyone?).
Halloween falls this year on a Tuesday night. By the time it rolls around, you’ll have dressed up, partied, hung out at clubs and visited all the haunted houses/corn mazes/pumpkin chunking events you can handle. Odds are your Halloween night will be spent parked in front of the TV searching desperately for some holiday entertainment and waiting in vain for the trick-or-treaters to show up so you won’t have to spend the next two weeks choking down that entire five-pound bag full of Tootsie Roll Midges you bought at Wal-Mart. Here, then, is how I see your Halloween night going down.
And the winner in the Pretty Sweet Band Name category .... Bottled Friends! Come one, come all (-ages) Sunday to the Launchpad for their CD release and churn out some rock and metal with the likes of Michael Lee Ostrander, Evolocity, Dim the Darkness and Dyings Destiny. It’s $7 and starts at 7 p.m. (MD)
Greg Dulli doesn’t take too well to the easy life.
At least, this would seem to be the case, if Dulli’s songs bear even the slightest resemblance to his own past. The 41-year-old vocalist who first gained notoriety as the cigarette-stained voice of the Afghan Whigs, and later as the Twilight Singers’ main man, slathers his latest album (the Twilight Singers’ Powder Burns) in the kind of self-effacing rhetoric fans have come to expect. Sleaziness, sexiness, copious drug use and a nod or two to ’60s R&B (and, curiously, arena-ready cock rock) frequently decorate--or some would say, mar--his albums, making you wonder whether this guy is for real, or whether it’s all a big satire.
It's 4 p.m. in Portland. That's a bit early for Mike D.
He played four shows yesterday, three acoustic solo performances and one raucous bar gig with the band he fronts, I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in The House. "It wears your voice out," he says, and the strain is audible.
I Can Lick Any SOB hits the tour trail pretty hard. Five months a year, the guys are on the road. Twice a year, they cross over to the East Coast. Four or five times a year, they travel up and down the other. "The van is getting tiresome," Mike D says. He hates being away from his wife and child. But he's facing 13 shows in 14 days (one of which is at our own Atomic Cantina) with some kind of determination. I Can Lick Any SOB "hasn't really cracked" Albuquerque—yet.
Broken down outside of Gallup along Route 66 with nothing to do but sit around, stack up some beer bottles and knock ’em down again to the tune of a finely played accordion. It's almost too romantic a tale to be true, but there they were, just two bands on the road back to Albuquerque.
The Dead Can (and Should) Dance—Your friendly neighborhood community arts project, OFFCenter, will unveil its annual Day of the Dead exhibit, Dead Ahead, this Friday evening, Oct. 27. This year, the show features work by Jude Pacheco and other local artists. Come on down and get your spook on from 5 to 8 p.m. For details, call 247-1172.
Candy comas, pumpkin guts, costume-clad kiddies, spooky movies—Halloween is here again, meaning a night of totally interrupted nonrelaxation when the trick-or-treaters come a-knocking Tuesday night. Seems like the perfect time for my first round of web game reviews. Casual gamers, come out of the closet and proclaim your love of gaming. You’re in the majority now.
With total worldwide box office sales exceeding $3 billion (that's right, billion), Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera is the most financially successful entertainment venture of the 20th century. Kind of amazing, then, that I've never seen it. I'm like one of those weirdos who refuses to get a cellphone or who still listens to music on cassette tapes. Pathetic, really.
Get ready, get set, go! Twenty-one world premiere plays will be performed this year in 21 days during the Seventh Annual Words Afire festival. The largest new play festival in the Southwest, Words Afire features plays written, directed and acted entirely by students, including five full-length plays, eight short plays, two one-acts and three staged readings, to name a few. Although the festival is showcasing UNM talent, the festival’s venues range from Sol Arts to the National Hispanic Cultural Center to the Blue Dragon Coffee House in addition to UNM theaters. Tickets are $10 general, $7 students and all staged readings are free. For show listings, times and locations, call 277-7331 or visit www.unm.edu/~theatre/td/.
Ballet Folklorico—One of Old Mexico's most popular dance companies, Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. As part of the festivities, the group has launched a world tour, which comes to our own National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. The company specializes in dramatizing Mexico's varied regions and cultures through authentic folk dances. It's renowned for its elaborate costumes and choreography as well as its lush, beautiful music. Tickets are $15 to $35. 724-4771.
NOTE: The names of the homeless people in this story have all been changed.
Al McCly came to Albuquerque in 2001 to see how far he could get from his estranged wife. Before long, he had lost his car, been in jail and lived underneath a tree in an abandoned lot all due to his problems with alcohol. McCly explains that camping under the deserted tree was easy. With his last few bucks he bought all the supplies he'd need to live in the open. “I didn’t have to pay rent or worry about anything,” he says.
It’s pretty easy to ignore trash. You throw it in the dumpster, leave it in a container alongside the curb, a truck picks it up and shoots it off to the landfill. Few think ever again about that trash rotting in a landfill; even fewer consider the gas coming off those landfills. The fumes are mostly methane gas, but also carbon dioxide, organic compounds such as nitrogen and sulfur, and toxic chemicals such as benzene and vinyl chloride.
In August of last year, when John Hyde infamously put Albuquerque in the national spotlight, not many locals were talking about Kendra’s Law. There was no reason, really, until the ill-fated day when Hyde shot and killed five city residents, including two police officers. Soon afterward, the law—which makes mental health outpatient care mandatory under certain circumstances—became synonymous with the Hyde killings.
You Can't Make This Stuff Up--It has been a strange and decidedly terrible past couple of weeks in the world, evident from the headlines barraging our nation's front pages. So many bizarre and unimaginable incidents have transpired that I feel the need to slap myself around and splash water in my face to make sure I'm not in the middle of some prolonged nightmare. It’s times like these that made me decide to become a journalist instead of a fiction writer. You can’t make this stuff up.
Roughly half of the 64 percent of eligible New Mexican voters who bothered to vote in the 2004 presidential elections cast their ballots for John Kerry. You know who you are. You’re the wide-eyed hopefuls who awoke Black Wednesday with third-degree heartburn and both ears still ringing from the blows ... of the news that amidst widespread allegations of voter disfranchisement, fraud and electronic vote flipping in states like Ohio and New Mexico, it took less than half a day for DNC "strategists" to convince Kerry to throw in the towel.
For those of you laggards who have not yet filled out your absentee ballot or voted early, here is some important information on the upcoming election. Pay attention.
The first time we fall for the ol’ “bait ’n’ switch” tactic, we should justifiably feel angry at the con man who tricked us. But if we fall into the same snare a second time, it really is ourselves we should be pissed at. And subsequent pratfalls ought, at some point, to produce at least a wary kind of learning--either that or we deserve whatever we're being dished.
Dateline: Wisconsin--A 20-year-old man has been charged with armed robbery in a hold up that took place in his parents’ Campbellsport tavern last Thursday night. A bartender told investigators that she was closing up CC Cody’s Tavern late Thursday when a man in a gray hooded sweatshirt and ski mask entered and pointed a gun at her. The man told her to get down and then shoved her to the floor. The bartender said when she turned, the cash drawer and her purse were gone. The bartender easily identified the robber, however. She told police she recognized his voice as belonging to Chad Rinas, who had just finished his shift working at the bar, which his parents own. Law enforcement officers arrested Rinas several hours later at a Campbellsport mobile home park. Rinas was charged with armed robbery with use of force, obstructing an officer and two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping.
’Zine on the Screen--On Sunday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. the Blue Dragon Coffee House (1517 Girard NE) will host a special film screening/event courtesy of MAP21. Media Arts Promotion 21 is an all-ages Albuquerque mentorship collective created to share and promote art projects produced by local youth. This Sunday, MAP21 members will hold a free screening of A Hundred Dollars and a Tee Shirt, a short documentary about ’zine (homemade self-published magazine) culture. A post-film discussion will cover making and distributing ’zines. Anyone who comes to the screening gets a free copy of the latest MAP21 ’zine made by Albuquerque youth, including musicians, poets, dancers and filmmakers. Portions of this event will be filmed for a documentary the group is making about how this new organization is being built by and for ABQ youth. For more information, call 266-0852.
America doesn’t have quite the same legacy of colonialism as, say, England. That is not to say that we haven’t, at various times in history, supported, occupied or otherwise controlled ground not permanently attached to our contiguous 48. (And it isn’t, in any way, intended to deflect claims that we may very well be trapped in the long and arduous process of doing exactly that in today’s Middle East.) Nonetheless, our nation has never maintained a globe-spanning empire, and our citizens have never suffered the inevitable ennui that happens when that empire begins to crumble. (Just ask the Brits, the French or the ancient Carthaginians.)
New York kid Dito Montiel may have been born on Nowhere Street, but he spent a good chunk of the ’80s hanging out with some of NYC’s heaviest hitters. After his band Gutterboy (billed as the most successful unsuccessful band in history) was signed by Geffin Records for an unprecedented $1 million, Montiel became the toast of the town. His list of fans/friends includes/included Andy Warhol, Bruce Weber, Liza Minnelli and Allen Ginsberg.
Mr. T must be listed in the celebrity has-been phone book under “T.” It makes sense, since his new reality show comes right on the heels of the one they gave Gene Simmons. Which means--alphabetically speaking--Bob Uecker should be getting a call from Hollywood producers any day now for his new reality series. (I’m thinking, “Celebrity Euchre Tour with Bob Uecker.” ESPN2, call me for the pitch on that one.)
Newfangled SXSW Showcase Application—Applying for a spot in the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin may seem mystifying at first, but there's really not much to it. In fact, it's easier than ever since the application process for SXSW has gone totally digital this year. Just go to the SXSW website, create a user account and password, and fill out a fairly straightforward online form. You'll pay a $30 fee and upload your music and press right there. And that's it. Then all that's left is to compulsively check your e-mail until Feb. 9, when the last acceptance and rejection notices will be sent out from SXSW HQ.
A year ago, “ABC Primetime” ran a piece on a pair of twins, Lamb and Lynx Gaede, whose folk-pop act called Prussian Blue is serving as a conduit for the white nationalist (ahem, nazi prick) movement due to parental encouragement. In a realm of music typically comprised of sweaty, drunk, agro dudes playing some genre of hardcore, the innocent-looking teenage girls seem like unlikely purveyors of hate--a paradox that, partially due to the ABC program, garners a great deal of press which their website thanks for helping to spread their message.
The music of Baird Hersey’s a cappella vocal group Prana shares many of the ethereally beautiful and exotic qualities of whalesong. Unlike our finned relatives’ vocalizations, however, Prana’s music is instantly accessible, with a profound capacity to quiet and focus the listener.
Start your weekend with an Atomic musical science project. Albuquerque moody rock three-piece Nunchuk plays with Emperors of Japan and Under the Blood this Friday, Oct. 20, at Atomic Cantina (21-plus). It's free, of course. (LM)
“I have to have a certain kind of pen,” says William Elliott Whitmore, guitarist, banjoist, singer and tattooed troubadour. “I can’t have a ballpoint.”
In last week's Alibi, a guy wrote in to say how annoying it is when so-called music fans gripe about their favorite indie bands signing to major labels. He has a point. Why should anyone be upset because an artist they like has achieved some measure of tangible—that is, monetary—success?
Kiran Desai does not at first seem like an angry woman. Her voice as high and quiet as a young girl's, the first impression the 35-year-old novelist presents is of shyness, or humility.
Japanese culture is one of the fastest moving, most mutable and just plain weirdest on the planet. Perhaps it has something to do with history. With some several thousand years of advanced society under its belt, Japan has a hell of a lot of art, literature, cuisine, religion and politics to draw upon. Maybe it's the population. With the world's 10th largest citizenry, Japan currently boasts some 128 million people contributing to its culture on a daily basis. Of course, it could be related to the level of technology the country has achieved. Information flows through that society so fast now that trends are measured in minutes instead of months.
Electric Haiku: Calm as Custard, a combination of dance, video and sound performed by Cathy Weis, comes to the North Fourth Art Center this weekend. In 1989, Weis began to explore the partnering of dance and video after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In her upcoming performance, she focuses on the question: “When technology and the human body become partners, who leads?” Friday, Oct. 20, and Saturday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission, and $12 for students and seniors. For more information or tickets, call 345-2872 ext. 18.
From marrying his cousin to lounging deliriously in gutters, Edgar Allen Poe led a life off the beaten path. Known for his twisted tales of horror and madness, Poe is now becoming a part of Sol Arts' Wax Poetic Series. The Series dramatizes the lives and works of American poets, including Mark Twain, Anne Sexton and E.E. Cummings. Kristen Loree, the creator of the series, directs this latest addition. The spooky portrayal of Poe’s works will show at Sol Arts Performance Space (712 Central SE) through Nov. 5. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 general, $8 students and seniors. 244-0049.
Yet Another Excuse to Eat Chocolate--There's a new haven for chocolate lovers in the Northeast Heights with your mama's name written all over it. Not literally, of course, but your mother will probably love this place. Kocoa Tree is a chocolate boutique from the gals who own Glazed Hams and More (5850 Eubank NE), sisters-in-law Dianne Kennedy and Connie Kennedy-Windiate. The shop is conveniently located right down the street, in the old To Die for Fudge space in the shopping center at Eubank and Osuna (right next to the Barley Room). I walked in this weekend just as Dianne and Connie were stocking the shelves with gourmet chocolates, which they say will include house-made fudges and big, imported Belgian truffles. (They showed me a box--they're the size of golf balls.) There's also a quaint coffee bar area, and lots of gift basket filler like Gund stuffed animals and jewelry. Like I said, this place was made for moms. They should be open by now, but call them at 796-0102 to get the proper store hours.
Vinegar and I have a long, and occasionally sordid, history. I can remember my first vinaigrette dressing on a salad, and the very first time I ever sprinkled red wine on sautéed spinach—I was hooked for life. Then there was the time that cider vinegar was used as a weapon pointed straight at my 10-year-old potty mouth. My fifth grade teacher, Sister Mary Ruler-Smack (not her real name—I don’t want to get smacked again), was affronting my dignity yet again by requiring me to participate in group sing-a-long, at which point I decided to inform her that she “looked like my butt.” I was marched by my ear to the cafeteria area, where I was shoved into a folding chair to await my fate—it was either hold a bar of soap in my mouth for one minute, or drink a cup of cider vinegar. My choice seemed easy, but I was in for a nasty surprise.
Neither Kamikaze Kim nor Muffin have illusions about their assets—or their liabilities.
Welcome to Best of Burque Restaurants! You may have noticed that we've got a spiffy new name (changed from the old Readers' Choice Restaurant Poll) and an appetizing new look to match. Inside, you'll discover close to 100 categories you've never seen before--along with all the tantalizing results, selected through thousands of votes cast by Alibi readers like you. Why do we do it? Because it combines two subjects that are very dear to our hearts: food and Albuquerque businesses. When you vote in a Best of Burque poll, you're rewarding the best local restaurants with invaluable recognition. Not only that, you're helping to amass an indispensable guide to the best food our city has to offer. Just keep eating and voting, and we'll do the rest. Bon appétit!
Out of the blue this year, Euphoria Smoothies floated in on a heavenly cloud to present us with smoothies, stuffed pretzels and love, man, lots of frickin’ love. The stuffed cheddar and jalapeño pretzel complements the "mochacchino chill," and we compliment you, Albuquerque, on your good taste.
1. Euphoria Smoothies
2. The Standard Diner
3. Slate Street Café
4. Tie: Bumble Bee's Baja Grill, The Grove Café and Market
There's a reason this place is named Euphoria Smoothies. I've got four words for you: stuffed chocolate crumb pretzel. The thing is filled with creamy chocolate and covered in chocolate drizzles and crumblies. The moniker could also have something to do with the “Raging Bull” smoothie, a power lifter in which Red Bull is a key ingredient. Though that's less likely to induce "euphoria" than it is to bring on the "hyper-talkative ADD" portion of your afternoon.
1. Euphoria Smoothies
Pillowman—In Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, a fiction writer in a totalitarian state is questioned about his violent short stories due to their similarity with a series of strange events around town. A new production of the play, directed by Grubb Graebner, is currently playing at the Vortex Theatre (2004½ Central SE). The Vortex has a distinguished history of producing McDonagh's plays, so odds are they'll do this one justice. The Pillowman runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 6 p.m. There'll be a free post-show discussion with the cast and crew on Sunday, Oct. 15. The play runs through Oct. 29. $12. 247-8600.
The day after 9/11, I hung a U.S. flag from my dorm room window like so many of my fellow Americans. As I finished tacking it up, a man with a digital camera asked if he could take my picture. I agreed, and the next day my image was seen across the nation in USA Today.
Get into the Halloween spirit when Bram Stoker’s Dracula comes to the town ... as a ballet. That's right—we're talking vampires in tights. Directed and performed by the New Mexico Ballet Company, Dracula, which premiered in 1999 to rave reviews, is sure to be a crowd-pleasing, spooky good time. The story of the most infamous undead bloodsucker and his many victims will be performed at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW), Friday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $26. For more information, call 292-4245 or visit www.nhccnm.org.
Readers’ Choice--All right, I get it. You've been sniffing out some really amazing new food finds and I've ... been ignoring you. So I'll just shut up and let the people speak for a change. All the readers who chimed in here will receive a gift pack with free passes to Laffs Comedy Club and goodies from the new Jinja Bar and Bistro at Paseo Del Norte and Ventura. Here's what you've been talking about.
I have a personal list of terrible food ideas. No. 3 is mixing orange and vanilla. I adore the sharp, citrus bite of orange as much as its sunny, sweet, pick-me-up flavor. I also love the warm, almost sensual scent and taste of vanilla (even though the vanilla perfume craze of the late ’90s almost killed it for me). But to mix the two seems not only unnecessary, but also a gross disrespect to the very different auras, like blending spring and autumn. If this isn’t dramatic enough for you, the taste of a Creamsicle, for me, is like licking asphalt and then licking the undercarriage of my car. Thanks, but I’ll pass.
For some, the sound of progress is the sound of nothing at all.
A resolution to install quiet zones at the nine railroad crossings within Albuquerque city limits passed the City Council unanimously last Wednesday, Oct. 4. The proposal, which aims to modify rail crossings to be safe enough so train whistles are no longer necessary, has garnered some controversy since it was first discussed this spring [Re: News Bite, “Minor Chords,” June 1-7; News Feature, “Quiet the Trains,” Sept. 14-20].
Those were hard days opposing the invasion of Iraq. Millions marched for peace, and still George W. Bush ignored us. But we’ve easily forgotten that Democratic congressional leaders also gave us their backs. Being against the war back then wasn’t for risk-averse politicians. Calculating office-holders wanted room to maneuver in case Bush came out of Iraq a hero.
In October, the FBI and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) executed search warrants on two California produce companies. It does seem kind of surreal, actually, that the FBI would carry out a spinach bust, but e.coli contamination in packaged spinach did, after all, sicken 199 people, including five New Mexicans, and lead to the death of three people.
Beyond the Big City--Three years ago, New York City native Gideon Elliot found himself living in rural New Mexico. There might be days when he wakes up wondering what the hell he’s gotten himself into, but I, for one, am glad he’s here. His website, New Mexico Matters (newmexicomatters.com), is easily the best website I’ve found that synthesizes the state’s news.
At the Oct. 4 meeting, councilors debated what will or will not be allowed in various neighborhoods. Councilor Isaac Benton moved an administration bill putting a six-month moratorium on adult businesses Downtown. The bill passed unanimously.
Last month I was invited by the New Mexico National Guard to see firsthand the deployment of Guard units from around the country on the Mexican border near Columbus.
Dateline: Poland--Police have launched a nationwide hunt for a flatulent political dissident. Hubert Hoffman, 45, was charged with “contempt for the office of the head of state” for his windy actions after he was stopped by police in a routine check at a Warsaw railway station. He complained that, under President Lech Kaczynski and his twin brother Jaroslaw, the country was returning to a Communist-style dictatorship. When told to show more respect for the country’s rulers, Hoffman allegedly farted loudly. He was immediately arrested and taken to jail. Hoffman later posted bail, but failed to turn up at a Warsaw court hearing early last week. The judge in the case rejected an appeal by defense lawyers to throw the charges out. A court spokesperson said, “Such a case of disrespect is taken very seriously.”
The Calm Before the Storm--Having weathered three major film festivals in as many weeks (four, if you count the Gallup Intercultural Film Festival), New Mexico’s film scene is finally quieting down for a bit.
Jesus Camp, the new documentary from Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady (The Boys of Baraka), has become highly controversial among Christians. Apparently, dedicated lovers of Jesus feel the film portrays them as ultraconservative, right-wing wackos. Interestingly enough, the specific subject of the film, evangelical youth minister Becky Fischer, is just fine with the end product--perhaps because she is an ultraconservative right-wing wacko.
In 1964, a progressive British television production company decided to make a documentary ostensibly examining the class system in England. Producers gathered up a group of 7-year-old schoolchildren from diverse backgrounds and interviewed them about what their lives were like and what their futures might be. On its own, “Seven Up!” would certainly have been a well-regarded benchmark of naturalist cinema. But, seven years later, British director Michael Apted--who had served as a researcher on the original film--found himself talked into making a sequel. Though he’s had a good deal of commercial success (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist, The World is Not Enough), Apted has found time every seven years to hook up with the subjects of his first film gig. The result has been one of the most enlightening experiments in the history of film, an ongoing documentary about, well, life itself.
All things considered, this has been an impressive season. The new shows have proved, by and large, to be a diverse, smartly written and highly original crowd. With virtually no new reality shows, sitcoms or game shows on the schedule, fall 2006 may have to go down on record as one of the best in recent years.
Say Goodnight to Sonny's Bar & Grill--I just got a very heartfelt e-mail from local musician Chris Valencia that opens with the following: "On Sunday, Oct. 15, Sonny’s Bar & Grill will be closing its doors for good." Uh ... what? "After recent pressure from APD, the mayor and his effort to transform our neighborhood into the next Scottsdale, management has decided to sell their interests and move to Colorado." Oh, OK. ... Wait, what?
It's an auspicious night for carousing with Left Brain, Killgracy, Lucid Illusion, Natural Reaction, Coalition and 7of9. At The District, Friday, Oct. 13, around 7 p.m. (LM)
Tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson—he of the big round tone, killer rhythmic sense and elegant understatement—began his career playing with drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He’s also worked with a who’s who of jazz luminaries from earlier generations, including Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter and Charlie Haden. Respectful of the tradition, Jackson brings a depth of experience and feeling to his always forward-looking work.
“The Neighbor of the Beast”? It's the kind of joke that sneaks up on you. For weeks, I'd been wondering, "Why is it 668 and not 667?" Staring at the trio's bootleg cover, it dawned on me: 667 would be the house across the street—668 is right next door.
Disco never died—shag carpet just went out of style. The first thing Dennis (Sam) Gibson did when he opened the Albuquerque Mining Company (AMC) in 1986 was rip out the blue shag nightmare, but the disco ball remains 20 years later.