The Alibi's 2007 Election Guide
It's sad, but we understand. There's a fairly good chance you're unaware that Oct. 2 is Election Day. Even if you are aware, you may not be planning on voting. It's just a municipal election, right? Four Council seats are up for grabs along with a recall for one district and a number of bonds and propositions. No big deal. You don't really need to go; you'll just take a long lunch instead. But it's precisely that mentality that leads to such small turnouts at municipal elections, making it even more critical that you show up. Your voice matters, and in citywide elections, it matters even more.
Albuquerque's City Charter has the same relationship to the city that the Constitution has to the federal government—that is, it defines how the city operates as well as the rights and responsibilities of its elected officials and its citizens. One of the perks of living in Albuquerque is that voters regularly get to vote on propositions to amend the charter. This year, voters have five propositions to consider.
Alibi Endorses All of Them
The Alibi Endorses: Debbie O’Malley
It’s no secret that Council President Debbie O’Malley has a contentious relationship with Mayor Martin Chavez. That reality has, unfortunately, fueled the District 2 race, leading constituents to choose their vote based on who they side with rather than on which of the two actual candidates—O’Malley and challenger Katherine Martinez—would be better for their district. We’ll ask you right now to put all that aside.
Can’t remember who or what to vote for? Clip out this voting guide and take it with you. Disagree with our endorsements? Scratch them out and write in your favorite—it’s all in your hands.
The Alibi Endorses: Brad Winter
The District 4 contest has turned into a real cringer. It was bad enough that the race turned negative so quickly, with incumbent Brad Winter and challenger Paulette de'Pascal trading nasty barbs in the press. Then an errant e-mail revealed that Albuquerque Transit Director and former city councilor Greg Payne was working on de'Pascal's campaign, a major ethics violation if he was doing so on the city's dime.
The Alibi Endorses: Rey Garduño
District 6 is lucky. It has a track record of excellent councilors. Hess Yntema, one of Albuquerque’s all-time favorites, filled the seat for more than a decade. When he left four years ago, the position was filled by “movie star Martin” Heinrich, who has come to be another city favorite. Heinrich has garnered such a large fan base in his district and in Albuquerque that he’s decided to pull a “Heinrich maneuver” (you have no idea how long we’ve been waiting to use that term) and run for Congressional District One against incumbent Heather Wilson. That little move leaves his Council seat wide open, and now several outstanding candidates have entered the ring to take his place.
Trudy Jones (Unopposed)
What's up with District 8? Do people living in this far Northeast Heights portion of the city just not give a damn about the direction of our city?
The Alibi Does Not Support
The Alibi didn't endorse lawyer Don Harris during his run for City Council two years ago, but we haven't been nearly as annoyed with him as we thought we'd be. As Alibi Council reporter Laura Sanchez says, “Don Harris hasn't been as bad as I expected. He's certainly worked harder for his district than the appalling Tina Cummins [Harris' predecessor] and has been more independent than expected.”
Albuquerque business the largest exporter of Mexican jumping beans in the world
Joseph Hindi was originally in the cloth bag-making business, but it wasn't going very well. "Some nuns in Texas were blowing us out of the water," he laughs. The nuns were able to make shopping bags a lot cheaper. So Hindi thought he needed a gimmick, something to help move his products. Someone suggested he throw in a few Mexican jumping beans.
Who made the corruption list? Who's in the hot seat if Councilor Harris loses? Who's going pro se? Does the state make any money from the movies it finances?
Last Wednesday was a historic day for the World Wide Web. It saw the keystone of pay-to-view Internet news pulled from its snug position on top, leaving the other bricks in the arch ready to tumble at any moment.
Mayor Martin Chavez decreed all outdoor city property off limits to smoking earlier this summer. At the Sept. 17 meeting, Councilor Ken Sanchez moved a bill that would allow smoking in certain outdoor areas of Isotopes Stadium, but it failed 3-4, Councilors Michael Cadigan, Sally Mayer, Isaac Benton and Martin Heinrich opposed. Councilor Brad Winter's bill giving a 5 percent to 10 percent break to small, local businesses on some city job bids passed 8-1, Mayer opposed.
City Hall tackles police misconduct against peace protesters
The eyewitness and news accounts of police misconduct against peace demonstrators on Sept. 15 triggered vivid flashbacks of police misconduct during the early stages of the Iraq War. My first drafts of this column began “Here we go again.”
The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) is trying to keep its cool after a refrigerator malfunction in July that compromised $4.3 million worth of children’s vaccines. The DOH is still uncertain as to what caused the malfunction as well as precisely how and why the loss occurred. The malfunctioning refrigerator remains in use in the Immunization Department’s Santa Fe pharmacy, where the state’s vaccine supply is stored.
DATELINE: NEW JERSEY—A car crash may have saved the life of Vineland resident Bryan Rocco. “I was on my way back to the office and stopped at Burger King and bought a chicken sandwich and onion rings,” the 43-year-old foreman for DJ’s Painting told the Daily Journal. “I started to choke on one of the onion rings and then I guess I just blacked out.” Rocco’s company-owned Scion swerved across the road, hit a curb and then struck a tree. “Next thing I knew, when I came back to,” said Rocco. “I was on my side, facing the opposite direction.” Police speculate the vehicle’s air bag struck Rocco in the chest, dislodging the bite of onion ring stuck in his throat. Aside from a cut on his head, a few bumps and bruises and a swollen chin, Rocco was fine.
The Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival turns five in grand fashion
“It’s amazing how much we’ve grown,” marvels Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Director Roberto Appicciafoco. The festival he helped found is entering its fifth year, and a glance through the list of films and events for 2007 shows a schedule bursting at the seams. This is both a sign of good, organic growth and an indication that the folks behind the festival are throwing themselves one fabuloso birthday party.
“Kid Nation” on CBS
The controversial new reality series “Kid Nation” debuted on CBS last week to so-so ratings (second place in the timeslot behind FOX’s “Back to You”) and some speculation that advertisers had shunned the premiere. (The first 38 minutes of the pilot were aired commercial-free, though CBS execs insisted the second episode would have a “regular and full” commercial load.) Brushing aside the idea that the New Mexico Legislature might have delayed the passage of child labor laws in order to accommodate the show’s month-long shoot (a claim that still needs investigating), much of the “children in jeopardy” talk seems to have been in vain.
The Week in Sloth
Cute kids and quarterback sacks add up to a career killer
Wrestlin' thespian Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson could have had a career in film. He's a good-looking fellow. He's charismatic. There's no glaring indication so far that he can't act. With last gen action stars like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis collecting social security, the world needs a new slab of beef to shoot bad guys. The Rock could have been that slab. But, after a handful of mid-range actioners (Doom, Walking Tall, The Rundown), the former WWE star has jumped the shark, skipping big-budget franchise flicks and leaping directly into the sort of cutesy Disney family films that normally signal the end of an actor's career. (See Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams and—shudder—Cuba Gooding, Jr. for reference). Of course, if you loved Vin Diesel (remember him?) in The Pacifier, then The Game Plan is just the thing to make you stand up and cheer.
A band at the forefront of Albuquerque's best indie-pop projects is calling it quits.
Experimental folk from your favorite weirdo musicians: Mark Weaver (trombone, tuba), Brett Sparks (vocals, bass, saw), Mark Ray Lewis (vocals, guitars), Michelle Collins (vocals, theremin, etc.), Jessica Billey, (violin, vocals) and Jason Aspeslet (drums) appear as Trilobite this Thursday, Sept. 27, at Zinc (21+, free). Show starts at 9:30 p.m. (LM)
Local solutions for the world's e-waste problem
Five songs of 2007 help put politics back in our playlists
Religion and politics—the two topics you're not supposed to bring up in mixed company or, until pretty recently, in your songs. Of course, there are plenty of both in conversation and in music, but it wasn't all that long ago—pre-wartime, perhaps—that it was once again passé to put your political views into your pop tunes.
Yep, it's true. I'm leaving the Alibi. (Actually, by the time you read this I'll already be gone.) I did all my major blubbering in last week's issue, and I'm not going to go there again. But you should know that while they're searching for a replacement for the arts and books part of my job, Amy Dalness will be filling in. Luckily, she's already the calendars editor, so arts releases are (hopefully) already going to her. If you need to contact her about editorial coverage in this section, call 346-0660 ext. 255, or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Alice Walker's latest work opens children's eyes to the realities of war
Jon Scieszka speaks 6-year-old better than you
Kids are the perfect audience to Jon Scieszka. They are ripe to explore the world, go along with a story (no matter how unlikely) and demolish the status quo by laughing wildly at end pages placed in the middle of the book. Any adult smart enough to get Jon's jokes is welcome to join the revelry, just don't expect a life lesson on every page. Scieszka, with some help from illustrator Lane Smith, is the author of the life-changing children's book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales as well as other award-winning yarns based somewhere between absurd and genius. Scieszka is touring in support of the duo's latest release, Cowboy and Octopus, a tale of two unlikely friends doing what friends do best. Before heading out West, he took some time out of his stinky day to talk with the Alibi.
They butter up their octopus
Villa Del Mar is one of many mariscos restaurants, but they are set apart from the masses by the way they prepare squid. Sautéed in butter with paper-thin shaved onions, it positively melts into a meaty, salty orgy of epicurean proportions. Too often squid is forced to be tough. Here, it's elegant simplicity.
Most our homies don’t need encouragement to eat their leafy greens, but hey, it happens. For those who don’t get salad (and they are out there, even among vegans), there is one and only one cure: excellent croutons. They can turn a plate of salad into a big bowl of tasty bread that happens to have some lettuce mixed in it.
An interview with one of Albuquerque’s favorite chefs
Beloved chef Jennifer James, formerly of Graze, is back on Albuquerque’s food scene after a year-long hiatus. Last week the Alibi spoke with James about her current stint at Chef du Jour, why she left Graze and her plans to open another restaurant in the near future.
Miraculous masa cooks up a corny family comedy
The other shot-in-New-Mexico feature hitting theaters this weekend is a decidedly lower profile, lower budget affair than Paul Haggis’ In The Valley of Elah (see the other film review in this issue). Filmed in 2001 and finally earning itself an art house release, Tortilla Heaven is a more markedly “New Mexico” film, a broadly comic morality play about small-town Southwest life.
The Alibi turns 15
So what? Why now?
Those words were some of the first bestowed upon me when I started working at the Alibi as an intern three years ago. Then News Editor Tim McGivern sat me down on the gnarled couch in his (now my) office, turned down the Tom Waits bellowing from his computer and explained that every story worth telling answers those two basic questions: Why does it matter, and why does it matter right now? I’ve tried to apply that lesson to every story I’ve written since and, in that tradition, I’ll try to do it for this one as well.
Bittersweet isn't my favorite flavor in the world, but sometimes you just have to swallow the pill and hope the effect will be a healthy one. Indulge me for a moment while I daydream about how I got to this point.
Mostly useless trivia about your favorite alt.weekly
Date of first publication of NuCity: Oct. 9, 1992
A noncomprehensive list of former Alibi staffers who moved on to bigger and better things
Simon Romero (Editor 1992-93) Andean Region Correspondent for the New York Times
The People Before Profit film/lecture series rolls into the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center on Thursday, Sept. 20, with a free screening of Who Killed the Electric Car? This eye-opening documentary plays out like a carefully scripted conspiracy thriller, exploring why the once-promising electric car has gone the way of the dodo. (Like an Agatha Christie novel, there are no shortage of suspects.) Guest speaker Marcus Page will be on hand, talking about converting cars to biodiesel. Donations, of course, are welcome. The Peace and Justice Center is located at 202 Harvard SE.
Murder mystery muddies the water of our post-Iraq world
Writer/director Paul Haggis follows up his Oscar-heavy string of assignments (Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima) with the quietly controversial, war-weary mystery In The Valley of Elah.
“Torchwood” on BBC America
“Torchwood” is the BBC’s officially sanctioned, adult-oriented spin-off to “Doctor Who.” Originally launched in 1963 as a sci-fi-slanted kiddy show, “Doctor Who” got the latest in a long line of reboots in 2005 courtesy of head writer/executive producer Russell T. Davies. Having served previously as writer/producer on “Queer as Folk,” Davies brought a rather more mature style to the long-running BBC series. Thanks to the popularity of his work on “Doctor Who,” the BBC let Davies run wild with “Torchwood.”
The Week in Sloth
In Dale Dunn's new play, Body Burden, a middle-aged woman recovering from thyroid cancer returns to her hometown of Los Alamos to confront her past. Set against the backdrop of the development of the atomic bomb, the play features six characters, including the ghost of Robert Oppenheimer and a time-traveling girl scout.
1x20 at the Downtown Contemporary Art Center
The theme of the show, 20 photographers using the same model, is not so much a curatorial endeavor as it is an assignment. Like Fish Story, on view last month at Exhibit 208, the works have a superficial connection through their subject matter, though I got the sense that the fish show was comprised of artists who had already been considering fish as their subjects before being asked to exhibit their work. In the case of 1x20, the work was clearly crafted for the show—a gimmick that provides little context in which the works can cohere.
At your service
It's no secret that customer service in this country has gone down the crapper. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been ignored, insulted, patronized and even lashed out at by various food service employees over the last decade. This is why I had a hard time twisting my psyche around my first 15 minutes at Oak Tree Café.
Late September. You can't drive down the street without bumping into a roadside chile roaster, blistering New Mexico's favorite fruit in big metal baskets. But before you get elbows-deep into a fresh batch of red or green goodness, let's separate the fact from the fiction. Here are a few of your most frequently asked questions about chile. Special thanks to the Chile Pepper Institute and www.fiery-foods.com for being invaluable resources!
Church plans renovation of four-story, 50,000-
square- foot building
The night clubs, shops and lunch spots of downtown Albuquerque are about to get a new neighbor. The Church of Scientology is in the process of purchasing the Gizmo's building at 410 Central SE near Fourth Street, says Gabriel Rivera, a redevelopment planner with City Planning. "From what I've heard, in other places and other cities, [Scientologists] usually locate in the Downtown areas," Rivera says. Local Scientologists confirmed the deal.
Are we watching our radioactive waste?
Robert Gilkeson has a lot in common with the 73 cubic yards of transuranic waste festering in Sandia National Labs’ Mixed Waste Landfill. Both are homeless. Both are situated in dangerous locations. And both are waiting for the day when a bunch of scientists will make a decision that will allow them to move on.
How many citizens pack heat in New Mexico? Which schoolyard barb did APD use on war protesters? What drama began unfolding for UNM's football team? How's the economy faring in Santa Fe with a $9.50 minimum wage?
Seldom does an issue move me to drop the newspaper and pen a commentary on-the-spot. But after reading Michael Orick's letter in support of armed security guards on APS campuses [Re: "Armed Education," Sept. 13-19], I felt compelled to write—and swat Orick with my ruler.
Sometimes there’s just too much information floating around to comfortably digest. In recent days I’ve felt a bit like a diabetic in a candy factory.
DATELINE: RUSSIA—Officials in the province of Ulyanovsk are giving away prizes, including a refrigerator and an all-terrain vehicle, for its most fertile couples. Sept. 12 was officially “Family Contact Day” and was designed by Gov. Sergei Morozov as a way of “encouraging procreation.” A series of concerts and exhibitions were organized to promote family values and employers were encouraged to give workers a discretionary day off in order to, well, procreate their brains out. The event was timed precisely nine months ahead of next year’s Constitution Day so that mothers “ideally should give birth on June 12,” a spokesperson for the administration told England’s The Sun. Mothers who pop buns out of their ovens on the magic date will be included in a drawing for fabulous free prizes. Not all the locals were enthusiastic about the idea, though. Human rights activist Alexander Bragin complained, “We’ve already sunk to the level where the governor is ordering us on what day to conceive a child and on what day to give birth.”
Oscar Wilde nailed it. "The only thing worse than being talked about," he said, "is not being talked about.” He’s describing my job with eerie clarity.
Koko Taylor and Planet Drum headline stunning round-the-world lineup
Exploring used to be such a bother. Years of raising cash, months sailing across uncharted seas, only to find something other than what you were looking for.
Carl Newman rambles eloquently on playing The Game, ever-weirder ways to write songs and always sounding new
If ours were a truly civilized society, Carl Newman would be King. For now, he is front man and chief songwriter for the Canadian pop band The New Pornographers. I had the pleasure of speaking with him last week as he took some time off during the band’s North American tour.
All this hipster rigmarole and so much more awaits you! Snugfit Social Club dance party returns with DJs Paul, Brandon and Ethan plus live electro by The Booty Green. Friday, Sept. 21, at The Launchpad (21+). $4 at the door. Get down. [LM]
Bug at the Vortex Theatre
Let me start with a hilarious understatement: This play is not suitable for children. And when I say “not suitable” I mean you'd have to be completely deranged to bring anyone under the age of 16 to see this thing. The two leads spend half their stage time smoking crack. They spend the other half buck-naked covered in nasty self-inflicted wounds. The final scene explodes in a mushroom cloud of paranoia and nihilism.
The winners of our second-ever 15th Annual Haiku Contest
Beginning this fall the bulk of New Mexico will begin using the new area code 575. This doesn't include the Albuquerque-Santa Fe corridor or most of the northwest quadrant of the state. Still, it certainly tickles our fancy to have this new area code correspond so gloriously with the formal requirements of haiku composition. So, in honor of this very special coincidence, we are even more enthused to present you with the winners and runner-ups in our 2007 Haiku Contest.
If you missed out on the big premiere of the locally shot slasher flick Gimme Skelter last month, you’ve been given a reprieve. The film will have two more screenings this weekend, one in Albuquerque and one in Santa Fe. The film will show at the Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE) on Friday, Sept. 14, at 10:30 p.m. The film hits the road to Santa Fe on Saturday, Sept. 15, debuting at the Santa Fe Film Center (1616 St. Michael’s Drive). That screening gets underway at 7:45 p.m. If you haven’t seen it, you should. If you have seen it, you should see it again. The film recently won the Best Soundtrack award at the Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville, Ky. (Big thanks to local bands Black Maria and The Dirty Novels.) If your curiosity is piqued, there’s a superb review of the film up at EyeCraveDVD.com (check it out at axel.eyecravedvd.com/?p=46).
Anyone up for a sensitive new age drama about bloody vigilante revenge?
Mere weeks after Kevin Bacon did his best Charles Bronson imitation in the bloody urban revenge drama Death Sentence, Jodie Foster is recruited for largely the same duty in The Brave One. What’s gotten into Hollywood lately? Are vigilantes suddenly chic again? Is CAA representing Bernie Goetz?
Snap judgments about the new fall season
According to statistics dug up by super TV website thefutoncritic.com, only one out of every three TV shows will make it to a second season. So, of the 34 new scripted series making their debut this fall, about 23 of them won’t be sticking around until fall of ’08. Why waste your time watching the pilot if the show isn’t going to be around in a couple of months (or weeks)? Good question.
The Week in Sloth
It's hard to describe what Potty Mouth Sherry's are outside the obvious "all-girl" (there are four of them, to be precise), but I'll try with some stream of consciousness—Punk. Folk. Pirate. Circus. Noise. Art-house. Playground. Butch. Femme. Bad-good. Good-bad. Sinbad. Ukulele-core.
A drone state of mind
"One chord best, two chords cool, three chords OK, four chords average."
Florida natives Against Me! crash at the Sunshine Theater this Thursday, Sept. 13. Touring for their fourth full-length album, New Wave, these guys are rocking the boat with punk that's rich, raw and honest. The Alibi caught up with the band’s lead singer/songwriter/guitarist, Tom Gabel, to discuss the new album, being on the road and everything in between.
Mishka Shubaly vs. the road
The road is a dangerous mistress. One moment she's gilding her path, offering kisses laden with joy and good fortune. The next, she's slashed your tires, stolen the radio and called all your exs to tell them you've got the clap.
The Luna Project
at the Harwood Art Center:
Buckets of great art.
An interview with Ben Adams, creator of Dukecity Sign*
Dukecity Sign* landed on my desk a couple weeks ago. In spare moments, I've spent quite a bit of time flipping through the thing. Hardcover. Almost no text aside from an introduction replicated in Japanese, Spanish and English. The rest of the book consists entirely of awful, full-color photographs of signs from all over Albuquerque.
Six peaceful anti-war protesters are convicted on federal charges, facing jail time and fines
Six Catholic peace activists were tried and convicted on federal charges last Thursday, following their assembly in the lobby elevator of the Joseph M. Montoya Federal Building in Santa Fe last fall [Re: Newscity, "Red Alert!" Jan. 25-31]. The activists, with three others, are known as the “Elevator Nine,” and now face up to 30 days in jail and a $5,000 fine for their nonviolent, anti-war demonstration.
Publicly financed candidates face limits on how much professional help they can seek
“In good faith.” Those three words crop up often when discussing rules for publicly financed Council candidates with interim City Clerk Randy Autio.
I hear it's hard to be rich. Everything is possible, there are so few hurdles on your cushy track to success, many of you often develop strange phobias and fetishes—say, a taste for only white or clear foods.
“I have one of those jobs where you actually have to do things. The lieutenant governor has a job that I think she would even concede doesn’t require a lot of heavy lifting.”
How overcrowded is the city's jail? Who would win in a fight: Denish or Chavez? Who's in charge of the city's animal shelters? Is that coal plant thing happening?
Councilors plowed through a crowded agenda at the Sept. 5 meeting. An administration bill upping fines for illegal use of disabled parking spaces passed unanimously. Councilor Michael Cadigan's bill restoring a four-way stop sign and a lower speed limit at the intersection of Rainbow Blvd. and Ventana Village Rd. also passed unanimously.
The Paper Trained Party
Quick. State the position of the Democratic Party on the Iraq War. Where do they stand on attacking Iran?
DATELINE: NEPAL—Nepal’s state-run airline helped get one of its malfunctioning planes back in the air by sacrificing two goats on the runway to appease a Hindu god. Nepal Airlines said the animals were slaughtered in front of the plane, a Boeing 757, at Katmandu airport. The offering was made to Akash Bhairab, the Hindu god of sky protection. The airline said that after the ceremony the plane successfully completed a flight to Hong Kong. “The snag in the plane has now been fixed and the aircraft has resumed its flights,” senior airline official Raju KC told BBC News. Nepal Airlines has two Boeing aircraft in its fleet, but persistent mechanical difficulties with one of them has led to the postponement of a number of flights in recent weeks.
The last installment of “The Dish" talked about two gelaterias that opened in Albuquerque late this summer. (A quick "refresher": Gelaterias serve gelato, an Italian ice milk dessert that's lower in fat and calories than ice cream.) Well, that's not true—I talked about one, Ecco Gelato in Nob Hill, and hinted at the other.
Simplicity in the city
La Quiche Parisienne Bistro is a modest sandwich shop and real French bakery located in Downtown's Fourth Street mall. Proprietors Sabine Pasco and master baker Bruno Barachin (along with sole employee Marie-Pierre) do better than grow flowers in the desert—they get out of bed at 2 a.m. and bake. And bake and bake some more.
Tequila done right for Dieciséis de Septiembre
Americans have a way of getting foreign culture all wrong. (Maybe other countries do it, too, but right now it's most fashionable to bash Americans.)