Alibi V.21 No.40 • Oct 4-10, 2012

The Specter of Voter Fraud

Despite low numbers of New Mexicans registering to vote, the secretary of state's attention is elsewhere

Despite low numbers of New Mexicans registering to vote, the secretary of state's attention is elsewhere.

The Latest


Eat Like a Local

An off-the-beaten-path food guide

Driving around our fair city (and beyond) will eventually leave you hungry. After all, man does not live on offbeat tourist destinations alone.



Time travel gets trippy in Rian Johnson’s brainy, bullet-riddled genre-bender

Time travel gets trippy in Rian Johnson’s brainy, bullet-riddled genre-bender.

Kaling Delivers Laughs

“The Mindy Project” on FOX

Writer-producer-actress and all-around comedienne Mindy Kaling abandons the sinking ship that is the final season of NBC’s “The Office” to head her own, self-titled sitcom over on FOX.

Reel World

The upcoming Santa Fe Film Festival (Dec. 6-9) presents another one of its sneak-preview events. This Friday, Oct. 5, there will be a special screening and reception for the film Without Borders. The event will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. at the New Mexico History Museum Auditorium (113 Lincoln, next to the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe). Without Borders introduces audiences to Thanasis (Yorgo Voyagis), a goodhearted Athenian cotton candy vendor who does his best to raise a baby girl after her mother—an immigrant prostitute—abandons her and disappears to America to find her fortune. Years later, mom returns and reclaims her daughter. With no money, no visa and no English skills, Thanasis heads to America to find the child he raised as his own. The film’s writer-director Nick Gaitatjis and several cast members, including Academy Award nominee Seymour Cassel, will be in attendance. Ticket price is $30 and includes screening, Q&A / reception, food and drink.


Dia de los Zines

Celebrate independent publishing

The second-annual ABQ Zine Fest is upon us. Get over to Kosmos on Oct. 6 and check it out.


First Responders

Study says AFD needs more staff and more gear to answer calls quickly

Two studies came out last month. One looks at ways to save the city money, the other posits things are spread to thin at the Albuquerque Fire Department.

The Right is Lying About Obamacare

One of the most puzzling aspects of the election for Jerry Ortiz y Pino is the way Republican candidates and conservative super PACs are deliberately painting our Affordable Care Act as a boogeyman.

Get Registered

The last day to register to vote in the 2012 general election is Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Coming Out, Touching Down

Citizens show up to Council chambers to talk National Coming Out Day. Councilor Michael Cook wants to make it easier for balloons to land around the city.


Brotherhood of the (Sad Baby) Wolf

I guess we have to talk about The Shins now

Eschewing the Shins-centric perspective Sad Baby Wolf's publicist urged, Marisa Demarco shares the tale of a local indie rock quintet whose members value family, friendship and maintaining a sense of humor as much as they enjoy rocking out in the limelight.

Sonic Reducer

This week, we listened to Michael Anthony, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Dum Dum Girls.

Spañapalooza Turns 11

This charmingly jumbled monochrome flyer invites Nuevo Mexicanos of all ages to Española Skate Park on Saturday for the 11th Annual Spañapalooza. Skate demos, graffiti battles, food and performances by enchanted-land bands—ranging from Burqueño hip-hop crew Zoology to Taoseño black metal duo Willow to Española-based glitch / dubstep act SIMpill—make the hour-and-a-half drive well worth it. Learn more at: (SAC)


Tasting the Fire

Singed by serranos at El Patron Restaurant and Cantina

Singed by serranos at El Patron Restaurant and Cantina.

Alibi V.21 No.39 • Sept 27-Oct 3, 2012

Turning Point

Mother Road brings the Battle of Gettysburg to life

Featuring a cast of almost 30 characters representing real historical figures, The Killer Angels attempts to dramatize the events surrounding the Civil War’s pivotal Battle of Gettysburg


Cubes of Beauty

Operation Art Box, part deux

Circulation manager Geoffrey Plant writes about all of the local artists who revamped our distro boxes in 2012.


Decade of Decadence

The Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival turns 10

The 10th annual Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival rips back the curtain on more than a week’s worth of features, documentaries and shorts.

Reel World

Multiple congratulations are in order. Local producer Anthony DellaFlora and videographers Blaise Koller and Charles McClain have all been nominated for a Rocky Mountain Emmy. The trio worked together on “Flight Path: The Flyway Project,” a short documentary detailing Corrales artist Robert Wilson’s journey from creation to completion of a controversial public art project using recycled jetty jacks. The documentary was produced as part of a series of interview shows for the city’s Public Art Urban Enhancement Program that airs on Albuquerque’s GOV-TV (Comcast Cable Channel 16). Winners of this year’s Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards will be announced in Phoenix on Oct. 6. In the meantime, DellaFlora (along with his writing partner Michael Gallagher) has inked a deal with the recently formed Rio Grande Media Group. DellaFlora and Gallagher’s script for the crime thriller Dead By Thursday has been optioned as a feature film project. The group, which produces the late-night variety show “The After After Party” with Steven Michael Quezada, is hoping to branch out into larger projects—including a possible TV drama. If all goes well, Dead By Thursday will begin shooting in Albuquerque, Deming, Las Cruces and Grants by next year.

The Bomb, Baby!

“Last Resort” on ABC

A few weeks in and the fall 2012 TV season is already starting to look like a washout. Almost none of the new shows are generating much interest. All that is about to change drastically, though, with the bracing, nuclear-power shot across the bow that is ABC’s “Last Resort.” This isn’t just the best new show, it’s the best hour of television in ages.



Dark Days of Detention

The legacy of Japanese American internment in New Mexico

Advocacy group raises awareness about internment camps during WWII in our state.

Freedumb of Speech

Racist anti-abortion posters draw student ire

Native American students were shocked by posters displayed on UNM campus. They led a demonstration of their own in response.

Hot in Here

The Council gives a thumb’s up a landmark designation at Bataan Memorial Park but won’t support Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Day.


Buddha’s Songwriter Gives Voice to Optimism

Chris Smither takes on the imponderables—and wins

Singer/songwriter Chris Smither doesn’t need much to cast his spell, just his blue guitar and a miked particleboard so his tapping foot can keep time.

Breakup Mix

I’m not breaking up with anybody. I’m just breaking up with my job, so I made you this mix. We’ll always have the music!


Best of the Worst of the Fair

Flavors that linger

A crack team of iron-stomached eating enthusiasts spend a Sunday night scouring the State Fair booths for the most grotesque and oddball foodstuffs they can find.

Alibi V.21 No.38 • Sept 20-26, 2012

Motherly Love

Great acting from Fusion Theatre Company probes familial bonds

From the first rise of the curtain, expect to be captivated by Other Desert Cities. The new play by New York playwright Jon Robin Baitz wastes no time drawing the audience in.


20 Years Ago ...

... Two young dudes from Wisconsin blew into town and made a newspaper. One of them, Chris Johnson, had launched The Onion in college and sold it. The other, Dan Scott, was the smartest guy Chris could think of to help create a new one. Two decades later, the newspaper you're reading is the newspaper Chris and Dan started.


• The biweekly NuCity manages to claw out of the ethereal womb on Friday, Oct. 9, with 12 black-and-white pages of op-ed and event listings. Page 3 gives Burqueños their first taste of “Real Astrology” by Rob Brezsny (still published all these years later! See page 85). “¿El Norte?,” a column in Spanglish by Juan F. Quiroga, makes its debut. Natural Sound, the Dingo, Beyond Ordinary, Guild Theatre and La Montañita Co-op advertise in this historic issue. Bandido Hideout offers a coupon: beef or chicken tostadas with a drink for $1.95. Complete list of computer equipment owned by the company at that time: Powerbook 140, rented laser printer, Macintosh SE.

Oh, the Characters

When I was hired at the Alibi in 1996, I was a small-town Wyoming girl of barely 22 with an associate's degree in journalism in my back pocket. I was young, naive and ready for the "big-city" life Albuquerque had to offer. My first initiation into Burque and my new job as associate editor was an Alibi personals party at the Dingo, where readers slathered one another in hot wax on stage and led their submissives around on dog collars. I was surrounded by tight, black leather, far from the cowboy bar scene I had recently fled, and vividly remember one man who wore nothing but a black garbage bag, white athletic socks and loafers. Oh, the characters you meet in Albuquerque.


• The paper holds its first-ever haiku contest. A review of R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People appears in an early music section. Soon-to-be Film Editor Devin D. O’Leary’s byline pops up atop graphic novel reviews. Fred’s Bread and Bagel advertises on the Club Calendar pages. Note: All NuCity contributors are paid in “Fred’s Bucks.” Home sales across the state are booming, and the paper can afford four more pages in each issue, pushing the count to 16.


NuCity goes weekly on Jan. 11. The paper reprints a column from young Seattle writer Dan Savage on the CDC’s new AIDS-prevention marketing campaign. Eventual Web Monkey-in-Chief Kyle Silfer pens a column with the opening line, “There is this thing called the Internet, and it is swallowing up the universe.” Staffer Alma García goes to Ciudad Juárez to write about the Mexican presidential elections. Best of Burque is born. From the introduction: “51 weeks a year we snivel, revile, quibble and criticize this city that we live in, all under our very own directive of cynicism, humor, sarcasm and hope. But the simple facts remain: Many of us came here (on purpose!) to experience life in this town ... .”


• We publish our first Gay Pride issue, as well as an epic gonzo-style interview with Hunter S. Thompson after two staffers follow the man through six days of chaos. NuCity changes its name to Weekly Alibi on Aug. 9 thanks to threat of legal action by Chicago’s New City newspaper, and we throw a party at the Sunshine Theater to celebrate. This includes a satirical “Miss Chicago” beauty contest and an “old-fashioned Chicago-style sausage toss.” This proves to be one of our most controversial events, with many Chicagoans claiming there’s no such thing as a “sausage toss.” Lousy sausage-tossers! The following Monday, 600 “Why I Hate Chicago” postcards are mailed to the New City publisher.


• We launch our first website: The paper also sweats out its first Summer Guide, still appearing inside hot metal distribution boxes every May. Angie Drobnic Holan is a senior staff writer; she’ll go on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 as part of the team behind The paper has a thriving news section and promises an election issue: “Weekly Alibi will present the 1996 general election in a manner only Albuquerque’s alternative press is capable of.” We throw a KISS tribute show at the Dingo Bar.


• We launch the Weekly Alibi Music Awards (WAMmies), and Bovine plays the awards ceremony. Future Publisher Carl Petersen wins the Best Songwriter WAMmy for his work with the Ant Farmers. The first-ever Readers’ Choice Restaurant Poll hits stands. We buy La Cocinita, a food magazine started by Sergio Salvador. An article appears titled “Who Polices the Police?” about 25 police killings going before grand juries without resulting in a single indictment of an officer. Another story about 30 fatal officer-involved shootings within 10 years comes out in December.

• A group of protesters organized by Vecinos United demands an independent citizen review board to handle complaints about APD.


• With Iraqi civilians starving en masse under U.S. sanctions imposed after the Persian Gulf War, Alibi staff writer Stephen Ausherman travels there and reports back in an in-depth, two-part piece. Cap’n Opinion runs a fake Q&A with Democratic congressional candidate Phil (m)Aloof titled “Interview with the Vapid.” The paper changes formats, adopting the short-tabloid.

• Outside Española, a newly installed statue of Juan de Oñate has its right foot sawed off. “We took the liberty of removing Oñate’s foot on behalf of our brothers and sisters of Acoma Pueblo,” says an anonymous group claiming responsibility for the act.

Two Minute Criminal

It was one of the sickest crimes that many in Albuquerque had ever seen; so grotesque, destructive and brazen that even veteran Albuquerque Police Department officials, many of whom had spent their entire careers dealing with the most heinous of crimes, could only stammer and sputter in outrage and disbelief at the terrible act.


• The Alibi holds its first Crawl, shutting down Central and filling Downtown’s stages with nearly 70 bands, including: Red Earth, Giant Steps, Atomic Love Medicine, Kimo, Ben Hathorne, Fatso, Stoic Frame and Alpha Blue. We also run a special comics issue, in which the paper’s usual content is turned into comic strips. The “Six Degrees of Luke Skywalker” Summer Film Guide connects every movie in the feature to Mark Hamill. Gwyneth Doland is hired as food editor, ushering in an era of pork love and Atkins Diet abhorrence.

• David Chase’s New Jersey-based mob drama “The Sopranos” debuts on HBO. The show will go on to win 21 Emmys and five Golden Globes and will be considered the most financially successful series in the history of cable television.


• The Crawl splits in two, offering a spring and fall version. In the fall intro: “Much has been said lately about a soon-to-be revitalized Downtown shimmering with retail and entertainment possibilities that Albuquerqueans of a decade ago could only dream of.” The lineup includes: Oh, Ranger!, Pilot to Bombardier, Concepto Tambor and The Shins. Then-Arts Editor Steven Robert Allen makes a case for instant runoff voting, a system still discussed as an alternative to today’s method, which caters to two-party elections.

• The much-loved University-area movie theater The Lobo closes in early August. Built in 1939, the brick-walled space goes on to house a reformed Christian megachurch.


• On Sept. 11, four passenger jets are hijacked. Two crash into the World Trade Center, one crashes into the Pentagon, and one is diverted into an empty field after passengers fight back and take control. Nearly 3,000 people die.

• Editor-in-Chief Michael Henningsen publishes an editorial after 9/11 titled “America is Not a Blameless Nation.” In it, he writes that America’s foreign policy is among the problems that spurred the terrorist attacks. “... The question we should all be asking—especially our leaders—is not simply who to retaliate upon and how violently, but how we as a country can avoid playing into such international strife in the future.” Issues of the Alibi are torn from stands and dumped into the street. Years later, Henningsen’s sensible perspective becomes a common one.

Community Journalism

I worked for the Alibi as an intern, freelance writer and staff writer between 2005 and 2009. Some of my very favorite stories I wrote during my time at the paper included a series of 2009 pieces about a cement transfer plant in the North Valley. The plant requested, and eventually received, a permit to drastically increase the amount of pollution it could spew into the air. Neighbors near the plant spent hours collectively voicing their opposition to the proposal at public hearings. Though the permit was granted, there were several conditions placed on the plant's operating procedures in no small part because of the public outcry over the request.


• We turn 10 years old. The Alibi returns Midnight Movies to Albuquerque, hosting late-night screenings at Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. The first film to be featured is the surreal Japanese horror film Uzumaki, paired with the locally shot short “Science Bastard.”

• The Baltimore-set crime drama, “The Wire,” debuts on HBO in June. Airing 60 episodes between June 2002 and March 2008, the gritty series is soon hailed by many critics as the greatest TV drama of all time. R.I.P., Omar.


• The Alibi moves its offices from Nob Hill to Downtown. Writer Jeremiah Luria Johnson attends APD’s training academy. Our annual Survival Guide opens with a line about PalmPilots. We hold our second-annual mail art contest, which yields an antiwar dinosaur sculpture and a punched tin batch of “Art in a Box.” At the Spring Crawl: Rage Against Martin Sheen, The Roxieharts, Simple., Oktober People, The Dirty Novels and Jet Black Summer. The Alibi ponders again whether Downtown revitalization will fix Albuquerque’s economy.


• The final, 10th annual Alibi Short Film Fiesta is held at the Lobo Theater. Among the films screened: “Allison” by Jeff Drew, “Orange Barrels From the Phobosphere” by Brandon Scott Jensen and “Date 1.0” by Ryan Denmark. We also launch the popular Valentine’s Day Card Contest. In July, a long-serving soldier and registered Republican tells the Alibi that “the Bush administration did exactly what al-Qaida wanted us to do. It's created a huge recruiting opportunity for our enemies, and we've alienated the whole world in the process."


• The Alibi defends Downtown clubs as Mayor Chavez works to eliminate all-ages shows where alcohol is served. We also call out the Party Patrol, which is accused of violating civil liberties. Former Alibi staffer Norma Jean Thompson eulogizes her former lover Hunter S. Thompson. Intern Simon McCormack is assigned to prank the city’s new helpline, 311. Staff Writer Jessica Cassyle Carr spearheads the first Quiz and Puzzle Issue. And finally, at long last, an edition devoted entirely to fish sticks. Someone had to do it.

Spy Games

The Alibi almost fired me before they even offered me a job.

I was a few years out of college, putting my fine arts degree to good use by answering phones for a baby-clothes manufacturer in Rio Rancho, and submitting unsolicited essays and short stories to various publications on the side. An internship at the Alibi opened up; I applied and got the gig.

"This is it! I've hit the big time!" I shouted to my pet cactus.

I promptly quit my job hawking onesies (which I never could differentiate from creepers, anyway) and under the tutelage of Devin O’Leary began compiling movie showtimes once a week, in exchange for magical dollar bills that could be spent only at Fred's Bread and Bagel.


A Veterans Affairs nurse writes a letter to the Alibi criticizing the Bush administration and its handling of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War. She’s investigated for sedition. Her office computer is seized. The story goes national, appearing on NPR and in the New York Times. Ours is the first paper that’s not the O.C. Weekly to run the now-syndicated ¡Ask a Mexican! column. Readers react. Big. We conduct our first citywide scavenger hunt. News Editor Christie Chisholm profiles an ongoing “mental health emergency” as treatment centers across the city close down for lack of funding. Well-loved Alibi Account Executive Greg Medara and his wife Lauda are killed in a car accident. We still smoke cigars in Greg’s honor.

The Repairmen

While shopping at Thrift Town one Saturday—must’ve been 1996 or 1997—Chris Johnson and I, for some reason, thought it would be funny to purchase matching coveralls, which came emblazoned with name and shop patches like “Doug” and “Dick’s Auto.” Anyway, months went by and these stupid things never came out of our respective closets (mine did a fair job of stinking up the rest of my clothes, also mostly from Thrift Town, so that I went to work every day smelling of stale booze and motor oil) until one fateful fall evening when The Call came through.


• In honor of the the First Amendment and the Fourth of July, the Alibi hosts a free speech rally in the Fourth Street Mall called “Soap Box: A Festival of Opinions.” The crawls run their course, and Fall Crawl is our last. We try to wrangle APD into conducting a test on sprays that are said to make your license plate invisible to red-light cameras. No luck. The Alibi runs a tribute to Canada, eh, and a feature on how to eat the city’s weeds. Virginia Lovliere Hampton pens a great essay on being black in the Southwest called “Can I Touch Your Hair?”

Do I Smell Marijuana?

When I first started working at the Alibi in the late '90s, a worse-for-wear strip mall in Nob Hill housed the paper’s headquarters. A mishmash of dingy offices on the first floor served as the sales, administration and production departments. To get to the editorial department, you had to climb a metal staircase, loosely attached to the outside of the building. At the top was a rickety tin box crammed to capacity with five or six disheveled editorial types. The shelves were filled with toys and comic books. The fridge was filled with beer. Every day felt like Friday … except for Friday, which was deadline day. Friday felt just like Monday.


• A singed ham makes its way to our offices in the form of a Valentine’s Day Card Contest offering. Columnist and Army veteran Alex Limkin pens a letter to his deceased colonel on the five-year anniversary of the Iraq War. Homebrewing sweeps the nation, and the Alibi greedily gulps some samples. We publish our most massive and comprehensive Election Guide to date. Rudolfo Anaya writes about wine and Christmas in our pages. The Alibi takes home 25 awards from local and national newspaper contests. Future Editor-in-Chief Laura Marrich wins several for editing.


• We call out insensitive local coverage of violence against transgender people. The facilitator of a support group, says: “ ... They still had the right to live. And referring to them as victims, I think, would have been more appropriate.” Office Manager Martin Candelaria, a big guy with a bigger heart, dies on March 23. During our visit to the top water-wasting residential addresses in the city, we’re surprised to see a state senator answer the door. News Editor Marisa Demarco tracks down an elusive real-life superhero named Green Scorpion who patrols New Mexico and Arizona looking for villains. We throw our first wine-tasting event, as well as our first Pre-Pride Glam Dance Party.

The Eyes Have It

Trying to pinpoint just one moment in time during my three years at the Alibi is a surprisingly challenging undertaking. On the day I applied for the calendars editor position, I was exactly one day late for the application deadline. I had grabbed an Alibi the night before to search for a job opening and saw the classified for the position ... with an application deadline of that day. Truth be told, the Alibi was the only publication in town this journalism major wanted to work for. I have to go for it, I thought, pulled together a mishmash of a cover letter and résumé and wandered sheepishly into the Alibi's office the next morning. Then-Editor-in-Chief Steven Robert Allen came up to the lobby to greet me with a smile and asked me back to his office to chat. The "chat" turned into an impromptu interview with the entire editorial department. It was my first, real, post-college job interview. I was sweating.


• The Alibi starts throwing themed Group Hug parties, including the likes of: Monster Paws, LOW ON HIGH, The Hi Lo Tones, The Ladies’ Society of Grenadiers, Le Chat Lunatique, Mondo Vibrations and many more. Nurse columnist Whitny Doyle profiles a funding debate taking place over the state’s only residential treatment center for drug-addicted pregnant women. On the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, the longest in American history, we run all the names of U.S. troops who’ve been killed.

Damn Proud

As I’m writing this, I am exactly 24 hours away from a new phase of my life. Outside my window, it’s morning on Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg, where hipsters and baby strollers weave among each other on their mission for iced lattes. This will be my station for the next nine months, while I pursue a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.