City Boss Fight 2009
The Hail Mary Pass
Citizens without backing or big money run for political office
At the start of election season, it seemed like Mayor Martin Chavez had it on lockdown. Albuquerque lazily climbs into the sack with an incumbent, goes the thinking. Most people will check the box next to that old familiar name. But a 406-person poll released Sunday, Sept. 27, shows conservative Rep. R.J. Berry in the lead with 31 percent, followed by Chavez at 26 percent and Richard Romero at 24 percent. The survey was conducted by Brian Sanderoff’s Research & Polling, Inc. for the Albuquerque Journal. The next mayor has to snag 40 percent of the vote or we'll be facing a runoff. Which leaves us with the question: Could the Tuesday, Oct. 6 election really be anyone's race?
Grab the Power
Last-minute Election Day voting info
In political circles, people used to always talk about voting as a civic responsibility. That’s fine. Democracy will crumble (has crumbled?) without an engaged citizenry. But the conversation about voting has changed somewhat in the 21st century. People don’t talk about duty so much anymore. These days the message is usually about power. As in, use it or lose it, baby.
Permission to Speak Freely
When the Alibi was born 17 years ago, it wasn't called the Alibi. It was called NuCity. Its first issue gingerly appeared on the Albuquerque scene on Oct. 9, 1992, a Friday, with a whole 12 pages. That magnificent dozen was created with a Powerbook 140 and Macintosh SE, with the help of a rented laser printer.
The Radford Files
Is Sandia Peak Tramway the World’s Longest?
We’ve all seen the signs.
Whether in TV ads, on billboards or in magazines, one of Albuquerque’s claims to fame is the Sandia Peak Tramway. The twin red and blue cars make their way up the cables to the top of the mountain where tourists, skiers and diners can find magnificent views and a 20-degree temperature drop.
As the Sandia Peak website states, “A trip on the world’s longest aerial tramway transports you above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain a distance of 2.7 miles.” The tram moves at about 12 miles per hour, carrying more than a quarter million people each year. It was completed in 1966, constructed by a Swiss firm for about $2 million. There are four steel cables, each of which is about an inch and a half in diameter, carrying passengers to 10,378 feet.
Ortiz y Pino
The Teachers’ Story
Genuine change in our school systems can’t happen until we get honest about education’s ugliest secret: “Dropouts” are actually push-outs, force outs and most teachers and principals have no interest bringing them back in.
Public Access TV Seeks Shelter and Funds
Quote... Unquote, Inc. got an eviction notice.
The county wants the nonprofit that runs public access channel 27 and Encantada TV on channel 26 to vacate the old Bernalillo County Courthouse by Dec. 31. "There was an issue, an ongoing argument between the city and the county, and we happened to get caught in the middle of it," explains Colleen Gorman, media education and information systems coordinator for Quote... Unquote, Inc.
The city was renting the space for $1 per year from the county. APS did some renovating in the fall and temporarily housed the Atrisco Heritage Academy High School there. Then Bernalillo County decided to use more of the building, and the city didn’t want to continue to cover the utilities if the county was occupying more space, Gorman says.
Odds & Ends
Dateline: England—A Jedi Church elder (well, he’s 23) is considering bringing legal action against the U.K. supermarket chain Tesco on the basis of religious discrimination. Daniel Jones from Holyhead in North Wales claims the Tesco store in Bangor victimized his beliefs when it asked him to remove his hood for security reason. Jones, who founded the International Church of Jediism, told the Daily Post, “It states in our Jedi doctrine that I can wear headwear.” Jones went on to clarify the Star Wars philosophy on head covering: “You have the choice of wearing headwear in your home or at work, but you have to wear a cover for your head when you are in public.” Jones, who works in Bangor, had gone to the store to buy something to eat during his lunch break. Jones, who was wearing his traditional Jedi robes at the time, was told by store employees to take his hood off or leave. “They said, ‘Take it off,’ and I said, ‘No, its part of my religion. It’s part of my religious right.’ I gave them a Jedi Church business card,” Jones explained. A Tesco spokesperson responded to Jones’ complaint and schooled him on nerd trivia as well, saying, “Jedis are very welcome in our stores, although we would ask them to remove their hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side, and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.”
It seems to me that many of the right-wing conservatives fare wonderfully well under Medicare and Medicaid, not to mention Social Security. I ask them to name one human service program sponsored by the right-wing, throughout American history, that has bettered their lives?
Warehouse 508 is Finally Here
The project started as Mayor Martin Chavez’ response to the argument that there isn’t a lot for teens to do in Albuquerque. That point was raised repeatedly as the mayor put the hurt on all-ages shows happening in venues where alcohol was served—often in separate rooms or gated areas—to people over 21.
Festival of Trees
I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as hundreds of Christmas trees filling up Albuquerque Convention Center’s Ballrooms A, B and C from Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10am to 6pm. This 12th annual Festival of Trees raises funds for the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation through the $1 donations requested at the door. It is chock-full of Christmas decorations, wreaths, Santa, hot cocoa and, of course, trees. For more information on this all-ages event, see festivaloftreesnm.com.