Alibi Volume 17, Number 15
April 10, 2008
Health Care for urban Native Americans hits a crisis point. A unified group forms to seek a cure.
Greg Pohuma woke from receiving a kidney transplant in 2005 and discovered a problem. Though he had been told the medications ensuring his body wouldn't reject his new kidneys would be paid for by Indian Health Services, he found IHS wouldn't be able to cover the cost, he says. "The day I was getting out, they told me they weren't going to give it to me, because I wasn't from one of the area tribes here closer to Albuquerque. I was denied the transplant drugs for my kidney, which would have meant that I would have to go back on dialysis or lose the kidney."
Mayor Martin Chavez hears some exciting news. What's happening with UNM tuition? Who made sure a reckless driver stopped wreaking havoc on the road? And what should movie patrons at Century Rio 24 be wary of?
Good on District Court Judge Robert Brack for ruling that the National Nuclear Security Administration in Albuquerque has to respond in a timely matter to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Cyclists rally in Burque. Can the city offer safety and support?
Rolled-up pant legs, durable water bottles hanging from backpacks and faint grease stains around the fingernails distinguish a group of cycling enthusiasts. These road warriors also often have a few scrapes to prove a commitment to cycling.
Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency seems to have weathered the controversy over Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s sermons. A hailstorm of criticism from right-wing media pundits followed the release of videotapes of Obama’s pastor preaching from his pulpit in Chicago.
Mayor Chavez vs. Sex Offenders
I give a dozen or so talks each year to college students and the public. I discuss critical thinking, logical fallacies, misleading arguments and more than a few cases of simple stupidity. Sometimes coming up with new material is difficult; there are plenty of classic examples of logical fallacies, but the most interesting ones are real-world cases, not moldy stuff like "If all men are mortal and Socrates was a man …"
Dateline: Russia--Several members of an apocalyptic Russian cult, who have been sequestered inside a cave waiting for the destruction of the planet, were forced to abandon their doomsday-proof shelter after it started to collapse around them. Followers of Pyotr Kuznetsov, an engineer-turned-prophet, have been holed up underground in the Penza region of western Russia since November. Last week, several sect members were persuaded to leave their man-made bunker after melting snow caused part of the roof to cave in. Police and Orthodox clergymen had been trying to communicate with followers of Kuznetsov’s True Russian Orthodox Church through a chimney but were chased away last month with rifle shots. The church has apparently been waiting for a rain of brimstone to destroy the earth in May. But many of the church members were beginning to have second thoughts as temperatures climbed above zero with the onset of spring. “The sect members realized their lives could have been in danger if they remained underground during the spring thaw,” a regional spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph. Although 21 of Kuznetsov’s disciples have now left the cave, a determined core of 14 still remains.
Pioneering Taos architect Michael Reynolds is the subject of a new documentary titled Garbage Warrior. The film--exploring Reynolds’ efforts to build environmentally friendly homes (known as “Earthships”) out of beer cans, car tires and water bottles--premiered last week on the Sundance Channel and was bolstered by an appearance by Reynolds on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” The visionary green architect will make an appearance at Santa Fe’s CCA Cinematheque (1050 Old Pecos Trail) on Friday, April 11 (8 p.m.), and Saturday, April 12 (11:30 a.m.), to introduce Garbage Warrior and to launch his new book, Journey Part 1, which chronicles the growth of the Earthship movement. Tickets are $8 for CCA members or $10 for nonmembers.
Isn’t it funny when intelligent people do stupid things?
Dysfunctional families are a staple of indie filmmaking, providing the perfect backdrop for mixing comedy and drama. (As evidence, see: Dan in Real Life, Little Miss Sunshine, The Upside of Anger, Pieces of April, The Squid and the Whale.) Unfortunately, these seriocomic clans have become something of a crutch lately--as easy a subject for one’s first screenplay as road movies were in the ’90s. On the surface of their new film Smart People, first-time filmmakers Mark Poirier (he wrote it) and Noam Murro (he directed it) are in danger of stepping into all the cliché pitfalls of the genre. Fortunately, an intelligent script and a fine cast conspire to make this a sharper-than-average slice of indie satire.
Teen tailslides into trouble in Van Sant’s slackadaisical drama
Gus Van Sant is a genius of some sort. Which means his films are either brilliant (My Own Private Idaho, To Die For) or frustrating (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Gerry). Or both at the same time, it could be argued. Continuing his lo-fi, aggressively indie ruminations on disaffected youth (stretching from 1989’s Drugstore Cowboy to 2003’s Elephant), Van Sant offers up his latest, Paranoid Park.
“The Sarah Jane Adventures” on Sci-Fi
The BBC has had a hot run of it lately, prompted firstly by the stateside presence of BBC America and secondly by the popularity of Russell T. Davies’ revamped “Doctor Who” series. The new “Doctor Who” (about to broadcast its fourth season stateside) has proved so popular that the BBC has managed to squeeze out not one but two sequels. “Torchwood,” chief writer and executive producer Davies’ adult-oriented spin-off, continues the sexy, “X-Files”-ish vibe invoked by the new “Doctor Who.” The second spin-off, “The Sarah Jane Adventures” goes for a slightly different feel.
The Week in Sloth
In an ideal world, open mics would be as individual as the people who sign up to play them. Albuquerque's not too far off. This city's already friendly to musicians trying to get a foothold in public (some argue too friendly, but that's another column). The past few months in particular have seen a new crop of open mics—specialized ones created with a specific type of performer in mind. Here's a rundown of some of the most promising. That is, if you:
The rock that never dies
By the time Megadeth bassist James Lomenzo joined the band’s lineup in 2006, he’d built a 30-year career of rock with artists like David Lee Roth and bands like White Lion and Black Label Society. “I’ve played with pretty much everybody, so there’s not much that’s gonna scare me,” Lomenzo asserts.
Our Place II (9401 Coors NW, 890-6890) invites the ladies to rock on the Westside with Black Tooth Grin, Mechanism of Eve, Random Order and Scarless this Thursday, April 10. Ladies free, gents $3. (LM)
All-ages music and arts space is a year old and still DIY
Two brothers, Thomas Haag and Forrest Haag, and lifelong friend Naython Vane fired up Stove for the first time on April 20, 2007.
The creative minds behind the Donkey Gallery once told the Alibi they didn't put much emphasis on publicity. Instead, they focused their attention on love and support of arts. This fact never kept the Donkey Gallery from attracting an audience to their clever shows and receptions, which often included some unusual perk not regularly found at a "proper" gallery opening. (Did someone say pancakes?)
The Odyssey at The Filling Station
Back in the ’90s, I spent every day for about three weeks in a medium-security INS detention center in Florida. Hundreds of law students, myself included, were shipped there to process boatloads of Haitian refugees fleeing military violence in the chronically distressed country. It seemed crazy then, and it seems crazy now, that the U.S. government would throw a bunch of people in jail who were so desperate to escape their brutalized country they braved the Atlantic Ocean in dinghies the size of bathtubs. Talk about a suicide mission.
An interview with Peter Carey
The word “happy” does not fit easily into Peter Carey’s mouth. Under normal circumstances, it dribbles off his lip on a trickle of sarcasm.
Haand Bryggeriet’s Norwegian Wood
We just happened upon the perfect accompaniment to outdoor fire-cooking: Norwegian Wood. Not to be confused with blond Viking fuel for fire, this ale is mahogany-colored gas for the grill master.
Location, location, location
There was once a time in Albuquerque when you couldn’t turn on the TV, open a paper or go out to eat without coming face-to-face with Chef Jim White. This guy was everywhere. When you flipped on the news he was offering helpful kitchen tips, and if you tuned in to Animal Planet, he was dishing it out for the dogs. He even teamed up with Gordon Elliot to rescue a few desperate housewives from their meatloaf woes.