Alibi Volume 19, Number 08
February 25, 2010
A firsthand look at the 2010 legislative session
It was Day 30. The mood in both chambers sagged. Legislators spoke testily and lacked the buoyant friendliness that usually accompanied the morning announcements, introductions and notes. Reporters settled in for a long day and night, one that wouldn't end until after 4 a.m. The final hours of the session ticked away, and Wednesday, Feb. 17, looked to be dreary, long—and surreal. A stuffed oryx head sat in a chair on the Senate floor. A Catholic priest had been at the Roundhouse in the morning hours providing ashes for Ash Wednesday. A poor version of "God Bless America" rang through the chamber with senators trailing off after the first verses.
It was a demonstration that went down as one of the biggest clashes between civilians and police in Albuquerque's recent history. Hundreds gathered on March 20, 2003, to protest the invasion of Iraq. But things grew ugly that night in the University Area. From the Alibi's 2003 report by Adam Brown and then News Editor Tim McGivern:
That is what Westside City Councilor Dan Lewis called federal grant money at the Wednesday, Feb. 17 meeting. The Council debated whether to green-light an application for a $6.7 million national transit grant. The money would build a Rail Runner / Park and Ride station in the North Valley on Montaño near the railroad tracks. The request passed 6-3 in spite of Lewis’ opinion of federal monies being equal to nose candy. “I am concerned when looking into the future thinking about these grant monies, concerned about our dependency on these grants,” he said. “It almost seems like municipal cocaine.”
Suppose instead of Haiti, a natural catastrophe struck the Navajo Nation, resulting in heartrending scenes and sudden orphans.
Dateline: Singapore—The Southeast Asian nation of Singapore has been accused of hiring “sand smugglers” to steal valuable beaches from its neighbors. A recent report in the U.K.’s Daily Mail notes that the island city-state’s size has increased a suspicious 20 percent since the ’60s, even though sand-exporting bans in Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam have cut off supplies. Regional environmental groups claim that several of the 83 islands that border the north coast of Indonesia are in danger of disappearing into the sea in the next decade unless illegal sand smugglers are stopped. Environmental activists claim sand smugglers visit the beaches of these islands during the night in small barges. They dredge the sand and then sail directly into Singapore port, where they sell it to international brokers who work for Singapore’s many land developers. Last month, 34 Malaysian civil servants were arrested for accepting bribes and sexual favors to facilitate sand smuggling to Singapore. Malaysia’s former prime minister told the Daily Telegraph that upwards of 700 truckloads a day of illegal sand cross the border to Singapore. Last Monday, 37 trucks loaded with sand were abandoned on the main highway from Malaysia to Singapore after drivers learned of a customs operation at the border.
Filmmaker (Slumber Party Slaughterhouse), author (Direct Your Own Damn Movie), SAG stuntman (Gamer) and occasional Alibi contributor Kurly Tlapoyawa will conduct a Film Fighter Workshop on March 7, 14 and 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. This three-day intro to fighting will focus on the basic principals of planning, blocking and executing fights scenes for film and television. The workshop will take place here in Albuquerque. Cost is $200 and space is extremely limited, so the sooner you sign up, the better. A $50 deposit will be required by Monday, March 1, in order to secure your place. To get your name on the list or to acquire more information, call 307-8597.
Period biopic mixes the lusty with the literary
Late in life (in his 70s), widely famed Russian novelist Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy (known to his friends as “Leo Baby”) turned his attentions away from fiction and dabbled in the creation of a number of utopian communes. These live/work communes were based on Tolstoy’s own particular philosophy—one that espoused nonviolence, the abolition of private property, a strict vegetarian diet and an adherence to the principals of celibacy. (Yeah, sorry, Leo Baby, but you lost me on that last one.) Though the Tolstoyan Movement didn’t last very long, it allegedly influenced the thinking of such latter spiritual leaders as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
“How to Make It in America” on HBO
Although it still produces enough laughs to keep me watching, HBO’s “Entourage” has suffered a certain loss in quality over its many seasons on the air. Perhaps it’s just the inevitable signs of age any TV series exhibits over time. More likely, though, it’s the fact that the show has lost a bit of the creative spark it had when it started. Originally, the show was about a quartet of knockabout best friends from New Jersey who stumble into the Hollywood high life after one of them becomes a flavor-of-the-month movie star. Despite the mansions and the limos, our four main characters were still those good old neighborhood boys from back in Jersey. Six seasons in, though, the boys find themselves surrounded by an increasing numbers of celebrity guest stars, making it harder to spot their non-Hollywood origins.
The Week in Sloth
Remember when you used to go out on the town almost every night of the week, sampling the ripe fruits of your town’s musical loins? Are those days gone, perhaps replaced by the fruit of your own loins and the responsibilities of adulthood? A new concert series unfolding at the Harwood Art Center aims to soothe the sonic aches of parents in this particular predicament.
An interview with Kool of Kool & the Gang
It's a good thing that Mr. Robert "Kool" Bell didn't answer his cell phone when I first tried to call him. Had he picked up, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of hearing his groovy voice mail greeting: "You have reached Kool, and it's kool to leave a message."
The Chinese Love Beads
Not long ago, the musical road between the ’Burque and El Chuco (that’s El Paso, Texas, to you) was well-traveled. It was easy to find records by Paseños such as Faction X, Not So Happy or Fall On Deaf Ears. Since many Tejano punks were from El Barrio de Ysleta with familia across the border, they also opened that path to exciting Juárez outfits like Setenta Dos Horas. In El Chuco one evening, my greatest regret was having to decline an invitation to a show en otro lado over the Rio Grande. A guero like me couldn’t have asked for a better escort, but being on the New Mexico state payroll I had to work early next morning with a clear head sin crudo.
Soon Albuquerque’s burliest bluegrass band will lose its bass player, Vince Edgerton, to the northerly mecca of Denver. The Porter Draw will continue to perform, but on Saturday, Feb. 27, the bearded ladies gather together for a special final performance with Vince. Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW) hosts at 10 p.m., and the show is free. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Art, education and eating are, essentially, my entire life. Oh, and wine. It's good to see I'm not alone in setting these as priorities. The New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts is joining Through the Flower to hold an event on Sunday, Feb. 28, to raise funds for Through the Flower's K-12 Dinner Party Curriculum. The curriculum's goal is to ensure that women's history becomes a standard component of children's education. Join them in their mission at Scalo Northern Italian Grill (3500 Central SE) at 3 p.m. Tickets to the event—which will include food, drinks, entertainment by the Santa Fe Women's Ensemble and a talk by Judy Chicago—are $75 and can be bought at ticketssantafe.org. The first 50 teachers who buy tickets can get them for $50. As Scalo owner Steve Paternoster is a significant supporter of women in the arts, the restaurant is also donating an in-home cooking demonstration. This limited-seat dinner with Judy Chicago, held Sunday evening, is $250 (price includes the afternoon event). All proceeds go to benefit the Dinner Party Curriculum. For information, call Susannah Rodee at 864-4080.
Def Poet brings his message to Burque
Daniel Beaty is no one-trick pony. The Yale grad is a composer, poet, playwright, actor, singer and screenwriter who's received numerous awards, including the 2007 Scotsman Fringe First Award for the best new writer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the 2009 NAACP Theatre Award for best actor. It's tempting to think that this is all due to some Faustian bargain with the devil, or he’s perhaps the result of a top-secret government experiment (like the Six Million Dollar Man, but for art instead of spying). Instead, it's far more inspiring to realize that Beaty is simply a vastly talented and committed artist, and zero percent cyborg (as far as we know).
I am confused about which type of utensil to use while cooking. I have heard that plastics can leach cancer-causing chemicals into foods and liquids when heated and cooled. I have also heard that wood cannot be sterilized because it is porous. I know that metal can scratch up and ruin pots and pans. Where does that leave me when reaching for a spatula, ladle or spoon? Any suggestions?
Don’t fear the tripitas
Although “Salsa” is part of its name, the menu at Rio Grande Tacos y Salsas doesn’t once mention that word. Yet the salsa flows, starting with your welcome basket of chips and continuing throughout your meal with as many refills you ask for. Each time, the salsa is different. Sometimes it’s a tomato-y red, sometimes a green chile, and sometimes the waitress brings both.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Everything is complicated," wrote poet Wallace Stevens. "If that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore." I hope you will choose his wisdom to serve as your guiding light in the coming weeks. It is high time, in my astrological opinion, for you to shed any resentment you might feel for the fact that life is a crazy tangle of mystifying and interesting stories. Celebrate it, Aries! Revel in it. Fall down on your knees and give holy thanks for it. And by the way, here's a big secret: To the extent that you do glory in the complications, the complications will enlighten you, amuse you and enrich you.