Alibi V.13 No.27 • July 1-7, 2004 


Showers of Sparks

Dear Alibi,

It amazes me that class C fireworks are still being sold in New Mexico. It seems utterly senseless given the nature of the desert which we call home. The humidity is very low, the grass and brush in the surrounding areas are very dry and require only the smallest spark to ignite a potentially uncontrollable inferno. We have seen it happen time after time from natural causes such as lightning and from carelessness such as illegal campfires.

This begs the question ... Why? Why ... when we know that these fires can easily result in the destruction of thousands of acres of trees, natural beauty and wildlife habitat, do we continue to buy fireworks? Add to this senseless equation that, although purchased by adults, most class C fireworks are ultimately used by children who may not be aware of the dangers and are frequently less than responsible even if they do.

Why? Because of money. Fireworks are big business in New Mexico. Lots of money ... mostly in cash that often goes unreported for tax purposes, changes hands in those little plywood shacks on the outskirts of town. The fireworks industry lobbyists in Santa Fe do their jobs really well. So the fireworks continue to be sold. But not only because of the lobbyists or the money ... there is also demand for the product. Without demand, fireworks companies would soon go out of business. Unfortunately, people continue to buy them. For "fun" they usually say.

Is it worth it? The average class C fireworks purchase is around $50. For that you get a few rockets and other gadgets that really don't do much. If you want to see good fireworks go to one of the many professional displays offered around Albuquerque. They are free, they are beautiful and exciting, they are often accompanied by musical themes and they are fun social gatherings. Oh ... one other thing ... they are safe. Professional fireworks promoters do their magic much higher in the air than class C fireworks. There are professionals present to consider factors like wind and safe locations for these events. Fire crews are standing by just in case of a mishap.

With all these advantages buying class C fireworks to use in your back yard is pointless. Enjoy your holiday without endangering yourself or the environment and save your money. Bring a lawn chair to a public display relax and see the really good stuff.

Thomas Schifani

Green Votes Overlooked

Dear Alibi,

In a sidebar column in a past issue on the June primary [RE: News, "Vote!" May 27-June 2] the Alibi did a serious disservice to the voting public by reporting that, in regards to the June primary vote, "If you are registered as an independent or with a third party, you're stuck on the sidelines until November." Not true! Indeed, registered Green Party members had a choice of five different presidential candidates on this ballot!

Favorite daughter candidate Carol Miller of Ojo Sarco, N.M.; Ecologist Lorna Salzman of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Kent Mesplay of San Deigo, Calif.; Paul Glover of Ithaca, N.Y.; and former National Green Party counsel David Cobb of Eureka, Calif., are all on the ballot. David Cobb was recently in Albuquerque as part of his nationwide campaign swing. Information on all of the above candidates can be found at

With over 4,200 registered Greens in Bernalillo County alone, the Green Party is committed to participating fully in our democratic process and expanding the process for all by promoting such innovative ideas as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). It's difficult to do this, however, with spotty and inaccurate election information that may have kept so many registered Greens at home on June 1. Please give those of us in parties other than the Republican and Democratic parties the same consideration and accurate in-depth coverage you afford them. Keeping the scoundrels at bay is best done in a free and open marketplace of ideas.

Ms. Michal Mudd
Bernalillo County Green Party Co-chair

Bitching about Cuss Words

Dear Alibi,

[RE: “Son of a Bitch,” May 13-19] I deeply resent coming across the foul language that is found in your publication called the Alibi. I believe you should have a warning on the cover that there is foul language so the rest of us will not pick it up! We are not all guttermouths.

Editor's Note: Shit, we don't have a damn warning?

Sharron B. Dorr

Meth-Labs of Mass Destruction

Dear Alibi,

[RE: News, "Coverage you Can't Count On," June 24-30] As a longtime coffee shop newspaper reader, something about Tim McGivern's deconstruction of the media coverage of the South Valley Bosque fire struck me as strange. After carefully reading the article a second time, I realized why that was—the article was a real piece of investigative journalism!

McGivern took the time to actually interview those involved, review the television coverage, and even claims to have visited the site where the fire occurred. Like McGivern, I watched the TV news coverage of the fire. At the time I mistook the utterly confusing misinformation, hype and garbled reporting as just a sign that my blood-caffeine level had dropped below the threshold necessary for TV viewing, but what was going on here? Did a "very, very large" bio-diesel powered meth-lab explode, taking half the South Valley with it? Did a house full of felons burn out their neighbors? It is brave of Mr. McGivern and the Alibi to report the less lurid truth.

The real news story is not who is responsible for the fire, but who is responsible for fanning the flames of bad journalism with misinformation and sexed-up half truths. McGivern's article fell short of concluding that it was indeed our Hollywood Sheriff, Darren White, once a TV news reporter himself, who is to blame for this reckless slander.

Dave White

Thanks for the Visual

Dear Alibi,

[re: "Urban Hayseeds" and Letters, "Urine the Sunshine" June 17-32]I just don't know what to buy from you, a nice box of locally grown produce or a nice box of additive-free natural tobacco cigarettes. Reader Don Schrader apparently thrives on sunlight and raw vegetables. For some reason, his joy in this seems to annoy you.

I hope he allows tomatoes to grow on his roof while he sunbathes, and when they are perfectly red and ripe, eats them warm from the vine. I would like to see alibi run a photo of Don eating such a tomato on his roof in the apricot glow of early evening, with a fig leaf for Don and a Surgeon General's Warning for the sun and the tomato.

Christine Blagdon

Letters should be sent with the writer's name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.