Top Stories Of 2008

Forget Looking Back. What Lies Ahead?

Jim Scarantino
5 min read
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Last year was so totally 2007. More important is what’s ahead in Aught Eight. Let’s peek around January at some of the coming year’s big stories.

From the
New Mexico Business Weekly, March 12, 2008: “News stations have teamed with Lionsgate studio to replace female anchors with computer-generated anime. KRQE general manager Bill Anderson explains, ‘Every station lost their top woman in 2007. With this technology, we can fill the slot without a single recruiting lunch. We need a Hispanic woman reading news: Presto, we’ve got JLo! Snap our fingers, it’s Dianne Anderson without the contract. Best part, they never get older. As for Dick Knipfing, he’s worked for years with two-dimensional partners, so it won’t be any change for him at all.’ ”

From the
Albuquerque Journal, Feb. 22, 2008, “City Councilors Launch Restaurant Review”: “Four Albuquerque City Councilors will be serving up reviews of Downtown restaurants live every Monday evening on KOAT-TV. Says Councilor Sally Mayer: ‘I’ve spent years rotting in meetings, not realizing what I was missing just blocks away. Silly me. By boycotting Council meetings to show how truly angry I am with that Brad Winter and his mean liberal friends, I’m getting out a lot more. This beats waiting hours to vote on police raises, taxes or, God forbid, fixing sewers and streets and stuff like that. Not to mention listening to Geraldine Amato every week.’ ”

Councilors Trudy Jones, Don Harris and Ken Sanchez will focus on upscale restaurants and bars. Mayer, who earns at K-Mart the increased minimum wage the thought of which once made her “sick,” promises a different focus. She will inform viewers about dining Downtown “for five bucks or less. I’m starting with places in the
Entertainment Book, twofer deals and such. People need to know that Downtown is more than beer and sushi. There’s a really wonderful Burger King I’m featuring in my first show.”

From the
Duke City Fix blog, April 23, 2008: “Heinrich Cleans House.” Martin Heinrich hasn’t been shy about raising money for his Congressional run. He personally delivered a Thanksgiving pie to the front door of his most generous supporter over that holiday. Then he raffled off a chance to chew the prosciutto with him at Scalo. In this story, Heinrich’s shown wearing an apron and pushing a mop as he puts the final touches on the Ridgecrest home of supporter Trey Izquierda. Next up for Heinrich: Installing a low-flow toilet for the donor quickest with their credit card.

On the Republican side, a Sept. 7, 2008, headline, “White Ducks Paul”: “GOP Congressional candidate Darren White broke down while explaining his refusal to appear at the State Fair with GOP presidential nominee Ron Paul because of Paul’s call to decriminalize marijuana use. White had been New Mexico chairman for the unsuccessful campaign of Rudolph Giuliani. White’s emotional explanation recalled his baleful resignation as head of the Department of Public Safety under Gov. Gary Johnson, another Libertarian Republican who favored decriminalization. ‘As a career lawman, a veteran, a husband, a father and a guy whose hair never moves,’ White said through tears, ‘I cannot compromise my most fundamental values. Legalizing marijuana means nothing less than the irreversible moral decline of America. I sure wish Rudy had won. There was a man of real integrity, like George Bush before him.’ ”

On the cinematic front, the
Alibi’s Burquewood classifieds for March 21-28, 2008, advertised for actors in Passions of the Patrón , a story of political corruption in a dusty, backward Southwestern state. A related Journal story of March 26, 2008, reported how Gov. Richardson’s call for a Special Session to address ethics was rebuffed by the Legislature so they could try out for parts in the film. None of the legislators landed a movie role. But their auditions inspired a reality show to be filmed in the Bull Ring, the Barelas Coffee House and men’s rooms at the Roundhouse. Contestants must be public officials. They go after bribes and kickbacks, either getting caught red-handed in a sting or getting away with envelopes of cash. Giving a new twist to New Mexico’s official state question, the show’s working title is “Red or Green?”

Aug. 13, 2008: Manny Aragon liquidates his pinkie ring collection to pay legal fees. Gertrude Zachary buys the entire lot for display in her castle Downtown.

Oct. 4, 2008: A traffic camera catches Marty Chavez’ SUV blowing the light at Louisiana and Central. Chavez claims Transportation Director Greg Payne was driving. The film shows a soda can hurled from the driver’s window hitting a man in a G-string. Don Schrader settles with the city and now cruises Albuquerque sidewalks on a Segway.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and gleefully absurd 2008. Cheers!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. E-mail

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