Monday, April 30, 2007

Duke City BMX in the Front Yard

marjorie says...

I can't help but comment on news coverage about the BMX stadium.

Channel 7 led off tonight with the comment that neighbors are saying about the BMX stadium "Not in our Back Yards" if the case fits the stereotype of NIMBY neighbors. Let's clarify this ...the stadium is in the Front yard...just a little over 160 feet from the front yards to be exact. It's basically an open air shed...with no noise barriers at all. So why is it that the neighbors are characterized like this? And in the Journal they are characterized as "annoyed" and "complaining." I'm pleased to see the coverage, but these characterizations annoy me to the point of complaint.

On the news tonight, a spokesperson for city government had this to say:

“we want to work with the neighborhood as much as we can if they have issues, but again, the process was followed”

"Issues" is a rather benign word for what residents think is serious damage to their property values.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Must-read ABQ items of the day

Maggie says:
First, via m-pyre fave Gene Grant, a slice of Albuquerque's lack of accountability and planning power:

Albuquerque Tribune: BMX neighbors didn't sign up for monstrosity

More to come on this one.

And second, local father, husband, and grad student Adil Osman was finally freed yesterday after spending ten months in federal custody for an immigration dispute. Is an apology enough?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Social Reproduction and Abortion

marjorie says...

I'd like to introduce you all to a very good friend of mine, Jo Ann Gutierrez Bejar, who is the new communications staff person at SWOP. Jo Ann has been putting up great commentary on swopblogger and I encourage you all to have a look. I particularly liked her comments about the Supreme Court decision last week to uphold the "partial birth" abortion ban. What I appreciate most about Jo Ann's comments are her views about the preponderance of males making these reproductive rights decisions. Reproduction is largely a woman's task. Let's face it...women are the ones who bear children and who raise children, by and large. I know there are some great men out there, who are very responsible when it comes to raising children. I'm fortunate to know several of them so don't take me wrong. But its indicative that they get the praise they get for childrearing by virtue of their gender. As if they deserve special praise for it. Well, in fact, they do. Because when it really comes down to it, by the numbers, its to women that the task of social reproduction in this society falls. And it should be women who make the decisions about whether or not to send another woman to prison for terminating her pregnancy.

Isn't that what we're talking about? Criminalizing women for terminating a pregnancy? We live in a society in which criminalization is our solution to perceived social problems...has anyone noticed? Jo Ann is equally right on in her admonishment to Archbishop Sheehan to make it easier for women to have their children and raise them without living in penury: "If you really want to bless us, make concrete changes to the economic and social structures in place. This new decision to uphold this ban is not only a set back for women, it's a precedent for dictatorship."

"Dictatorship" is an interesting choice of words. If you think of the status of women historically, we have obviously been a second class gender. When it comes to individual rights and economic status, clearly the women of our families historically were subject to men for their wellbeing. Its quite evident. In stories of the fabled anglo American west, for instance, women show up as either wives or whores (and I don't think its a given that I would automatically have preferred to be a wife, frankly).

If you've read my other commentary over the years about abortion and women's rights you know that I think the women's movement suffers from an almost myopic mobilization around abortion. Most women want to have children, very much. I want to live in a society in which women don't have to make economic decisions to not have children. I want the politically engaged women out there to work just as hard for socialized childcare as they do for the right to an abortion. And I want the rightwing, and the Catholic Church, to work just as hard for socialized childcare as they do to criminalize women who choose abortion. For instance.

As a woman, I'm quite fortunate to live during the era that I do, largely due to the women's rights movement in this country which struggled for centuries to achieve some measure of equality. Abortion is just part of that package. It's about the right of women to control their destinies through control of their own bodies. For this reason, I come down squarely on the pro-choice side and understand the importance of maintaining our rights in this area. But I wish for a different battleground entirely, one in which the fight is about expanding the wellbeing of families headed by single women. That is where we truly get into questions about the value of social reproduction to our society, and by extension the unrecognized economic and social value of women's work in the home.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

TONIGHT: Albuquerque Theater Cabaret

m-pyre favorite, Gene Grant, says:

April 12
8 pm
KIMO (Central & 5th)

Sixteen Albuquerque theater companies will be presenting ten minute pieces from all over the dramatic map.

I'm co-hosting with Chad Brummet from Tricklock, and performing with Darryl DeLoach in an excerpt from Suzan Lori-Parks, "Topdog/Underdog." Parks was the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama with it in 2002.

Best of all the event is free. Stop on by. Should be a lot of fun!


"Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why." -- Kurt Vonnegut Passes

Mikaela says:
I suspect Marjorie is composing a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut, who died yesterday at the age of 84.

In the meantime, I wanted to mark his passing and share the following quote that has stayed with me from my favorite of his novels, Sirens of Titan (1959).

Harmoniums, which live off vibration, say only one of two things:

  • "I am here, I am here, I am here."
  • "So glad you are, so glad you are, so glad you are."
In a world gone crazy and murderous about our differences, I thank this fiction writer for imagining a world in which creatures can only be thankful to be alive and celebrate everyone around them, too.

"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved."

(More great quotes from Vonnegut here and here and here.)

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Final 12: 'Burque Come Choose Your Slam Team!!!

Mikaela asks:
So you know all about Slam, right?

  • You know that judges are chosen randomly from the audience.
  • You know Slam takes poetry out of the hands of snooty academics and back into the calloused hands of hard-working community members who know what they like when they hear it.
  • You know that the 4 poets chosen Saturday night travel to Austin in August (what a great play name, by the way) to represent us at the National Poetry Slam competition, which we won in 2005.
  • You know that you, too, can come Saturday and be a judge that chooses the team with the best shot to take our title back.
So what are you going to do about it?

I suggest humbly:
  • Stop everything, and get to the NHCC Journal Theatre Saturday night at 7:30 pm!
It really is the best and biggest poetry show you'll see all year, especially as we have no Nationals to look forward to as we did in 2005 (unless you go to Austin, in which case, CHEER LOUD FOR US, OKAY????!!!!).

You don't have to take my (admittedly biased) opinion for it: Read Steven Allen's.

The following are your poet contenders:

Don McIver

Jasmine Cuffee

Tony Santiago

Jessica Lopez


Stephen Smith

Sal Treppiedi

Jon Paskiewicz

Jerry Mondragon

Ben Boreman

Manuel Gonzales

James Altimirano

See you there!

Pajama Men: New Show Opening This Weekend!

Mikaela raves:
Perennial favorite act of m-pyre, the Pajama Men are back with a brand-new show.

Q-Staff Presents

The Pajama Men

Versus vs. Versus
Holy smokes! The Pajama Men are back in Albuquerque with an all-new completely original performance.
The Pajama men will be premiering The Pajama Men:Versus vs. Versus at q-Staff Theatre Friday April 6th at 9:00 pm. (don't miss the opening night fun! Wear your pj's and get $5 off). Stick around for the post show opening night Pajama Party!
Ticket prices:
$15 general, $12 students and seniors

Saturday April 7th 9:00 p.m.
Sunday April 8th 7:00 pm: Pay what you can performance!
Every Friday and Saturday in April and May
9:00 pm
Every Sunday in April and May
7:00 pm
q-Staff Theatre
4819 Central NE (Across from the Highland Theater)
Contact Person:
Sandy Timmerman
Following the Albuquerque premier The Pajama Men will jet set to some of the world’s biggest comedy festivals including The Edinburgh Festival, Just For Laughs in Montreal and The Melbourne Comedy Festival in Australia. Plus a run in Chicago produced by the legendary Second City . Catch’m while you can
Known for split second character switches and weaving together multiple story lines, the critically acclaimed Pajama Men engage in some of the most unusual and hilarious physical comedy ever staged. Over the past seven years Allen and Chavez have extensively toured North America and Europe, and recently were presented by Second City at Chicago’s famed Steppenwolf Theatre, marking the first collaboration between the two venerable organizations. Now’s your chance to see them do it all, right in front of your eyes; comedy magic, only without all the ta-da’s!
“Whip-smart and able to turn on the thinnest of dimes, Allen and Chavez are improvisers’ improvisers. Actors’ actors. Comedians’ comedians.”
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
“Watching Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez perform (in their PJs) is like watching your weirdest dreams melting together and bubbling on stage. Half the time, even they don't seem to know what's going to happen next….we can confidently guarantee this will be one of the funniest things you'll ever see. Queues for tickets will be huge.” - Alan Hindle, The Globe and Mail
“Allen and Chavez's comic high energy recalls the edgy, manic talent of Robin Williams but with more heart and whimsy. “ - Mary Houlihan, Chicago Sun Times

Monday, April 02, 2007

Humps indeed

Maggie sighs:
Some days, only Alanis can make it all better.

Know what I'm saying?

Question: What does the future hold for Urban Design in the Q?

Mikaela says:
Answer: Lots of debate!

Fresh off a morning meeting with fellow Planners Network folks, in which we talked about planning a panel discussion on community design, I'm greeted with this announcement for TONIGHT.

It will be more general, and it will be more ... um ... developer friendly, but someone should go and check it out (and report back).

Working stiffs, note the starting time is 4 pm.

Monday, April 2, 2007
4:00-6:00 PM
Santa Ana Room, Student Union Building (SUB), Upper Floor
Please note time and venue changes

The School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico will sponsor a panel and open discussion on urban design in Albuquerque in the 21st Century. This panel discussion is the final event of the John Gaw Meem Lecture Series for this semester.

The Panel members will include people with a variety of viewpoints including architects, landscape architects, planners, politicians, developers, students and others:

  • Miguel Gandert, Moderator, Professor Communications + Journalism, Photographer
  • Ike Benton, architect, City Councilor
  • Chris Calott, architect
  • Connie Chavez, president, Sawmill Trust
  • Dierdre Firth, planner, City of Albuquerque
  • Will Gleason, planner, Dekker Parich Sabatini
  • John Lewinger, developer
  • Paul Lusk, architect + planner
  • George Radnovich, landscape Architect, Principal, Sites Southwest
  • Noreen Richards, recently graduated student in Architecture
  • David Salamon, Architecture student

After a very short statement from each panel member the audience will be invited to engage in a lively discussion and debate.

Please note this event was originally scheduled to take place at Northrop Hall at 5:30. For further information please contact Dot Waldrip at 277-5885.