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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

one week to go

city elections
All week Honey Harris and I are interviewing the mayoral candidates on KBAC in the morning. Today we had David Coss. Thursday we have David Schutz and Friday Karen Walker. Tonight is our Pizza and Politics party at 6:30 pm at Back Road Pizza. Tomorrow our endorsement issue hits the street. Tuesday is the election. And March 8…well, then I guess we get to work on the state elections. Political coverage can be sort of timeconsuming. Some alt.weeklies don't make political endorsements and that is a sorely tempting proposition sometimes as they are time consuming as hell. But, I feel, we at least try to be comprehensive. We interview everyone (the dailies do not) before making an endorsement decision; we let the readers know how we did our endorsement process. The new mex's endorsements make little if any sense to me (they don't mention the other candidates half the time), the Journal sometimes doesn't make endorsements in certain races, which I think is irresponsible, so, you know, I guess we'll keep doing it for the time being.
I'm kind of surprised the new mex's endorsements haven't garnered any comments yet, given how heated some of their political stories have gotten. Well, I'm not sure how much good newspaper endorsements do. Delgado never got any and was elected twice.
I don't know when the Journal is printing its council endorsements. I keep thinking I must have missed them.
Anyway, Honey and I asked Coss a bunch of questions about development, Wal-Mart and downtown. Listeners sent in questions, many of which had to do with his 6 months as Debbie Jaramillo's city manager.
And now back to our regularly scheduled deadline.

Friday, February 24, 2006



Tuesday, February 21, 2006


This article prompted me to just take this photo:
Unfortunately, three people were walking by my office while this went on and caught me snapping photos of myself with my phone and I now have little hope of ever living it down.

la plus ca change—or, why I love Rio Arriba

When I was a reporter for the SUN in the late '90s I reported on politics ALOT. Of course, as my editor at the time, Mike Kaemper said, everything in Española is political. I had just finished grad school at the time and I took his comment to mean that everything had a deeper political meaning in an academic sense. He meant it more like, get ready for anonymous calls up the wazoo and people slipping you secret documents in alleys. God I was happy at the SUN. I think it was the only period of my life where everything was always so weird and interesting that I was NEVER BORED. I am not often bored as editor of SFR, but managing and administrating and editing is quite different than sitting in Rio Arriba Commission meetings in Alcalde until 3 am while people slip you secret notes. Plus, for whatever reason, some of the most interesting and best story tellers I've ever known are from the Rio Arriba Valley. This is a place where people talk, talk, talk about what's going on their community, not about what was on TV last week. I am a fiend for gossip and Española politicos finally gave me my fill.
So this week's story in the SUN about votes being for sale got me nostalgic for the voter scandal I covered back in the late '90s. At one point investigators from the AG's office came to me at the SUN and wanted to see my notes (no way Jose) and I was ultimately subpoened to testify before the grand jury, during which time the questioner from the AG's office did his best impersonation of a Law and Order prosecutor by repeating the same questions over and over again and feigning shock when I said I didn't remember certain things. What they wanted to know was if I had seen/heard/witnessed illegal coercing of voters while hanging around the Rio Arriba County Clerk's Office on election day. I hung around that office all the time. It was my beat and the assistant clerks liked me and I usually could keep pretty good tabs of what was going on. The grand jury they had assembled was a bit odd. Everyone knows everyone in Espanola so finding an impartial grand jury is no easy task. From what I could tell, it appeared as though the AG had dragged several people from Dixon who hadn't left town in 20 years to hear the grand jury testimony. They all looked exhausted and confused, a reasonable response to trying to follow the factional vagaries of northern new mexico politics. Politics so layered and occasionally crazy it makes Santa Fe elections look like a love in.
Well, everyone got indicted back in the late '90s and I worried that my name on the back of the indictments (along with everyone else that had been called to testify) was going to cost me sources but everyone was very understanding. As it happens, I really hadn't seen anything in particular that seemed strange, and God knows I tried. The saddest part of this most recent story is that votes were allegedly being sold for $15.
On a totally different note, a reporter from In Touch Magazine contacted me because he was in SF to report on the new Jessica Simpson movie being filmed here and wanted to know if I could tell him anything or knew anyone involved. Normally I really don't know anything about this kind of stuff; I'm so revolted, on principle, by celebrities I try not to, but it just so happens a friend of mine is staying in a hotel while they use her house as one of the sets so, after clearing it with her, I sicced the In Touch reporter on her. My friends and I later realized we should stake out her house, snap photos of Simpson and sell them to the tabloids. We haven't followed through on that, though. And probably won't. And no, don't call and ask me where the set is.

Monday, February 20, 2006

how much do I love my bed?

So much. I don't know what it is. That bed just seems to grow warmer and softer and more cozy by the day. It's becoming a real effort to leave it. Still, leave it one must and leave it one did.
The highlight of Saturday night's Sex Workers' Art Show thingie, for me, was Michelle Tea's reading. She was great and her reading made me want to read more things she's written. So I suppose one might argue that any event that inspires one to want to read a previously-unread author is a good one, except this event cost $22, it was freezing (our seats were near the door) and I didn't find the rest of the show particularly inspiring as a whole, despite the talented line up. I don't know. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood for it. Actually, I'd expected to be slightly embarassed and provoked and instead I was slightly bored. Maybe I just wanted to be home in bed. On the other hand, I did get to eat Back Road Pizza for dinner two nights in a row, which was yummy. A slice with spinach and artichoke hearts. You can not go wrong there, my friends.
This morning I learned Bill Clinton will be speaking at the annual journalism conference I attend each June. I'm looking forward to that, and to seeing the Clinton library. Prior to this news I can't say I was excited about being in Arkansas in June but I feel better now. I just have to remember to bring mosquito repellent, since my only other experience in AK involved me being eaten alive by those nasty suckers. Those nasty suckers that love, love, love me to death. If there is one mosquito in a 100-mile radius it will find me and bite the living shit out of me.
Meanwhile, we have a good issue going to press, although I am very disappointed that mayoral candidate David Schutz has refused to participate in our Pop Quiz series. I believe that makes him the only candidate in the history of this series to refuse to participate.
This week we will interview the mayoral candidates for our endorsement interview process and then we will be done! Done I tell you! Well, except that I am interviewing the mayoral candidates with Honey Harris next week on the radio. All of them except David Schutz who has not, I believe, responded to Honey's call.
OK, back to the salty salt mines. Hope your Monday goes well and that you don't miss your bed as much as I miss mine.

Friday, February 17, 2006

2 the finish line

sorry to be so quiet. I've been locked in our conference room all week conducting endorsement interviews with candidates for the March 7 city elections for mayor and city council.
It's always interesting to talk to candidates and always challenging, in some races, to figure out the best person to endorse. We try to think of the big picture and how it all fits together. In Santa Fe, so many of the issues are chronic and, in truth, it's hard to tell what will happen in the future or how much any one candidate will impact that future. Not to mention how they might change over the years. Anyway, it's almost over.
On another note, if you shoot me and I have a heart attack, I probably won't apologize for the trouble I've caused you. In case you were wondering.
Tonight, I am hanging with the boy and read some more of this book which I am enjoying.
Tomorrow night I am supposed to go to the Sex Workers Art show (third item down), which I will probably be slightly alarmed by, being the prudish person I sometimes am, but what the hell.
We also are hard at work at planning our Pizza & Politics party, to be held at 6:30 pm, Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Back Road Pizza, with Drinking Liberally and KBAC, in which Santa Feans will (hopefully) show up, gnosh and talk politics. Mark your calendars and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

yah, it's Vday

but, more importantly, it's deadline day and, even more importantly than that, it's political season hitting heavy day. Here's, Joe Monahan weighing in on the Jeff Bingaman race.
I, personally, am looking forward to going home and knitting. Thus far, my Valentine's stash consists of a lollypop from a coworker and a balloon from the mayoral candidate formerly known as John Conventry. But, you know, the night is young, even if I, sadly, am not.

Friday, February 10, 2006

post party

holy moly, the party was a big success, with more than 700 attendees. I am still calling folks who participated in speed dating to let them know who wanted to meet them (probably not the best use of my time but whatever).
I didn't take as many photos as I meant to (it got kind of hectic). But here's a short slideshow of me and a few SFR friends having fun.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

come party with us tonight

Tonight is our annual pre-Valentine's party. I think this may end up being the best one of all. It's beind held at the Museum of International Folk Art, because its Avant Garde program is the co-sponsor. This is a great museum so I think it's worth it just to go and wander around. Amazing Larry will be performing, and DJ Feathericci will be spinning, and there will be tarot card readers, food, drink (cash-only bar) and a speed-dating event run by yours truly. (This is where you have 10 six-minute dates all in a row, not dates while on speed).
Anyway, I'm going to leave early and go home and lie in my bed, in the dark, prior to all this. I woke up this morning at 3:30 am and I've been up ever since and now I feel like crap.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

and then there were four

Tony Lopez just dropped out of the mayoral race and says he'll be endorsing one of the four remaining candidates in the near future. Anyone want to wager on who that will be?

Your choices:

A. David Schutz
B. David Coss
C. Donado Coviello
D. Karen Walker

Monday, February 06, 2006

bush's NM talk

Thanks to Joe for posting this link to the transcript of Bush's speech when he was in NM.
Also, another good story from Luisa Tucker, SFR alum, who is in Santa Fe for a few months.
Luisa and several of us went, Saturday night, to the new One World Coffeeshop created by local high school students. Very nice, we had a good time, and some great hot chocolate. It kind of made me, um, feel good to be there.
I also neglected to post a link to SFR staff writer Dan Frosch's New York Times story last week. Here it is, and it's interesting!
OK, seriously, I'm working here.

on marcy street

Just ran into Tom Udall on Marcy Street. I told him I'd been listening to the wiretapping hearings and he said, "Can you believe that Gonzales?"
I said, though (as part of my new non-opinion thing) that it was interesting to listen to the AG's testimony as if one didn't know much about it because, really, it sounds kind of reasonable when you do it like that. He agreed that fearmongering and mentioning Al Quada is a good way to sell such things to the American public. But here's the thing Julia, he said, they are under oath. And that means if they lie, it's perjury and they could go to jail."
And, you know, I'm sceptical by nature of politicians but Udall looked and sounded so sincere as he said it that I thought, Yeah! They have to tell the truth! And he said, as if reading my mind, that's your business, the truth.
And then I came back across the street to my office where we are putting to bed the Love and Sex issue, which isn't very political except, maybe, the one article on the G-spot, but that's only political in my least-favorite way: 1970s Our Body Ourselves type politics.
I think we need something new, all around. Political and cultural amnesia followed by a fresh start. Hopefully without a proceeding apocolypse.
On a different note, I went to WF at lunch and noted five cell-phone while driving violations. I am now entering several months of good driving behavior. I mean, I'm not a model of traffic-law obeisance but closer to it than my previous juvenile driving while having arrested juvenile delinquent syndrome. Still, it's not that rewarding. When you don't speed or talk on the phone while driving you don't get pulled over. It's a double negative. But you still see people breaking the law and getting away with it. No one ever pulls you over and says, "good job Julia! You're driving 25 miles an hour down Siringo even though there's no traffic and no real reason to do so. And you're not on the phone. Nice going."
I'm looking forward to going home for some reason. We got so much work done on Friday that today is kind of quiet and the only thing left to do is start dealing with Annual Manual. And I can't do that right now or I will start to cry.

one more thing

Putting aside for one sec my political dysphoria, if you're against domestic spying, as we in the left think of it, you can add your name to this petition, which ProgressiveNow Action is collecting and, they say, delivering to the SJC during the hearings.

state of the onion

On the way to work I listened to the Senate Judiciary Committee's questioning of AG Alberto Gonzales on Bush's warrentless eavesdropping "program". I have been making a concerted effort, of late, to try to withhold all political judgements. I am a liberal, by nature and nurture, but I'm so sick of the usual suspects and the straited discourse of American politics that I feel like I'm becoming a conscientious objector of opinion. I'm truly suspect, at this point, of all opinions, because they bear too close a resemblence to the opinions of everyone else and there seems to be no room in between the two sides: the right and the left. The Center Can Not Hold! The best have no convictions, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity. A great Yeats poem. Also a great Roots album.
I've always thought everyone should vote and be politically active and I am usually surprised that more people are not. But I am beginning to feel less surprised. Yesterday, on the radio, the DJ announced that Tuesday is the city election. Well, it's not; that's not until March 7. The school mill levy election is Tuesday. At first I was a bit shocked at the mistake (shocked might be overstating it), but then I realized that for the most part I have a deluded view of how engaged people are in the political process, because my job puts me in touch/in communication with people who think about this stuff all the time. True believers, participants. Last year, when we did The Hip Hop Voter Project, the idea was to engage people who might not be otherwise, to register them, to bring other people already involved with politics (organizations of all different ilks) to a hip hop night at The Paramount and just see what happened. What happened? Well, we registered a lot of people to vote. I think it might have been more of an experience for the people we brought into the club, many of whom hadn't been out that late in about 10 years, than for the people we registered, but I don't know. It wasn't a controlled experiment, we weren't tracking people to see what happened. The idea was that maybe one person might come to the club for hip hop and dancing, but could strike up a conversation with one of the people there registering and passing out info and then, who knows. How do people get involved with issues, ideas, politics in the first place? Usually by exposure, and usually by a one-on-one encounter.
Am at work on a mini project for the city elections, though I have to admit to feeling less galvanized by politics than I was a year ago. I'm beginning to wonder if the apathetic masses have the right idea. The boy I am dating said at one point, not long ago, that he didn't really see the difference between Bush or Kerry or even Nader, that they all seemed the same to him. My sister told me two years ago that CNN and FOX news didn't seem all that different to her. At the time I thought both of them weren't very observent. But maybe I am the one who needs to observe things differently.