Category Archives: alBAHquerque

Good for whom,


Couple: SWAT Storming Traumatic

Imagine if this couple had legally possessed a weapon and legally had it in hand against this home invasion. They’d be dead now.

ABQJournal Online » Couple: SWAT Storming Traumatic

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writeron Wed, Apr 18, 2012

Bertha and Carlos Gamboa were watching TV in their home last week when SWAT officers with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office broke through a door and ordered the couple at gunpoint to lie on the floor.

The deputies were executing a search warrant April 10 at an apartment two doors away from the Gamboas’ home in connection with the deaths of two people whose charred remains had been found earlier that day on the West Mesa.

But the Gamboas had no connection with those deaths, the couple said. A week later, the Gamoas remain traumatized that armed men stormed their home and held them at gunpoint for up to 10 minutes. …

Deputies used a battering ram to break through a wooden outer door, she said. When Bertha Gamboa opened her solid wood door, she saw the muzzle of a shotgun thrust toward her.

About seven deputies armed with shotguns entered the apartment and ordered the couple to lie on the floor, she said.

“Carlos was frozen, standing in the living room,” his wife recalled. Carlos Gamboa, who doesn’t speak English fluently, did not understand the deputy’s order. Bertha Gamboa said she told her husband in Spanish to lie down.

For the next five to 10 minutes, armed men stomped around the apartment until one of the deputies explained that they had the wrong apartment, she said.

ABQJournal Online » Couple: SWAT Storming Traumatic


I like to take pictures of pretty things. But photography must include unpleasant subjects, as well.


I took that picture four years ago. I was driving when I saw the truck. It took me a moment to catch the error. I thought, “I wish I had a camera,” and my wish came true (it had been on the seat next to me the whole time). Later, I decided not to post this because I abhor that word and the violence of this act. However, time passes and it’s never too late to ridicule the idiot who painted this. (Mind you, dyslexics have my sympathy; misogynists do not.)

Similarly, I was appalled to find the following sign in my neighborhood park. Who would wrap packing tape around a tree to post a sign. And who would hire such a person who couldn’t spell or use spell check – or capitalize properly.


Both of these are part of a large topic I call “AlBAHquerque,” with which I document the ugly side of our town. I call quite a few of these “screw the view,” because that’s what they say to me: that someone’s profit matters more than beauty.

Let’s Go Swimming after Golf–Ignoring the Reality of Here and Now

Oh, gawd, not another one. The Beach failed, finally. Is this an idea that has to be batted down every few years?

Albuquerque developer plans West Side water park

Dan Serrano, who built the water park at the Radisson Hotel at Carlisle and I-40, is planning a new water park on the West Side.  He’s billing it as much easier to access and more affordable.

As far as the probability of the project actually going through, Serrano calls it a 50/50 chance.

“If we can get the financing, it would be an ideal opportunity to go out there and create economic development,” says Serrano.  “It’s going to bring jobs during development, construction, thereafter.” [mjh: Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! That’s all you need to say? What about water, water, water, ya fool.]

The 36,000 square foot water park would be built somewhere west of 98th, off I-40.  It would be indoors, and have a similar design to Radisson’s water park, but would be 3,000 square feet larger. Admission would be anywhere between $18 to $24 for a day pass.

The cost of the whole project would be around $8 million, about three times less [mjh: is that a third as much?] than the cost of the Radisson Hotel and Water Park. The hotel’s water park project was more expensive because a building had to be demolished, and land costs have changed.

“There are a couple of land owners saying you know what, I’m having a tough time selling this land now, I would be more than happy to come down and deal with you and bring the land as part of my investment,” says Serrano.

People that Eyewitness News 4 interviewed in Albuquerque think it’s a great idea.

“I would love a water park,” says Adrianna Zachary, who moved to Albuquerque four months ago from Maine [mjh: get used to the desert, Adrianna – this isn’t Maine].  “I think it’s so hot here, we need to cool off and there aren’t a lot of places to do that; there’s Tingley Beach, but who wants to swim in Tingley Beach?”

“I think it’s a great idea, I really do,” said Linda Vikdel.  “I think it would be a very healthy, fit way for kids to get some activities in.”

Serrano wants to have the water park built sometime within the next two years.  The design work is about 70 percent complete.  He says the biggest hurdle now is getting the financing. [mjh: because getting the water is no problem at all. Yeah, right.] – Albuquerque developer plans West Side water park

A Finger in the Eye

Another recycled post for Earth Day 2010 (originally posted 3/28/07):

Billboards are a finger in the eye. An erect middle finger. A billboard is a selfish and cowardly statement. It says anonymously, “my profit is more important than the environment.” It places personal gain ahead of community values. Every billboard in the world should be pulled down by angry mobs.

Tijeras Arroyo billboard

Isn’t this picture beautiful? Doesn’t it make you proud to live in New Mexico? The mighty Tijeras Arroyo is already doomed by Mesa del Sold. In the meantime, enjoy the view. As you drive this stretch with its dozen billboards, notice most are for Clear Channel, the owners of most billboards. Buy stock and demand they get out of this business.

Farther south, Isleta shows what Indians really think of Mother Earth, with their dozens of billboards north of Los Lunas. No stoic native with a tear in his eyes at the sight of all the garbage — those are dollar signs.

Where’s your shame? mjh

‘Billboard King’ Reid Looks to Leave Mark on Senate War Funding Measure By Elizabeth Williamson, Washington Post Staff Writer
Continue reading A Finger in the Eye

Bad, Bad Neighbors

DSC00973 Our neighbors rented their house at 1419 Quincy NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87110, to a group of college students last September. The first week these punks moved in, people were sleeping in cars on our street. Every Thurs-Fri-Sat, these folks party. This means visitors coming and going at 2am, 3am, 4am, with car doors slamming, alarms set and unset, booming radios, loud cursing, and bunches of cars along the street the next morning, along with trash. Awful people.

Today, there are two busted windows on the front of the house. So, it really can get worse. peace, mjh

PS: The home owners, Shannon LeTourneau and Mark letourneau, have very little Internet presence, so, I hope this blog entry comes up in every search for them or this property.

A Quiet Night at Home

For us, the Fourth of July is like Halloween to fundamentalists: A night when evil is abroad, a time when seemingly decent people become devils. At the very least, a time when one realizes just how out of step one is with the broader culture.

My own dislike of the noisy Fourth is magnified by the terror it strikes in poor Lucky Dog. He cowers; he trembles; he slinks from spot to spot, finding no escape. I have held him shaking, his heart pounding; it is hell for him.

When I was a kid, I loved fireworks, of course. I had little interest in snakes and sparklers: I liked flying things, like helicopters and rockets or the spinners one nailed to a tree. I recall wheedling my father into buying a huge assortment of fireworks for an outlandish price. As I got a little older, I bought my own fireworks. There was an afternoon I methodically studied the effect on various objects of single firecrackers extracted from the long chains favored by the Chinese. As you would expect, the effect was delightfully destructive — and in the name of science, yet. I had no sympathy for the neighbor who called to complain and threatened to call the police. Old fart.

But I grew up. While I haven’t put away all childish things, I have turned my back on the destroyers and those who love loudness. I sit here, all the doors and windows closed, the stereo up, the swamper rattling futilely overhead as it sucks in sulfurous smoke, wishing to drown out the noise that so delights others.

A year ago, after a very long period filled with extremely loud, explosive rockets that flew directly over our house, littering our yard, I stormed out into the street and charged my neighbors in a rage, a human Roman candle. For days now, I’ve wondered what to do, where to go, how to escape. Is there anyplace people don’t go mad over pyrotechnics? Dare I take Lucky to the woods or the wilderness. What if there is a passel of patriots where we end up? (I’ve had many camping experiences ruined by gun nuts delighting in noise and destruction. And those were regular days, not even the Day of National Ejaculation.)

The way we celebrate the Fourth is the epitome of Americanism: Short-lived, loud, flashy, expensive, destructive. Underlying it all, the smug certainty that we Americans live in the Shining City Upon the Hill, the Greatest Nation on Earth and of All Time. Add in an aggressive indifference to anyone who doesn’t like the way we do things — We’re Number One, Screw You!

Still, we’re not the only nationalists and chauvinists; it’s as natural to our species as murder. Years ago, in a beautiful campground in Canada, we were awakened by booming music thumping from a stereo as some local began his drunken celebration of Canada Day at 6am. There are loud idiots everywhere. Today is one of their high holy days. peace, mjh

PS: The clearly illegal rocket racket — Operation Slackened Jaw — lasted almost until midnight. The streets and park are littered with debris. – Dozens cited for illegal fireworks

Fire officials show off fireworks confiscated in the past three days

In the last three days, Albuquerque police and fire marshals say they have given out more tickets for illegal fireworks than all five days of enforcement last year.

Since Tuesday, 69 tickets have been written. Additionally, they have confiscated a large amount of fireworks, some of which officials liken more to small explosives.

Fire marshals said they are planning a massive enforcement operation on the night of Independence Day to keep everything safe and legal. They say it will be no small task.

“It appears to be much busier and we anticipate with the fourth being on a Friday night, that it’s gonna be real busy,” an official said.

Firefighters say if you are lighting off your own fireworks, keep it safe and legal.

“If you’re gonna do fireworks, please just do the ones that are sold in the city and not any of the arials or anything because its fun for a while but the whole department is gonna be out tonight,” an official said.

If you are caught with illegal fireworks, you could face a $500 fine and 90 days in jail. If authorities see you launching one, it is punishable with a second ticket of $1000 and up to six months in jail. – Dozens cited for illegal fireworks

Air Pollution

Perhaps you felt the latest slap in the face? Much of the past week, a plane has flown over Albuquerque towing an air-borne billboard. Imagine: burning precious fossil fuel while generating noise just to get you to look up and — if you are shockingly impressionable — to run into a local business, even though that business wants to irritate you for their own profit. Let’s go! You’d better hope this ideal is deeply unprofitable, because if somebody goes into that noxious place and says, “gee, I saw your sign and came right in,” we can expect more and more and more of this obnoxious advertising. Oh, well, it does distract us from all those damn helicopters. mjh

flying billboards over albuquerque
(… and the quiet.)