The UCLA Newsroom looked at why Cinco de Mayo celebrations are so prevalent in the United States but barely a blip in Mexico (Mexican Independence Day is September 16).
“It is an American holiday, rooted in the Civil War era and commemorated today because a network of Latino groups in California known as the juntas patrióticas mejicanas (Mexican patriotic assemblies) deliberately created a public memory of it,” the story says. The story cites El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition by David E. Hayes-Bautista.
Columnist Gustavo Arellano, who writes the ¡Ask a Mexican! column for the OC Weekly (it also runs in the Weekly Alibi in Albuquerque), however, called it a “a grotesque caricature of culture” on NPR last year. He does not like the holiday.
Anyway, make sure to have a designated driver or call a cab if you decide to partake in the festivities tomorrow night.
On to The Word:
- You might want to check out tonight’s New Mexico In Focus on KNME if you don’t already every week — I will be on The Line segments with my former radio co-host Sophie Martin, attorney Laura Sanchez and Capitol Report New Mexico’s Rob Nikolewski. The show airs at 7:00 on KNME.
As for me? I’ll be doing anything possible to avoid having to watch myself on TV.
- Though Michael Wiener, who was a topic on The Line, was not censured on Thursday, he might not be so lucky on Tuesday at the Bernalillo County Commission’s regular meeting according to the Albuquerque Journal’s Dan McKay:
I’m pretty sure Wiener’s censure will get up or down vote on Tuesday. Johnson said he’ll support putting it on agenda, at least.
— Dan McKay (@mckaydan) May 4, 2012
Here is McKay’s report on Thursday’s meeting.
- Sunland Park, another topic of discussion on The Line, will try to choose a mayor Friday night. This time, perhaps, the city can do so without breaking the law. The meeting will be held in a courtyard near city hall to try to hold the large crowd expected to attend.
A formal declaration to vacate the mayor’s seat —an action needed after indicted, former Mayor-elect Daniel Salinas was prohibited from taking office — and the appointment of a new mayor are items that will be considered, according to the agenda.
Good luck, Sunland Park.
- Nikolewski told me at the taping of New Mexico In Focus that he will be on hand in Las Vegas, NV for the Libertarian Party national convention this weekend. He has a preview of what to expect — including that former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will almost certainly be the Libertarian Party’s nominee to take on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
- A judge has been filing time sheets that aren’t accurate just so he gets paid — but since he gets paid a yearly salary, he probably doesn’t need to file any time sheet at all. Another good piece from the Rio Grande Sun.
- The same judge admitted willful misconduct in a separate instance. The Word mentioned this story yesterday, but this is a more complete story on what happened.
- Gene Grant does not like those new New Mexico Tourism ads.
Try this test. When you watch the clips, imagine the actors kayaking, hiking, sitting in restaurants, running with their arms spread, etc., just in a different state. It’s not that hard to picture because this is a by-the-book set of familiar scenes not all that different from the target road-trip markets of Colorado, Texas and Arizona. If New Mexico looks just like home, why take the trip?
- Traffic is going to be pretty terrible at I-25 and St. Francis until November.
- And in Las Cruces, residents are starting to grumble about a proposed gas price increase.
- Neighbors of the Smith’s gas station on Constitution and Carlisle in Albuquerque aren’t happy with the traffic, fumes or any other number of things that the station has brought to the area. The Alibi has the story:
The neighbors have expressed fears that allowing an already high-volume gas station to increase its pumping will exacerbate existing traffic problems. Michael Geier, the Southeast area commander for APD, says his officers try to do as much as possible to enforce traffic rules. “We’ll write citations for cutting through property, but there’s not much room on that lot,” he says. “It was a neighborhood corner gas station at that location for 30 years, and now there’s a high-volume station.”
The fact that the station usually has some of the lower prices in town doesn’t help with the traffic.
- And for all you Star Wars nerds (including my nephew who turns four tomorrow and, so, does not really read this website): May the Fourth be with you.
Filed under: Morning Word