In case you missed it, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire yesterday. Reports of the damage have been catastrophized; while the damage is extensive, the famed 800-year-old church is still standing and will be fixed, promises French President Emmanuel Macron. The New Mexican explores whether the same fate could ever befall our Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, and the answer seems to be no ($). In an eerily similar incident in 1986, our cathedral's roof caught fire during renovations that also happened to fall on Holy Week, and the fire was quickly extinguished.
But wait, there’s more
They're not local or even regional, but other fires at religious institutions have not received the same attention as Notre Dame: Three predominantly Black churches in Louisiana were burned a few weeks ago by a 21-year-old charged with hate crimes yesterday, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the old city section of Jerusalem also suffered a fire concurrently with the one at Notre Dame.
Paper or paper
Albuquerque City Council has approved a ban on plastic bags. Santa Fe enacted a similar ordinance in 2017, but Albuquerque's has a few extra anti-plastic provisions: Straws are available only by request and business are allowed to charge for one-time-use plastic. While such a ban would pass some cost on to the consumer who still insists upon using plastic items, it could save the city projected millions in cleanup costs. If Mayor Tim Keller signs the ban, it will go into effect in 2020.
Believe me now?
The Word has sung the praises of author and Institute of American Indian Arts alum and professor Tommy Orange before, but maybe now you'll really believe it: His novel There, There was a finalist for the dang Pulitzer Prize. Orange lives in California and teaches at IAIA's low-residency writing program.
Unfortunately for his employees who depended on him for their jobs, Michael Palombo's V Roast Bistro in Albuquerque will reportedly close. Palombo posted some anti-Semitic thoughts on Facebook, and the Word told you last week that he claimed some vindictive person hacked his Facebook and posted the bigoted rant. However, he now admits that it was him and that he needs to "forgive himself." Apparently, as reported in The New Mexican, he closed his shop not because of the controversy, but because his wife has wanted him to for a while ($).
Didn’t we just do this?
SFR staffers were kind of psyched to have some time go by without an election. (Seriously, they're a bit exhausting.) Alas … Think again, fools. Voters have approved a new municipal election schedule that sees our City Council and municipal judgeship elections jump from March 2020 to November 2019.
Sorry not sorry
Comedian Chris D'Elia made fun of Albuquerque in a tweet after a visit to our fair state a few weeks ago, and people got maaaaad. D'Elia said that he totally doesn't get Burqueños' reaction. To be fair, the Word finds it unlikely that anyone who was on the fence about visiting Albuquerque will say, "Oh, well, I just read that that drunk girl comedian doesn't like it, so let's not, honey." Feels like the stakes ain't that high.
Not that bad
Too bad ski season's declared over, because we're supposed to get more snow in the mountains tonight. It will likely be rain under 8,000 feet, so get your galoshes. Temps will drop, but probably only to about 50.
Thanks for reading! The Word just tried to eat a pistachio shell that looked like a pistachio. It didn't go well.