[Re: Opinion, “The Architectural Undead,” Oct. 27-Nov. 2] I first noticed the Werner-Gilchrist house around 1960. Even then it looked a little down, but, shielded by dense shrubbery, it was pleasant and hinted of past grandeur and an interesting history.
In the early ’80s Mrs. Gilchrist, then in her ’90s , passed on. The property was appraised. The house was noted to have zero value and the land better used to support numerous apartment units.
I know I am emotional and my idea of progress, peacefulness and gentle ambience is not the stuff of what good business and fortunes are made. High-density living changes the atmosphere of a place.
As an extreme, I witnessed my childhood neighborhood of cottages and bungalows transformed into a jungle of multistory condos and hotels. As pleasant as it used to be, only memories remain.
Neighborhood support and Chris Wilson’s talent provided for “Gilies,” as I call it, to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. That staved off demolition. A gift came our way, and that plus a real estate contract provided for our purchase.
The steep pitch allowed for minimal roof repair. The gas company was skeptical of the lines. They tested them and they held. I felt old Gilies was smiling. She wanted to live. We did interior repairs, and people were lining up to rent. We rented it our for more than 20 years, mostly to tenants who loved it and cared for it.
Gilies was paid for and we were ready to develop the property and return the house to its past glory. However, it came to pass I had to trade the house to preserve another larger property in another state to at least slow possible development.
Old Gilies has survived demolition for the past 30 years, and I know there are some who care, but I don’t know how many. I’m too old to work out details, but if the city would allow a quick fix with code violations to be addressed gradually, and if the historical people did some work, perhaps a charitable fund could be established to accomplish this. As a historic structure there might be multiple tax breaks. If rented there would be depreciation advantages.
I hope $100,000 would be enough of a fund to get a roof on and perhaps repair broken glass and provide privacy fencing. A thousand people giving $100 each or a 100 people giving $1,000 each might accomplish this. Any humble loving contribution would help. Pennies would be gratefully accepted. Don’t worry about who ends up owning Gilies. Let’s try to save it!
Foremost, whatever, if anything is to be accomplished, it must be with the agreement of the owner.
S.B.F. Former owner of “Gilies”
Just Because I’m Walking Doesn’t Mean I’m for Sale
Since living in Albuquerque for about two years now there have been several times I've been approached by men in their vehicles asking if I "would like a ride" while I utilize my two legs and good health to walk around my neighborhood near Downtown. This I find to be extremely disrespectful. Why you ask? Why can't I, as a young woman, travel car-free and walk on the streets of Albuquerque and not be propositioned by men who feel that because I am out of my car that I must want to service them? While dressing provocatively can attract more responses, on these occasions I am dressed rather casually, content to be walking and minding my own business. Men, respect women and consider this: Most women like to walk on the streets for exercise, transportation and enjoyment—not as an advertisement.
American Corporations Overseas
The amount of American corporations that elect to have their headquarters overseas are probably in the hundreds if not thousands. A good example is Haliburton based in the United Arab Emirates. A Republican-owned corporation, they love waving the flag as they chant “God Bless America.” If you love this country as much as you claim, why are you keeping your headquarters overseas? How arrogant these corporations are, admitting they are overseas to avoid paying taxes. The amount of taxes lost each year is most likely in the tens of billions. Enough money to put every student in this country through college. Plus pay for housing, books, tuition and other materials. NO AMERICAN kid should have to put their life on the line in a foreign country in order to get a college education.
Recycling and the (Un)occupy and Occupy Movements
I just cannot understand why Yale Park has closed. I don’t comprehend why the city is so scared of people exercising their rights to assembly and free speech. The “indignad@s,” a movement that has spread all over the world, is not only criticizing the capitalist system, as some media outlets want to present it. We have specific demands that cover a wide variety of subjects, as this movement is very heterogeneous.
One of our concerns is the respect for the environment and the correct use of natural resources. In this international movement we have to deal with our own trash. In Albuquerque we are doing it; recycling and composting. Occupy Wall Street in New York City has created a gray water treatment system. With the water that is being used to wash dishes, they are irrigating Zuccotti Park. It’s great: The water is filtered through a drum of wood chips, continues passing through two containers with plants and comes out clean.
Like in Albuquerque, all over the world in the occupied public spaces there are recycling bins in the camps and people are sharing resources on clean energy. It is making a difference and it looks like a lot of fun. These are examples of how we can better our societies and how we can express our desires for a different world. I hope more Albuquerque citizens come out in support of this movement; it is a movement for all and it is time to take a stand and share our resources and show that another world is possible.
The animals escaped from a private animal park in Ohio after the park's owner, Terry Thompson, opened their cages and then committed suicide. School was canceled in the surrounding areas and residents were urged to stay inside while police had the order to kill any wild animals they came across.
While many of the animals were dangerous, the fact that shoot-to-kill instructions were given is a fear-driven travesty. Six of the animals, including three leopards and a bear, were rescued and taken to a local zoo. So why the hell didn't police rescue the other animals? I understand that they were a “danger” to the public but come on. Ohio police legitimately prevented a Jumanji-type scenario from actually happening. They pulled out their usual audible for panic situations and decided to use the old animal kingdom blitz.
Unfortunately PETA didn't have the chutzpah to say anything to law enforcement officials even though 50-odd wild animals were killed without a single report of them attacking nearby residents. However, they did blame the deceased owner for maltreatment of the animals and the governor for allowing citizens to privately own wild animals. So the cops get a free ride on slaughtering the animals and the best PETA can do is be mad at the governor? Human nature is the unchained beast here! After all, this should not reflect upon the fact that Americans treat nature with the utmost respect—except for no fucking way.
Lions and Tigers and Bears
Being an Ohio native, I took the tragic event in Zanesville, Ohio, personally. This is a story that illustrates the insanity inherent in some or many of the members of the human race. We might conclude that Terry Thompson was crazy. It could well be that the disturbed Thompson gave what was left of his heart and soul to his rescue mission. He couldn't stop rescuing. He took on too much. It was a one-man mission, his and his alone. I fault Thompson for releasing the animals before shooting himself. I will not try to imagine the crushing passion and heartache and rage he felt before pulling the trigger.
If you want an inside view of Thompson's permanent state of mind, just read aloud each of the 133 entries on the list of his weapons stash, the stash that cost him a year in prison. It bothers me that he had animal cruelty convictions in the past. And why are 18 rare Bengal tigers living and dying in Ohio in the first place?
If Rod Serling had written this story for an episode of the "The Twilight Zone," he might find himself directing the final scene, a scene depicting cosmic pay back in which the county sheriff enters his own home, exhausted in the aftermath of this totally bizarre and bloody ordeal, and there he is met by the fierce glow in the eyes of the 19th Bengal tiger.
Greg Leichner Placitas
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