Some more news nuggets to chew on from the week that was
There's a minor bit of housekeeping to get out of the way before moving forward with this week's column. The following sentence appeared in this space last week:
"Speaking of capital improvement, the majority of funds coming from the recently passed $52 million road bond will go to the two Westside council districts, with Griego's Downtown-University area district along with the other six council districts, sharing the crumbs."
Because we were pushing up against a very last second deadline, it inadvertently stayed in the column—and shouldn't have. In no way does that statement capture my complete thoughts on the road bond or how we earmark resources to different parts of the city.
Personally, while some will believe it a very reasonable assessment, I think it expresses an almost infantile understanding of Albuquerque's municipal government and perpetuates the urban legend that the city's older, less affluent neighborhoods are somehow subsidizing the newer, more affluent parts of town. Over half of the city's outstanding assessed property wealth lies outside the city's overly-hyped 1960 boundary. The folks in our newer parts of town are paying their fair share, maybe even more.
Additionally, the continued, purposeful "zero-sum game" division of Albuquerque that sentence typifies needs to end. Money spent on new roads for the Northwest Mesa doesn't represent a "loss" for Nob Hill, anymore than the tens of millions we've poured into Downtown revitalization is a loss for the Northeast Heights. If the Westside gets more in bond money with this particular bond, it's only because the Westside is a newer, growing area.
Bottom line: We should focus our resources to the best of our ability where the needs are. Prioritize them. But for pete's sake—quit balkanizing Burque.
And your point would be what?
Gov. Bill Richardson proposed "sweeping" reforms in response to various snafus this past election cycle. Richardson, however, glaringly did not include a voter identification requirement as part of his "reform" package, although he suggested just a couple of weeks ago that "some type" of requirement would be on the table for the next session.
Given this logic, don't be surprised if the Guv proposes a cock-fighting ban that exempts roosters.
Because we hate haters and will not tolerate intolerance
The ACLU's jihad against that sinister, corrupting influence of youth—the Boy Scouts of America—continues. Having already succeeded in intimidating any city or town in America from putting up a Nativity scene at Christmas, the ACLU is now sending the legal equivalent of the suicide bomber in wave after wave against the Scouts—an organization that is apparently Public Enemy #1 for the civil libertarians.
The ACLU originally targeted the Boy Scouts because of the Scouts prohibition on openly gay Scoutmasters. The ACLU lost that case in court but have since decided to wage a legal war of attrition against the Scouts on any other grounds they can concoct until the Scouts beg for mercy—and the "Fab 5."
In this case, the ACLU sued—successfully—to prohibit the U.S. military from sponsoring Scout troops. Most troops have institutional sponsors and the military has traditionally served this role for the Scouts—especially on military bases overseas where other options aren't as available. The ACLU argued that this constituted religious discrimination because the Boy Scouts require members to believe in God. What's next? Banning the Declaration of Independence in classrooms because of its references to God?
Declaration of Independence banned in classrooms!
In Cupertino, Calif., a fifth grade teacher has been banned from distributing the Declaration of Independence due to its reference to God. Excerpts from the writings of John Adams and George Washington were also stricken from classroom teaching for the same reason.
Sometimes, you wind up "getting" yourself ...
Dan Rather announced his retirement as the anchor of the CBS Evening News. Rather's announcement came in the wake of revelations that Rather and producer Marla Mapes had pushed forged documents regarding George W. Bush's National Guard service as real.
Ukrainian journalists drop bias, Albuquerque Journal to study idea
Finding itself shamed by a public pledge from Ukranian journalists on the state sponsored news channel to stop spouting the ruling party line and provide unbiased reporting of the unfolding election saga in their country, the Albuquerque Journal has launched an internal investigation to assess the potential impact of such a move for themselves.
"Admittedly, this is a radical departure for us," said an unnamed spokesman for the Journal. "The idea that integrity and balance are integral to a news organization is very new, very cutting edge. It would require massive restaffing. Perhaps even a change of ownership. But, given the flat-line of our circulation, we have to at least consider the concept." (Note: This is just satire folks.)
Thanks to Scrappleface for the inspiration. ...
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. Payne, a former city councilor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.