Keeping an Eye on the County
People living in this region might be concerned about a proposed change to state law which would allow Bernalillo County Commissioners to delegate their authority to review all subdivision applications, no matter the size or impacts, to a county staff person. This appears to be an attempt to sidestep the public review process which state law requires.
County officials tell me that the goal is merely to streamline the development review process, but they fail to acknowledge that the state law already allows them to streamline the review process for smaller subdivision applications. So HB 723 must be an effort to streamline the process (and avoid public review) of all subdivision applications. Shame on them!
The sponsor, Representative Eric Youngberg, is a Republican in the real estate industry from Bernalillo County who wants to change the state law just for Bernalillo County. This comes on the heels of Bernalillo County's successful legislative bid two years ago to strip Albuquerque's planning, zoning and platting powers in the extraterritorial jurisdiction surrounding the city.
The community needs to watch Bernalillo County very closely, in my opinion.
I am Chicano. I grew up in South Texas. I marched in my first protest in 1969 when I was 12 years old. I experienced first hand the racism and prejudice that Texans have for Mexican Americans. I know the battle, I know what we are fighting for. So, to you Hispanics who support the nomination of Alberto Gonzales, what is wrong with you?
Have we sunk so low that even when the president chooses this horrible example of a human being, a man who condones and excuses torture, to be his Attorney General, you support him because he is Hispanic? This is the equivalent of honoring Torquemada because he was from Spain. What part of "he excuses torture" do you not understand?
Have you truly lost sight of the greater battle for the dignity of all human beings in the effort to claim this petty political victory? I would rather go back to the days when we had to fight hard for every one of our rights, and often lost, than to have this man represent our victory.
This is a betrayal of all we have fought for, a betrayal of our heroes, men like Willie Velasquez and César Chávez. We should be shouting to the world "He is not one of us!" Instead you embrace and support him. Que somos, una bola de mamones?
He is not who we are, who we want to be. I am embarrassed to be associated with him, and with you. This is truly a sad day.
[RE: "Commentary," Feb. 3-9] Thank you Mr. Scarantino and the Alibi for daring to do more provocative journalism than the rhythmic stroking of the mayor's ego as the city's other print media seem so content on doing. Scarantino peels back the carefully-crafted façade that the mayor's spin doctors have built in the months following the ABQPAC scandal (anyone remember that?) to reveal the painful truth—the mayor still has no qualms about putting his own political interests before the needs of the people of this city.
I care about the welfare of furry creatures everywhere, just like Mr. Chavez, but I only wish the mayor rushed to help the of victims of domestic violence and rape and troubled teens as fast as he rushes to his next photo op with someone's cat.
A Life Raft for Midwives
New Mexico holds the honor of coming closer to meeting World Health Organization Standards for Safer Childbearing than any other state in the nation. Thirty-two percent of New Mexican babies are born into the hands of midwives. Since 1987, New Mexico's Medicaid program has paid for healthy, low-risk pregnant women to birth their babies at home and in birth centers. Homebirth midwives, who are required to file statistics with the Department of Health on every woman and baby they serve, consistently have excellent outcomes for both mothers and babies.
Unfortunately, due to the nationwide malpractice crisis, New Mexican women are now at risk of losing the safe and empowering option of homebirth. Like all other health care providers, midwives cannot find affordable malpractice insurance. In fact, midwives attending homebirth cannot find any carriers willing to insure them at all. Because of the lack of malpractice insurance, Medicaid is refusing to contract with homebirth midwives and is now denying low-income women their right to choose a home or birth center birth. This crisis could spread to midwives working in hospital settings, as well. Already, midwives in Texas, New York, Oregon, Illinois and other states have lost their jobs at hospitals because of a lack of affordable liability insurance.
Luckily, many New Mexicans understand the importance of preserving midwifery and we can work together to make a difference. Please urge your state senators and representatives to support the pro-midwifery bills up for vote in the legislature this session. At a time when Medicaid faces severe financial problems, the cost-effective, safe option of homebirth should be encouraged rather than eliminated.
For more information on how to get involved, please go to www.momnm.org.
And From the Right ...
[RE: “Thin Line,” Feb. 3-9] Mr. McGivern, I'm afraid that your latest column has no credibility unless you will give us a run down of the backgrounds of all the reporters at the presidential press conference, and not just the one that was identified as an odd ball because he dared to ask a question that did not besmirch Bush. That certainly meant that he could not be a mainstream media reporter, you know, the kind that you dare not investigate because they are always unbiased and omni-benevolent. As for Ortiz y Piñon, here is all you have to know about the Social Security debate: When Clinton identified the problems and called for reform, and when Gore campaigned in 2000 and did the same, they were infallible prophets with the gift of foresight. When Bush says, OK now let's actually do something about it, he is making something out of nothing.
Editor's note: His name is Ortiz y Pino, jackass.
Letters should be sent with the writer's name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to email@example.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.