Are You Being Served?
Not to be confused with the PBS television series, we all should be asking ourselves a similar question. [The year] 2005 should prove to be an interesting year in as much as it is an election year and everyone will be jockeying for position from the mayor's race to city council. Mayor Martin Chavez could well be re-elected, for overall his administration has been quite successful and has accomplished many positive things. As for city council races, in particular, District 7, that's debatable.
City councilors, like other elected officials, should be held to a higher standard and accountability. They are primarily and foremost public servants and should act accordingly. They are obligated to fulfill the wishes and desires of their constituents first and vote on issues that are in the taxpayer's best interest, not their own agenda and special interest groups.
This year we have a chance to change the way our business is conducted at City Hall and Council chambers. While other city issues are being conducted, it seems that District 7 has been forgotten or sold out in the name of developer interests and other self serving projects. Beholding to power brokers not constituents is a very misguided fallacy.
This fall we will have the opportunity to change the way the political system is supposed to work and clean up District 7. Your vote is very important to change the leadership direction of the community and to say once and for all: District 7 is no longer for sale.
Kevin S. Smith, president
Stardust Skies Park Neighborhood Association
Read Red Whine
I agree with Jim Ridout's "Fine Red Whine" letter in the Feb. 24 Alibi, but I think he misses the point in only criticizing the Republicans for whining about activist judges. He makes a fine point: that the percentage of President Bush's nominees stopped by Democrats is just two percent. Debate, as he points out, is what the founders of this system of government wanted, believed in and promoted. However, I don't think they ever envisioned an opposition as spineless, weak and ineffectual as is the Democratic Party today.
Our good opposition party has approved 98 percent of Bush's nominees. Our Blue Heads didn't oppose Bush's sad invasion of Iraq (for reasons not supported by the known facts drawn from CIA intelligence); they did not oppose the torture of Afghani and Iraqis imprisoned as suspects (suspects, mind you, not known terrorists), and they even said nothing when Clinton dropped cruise missiles on innocent Iraqis. Granted, political opportunists, red or blue, don't want to level criticism at the head of their own party, but this failure to point out Clinton's mistakes is indicative of the failure of most Democrats to have any principles. Kerry never had a chance. He's the same as most Democrats.
The Democrats have nothing to offer us in terms of protecting our liberties and freedoms. They have consistently supported changes to our laws that severely curtail our freedom of dissent, and of habeas corpus. They have supported efforts to open all of our homes to wiretaps, to secret searches of our homes, to seizure of our property before trial, and a myriad of other laws that blatantly violate the Constitution with it's Bill of Rights, and defy the Declaration of independence and over 200 years of struggle to protect the rights of all.
Of course the President and his buds can promote their own agenda while stifling dissent in the name of liberty; they have no opposition. What do most Democrats want, after all? They want solely to get elected. They have no guiding principles that they have recently defended; they have nothing to offer, and we all sit back and expect them to "win" our country back? Ha!
A Line in the Sand
Three cheers to Christie Chisholm of the Weekly Alibi for her well-written and thoroughly investigative story on New Mexico's Otero Mesa. Unlike other mainstream newspapers in the state, Chisholm's report does a fantastic job of not only covering the detailed aspects of this critical issue but also the very different sides who are debating it.
As Chisholm points out, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has a "cheery optimism" about drilling for oil and gas in Otero Mesa, which happens to be considered America's largest and wildest Chihuahuan Desert grassland. Yet, looking at the track record of the BLM and the oil and gas industry, there isn't any proof that full-scale industrialization can occur without severe degradation to this wild landscape.
The facts are undeniably obvious:
o Otero Mesa is one of the last great wilderness areas left in New Mexico and America.
o There is a large fresh water aquifer beneath Otero Mesa that could supply future drinking needs for New Mexicans.
o A vast majority of New Mexicans, including Gov. Richardson, have called for the protection of Otero Mesa.
o In the last four years, the BLM has had an enormous surge in approving oil and gas drilling permits throughout the Rocky Mountain West.
o The oil and gas industry has a history of contaminating ground water supplies and causing health problems for many residents who live in and around drilling operations.
o The BLM and the oil and gas industry in New Mexico have a very poor tract record of restoring land to its natural state once the impacts of development have occurred.
The plan to drill in Otero Mesa is completely ridiculous and New Mexicans should be outraged at the arrogance of the federal government, BLM, and the oil and gas industry. It's time to draw a line in the sand and stand up for Otero Mesa.
Henny Hits a Homer
Maybe the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson was spreading a little bit of magic on its way to greener pastures, because Michael Henningsen hit an editorial grand slam in your latest issue [Feb. 24-March 2].
His thorough de-pantsing of the whole "Where's Larry?, Where's Dianne?" ad campaign, followed by perhaps the most accurate assessment of the Daytona 500 I've ever read, would have been enough to have made my day. He then followed up with a fantastic review of the new Decemberists release, and finished the whole thing off with a wonderfully acerbic review of 3 Doors Down. I'd suspect literary steroids if there was such a thing. Keep on swingin' for the fences.
Nick Tauro Jr.
All Over for All Ages?
I do not understand why Mayor Martin Chavez believes that the all-ages crowds are the ones causing "trouble" at concerts Downtown. I'm 17, and have been to many concerts at the Sunshine Theater and also at the Launchpad a few times. The only problems, if any, I see at the shows always involves some drunk guy wanting to start a fight with someone, and they eventually end up being thrown out by security.
Stopping all-ages shows from happening Downtown would not solve any problems, it may even make things worse. Concerts would then be filled with drunk people, staggering all over not even knowing that they're at a concert. Attendance at concerts would also go down a lot. A majority of the people that go to shows, especially at the Sunshine, are below 21. Bands don't come here very much as it is, and seeing a small crowd without a lot of their fans, they may not even want to come here anymore.
Being younger than 21, there's not much to do. Concerts are just about the only event I see in which many young people get together. Without all-ages concerts, what else would we do? The mayor needs to think about what would really stop "trouble" at concerts. Maybe not serving alcohol when there's an all-ages show would help, don't you think? No, I guess not, because we, the under-21-crowd are supposedly the ones causing all the "trouble".
I encourage anyone else that doesn't agree with the mayor's ideas to do something about it. I will be starting a petition, and hopefully that will help him to think. If all you under 21 concert goers want to continue going to shows, do something about it.
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