Alibi V.14 No.52 • Dec 29-Jan 4, 2005 


The Place to Be

Dear Alibi,

[RE: Newscity, "The Place in Nob Hill," Dec. 22-28] Thanks for your coverage of the new development slated for the old Baca's site in Nob Hill. As someone who is raising a family in this neighborhood, I welcome the revitalization of what is currently an eyesore in the midst of an otherwise vibrant area. We have a lot going for us in Nob Hill, but there are still problems. For example, there were several break-ins earlier this month involving local merchants. When crime occurs in Nob Hill, it is typically after our shops close and criminals feel comfortable in the area because no one is around. That won't change until we have a residential component as part of the Central business district. When I lived near the Selway neighborhood in Portland, Ore., it was exactly this kind of pedestrian-oriented mixed-use development that transformed Selway from one of the most crime-ridden places in the entire state to one of the safest, most family-friendly destinations.

Also, having a family, I recognize that this neighborhood needs a safer environment for pedestrians—but this won't happen without continued investment and revitalization in our neighborhood like "The Place," which caters to pedestrians and catalyzes more revitalization. Some people will fight every project that comes along. But most of us want our neighborhood to continue to revitalize with redevelopment that makes us safer, improves our property values and continues the tradition of keeping Nob Hill unique. Most of us are offended by the Arby's, the flophouses and the abandoned lots in our midst, and we are ecstatic about the prospect of an attractive brick building that actually includes underground parking, for a change. I can't wait for "The Place," and think it will be a great addition to my neighborhood that will help jump-start other revitalization and more investment here that will continue to make this a better and safer place to live.

Jeremy Vesbach, Director
New Mexico Wildlife Federation

Victimless Crimes FYI

Dear Alibi,

I just read your Alibi article on "Victimless Crimes" [RE: Ortiz y Pino, Dec. 15-21]. I'd like to call your attention to a research project I conducted here in my Nob Hill neighborhood.

The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to investigate drug use and HIV risk in women selling sex for money or drugs. The results of my small pilot study (27 women participants) were very encouraging at the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addiction (UNM/CASAA), where we had studied in-patients and out-patients. These women were non-patients: we provided street outreach to them, even though they had not presented themselves for treatment. Their stories were horrifying. They have been hurt in every possible way, yet they responded well to our approach.

I'd also like to call your attention to three programs here in Albuquerque that are providing housing and help for these women: The Crossroads, Susan's Legacy and Tierra del Sol.

Carolina E. Yahne, Ph.D.
Entrenadora de la Entrevista Motivacional

Iraq and Roll

Dear Alibi,

{RE: Ortiz y Pino, "Cutting and Running," Dec. 22-28] Excellent analysis, sir--may I just add this thought: Geopolitically, the bin Laden part of the universe is in a win-win situation in Iraq. If we "cut and run," Osama has a propaganda coup (albeit short-lived--the world very well realizes that the prestige of the United States does not equal that of George Bush, and will be quite happy to see us come to our senses); if we stay and fight, we fall into the very trap T.E. Lawrence baited for the Turks in WWI: Pride prevented Turkey from realizing that Lawrence's version of the Deadly Roadside Explosive was meant not to force a Turkish withdrawal, but to be just as effective and maddening enough to ensure that the Turks stayed right where they were instead of redeploying to more effectively face the Allenby threat from the West. (Reread Seven Pillars of Wisdom to see just how cold-bloodedly he laid the strategy out to Allenby, who was, of course, delighted with it.)

Bin Laden has already stated that, in fact (and quite Lawrence-like), his major strategic aim is to sap our will and resources in a prolonged and indecisive guerrilla conflict in Mesopotamia. As with the WTC attack, it costs him and his cronies mere pennies to our billions to force us to defend everywhere against a force that may never materialize anywhere; hell, 9/11 scared us so bad he scarcely needs to repeat the gesture anytime soon, and he has boasted repeatedly what a marvelous "bang for the buck" he got four years ago.

Daily, or even yearly, repeats of the 9/11 horror would only pull us closer together and lessen the impact of that incredibly destructive moment in time--a moment which still has us tearing ourselves apart at home while we squander men, money and military fluidity abroad.

What terrorist in his right mind could ask for anything more?

Rick Lapin

A Rhetorical Pile of Dog Shit

Dear Alibi,

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote that highlights the fact that homosexuality is not physical, but a mental choice.

"I have a dog named Buffy and she is a girl dog. She goes out and she finds a boy dog and they fall in love and she has puppies. She knows she's a girl dog and he knows he's a boy dog. All anyone has to do is look down their pants to find out what God made them to be. If they can't figure that out, they have less sense than my dog Buffy!"

Is homosexuality natural? Is it normal? Then it must be unnatural and abnormal. The problem isn't between their legs, it is between their ears. It is a mental choice that can be reversed so as to return to the normal and natural human being that God created them to be in the first place. What ever happened to common sense?

Thank you for this consideration and your fair and balanced regard for my opinion.

Rick Mathes
Minister, Mission Gate Prison Ministry
Chesterfield, Mo.

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