The Sheriff's Pearly Whites
Here is a memo to our fearless top sheriff, the always-looking-for-a-camera Darren White. The next time you feel the need to jump on the "where are all the sex offenders living" and “how can I milk that story another time for just a little more juice” you might want to consider putting your sheriffs on a case a little more worthwhile. Perhaps stationing them at sites where dangerous explosives are being held with only the security of a kids' playground. Maybe that might be for the public good more than the Halloween-night hassling drive-bys of sex offenders. And you might work on the training for officers on suicide calls. Just a thought.
Good News for Nob Hill
The recent article in the Alibi about the proposed project in Nob Hill, "The Place" [Newscity, “The Place in Nob Hill,” Dec. 22-28], did an excellent job of capturing the issues surrounding the project. Recently, we held an open house on "The Place" project in Nob Hill. For those who went to the open house (about 35 neighbors), it was an opportunity to see detailed floor plans for every level; the updated renderings; talk to the project architect, developer, planner and marketing professional; and talk with fellow neighbors and business owners. Not everyone agreed, but it offered a good opportunity for people to discuss the project and get accurate information.
The question isn't whether or not change is good or bad--change is inevitable. The question is whether or not we can influence the changes to ensure that they are helping the neighborhood and our community. As a resident of Nob Hill, I feel strongly that providing new opportunities for retail shops and housing on Central in the heart of Nob Hill (with underground parking) will be a major plus for the neighborhood and the city. This project will help make the area more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly and safer. More density along Central will hopefully make light rail feasible in Albuquerque. Councilor Heinrich's comments in the article were right on target. With several other projects brewing in Nob Hill, there are a lot of positive changes in the works. Councilor Heinrich has helped to set the bar high for all of these projects in terms of the quality of design, pedestrian orientation and mixed land uses.
Loony Toons and a Martyred Lion
As a reader of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia (I have yet to see the new Walt Disney/Walden Media film of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), I find it amusing that once again, just as with The Lord of the Rings, loony toons have to make criticism of a classic fantasy tale and read into it their own political or religious interpretations.
On the eve of the film release, some critics said it was little more than Christian propaganda being placed into a children's film [and others said that the books were racist]. While C.S. Lewis was a known Christian and the books have some parallels to the faith, he himself said those were not deliberate but "suppositional" and a great deal of the motifs of Narnia can be attributed to Celtic, Norse and Anglo-Saxon myths as well as Greco-Roman mythologies. Given these factoids, and the fact the story was written to reflect Northern European myths, it is not necessarily malicious that some of the villains appear as dark. Classical European myths often depict the local tribes such as the Picts, Celts and Teutons fighting with the Romans, who were obviously swarthier in appearance and later, the Europeans clashing with the Turks. Those are simply facts of history and today's loony lefty nutjobs should realize that the writings of Lewis' era attempted to incorporate history and mythology into their writings and to attempt to impose some post-modern, politically correct interpretation is to read far too much into the stories and is simply an attempt by elite stuffy shirts to further discourage reading works other than ones they approve of--generally their own.
When it comes to intolerance and shouting down discourse, the left have a fairly competitive claim to the trade just as much as the radical right. The left wants to discourage anything that portrays Western civilization in a positive light and the right wants suppression of any idea that does not fit within their mold of clearly defined parameters. Both sides are wrong because the world is greater and more complex than black and white, but by the same token, the left often reads far too much into rather simple concepts and tries to convolute everything into some class/race/gender conflict. In the end, I simply wish to enjoy the works for what they are: escapist fantasy. I do not read Tolkien or Lewis to find some deep, sociological construct but rather to escape from reality once in a while.
You chose the Petroglyphs, also known as the “Westside Graffiti,” as a Worst for 2005 [RE: Feature, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Best and Worst of 2005,” Dec. 29, 2005-Jan. 4, 2006]. I had to respond.
How can graffiti be considered sacred? Over the years, drunk/bored Indians and cowboys passed time scratching crude pictures on rocks. I know of a lot of walls, freshly etched storefront glass and backs of traffic signs that should be considered sacred using your definition. How can running Paseo through a pile of graffiti-covered rocks ever be likened to running a road through the Vatican? There's no graffiti in the Vatican and, last map I've seen, there are roads running everywhere in there, anyway!
You also mention that the Petroglyphs are sacred symbols; portals to the spirit world. Hey, it's the 21st century--the Stone Age is long gone. Send in the graffiti squad.
How is running a road through a pile of graffiti spitting on Native American culture? Aren't they already spitting on their (Stone Age) culture with their casinos and golf courses that waste sacred water?
Letters should be sent with the writer's name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.