Bad Form is Better than No Form
James Carlson and Brian Fejer [Letters: “Bad Form,” Jan. 26-Feb. 1;“Impeach Them All,” Jan. 19-25] both wrote to Heather Wilson and received a dismissive little form letter response. In fact, Mr. Carlson even received a totally irrelevant form letter in response to his concerns. Well, I'd like your readers to know that both of these gentlemen are way ahead of me in the treatment I got from Heather. I wrote her twice and neither letter was confrontational or even particularly controversial in subject matter. Each time, I received no response. Then, I e-mailed her and informed her I had previously been ignored by her. Still no response, so I called her office and spoke to a staff member. I had another issue I wanted to talk to her about. Needless to say, I certainly didn't think she would "grace me" with a phone conversation. No way. However, I told the staff member what my issue was and asked her to pass it on to Heather. I also informed her staff member about the two previous letters and the e-mail that went unanswered. The young lady acted (appropriately) appalled and said this was an aberration and there was no way Heather would ignore a constituent, etc. That was a year ago and I'm guessing she may not respond yet again. Her total lack of response has happened to a couple of my friends. Now I'm hearing that it happened to two other people as well. As far as I'm concerned, she is worse than useless. She blatantly dismisses her "subjects." She can't be voted out fast enough to suit me.
A Commuter's Commentary
I'm sorry to say I have a hard time with your latest Commentary [“The Long and Winding Roads,” Feb. 9-15], and your ongoing position on Westside traffic problems. I'm fine with your suggestions of limiting residential growth and raising impact fees, and you're obviously right that the benefits from any current proposals are going to be offset by people moving into the homes already planned or under construction, but so far, your "solutions" seem likely to make things worse, not better.
You've consistently opposed re-striping Montaño, but I drive that road every work-day, and the re-striping that's already happened saves me an average of between 15 and 20 minutes a day, besides making the other drivers a lot less feral. The Alibi's consistent assertions, before and after the re-striping, that it wouldn't help anything are directly contrary to my experience, so you've lost a lot of credibility with me on that issue.
And your main "solution," a bus-only lane instead of a regular traffic lane, would make things worse for me in a hurry. Assuming the Corps of Engineers actually allows buses over their 5-ton-limit bridge, how far apart are those buses going to be on average? Thirty seconds? A minute? Five minutes? Have you counted the number of people that go by in one of the Montaño lanes during that time, and figured out how you're going to get that many people into buses instead, and how much the extra buses and drivers, including all the extra feeder lines, are going to cost the city? And that's just to keep things as barely tolerable as they already are, not to make them any better.
I just don't think new economic development here will be reducing cross-river traffic anytime soon. Do you really see anywhere on the Westside south of Rio Rancho that is attracting the kinds of office and tech jobs that people moving into those mostly upscale new custom homes with the nice tile roofs are going to be paying their mortgages with? I don't, and I live here.
Double Eagle Airport as an alternative to the Jefferson corridor? Come on. I'll bet there isn't a lot of enthusiasm at the Alibi for relocating out there. And as for encouraging residential building on the Eastside, there's a lot of that already up in the foothills, but the main reason people live on the Westside instead of up there is that we just can't afford those places. We live here because of the market, not out of some perverse desire to annoy those folks down by the Bosque.
I totally agree that a four-lane Montaño and the Paseo extension aren't going to solve anything, but you need to do a little better with your suggestions. I could see getting off of Montaño if, say, Paseo were limited access all the way to I-25 and there were a real interchange there, or if there were a big Park & Ride near Paseo, and enough regular, quick buses with large bike racks from there to I-25 so we could get to work in a reasonable time. But that wouldn't exactly be cheap or quick. At any rate, the real-world bottom line is that improving the situation, or even just treading water, means getting more people per minute from between Coors and Unser to between Jefferson and San Mateo. I understand and appreciate your concern that doing that shouldn't run roughshod over cultural and neighborhood values, but I don't think you've made a plausible case that your suggestions will address that bottom line, which means that you don't seem to understand and appreciate sufficiently the cultural and lifestyle values of us Westsiders. Fair is fair, and I don't think your one-sided treatment of this issue has been fair.
Band Behind Berg
The story about Laura Berg's harassment over her letter criticizing the Bush administration [Newscity, “Big Brother is Watching,” Feb. 9-15] so incensed me that I felt compelled to send the following e-mail to my two Republican congressional representatives, Pete Dominici and Heather Wilson:
“The story that appeared in this week's Alibi regarding Laura Berg—a local Veterans Affairs nurse currently represented by American Civil Liberties Union attorneys George Bach and Larry Kronen in a peculiar matter that seems to involve official retribution against Berg for her criticisms of the Bush administration—sickens me as an American and fellow New Mexican. Once again, it appears that this morally bankrupt administration has reacted quickly to try to bully any dissident into submission. As Republican legislators, you should be ashamed that such activities are occurring in your own state!"
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