Hippies on the Radio
I agree with Jessica's opening paragraph in “The Spirit of the Radio" [Music Editorial, Sept. 14-20] about Albuquerque's sparse radio landscape, but want to make a couple of points about her subsequent criticism of KUNM's musical programming. Although she admits that KUNM's musical programming is “eclectic," she then proceeds to label the listenership as “middle-aged left-leaning hippies," which of course directly contradicts her statement that KUNM's appeal is “eclectic." I don't believe that KUNM is really trying to appeal to her teen and twentysomething listenership, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
First of all, she may not realize that KUNM is the only radio station in the state which does appeal to “eclectic middle-aged" musical tastes, while her demographic has a ton of radio stations playing its music, multiple clubs bringing the new groups to live audiences and many publications such as the Alibi which advertise this music generously and consistently run columns doing criticism of this music. We “middle-aged hippies" have only KUNM! And we need our music just as desperately as she needs hers! Why deprive us of our slender pickings just to cater to another, already saturated programming? And, frankly, we baby boomers put our money where our mouth is, and support KUNM for exactly the musical programming we want. Perhaps that is why Jessica implies we are "the Powers that be."
Secondly, the point that Jessica is missing is that KUNM helps to broaden the public musical spectrum in New Mexico in a way that no clubs or groups, publications or other radio stations do, and that breadth of offering is ultimately what we value in this state—a rich diversity of musical offerings. And perhaps one day Jessica will come to appreciate a wider range of musical genres ... and may even find her music labeled “middle-aged" and “hippie" by the New Millennials. Jessica, you have that to look forward to.
I read, with some consternation, that Heather Wilson rewrote an antiterrorism bill, to meet with the president's approval, to allow warrantless wiretapping “when an attack is imminent,” which, according to the president, is constant. So much for her oft-touted “independence.” The FISA court, since its inception in 1979, has reviewed over 18,000 wiretap requests. Out of all of those requests, they've only rejected six. That's right: six. The FISA law also allows for the request for the warrant to come up to 72 hours after the wiretap is in place. There is absolutely no reason why the president cannot obey this law. Unless it's because he's wiretapping people whom he does not wish it to be known that he is wiretapping. Not to mention the president has asserted all along that his warrantless wiretapping is perfectly legal. If that is true, then why is this bill needed and why does it contain provisions to make these activities legal retroactively?
Our right to privacy is guaranteed by the constitution and needs to respected, no ifs, ands or buts. Ms. Wilson, once again, proves herself to be nothing but a lap dog for the president and the Republican Party. If she has no respect for our basic rights, then she must go. The sooner, the better!
Up In Ashes
I moved here from California some years ago, seeking a saner lifestyle. The strip malls took some getting used to, but I quickly grew to love Albuquerque's horizons, the mighty Sandias on one side, the gentle volcanoes on the other. I've been blessed to live in some beautiful cities, but thanks to these treasures, I grew to regard Albuquerque as another unique, beautiful, and truly world-class city. Every time I drove one of our east-west avenues, I thanked Albuquerque's forbears for their vision in preserving these open spaces.
Thus it was with deep sorrow that I read of the recent passage of a bill planning for the development of the so-called “Volcano Heights Sector" [Council Watch, Sept. 14-20]. As if this were just another real estate district, not an unparalleled and irreplaceable natural treasure. No other city on Earth can boast the treasure of a volcanic mesa for a horizon—in terms of property value, it's priceless. For this reason, the plan just passed, which will irrevocably destroy this resource and represents a terrible failure of vision for our city: a failure of imagination, courage, and the heart and soul to recognize what has made Albuquerque truly special.
Is it too late to save our volcanoes? I would gladly spend $10 a month on a special tax, for however long it took, so the city could purchase these lands and preserve them for perpetuity. How long would it take, if everyone who chose to do so bore the burden? Have any such options been considered? The current owners could receive fair value for their property, and together we could all give the gift of a beautiful horizon to our children's children. What a gift to give on our 300th anniversary! With the right leadership, we could call it the Martin Chavez/Albuquerque City Council Open Space.
If the slopes of the volcanoes are developed they will be destroyed, and this destruction will doom Albuquerque—not just to the sameness and mediocrity of so many other cities, but to something deeper. The loss will haunt all of us, going forward. We'll all have to struggle harder to find happiness as we travel each day around a much-diminished place.
Is it too late to save our volcanoes?
Basque In Burque
[RE: Letters, “False Light,” Sept. 14-20] Mr. Rodriguez is right. Mexicans are not Hispanic and are falsely labeled since most of their DNA and bloodlines are of indigenous origin. And what blew me away was when he put the Basque equation into origin. Those that have Basque names such as Rodriguez, Gomez, Maestas, Ruiz, Ortiz, Torrez, etc. What do you do if you call yourself Hispanic, Spanish or a Latino if you have a Basque surname? Remember the Basque people in the Basque region of Spain hate the Spanish. Maybe those that have Basque names that speak Spanish like Erika Ruiz, Jessica Garate and Cynthia Izaguirre, should brush up on the real language of their real ancestors and stop making their ancestors from the Basque region turn in their graves. Just something to think about.
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