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 V.15 No.49 | December 7 - 13, 2006 

Letters

Vote with Your Remote

Dear Alibi,

I would like to compliment John Bear on his “Thin Line” in the Nov. 30 issue. I have given up on watching any of the three evening news programs for all the reasons Mr. Bear points out and then some. All three stations have websites asking for feedback, but when you do give feedback, if you receive a response, it will be only to tell you how ignorant you are and how great they are.

I am also tired of hearing about every car accident that happens 3,000 miles away, every case of child abuse that takes place in some East Coast city, and every fraud case that happens somewhere, far away, in a town I have never heard about.

If a murder has not happened in Albuquerque on this particular day, you can be guaranteed that the news stations will go back 20 years to dig up some murder they can talk about. It is as if their objective is to drag you down and depress you, and, by God, they will accomplish that objective.

They have become part of a witch hunt against child molesters and DWI offenders. While these crimes are heinous, it is their job to report this news, not to make it, not to spearhead social causes and not to convict people who have not yet been to trial.

I could go on, but foremost is the truth that Mr. Bear points out ... they spend a good deal of their time patting themselves on the back for putting out a bad product. The so-called awards they receive are voted on by their peers, who put out the same bad product.

I am just a lone person who has found out that when the news stations ask for feedback they mean only good feedback. I am just one viewer who is sick of all the negative, all the pandering, all the worthless fluff that these people fill a half hour of our airwaves with. Powerless, all I can do is vote with my remote, which I do. And sponsors of the evening news should know that many like me are doing the same. If we can get enough of us to stop watching, and to stop patronizing the sponsors of this swill, perhaps we can effect a change.

Until then, I will continue to read my newspaper, and the Alibi, of course.

Al V. Puglisi

Rio Rancho

Fickle Fashion

Dear Alibi,

It is apparent that Kyle Newman [Letters, “Now Vogue,” Nov. 30-Dec. 6] has never been a poll worker nor has he ever counted ballots. Verifying absentee ballots, validating provisional and in-lieu ballots, and hand-counting the thousands of ballots rejected by the machines is very labor intensive and time-consuming. The “no vote left behind" act and the requirements for a paper trail have made elections a very complicated procedure. Mary Herrera is to be commended for doing a very good job under difficult conditions. I have been a poll worker and presiding judge under three county clerks and Mary Herrera is the best of the three. I have greatly enjoyed working with her and know she will do an excellent job as secretary of state. I suggest that Newman volunteer to work the polls and find out what a complicated procedure voting is for the workers.

Jane Swift

Albuquerque

Rapid Ride and Rail

Dear Alibi,

Scarantino’s exercise in arithmetic is almost as cute as some hip urban types think streetcars are [The Real Side, “The Streetcar Railroad, Episode II,” Nov. 30-Dec. 6]. Here are just a few facts about urban rail:

1) Once those tracks go down, rail becomes the gift that keeps on giving. These gifts include, but are not limited to: huge savings in fuel and energy per passenger-mile, compatibility with renewable energy of all kinds, no rubber tire disposal problem and low maintenance costs. And don’t forget that rails, unlike streets, are not themselves made out of petroleum products.

2) Urban rail promotes relatively sustainable and sensible growth, i.e. along transit corridors. If we have to keep growing, best do it as compactly as possible.

3) Nobody is going to burn the damn Rapid Ride buses—merely move them to end-of-track and open new transit routes. How about Rapid Ride to Carnuel, Sedillo, Edgewood, etc? At least till we get rail out there someday.

4) Once the trains started running in St. Louis, Dallas and other places, people were surprised to find out that bus ridership actually went up. With the trains in, buses could be rerouted to serve more neighborhoods, and the trains themselves.

5) People like to ride trains. Is that a problem?

The only problem we at Rails Inc. have with the streetcar system is that the Central line stops too short. Transferring from streetcar to other transit at Central and Carlisle could be a pain in the ass. San Mateo, Louisiana and boulevards east are all better designed for a transfer station and cross-connections to the Heights, the base and Sandia Corp.

There exist innovative and exciting methods that can cut tens of millions off of the cost of getting those tracks in the street, and significantly reduce the temporary disruption involved.

No cosmic law exists that says we have to do the whole system at once. We could put the tracks in and keep running the Rapid Ride till we can afford rail cars. Just another possibility.

The good news is that most of us now agree that we need more and better transit. The bad news is that many of us are still screwing around with halfway solutions to a potentially catastrophic problem. As another Alibi staffer [Laura Sanchez] correctly said: “Our cars are killing us.” Let’s get out of the ’50s for once and for all. They weren’t that great the first time.

As to the streetcar line favoring developers, what the hell does another road so far to nowhere do? Put them out of business? If anybody’s going to get rich off of transportation corridors, at least let them do so offering more choices in living and commuting. We can’t keep sprawling forever.

JW Madison

Rails Inc.

Reading Comprehension

Dear Alibi,

[RE: The Real Side, “The Streetcar Railroad, Episode II,” Nov. 30-Dec. 6] In Jim Scarantino's recent column berating the mayor's sensible and exciting plan to bring a modern streetcar system to the Duke City, he tells your readers: “Their streetcar tax will be the first tax to directly benefit private real estate development."

There were several head-scratchers in Jim’s column, but this one takes the prize. Cities all across America (that, of course, includes Albuquerque) have been building public infrastructure that benefits private real estate development for centuries. Private developers have built our cities, they have built our sprawl suburbs, they have built our strip malls, all with the benefit of tax dollars providing the infrastructure. For Scarantino to make such a preposterous statement, it appears he is either an idiot, or a liar. I know Jim to be neither, but I hope the Alibi will do a better job of reporting on this important issue in the future.

The fact remains—economically competitive, socially integrated cities around the U.S. and the world are redeveloping around rail transit, creating walkable urban villages and neighborhoods. Albuquerque must do the same if we want to become a first-rate city that is economically competitive in the 21st century. Mayor Chavez and the majority of our city councilors are right on in their pursuit of a modern streetcar system that will eventually link all quadrants of the city. Scarantino, on the other hand, should form an opinion, at the very least, that doesn’t insult the intelligence of your readers or posit false information.

Tim McGivern

EDO Spaces

Editor's note: Tim McGivern is the former managing editor/news editor of the Alibi.

No Pot for the Don

Dear Alibi,

I refuse to buy, sell, grow or use marijuana. I have never bought, sold or grown it in my life. About 30 years ago, I took some tokes of marijuana that were offered to me.

Marijuana benefits certain health problems, but other natural, legal remedies exist for all those conditions.

As to users’ behavior, I would much rather have someone high on marijuana around me than someone drinking booze, but far better than marijuana is being high on life!

Cigarettes and booze harm users’ health far more than marijuana, but I reject all three! I would not smoke cigarettes, drink booze or use marijuana for all the money in the world.

I refuse marijuana because I refuse to risk arrest, fine, court and jail for myself.

I refuse marijuana because I refuse to risk arrest, fine, court and prison for those who would sell marijuana to me.

I refuse marijuana because I refuse to increase my fear of police. I refuse to make my life more secretive.

Unless I would grow it myself or know personally and trust the grower, I do not know if it is organic and not contaminated.

The international trafficking of marijuana and other illegal drugs is an extremely violent, money-crazy racket. Imported marijuana is often drenched with the blood of many people.

I do not need marijuana to cope with life and to feel good. I refuse to depend on marijuana to meet and connect with other people.

Marijuana can lower motivation and drive—making users feel lazy.

My lungs are not made for smoke—whatever the source. Smoking marijuana can harm the lungs.

I do not have money to waste. Imagine if all the money Americans spend on marijuana, cigarettes, booze and other drugs were given instead to help millions of hungry, homeless children worldwide.

Marijuana causes many users to suffer memory, learning and attention difficulties.

Although marijuana at the moment can make users feel more sexual, habitual use lowers testosterone, causing men to be less horny, less able to get firm erections and to orgasm readily. Cigarettes and booze also lower testosterone.

Eating lots of wild edible greens like wild spinach and wild mustard plus hot red chile pepper every day can help one conquer the marijuana habit.

I get high on nature, sunbathing, vigorous exercise, close friends, mutually affectionate sex, war tax refusal, gardening, heart-touching music, forgiveness, living simply, eating only raw plant foods, constantly gleaning wisdom, naked body freedom, deep conversation, nonviolence and compassion for all people.

Don Schrader

Albuquerque

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to letters@alibi.com. 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.

 

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