Public Broadcasting in Peril
Funding for public broadcasting is at risk. Congress will vote this week on whether to zero out funding for this vital American resource. This will have a direct impact on our community. The small but vital percentage of our overall budget that comes from a federal appropriation is what forms the foundation upon which we build our capacity to serve New Mexico with content and services that educate, inform and inspire.
For over 52 years, KNME has been a valuable community resource in New Mexico, providing education and outreach services, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture reaching over 650,000 households each week. Public Television is the largest provider of preschool education in New Mexico. KNME’s Ready to Learn Service impacts the lives of over 10,000 children each year presenting nearly 100 workshops for parents and caregivers and distributing thousands of books. KNME produces inspiring and informative programs showcasing the beauty, culture, and history of New Mexico with programs such as the award winning “Balloon Fiesta” and “Painting Taos” and KNME’s “COLORES!” series which has inspired New Mexicans for over 20 years. “New Mexico in Focus,” KNME’s weekly public affairs series, explores issues that matter to New Mexicans. KNME productions have won numerous national and regional awards including a Peabody Award.
I hope that Congress is listening to the polls that show that Americans rank PBS second only to military defense as an excellent use of their tax dollars. Cutting funding for public broadcasting and KNME, which only costs about dollar a year per person, will do little to balance our national budget. But it will close a lot of doors for people who rely on KNME to provide them with inspirational, educational programming.
A Green Fire Still Burns
As a supporter of Mexican wolves, I was pleased to read the article “Lawsuit Against Wolves Withdrawn” in a local paper. The same anti-wolf interests that filed this lawsuit are now working to strip our beleaguered Mexican wolves of Endangered Species Act protections. The little lobos only number 50 animals in the wild and they face extinction.
In his essay “A Monument to a Passenger Pigeon,” Aldo Leopold states, “For one species to mourn the death of another is a new thing under the sun.” While perhaps true in 1947, unfortunately, now species go extinct at an alarming rate.
But to allow the extinction of the lobo is unacceptable. They are critical to their ecosystems and they are well-loved. According to one survey, seven in 10 New Mexican voters support the recovery of Mexican wolves. The extinction of the lobo is not worth a couple of cattle.
Recently, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced a bill (SB 249) that would strip endangered species protection from all gray wolves (Canis lupus). If passed, the result will spell wolf eradication—but it is especially significant to the Mexican wolf because it is so imperiled.
We need Congress to uphold the tenets of the Endangered Species Act for the benefit of all wildlife, and not to take protection away from a species for a vocal few and their big-business political allies.
To paraphrase Leopold, there will always be wolves in books and in museums, but these are effigies and images, dead to all hardships and to all delights. Book wolves know no urge of seasons; they feel no spring kiss of their young, no sun in summer nor wind in winter. They live forever by not living at all.
Dear Alibi ,
A while ago, you did a story about the Coal and Lead construction project. I can't remember the exact title of the story [News, “All Torn Up About Lead and Coal,” Dec. 23-29], but I read it. Thanks for the coverage.
The private citizens and business on those two streets will have a big headache for some time to come. That also goes for the unfortunate folks living in close proximity. To complicate this matter, the city erected a roadblock (barricade) at Columbia and Santa Clara. That barricade is on the east side of this intersection on Santa Clara. Lots of us in this neighborhood (Victory Hills / Hyder Park) work Downtown and that roadblock effectively closes access to a main route to the freeway, Downtown and the Westside all the way to Coors. It's frustrating to go north and run into the Lead/Coal construction in progress, and south to Gibson is way out of the way. We could go zigzagging through the neighborhood, but I'm sure those people don't like the additional traffic. This area is Rey Garduño’s City Council District 6. And apparently, those people on the 2700 block of Santa Clara want their own cul-de-sac; go buy your house on a REAL cul-de-sac; show some consideration for other taxpayers by not blocking the street.
Nobody told us, the citizens in this neighborhood, that they would be putting up this roadblock—it just showed up one day. Rey Garduño never told us a thing until it was up and blocking our rightful access. The people on this section of Santa Clara (between Girard and Columbia), the 2700 block, have been trying to block this road for years. They have done it a couple of times, and irate citizens have responded to get it removed. I wonder if Rey Garduño actually believes he can get enough votes on just one puny block to win election in November 2011.
The Victory Hills Neighborhood Association will have their monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 2. It's at the Loma Linda Community Center at 1700 Yale SE at 6:30 p.m. Rey Garduño is supposed to be there, but don't count on it. If you find this roadblock to be a big turd, call Rey's office or send him e-mail and express your frustration. And if you feel as I do about this roadblock, please show up for this meeting March 2. We need as many irate citizens as we can get together to voice our frustration.
[Re: Food, “Saigon Restaurant,” Feb. 10-16] This is my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in ABQ. The avocado shakes are divine, and the service is always excellent. It's great the Alibi finally gave props!
No, Thank You
[Re: Art, “Enter the Valentine’s Day Card Contest or Die,” Jan. 13-19] Thank you for hosting the Valentine’s Day Card Contest; it gives artist a venue to show their creative talents and have others share in their work. I look forward to entering next year’s contest. Again, thank you.
Correction: In the Feb. 10-16 music article on Sabertooth Cavity, we misspelled the bassist’s name. The correct spelling is Rene Aguilera. Party on.
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