If it was a snake ...
[I] liked your column [Carl Petersen’s “Fauna of Burque”] in the Alibi. One minor correction. That wasn't a coral snake in the east mountains. It was a New Mexico milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum celaenops). The Arizona coral snake (Micruroides euryxanthus) is only found in southwest New Mexico. I was also a herpetologist. In fact I have been bitten nine times by venomous snakes, including seven rattlesnakes, one water moccasin and one copperhead. I haven't been bitten in 28 years, but then I haven't had an alcoholic drink in 28 years either. I still regularly pick up rattlesnakes with my bare hands, but it is much easier if you are sober. The first time I got bit, I picked up a rattlesnake by the tail (wrong end). One time I put a diamondback in a pillowcase and set it on my lap while driving home. It bit me in the leg. I was feeding a copperhead a mouse once, and the snake struck at the mouse, missed and bit my finger. It was late at night, so I decided to fight the bite with a bottle of tequila. Wrong medicine. Next morning the whole left side of my body was swollen, and I decided I should probably go to the hospital. All the bites were stupid on my part. One year there were two cases of snake bites in Albuquerque. I was both cases. If you want a snake bite column sometime, it will make people smile.
Why is it that the majority of rabid anti-choice, letter-writing knuckleheads are men? If men took more responsibility in their sexual actions, this wouldn't be such a big hoopla. I'll take these dorks’ point of view more seriously if they start adopting and properly raising the unwanted children. Don't ever see that happening from that side. Just a lot of fake morality and hand-wringing. Those types are far more amusing when busting a gasket over Obama's birth certificate than when they stick their noses into an issue that is basically none of their business.
Oh yeah, most of these men seem to consider themselves patriots. Yet these so-called law abiders will resort to violence, intimidation and fear mongering (as well as made up science and creationism) to justify their disdain of a federal law. The way they act you think someone was trying to take away their prairie dog weapons.
ISO creatures great and small
I live in the North Valley. The past two summers I have been here, there were lots of lizards. I have not seen one this year, but my neighbor said he's seen some. Last year we had lots of skunks. None this year. Last year we had a possum eating in the grape arbor. This year no possums. Pigeons are beautiful and wonderful birds. I rescued about eight during the past year. Two were hit by cars but still alive. No one stopped. They both died. I had a success this summer. A pigeon was standing in the middle of a downtown street not moving. I took him home, put him in a dark closet. Later gave him seeds and water. Released him the next day. He flew out of the box, a little hesitant. Flew around a little, then soared up in the sky. They can fly up very high. They are beautiful when they fly in formation.
On Dinelli’s Safe City past
Pete Dinelli cannot now claim that he was not the actual, if not de facto, leader of the Safe City Strike Force when it made the “Ace of Spades” video that recently came to light. While some may argue over whether the video itself is deserving of any attention at all, the fact that the video was made and allegedly given out as Christmas presents is symptomatic of how the Strike Force was run under Dinelli’s supervision and control. At the time, I was working on homeless issues and had the distinct displeasure of sitting across the table from Dinelli on several occasions when in response to advocate’s concerns, he made it clear that (a) he was the leader of the Strike Force, and (b) the Strike Force was essentially above the law and could, and would, evict whomever they wanted for various, spurious reasons, including drug use, abandoned cars, high weeds, minor code violations, etc. This policy was later found to be so contrary to the law and violative of basic Constitutional principles of due process that the City settled a class action lawsuit for $1.7 million in 2012, in large part based on the fear of millions of dollars in punitive damages for Dinelli’s conduct.
And, just as worrisome, if not more so, Dinelli was consistently unconcerned with what happened to the people he was evicting, even when entire motels and apartment complexes were being torn down rather than rehabilitated, and dozens of people, including families with small children, were joining the ranks of the homeless through no fault of their own. His policy was that they were better off on the streets than in a “substandard” building, even one that wasn’t that substandard or beyond repair.
There is a famous quote, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” On Oct. 8, please remember this sad and disgraceful part of Albuquerque’s history, and consider whether you want a man who treated those who could nothing for him this way to be your Mayor. I know I don’t.
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