Alibi V.13 No.32 • Aug 5-11, 2004 ››
Water Hogs and Heron
[RE: "Water Hogs and Heroes," July 22-28] While the city's plan to construct the San Juan-Chama diversion project will ultimately replenish Albuquerque's underground aquifer, it will ultimately destroy Heron Reservoir. The article makes no mention that this reservoir is a lake (a state park where campers and fishers alike once met for recreation). The water levels are currently so low that there are no accessible boat ramps for fishers to attempt trolling the lake. The campgrounds are no longer located next to the water. Campers and shore fishers must take a hike to get to the water.
I understand that the city owns the water rights to Heron Reservoir; however, haven't both the ecological life of the lake and the economical life of the surrounding community suffered enough? With the insurgent need to save the minnow a few years ago and now the city's call for water, so much water has been released from that lake that people have stopped going to the once popular state park. As a result, guide services have been put out of business and local bait stores have been closed.
Although the silvery minnow has been saved, I wonder what will happen to all of the trout and salmon that live in the lake and what about the sparrows that nest in Willow Creek, the deer that drink near the dam? Will they too be lost as were the jobs with the depleting water level? We saved the minnow and now we will "save" water for more toilet flushes and lush green golf courses in Albuquerque, while draining a lake, a community of life. I can't help but question if it is worth it.
Bring on the Broccoli
This week, another study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health has called for a further reduction in the tolerable level of cholesterol. The move was endorsed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.
So what's new? Health authorities have been cautioning us for years to replace cholesterol-laden meat and dairy products with vegetables, fruits and grains, which contain no cholesterol.
How many more studies will it take? How many more people must die of heart disease and stroke, our nation's top killers, before consumers get the message?
Eating a cholesterol-free diet is a snap these days. Every supermarket carries a rich variety of veggie burgers, soy dogs, soy-based lunch meats, microwave-ready dinners, dairy-free ice cream and other desserts, and of course, a huge selection of vegetables and fruits. We have the means to lead a healthy, productive life. All we need is the will.
Editor's note: Mmm ... sounds delicious!
Slippery When Wet
I figure a fair number of Alibi readers ride bicycles. I ride one, also. I work in downtown Albuquerque and I ride my bicycle to and from work. Today, while riding my bicycle, I discovered something about riding bicycles Downtown that I'd like to pass on to other cyclists.
You know those spiffy faux-brick sidewalks that were installed Downtown? The ones that are made out of resin? The ones where the look-both-ways decals couldn't stick to them and had to be reapplied with a thick coating of glue? Well, let me tell you—those sidewalks are slippery when wet. Today we had a bucket-buster of a downpour right at the end of the business day. Everything was wet. I was eastbound on Copper, turning right to go southbound on Third Street, and when I hit one of those damned plastic sidewalks, my tires lost traction and my bike slid out from under me and down I went. And my bike has good tires.
Lucky me, I didn't get run over. Didn't even break anything, though I lost some skin and I have a rib that is letting me know precisely where it's located. So cyclists, beware—those damned plastic sidewalks are treacherous when wet. And Risk Management, beware—somebody's going to take a crashing spill like I did, and break something, or get run over, and that's going to cost the city a lot of money.
[“Payne's World,” July 22-28] I cannot agree more with Greg Payne's on-the-mark review of the Albuquerque Journal's methods for making sure people read what they want them to read.
The story about Doug Copp, 9-11 rescue worker turned shyster, was worth a mention amongst the Journal's pages, especially since Journal owner Tom Lang gave the guy a lift in his plane to New York City after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
It's not your fault, Mr. Lang, that such a sad and pathetic situation took place after Mr. Copp exited your airplane. But certainly his story did not merit its front page placement in the Sunday Journal. And certainly it did not merit the multiple day spreads published in the Journal that followed. My question is, if Mr. Copp turned out to be a real, honest-to-goodness hero, would we have seen the same coverage?
Against the Tide
Ralph Nader is running against the ABB tide. That's not a bad thing. The facts on the ground indicate a great deal of difficulty ahead, and he knows this. Those who support his work in consumer advocacy in the past have left him to the mercy of the machinations of the Democratic Party. He has dared to publicly confront those because it affects the future of all independent and third party candidates.
New Mexico Greens have been likewise pummeled, so we know the feeling. Rationalizing the actions of the Democratic Party because of current public opinion does not improve the political landscape. It does not promote change in ballot access laws. It does not open our system of representation. Nader is taking the shots for anyone who is left unrepresented.
Voting for Kerry is irrelevant. The city council of Arcata, Calif. is currently deciding on a resolution expressing no confidence in the U.S. electoral process. They are working on wording that does not discourage voting, but points the way forward and exposes the inequities for what they are.
The wave of public opinion behind Kerry has equally negative consequences for the future, as the election of Bush does. It permits elections without engagement on the issues. It establishes the right on the Democratic Party to define for themselves the nation's choices, priorities and agenda. It continues to marginalize vast segments of people and deny them a voice.
We have been told to take a seat and enjoy the show, but don't ever think that we can determine for ourselves, as a people, who speaks in our name. If people weren't so panic-stricken and fed the anti-Nader ballot access propaganda from every conceivable media outlet, they might be able to see this for themselves. As it stands, we are in for a bumpy ride no matter what.
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