When it comes to the Otero Mesa, folks involved in the struggle over oil and gas drilling permits seldom agree on what they define as need, and what they define as greed. Oil and gas companies, for instance, argue that drilling in the Otero Mesa would help to boost the local economy by bringing jobs and supplying additional funding to state education. But there are others, such as conservationists, ranchers and sportsmen, who say that the benefits of drilling on the vast section of Chihuahuan desert in south-central New Mexico have a cost—and it's more than we can afford.
The short, happy life of Jeff Gannon. Two weeks ago, "Thin Line" noted the shameful appearance of Jeff Gannon, Washington bureau chief for an outfit called Talon News, at President Bush's Jan. 26 press conference. While real reporters waited in vain, Gannon gained instant credibility when the president selected him.
Last week, I went looking for prairie dogs in City Councilor Sally Mayer's near-Northeast Heights district. I found lots of closed businesses instead.
For further proof that Congresswoman Heather Wilson must think her constituents will buy into every phony claim she doles out, just look to this warm and fuzzy offering in her Feb. 7 e-newsletter from Washington. Under the heading "Wilson statement about State of the Union address," our elected representative offers this single paragraph: "I thought the President gave a very strong speech. To me, the most powerful moment was not what was said, but something we saw. An Iraqi human rights activist, who is the daughter of a man murdered by Saddam Hussein, embraced the mother of a Marine killed in Iraq fighting for her freedom and the right to vote. It was a powerful visual reminder of what this is all about."
At the Feb. 7 meeting, Councilor Sally Mayer's bill funding five more animal control officers to staff the just-passed "dangerous dog" ordinance passed unanimously.
Dateline: Australia—A fire station in Sydney allegedly missed an emergency call because one of the crewmembers was off picking up a pizza in the station's fire truck. The New South Wales Fire Brigade has launched an inquiry into the incident at Maroubra fire station. After picking up the pizza, the fireman allegedly took some friends for a joyride. During the time the fire engine was away, the station received an emergency call and was unable to respond. Two other fire crews did manage to answer the call, but officials are still taking the incident quite seriously. “This is not a humorous situation,” warned state opposition emergency services spokesman Andrew Humpherson. “This was a fire truck and somebody could have died.”
As a college student in the '60s I well-remember the frequent complaint we voiced that our education didn't seem "relevant." We wanted to be studying real life subject matter, not esoteric writings by a bunch of old white guys divorced from what was happening in the rapidly changing world swirling around us.