“Salt cedar” is a term most Albuquerqueans have heard before. Also known as “tamarisk,” the plant came to the U.S. in the early 1800's as an ornamental shrub, but by the '50s had overtaken many waterways throughout the West, including our own local Bosque.
Thinking about next November's election this early is as shameless as those cheesy Christmas decorations that go up at the mall every October. But 2006 is a big election year for our city, state and nation. So here's a call to voters to put your good citizen caps on and start thinking about the upcoming elections, even as you recover from your holiday shopping/eating binge.
Eighty crimes, from murder to shoplifting, are included in an amendment introduced by City Council member Craig Loy. Loy feels the current wide-ranging Nuisance Abatement Ordinance needs more teeth. Promoted as a necessary measure to control nuisance properties such as large apartment complexes and places like the Blue Spruce Lounge, the amendment actually includes all real property, both commercial and residential, plus personal property and vehicles.
My track record with keeping New Year's resolutions has been decidedly lame in recent years—viz., my vocabulary continues to demonstrate a propensity for scatology and obscenity; my addiction to television sports remains un-remediated and my vows to begin each morning with 15 minutes of quiet reflection hold sway until, oh, sometime right before Three Kings Day on Jan. 6. So this year, I've decided to abandon resolutions and instead attempt a series of predictions about improbable but very desirable revolutions I think will occur in the upcoming year.
[RE: Newscity, "The Place in Nob Hill," Dec. 22-28] Thanks for your coverage of the new development slated for the old Baca's site in Nob Hill. As someone who is raising a family in this neighborhood, I welcome the revitalization of what is currently an eyesore in the midst of an otherwise vibrant area. We have a lot going for us in Nob Hill, but there are still problems. For example, there were several break-ins earlier this month involving local merchants. When crime occurs in Nob Hill, it is typically after our shops close and criminals feel comfortable in the area because no one is around. That won't change until we have a residential component as part of the Central business district. When I lived near the Selway neighborhood in Portland, Ore., it was exactly this kind of pedestrian-oriented mixed-use development that transformed Selway from one of the most crime-ridden places in the entire state to one of the safest, most family-friendly destinations.
Dateline: New Zealand—According to police reports, some 40 drunken Santa Claus clones rampaged through the streets of Central Auckland last Sunday, stealing from stores and assaulting security guards. The New Zealand Herald reported that the event was designed as a protest against the commercialism of Christmas. Police said some of the red-clad Santas threw beer bottles, one jolly old elf tried to climb the mooring of a cruise ship and a security guard was punched during the fracas. One of the bearded troublemakers allegedly attacked a Christmas tree. “They came in, said ’Merry Christmas' and then helped themselves,” convenience store staff member Changa Manakynda told the Herald. The event's organizer, Alex Dyer, said the event would end only when someone was arrested. The mass protest was linked to the online site www.santarchy.com, which records similar events going back 12 years. Police said attempts at identifying the criminals led to some confusion. “With a number of people dressed in the same outfit, it was difficult for any witnesses to confirm the identity of who was doing what,” Senior Sergeant Matt Rogers told Reuters News Service.