Gov. Bill Richardson has never been a man for small undertakings. Rather, as his nickname, Big Bill, implies, he tends to aim for ... well, bigger accomplishments. It started with a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1983, and continued into the position of U.S. Ambassador to the UN in 1997, which landed him three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. From there, his ambitions snagged him a job as the U.S. Secretary of Energy, and eventually landed him back here in New Mexico in the governorship. Now, with recent speculation about his interest in the White House, it seems as though Big Bill's tendencies aren't going to downsize anytime soon.
Councilor Brad Winter called for a second hearing on his comprehensive ethics bill to allow time for the administration to discuss their concerns. Councilor Debbie O'Malley introduced a group of Valley High School students who made a very polished presentation about the potholed road to their school. The road's condition results in part from confusion over whether APS or the city is responsible for it. Councilors elected the current acting director of the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations, Carmen L. Kavelman, as the permanent director. Mayor Martin Chavez' appointment of engineer and developer Augustine "Gus" Grace to the Joint Air Quality Control Board won approval on a 6-3 vote, Councilors Michael Cadigan, Isaac Benton and O'Malley opposed.
Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to the corrosive influence of money on our public policy. I'm not just talking about the shenanigans inside the beltway of our nation's capitol—that Congress is for sale to the highest bidder has unfortunately become a practically accepted tenet of the American belief system.
Dateline: New Zealand—Organizers of a vintage car rally came up with a novel solution to an age-old problem--by hiring karate experts to protect vehicles from marauding parrots. According to the New Zealand Press Association, around 40 members of a local karate club were enlisted last Sunday to protect 140 classic cars set to pass through an alpine village near Mt. Cook on New Zealand's South Island. The martial arts experts were there to protect the cars from Keas, sharp-beaked native parrots that have been known to damage vehicles in their search for shiny objects. Organizers assured bird lovers that the karate fighters would not hurt the parrots, which are a protected species, but would simply scare the birds away. Local wildlife ranger Ray Bellringer said the karate fighters were unlikely to deter the Keas. “They will fly around and laugh,” he told the NZPA.
James Carlson and Brian Fejer [Letters: “Bad Form,” Jan. 26-Feb. 1;“Impeach Them All,” Jan. 19-25] both wrote to Heather Wilson and received a dismissive little form letter response. In fact, Mr. Carlson even received a totally irrelevant form letter in response to his concerns. Well, I'd like your readers to know that both of these gentlemen are way ahead of me in the treatment I got from Heather. I wrote her twice and neither letter was confrontational or even particularly controversial in subject matter. Each time, I received no response. Then, I e-mailed her and informed her I had previously been ignored by her. Still no response, so I called her office and spoke to a staff member. I had another issue I wanted to talk to her about. Needless to say, I certainly didn't think she would "grace me" with a phone conversation. No way. However, I told the staff member what my issue was and asked her to pass it on to Heather. I also informed her staff member about the two previous letters and the e-mail that went unanswered. The young lady acted (appropriately) appalled and said this was an aberration and there was no way Heather would ignore a constituent, etc. That was a year ago and I'm guessing she may not respond yet again. Her total lack of response has happened to a couple of my friends. Now I'm hearing that it happened to two other people as well. As far as I'm concerned, she is worse than useless. She blatantly dismisses her "subjects." She can't be voted out fast enough to suit me.