The End of the Beginning
A new buyer for Westland Development?
All stories have an end. But for the Atrisco Land Grant, the climax is still building.
Occupying tens of thousands of acres on the southwest cusp of our city, the future of the 300-year-old land grant is intimately tied to the future of Albuquerque.
In 1967, 57,000 acres of this hereditary land was converted into Westland Development, Inc., a for-profit corporation with the goal of planning and leasing the lands to further the economic and social development of Atrisco heirs. In August of last year, Westland announced plans to sell the land to an unnamed buyer, who was later revealed to be ANM Holdings, a Delaware-based company that was incorporated nearly a month after the announcement.
In the Papers: Megachurch Gets Mondo Coverage--Initially, I defended the Albuquerque Journal's coverage of Calvary Chapel's interior bickerings, which grabbed A-section headlines throughout the month of March. A friend complained to me. “Why do I have to see it every single day?” she asked. And I said something to the effect of, “They have lots of members. That's why it's important.”
At the March 20 meeting, Councilor Don Harris' bill establishing an Interim Development Management Area for the core of District 9 passed unanimously. Also passing unanimously was a bill sponsored by Council President Martin Heinrich and Councilor Isaac Benton placing a moratorium on conditional use permits for residential construction in commercial zones in the south Yale/University sports area until the city can prepare interim guidelines for development.
Burque—The New L.A.?
Pink is the new black. Forty is the new 30. And Albuquerque is the new L.A. Not Los Alamos, silly, Los Angeles.
Ortiz y Pino
Our fascination with counting bodies as a measure of how the war is going in Iraq is macabre. Worse, it is a false measure; a number without context; a point on a scale that signifies something different to every single person who reads it.
Odds & Ends
Dateline: France—Two pioneers of the cryonics movement, which freezes dead bodies for repair and revivification in the future, have been cremated after an unfortunate freezer mishap. Dr. Raymond Martinot became a science celebrity in 1984 when he had his wife Monique, who died from cancer, frozen and stored inside their chateau in France's Loire Valley. Dr. Martinot died of a stroke in 2002 at age 84, and his son followed his orders to inject him with the same anticoagulants and store him alongside his spouse. It was Martinot's belief that scientists would be able to revive him and his wife by the year 2050. Remy Martinot, son of the cryonics researcher, battled for years to keep his parents freezer-bound. Several French courts had ruled that storing bodies in that manner was illegal. Martinot had vowed to appeal. Unfortunately, the freezer storing Mr. and Mrs. Martinot failed, taking the bodies from a constant -65C to -20C. The bodies were cremated in early March.
[RE: Letters, “PNM Moneybags,” March 16-22]
Ann Stevens is not alone and should consider further action. I purchased a home here a year ago and have fought a losing battle with PNM in an effort to try to get them to learn their jobs and then to actually do them. Over many months of phone calls I have concluded the following by their own statements: Your meter may or may not be read. Your meter may or may not be read by a remote device, binoculars or an actual meter reader but they don't know and refuse to tell you. They will not disclose if they charge based on estimated usage or actual usage. They deny having ever made a mistake immediately after telling you they made a mistake for the previous six months, which is somehow your fault. They have no accountability, nor any desire for it. Upon calling the NM Public Regulation Division, who is supposed to advocate for the consumer, and engaging in a three-way phone call, it was determined that I was out of order for expecting any answers and was tag-teamed by the PNM rep and the NMPRD rep. The fact that my meter was incorrectly read upon purchasing my home, the fact that I spent three months on the phone to get someone to verify this, the fact that they don't do estimating, except for when they do and you are not privileged to know this as they don't even know, but due to their mistakes I now owe about $700 for gas alone on an account that predated my even owning the home, and since I gave up calling after three months it's my fault.