Building in the Bosque
A 5,700-square-foot building destined for the Bosque has some neighbors riled up.
John Hart's lived in the same house for 27 years, about as long as the Rio Grande Nature Center’s been around. A new education building will be constructed next to the center and a couple of doors down from his home. But Hart feels the structure will intrude on a treasured natural area. "They're overdoing it," he says. "It's poorly planned and larger than it needs to be."
When the project was initially proposed about three years ago, it was supposed to be 10,000 or 11,000 square feet, says Dave Simon, director of New Mexico State Parks. "We have refined down the building to meet what we think are basic needs for this facility. There's not a lot of excess in it."
Most of the attention during this 30-day session is focused on budget woes. But with all the bad press state politicians ate last year over accusations of dirty dealings, some ethics bills may have a shot after all.
Cash for Firefighters, STAT
It is always a pleasure to see firefighters at a City Council meeting. At the Wednesday, Jan. 20 meeting about a dozen spoke in support of adding a paramedic to Station 8, which is near Tramway and Indian School. The station is one of the busiest in the city, and emergency critical intervention (such as airway intubation) requires a paramedic.
Slavery in 2010
No one has been prosecuted under the state's 2008 human trafficking law, according to Phil Sisneros, spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office. But it's a crime he says he's sure exists. "We've long believed that the human slavery issue is one New Mexico is facing," and so do law enforcement officials and many service providers, he adds. President Obama declared January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
Odds & Ends
Dateline: New York—Syracuse resident Derrick M. Pride probably should have just stayed in bed last Monday. His very bad day started at around 7:20 p.m. when he was shot and wounded in the left shoulder while standing near the corner of East Fayette and Bruce Streets. Pride, 39, ran across the street, got into his car and, accompanied by a witness to the shooting, began driving toward Upstate University Hospital. Unfortunately, police believe Pride was intoxicated when he got behind the wheel of his car. On his way to the hospital, he turned the wrong way down a one-way street and crashed head-on into another vehicle. Pride was taken by ambulance from the crash scene to the hospital, where E.R. workers began treating his various wounds. Athough things were starting to look up at that point, they took another turn for the worse. While helping Pride out of his bloodied clothing, medical workers found four grams of crack cocaine in his “groin area.” Pride eventually received a felony and misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance for the drugs. He also got busted for driving while intoxicated. Neither Pride nor his witness were able to identify the shooter.
[ Re: Letters, “Take That, Walgreens,” Jan. 14-20] Walgreens was absolutely right by telling you it is “common sense” to know you should not park in their lot if you are not shopping in the store. Just as it is “common sense” that I would not park in your driveway to go have lunch at your neighbors house.
Ain't I a Woman?
Tall and slim with natural blond hair, the young lady walking by us exuded a confidence that belied the struggles she must have gone through to be where she was. I gestured toward her. "No matter what I do, I'll never be able to look like that," I complained.
Democracy for Sale
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding political spending by corporations and unions was more than just a blow to democracy. It was a blow to states’ rights. All across the country, lawmakers are scrambling to determine the extent to which their local campaign financing laws are still legal. In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens derided the ruling for not only striking down a large portion of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act, but also because “it compounds the offense by implicitly striking down a great many state laws as well.”
Festival of Trees
I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as hundreds of Christmas trees filling up Albuquerque Convention Center’s Ballrooms A, B and C from Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10am to 6pm. This 12th annual Festival of Trees raises funds for the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation through the $1 donations requested at the door. It is chock-full of Christmas decorations, wreaths, Santa, hot cocoa and, of course, trees. For more information on this all-ages event, see festivaloftreesnm.com.