As an evacuee from New Orleans who ended up temporarily here, I drifted into fantasyland and relief reading Wade Nelson's comment, "Dreaming of a Real President" [Re: Letters, Sept. 8-14].
I opened a coffeehouse here called EJ's at Silver and Yale in 1985 and raised my daughter in Albuquerque. I came here after a long story and was greeted by very generous "old" friends as well as coincidences of seeing my customers from my coffeehouse of days gone by. I visited the convention center and saw the help being given to many less fortunate than myself. I used the Red Cross's services as well as the laptops available. I leave today, heading back to help friends and family in Louisiana who lost much more than I. I am a singer/songwriter and drove limousines in New Orleans for my day job. I don't foresee any limo tours happening anytime soon in my hometown and I'm making plans to move up to the northeast.
If our great president had only acted within a fraction of Mr. Nelson's comments, many, many lives would have been saved. Bush could have had troops and helicopters in place before Sunday, simply because of the well-predicted path of Katrina. He missed his chance to step up so it all will remain only a dream within this daily nightmare that hasn't yet left me. Thanks, Albuquerque. ...
Jack Neilson jackneilson.com
No, You Shut Up!
As I read your issue in which you endorse certain candidates for the municipal election, I was deeply disturbed by your slam of both Sally Mayer and Tina Cummins as realtors.
First of all, has anyone from the Alibi ever bothered to interview anyone from the real estate business? I am a real estate professional, and from my standpoint, you never bother to do your homework and instead just offer blanket generalities.
The reason some of us are wary about impact fees is because many of the developments that would have created jobs and increased tax revenue for the City of Albuquerque instead go to Belen, Los Lunas and Rio Rancho. Furthermore, this often ends up creating a greater traffic problem because many of the jobs are in Albuquerque proper, yet people living in the surrounding communities have to commute and there has never been a true redress of the issues of roads and, once again, this is because of the efforts of liberals to stem growth.
In regards to the Wal-Mart being placed at the intersection of Wyoming and Northeastern, I do feel that the store should have been placed to face Wyoming and not Northeastern. Yet, the center itself has been experiencing a high vacancy rate for quite some time now and none of the Alibi's beloved "local businesses" offered to become a tenant in the existing space. The Alibi staff also seems to want to have it both ways: no growth and development, yet Wal-Mart was not engaging in true suburban sprawl but rather utilizing existing space--yet you criticize the plan by Wal-Mart that takes advantage of existing infrastructure. Sorry, you can't have it both ways, folks. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a place like Dave and Buster's or GameWorks go into the space at Wyoming Mall but that just did not occur.
As people come to Albuquerque from California and the East Coast, where are they going to live? It seems as if the Alibi staff would trade out growth for the development of overcrowded tenement housing and make the Duke City a quasi-slum. People come here to get away from overcrowded tenement housing and narrow streets in exchange for open space, a house with a yard or a decent condo or townhome, and room to park. They also come here to get away from high costs of living ranging from car registration to land and property acquisition costs.
Yet, the Alibi does nothing but gripe. Either offer solutions that are feasible and can be implemented or quit whining. Put up or shut up!
Name Withheld Albuquerque
Many thanks for endorsing the city's Open and Ethical Elections Code. You are correct—it is indeed important that this measure pass on Oct. 4 to take special interest money out of politics and level the playing field so that ordinary people can run for office; not just folks with big checkbooks.
In order to meet our shared goal of passing this measure, Common Cause New Mexico is operating a field program to let Albuquerque residents know this measure is on the ballot and why they ought to vote for it. We have been and will continue until Election Day to knock on doors, phone bank and get the word out around town.
Since we both want this measure to pass for the benefit of all Duke City residents, I was hoping there might be a venue where you could let people know how they could help. We've set up a volunteer sign-up page at commoncause.org/joinusinalbuquerque. If you were able to promote this, we could reach more people and gain more volunteers for this effort.
We are not going at this alone and we are not limiting this to Albuquerque residents. On Friday morning, an e-mail went out to over 185,000 subscribers to Common Cause's e-mail list all across the nation, encouraging them to come to our city to help bring clean elections here. The national office has sent staff from Colorado and DC already, and we're expecting more as we get closer to Oct. 4. However, the most important people we need to reach are Albuquerque residents. You've already helped a great deal by endorsing the Open and Ethical Elections Code. I hope you will consider furthering this effort by letting people know how they can take an active role in leveling the political playing field and getting special interest money out of our elections.
Matt Brix Executive Director, Common Cause New Mexico
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