Barking Up The Wrong Track

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This letter is written in response to James Abraham’s letter in the June 8-14 issue of your rag in response to ending the train whistles due to the noise.

He complains of a larger issue than trains: kids and their loud car stereos. Gee whiz—we didn’t do anything like that when we were kids, did we? Of course we did, but instead of a thumping bass, it was a screaming guitar. Get over it.

I’ll tell you what is worse than both: incessant barking dogs that there is little or nothing you can do anything about, and there are a lot more of them than thumping cars. But unlike the car stereos, most dogs disturbing the peace belong to "responsible" adults who feel it is their "right" to allow Fido to disturb an entire neighborhood and that’s just OK.

"The Kids Are Alright" … it’s the parents that need the schooling.

Silencing The Past

[RE: News Bite, “Minor Chords,” June 1-7] I just can’t believe that somebody/anybody wants to silence the trains in Albuquerque. Luisa Casso, president and CEO of the Downtown Action Team (DAT), says, "Instead of looking at just Downtown, we’re looking at the impact of the railroad on the entire city." Excuse me, Ms. Casso, but the railroad is largely responsible for the entire city being here to begin with.

I grew up listening to stories about the colorful relationships between people and the railroad in Albuquerque from my grandfather, who was a lobbyist for the Southern Pacific Railroad in New Mexico in the ’30s-’40s. The train whistle reminds me of that history. Like a lot of people, my grandfather was heartbroken when they tore down the Alvarado Hotel, which sat on the tracks and was the heart of Albuquerque back then.

People living Downtown complaining about train noise are like people who move into the foothills and complain about wildlife in their yards. They should move to the Heights if they don’t like the railroad sounds.

I live in the North Valley and I love the sound of the train. And even if I really hated the noise, I can think of about a dozen more important issues for citizens’ groups to complain about and act on.

I hope there is organized opposition to this initiative for "Quiet Zones."

Have A Heart

When we domesticated the dog and the cat, Mother Nature could no longer control their population, and the responsibility became ours. We in Albuquerque have shirked this duty because our supply always exceeds our demand. Our shelters have had to kill 300 or more of them each and every week for more than two decades. Being born was the only crime of these harmless innocents who depend upon us. The effort to recall Councilor Sally Mayer for the passage of her long-overdue HEART ordinance is a shameless vendetta by a few people who represent a very small special-interest group.

Tails Between Our Legs

The attempt to recall Sally Mayer–let’s call it what it is: economically and culturally motivated. As a longtime volunteer with Animal Humane and a former East Coast native, learning how this city treats its animals has been a real eye-opener. Dogs are chained outside until they become angry and mean enough to bite humans. Dogs are treated like farm animals. Dogs are left intact and therefore aggressive. Puppy mills turn out volumes of sickly animals strictly for profit.

Sally Mayer’s HEART ordinance is an attempt to legislate humanity. Maybe it will work, and maybe it won’t. But this city has to wake up to its cruelty and understand that dogs must be spayed and neutered, dogs must be bred under controlled conditions—all because too many individuals believe they have the right to abuse them as their "property."

Dogs are companion animals. They belong in our homes, not chained to trees. They should be bred as if each and every one was to be a personal pet. Anything less is inhumanity, and it all adds up to one thing: one of the nation’s highest rates of euthanasia. We should be ashamed.

Round ‘Em Up

[RE: Letters, “The Beef With Cow,” May 18-24] Isn’t America truly blessed? We are so fortunate that management of our resources is in the hands of dedicated, knowledgeable, true stewards of the lands used for grazing.

On the other side of the coin is the difficulty presented to these caretakers by the gullibility of those who are, today, generations away from the actual hands-on experience of dealing with our natural renewable resources of the land. Even though they are doing the caretaking on "your" public lands, you don’t pay them for the care. Remember that absolutely everything of a material nature that we have in our lives, everything that we buy, use, own or wish we had, comes from the land. Just try to think of something you have that does not at some point originate from the land!

If our grazing lands were managed by those as ignorant as Carol Norton and others of the so-called Forest Guardians (FG), we would have less of our preferred home (American) grown beef and lamb, and even less open space to enjoy. Most particularly, in the arid and semiarid areas of the West, where almost half of our national beef herd is raised, the land would be suffering more of what FG claims grazing causes. My own experience on such mountainous lands proved that managed grazing actually helped heal earlier problems. Back in the ’30s, the U.S. Forest Service built exclosures on areas within the newly designated ranch properties. The "tragedy of the commons" had been seen by all, and the new areas of individual responsibility were to correct damage done.

By the ’40s, I saw these exclosures (denying cattle access to the area); it was obvious to anyone that the grasses and other forages within the fenced exclosure were deteriorating, not producing seedlings. Unhealthy clumps with bare ground between were smothering in earlier growth that didn’t rot away in the arid climate. The healthy self-renewing growth was in the grazed areas outside of the fences.

Count your blessings, America. Most of those on the land know what they are doing!

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.

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