Downtown parking meters lack appropriate signage
The streets of Downtown are less crowded. The traffic hasn't slowed, but the number of open parking spaces along the streets has increased. In early July, the City of Albuquerque installed 14 parking meters along Central between First and Seventh Streets [RE: Newscity, "Both Sides of the Street," July 6-12], which convert the formerly two-hour free parking zone into pay-only.
A Week in the Life—It’s that time again. It seems we can only go a couple of months before we are forced (forced, I tell you) to do a little Albuquerque Journal critiquing. It’s just one of those things—like taking the car for a tune-up or buckling down and cleaning the house—when the essentials start to fall apart, you have to pay attention.
Can I See Some ID with That?
The ACLU fights the new voter ID law
Voter fraud is an unavoidable evil in a democracy. You can mitigate it, but you can never get rid of it completely. Toughen laws, and at least some vote-thieves will still find a way around them.
Don't bank on regulations for payday lending just yet
The payday loan industry in New Mexico remains nearly unregulated, but not for lack of trying on the part of Gov. Bill Richardson and Attorney General Patricia Madrid. In late June, the Regulation and Licensing Department ended the public comment period for proposed regulations designed to limit fees, end interest and give payback options to payday loan consumers [RE: Newscity, "Money in the Bank?" June 29-July 5].
Ortiz y Pino
Without a Home
Looking for ways to help Albuquerque’s homeless population
At two different neighborhood association meetings this past week, I heard choruses of frustration over problems created in those communities by the large number of homeless people hanging out on street corners and in parks. For me it was déjà vu.
Quiet the Trains
A measure that would hush the rail chugs down the tracks of the City Council
Every night, when the trains slip through Albuquerque, Jill Gatwood can hear their whistles from her North Valley home. She lives just a couple of blocks from the tracks, near Fourth Street and Griegos. For Gatwood, the tone is comforting, something that signifies stability—and Albuquerque. "It's the history of the city," she says. The railroad, she wrote in her June 15 letter to the Alibi, is largely responsible for the Duke City's existence. Her grandfather was a lobbyist for Southern Pacific Railroad in New Mexico, perhaps figuring into her affinity for the sounds associated with the rail. "A train whistle is a certain specific tone," Gatwood says. "It's always the same, and most people find it to be kind of romantic."
Odds & Ends
Dateline: Canada--A Swiss tourist caught for speeding through the Canadian countryside has blamed his crime on Canada’s distinct lack of goats. The driver was caught traveling 161 km/h (100 mph) on Canada’s busiest highway between Montreal and Toronto last Sunday. The posted speed limit is 100 km/h (60 mph). “An officer stopped the car for speeding along a straight stretch of road, and the driver told him he thought it would be all right to go fast because he wasn’t likely to hit a goat,” said Constable Joel Doiron. “I’ve never been to Switzerland, but I guess there must be a lot of goats there,” he said. Constable Doiron noted that in his 20 years as a police officer, “nobody’s ever used the lack of goats here as an excuse for speeding.” The Swiss speeder was issued a ticket for $C360 ($430).
So You Wanted Lots of Rain ...
The Sept. 6 Council meeting began with an adorable Pet Project dog peeing on the Council carpet and became even more entertaining when Lawrence Rael, executive director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments, presented the Council with a model Rail Runner. Rael said the commuter train was averaging 2,500 to 3,000 riders on weekdays and carried more than 15,000 passengers to the Bernalillo wine festival. Unfortunately, the model trains painted with our state bird are all sold out.
I'd like to congratulate both the Albuquerque Animal Care Center and the Alibi's Christie Chisholm for fine work on "Gimme Shelter" [Feature, Sept. 7-13].
Weekly virtual dance party
Bernalillo County Open Space is hosting a series of livestreamed gardening events on the Bachechi Open Space Facebook page. On Saturday, August 8 starting at 2pm, A Gathering of Naturalists will have a panel discussion with members of the county’s master naturalist program about what a naturalist is, what they do, what projects they work on and some interesting facts about our metro area’s Open Space gems. This open to all-ages free discussion will include how the field of environmental conservation is evolving in an era of change due to the global COVID pandemic, social justice and the climate emergency. Not your style? Then what about on Saturday, August 22 at 2pm you check out a virtual field trip to look for the tracks and signs of wildlife that are found in our uniquely beautiful urban forest we call the Rio Grande Bosque. The virtual tour will be led by Michael Cox, a member of the county’s naturalist program and a volunteer at the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center. This free field trip is suitable for all ages of bug and critter trackers. For more info log on to www.bernco.gov/openspace.