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Correction: In the “Newscity” article “Condemnation Denied” appearing Sept. 16-22, the Alibi wrongly stated that Bernalillo County issued a building permit for a house on D. McCall's Bosque property. The county approved a waste water permit and that's what was rescinded. The building permit was never approved.

Later Nader

It may come as a surprise to many that the Green Party has a presidential candidate named Dave Cobb. Given the actions of the renegade New Mexico Green leadership on behalf of Reform Party candidate Ralph Nader you would think that he was the Greens' nominee. Ralph snubbed the Green Party a year ago, deciding to go-it-alone, until he found a real nonparty in the Reform Party that was willing to give him the honor of succeeding Pat Buchanan as its nominee. Nader and his supporters, who are playing the victim now with his ballot access in New Mexico, orchestrated the removal from the ballot of duly nominated Green Party candidate Cobb in Vermont and Utah and are trying to do so in California. With Nader thus engaging in a game of hardball as ruthless as any, his candidacy has turned from a grassroots uprising in 2000 to a branch of the Bush campaign this year. It is well known that here Nader's petitions were circulated at Bush rallies and that the effort was only possible with the financing and organization of Republican State Sen. Rod Adair, one of their most determined and brilliant political operators. Nader signature gatherers were strangely absent from in front of the co-op and other places where Green-types are. That's because the erstwhile Nader-friendly people who actually share issue positions with him are in no mood to facilitate a second Bush term—and this holds true for former celebrity supporters such as Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Medea Benjamin, Bonnie Raitt, Rabbi Michael Lerner and many others who have been sobered by the depravity of this administration to ask people to vote for Sen. Kerry, especially in swing states such as New Mexico.

It is sad to see Nader, the man who inspired so much idealism being the willing tool of the most cynical people in the world: The worst administration we have lived under, and the one that must be brought to an end by a united front of people of conscience.

Pussycats And Rattlesnakes

A couple of things about your most recent issue [Sept. 23-29]. First thing: Tim McGivern in his “Newscity” piece wrote that instead of asking Cheney any tough questions, “I held my tongue, fearing that kind of probing journalism, these days, might find me locked in a Secret Service full nelson.” Wow, another frightened journalist. Must be getting pretty crowded at that end of the journalistic spectrum these days. Whatever it was Tim was afraid of, if he's afraid of doing his job, maybe he's in the wrong line of work. Sure, Dick Cheney looks evil as all get out, but I hear he's a pussycat. Go ahead—ask him some questions. Just for the hell of it. See what he says. Earn your pay. His SS bodyguards won't hurt you, not any worse than they feel they have to. They're professionals.

Second thing: Dr. Nuttall, the professor, in the article about the Mixed Waste Landfill, draws a false analogy. A landfill full of nasty crap is not the same kind of danger as a rattlesnake in the driveway. In case any of the Alibi's readers are confused about the difference between the two, then this is what you do if you have a rattlesnake in your driveway. You don't just “keep an eye on it.” You don't “choose to move it from your driveway.” If it were my driveway, I would get my rifle and I would shoot the rattlesnake until it was dead. But I've lived in the Southwest a long time, and I'm not sentimental about pit vipers. If you just can't bring yourself to harm the poor little snake in your driveway, then scoop up your kids and your cats and your dogs right away and shut them up safe in the house, and call law enforcement or animal control to come deal with the snake. Don't try to figure out how old it is or if it's lost its fangs. It's a rattlesnake, damn it.

As for what you do with the Mixed Waste Landfill, I haven't a shit's clue. Can't shoot it. Can't dig it up and dump it on Dick Cheney's driveway.

Reality Check

I found Aja Oishi's article on the redevelopment of East Downtown [“The Ballad of Tijeras Gardens,” Sept. 9-15] extremely interesting not simply because the author demonstrates the real-life effects of gentrification but because of the several other myths she exposed about what constitutes affordable housing.

Myth: That affordable housing means housing that is derelict, dilapidated and occupied by “drug dealers and prostitutes.”

Reality: Affordable housing simply means housing that a person or family can afford to live in—that they pay about a third of their income for housing so that they have money left over to pay for food, transportation, health care, day care, and everything else they need to get by. Furthermore, I know of no study that shows people who live in unsafe neighborhoods, in substandard housing or next to criminals can actually afford to live there.

Myth: Most people benefit from gentrification; high property values in gentrified communities are beneficial to most people in Albuquerque.

Reality: Stable communities are diverse communities. Neighborhoods that are represented by all types of people with all ranges of income grow consistently and reliably over time. They are less susceptible to economic trends (both up and down) and show reliable patterns for growth along all economic classes.

This is why the work of organizations like the Albuquerque Civic Trust and the Sawmill Community Land Trust is so important, and it's why government-sponsored requirements for the creation and maintenance of affordable housing are key to improving the stability of our city.

Many thanks to Councilors Eric Griego and Debbie O'Malley for seeing the value in providing safe, stable housing that people of all incomes can afford. Housing affordability isn't a backburner issue in Albuquerque. Kudos to our leaders who acknowledge the importance of this issue and are willing to take a stand to promote affordable housing.

Letters should be sent with the writer's name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to letters@alibi.com. 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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