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The Aug. 28-Sept. 3 edition of the Weekly Alibi contained a story [Re: Newscity, “Not-So-Free Speech”] with two notable misconstructions. It was an otherwise informative article, but I do wish to take this opportunity to set the record straight.

First, the story claims, "Some nonprofits don’t want to register as PACs [political action committees], because doing so could affect how much funding they get." The truth of the matter is that nonprofit organizations shouldn’t register as political action committees because they are not engaged in political activity. Political action committees are formed to affect elections. Nonprofit organizations, being nothing like political action committees, are formed for a variety of reasons, such as providing services to the community or educating the public about an important set of issues. Simply put, nonprofit organizations have a decidedly different role than that of political action committees.

Second, the story states, "Brix notes that PACs have to disclose all of their contributors, which could also affect funding." Nonprofit organizations are required to register with the Internal Revenue Service and file an annual 990-disclosure form. It is important to note—and for the public to know—that nonprofit organizations already adhere to an extensive set of state and federal reporting requirements of their own.

Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in our communities. They must be allowed to continue their important work.

Letters ’Burque Not Burkey

[Re: Letters, Web Comment, “Burque is Done,” Aug. 28-Sept. 3] “ ’Burque” is not a nickname thrust upon us by hipsters, dorks or even Mayor Marty (who favors the deplorable "Q").

It is a venerable New Mexico Spanish nickname/diminutive/whatever for our city, same as "Espa" for Española, "Califas" for California or even "Santa" for Santa Fe. I first heard all of these and more 25 years ago from co-workers when I lived and worked in San Juan Pueblo, which they called "The Pueb’."

These guys had names for everything and everyone (I was known as Tarzan and/or Baby Jesus, as well as a few names in Tewa I couldn’t understand).

The point is the term " ’Burque" is not new, and I’m willing to bet was in use quite long before
gabachos like me encountered the word.

But please don’t pronounce it "Burkey."

Letters Irrigate This

[Re: Letters, Web Comment, “Urbanization Benefits the MRGCD? For Real?” Aug. 28-Sept. 3] UrbanIrrigator, whoever he, she or it may be, has basic misunderstandings about how property taxes are levied, what non-irrigators think of the MRGCD and the role of acequia associations.

UrbanIrrigator argues that Jerry Ortiz y Pino is wrong about developed land benefiting the MRGCD more than land used for agricultural purposes.

All property taxes are levied as a mil (one thousandth) of its “assessed valuation” (County Assessor’s appraised value). The amount a property is assessed correlates to its real-world value. Let’s say South Valley agricultural land sells for roughly $70,000 per acre. Build a $230,000 home on that acre and it is suddenly worth $300,000. As its real-world value increased, so has its assessed value as well as the amount of taxes it pays to the MRGCD.

UrbanIrrigator argues that riparian vegetation, and the wildlife it sustains, are supported by the MRGCD “ditches” and benefit everyone. This may be so, but many MRGCD ratepayers truly don’t see the benefit they get in proportion to the taxes they pay. The multitude of letters complaining about lack of representation are witness to this fact.

Ortiz y Pino argues that acequia associations can manage and maintain MRGCD ditches without charging non-irrigators, but UrbanIrrigator dislikes acequia associations. He/she/it writes that it “would be a huge pain in the ass” to create that sort of infrastructure. Acequia associations have been around since the Spanish settled Nuevo Mexico. They are the oldest form of (European-style) government in the Americas. In fact, the MRGCD was once a series of acequia associations that were forced out in the ’30s in order to make way for federal reclamation projects. But until that time, acequia associations were working just fine in the Middle Rio Grande and continue to do so elsewhere in the state.

Pertinent to the MRGCD versus acequia associations conversation is the fact that acequia associations were written into the New Mexico State Constitution. On the other hand, the MRGCD was created by legislative action and thereby exists at the pleasure of that body.

The whole Ditches with Trails debacle has opened up a floodgate of angry rate payers and elected officials (Kiki Saavedra notwithstanding). It’s long past time for the MRGCD to pull itself out of its backward, feudal way of doing things and start revamping how it deals with all of its constituents. If it doesn’t, a sunset bill (a bill dismantling the agency) could be in the agency’s future—or lack thereof.

Letters Whatever Happened To Crazy?

[Re: Blog, "Palin is a Creationist (And a Nut)"] This chick is crazy. Period. Hillary Clinton supporters would never support her; and, hey, tits don’t make a woman! Hillary was a man-eater and I was afraid Hillary would get her period and destroy the empire, and now that fear has resurfaced. Only this time, I believe it more. She has a nickname, ya know—the "Barracuda"—really, look for yourselves, BBC News. Why do we allow whack-jobs into politics? (*cough* Martin Chavez *cough*) Crazy lady!


CORRECTION: In last week’s issue [Aug. 28-Sept. 3], the article "Not-So-Free Speech" misquoted Robby Rodriguez, the SouthWest Organizing Project’s executive director. Rodriguez does not believe the flyers sent out by his organization caused any candidate to lose. Also, the Center for Civic Policy is not the parent group of the SouthWest Organizing Project. The Alibi regrets the error.

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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