Letters: Kudos To Rohar, Masterson; Brickbats To Walmart

Kudos To Rohar

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Kudos for publishing the letter/opinion piece from Evan Rohar in your latest issue documenting just what a disgrace the Police Oversight Commission (POC) is—as evidenced once again by what happened at the Dec. 13 meeting. He asks why not ban public comment completely at future POC meetings if this corrupt/police excusal process is what is desired by the Berry administration?

An earlier Journal editorial also called out the oversight process for the travesty it is, but only focused on Commissioner/POC Chair Linda Martinez’s blatant conflict of interest and Richard Shine’s disgraceful performance and not how this administration has allowed the POC to bless each of Schultz’s rogue/thug officers’ misconduct.

The Journal also never reported on the disgraceful/possible criminal conduct of IRO investigator Trey Flynt—things we had to learn from other news sources. Flynt’s bogus investigation also deprived Joseph Torres of justice on Dec. 13 who had been threatened with death by a taser held to his head by thug officer Lorenzo Apodaca.

The Dec. 31 “Eye” posting “The Journal is a Political Propaganda Machine Intended to Poison Your Mind.” So true!

The Alibi like the Eye on Albuquerque, Joe Monahan’s PoliceComplaints.info and other blog sites and some courageous TV reporters are the only ones willing to tell the public the truth, unlike the Journal’s leaders.

Not only should District 4’s Bambi Folk and District 9’s Linda Martinez not attend next week’s Jan. 10 POC meeting nor any future meeting until their successors are chosen and approved, but a public apology is due all by District 1’s Richard Shine.

If Mr. Shine had any self-respect and also respected the citizens he was appointed to represent, then his apology needs to be made to all at Monday’s Jan. 7 televised Council meeting.

Is Richard man enough to do it? And if not, will his sponsor, Councilor Sanchez, demand it? Will Councilor Sanchez and his colleagues finally demand the resignation of Chief Schultz?

Thanks again Alibi and also to Evan.

Stop Police Atrocities now!

Letters: Mr. Sardonicus Mr. Sardonicus

Wow! What a rush to pick up a random issue of the Alibi (as an out-of-townie, the print edition is a rare treat) and have the great pleasure of spending some breakfast time reading the sardonic Mr. Masterson [Dec.27,2012]. Do continue to keep us in touch with him when you can. His is a voice that is worth hearing in this world. Gracias.

Letters: It Is About Land Use Law It Is About Land Use Law

In her closing argument to the City of Albuquerque’s Land Use Hearing Officer on the 21st of December, Walmart’s attorney Michelle Henrie made comments about her client being the most successful corporation in the world. She suggested that the City of Albuquerque should defer to Walmart’s business model and approve its application to build at Coors and Montano. In his closing comments, Taylor Ranch Neighborhood Association’s attorney Tim Flynn-O’Brien reminded the hearing officer that Walmart’s business model is immaterial to its application. Pure and simple, the issue is, “Does Walmart’s application comply with existing land use law?” And pure and simple, it does not.

But for a moment, let’s take up Walmart’s business model, as Ms. Henrie would like us to do, and see how it fits our neighborhood. This holiday season Walmart has been in the news quite a bit. If we are to consider Walmart’s business model as part of the city’s decision making process then let us take a very good look at how this corporation operates.

The New York Times has documented, in great detail and at length, Walmart’s corporate policies in Mexico. There it used over $280 million to bribe its way past zoning laws, building permits and other requirements. Nowhere did this seem more egregious than in the shadow of Teotihuacan, home of Mexico’s great archaeological and historical site of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. Teotihuacan is over 2,000 years old and draws visitors from across Mexico and around the world. It is a source of regional and cultural pride. As a tourist destination, it is an economic driver in its own right.

The local community, in an effort to maintain its most treasured resource, adopted zoning ordinances to place limits on commercial development in close proximity to Teotihuacan. Also concerned with managing traffic at a key intersection and gateway to their community they placed additional restrictions on development adjacent to that point of traffic congestion. Through bribery Walmart bypassed land use laws, zoning and the clear will of the neighborhood. Even in the face of a hunger strike, Walmart barreled forward.

Walmart did not limit its corporate policies of bribery to just Teotihuacan. The New York Times reported that Walmart applied this same strategy all over Mexico. It gave bribes where no one was asking for them. This was not a case of Walmart being forced to provide bribes as a cost of doing business in Mexico. It was a case of Walmart refusing to adhere to local laws and insisting that it would build, where, when and how it wanted. The New York Times reports that Walmart bribery investigations are going on in India, China and other countries. For the record, bribing foreign nationals is against US law.

Or how about we consider Walmart’s business model of selling military-style assault weapons and ammunition? Walmart does that. They sell the same type of weapons and ammunition used to murder school children in Connecticut and volunteer firefighters in New York.

Walmart’s drive to offer the lowest prices also drives its suppliers to tolerate the lowest conditions for workers. Such was the case in Bangladesh last month where over 100 garment workers burned to death assembling cheap clothing for Walmart. Recent strikes and worker protests in this country by Walmart employees demonstrate that all is not one happy smiley face. That is especially true when for every two jobs Walmart creates it takes away three from our community. A situation made worse by the fact that Walmart workers often require tax-dollar subsidized health care, housing, and supplemental food aid support because of their low wages.

So does Ms. Henrie really want her client’s business model to be considered as the city weighs its application to build a Walmart at Coors and Montano? Does she really want us to consider that the very same corporation that bribes its way past local zoning laws protecting a treasure and wants to build adjacent to the bosque? Would Ms. Henrie want us to evaluate Walmart’s corporate policy of selling assault-style weapons and ammunition within a few dozen steps of a school? Does she want us to consider the true cost of Walmart’s low prices and who ultimately subsidizes those costs?

Perhaps Ms. Henrie and her client should just stick to the simple issue of, “Does Walmart’s application to build at Coors and Montano comply with existing land use law?”

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email 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. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.

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