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Friday, August 05, 2016

A Friday Edition of Vox Populi 

The ABQ East Downtown newsletter opines on ABQ's wild west driving culture:

Across our neighborhood and throughout the City there is a significant increase in sociopathic driver behavior in the form of speeding and racing at twice or even three times our 30 mph speed limits. Neighborhood representatives met with APD requesting routine but random selective enforcement of speed limits. We were informed that personnel were unavailable for such operations. We have now requested to APD that all traffic signals in the area be operated as a four-way flashing red light from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM, as a way of discouraging this behavior. To date, we have not received a reply from our city government. 

Former ABQ Mayor Jim Baca, also a former state land commissioner, says the proposal from current state Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn to have the federal government turn over to the land office unleased federal subsurface mineral acreage beneath private land and to hold it in trust to raise revenue for early childhood education is off the wall:

(Dunn) wants our Congressional delegation to introduce a bill that would try and get the federal government's publicly owned mineral rights under private land given to the state land office. It would never happen, but it is one of those right wing fantasy dreams that is bandied about by the dying fossil fuel industry. But aside from that. Think for a moment what that would mean in New Mexico and specifically Albuquerque. There are a lot of those mineral rights scattered around our metropolitan area, as in other developed urban areas. Now think of the joy that you will have as a massive drilling rig shows up near your home, like around San Mateo and Central for instance. Does that sound like a reasonable thing to you?. . . 

Baca is a Dem and Dunn is an R.

WHY INNOVATE?

This reader doesn't much like the Innovate ABQ plan which recently broke ground on a $35 million publicly financed building near downtown where entrepreneurs will gather to share ideas:

It's purpose is to "commercialize university technology." They want "entrepreneurs" to do "start ups" with it. This should alarm people. First, why are we spending taxpayer money to "commercialize" taxpayer funded university research? Why don't businesses pay for their own research, if they're getting the profit from it? This is just more of conservatism's socialism for the rich. We pay, they profit. Second, this undermines higher education because instead of that research going into the big pool of Western Civilization's accumulated knowledge, as in past centuries, it's being privatized, often even patented, so other academics can't read it, learn from it, build on it, or teach it in their classrooms. That knowledge could and should be contributing to the public good both academically and in how it's "commercialized."

ART ATTACK

Reader Michel Folsom is really upset over the rapid bus project known as ART that Mayor Berry wants to build down a nine mile stretch of Central Avenue. Really upset: 

As somebody who lives in Nob Hill I can't begin to express my furor at ABQ City Councilor Pat Davis for voting for this disaster. When this project starts up he will most certainly be dead meat. He voted for it - now he owns it! Just wait till all the people living along Central come to see the full insanity of this project. There will be 6 lanes of traffic rolling through Nob Hill. Most of the ability to turn onto smaller streets, if you have to cross the other lane of traffic, will be lost. The median and all their trees will be destroyed and there will be a strip of concrete perhaps a foot or so wide dividing the east and west bound lanes so it will be dangerous to cross the street except at "approved" crossings which will only occur at larger streets. The Nob Hill they are creating will be a divided by Central and folks won't be wanting to wander from one place to another to shop. You will need to walk 3 to 5 blocks just to find a safe place to cross the street. They might as well erect a wall down the end of Central and end any illusion that it is one place and one community.

MORE ART ATTACK 


Reader James McClure--a conservative Dem, not an R as we previously described him, get sin on the ART debate:

ART is having problems because its proponents have failed to convince us that the fancy buses are something we actually need and want.  That’s because the urban planning professionals who design such systems are different from ordinary folk. They may come from a different planet, or someplace like Belgium. Some apparently were frightened by motor vehicles as small children. In their world everyone ought to live in a high-density urban environment and get around by public transportation, bicycling and walking — and if they can impose this on us we’ll learn to like it.

This theology is a tough sell in Albuquerque because many of us moved here to get away from precisely the kind of city the urban planners seek to create. If I wanted to live in a walkable neighborhood and take the bus, I would have stayed in Chicago.

Backers of ART, which is on hold pending an appeal to be decided by the Circuit Court of Appealr in Denver, have come with a site in support go the project called "Mythbusters," saying too much misinformation has been spread about the controversial plan.

PEARCE AND TRUMP 

A reader, reacting to Gov. Martinez's condemnation of remarks made by Trump about the Muslim Gold Star parents who lost their son in the Iraq war, wondered as we did about the views of southern NM GOP congressman Steve Pearce. Well, Pearce, who says he will vote for Trump, says the remarks were not out of bounds and he is hanging tough with Trump.

BEAR BACK 

Reader John Bussanich says this is the "happiest New Mexico News we've seen in a long time."

A New Mexico bear hitched a ride (near Los Alamos) on top of a garbage truck, traveling at least 5 miles on the vehicle before making its escape up a tree. . The driver was picking up a dumpster last week when he heard a squeal then realized the bear was on top of the truck. It rode atop the vehicle to a site where the Forest Service keeps a firefighting helicopter. 

Helicopter mechanic Evan Welsch said about 30 Forest Service and National Park workers had gathered to see the spectacle when it was suggested that the driver back up near a tree to give the animal an escape route. The bear stayed in the tree for an hour or two before scurrying down and running off.

Hey, maybe next time the bear will take the RailRunner. They could use the business.

Thanks for stopping by this week.

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