Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sandia Skiing: A Climate Change Casualty? Plus: Siting Santolina, Nuke Waste In NM, Garduno Goes And Readers Opine On Best Of NM 

Don't think climate change is here and now? Well, in ABQ look no further than to the East and the imposing Sandia Mountains. That's the focus of this eyebrow raising news from Wally Gordon of the East Mountain Telegraph:

Because our warmer, drier climate is producing less snow, the Sandia Ski Area is in serious trouble. Most years it loses money, and it usually opens late, closes early, or both. Now, I have been told it is seriously considering closing down. If this next ski season is again a bust, it may be the ski area’s last. The only factor that has thus far prolonged the ski area’s life may be the high cost, perhaps a million dollars, of moving all its equipment and facilities out of the national forest, as required by its contract. But one more winter disaster, I have heard, would tip the scales in favor of swallowing the loss and closing down.

The Sandia's without skiing would be like the Pit without basketball. Pretty much unimaginable, but such is our world today.

Now let's swing all the way over to the far West of ABQ where Reader Kevin Wenderoth writes of the proposed massive development project known as Santolina:

The Bernalillo County Commissioners postponed a vote on whether to approve the Santolina housing development on the west side. Why isn't ABQ Mayor Berry and the City Council doing more to stop this suburban sprawl madness? Considering his decent record on public transportation, why isn't the Mayor and his administration trying to coax these developers into investing this money into urban Albuquerque? Into communities that already exist! There are so many parking lots in downtown Albuquerque just begging to be taken for infill development. Hopefully the Bernalillo County Commissioners do not approve this albatross of a project that makes ABQ even more of a sprawling mess than it already is. Mayor Berry has done a decent job investing in the center city; it's time to send that agenda into over-drive.

And more on the environment from reader and ABQ attorney Jeffrey Baker who writes:

If Susana Martinez is willing to endorse an “interim” nuclear waste storage facility in Lea and Eddy Counties, perhaps she is willing to endorse moving the prison at Guantanamo Bay to Lea and Eddy Counties. Both involve housing toxic material – spent nuclear rods and jihadists. If the Governor thinks shipping nuclear waste along New Mexico’s roadways is safe, is it any less safe to warehouse several hundred “high value” foreign detainees inside a federal lockup in the middle of the desert? With this country’s ongoing war against terror, we will capture more terrorists. Just as we need a place to store dangerous waste, we need a place to store dangerous people. C’mon Governor – this is an opportunity to bring jobs to New Mexico.


ABQ SE Heights City Councilor Rey Garduno has changed his mind. He won't seek another four year term in this October's city election and wants progressive activist Pat Davis to fill his shoes. Garduno worked hard but his effort to rewrite history as he headed for the exits fell flat:

In my years on the council we’ve helped Albuquerque weather the storm of the recession without losing the character of unique neighborhoods like Nob Hill and the International District that thrive on small business growth. We have brought more transparency to city government and challenged the administration and the police to remain accountable to the people we all serve.

But ABQ has not "weathered" the recession and that's especially so on Nob Hill, the once trendy shopping district that has been disemboweled by the economic implosion. And the Berry administration "challenged?" When and by whom on this city council--besides a few letters of protests? APD remains in crisis and the listless council that Garduno presided over as president shares the blame with Mayor Berry. Transparency is elusive as ever.

BEST OF. . . 

Our Best of NM and ABQ blog that ran last week drew responses. Cindy Tyson of the NM Historical Review writes:

I am the Administrator of the New Mexico Historical Review. Thank you for mentioning our beloved journal in your blog. This is our 90th year in publication. I wish I could say that your phrase "little known" before the mention of NMHR was not true but I cannot. We have readers from the Sorbonne in France, Grand Central Station in NYC, Korea, China, Germany, and Britain, who find us. We are always happy when new readers and lovers of New Mexico find us. In 2014 we went online with our journal so more people could access all 89+ years of our articles on New Mexico. I hope that it helps us to become better known.

We picked as the best indoor theater venue the theater at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Reader Laura Stokes writes:

You forgot the many classical music fans who gather every Sunday morning at the funky, intimate Kosmos space on 5th St. to hear Chatter, the hottest place in town for gorgeous chamber music and new stuff that no one outside a couple of huge metropolises ever gets to hear. We are sold out every Sunday. Coffee, cookies, massage and a friendly community. You should check it out but you have to get your tickets online several days before the show. 

Violet Cauthon of Las Cruces says we need to think south when we think of burgers:

Once more, with lots of feeling, I ask: have you ever been south of Albuquerque? I agree with some of your "best" because I, too, love the Circle Drive but, really, Owl Bar for "best green chile hamburger"? So lame. Come to Las Cruces, find the Burger Nook on Madrid off Solano (it's not easy to find) and find the best crispy-grilled, greasy bun, green chile burger ever! Take your newspaper or a book because these two sisters do not believe in steam tables. Your burger is cooked when you order as are your fries. The Best in New Mexico for sure.

We're hitting the road, Violet.


Maybe up and coming NM Dem political constant Israel Chavez can form a house band for the party. In a video he cut for his Facebook followers Chavez pulls out his guitar and honors the late B.B. King. If he consults as well as he plays, look out R's.

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