Friday, January 20, 2006

Lubbock and Downtown

I just finished serving on a panel that addressed civic and city leaders from Lubbock, Texas who came into Albuquerque to look at our much heralded downtown revitalization. The effort here in Albuquerque has been held up nationwide as how to get it done! I was proud to have been a part of it.

This visit comes on a day that my favorite local columnist, Jim Belshaw, stuck it to Downtown by describing a bad situation that happened to a friend of his downtown near the movie theaters. Of course the headline writer helped in making downtown look even worse. The problem I have with this column is that if the same thing happens at Cottonwood Mall or Uptown Albuquerque it won't make the front page. Jim Belshaw is a big fan of downtown and wants it to succeed but it seems once again that downtown is singled out for negative coverage. I think the real story here and one that Belshaw might be trying to get across is that the city owned parking structure outside the movie theaters is not being properly run or cared for under the Chavez administration. The parking division I believe will now come under the purview of former city council bad boy, now mostly reformed, Greg Payne. He would do all of us downtowners a big favor if he will put meaningful security around the transit center where these panhandlers and drug addicts hang out. And, these type of unfortunate souls are all over the city, up and down Central Avenue, but the press is always negative on Downtown! If something isn't working then let's fix it all over the city.

So, while many people around the country come to see that we did a good thing here, maybe we should realize it ourselves.

Positive anything is better than negative nothing.
Elbert Hubbard

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