Friday, May 29, 2015


John Salazar, a lawyer for the Santolina sprawl development, suspended belief in nature at a Bernalillo County Commission meeting on that horrible project yesterday.  Salazar said the project won't increase demand for water.  He really said that?  Could  he enlighten us on how that works?  Is it magic?  Witchcraft?  This is right up there with george bush saying "Mission Accomplished."

My advice to Salazar and his developer bosses is to read the book "Cadillac Desert."  Or maybe for a really entertaining read by a great young author he could read "The Water Knife."  It  is about a dystopian southwestern U.S. which has essentially gone to war between the states over water.  As a matter of fact, those county commissioners who support this stupid development should be locked into a room and given some lessons on water issues and the future.  Commissioners Art de la Cruz, Lonnie Talbert, and Wayne Johnson are heading us towards a financial and natural resource disaster.

And, it is hard to remember how many times the Albuquerque Journal has published pictures of our failed Governor reading to school children.  They did it again today.  It is bizarre on how they can actually be in the same room with her but never manage to get hard hitting questions in on her poor performance in building our economy.  The same goes for our Mayor.  They get a free ride from our daily newspaper and TV stations.


Anonymous said...

Assuming they get this Santolina project built and suckers to pay for the houses (reminder: Rio Rancho homes are at an all time high for foreclosures) who will patrol the area? BCSO or APD? Both departments have staffing issues and the APD nightmare is well known. The commissioners are living in la-la land and are not keeping up on current events or are disassociated from their constituents.

Anonymous said...

Does APD Chief Gorden Eden know he is under a DOJ consent decree? He signed it but after his press conference last night I don't think he know about line 22. This is the second time this week APD officers have opened fire on a moving vehicle, claiming that the car was going to run them down. A direct violation of the consent decree. Someone in APD command should be fired for this. The Deputy Chief in charge of training APD officers on the consent decree should be the person to lose their job. But what am I saying. Berry never fires his friends, he gives them raises.

22. APD shall adopt a policy that prohibits officers from discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle or at a moving vehicle, including shooting to disable a moving vehicle, unless an occupant of the vehicle is using lethal force, other than the vehicle itself, against the officer or another person, and such action is necessary for self-defense, defense of other officers, or to protect another person. Officers shall not intentionally place themselves in the path of, or reach inside, a moving vehicle.

Anonymous said...

It is a good day for New Mexico when we see the governor reading to school children. This means she isn't hosting Koch brothers events, scheming with extraction industry heads, taking orders from Jay McCleskey, or hogging up the fire engine parking area outside a Santa Fe Panda Express.

Happiness is Martinez reading from "The Pet Goat."

Anonymous said...

Maybe o Susanna was reading the newest "last place" list New Mexico and Alb are in hoping she could BS the youngsters. I thought the republicans were all about job creation and livable cities, i guess Suzy and Ricky missed that memo!

Bubba Muntzer said...

It would be nice if the controversy over the Santolina sprawl project prompted some discussion about what kind of development we really do want, which it isn't.

Commissioner de la Cruz has argued that development of one kind or another is coming whether we like it or not and we have to decide how it's best done. The choices, he says, to paraphrase, are intelligent sprawl or infill.

Infill makes already populated areas more densely populated, and de la Cruz argues is often resisted by NIMBY sentiment. I'd add that infill would make land values rise and lead to gentrification.

So infill is inherently problematic, and it's well known how bad "sprawl" is, and any kind of development is affected by water, which is in finite supply.

Is there a "no development" option? Population naturally increases, and people do move around. Google "Volkerwanderung" and you'll get lots of maps showing how our ancestors moved all around Europe and Asia. It's what people do, for various reasons. Some moved here, and the Natives here also moved around. Over at the cliff dwellings above Silver City they explain how we don't know much about the original inhabitants and know more about later "outsiders" who moved into the cliff dwellings.

If we can't stop development, can we make it happen someplace else and let them worry about it? Questions about morality and selfishness aside, that might put off our problems for awhile, but when they run out of water guess where they'll come looking for it?

The earth can't support more people than it can support, so in the long run the development problem will solve itself some way. Mass die offs is one possible way. Sensible people talking about ways to proceed is another, but we're headed down the first path, and for a reason.

Getting back to my premise, that "we" should decide what kind of development we want, "we" don't really decide. We're left with choices the Capitalist system serves up, sprawl and infill. Capitalism constricts our options in several ways. It dictates that any development must be profitable. It dictates that whichever kind of development we have, government must struggle to meet whatever needs occur, because of a legal and tax system put in place by those with power so they can maximize profit, which under Capitalism they must do or perish. It also tends to pit different sections of the working class against each other, as they too must compete for survival.

In other words, it's almost pointless for us to discuss our options if we don't have any good ones. There are other options, but they don't get covered by the media, or we've already discounted them, in the way Bernie Sanders is being discounted. It's been pointed out that Sanders polls higher than any of the Republican candidates but is getting less media than any of them. This isn't an ad for Bernie Sanders, but it does highlight one way the system limits our options. He's talking about options we have now and changes that would open up new options.

Here's an example of an option that's never considered. Infill that improves the lives of people already living in a place because they end up with a better neighborhood because they have direct local control over the development and over the resources in the surrounding areas that make it possible, and where new residents are welcomed because they enrich the neighborhood and because the residents know they themselves are actively solving one of the world's problems and welcome the opportunity.

We could have as many options as there are people, but we have sprawl, and infill that no one likes.