Driving through our desiccated, weedy and neglected city, I get alternately angry, sad and confused. The issue is the entry and exit ramps, the medians, the pathways in and around the heart of the city. When I visit Albuquerque, the xeriscaped and beautifully maintained medians are amazing, but the state capital appears a dying, trashy mess. Is our mayor, our Public Works Department or governor even aware of the disparity? Do they drive through town and even see what I see? Do they care? Maybe Santa Fe leaders should have the Albuquerque leaders tell us how they do it.
Watching the St. Francis Drive overpass constructed and landscaped, only to see the plantings and trees die, the weeds take over and the trash pile up breaks my green heart. I find this a personal affront that our tax dollars go to landscaping projects, just to have them die. The state Taxation and Revenue Department building apparently has decided to just stop watering and let the lawns, bushes and beautiful ponderosas die. So incredibly shortsighted and wasteful. The drought is severe, but allowing our public areas to die is not the answer. Medians can be designed for water catchment, and many methods of xeriscaping can be applied successfully. It seems we are not aware of that here in our high-desert community. Please study, learn and implement water conservation methods so we can save our plant “infrastructure” and let Santa Fe shine as the jewel it is.
This is just a brain spasm I had today about a replacement for the obelisk on the Plaza: No matter what the configuration ends up to be for a “monument” to whatever or whomever, maybe the planning committee could incorporate public restrooms within said “monument” and solve two problems at the same time. Forever it seems, there has been an issue with public restroom availability downtown. Maybe this would be a time to solve that issue.
“Be Afraid” was not only the tag line of a corny teenage flick of the 1980s; it could be a warning to New Mexicans of today. It’s about the Republican horror show that keeps on playing. It’s astounding that 70 percent of Republicans nationwide tell pollsters that they still believe Donald Trump actually won the 2020 presidential election. That’s a product of the Big Lie that Trump continues to shout. It’s also astonishing that hundreds of Republican lawmakers from around the nation played roles in trying to subvert the election results from arguments to overturn the election before the Supreme Court to efforts to thwart the vote certification in Congress after the election. Then, of course, there was the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington.
That brings me to why New Mexicans should “be afraid.” Even though Joe Biden won a clear victory in New Mexico’s 2020 presidential election, the number of New Mexico voters registered as Republican actually grew in the decade between 2010 and 2020. That number jumped by 64,584, or 18 percent. And this despite all of Trump’s shenanigans that should have sent reasonable people running the other way. Where did these Republicans come from? Not all are from out of state, for sure. The Census Bureau count of New Mexico’s population for that same 10 years shows the number of adults and children living here grew by just 58,000 people — adults and children. Something is up. Beware. And be very afraid.
Water at the center
My thoughts regarding the article (“Plan to beautify obelisk hits snag,” June 8): Just remove the remnants and put in a graceful, traditional fountain with a solar pump to recirculate the water. Imagine what a a lovely addition to the Plaza this would be. It would fit in with the surrounding historical style and add the living element of sparkling, refreshing water. No committees, politics, endless meetings or expensive consultants. No design contests, no controversy and no hurt feelings. The physical remains of the former obelisk do not need to be present in order for the truth and reconciliation process to move forward.