In the face of skyrocketing rents, seemingly endless development, increasing traffic congestion, and roads and neighborhoods unprepared to deal with it, particularly on the city’s south side, this would be an opportune time for the “powers that be” in Santa Fe to take a good look at its present and future. Not just that, but consider its presence in lore and reality as truly the City Different. I’ve lived in the Tiempos Lindos subdivision for eight years, near our 22-acre designated parkland or open space, between Agua Fría Street and Airport Road, adjacent to South Meadows Road. It has been so designated, originally by the county, for over 20 years. It is under siege as we speak.

Officials at Homewise (developers known for affordable housing) are requesting another (amended) zoning change to reflect an alteration to their original plan of

96 units or homes and a charter school. The density of that proposal was unimaginable to anyone living in the area.

Now, they are agitating for 161 units and a “five-acre community park” with no charter school in an effort to appease those of us who want the open space to remain as it is. The density of the new proposal is still untenable. This open space is cherished by the south side due to its proximity to schools and neighborhoods and because of the dearth of such pristine land in our area. It’s a unique ecosystem, as the several hawks who hunt the modest wilds of the space will attest to.

It is fenced and its trails maintained. It boasts dramatic vistas and abundant spirit of place, so rare in an urban environment. It’s home to juniper, several varieties of cacti, snakeweed, purslane, saltbush and other high desert shrubs.

A glimpse into Santa Fe’s future can be seen on either side of this issue. We urge everyone concerned to join the Zoom ENN zoning hearing at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

John Macker

Santa Fe

A bum steer

Steer roping is included in rodeo in only 10 states, all in the West, and New Mexico is one of them. We need legislation to outlaw it.

Claire Vinet

Santa Fe

Color it annoying

There is a growing chorus of locals incensed about Capitol Flats.

From any rise, Santa Fe is a beautiful and serene run of adobe-colored buildings among green trees. Now jutting above the midst of them is a jarring four-story wedge of alternating blocks of toxic avocado and dirty cream.

Santa Fe survives, and thrives, on a balance of old charm and new function. This hasn’t helped.

A 30-plus year resident and member of this community, I understand the desperate need for affordable housing. Dedication to lower costs does not require bad choices. Cost-cutting at the expense of all beauty does not serve the folks who live there or our town’s financial future.

As we move forward with developments, such as at Zia Road, I sincerely ask the city to not allow the overly casual oversight, apparent at the corner of Cordova and Pen roads, to continue. Given the money that must have been saved in the permitted project, perhaps the city could secure a simple repainting, embracing the building with a friendly golden color and to some degree, healing our town.

Rob Turner

Santa Fe

Sharing the credit

Thank you for selecting my nominee, Karen Radney Buller, as one of this year’s 10 Who Made a Difference. She is well-deserving, and the story was great (“Attuned to Native needs,” Dec. 2).

However, I want to make one correction. The article states that I founded the Santa Fe Indigenous Center in 2008. I cannot take that much credit. Founding the center was a team effort that grew out of an idea presented by Randy and Jackie Chitto, who already were laying the groundwork.

I used my nonprofit experience to help create a committee to flesh out the details and to establish the center as a legal nonprofit entity under the fiscal sponsorship of what was then the New Mexico Community Foundation. I served as the first chair of the center for eight years as our full board continued to develop it with the support of forward-thinking donors and the input of many community members.

We are thrilled that the Santa Fe Indigenous Center has grown so much since those early days and is recognized as the vital organization it is today in service to our Santa Fe Indigenous community.

I want to be sure to credit and to give thanks to all those those have given their ideas, time, talent and treasure to bring this dream to reality. Yaw^ko. Thank you.

Anne Wheelock Gonzales

Santa Fe

(6) comments

Jitty Bap

Maintaining and gently improving the South Meadows Open Space as a park (think Frenchy's South) should be a top priority for the City. Affordable housing isn't just about cramming as many people as possible into little sardine-can condos or doubling families up in one unit; it's about the quality of life in the neighborhood. Southsiders deserve to be able to breathe free and experience natural spaces outside their doors just as much as northsiders and eastsiders. It would crush my soul to see the hawks, whiptails, skunks, cholla, quail, and coyote of the South Meadows Open Space evicted by the toothy end of a bulldozer.

Alba Blondis

Residents of District 3 are voicing their desire to keep their Urban Open Space. They are doing so in an organized fashion and with fervor and consistency. Many residents from around the City are also expressing their support for the residents of District 3 to keep their 22.2 acres of natural open space. Responsibility for the forfeit of this land has bounced back and forth like a ping pong ball between City and County. Will leaders in either government go to bat for the people who elected them? How about leaders in both governmental entities sitting down with Homewise' Mike Loftin and admitting the offer of the land has been a mistake, a bad decision, and withdrawing their offer, while offering Loftin an alternative location. Maybe the SFPS, who owns more property inside the City than any other entity, could join the conversation and offer another space that would provide ample space for the charter school as well as affordable housing space. It is time for the decision makers to stand up, to speak out, to problem solve for the electorate who are clamoring for support. People of the Southside are looking to their elected officials to act, to acknowledge the effort of the people to receive a just result. Robert Kennedy once quoted Antigone of Sophocles in a student lecture urging the audience to look to ancient texts as a measure for best justice. "All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong. and repairs the evil. The only sin is pride." It's time to yield and to repair.

Eric Mills

STEER ROPING - THE SINGLE MOST EGREGIOUS EVENT IN ALL OF RODEO -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCcQ70b49ug

Eric Mills

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCcQ70b49ug

LEGISLATION NEEDED

The single most egregious event in all of rodeo. Sanctioned by the PRCA,

steer roping is seen at rodeos in only 10 states, all in the West:

Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska,

Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

Steer roping and tie-down calf roping were both outlawed in Rhode Island

back in 1999. Other states should follow suit.

Now's the time to contact state legislators in the 10 states where this

blatant cruelty is practiced. Some letters to the editors of newspapers

in those 10 states would also be helpful. (See Google for listings.)

Please circulate this SHARK video accordingly.

Marlow Morrison

On “Open Space matters for the future “ I’ve started calling this Urban Open Space and this beautifully written article can tell you why. It’s value to our community can be documented and obtained in local and national Statistics, being an area with a profile for the HIGHEST priority for Open Space and Parkland. The real stories though are in the people like John Macker and Albert Maggitti. Some have tried to undermine its value because of its lack of access and the quality of the fencing but these are County responsibilities and many parks are in disrepair right now, we don’t just build on them and blame citizens for not caring about them. We deeply love and enjoy the Urban Open Space, it brings beauty to a community that is being swallowed by development, with spot zoning and is often the last to have City services provided. Please do not take our designated, thoughtfully planned and placed Urban Open Space build 3/4 of it with high density units and tell us we are getting a 5 acre park, that will no longer be an intact ecosystem providing natural beauty we don’t need money to maintain. Save Open Space, Save Southside Open Space

Rachel Thompson

This shows the need for a neighborhood or area plan. The city needs to keep pushing to be able to raise taxes (or uncap them) on second and third homes so as to sustain the beauty of the city that draws these people here. That includes healthy communities.

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