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May 09, 2015

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

Wildfire: Private Rights vs. Public Safety

With two wildfires in the past couple of weeks, the East Mountain Area has already entered the heart of the long fire season. It will not end until the onset of the summer monsoon rains, usually in early July.

The early fires, at the Doc Long Picnic Area on the lower mountain and near Placitas on the west side, were both in the Sandias, both small and both quickly brought under control.  But even such minor events were enough to frighten residents and firefighters alike. The U.S. Forest Service says the Sandias have not had a major wildfire in a century and has a buildup of vegetation that could ignite at any time...

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May 09, 2015

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Morgan Smith Morgan Smith

The Movement of People

Hundreds of refugees from Africa dying as they attempt to cross into Italy, Spain and other parts of southern Europe. Tens of thousands of displaced Syrians searching for safety. Kids fleeing the violence in Central America and ending up in detention centers in places like Dilley, Texas.

The dominant issue of our times will be the movement of people. Not voluntary movement as we know it but movement that is forced, desperate and dangerous. No country knows how to deal with it...

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May 01, 2015

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

Where the Top Soil is Thin

The top soil on my land in the Manzanita Mountains is thin. It is so thin that when I dig up the roots of a dead tree, they are more rock than fiber.  The tentacles that feed growth are desperately wrapped around stones in their striving to find nourishment. The top soil is so shallow that when the high winds of spring whistle through the forest, roots pull from the ground and big trees, some of them a century or two old, topple to the earth.

When I moved to the East Mountains many a moon ago, it took me a few months to understand how thin the top soil was. But it’s taken all these years for me to discover how thin my own top soil is...

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April 28, 2015

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Rhymes with Rubes

April is National Poetry Month, and I am touched to be the one reintroducing this lost art form to the masses. This includes people like you and me! Because odds are, we don’t understand poetry.

Poetry has lain dormant since history days, murking its modern-time meanings. What I can tell you with authority is that poetry used to be a noble calling, largely because humans had not yet invented doctors. Once we could compare it to medical science, we got the notion that poetry was HARD and did not earn actual money. Plus, with doctors on hand, people weren’t all dying by the age of twelve. With all that extra time to challenge our brains, build our vocabularies, and deepen our understanding of human nature, we as a species chose to browse pictures of puppies jumping into swimming pools after tennis balls....

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April 28, 2015

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James Burbank James Burbank

Ridiculous Flix

Adam Sandler, the famous comedian, is making a movie called Ridiculous Six, but Native American actors got all upset because Native American women characters in the movie were given names like "Beaver Breath" and "Wears No Bra." I couldn’t stop laughing at these very clever, very funny names that most certainly would have maximum impact after six or so Buds.  

Very famous, very funny person Adam Sandler, I hear, actually plays an “Indian” in the movie. Here’s an uproarious thing the very funny man said when people started to confront him about disrespecting Native American ways. Basically Adam Sandler said the movie was a satire, so get over it already...

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April 28, 2015

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Emanuele Corso Emanuele Corso

The One Book: Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything”

If you are planning to read a book this year I strongly suggest Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything. Climate change and global warming are real, tangible, and undeniable, the evidence is concrete, and it is planet-wide. The only serious question remaining is whether or not something can be done to slow or otherwise mitigate it in the face of powerful political opposition. This book reminds me of Ralph Nader’s Unsafe At Any Speed. The sounding of an alarm reflexively resisted by vested interests but of vital interest and value to everyone else...

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April 20, 2015

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Fool’s Gold: Reptile Dysfunction

What did you have for breakfast this morning? Who cares! It was not more amazing that what I ate. Not even if you ate nachos and beer, which would otherwise be the coolest breakfast since leftover pizza. I win, because I ate real… genuine… dinosaur eggs!

I’m not bragging. YOU have eaten dinosaur eggs, too! Come to that, unless you are one of those vegans who doesn’t believe in eating, you have probably chowed down on an actual dinosaur!

These claims are not fabrications made up by me in my boyhood when I breathed, drank, and—without knowing it—ate dinosaurs. This is the real world, people. Dinosaurs are not extinct. They live among us, only most of you call them “birds”...

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April 20, 2015

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James Burbank James Burbank

Semolina

Semolina is a nearly 14,000 acre new proposed community in Southwest Bernco named for coarse, purified wheat middlings, a very romantic association, if I do say so.

If approved by the Bernco Commission, Semolina could maybe possibly potentially bring in 38,000 imaginary residents for 75,000 existentially deficient invisible jobs. Good deal and just in time.  These ghosts will bring their own water from wherever, so not to worry. The water thing is just a Trojan horse anyway, or a horse of another color, so back up your hard drive and get over it...

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April 20, 2015

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

When Women are Overwhelmed

Two new Albuquerque theater productions, Mother Road's The Penelopiad and Fusion's The New Electric Ballroom, share a common theme: women who are overwhelmed because they are unable to cope with the demands that society and they themselves impose on their lives. What is more, the demands, and the failures, are due to the fact that they are women.

Aside from this theme, the two productions are about as different as is imaginable, once again reflecting the startling diversity of our small regional theater companies...

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April 16, 2015

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Joan Gibson Joan Gibson

What’s Death Got to Do with It?

April 16, 2015 is National Health Care Decisions Day. It is a day when we are invited to take stock of our health status, ponder what matters to us medically, and discuss this with those who need to know.

On its website this grass roots initiative describes the problem it aims to solve:

“Despite recent gains in public awareness of the need for advance care planning, studies indicate that most Americans have not exercised their right to make decisions about their healthcare in the event that they cannot speak for themselves.”...

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