Archive for February, 2012
by John Weckerle
We noted this week that the Edgewood Town Council meeting agenda for Wednesday included presentation of a preliminary design for the new Town Center and recommended sites for the center as well as an Animal Shelter. We were not able to attend, but Edgewood Mayor Bob Stearley was kind enough to send us a copy of the proposed Town Center plan, the layout for Section 16, and his transmittal e-mail to the Council. While the plan appears relatively uncontroversial at first glance, upon further examination it does raise a few eyebrows, theoretical and otherwise:
- New Public Works Site – Where, exactly, is the OLD Public Works Site – and what’s on it? When is the “New” (and for what it’s worth, nothing’s “new” until it exists) Public Works Site coming on line? Let’s face it, folks; it seems as if every time the Town of Edgewood drops a budget item, the image of Town employees working on equipment in the mud is invoked (correct us if we’re wrong, but wasn’t this bandied about when the Wildlife West Music Festival was de-funded and a children’s summer program eliminated, the latter when the Town had a couple of million in “reserve?”). Enough, already – let’s get these guys a garage, some office space, and the associated amenities, and find our excuses elsewhere.
- New County Fire Station Site – By all accounts, the County emergency response folks need a new building. Your editor owes these folks more than most, and would like to see them get it. In this regard, we’d like to suggest that the Santa Fe County government remember that Santa Fe County continues beyond a 15-minute commute to the City Different, and we pay our share of taxes down here in the hinterland. So give our local life-savers a new building. Now. Don’t make us come up there.
- Community Garden – In terms of acreage, the Town’s proposal falls far short, here. Given the Town’s population, the need for consolidated infrastructure, and the educational parts, 5.7 acres seems a bit short – but the 0.0 acres proposed by the Town falls shorter than that. One of the best ways to support locally grown food is to give people a place to learn to grow, and to grow their own if their circumstances don’t provide them the best opportunity at home. Let’s not forget the community spirit aspect – everybody’s friendly where gardening’s concerned, regardless of their other differences.
- Possible Animal Shelter Site – What, exactly, is a Possible Animal? Is this some sort of creature in an indeterminate state? And what would we construct for them – some sort of Schrödinger’s Shelter? All kidding aside, the animals needing shelter and the need for an animal shelter are very real. The first annual Woofstock event was outstanding, but it would take a lot of Woofstocks to get the facility built. We’d like to see the Town exhibit a little leadership and pay to build it.
- Municipal Way? – We’re sorry, but this is about as boring as it gets. We recommend Wilson Avenue as a more attractive alternative.
All things considered, the plan doesn’t look half bad. We’re a little skeptical about the “if and when” part of it, though; it’s going to cost money, and Edgewood seems intent on having at least eight digits in the bank before spending any of it. Let’s hope they prove us wrong!
by John Weckerle
Some time back we asked what our readers would like to see more of. We were a little surprised that the responses pretty much ran the gamut of what we were already offering, which felt good but didn’t really help with any decision-making (except, in the end, not to make any new decisions). Today we turn our attention to the responses that expressed enthusiasm for seeing a little digital art.
Last December your editor created and/or resurrected a series of fractal images in part to create some Christmas gifts. These were uploaded to Unclejohnsplace.com, your editor’s site for selling items bearing his art and photography. Presented here are images designed for placement on Kindle sleeves, one of which your editor grabbed for himself. More behind the cut!
by John Weckerle
Hardly a day seems to go by on which one simply can’t turn on the radio or television news – or browse the internet – without one of the Republican presidential primary candidates accusing one of the others of making false statements. Frankly, with available time for radio listening at a premium, we’re getting a little tired of hearing the same thing over again. However, we have had our interest piqued by a particular question: just how often are these accusations of falsehood justified? How much can we trust these people?
To get a feel for the veracity of the primary candidates, we visited the Pulitzer Prize winning Politifact.com, a project of the Tampa Bay Times. The site sorts through statements by various personalities and rates them as True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False, and Pants on Fire. We looked into the files for each candidate and compiled it into a single table. What we noted immediately was that the raw data were less useful than we’d like, because the number of evaluated statements by each candidate varied substantially. To rectify that, we calculated the percentage of the total number of statements represented by the ranking in question for each candidate.