Battlers Plead and Angels Drop Down
Battlers Plead “Not Guilty”
Bandidos at the Coop
Angels in the Valley
(Breaking News: This Intervener just read El Prado Water and Sanitation’s KCEC electric bill from last August and September. On two occasions KCEC retroactively charged the utility for the increase in the systems charge for service prior to the Sept. 7 PRC approval date.
We have yet to figure out how much in additional kilowatt charges the Coop also retroactively charged. One of the bills has a system charge that remains unaffected by the rate request increase. But the kilowatt per hour charge is still suspect.
Both residents and commercial entities appear to be asleep at the wheel in Taos. But Kit Carson has knowingly “gamed” the system, I estimate, for close to two hundred thousand dollars in “systems over-charges” and probably double or triple that amount in kilowatt per hour over-charges.
The PRC might be the watchdog, but like most KCEC customers and members, they, too, are asleep at the wheel.)
Yesterday I found myself enjoying the best of Taos: a combination of “crooked politicos” at the Coop, creative culture mavens at Pecha Kucha, and a gathering of dedicated faculty at UNM-Taos. A visit to Shree in the morning, and a hike up Devisadero with the dogs, in the afternoon, complemented a day that began and ended it with readings from Emerson, the Sage of Concord.
For dessert I watched, along with Michelle and Barak, the Kennedy Center celebration of the new African American museum, the latter existing in a different universe from the Tweeter and the appointed “old white guys,” the last gasp of the confederacy, right wing tea party bigots, and their ilk, parading through Congress, intent on ignoring ethics and the rule of law. Though born into the WASP culture, I am not “of it” though I can “pass” into their locker rooms and clubs, their neighborhoods, and environs, where they, you know, refer to those….”other people,” who performed at the Kennedy Center or, indeed at Pecha Kucha.
I thought we had done away with the WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) culture during the sixties and seventies but, alas, the cockroach has returned masquerading as a Tweety Bird.
At the KCEC, my Intervener colleague, Gene Sanchez, and I, found a billing department/customer service representative, who agreed with us: she could not explain the Coop’s retroactive implementation of the December 14 advice notice and rate increase. Meanwhile trusting and complaisant Taosenos lined up in the lobby to pay their monthly power charges, unaware of the the Reyes con. According to our friendly representative, “Luis and Carmella are checking with the PRC.”
Luis is a practical man and if he can run the con by 22,000 customers and nobody says anything in the media (The Taos News is MIA), so much the better. He pretends, like the Trustees, that he doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong. But I believe he does know, which means he “might” be engaged in a little bit of “fraud” like the “traveling trustees.”
I assured our loyal customer rep, we too, were checking with the PRC. Nothing in the New Mexico Administrative Code permits “retroactive billing of rate increases for electricity service.” I estimate KCEC is allegedly guilty of over-charging 22,000 residential customers and probably another 8000 non-residential business and governmental customers, including the Town, County, TSV, HCH, TMS, too. We Interveners have not yet checked out the latter but Rose, who built satellite systems at LANL for fun and profit, is on the case.
The Multicultural celebrations of the Taos Pecha Kucha, wherein culture workers present six minutes of life and death in imagery and language that sings and dances across stage and screen, provokes the imagination and rewards the spirit. We all live here because of the spirit, the energy of the mountain or the hospitality in the villages but not because of the KCEC electrical charges or the failure of the The Taos News to uphold the First Amendment. For the weekly, it’s safe to support Standing Rock, hundreds of miles away, despite the regressive culture of North Dakota’s right wing militants, but the editor and publisher are frightened by the Gang on Cruz Alta St.
Last night I spoke with longtime acquaintance “Pepe Rochon” featured performer in David Cortez’s film of the “Successful Outlaw.” Pepe noted (we two ships passing and signaling day and night) that this was the first time we’d had a conversation in 50 years. Well, it’s always nice to see someone you recognize then and now among the sweltering crowds at the TCA, where once I knew almost everyone and now just a few faces.
I much enjoyed Tara Lupo’s nitty-gritty ditty about how to die hospitably in hospice. And the second generation appeared in the person of Georgia Gersh, who keeps the vision alive at her charming “Magpie” cultural crossover stop in the Overland Sheepskin complex. There the wonders of the imagination prosper under the aegis of the Sacred Mountain. At intermission we were treated to Jen’s homemade ice cream, courtesy of the Manzanita Market on the Plaza.
These guys Matt Thomas and Richard Spera, the angels of the arts, recognize and contribute a wonderful dimension to the cultural community. One of their sponsors, The Taos News, whose management ignores the dastardly doings at the KCEC, could learn something about “imagination” and good will from the producers of Pecha Kucha.
Who censored Billy Baron’s cartoons? Eh? The Shadow knows.
Virgil Martinez, the man pictured below, said “No” to KCEC. Then Chris Duran, twenty years his junior, beat Virgil down and onto the floor, according to news reports. Both pleaded “not guilty” to public affray, battery, assault, and good sense. The Trustees, like Chris and the CEO are “sin verguenza!” (without shame), and now heading off to San Diego on “vacation”: paid for with the ill-gotten gains sucked out of the “poor people” by an allegedly fraudulent billing scheme.
And the handmaiden of the Bully in the Valley, The Taos News, runs and hides behind feel good stories, stories about the far far away. As the actions of Virgil and Chris show and Richard and Matt point out, life in Taos is full of comedy, tragedy, and laughter: You can visit your “local con artists” on Cruz Alta and Albright St. for one view or visit the spirit of imagination at Georgia’s Magpie and a taste of unique ice cream at Jen’s Manzanita Market (on the Plaza).
Twas always thus.