“Ban the Box” is Back
Little Boxes and Big Boxes
The executive committee for “Taosenos Against Walmart Super Store” (TAWSS) met on Saturday to discuss re-igniting the activist group that succeeded in stopping the SuperWalmart in February of 2003. “We need a candidate for town council who supports the current LUDC,” said organizer Fritz Hahn. Hahn was one of the primary organizers behind TAWSS, which turned into a community-wide effort that ultimately limited Big Box stores to 80,000 square feet. Former Mayor Bobby Duran cast the crucial tiebreaker against the Big Box. Big Box advocate, Rudy “Walmart” Abeyta is leading the nightmare charge to support Corporate America at the Town Council.
Duran himself told this reporter that he hasn’t ruled out a run for city council but says, “I’m very happy in retirement.” Hahn says he might run for office unless TAWSS can find a better candidate. “We’ll begin organizing immediately,” he said. “We want to find out if people still support local business rather than the Big Box or Super Walmart.” Regardless of whether a TAWSS candidate is elected to council, Hahn says it’s a good time to raise issues of concern in the town. And have some fun,” he added. (BTW: Fritz Hahn lives within the town limits.)
Citizens who reside in the Town of Taos, or at least the ones who vote there, need to ask themselves some questions: Do we want to build Big Boxes or maintain the historically funky character of the Mom and Pop businesses that offer all an antidote to corporate America? Do we want to bail out the Trustees at the Command Center for their bad decisions? Do we want the good old boys who run the Coop to control town hall?
In El Prado, a proposed 8000 square foot box, Family Dollar Store, is being proposed for the acreage in front of Overland Sheepskin. Commuters and nearby neighbors have raised the alarm but “nobody’s contacted us,” said one El Prado native.
Organizers of the opposition to the Dollar store hope to convince agents and officials to relocate the project to a more suitable location–one that doesn’t interfere with the viewscape and divert attention from a famous tourist attraction. Local residents and especially the board of directors at El Prado W&S, however, may support the Family Dollar Store as a convenient source of “Wite-Out.” The El Prado W&S board uses “Wite-Out” as an antidote for bad financial news.
Over at the KCEC, the Broadband “Contracts for Cuates” program is in full swing. If you’re a buddy or family member of the Trustees, you should get a Christmas contract, wrapped up in a shiny mini box. The lucky ones, according to insiders, have already received highly lucrative land leases for storage purposes and above market value excavation contracts (and “temporary” jobs as sons and nephews of trustees). Call CEO Reyes the new “Mr. Santa Claus” in Taos.
One last plea to Judge Betty Martinez: Hang in there and don’t resign, please! Let Judge Ernie Ortega work a little more. We need you–the best and most experienced judge in Taos. What’s a couple more years, mas o menos?
Below Your Favorite Composer reviews “The Mesa of Flowers” (1977)
Historians scream. But many readers, this one among them, feel that a
really vivid historical novel gives a feeling of “Yes, it must have been
Harold Courlander’s THE MESA OF FLOWERS (1977) is one of those. An
anthropologist as well as a novelist, he did massive research in Haiti as
well as in the Southwest. But let him say it:
“Man armed with myth, aware of his smallness among those awe-inspiring
geological monuments that dramatized the antiquity of the land–what was
it like for him in those days as he moved across the unspoiled and
Even in these days of air-conditioned automobiles on paved roads, with
cell phones in case of emergency, we are aware of the size, majesty and
potential mercilessness of this land; five or six centuries ago, your
first mistake was likely to be your last. Thus we can appreciate the
struggle for survival of the “primitive” peoples.
In THE MESA OF FLOWERS, a prophecy sends the people on a long pilgrimage
to find a new home. There are all kinds of incidents along the way, from
warfare to love stories, but the real protagonist is the land. Courlander
(1908-1996) shows so well these people, so tiny in this vast landscape
that we too are so fortunate as to call home.–Joanne Forman
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