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Letters to Outlook

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Motel plan opposition smacks of elitism

I read the recent article in the Albuquerque Journal Business Outlook section on UNM opposition to the Vagabond Motel project with a mixture of disbelief and disgust.

For UNM to oppose a project that could provide mixed housing options in an area near their facilities speaks to not only an elitist view of education, but a more general hypocrisy as well.

UNM had no qualms about presenting plans for a new drug treatment facility in a southeast neighborhood on Central Avenue, despite protests from residents, and clear evidence that the International District is slipping back into the perilous position it occupied in the 1990s.

The mission statement of UNM includes these remarks:

“UNM will provide students the values, habits of mind, knowledge, and skills that they need to be enlightened citizens, to contribute to the state and national economies, and to lead satisfying lives. …and (to) advance our understanding of the world, its peoples and cultures.”

(UNM’s) stance on this project indicates utmost hypocrisy, that is, unless “enlightened citizens” believe that “advancing our understanding of the world, its peoples and cultures” is best achieved by segregating themselves in an ivory tower where they remain insulated from contact with people having different housing needs than their privileged students.

William Parsons

Albuquerque resident, homeowner, and taxpayer

Viable business of value to community

In response to (the Richard Metcalf story on converting the Vagabond motel) I would like to point out that I have lived in the neighborhood since 1985; am an alumni of the University of New Mexico (Robert O. Anderson School of Management) and consider myself an interested citizen. I am a registered voter and a retired former state of New Mexico employee.

Although the university may view the proposed utilization as “backward innovation” … I believe that this utilization is far better than just having another large unused property in the area. The university has increased its student housing in the area, and certainly has no unmet land-use need that I am aware of.

It is my feeling if the new owners can turn this enterprise around into a going concern, then they should be allowed to do so. The difference between short- and long-term rental utilization is so minute to be engaged in a wager of which bird may fly off a wire first.

Certainly, one will, but what is the difference.

I believe that it is factual, some folks are against any or all things. And that no utilization would be met with absolutely no complaint.

Get a viable business started here, the benefit of commerce will make itself known, and the appearance of another sad, empty building will be avoided. Fair use is fair use, and I see no conflict with the university’s mission from the proposed short-term utilization.

BTW: GO LOBOS!

J. Geoffrey Boyd

Albuquerque

Ethanol adds costs in numerous ways

Re: EPA won’t waive rule on ethanol (Journal Nov. 17, business section)

It sure looks like the fix is in.

On top of the enormous cost of producing and delivering ethanol and the associated rise in cost of other products there is the additional whopper that every person who buys gasoline experiences.

Ethanol has less energy than gasoline and so we all have to buy more fuel to get from here to there and some may have noticed that, for this degraded fuel, there is no discount.

So everyone across the country is not only having to pay through the tax system to subsidize the production of ethanol, they have to pay again through reduced gas mileage.

I wonder how this improves air quality. I’ve seen a 4 mpg reduction in fuel efficiency in the past month. Thanks, EPA.

Tell us who you are working for again? Oh, never mind. I already know.

James Steeves

Albuquerque

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