Thursday, August 14, 2014

NM's Cultural Affairs Secretary - Veronica Gonzales

 Cultural Affairs Secretary for the State of New Mexico Veronica Gonzales greets people after her presentation at Santa Fe Convention Center.  We had a chance talk about 'marbling' and marbling's mark on New Mexico as well as our State's influence on the ancient craft worldwide. Nice lady, nice skirt.

New Mexico's Secretary of Cultural Affairs Veronica Gonzales (left)

 I also got to talk to Tom Aaegeson, Santa Fe 's Mr. Folk-Art and Frank Cordero, Mayor Javier Gonzales' assistant. Frank reminded Mr. Aaegeson that they had worked together early on at the beginning of the Folk Art Market. I button-holed Mr. Aaegeson and we talked 'marbling' and its worldwide appeal and possibility of having another 'International Marblers' Gathering' in Santa Fe.
I asked if I could "take a picture of a couple of old-timers."
Mr. Aaegeson said, "Only if you strike the term old-timer."

Tom Aaegeson and Frank Cordero

The only bad part of the day was watching City Councilor Peter Ives, Chairman of Mayor Gonzales' Fitness Challenge (NOT!), hit on all the women. He is so un-cool.
Santa Fe City Councilor Peter Ives

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wilderness Gate: Sliding Downhill On Money.

It started with Wilderness Gate Home Owners Association bullying a $5,000 road assessment from each of the 50 members. The 5 grand was to pave the popular Santa Fe east-side private dirt road. The President of the Association, John McDermott, offered financing for members who voted for paving and no financing for those who voted against it. Some of residents of Wilderness Gate are gazillionaires and others, who like my wife and I, are struggling to just get by. John McDermott himself was appointed by Governor Martinez to be Chairman of the New Mexico Finance Authority, the government body that tells the State were to invest its billions.
There is so much money rolling out of this subdivision that it seems to be sliding downhill on that money. In Santa Fe it has always been 'water and Mexican domestics flows downhill ... money flows uphill' but the scale of erosion of community from that excess of money is sometimes more destructive than a natural disaster.
Take, for instant, my neighbor Laurent Hirsch who bought the largest house in Wilderness Gate, then purchased one of the last vacant lots left in subdivision and then bought out his next door neighbor's home just to tear it down. What was once Dr. Danny Cole's  (who was working with kids at the Indian School) ... what was a perfectly good $800,000 family home two weeks ago now looks like Gaza.

Santa Fe Gaza in the dark State of New.