So what?
Zane’s spot-on observations about Santa Fe’s pseudo-authentic architecture [Zane’s World, June 25: “New Enough”] were amusing, but his article begs the question: Is it really that big of a deal? Santa Fe is a tourist town and tourism and the arts are the lifeblood of the local economy. Anyone who has lived in Santa Fe more than a month and isn’t completely dense knows that the condos and storefronts aren’t really made of adobe—that much of the city is newfangled masquerading as old-fashioned.

But I prefer to think of it less as some sinister deception and more as modern architects paying homage to Santa Fe’s heritage. The tourists that breeze in and out of the city come to buy turquoise jewelry, chile key chains, “southwestern wear” and art, and maybe see a show or a gallery or two.

Most don’t care if it’s all totally authentic—it’s pop historicana like “old” Salem Village in Salem, Mass., or “colonial” Williamsburg in Virginia. Tourists in search of real Santa Fe can visit a myriad of well-preserved old churches, homes and museums.

So the new SITE buildings have rebar skeletons. I would venture there are lots of things about the City Different that are disingenuous (i.e. religion, race relations, all things “green”) or not entirely what they seem, in much more insidious ways. Write about THAT Zane.
Hannah Baty
Santa Fe

States must lead
Gov. Richardson has worked to put real global warming solutions in place, like cleaner vehicles, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Now he’s joined the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), a regional climate agreement between New Mexico and other Western states.

This is a great step forward. New Mexico must be a leader for the region and the country, by making sure that the regional initiative is aggressive, practical and well implemented. This kind of leadership is critical if we’re to avoid the worst effects of a warming planet and convince Washington, DC, to join us in acting to solve this problem.
Brendan Miller
Santa Fe

Taking exception
Since everyone would agree that the city bus service is dismal at best, let’s ask the mayor and his lost-in-space Council why, for over 10 years, have they made no effort to improve this tin-cup entity?

Drivers are not motivated to provide decent service because their wages are poor and management is stagnant. They’ve never been able to come up with any viable solutions to improve anything.

But not to worry. Most city services are dismal at best. I guess we all have to cut corners to buy police their first home [Cover story, June 25: “Home Away From Home”]. If these guys want to play by the rules, commute like everyone else and leave their “work cars” at work. Everyone else does this and doesn’t whine.
Dennis S Perea
Santa Fe

Take your pick
The Reporter’s recent revelations of Jerome Block Jr.’s character flaws emphasize the benefit of having a choice on the ballot [Outtakes, June 25: “Failure to Appear”]. Consequently, Rick Lass’ filing for the Public Regulation Commission seat is most welcome.

Rapidly increasing prices of PRC-regulated services, such as utilities, energy and insurance, affect us all.

Citizens deserve a commissioner who will challenge corporations strongly. That’s not the record of Block Jr.’s father and grandfather when they were on the PRC and its predecessor. In contrast, Lass has long worked, lobbied and campaigned on behalf of citizens of northern New Mexico.

Strong interest in Lass’ candidacy was shown by his receiving almost 2½ times the required number of signatures for filing and almost twice the number of $5 contributions to qualify for public financing in two weeks. I urge going beyond straight party voting to vote Rick Lass.
John M Otter
Santa Fe

Correction: A previous story on District 3 Democratic PRC candidate Jerome Block Jr. [Outtakes, June 25: “Failure to Appear”] incorrectly stated that Block had applied for a marriage license to marry his current wife, Stephanie Block, in 2002. In fact, Block applied for that license with Kimberley Gonzales, the mother of one of his children, but they never married. SFR regrets the error and the story has been corrected online at

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