Music, August 3: “Battle of Hastings”
Hastings is closing?! Well, waah-fucking-waah. Based on my employment there, I’ll bet that their demise goes deeper than their merchandising problems. They changed managers, who were usually petty and incompetent, more often than most of us change our underwear. The 21-to-35-year-old male employees—I won’t call them men—huddled in the back room, almost got into fistfights over who played Batman best and discussed ‘chicks’ in the most vile and vicious language I’ve ever heard. ... If a young gangsta-looking Latino came in, the managers just assumed he was there to steal so, instead of helping him find a product, they assigned security people to follow him around the store. In short, the place reeked of Eau d’Low Budget. No big loss.
Wrong to Celebrate
I was appalled by Alex De Vore’s cynical celebration of the closing of Hastings. I’ve read SFR for 16 years, and I think this marks a new level of snarkiness for the paper. While I wholeheartedly agree that Hastings has devolved into a weird hodgepodge of wares, we should never rejoice in the loss of a business, even if it is a chain. De Vore commits the cardinal sin of journalism: burying his lede. In the penultimate paragraph, [he] finally acknowledges that the employees of Hastings will lose their jobs and their paychecks. But then he goes on to trivialize their hardship by saying that their jobs couldn’t have paid very well and he’s “sure you’ll probably do better someplace else.” For their sake, I hope he’s right.
I’m going to miss [Hastings]. I also have to consider all the job loss that is happening, and that makes me sad. I am happy for the smaller businesses that will get some more customers through this. Our video rental stores, our bookstores, they’re all slowly going away. I miss Borders, too. Guess who bought them and liquidated? The same company that bought Hastings. So, yes, I will miss Hastings. It was my go-to place for comic books and previously viewed movies and anime comic books. It was also the best place for National Free Comic Book Day.
Julie Hephzibah Doolittle
Isn't Very Eloquent
While I understand free speech, I don’t understand why [Alex De Vore] felt the need to disrespect not only Hastings but the people who shop there as well. He belittled the employees, telling them that they should aspire to something better than working at Hastings (not a direct quote as your writer isn’t very eloquent). Not only did he belittle the employees, but he also wrote in a very hard to follow, poorly written style that relied upon expletives to get his point across. I suggest either sending your writer back to school to learn how to be a journalist or find a real writer. I’m sorry if this is rude, but I find it hard to stay objective when my friends and family are being attacked, especially in this horrible time when they are faced with unemployment.
San Antonio, Texas
Cover, August 3: “High Bar”
When I was a younger judge, a party in a small-claims court case looked up to the bench and asked me if I was a Republican or a Democrat. I replied, “You first.” When he had finished yipping that it was an unfair question, I asked if it wouldn’t be better to base his opinion of me on how well I listened, whether I seemed to care about him and the other party’s arguments in the case, and whether I seemed to know the law and come up with an understandable decision—rather than pre-judging me for my political affiliation before the trial started. That’s the nutshell description of the problem with how we pick our judges.
...Over the long run of many governors, merit selection has resulted in a pretty even split among appointees, all of whom have been vetted for nominal qualification. The fly in the ointment is the partisan contested race that follows, where entry into the contest has nothing to do with judicial qualifications—at least for challengers. ... My work on nominating commissions as a court representative has convinced me that the prospect of an election, together with NM judges being the worst-paid in the country, is keeping a lot of skilled and honorable candidates out of public service.
I know more than a couple very qualified lawyers who would be great additions to the court, and who expressly will never apply because of the statewide election. I have done it, and have watched this year’s candidates spend more time out of the courthouse campaigning than doing the work they love enough to have applied for appointment. ... I hope New Mexico might at last find a way to give our talented lawyers who are interested in public service in the judiciary more encouragement and opportunity.
New Mexico Court of Appeals
BOSF, July 27: “Best Place To Take a Walk without Actually Getting Anywhere”
Give it a Try
We are happy that labyrinths were included in this year’s Best of Santa Fe categories, and we congratulate Christ Lutheran for their beautiful labyrinth. Unfortunately, Andrew Koss’ article was dismissive of the art and opportunity that labyrinths may provide for people. His concluding statement read: “Once you reach the center, take a seat and contemplate a life wasted walking labyrinths.” We believe this statement suggests that labyrinths are meaningless and neglects any understanding of labyrinths in general. We encourage Santa Feans to discover the many unique labyrinths in town and find their own meanings.
Labyrinth Resource Group of Santa Fe
News, July 27: “History Repeating on the Gila”
Free the Gila
People in New Mexico need to understand that these water projects ultimately serve the needs of housing developers. ... Necessary services are neglected and New Mexico is left with a weak education system and taxpayers are poorer as they pay off bonds for years. Any new jobs that are attracted to the state will be designed to take advantage of a low-income, uneducated population willing to work for a starvation wage. We already have more than 12,000 call center jobs in the Albuquerque metro area alone. The Albuquerque Journal, a conservative publication, describes these centers [as] ... “stressful office environments, highly standardized work and unstable, low-paying jobs.” Is this the future we want for our children and grandchildren? Stand up and say “NO” to these developers.
“Signal Revolt” (Aug. 3) included a quote from a letter sent to the city manager. The writer was referring to construction of an earlier tower at the same site, not the most recent construction.
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