Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Closing That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Today's Journal has a recap of last night's City Council meeting in which the Council heard comments from Air Force officials about Mesa del Sol. The Air Force loves the idea of the new development, but just wanted Councilors to know that the new residents will have some aircraft noise to deal with...oh, and some explosions from the nearby base...and the possibility of "unexploded bombs at the site" itself.

Of course nowhere in the discussion/story is the obvious, large elephant, question of: when is Kirtland AFB going to be closed? Having an aged AFB stuck in the middle of a city of a few million people in 20 years is gonna be even more stupid than having the noisy, explosively noisy, economically draining base now.

Talk needs to start on a life after Kirtland, even if the base probably has enough Superfund sites and unexploded ordnance to last a lifetime. We'll just replace military jobs with Department of Energy clean up jobs for the next 50 years, while we convert the base into something the city can actually use instead of the semi-permanent barrier to development the large white elephant has become.

I hope to live long enough to see the above discussion play out at a ABQ City Council meeting. As for now, just ignore the elephant...nothing to see, ignore the explosions, move along.


Anonymous said...

A redevelopment assumption that abandoned sites are just empty pools to be refilled ignores the drought, Grasshopper.
In our case, these institutions create places (fairgrounds, airbase) and the supporting economies around them. Remove the institution, destroy the supporting economies. That would be us. Institution would be the defense industry. It's why urban New Mexico exists if you look at that way.
Is the "alternative" to privitize nuke oversight?
::shivers:: Coco

frannyzoo said...

Ah, Coco, I'm just sick of the helicopters flying overhead just like you are. And the planes. And Gibson as is.

I get your point on the whole development/redevelopment thing, but it's hard for me to not think that in the long-term there isn't a better option than an AFB stuck in the middle of town.

Empty pools would be better in my mind, but maybe, just maybe I'm an extremist. Better make that empty pools surrounding a series of artist colony lofts and performance spaces. Art should always replace death culture whenever possible.

Michelle Meaders said...

How many decades has Mesa del Sol been in the works? And they are just talking about these base impacts now? I thought everybody already knew about them, but maybe that's because I worked on the base for 17 years, helping to blow up things and measure what happened (for UNM). By the way, I found out that the most impacted sites are being used to study how to reclaim war-torn countries. But without land mines, how realistic can it be?