The Palace of Malice

On February 7, 2008 the Los Alamos County Council voted to destroy the physical symbol of the Independence of Los Alamos.

On December 21, 2010 5 Members of the Los Alamos County Council, 2 of whom voted in the affirmative in the above cited action, voted to destroy the liberties and rights of the citizens of Los Alamos and to vacate the Charter which was the codification of the Independence of Los Alamos.

The Palace of Malice, akin to Nero's Golden Palace and destined to become home to Ozymandius, will be built upon a foundation of legal chicanery, ruthless manipulation, self-aggrandizement, wanton destruction, and the wholesale abuse of Public Trust and authority --- but at what cost, and borne by whom?

Reality Check -- No community of any size can long survive the destruction of its heritage, the dissolution of its freedoms, and the permanent division of its citizens.

Friday, April 2, 2010

4) Adults are crazy

There is a Beatles tune, "In My Life", with the following lyric, "There are places I remember in my life, and some have changed/ Some forever, not for better..............." Los Alamos has changed, and not neccesarily for the better.

Take the matter of housing. Before Los Alamos Independence, everyone lived in government housing -- my family was in a Group 11 duplex on the Aspen side of 35th (I'm now in a G-11 on the Aspen side of 36th -- weird how that works out). My parents had high school degrees. Others had a range of education from h.s. to phd. But you couldn't tell by the housing. Nor could you tell what someone did or how much money they made. You couldn't use your house to "make a statement". What I learned from this was a job was a job no matter what that job was -- no one is more important than anyone else; no one is less important than anyone else. A house was a house, a neighborhood was a neighborhood and what was important about people was who they were, not who they thought they were.

Now -- well its a bit different. Its an adult thing.

Los Alamos was decidedly planned for children, childhood, and families. The yards were large. You could put in a swing set, sand box, picnic table and still have room for all manner of activities. Families would have backyard picnics with friends and neighbors. The play possibilities were endless. Summer evening games of hide and seek encompassed pretty much the entire street and every hiding place in every yard was fair game, while the grown-ups sat on the front porch late into the evening and quietly chatted. Croquet, badminton, and other such games were regular because there was enough space. Then there was The Sled Run. It started at the top of the hill in my backyard -- down the hill, across the flat, through the gate into the front yard, across the flat, down the front hill, across the street, down the front hill in Kenny's front yard, across the flat, through the gate, across the flat in the backyard, down the hill, through the back gate into the woodland area twixt 35th and 34th/Walnut. Of course, during the summer The Sled Run was The Wagon Run.

I've always felt sorry for kids in urban/burban areas, growing up in apartments or those zero-limit lot neighborhoods with lots the size of a postage stamp overwhelmed by houses that engulf the entire lot. You know, like Broadview and Quemazon. Areas that were developed by developers with the goal of stashing as many people into a square inch as possible so as to make as much money as possible. Recently a local developer suggested that Northern Community be re-zoned to allow purchasing the government housing, flattening it, and building more of the same kind of stuff. The case presented was that the yards represent wasted space. Only an adult would think of this -- adult thinking for adult interests and to heck with the kids. After all, they can play in the play lots or at the schools. And of course there are the canyons, woodlands and, mountains. They don't need yards. Well, its tough to be a developer here. The only way you can develop anything is to flatten something.

Please to note: one of the reasons given to not re-build the historic Municipal Building on its historic site at the Pond is "open space". The adults want open space. They don't want their kids to have it, but they do want it for themselves. So they can be "social". They can't be social in their neighborhoods, on their streets with their neighbors so they need a NYC style "central park". Go figure.

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