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The Gauntlet

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c. Rudi Klimpert

letters, opinions, editorials


re: I wonder where he is

I wonder where that man is today
You know, the one with the camera
It always makes me nervous when he points it at me
But he looks like a good man
And I know he likes me and cares for me
And I can’t help but walk toward him
I wonder where he is today
He is usually here by now
I know I’ll see him tomorrow

          – One of the herd

c. David Cramer

re: Thank you David Cramer

Our friend David Cramer peacefully passed on amongst the Wild Horses of Placitas this last Friday during one of his wonderful Wild Horse photo workshops here in the open spaces of Placitas. He is and was a true friend to all in Placitas, from the Artists, to the Wildlife Corridor, and to the Wild Horses of Placitas. He is irreplaceable to us all and will be dearly missed by many.

David’s awards and lists of accomplishments are many, but WHOA would like to expressly share our deepest gratitude for his strong help in stopping the BLM’s most recent attempt at a Wild Horse round up.

David rallied his many friends and workshop attendees from all over the country and the world to write in favor of Equine Eco-Tourism, as proven by the success of his Wild Horse Photo workshop. He then went on to write a beautiful Blog on the Duke City Fix to alert others in the State. His passionate and caring leadership made a difference for his beautiful friends still wild and free.

David also recently had a 2 months long show at the Albuquerque Open Space Center titled “Placitas: A Place for Horses”. He has been a strong proponent for Wild Horses here and around the country for years and has utilized his shows for public education. The legacy of his passion and work and delightfully kind intellect will live on. Take at his good works.

—Patience O’Dowd, co-founder, WHOA, Wild Horse Observers Association

re: Open letter to citizens of the Town of Bernalillo

I thank the residents of the Town of Bernalillo for allowing me to serve as their Mayor during the past four years. It was a fast-paced four years with some milestone accomplishments:

1) Secured financial Bond A+ rating from Standard and Poor’s which allows the Town of Bernalillo to finance its own debt related to capital projects at a lower percentage rate, thus leaving the town in a healthy financial status

2) Sought and obtained legislative and stimulus funding for capital projects currently being completed to improve traffic impacts and public safety for residents

3) Completed outdated financial audits

4) Addressed and improved outdated arsenic and water discharge compliance issues that will require continued adjustments and monitoring due to the complexity of the systems

5) Transitioned from its all-volunteer fire department to its present permanently staffed department of six firefighters and medical rescue personnel, plus 21 volunteers—working to lower the Town’s fire rating which will eventually mean lower homeowner’s insurance premiums

6) Moved Bernalillo’s housing agency out of troubled status and salvaged control and management of 75 unit low-income housing for elderly and disadvantaged residents, including expanding the administration of the Section 8 voucher program

7) Invested in a robust state-of-the-art financial management and GIS system that has enabled transparency, accountability, and better management decisions by all operating divisions and the governing body

8) Supported, expanded, and enhanced many other existing and new program initiatives including library, parks and amenities, Camp Coronado, Veteran’s Salute, car show, and wine festival, after school tutoring and adult recreation and much more!

9) Expanded Bernalillo boundaries and addressed growth, enforcement and constituent issues by securing associated water rights, public involvement, and planning for future water, sewer, and transportation requirements.

As I reflect on today’s economy, I am proud and pleased that my administration leaves the Town of Bernalillo in a healthy financial state with solid management systems and a new employee outlook that will facilitate moving our community forward with many other infrastructure and quality of life initiatives to benefit our citizens long into the future.   I extend my best wishes to the new Mayor and Council as they continue in this stead.

Once again, thank you, residents, for allowing me the privilege and honor of serving Bernalillo. 

Sincerely, —Patricia A. Chávez, outgoing mayor, Town of Bernalillo

re: template

In the name of mutual political understanding, I present the following template. Choose any highly politicized person and fill in the blanks.

For example:

Basing my opinion on a smattering of facts and a ton of propaganda, I would say that Karl Rove worships at the altar of political gamesmanship. For Karl Rove, political gamesmanship is the Ultimate. Karl Rove is a consummate wire-puller: one who uses secret or underhanded means to influence the acts of a person or organization. I believe that Karl Rove relished his role as “Bush’s brain.”

Based on tabloid headlines, movies and TV news clips, I would say that Angelina Jolie worships at the altars of eroticism and social justice. Both are causes of the left. Pure honesty is her Ultimate. Angelina Jolie is a goddess of heart. I believe her soul thrives on her use of power in the name of Good, and in the name of Wild.

Based on hundreds of hours of TV enjoyment, I would say that Keith Olbermann worships at the altars of “weaponized irony,” the surgical dismantling of right-wing propaganda, and a love of life, a love of justice. Pure honesty is his Ultimate. I believe his soul feeds and thrives on his wry dry kick-some-fanny sense of humor.

Based on my love of talk radio (as a self-employed loner carpenter, I have listened to all sides for twenty years), I would say that Rush Limbaugh worships at the altar of his respect for the ideas of his father and grandfather. Two-fisted conservative political commentary and venomous humor are his Ultimate. I believe Rush Limbaugh’s soul thrives on “weaponized humor” with a right-wing twist of the knife, and political gamesmanship.

Your turn.

—Greg Leichner, Placitas

re: behind the Mike

One day a man’s wife died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of his bedroom, he was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there is no tomorrow. No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just a minute dear..."

Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say goodbye, or to say "I love you."

So while we have it, what best serves us is to love it, care for it, fix it when it is broken and heal it when it us sick. This is true for marriage, and old cars, and children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it… and because we are worth it.

Some things we keep — like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce.  Some people make us happy, no matter what. Other people make us sad, despite the many good things about them. To forgive is the most rewarding thing one can do. Forgive others, if for no other reason than selfish reasons.  Do it for yourself if not for them.

A man once hired me to give a speech for his company and later called on me for a follow-up consulting assignment. He was angry at a former business partner and wanted to hire me to help find a way to “get even.”

My answer to him was simple. If you want me to do the devil’s work I will charge you triple my normal fee, payable in advance with results unconditional. Further, you must follow my advice totally and unconditionally. If you do, I will refund your full fee. If you do not, I will donate the fee to a charity.

He paid me my fee. When the check cleared, I called on him to do my face-to-face consulting assignment.  He had an evil look in his eye and could not wait until I unveiled the “devil’s plan” to get back at his former partner who had cost him dearly.

I handed him a note with two simple words written on it— “Forgive him.”  He went ballistic, threatening to sue me for the fee and much more. I reminded him of our unconditional contract and suggested that he think about the advice.

It took him nearly a month to call me back, but when he did, he apologized for his behavior and said that this was the best advice he had ever been given. He had harbored all this anger and frustration over losing over a million dollars because of his former partner. The partner was not simply a business acquaintance; he was a fellow Deacon in his church and married to a family member.

When my client finally forgave him, it was as if a huge burden had been lifted from his own shoulders and the gesture of forgiveness literally drove the former business partner nuts. I supposed the guilt of his actions and the forgiveness of the partner were both so totally foreign to him that he could not stand it.

I offered my client the refund of his money and he insisted that I donate it to charity and even offered to match it to me personally. I refused.

Life is important, like people we know who are special... and so, we keep them close!

Are you a “keeper”?  Some people love us— not because of us but in spite of us. They love you unconditionally with all our flaws and shortcomings. Why? I suspect it is because we are “keepers” and are worth hanging onto.

Suppose one morning you never wake up — do all your friends know you love them?  I was thinking...I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds that needed to be healed, friendships that needed to be rekindled or three words that needed to be said.

Let every one of your friends and your family know that you love them. Even if you think they do not love you back. You would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do. And just in case I am gone tomorrow, remember I love you!

—Michael Aun






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