D  e  s  e  r  t     E  x  p  o  s  u  r  e    February 2006

Features

Have Spacesuit, Will Travel
Is space tourism the ticket to success for the proposed spaceport?

For Love and Money
Ivan Thompson, the "Cowboy Cupid," stars in an award-winning documentary.

Connecting the Threads
The Southwest Women's Fiber Arts Collective weaves together area fabric artists.

Blooming in the Desert
"Little Vampire" author and painter Angela Sommer-Bodenburg.

Out of Africa
Festus Addo-Yobo, new director of NMSU's Black Studies Program.

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Desert Diary
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Top 10
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Borderlines
Ramblin' Outdoors
People's Law
40 Days & 40 Nights
Chocolate Fantasia
$1.98 Show
Clubs Guide
Guides to Go
Henry Lightcap's Journal
Continental Divide


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Media Notes

We're walking a little taller, standing a little straighter here in Silver City now that the "nation's newspaper of record" has taken notice of our little burg. Some of us are also taking swimming lessons, but more on that in a moment.

Maria Finn, a writer for The New York Times' Friday "Escapes" section, came to town to write up Silver City for the paper's weekly "36 Hours" feature, in which it prescribes a whirlwind of fun requiring just a day and a half. Silver City joined such varied previous hotspots as Maui, Mexico City, Houston and Pensacola, Fla. Finn began, "People who live in Silver City like to say that their town of 10,000 offers 'the real New Mexico experience.' Perched on the edge of the Gila National Forest in a high-desert wonderland of ponderosas, deep gorges and red-rock mesas, Silver City is a bit rough around the edges, especially compared to places like Santa Fe and Taos—but that's the way the locals like it."

She then went on to guide potential visitors to an array of attractions: Twisted Vine, the Buckhorn, Nancy's Silver Cafe, the new StudioSpace gallery, the Silver City Museum, Jalisco's, Elemental Day Spa, City of Rocks State Park, Spaghetti Western, the Buffalo Bar, Grey Feathers Lodge and the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Recommended lodging included the Inn on Broadway, Bear Mountain Lodge and Casitas de Gila. Finn missed a few of our favorites, but overall a pretty good list—and you can only do so much in 36 hours, after all.

The newspaper's mapmakers, however, made Silver City perhaps a bit too "rough around the edges." As pointed out by eagle-eyed reader Mitch Hellman, owner of Alotta Gelato (which theTimes inexplicably left out—it's one of only two full-time gelaterias in the entire state—the other being in Santa Fe), "The downtown map that accompanied the article (apparently cribbed from Google) mentions a 'N. Main St.' Any tourist planning on walking down this street should bring hip waders, because between 1895 and 1906 a series of flash floods dropped Main Street about 55 feet, forming a tree-lined stream bed running through what is now known as Big Ditch Park."

Watch on the Potomac

Gov. Bill Richardson has been too busy blasting off into space (see story this issue) lately to give the slightest thought to running for the White House in 2008, we're sure, but if he does have presidential ambitions maybe he'd better get blogging. Plain and simple, Richardson is losing the Democratic blog sweepstakes, big time, to 2004 also-ran Gen. Wesley Clark. Take the online poll at The Next Prez (thenextprez.blogspot.com)—a site devoted entirely, believe it or not, to the presidential race still two years away—for example: Clark blows away the field with 49%, leaving Richardson in the fine print at 3%. On the bright side for the governor: Supposed Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton barely beats him with 4%.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times writes about how hard it is to run for the White House from the US Senate (are you listening, Hillary?) and adds, "This discouraging history is one reason some partisans (notably those close to ambitious governors such as New Mexico Democrat Bill Richardson and Massachusetts Republican Mitt Romney) suggest the parties should look outside the Beltway for their next nominees."

Quote/Unquote:

"Everyone in the public was basically hoodwinked."

—attorney Letty Belin, representing the state of New Mexico
in a hearing charging that the Bureau of Land Management
changed its rules on oversight of Otero Mesa drilling

 

"As best as we can tell, nearly a fourth to a third of the physicians in New Mexico in the 1920s were 'lungers' or family members of 'lungers.'"

—Jake Spidle, UNM history professor, in a
Silver City Museum lecture on the
effects of tuberculosis on New Mexico

 

"We are not in any way trying to encourage or promote migration. The only thing we are trying to do is warn them of the risks they face and where to get water, so they don't die."

—Mauricio Farah of Mexico's National Human
Rights Commission, on a plan to distribute 70,000 maps
of the Arizona desert to potential border crossers

 

"We want to develop a strategy to guide communication for all our community colleges and to have a style that we can use consistently."

—Maureen Howard, NMSU associate vice president for
communications and marketing, on hiring a
consulting firm to rebrand the university's
Dona Ana Branch Community College

 

"The reality in the world has changed and we have not paid enough attention to that, and it's high time we did."

—Sen. Jeff Bingaman, introducing three bills
to boost science and technology education.

 

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