Our Readers Write
Downtown, hunting, bombshells and hordes.
Having a modicum of information and plenty of opinion, I'll give you my take on Downtown Silver City after being in the area for close to 20 years ("The Sky Is NOT Falling," Editor's Notebook, February).
There are currently about 16 vacant business locations on Bullard in a matter of five streets, and although some recent closings have caused a media stir, many of these have been closed for long periods, some several years. Certainly the start of a ghost town.
On the other hand, if you canvas the non-downtown parts of Silver City, up Hudson, Pope and Hwy. 180, I doubt if you'll find more than a few vacancies, and those that occurred in the past were filled in a short time (the Bealls center, the old motorcycle complex, the Adobe Springs mini-mall, the old Walmart site, etc.).
And don't give me that old wives' tale that "Walmart drove businesses from downtown." True, you can't compete with Walmart on price, but there are many niches that can survive. Anyway, Walmart probably accounts for more employees than all of downtown, and donates heavily to local functions. (Does downtown?) And why is it that all the franchises and national brands are outside of downtown (except for lonely Domino's)?
Why? What is the difference? A finger does point to regulations and a lack of proper incentives. Several businessmen have told me that the climate there hinders, not helps.
The REAL Chamber of Commerce hides out way up Hwy. 180, and probably has no love for its previous neighbors.
I don't have any idea what the purpose of the "Green" Chamber of Commerce is, but all the myriad organizations, including the City Council, should focus less on springtime at Big Ditch, street dances, foreign language movies, solar water heating monsters for the visitors center, and the like, and get some outside, objective consultation on how to fix downtown for those who have disposable income. Let's face it, downtown competes with the rest of Silver City and is losing.
In my opinion, the main potential sources of customers for downtown are retirees, tourists and the employees of the biggest employer in the area, the mine. So the question is: What downtown attracts them? Art galleries? Artists don't buy the products of the huge number of art galleries, tourists do! Yet it embarrasses me to be downtown on a weekend and to see tourists walking on Bullard past the vacant stores and the other businesses that are closed, because "we always close on the weekend."
I could go on and on, but I really think the town should hire an outside consultant to tell them what they don't want to hear.
Bert de Pedro
No Lightner Lover
Regarding Larry Lightner's "The Law of Nature," Ramblin' Outdoors, February: It's pathetic when an irrational hunter tries to employ theology and philosophy to rationalize his destructive behavior while afflicted with his ignorance of sentient animals as compared to plants and the natural order of nature.
Looks Aren't Everything
I much enjoyed David Fryxell's Continental Divide column, "Beauty and the Beast" (February). Watching the Super Bowl commercials featuring babes and nerds just confirmed what he wrote. It's a slam dunk you don't need to be a hunk. Just have a sense of humor or something. I had to laugh at one commercial where a hot bombshell makes out with a passionate fat nerd wearing glasses. Then the message appears, "When sexy meets smart, your small business scores." Touchdown!
Spellcheck Fails Again
I noticed in Henry Lightcap's column in the February 2013 issue his use of the word "hoards" when referring to barbaric Mongols. While that is a bona fide word, he should have used the word "hordes" in referring to a mob or other unruly group, such as the Mongols. The supreme example of hoards can be found in the case of the Collyer brothers of New York City.
Correction: The caption in the lower right of page 26 in our February issue, in the article "Making Mariachi," should have identified the student in the foreground as Arturo Dominguez, and the one in the background as Montserrat Ramirez.
Let us hear from you! Write Desert Exposure Letters, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters are subject to editing for style and length (maximum 500 words, please), and must be in response to content that has appeared in our pages. Deadline for the next issue is the 18th of the month.