Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

A Las Cruces wish list for the new year

For our community, please send more rain. (I promise better save water!) I would also ask:

Bumper crops for grocery sellers at our bustling farmers market, more people are buying healthy, tasty local food – and growing some at home; and McDonalds, which cease selling so-called “nutrient-rich” junk foods that contribute to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The removal of the eyesore on the Main between Lohman and Amador, the huge middle finger of a developer to the city government, which the officials promise again and again, is being tackled. (And could you remove Amador Live, or at least turn the volume down to a reasonable, healthy level?)

Meaningful, evidence-based discussion of school policy where people on all sides actually listen.

More water!

A higher vaccination rate to both boost community health and minimize disruptions to our economy, health, recreational activities, and hanging out with friends and family.

More pickleball spots. Pickleball, despite the silly name, is a delight for all ages. It’s a great exercise with minimal potential for injury (without contact). It is growing fast and many Las Crucens are addicted to the game. Since the new courses in Apodaca Park are so crowded at times, other outdoor spaces are essential, especially for people who want to play without unnecessarily interacting with strangers.

Continuous printing of our local daily newspaper, the Sun News – and continued success and support for the radio stations KRWG and KTAL, our NPR subsidiary and our local community radio station. They all help the community speak to themselves, which is becoming more and more critical as other meaningful discussion forums disappear. And I promise to help all three of them.

Also, help out for so many good local nonprofits including Community of Hope, Jardín de los Niños, La Casa, and Wildlife for All.

More options to dine at The Shed, Luna Rossa, Willow + Blaine, Habañero, Nopalitos, La Nueva Casita, Aqua Reef, The Mix, and other wonderful local restaurants – and have good coffee at Milagro, Nessa’s, Beck’s, and Bean.

Free time to watch the mountains come alive in the afternoon sun, then turn incredibly red, and then turn into black shapes outlined by a rising moon; Share stories and discuss the topics of the day with friends in these coffee houses; and visit the Bosque del Apache and watch thousands of brilliant white snow geese rise from the water, bathed in the rich light of dawn, and watch sand hill cranes return at dusk, drooping their spindly legs as they try to to land steadily in the changing winds.

A win (or two !?) for the Aggies at the NCAA basketball tournament. Chris Jans is a hell of a trainer, and Senior Johnny McCants is a Cruces kid.

State legislative action on predatory lending, a state bank, strong support for early childhood education, and all sensible, constitutional steps could reduce armed violence; and “business development” efforts that recognize the importance of the arts. Federal aid for downwinders. And more water and fewer pecan plantations.

And a lump of coal for Joe Manchin, or leave him and the energy companies who own him the grace to face the incredible suffering their short-term greed and “politics as always” could inflict on their own grandchildren – and ours.

Most importantly, give me more opportunities to thank this community and the caring people (whether we agree or not) who breathe life into our independent spirit. Also, best bone ever for Foxy hoping I will stop doodling and throwing her ball.

All the best to everyone!

Peter Goodman, a Las Cruces resident, writes, photographs, and occasionally practices as a lawyer. More information on this column can be found on his blog at http://soledadcanyon.blogspot.com/.

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