What a sad day for the descendants of the Spanish/Mexican-speaking settlers of our region. Our Fiesta Queen was hijacked from her home at Our Lady of Sorrows. The Fiesta Queen es La Reina de Las Fiestas de Nuestra Señora de Dolores de Las Vegas Grandes. She didn’t pull the train into Las Vegas in the late 1870s, nor is she a firecracker. She represents the settlement of the Las Vegas Land Grant way before the Easterners brought their celebration to our community.
La Reina represents our heritage, culture, religion and history. For the city administration to allow their Fiesta Committee to alter tradition to show we are one community… Que barbaro! Some people have no pride in their ancianos o ante-pasados. What one community? Just look at the City Council where since “eight to four” the council has been divided with east-side councilors banding together against our west-side councilors, with the mayor going east.
OK, let’s be one community. I suggest we move the Rough Rider Museum next to the “tanke” on the west side next to the PNM Valencia Turbine Plant. Or better yet, let’s move Lincoln Park to the Macario Gonzales development property on Mills Avenue. How about moving McDonald’s to the vacant lot next to the Allsup’s on Hot Springs Boulevard? Or even better, let’s build a railroad spur on New Mexico Avenue all the way through Mills back to the railroad station. We can hook up the black engine (liza) to the red caboose on South Grand and give the tourists rides through the west side. But we need to share the profits — sounds good to me. So much for the consolidation promise of economic development on the west side.
The consolidation of our two communities came with some conditions. The west side was to receive infrastructure improvements — better street lighting, culverts, drainage, sidewalks, fire hydrants with water, reliable dogcatchers, etc. Drive around the west side and it still looks like it did before consolidation. We still have descendants of the original dogs of the barrio, for crying out loud! We got the contaminated landfill behind Camp Luna. Ever wonder why so many people on the west have died from different forms of cancer? Read the study done on this issue (if you know where to find it). We also got the police station, which is of no use to us.
In the long run I believe the issue of consolidation and the Fiesta Fiasco Committee should be dumped where it belongs — at the only other place we got from consolidation — the sewage plant.
Thank you Tonita for trying.