A Word or Two From Your Poor Relatives Down In the South Valley

“Conditions at the (West Side) animal shelter are more comfortable than they are at Ernie Pyle school,” she said.

That a good line in this morning’s Journal from a woman named Kirbye Davis, who according to the article “has been monitoring the conditions at Ernie Pyle for several years”. It seems that Ernie Pyle Middle School, smack dab in the heart of the South Valley, has regularly/perpetually broken or near-broken evaporative coolers due to the fact they are so old that:

“when a (cooling) motor breaks down, replacement parts have to be manufactured at a commercial machine shop.”

This according to APS Maintenance and Operations (the famous/infamous “M&O”) Director John Dufay. The story then cites about 10 other horrific infrastructural problems at Ernie Pyle, problems that don’t seem to be going away any time soon (i.e., fixed anytime this decade or possibly next).

The article goes on to mention that at Georgia O’Keeffe Elementary, well-ensconced in the far Northeast Heights, “maintenance crews spent Thursday replacing motors for air conditioning units, but the problem had been fixed by Thursday afternoon” (emphasis mine).

No, I do not mean to imply from this that well-ensconced NE Heights schools get better infrastructural service than South Valley schools. I’m sure Andrea Schoellkopf’s story in the Journal doesn’t mean to imply that either. Still, as a South Valley resident (and I apologize for constantly mentioning this), it’s hard not to repeatedly infer from news reports and reality in general that we “just don’t get nice things” quite as regularly as other parts of town.

Which, of course, gets me to this year’s version of the annual “South Valley should be its own city” story I ran across on KRQE-TV yesterday afternoon. If you read the linked text version of the story, you get this really funny line in reference to whether SV folks think ABQ secession is a good idea, namely:

“Many residents there certainly think so.”

I can almost see my old social science statistics professor’s head explode when reading sentences like “many residents there certainly think so”. One wonders, as my old professor always did, what the “sample size” and “question construction” employed by the KRQE reporter was to come up with that tasty assertion.

I digress and nitpick (always a bad combination). But something needs to be done to address the easily defensible contention that the South Valley gets the short end of the “nice things” stick ’round these parts. Maybe instead of splitting up APS and/or making the South Valley a city (fiefdom, principality, province, whatever), we SVers should just do a better job of twisting the arms of the existing political entities to get what we want and need. That is, if we could only agree on what it is we want and need. Splitting off from APS/ABQ might prove to show we’re not nearly as unified as “many residents there certainly think so” might imply.

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3 thoughts on “A Word or Two From Your Poor Relatives Down In the South Valley

  1. I’ll bet for the last 301 years of history (I can only vouch for the last 45)that the SV has complained about the NE heights getting better treatment. It is just our cultural identity to insist that the SV sweat out the summer while the NE is enjoying fresh, ice cold air conditioning. It just wouldn’t be Albuquerque without the “poor old south valley.” When you do finally get air conditioning, running water and indoor plumbing, there will be something else to complain about like traffic jams, roof leaks and teen angst (set to be abolished in the NE by 2010). In the mean time thank you for perpetuating the South Valley envy for our 302nd year.

  2. History,Are you seriously suggesting that there is no difference in the resources spent on schools in the valley and schools in the heights?

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