Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some fireside reading


Snow, at last! So while you're sitting by the warming glow of the fire (or the computer screen), here are a few personally recommended articles of Four Corners interest for your winter-night mulling-over. Enjoy.

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"Dueling Claims," by Laura Paskus, from High Country News, looks at the repercussions of the creation of a "traditional cultural property" around Mount Taylor, in north central New Mexico. Mount Taylor, near Grants, N.M., is sacred to several Indian tribes in the region, and the U.S. Forest Service's designation could hinder a potential new uranium mining boom in the region still suffering from the bust of the last uranium frenzy. That last mining binge left a legacy of mine waste, illness, and post-boom poverty. But what the new TCP is creating is also toxic: anger between the pro-mining and pro-cultural resource groups. That anger may have also spilled over into a string of brutal beatings -- using bats, rocks, and brass knuckles -- of at least five Navajo men last summer.

Read "Dueling Claims" here.

Check out High Country News here.

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"My Oh Mayan!" by Corey Pein, in the Santa Fe Reporter, is a lighter tale -- but with even farther-reaching effects. This is a fun and funny -- and not a little creepy at times -- romp through the hand-wringing over the upcoming supposedly-prophesied end of the world in the fall (or so) of 2012. Craziness or not, Plein -- who says that "2012 is the only year besides Y2K with its very own Library of Congress catalog" -- takes us on a ride with a few of the figures involved in the craze. That craze is generating no small change -- it has spawned dozens of books, seminars, videos, and recently a $200 million major movie -- and those who claim to have decoded the Mayan texts that reveal the prophecy aren't shy about bickering over the propriety rights to their "discoveries." And  in the meantime, a profile of a culture that gorges itself of such hype also emerges.

Read "My Oh Mayan!" here.

Check out the Santa Fe Reporter here.

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"Long To-Do List for New U.S. Parks Chief," by Todd Wilkinson, of the Christian Science Monitor (via the Flathead (Mont.) Beacon), is a nice look at the new head of the National Park Service, as he takes over the agency he has been part of for 32 years, and that in recent years has been underfunded, understaffed, and generally underloved -- and left with a $8-billion backlog in maintenance alone.

Read "Long To-Do List" here.

Check out the Christian Science Monitor here, and the Flathead Beacon here.

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Please support these publications that are still doing good reporting and offering fine writing!

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