Updates:  09/22/2017; updates 02/03/2017; 2013 orig. yr of devt   Old Opinion Corner:  Section 1, Idea Bank Note: These are older sections needing editing, some of the links might not work, some linked pages might not exist having been deleted or shifted, if the links don’t work, try scrolling down below the index area   INDEX (click to link to topic): 1-(INTRO) - Creative  Ideas For Jobs/Businesses In 4 Corners     2-Native Plant Resource Education Center  3-Call Center  Coffee Shop   4-Keep Things Casual, Human Oriented & With A Sense Of Nature   5-Electronics Used Parts Company: Repair, Refurbish & Design (Invention) Divisions     6-Totally Made In USA: Scooter Creation & Sales Center     7-A Nature-Oriented Hostel 8-College Texts Books and Paper     9-Eco-Design Housing Keeping the Trees & Natural Vegetation Where Applicable     10-Jobs For The Homeless or Under-Employed; Helping The Homeless; Working With Panhandlers      11-Multi-Faceted (Solar, WInd & Biomass) Water & Electric Systems Using Smart Above-Ground Piping And Diversion Strategies   Native Americans And Mexican Americans Have Had Long Standing Discrimination, Unfair Treatment And Abuse In San Juan County And The Southwest In General  SECTION I  Idea Bank (INTRO) - Creative Ideas For Jobs Or Businesses in the Four Corners (And Other Areas) Idea Bank: Anything Goes: Wild, Woolly,  Ignorant, Impossible, Possible. Some of the ideas have been thought of elsewhere, but are not currently being done here.  Some are more like science fiction than current reality.  Others are incompatible with the area’s current culture or level of expectations for itself, but are placed here to encourage people to push the envelope on what they think is possible.  Work as Happy Places Ways to keep things local and promote sustainable growth while working in soul-pleasing natural environments.  The idea is to get out of strained, stuffed and forced work environments.    Meticulous Care Using Inputs & Outputs The objective is also to consider inputs and outputs in all activities: inputs in terms of what goes into an operation, and outputs as both immediately needed and used products as well as waste by-products.  If outputs as waste can be reused or transformed into either a useful or harmless material, it is best.  Ongoing research may be built into connecting industries with similar waste products so that new ways are constantly being sought to figure out ways to use them and, once discovered, are instantly applied to the system.  Topics Covered: build with nature in mind; coffee shop; call center; used electronic parts center; totally made in USA scooter business; hostel; college texts, paper and cost Issues; <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>  Coffee Shop  In a natural setting set away from direct traffic noise, this property would bask among the native trees while serving hot piping breakfasts and tasty lunches.  Ample room in outdoor patios and view oriented balconies, these areas around the coffee shop would take in nature via a peaceful setting.  Adobe style fireplaces inside and out.  Upstairs floor has lots of light and windows and looks out over a native tree and plant filled grounds.  Fresh breakfasts served on a hot grill in front of the public serving green chili breakfast burritos, pancakes, omelets, and so on. Flour tortillas for burritos and wraps should be locally made using healthy ingredients.  Deli sandwiches made with local vegetables and all kinds of fixings and homemade bagels and breads.  Entire facility nature education oriented, with informative signs about the local plant-life and promotional materials about saving the trees and other natural lifeforms in the area.  Sustainable coffees, try to keep things American - ie, Hawaii.  Small indoor and outdoor stage areas for musical productions, poetry readings, speak outs and lectures on various topics. <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>  Call Center    Create a very large national call center business in the Four Corners.  The idea is to take back American jobs from overseas call centers - like those in India, for example. How many times do we Americans call for help on a credit card, car insurance, ,appliance complaint or something else only to hear the accent of someone more than likely being paid overseas to handle the call? We need to figure out a way to provide the same service by Americans for Americans while keeping overhead extremely low so that there is enough to pay employees decently while giving the companies a decent profit. The excuse that overseas personnel and overhead is less costly than in the United States should not hold water. If Americans are paying fees and interest to these companies for American-based products and services, these companies should provide the common courtesy of employing fellow Americans to do  the jobs.  <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>   Keep Things Casual, Human Oriented and With a Sense of Nature   One way to create a low cost call center is to keep everything casual, low key and natural. An idea is to do something like the following: buy a large barn, warehouse or other large spacious building that is under foreclosure or at a lowered price because it is pretty "raw" - in bad shape, gutted or unfinished, etc. Do remedial fix-up to make sure it is safe and healthy, as well as basically attractive, and then start putting in the appropriate electrical ,and telecommunication lines and whatever else is needed to set up a major call center. Plan on keeping the work atmosphere casual, employee-centered and flexible. Let people come to work in jeans and t-shirts, for example. Give flex-time. Consider putting in an employee-run daycare. Let  people bring their dogs to work. Have plenty of nature around the property with picnic tables and other work areas so workers can take their breaks or work outside if they want to. It also gives the place a sense of beauty and peace.   Create a feeling about the place that each worker is truly part of a healthy and caring environment. Pay the employees adequate salaries so they can truly live off of this income rather than just survive. Bring the entry level pay amounts up above the minimal poverty level. Consider health insurance for all employees but keep the number of employees down to a solid company functionality and effectiveness level. In other words, do not skimp on service to customers and overload workers, but find the right balance for company overhead/profit and worker numbers/salaries. Maintain a solid, helpful and invigorated image in the community from the onset.  Use this concept of low key and worker-centered approaches on several different business ideas to be developed in the area. A call center is just one idea. It is a low environmental impact idea. <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>   Electronics Used Parts Company: Repair, Refurbish & Design (Invention) Divisions  Including but not limited to:  gadgets, appliances, tool equipment, etc.  Re-assembly, assembly, redesign and innovative design from used parts.   In other words, take your old toasters, floor heaters,  fans, microwaves, grill ovens, etc. here, as well as many other things.  Major southwest regional center located centrally in the Four Corners Area.   This idea is put together for two reasons. First, to help make use of a lot of waste in electronic gadgetry, equipment, and appliances in the Four Corners area. Keep a lot of stuff from going to the dump.  Other companies have certainly done something like this already to some degree or another, but the idea here is intended for a newly developing company in the Four Corners area to be extremely detailed and extensive in its collection, inventory and functionality in the entire realm of used electronics and parts. <return to Section I INDEX>  <return to entire INDEX> Secondly, the idea is to strongly and firmly help give Americans their jobs back from the Chinese dominated manufacturing and products industry. A good ninety percent or more of items sold at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Home Depot, Lowe’s, clothing stores and other places have items made in China to the point it has gotten to be an absolute nightmare. It is beyond ridiculous – it is insidiously vile. What is particularly bad about this is that many Americans have either given up worrying or complaining about it, or they don’t know how to fight back. One way to fight back, obviously, is to use political clout to put a high import tax back on a lot of the goods coming into this country from China and other countries. Another way is to encourage Americans to focus on buying only or mostly American products. The problem with this is that there are so few choices. It is also ridiculous that so many supplies come over the ocean on large boats. That is environmentally destructive in and of itself – all those ships constantly running back and forth through the natural environments of ocean fish and plant life. In addition, there are waste products which inevitably are dumped or spewed from these ships into the water. We should not make it so affordable for the Chinese to send ships like that and dump vast loads of their products here without economic penalties.   <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>  Totally Made In USA: Scooter Creation & Sales Center  As it sounds, create scooters from scratch using anything and everything made in the USA.  All parts are to be made in this country from bolts and screws to engines and style molding.  Applying the concepts covered in above topics, have the facility be a human and earth friendly one.  Perhaps use a combination of a large breezeway style covered carport style assembly and repair facility for the warm months and a large warehouse or barn style building for the offices and cold weather months garage work.  Consider putting the facility in a view area up on a mesa, hill or on the side of a mountain.  Have a lot of native trees and vegetation around as well as planted shade trees.  Perhaps some man-made waterfalls near the outdoor carport so workers hear the sound of water and nature, or have the facility near a brook, stream or river.  Consider having a decent sized pond on the facility with fish and encouraged positive plants like cattails.  Spur a feeling of creativity, design and entrepreurialship here.  Create small education facilities with many or part of the classes happening outdoors.  Encourage a connection to nature throughout the design and implementation processes.  Create city, hybrid and dirt road (mountain bike style) scooters.  Perhaps go into small eco-friendly in-city cars along with the scooters.  Have both a rental and sales operation. <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>   A NATURE-ORIENTED HOSTEL This could encompass a number of ideas, including a campground for tents and a small number of RV's.  Keep nature around, have footpaths and educational materials around the grounds, as discussed elsewhere, about native plants and animals of the area.  The hostel should incorporate very reasonable bunk-dorm style accommodations as well as affordable small privacy rooms with both shared bathrooms and private bathrooms.  There should be a bare bones option with a small continental breakfast with more in-depth meals at extra cost available at a small cafe and shop on the grounds.  The cafe/shop might be placed on the edge of the grounds so that it can accommodate non-hostel visitors as well and can serve a wider-ranged customer base. <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>   COLLEGE TEXTS, BOOKS, PAPER  Very General Idea:  In general, figure out a way to make college text books as affordable as those being sold through international markets.  Everything from Psychology to Biology and Chemistry texts have become insanely high to the point at times even used, electronic and rented texts are almost as costly as the new texts.  This has become a very negative trend in this country.  In addition, paper mills are nasty.  They give off fumes, frequently have poor facility and employment conditions and typically are not working as efficiently as they could.  The whole issue about dealing with trees and paper for textbooks and paper supplies needs to really be address with some highly innovative concepts coming forward.  Is there a way to use old grocery store sacks, tires, PVC and old plastic molding, etc. as synthetic paper for books and certain kinds of copy paper, for example?  <return to Section I INDEX>  <return to entire INDEX>   MULTI-FACETED (SOLAR, WIND & BIOMASS) WATER & ELECTRIC SYSTEMS USING SMART ABOVE-GROUND PIPING AND DIVERSION STRATEGIES   Diverse Renewable Energy Subunits Covering Various Sections Around a City  Normally we think of water and electricity as two entirely separate systems.  It is suggested here to consider the possibility of having part of gray water and purification closely connected to the area’s electric system. It is is suggested to have above-ground pipes with short interconnecting distance spans.  Security and weather protection boxes or cables could be used around the pipes, while using high class weather and leak resistant piping. This would help keep costs and labor down in original piple construction and later maintenance.  Each subunit would cover certain sections of town to provide electricity. These units might be connected so they could supply energy to one main centralized unit, but ideally should be able to work independently as well.  The bridging mechanism might feed excess or surplus energy through the system to feed any sections of the city with low or weak areas or units.  In addition surplus energy might be sent to the main unit for backup storage.  These units could possibly utilize various types of renewable energy, including wind, solar and biomass power.  In addition, the units might be designed to be able to stand on their own in emergencies to act as water purification centers so that more than one water cleaning system is available in town; in addition it might be worked out that different units have the capacity to connect to different water sources so that the community is not relying on just one source of water.  These water purification units might be strictly backup, but one might also consider turning them into main-line systems.  It might be easier in the long run to have sectioned off areas for both power and water, whether or not the water systems discussed here are actually in or near the renewable energy subunit locations.  By breaking things off into sections, it is easier to set up and maintain piping and electrical lines rather than having things running over large areas.   <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>   A NATIVE PLANT RESOURCE AND EDUCATION CENTER  This center could incorporate Native American and non-Native American concepts, using diverse educational, historic, prehistoric, regional and global concepts.  Several of the things to be covered: keeping the trees and natural vegetation around the center, using the area with pathways and garden areas to demonstrate native vegetation, Xeriscapic concepts and wise desert use of food gardening, compost, etc.  The center would be a training facility for native plants and horticulture, and might be used as an extension to the community college, Four Corners colleges and universities and national education programs.  In addition, it could be closely connected with municipal and tribal programs as well by linking into a variety of civic and Native American programs.  In addition, the facility could encourage people from around the country to provide lectures and training classes in a variety of topics ranging from water conservation, plant uses, survival, the environment, and so on.  A wilderness training hub linking wilderness training programs around the country, and possibly and Canada and the globe might be incorporated here. Wilderness training is an important part of teaching people to respect the natural world while also giving them usable survival tools in an ever-changing world which might increasingly find itself experiencing crises and lack.  Wilderness training and native vegetation skills teach people how to be earth-wise and efficient while also learning various levels of survival.  If the lights and water go out in a city, people with survival skills will have better coping capabilities.  In addition, people who have close connections to nature increasingly find that material goods are less important, so it encourages conservation, discourages over-consumption and waste. One suggestion is to put this center on the Pinion Hills Bypass or College Boulevard area because this is a centrally located zone close to the community college and major commercial centers along East Main.  Build the facility with the trees in mind, keep it as small as possible, put a parking garage underneath or otherwise use good land use tactics.  Consider having covered outdoor teaching and demonstration places.  Put educational signs up around depicting the names and qualities of the plant life.  Create gardens that add additional Xeriscapic choices, similarly to what has been done at the New Mexico State University ASC xeriscapic demonstration gardens off the Bisti Hwy outside of Farmington (see specifics under the Govt/School section on the Resources, Books, DVDs, etc. webpage for more information.)  Both San Juan College's Horticulture division and the NMSU-ASC are good resources for local xeriscapic topics and education.   <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX> <return to Section I INDEX>   ECO-DESIGN HOUSING KEEPING THE TREES & NATURAL VEGETATION WHERE APPLICABLE  As part of the concept of Less is More, consider building smaller houses which are using green concepts while preserving as much of the natural world as possible in those prettier areas with unusually high numbers of natural trees and vegetation.  This concept may be incorporated with building in the both the green and architecturally creative private sector, as well as in college trade programs.  San Juan College, for example, could offer low cost houses of this type throughout the community while teaching its students how to build this way.  Green builders and creative architects could work these ideas into various housing development areas as well as in isolated custom home built tracts.  These houses can be very small, but can have wide ranging floor plans, styles and sizes.  The main idea is to be creatively efficient with space while creating pretty homes, to save nature and resources, and to keep costs down.  Syncronos Design (www.buildingwithawareness.com/about.html) is one builder/educator who works with these ideas.  (Please see the growing list of green builders and architects under the Architecture Section). People might be able to better afford attractive, self-respecting homes using these concepts.  Mobile homes might be replaced in favor of these kinds of houses.  People who would otherwise buy used housing might considering going this route.   <return to Section I INDEX>  Those who had considered building larger, more sprawling houses or new construction houses in more tract-like neighborhoods might decide to go this route instead after looking over the options.  Eco-design houses using less space more efficiently while flowing with the natural world and conserving resources may be a solution to jobs and lower cost but smarter quality-built housing in the area.  The idea is not to compromise quality or unique beauty.  It is important to note that some green builders may be building green, but are not being careful about conserving as many trees as possible on the grounds that they build on.  In an effort to appeal to a higher priced clientele, they may be using more of image-driven concepts than actually working with nature in a truly preservation sense.  It is important to pick builders and architects who are not only building green but have a true sense of the terrain when they build. Some properties do not have that many trees, but even then, working with Less is More principles may apply by keeping the grounds mostly xeriscapic in nature while having a space and heating/cooling efficient house that trims down the living space to the basics of what is really needed and enjoyable.  By getting rid of excess baggage, people free themselves from clutter and extra maintenance, cleaning and repairs and may be happier in the long run.  Build with nature in mind.  Local group of people become both on-site and off-site ecodesign house assemblers/builders.  Sell kits, build in total, assist with building parts.  Become direct sources or middlemen for adobe bricks, strawbale, etc.  Network with others already doing this.  Share books, links, training. <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>  JOBS FOR THE HOMELESS or UNDER-EMPLOYED; HELPING THE HOMELESS; WORKING WITH PANHANDLERS  Keep in mind when dealing with the growing numbers of unemployed, homeless and impoverished are these key words:  "disenfranchised", "cultural shift"; "easy does it."  Put people back to work with innovative approaches which takes into consideration some important things.  First of all, no matter how broke or homeless someone is, do not treat that person like shit.  Secondly, do not get into the mind set of "they're just looking for an easy ride. They could work if they wanted to."  Do not assume that laziness, lack of character and addictions/criminal records are the main reason a lot of people today are out of work with their thumb out along shopping centers and the streets with signs Help Me.  Many people going through poverty or homelessness may have a complex mind set going creating their situation.  Many have addiction, abuse and emotional problems.  Not all homeless are panhandlers with their thumbs or Help Me signs out.  Some just lie on benches or walk around with grocery carts piled with stuff.  Some hide under bridges or hide out on the outskirts of town.  Consider easing people back into work.  No, that is not letting people off easy and giving them an easy ride.  It means working carefully and thoughtfully with whatever is ailing people over the unemployment issue in their lives.  One way to give everyone a job no matter their background, education, state of mind, etc. is to have plenty of jobs which would go under the label of "easy manual labor" - this can be putting mechanical parts together, assembly line tasks, paper copying and faxing, and so on.  There should be a respectful, healthy and pleasant approach to connecting people having a hard time finding or keeping jobs with jobs like this so that everyone involved in the process has a prepared part to place to go, or things to do.  It means meticulous organization.  It means having excellent online lists of such jobs and keeping them open for people like this or others who do not quite fit into 9 to 5 jobs with high demands on education, technical skills and professionalism.  These jobs need to be willing to work with personalities that do not fit into long hour structures.  For one thing, many people who have been dealing with homelessness, abuse, addictions and so on are not emotionally and physically able or willing to do what Americans normally think of as a "good day's labor for a good day's paycheck."  Some of the Christian approaches use punitive styles throughout their lifestyles, including regarding "good honest work."  That approach may be too strict for many people needing something more than that in their lives.  Not all people fit into strict, mechanical, authoritarian styles - not in government, not in education, and not in employment.  Bring the lovely, the creative, the fluid and the insightful into employment approaches in the United States - find work that is truly workable for all kinds of personalities - not just certain groups with their own cultural, religious and work ethic orientations.  Match the jobs with the cultural and social backgrounds - and also the state of mind, life and health of people.  Match jobs with people where they are at.  Do not take whip-lashing approaches to "all those lazy people out there living off welfare and handouts."    Use more finesse than that.  If you are an employer, start figuring out how you can structure jobs in pieces or in layers so that a variety of personality types and capabilities can fit into those patterns.  Figure out what works.    Some people need structure, authority and are perfectly happy to work eight or more hours a day with few breaks.  Others need more breathing room.  Do not assume people who need more breathing room are not capable of good work outputs.  It may be they just need a more right-brained approach, or a more holistic approach to work.  Some people need time to get back into the routine of structure, so a company can be layered with easier, less mind and focus consuming tasks which can build up to more complex and responsible ones when and if the people are ready to do more.  Some people want a light job in their lives while they raise kids or go to school.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Don't try to pile too much on people to squeeze out every cent and dollar.  It will not work in the long run.  It is tempting to do that from an employer's standpoint - but refrain.  Keep tasks manageable and easily trainable in certain jobs, delegating the heavier jobs with more things to do those people who are ready and can truly handle it.  Many of the homeless in this country can be given jobs in more home-like or casual settings with plenty of space, light, casual dress and soothing comfort levels for a few hours at a time.  If they want to come back later and work more, fine, if not, don't push it until such time they are ready.  Consider hos you can make jobs less military-like or forced when dealing with certain groups of people - you may find they start loving work again and will happily and willingly do more and more.  It has a lot to do with how you treat people and present the work place to them.  A lot of people are tired of the old style of job and truly feel disenfranchised - pay attention to that, and don't punish it.  Again, just figure out what works.   Have a plan when seeing homeless or others with Help Me signs up: zero tolerance for panhandling in city limits, high organization in social service intervention for the homeless and needy  It might be wise to make panhandling illegal with the stipulation that the police, city officials and public have a plan of highly organized social service intervention.  If non-scrupulous panhandlers and the homeless learn that there is consistent city or county-wide no-tolerance for visible signs of panhandling but that there is a well-organized city plant to help people get back on their feet, it will change the texture of the panhandling landscape.  Have a plan for helping people with their thumbs out and signs up; have a plan for people sitting in homeless shelters; have a plan for people on welfare - and make part of that plan a willingness to work with creative, flexible and innovative approaches rather than harsh, angry and judgmental ones.  Paranoia and anger may be setting into the working people of the United States - a sense of over-protection of wallet and way of life against the growing masses of non-working, hapless looking people although we are seeing sings of economic improvement in various parts of the country.   A desire to keep all that off the streets and away from good, hard working people or at least people lucky enough to have a job.  A sense of us against them may be setting in.  There may be a growing almost police state approach toward anyone who looks tired, drunk, hapless, not well dressed, not well groomed, and so on - a sense of keeping all of that human trash out of towns, cities and neighborhoods.   Social Service Help - Organized Waterproof Cards to Hand Panhandlers and Homeless:     Consider having Social Services groups put together informational cards that are small, easily carried, thick papered, waterproof (so they don't wear out or get tossed as easily) to give out to the homeless and the out to the general public willing to help.  These informative cards or small sheets can be handed out to those seen with their thumbs out or signs up along streets, shopping centers, intersections, and highways part of an extensive plan for working with these people to both help them and us.  The understanding here is that the dividing line between them and us can shift at any time - a tragedy or lost off income could leave any of us wandering around looking like the homeless.  Those people out there might be one of us some day - or have been one of us.   the rest of the community who understandably finds that sort of thing unpleasant to have around.  These cards or sheets will tell these people where to go for: shelter, food, jobs, emotional support and need to be really, really informative and real - not just a list which sends these people down a hopeless road.  In other words, the shelters need to really be open and available, the food really needs to be there, and the jobs need to be open and available to all kinds of people, not just those with good references, worthy job histories on resumes and clean background checks.  A new way of looking at shelters also needs to occur - not all tented areas for homeless need to be dirty, dangerous and suspicious; if well managed and well policed along with drug sniffing dogs and excellent garbage, toilet and shower facilities, they might well work for more people than formalized buildings for the homeless.  Be creative in approaches regarding shelters.   <return to Section I INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>   INDEX:  SECTION I   opinion corner material  IDEA BANK:  (INTRO) - CREATIVE IDEAS FOR JOBS OR BUSINESSES IN 4 CORNERS;   A NATIVE VEGETATION RESOURCE & EDUCATION CENTER;  CALL CENTER;  COFFEE SHOP;  KEEP THINGS CASUAL, HUMAN ORIENTED & WITH A SENSE OF NATURE;  ELECTRONICS USED PARTS COMPANY: REPAIR, REFURBISH & DESIGN (INVENTION) DIVISIONS;  TOTALLY MADE IN USA: SCOOTER CREATION & SALES CENTER;  A NATURE-ORIENTED HOSTEL;  COLLEGE TEXTS, BOOKS, PAPER;  ECO-DESIGN HOUSING KEEPING THE TREES & NATURAL VEGETATION WHERE APPLICABLE;  JOBS FOR THE HOMELESS or UNDER-EMPLOYED; HELPING THE HOMELESS; WORKING WITH PANHANDLERS;  MULTI-FACETED (SOLAR, WIND & BIOMASS) WATER & ELECTRIC SYSTEMS USING SMART ABOVE-GROUND PIPING AND DIVERSION STRATEGIES   SECTION II MISCELLANEOUS:  1-INCREASED SPENDING MAY BE CONNECTED TO INCREASED ANXIETY; SHIFTING & CURBING SPRAWL BEHAVIOR: WHO WILL HELP?  CHURCHES: BE SANE, BE HUMBLE - RESPECT OUR PLANET EARTH, PLEASE;  A WORD ON REGIONAL DIFFERENCES & THE NEED FOR CULTURAL CROSS-SEEDING BETWEEN AREAS - ENCOURAGING PEOPLE FROM OTHER AREAS TO COME IN; ASSERTIVE ORGANIZATION IN ENVIRONMENTALISM - THE VARIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS & RELATED ENTITIES NEED TO COME TOGETHER AS ONE VOICE WHILE EACH MAINTAINS THEIR UNIQUE IDENTITY AND SERVICE/APPROACH.  SECTION III: 1-WOMEN HAVE IT ROUGH IN SAN JUAN COUNTY; WHITE WOMEN MAY HAVE IT ROUGHER IN SAN JUAN COUNTY;   NEED FOR HEIGHTENED AWARENESS AND EDUCATION IN HUMAN SERVICE AND POLICE FORCE; CERTAIN APPROACHES TO NATIVE AMERICAN ART MAY BE EXCESSIVELY MANIFESTED IN SAN JUAN COUNTY.  OPINION CORNER (2013)- SECTION 2 INDEX MISCELLANEOUS: INCREASED SPENDING MAY BE CONNECTED TO INCREASED ANXIETY; SHIFTING & CURBING SPRAWL BEHAVIOR: WHO WILL HELP?;  CHURCHES: BE SANE, BE HUMBLE - RESPECT OUR PLANET EARTH, PLEASE;  A WORD ON REGIONAL DIFFERENCES & THE NEED FOR CULTURAL CROSS-SEEDING BETWEEN AREAS - ENCOURAGING PEOPLE FROM OTHER AREAS TO COME IN;  ASSERTIVE ORGANIZATION IN ENVIRONMENTALISM - THE VARIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS & RELATED ENTITIES NEED TO COME TOGETHER AS ONE VOICE WHILE EACH MAINTAINS THEIR UNIQUE IDENTITY AND SERVICE/APPROACH;  WOMEN HAVE IT ROUGH IN SAN JUAN COUNTY;  WHITE WOMEN MAY HAVE IT ROUGHER IN SAN JUAN COUNTY;  NEED FOR HEIGHTENED AWARENESS AND EDUCATION IN HUMAN SERVICE AND POLICE FORCE;  CERTAIN APPROACHES TO NATIVE AMERICAN ART MAY BE EXCESSIVELY MANIFESTED IN SAN JUAN COUNTY;  NATIVE AMERICANS AND MEXICAN AMERICANS HAVE HAD LONG STANDING DISCRIMINATION AND ABUSE IN SAN JUAN COUNTY, NEW MEXICO AND THE SOUTHWEST IN GENERAL  SECTION II MISCELLANEOUS  Increased spending MIGHT BE CONNECTED TO INCREASED ANXIETY  In times of economic and global stress and uncertainty, people may subconsciously express addictive or obsessive behaviors which may result in making poor buying choices. On a deeper level, they may think everything is going to pot anyway, so why not enjoy this moment now? That behavior may encourage going through material goods and using them in spendthrift ways. Heightened levels of new housing and commercial development may be part of this trend. Spending money may temporarily ease the feeling of despair and depression associated with uncertainty, so as part of this, building new properties may temporarily give people a sense of hope and anticipation about the future. In the process, they may consume more than they need to, build more than they need, and destroy the natural world more than is necessary. Part of this process may include the wish that things today were still the way they were during other boom eras throughout the history of the United States; by putting up new construction, it gives some the feeling of control and image which they experienced either directly when they were younger or as children with parents or grandparents going through that kind of economic boom.   In addition to these things, many people are experiencing legal and illegal substance abuse or neglect on the one hand and toxic interference from a variety of sources on the other. The list of things which could be making people less available or present to be coping with life in general is huge. In addition, it may be very difficult to pinpoint exactly what is creating behavioral problems and whether a behavior trait (like overspending or overbuilding) is in fact a pathology. What we can say is that pollutants in the air such as from the gas wells and the power plants around Farmington, known to cause bad air pollution here (in fact the haze seen in the air may be attributed to fires in various nearby areas when they are going on, and to coal driven power plants using old equipment). It has been suggested that San Juan County has some of the most negative air in the country. Could chemicals in the air be attributing to depression, anxiety, sluggish intellectual thinking and certain health problems not yet identified statistically as connected to the air pollution? In addition, with so many oil and ga wells around, are there underground leaks into the natural water courses which finally into our main water source? In addition, uranium mines have been around the area in various places and have been suspected to leak radiation through various water channels, some as close as Tohatchi, New Mexico. There may be others up in the Colorado mountains doing the same thing. This deserves more attention and research but at this point the question is, are there a number of different causal agents negatively impacting both our air and water supplies, and as such, our soils? <return to Section II INDEX>  <return to INDEX> <return to Section II INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>   Shifting & Curbing SPRAWL BEHAVIOR: WHO WILL HELP?  Much of urban sprawl behavior can be shifted with education and cultural awareness raising over time, but for more immediate interests, much of it has to be curbed by blocking people's ability to keep building in this sprawling and frequently invasive manner. If we don't move quickly and do things now, it will be too late. The way things are going now, it is conceivable that in as little as five to ten years of time, we will find ourselves looking around and seeing nothing but urban development in an area that once was just beautiful. It takes getting people to wake up and see what is going on enough that the movers and shakers in the area can make a difference.   The first step is waking people up. It also takes stepping back and away by not being too caught up in the central hub of activity. Distancing one's self from the flow of trends seems to be a key issue in shifting toward a more internally guided approach with a deeper sensitivity to nature. It's almost like there is an underlying subconscious hum behind people doing the same things in a same way - like they all get on the same wavelength, whether or not it is healthy or wise. If the majority of people in an area do not have the cultural predisposition for noticing environmental damage, the tendency is to assume that city development is progress even when large amounts of the best of the natural world are being destroyed directly before everyone's eyes. There is a type of blindness in this cultural approach to the point people are not sensitively awake and are not paying attention. It's a kind of numbness or tuning out of the natural world by making business affairs and personal activities being something more important than being a part of the big picture of nature and the world around.  <return to Section II INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>   Churches: BE SANE, BE HUMBLE - RESPECT OUR PLANET EARTH, PLEASE  Churches should be encouraging their memberships to consider earth-wise choices not only when they build another church for their congregation, but also as a cultural habit throughout the community projects. Just throwing away recyclables properly is not the full picture of what church memberships probably need to be thinking about when they create a religious culture for themselves. It seems very likely that in many areas business culture and religious culture go hand in hand in the United States, and that urban sprawl and destruction of the natural world may very well be part of this. In other words, religious people need to develop a culture in which being religious and environmentally sensitive and protective of the natural world go hand in hand. The planet does not need another large sprawling church with a vast parking lot; we do not need more churches scraping off a lot of native trees destroying large chunks of the natural world in the process. There are at least three churches on the Pinion Hills Bypass which have put up very large structures and parking lots at the expense of the natural world there - two of these are well seen along the Bypass itself, one is further off on College Blvd and is hidden a little by a few natural pieces of vegetation. If you look behind its gates, however, it has yet another large building and parking lot, too. The natural facade of a few plants or trees belies what has happened to the great bulk of the trees that were originally there - they were scraped off. This third property is not as large at the other two churches, but is still quite substantial. The churches are not the only questionable parties on the Bypass by any means when it comes to destroying large tracts of natural terrain, but one would hope that religious people would demonstrate their faith with a little more finesse and consideration of the natural world. Leaving a few natural trees left trickled along the sides of the property is not respectful and careful of the natural world. There seems to be a sign of gluttony and waste here which is not culturally sound for planetary well-being and safety. If churches do not see the wisdom of the natural world and saving trees or water, who does?  Is there anything wrong with a small humble church and parking lot among the native trees, with a small humble sign out front? When did being religious and spiritual in this country become synonymous with grandiose luxury-driven churches with parking lots as large as those found at Walmart or a college? It also might be added to question when did churches decide flashing electrical digital signs was a way to advertise their presence? Aren't they demonstrating American business culture doing that kind of stuff? Isn't that the kind of thing that wiped out forest after forest in this country as cities developed? How many churches in this country are truly pro-environmental in the sense they are considering the health and well-being of everyone by putting an emphasis on clean air, water, soil, pristine environments, and so on? In the process of saving souls, wouldn't it be wise to be considering saving the natural world and making cities safe to live in? Otherwise, isn't it possible that there will be no souls left to save - not any in bodies, anyway? Rather than another large expensive church, why not go for putting the money into life, not edifices, and solving human problems in a more direct and realistic way? Things made of mortar, brickglass and stone are non-living materials; things we put into life and the natural world make more sense in many ways and are just as filled with spiritual testimony, if not more so. Keeping the natural world around, especially when it is part of an unusually and significantly pretty area, is a sign of sacredness and may demonstrate more profoundly the vision that human life and all of life are of value. People do better when the natural world is kept intact as much as possible in the areas in which they live. Wiping off the natural world is not good for people; it is not good for their health or overall sense of well-being. Churches should keep this in mind when they develop areas with natural forest on them if they are going to require large buildings and parking lots. Pinion and juniper trees do consist of natural forest, and like any forest, they are important and valuable.  Again, about the only thing that can be done to stop this type of destructive tendency is to use legally enforced community-wide zoning restrictions covering the issues of natural tree removal on private land. The other possibility is to have a group of conscientious citizens buy up tracts of pristine land with trees on them in the area before the consumer culture takes it over. If the consumer culture that is currently in place around San Juan County and other parts of the country are allowed to do what they do naturally, no original natural tree will be left in sight of a city. Bit by bit land will be bought up and used for residential and commercial development, with much of the culture not respectful of the natural world or trees as they do this. One might ask if any tree will be left on the entire planet, to be honest, if no restrictions to the consumer culture are set up. If that sounds too hostile or fanatical, so be it, but the consumer culture does have a precedence in this country for self-centered consumer based orientations at the expense of the natural world. There, is a long-standing history of city after city wiping out their forests and natural places as people devoured the landscape. Like termites going through wood, people are rapidly going through the natural wooded area around the Pinion Hills Bypass and the old trees will be gone before we know it. <return to Section II INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>   A Word On REGIONAL DIFFERENCES & THE NEED FOR CULTURAL CROSS-SEEDING BETWEEN AREAS - ENCOURAGING PEOPLE FROM OTHER AREAS TO COME IN  San Juan County needs more southern Colorado environmentalist and tree lover types taking an interest in what goes on with the environment below the Colorado state line - there are too many things going on in the San Juan County area that are being left unchecked. We also need more people in New Mexico to become organized and involved in the San Juan County environmental area issues. Envision a group of Fort Lewis College environmental club groups getting together with other non-college environmental groups in the Durango and Cortez areas mixing with those from San Juan College and other parts of San Juan County. Have these groups interact and organize to work with environmental problems including natural tree and forest saving, clean air, water and soil, as well as other things.   Problems do not stop at the state line, and for too long, there has been a cultural as well as geographic separation between Colorado and New Mexico; part of this has to do with separate tax-paying areas, but it also has to do with the fact San Juan County has created for itself a set of both cohesive and transient cultures which tend to repel certain kinds of people from other areas. Part of it has to do with the ugliness of the  development along the highways and certain sections of the cities in the area. Another part of it consists of a type of conservatism in San Juan County. In addition, there may be a rougher, more transient element that comes in with the oil and gas companies. Yet another issue consists of the bible belt or fundamentalist Christian types who tend to put up signs or use other emblematic forms demonstrably making their presence known around San Juan County which may cause the whole area to look like it is controlled by certain groups, when in fact there are several types of people here, not just fundamentalists. Some of these signs or insignia include three large crosses and a dove on a tall pedestal on East Main catty corner to the main mall in the city.....numerous anti-abortion signs around the city with pictures of babies....identical looking group-related stars placed strategically on houses throughout various neighborhoods and school districts (if that is not cult-like, what is?)....signs around the county that say things like "Jesus saves" ..... or discusses the terrors of sin. Such demonstrative messages and themes dominate the landscape toward one direction without a sufficient balance in the other direction, in other words. Too much of one thing in any community is not healthy - and that includes the other extreme of adamant liberalism or pro-environmentalism. We need a balance. San Juan County probably does not have a sufficient balance. Whatever their religious beliefs, the fundamentalists and other conservative religious types in the area need to encourage an earth-wise culture by making sure that their approach to religion strongly supports the natural world both through their business and residential housing development practices and the careers that they choose for themselves. The approach here is to encourage a wider view of the natural world when developing cities. If a religious orientation running through a community lends itself to the broader cultural tendency for callous handling of the forest during development, that part of the religious culture needs to be shifted.  For people who tend to be pro-environmental and more liberal,or who at least are quieter and more midway in their approach, San Juan County can not only turn people from Durango off as well as people from other more liberal parts of New Mexico, it can actually cause people to be somewhat concerned about coming into the area when they are not familiar with its internal patterns. In other words, San Juan County's look and certain visual signs around the area may cause them to worry for their emotional and physical safety coming into town. Some of these concerns are not warranted, as San Juan County tends to be fairly safe. However, its apparent overall cultural approach may cause people to think it is too fundamentalist, rough or not even particularly crime-free, and the ugly aspects make it unpleasant for some people who are more sensitive to aesthetics. We need to turn this tendency around so that we encourage environmental types and those with a more activist disposition to come into San Juan County and share what is best about La Plata County, other areas of New Mexico, and other regions.  If it takes bringing in truck loadsmodern thinking which destroy our ability to think autonomously and innovatively. San Juan County still gives you an opportunity to stay clear of much of that and be individualized as it relates to the freedom of the natural world around here. When people come into the area affronted by the courseness, conservatism or ugliness, they may fail to sense or recognize the underlying sense of undiluted vitality still working itself through the people here - some of that courseness is in fact a type of modern day pioneer spirit showing its rough edges. That same spirit should be alive and kicking throughout the United States, but unfortunately in many areas it has been knocked out by urbanized modernism and group thinking. Although San Juan County has its own type of group thinking running in various strands throughout the area based on certain religious and cultural orientations, behind much of this is the feeling people have that there is still plenty of room "out there" - places to roam and be free from population areas even when people are doing what people do anywhere within the cities themselves. <return to entire INDEX>  <return to Section II INDEX>   Assertive Organization In Environmentalism - The Various Environmental Groups & Related Entities NEED TO COME TOGETHER AS ONE VOICE WHILE EACH MAINTAINS THEIR UNIQUE IDENTITY AND SERVICE/APPROACH  College students may not be so into prime commercial development for themselves to the point they think real estate is something to buy, not protect. Older people may have stronger tendencies to buy up the natural world and use it for commercial development when younger adults still have a hopeful freshness about them without the monetary greed for land. It is no accident that some of the strongest activism both culturally and environmentally happened through young people, many of them in college, in the 1960s. This would be one reason to encourage college students to participate in environmentalism across both state lines. There are a lot of earth-concerned people in San Juan County, but they may not have been given an opportunity to have an organized voice and platform; perhaps cultural cross-seeding from other areas can help with this so that the entire Four Corers area becomes strong and cohesive in an earth-wise way. <return to entire INDEX> The vision here is similar to that of the Six Nations of the Iroquois in their early transformation from a period as separate warring tribes to one of united cohesiveness. The tribes came together as one voice of peace while respecting the differences of each tribe. They encouraged individuality and the right to separate cultures and religions, but came together for support and as a buffer against warring tribes around them. In a similar vein, pro-environmental groups and those working within a general common theme can come together as one strong assertive voice while retaining their identity and uniqueness within their own organizations or self-driven enterprises. In addition, they can continue to specialize in the their ocal points while contributing with others to the big picture of pro-environmentalism. This is one of the main strategies of Greening Hands - to be a facilitator of diverse group action while promoting and supporting each individual group or entity participating in a common voice or theme which is earth-wise. This facilitating may be behind the scenes or as an indirect helper or mover simply by having a website like this up and running - people may read these things and start working within their own spheres or group without ever having contacted Greening Hands; the main thing is to help spur action by opening the doorway for thought, creative ideas, community involvement, etc. while other related groups are also doing their own thing. Greening Hands sincerely wants those using earth-wise approaches to make money and to otherwise thrive, but knows that concerted and networked group action will provide the most impactful and long-ranging results. <return to Section II INDEX>  <return to entire INDEX>  Women Have It Rough In San Juan County:  Along with both the low end cowboy culture and the non-educated dysfunctional sides of the Native American (mostly Navajo) culture comes drinking, wife beating, child abuse, DWI’s (drinking while intoxicated) with excessively high statistics for car accidents, low female equality including harsh low paying jobs, bad behavior from men toward women in the area, and trashed out areas.   This bad behavior includes discriminatory behavior from the old school type of men who think women are not very with it or smart and are just a drag; along with this comes men who think that they have more knowledge and technical skills in mechanics, engineering or the oil field and that women cannot keep up.  Some of this male behavior has an almost sociopathic me first attitude in which men are looking out for number one regardless of the gender with which  the business is occurring.  Following a relatively modern pattern not found in earlier eras, this type of male will do his job just as far as he thinks he can satisfy a customer or a boss, and is very reluctant to care, go the extra mile, and has almost no empathy or compassion.  He is there to get a paycheck; he could be a police officer, a mechanic or the guy who works on your plumbing.  The bad male behavior in San Juan County also comes from the chauvinistic behavior of the fundamental Christians, Catholics and Mormons - and yes, gosh darn it, this almost covers the entire county - BUT there are others of us here.   In summary, women frequently have it rough in San Juan County if they are not in the higher end and more educated jobs.   Here are some comments that have been heard over the years from men toward or about women in San Juan County: “I don’t want to work for no stupid woman” or “I don’t want some lame woman telling me what to do.” “It’s just a stupid woman.” (or fucking  bitch, whore, slut or some derogatory equivalent.) “If you don’t watch football, how can you have any men friends?” Women are just a drag; I hate having to try work as a mechanic with women - they never understand anything and always want you to cut your prices.” “Yeah, we have a woman [vehicle] body worker in the shop, but all the customers prefer to work with me or one of the other guys.  No one wants to talk to a (stupid) woman about their cars.”  Conversations Between Women About Their Experiences in Dealing With Discrimination and Unfair Treatment:  Mechanics give women the run-around and charge too much in this town (conversation between two women sharing experiences on notes on various mechanics around town; never having met each other before, they discovered they had almost identical negative experiences taking their used cars for repairs to mechanics and shared the same suspicious feelings toward male mechanics in terms of how they were treated as women,  and whether they were being dealt with honestly.  Both women were college educated and had or have had responsible positions in the area.  Both are white.  For years, there was a woman manager at one of the weekly rental places on the south side of town who would ask women who called in “Do you have a husband?”  Again,m like the incident above, two different women this time were talking about this same woman manager at this complex ond day and discovered they had the exact same conversation with the woman over the phone - and the incidents were years apart.  In other words, a fellow woman was being highly discriminatory in a Federal Fair Housing sense to other women in San Juan County - regularly, and over a period of years.  Both women who were treated this way were college educated and had or have had higher level positions in the area.  Comments and behaviors in other areas but also applicable to San Juan County: “Let men wear the pants.” “I’m going to get me some pussy tonight.” Obnoxious repeated honking from a truck driver at a woman in casual dress (jeans, baggy sweatshirt) north of Aztec, NM on the highway to Durango while she was peacefully taking a photo along the side of the road Watching a woman being raped on a television series show in a room full of military men at a military technical school recreation room, and hearing them hoot, whistle and clap while the television victimization occurs (several of the men doing this were African American, although there were mixed races and genders in the room, and some of the white men and other races were presumably hooting, as well - the African Americans were especially loud so drew more attention; the actress “getting it” on the TV show was white.) Once hearing a woman has been victimized before, finding an attitude in men that she is now dirty or open turf for more victimization more than ever.  Instead of feeling compassion and helpful, there are men who use this information to assume that she is now a trashable commodity. “You’re just a hole.”  Utterance from a man to a woman while in bed having sex.  Here are some behaviors found in men of a certain blue collar, cowboy, fundamental Christian or Mormon orientation with a burly side to their nature, which may include low education, alcoholism and drugs.  Some of this behavior may be coming more from older men or men raised with an “old school” approach toward women. The idea that, in doing a woman a favor, he should receive deferential treatment in return and sex. The idea that nurturing, touching, or even smiling are gestures giving signals that the woman wants sex and is willing to give sex.  This means that even a slight touch on the shoulder or getting close, or being a little too friendly may be misconstrued as a sexual gesture - “that she wants it.” Men have to do more and take on more responsibility, so they should get certain benefits from women and society in return. A general tendency to show who has more power: this can include trying to find error in the woman to make her act or feel more humble.  It can include how the man stands in the room in relationship to a woman - rather like a bull in a pen with cows.  <return to Section II INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>  White Women May Have It Rougher In Certain Ways InSan Juan County:  It might be argued that in some ways white women have it tougher than some of the Navajo, other Native American or Hispanic women because of the cultural tensions and imbalances in the area.  These imbalances may include reverse discrimination in job hiring practices and on-the-job cultural atmospheres, and also quota hiring in the sense employers try to hire a certain number of minorities to either come across as progressive, or to follow some kind of statistical standard.  All women in the area who do not fit into the more white collar niches may be struggling with mundane or harsh work, long hours and low pay while also having to deal with derogatory behavior toward females in the area to boot.  African American women may or may not have it the roughest, because African Americans as a whole are still a true minority in the area: very few numbers.  Discrimination may becoming less of an issue for African Americans with the current presidency of Obama, but in areas in which there are few numbers of them the fact that they stand out as different may or may not create feelings of tension and a sense of of separateness. Social work services in San Juan County for white women may be poor and inadequate; focuses on the minority issues in the area, minority personnel with lower education, minority focuses and education, blue collar orientations in both minority and white personnel, etc., may be creating the atmosphere and tendency for low quality social work for non-minority people.  In addition, minority people also may not be getting the highest level of assistance from both minority and non-minority personnel and both genders.  It may be largely a lack of education, life experience which includes experience in both San Juan County and outside the area, a lack of sensitivity training and awareness raising and also a lack of monitoring by appropriate outside agencies as part of checks and balances system. White collar people in well padded higher paid jobs may be immune and aloof to these kinds of problems which fellow whites may be feeling and experiencing in San Juan County.  They may have absolutely no clue whatsoever how bad it really is “out there” for both whites and minorities.  In addition, the more conservative fundamental Christian approaches to social service work are not for everyone.  If minorities and non-minorities need help in many areas of the country including San Juan County, they may be put up against proselytizing Christians who thing their brand of spirituality is the only way to go on the planet - the proselytizing is seen by these Christians types as humanitarian and kind, but in fact, for many of us, it is invasive and unacceptable.  In many ways, fundamental Christians are not thinking deeply; they are using overly simplistic ideas and approaches.  In addition, they may be difficult to deal with if you are homosexual or a liberated educated single woman.  Many of the social services arenas are tightly connected with fundamental Christians, Mormons and Catholics who do in fact try to influence people with their versions of spirituality when in fact people just need help when they come in those doors - not proselytizing.  Native Americans And Mexican Americans HAVE HAD LONG STANDING DISCRIMINATION AND ABUSE IN SAN JUAN COUNTY, NEW MEXICO AND THE SOUTHWEST IN GENERAL  (see also Sex & Drugs section)  In discussing the problems whites may have in this area, we will not and must not overlook the many true discrimination issues and abuses minorities have experienced not only in this area, but all over the country.  Some absolutely atrocious things have been done by whites to minorities - for hundreds of years, all over the place.  Many whites now are feeling a backlash - a type of karma - for what their parents, grandparents and ancestors did to all kinds of people - Asians, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, African Americans.   White kids who grew up in non-discriminatory families are reverse discrimination from minorities even though they never did anything that bad to a minority themselves.  Navajos in San Juan County have been treated extremely badly by the whites over the years.  There is no excuse for this.  Part of it came from the mission-based religious culture of the whites.  There are numerous stories of Navajos having been beaten, molested, raped and treated with incredibly inhumane behaviors by whites who called themselves “good Christians.”  Incest and transgenerational abuse including sexual abuse driven homosexuality have become a sad part of the Navajo experience in San Juan County.  People with mixed family ties because fathers or uncles slep with children or near relatives is common.  Especially masculine lesbian Navajo athletes may be taking on these qualities from some kind of abuse structure.   Whites who took homeless street Navajos off to the desert to abuse and kill is an old true story in the area.  Gay Navajo me all over the place - artistic, intellectual, wiser than their years - but gay many times because they were sexually abused from a young age.  The reverberations of these times are still with us today; there are good reasons why Navajos feel resentment, pain, anger, mistrust and self-protective against whites in the area. <return to Section II INDEX>  <return to entire INDEX>   Social Workers, Police Officers, Etc. May Not Have Adequate Social and Intellectual Skills to Handle Human Relations Issues  In Area:  On top of this police officers, detectives, social workers and others may not have adequate education, awareness training, sensitivity, compassion, and the will or desire to help women in this area.  This can come across in their interrogation or counseling practices.  Part of it may be that these groups have something of either a classroom or on-the-job knowledge of the statistics of abuse, alcoholism and female issues in the area,  while still not having a real working sensitivity to these issues.  They may handle things up to a certain point, but not deeply enough beyond that point.  Higher education and deeper empathy may be needed. Empathy often comes from real life experiences and broadly based awareness raising.  Social workers in the area may not have sufficient healing themselves to be in a position to try to help others.  They may be part of the problem rather than the solution.   There may be very few people who can really tune in and identify how to really work with people with needs here.  Dealing with human issues requires a lot of depth as a human being.  If people are coming at things from a Native American dysfunctional issue themselves, they may not be able to really help either members of their own tribe or those non-Native people who come to them for social services or other types of help.   And if social workers are themselves coming from a sense of low self esteem in terms of the area’s male/female dichotomies, as well as a more blue collar culture, they may not be able to really help other women truly pull out of their problems.  White women who do not have a substance abuse problem may be being put in with minorities and others who do, forced to deal with other people’s addiction related problems and traumas when in fact the real issue may be more economic or lack of support from home or other people in live.  When people are having a hard time economically but not because of substance abuse, they don’t need to be dealing with other people’s addiction, criminal or domestic violence issues on top of their own problems.  Because so many of the Native Americans and some of the other minorities in San Juan County do in fact truly have addiction related problems - whether it is they themselves with it, or domestic violence and criminal problems in their family, tribal or cultural networks, whites may be getting the short end of the stick and lack of real help when they go in for social work help of any kind, from food assistance to shelter and domestic violence shelter.  Not all domestic violence is substance abuse related.  Minorities in social work may not be in a cultural/emotional mindset to help whites who come in for help, because they may feel minorities are the ones who need most of the help and attention in the area.  In addition, whites may be discriminatory toward other whites who come in for help because they may feel shame that a white is acting like other minorities - down on their luck, or whatever.  In addition, they may feel a reverse discrimination themselves; feeling kind of powerless and overwhelmed by the racial tensions in the area, they may not feel whites are worth it - a subtle, funky San Juan County type of white low self esteem directed at themselves and other whites.  <return to Section II INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>  Native American Art: In Many Ways Overly Done in the Southwest:  The more creative or esoteric Native American art forms can be evocative.  Usually what is seen is a quick-sale or tourist industry driven form which perhaps has its place, but it is an often stale and overly squeezed fruit in the Southwest.  Native American art needs to be one of many forms of art displayed in San Juan County.  This is not a derogatory reflection of Native Americans or their art, but it is a fact in many ways that it is plentiful and probably overly done in this area.  That is not something to throw money at in a troubled economy in an effort to help Native Americans while bringing in more business.  There is a growing Native American art movement which has been going on for decades which uses a blend of old with the new, has highly intellectual and creative aspects, and should be seen more of in certain areas.  In addition, there are some museum quality or otherwise high quality  Native American art galleries which have done a tremendous amount to keep the character and visual imagery of both traditional and diverse Native American arts alive; these professional arenas are not being referred to as those catering to overly done Native American art.  What is being encouraged here is to discourage the tourist driven, hand-to-mouth type of art found  on reservations and in lower end trading posts  in which much of the material is fake (fake stones, low grade clays) poorly put together, put together from materials (beads, jewelry metal parts)  bought out of catalogs or from the internet, and often made in other places like China or Taiwan,  The San Juan County area needs to encourage many types of artists, artisans, musicians, theatrical people, etc. to come in; it will change the texture and economy of the area for the better.  This is what is meant by encouraging true diversity in the area -diversity for all types of people with all kinds of interests, including those with high arts and sciences backgrounds.  <return to Section II INDEX> <return to entire INDEX>
THE GOLDEN RIVER
NOTES / 2013 OLD OPINION CORNER
System Abuse System Abuse
Notes/About Notes/About