Date: Mon. 9 Jun 1997 13:32:01 -0600 (MDT)
From: Valentine Riddell <[log in to unmask]>
Organization: Orenda Healing International
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To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: What Will Internet Become?
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Hi Tom--

Another consideration is that here we are dealing with three
separate and not-so-equal cultures:  Anglos have the cash,
Hispanics run the government, and Native Americans own the water

Gentrification causes mayhem in almost every case.

Just as an example, my husband and I are refugees from San Francisco
where "upscale art studios" have replaced the wonderful old wharfside
warehouse living/work spaces for artists--real artists, not bored
yuppies or artworld wannabes ;-).

But here in northern New Mexico gentrification creates something
bordering on international incident.

The natural resentment of the middle and working class people who
originally owned this property is exacerbated by the fact that the
takeover is commandeered by the "enemy"--whose dollars in a sinking
economy they cannot resist.  Thus disinherited, their sons and
daughters are moving away-- to Colorado, Texas, Arizona, California--
to become part of the nomadic urban working force in these places.

It's not as if these new owners are coming into the area to
make it their home-- oftener than not, three quarters of the
houses have been built (or upgraded) on speculation and are for
sale, to be bought again by even newer owners who will snap up
this "investment property."  So the land lies fallow, abandoned
through necessity by those who really loved it, unfertilized
through disinterest by its new caretakers.

And yes, this influx of new blood does create more jobs and
services for those who remain-- but at what price?  There is
no incentive for young Indian and Hispanic people to learn new
skills when they can plainly see that their future holds forth
little more than low-paying service jobs in the "hospitality business"
or the homes of the very rich--regardless of their educational level.
No wonder that in the last two years the highest rate of youth suicide
has been on Southwestern Indian reservations!

This poses a real problem for those of us who are sincerely
interested in preserving and strengthening what little is left
of local community.  It doesn't matter how eloquently we present
the possibilities-- people who are struggling just to keep the
roof over their heads could care less about the planning of
telecommunications centers, telecommunity, telemedicine, and all
the other perks of a technically enhanced future.

I keep hoping we'll learn how to fine-tune the technology to help
people out of this black hole-- but until their basic needs are
met and their fears alleviated, I wonder just how far we will get?
Perhaps it's a Catch-22.


On Jun 9, 1997, at 11:08 AM, Tom Christoffel  wrote:

> Valentine Riddell wrote:
> >
> > Valentinen Riddell wrote to Vigdor--
> >
> > "...people ... cling to the past as if it were a second skin."
> >
> > "...retirement center for artists who have "made it" and nouveau riches
> from
> > Texas) depend upon the shrinking middle class and poorer
> > people to provide the most basic services--not just house
> > cleaning and land and livestock maintenance but fire and rescue
> > services as well."
> Two comments to add to this discussion:
> As a retirement area and commuter bedroom for the Washington,
> D.C./Northern Virginia area, the Northern Shenandoah Valley has
> experienced rising land and housing costs, while as a manufacturing
> based economy - struggled to maintain its relative position of per
> capita personal income. We are at 88% of US per capita - Northern
> Virginia is 140%. The distance is 30 to 70 miles and since 1970, the MSA
> has grown closer and closer, as of 1990 taking in two counties which are
> not metro in any way, excpt that more than 10 % commute. I have come to
> understand this as gentrification, as occurs in urban renewal
> neighborhoods. The people do not see themselves as such, but that is the
> real realtionship. They have cashed in on the equity of their home in a
> metro area and bring that to the lower cost rural area. Higher amenity
> rural areas are those with a tourist trade that supports good
> restaurants and other services. Proximity to a major airport is also an
> asset, plus telecom access. This brings new business people who may add
> jobs or just a new service dollars to the community. They tend to want
> the level of urban services they used to have, but if retirement
> oriented, most will be concerned with services for themselves and are
> not intersted in new taxes for schools and education.
> As for the clinging to the past, in a recent e-mail where I responded to
> the idea of competition among regional councils, I concluded that the
> greatest competition for governance issue attention in the 1990's is the
> past. Most people want government to be like it was in the 1950's and
> 1960's. They could do everything and have money left over.
> --
> Lord Fairfax Planning District Commission
> 103 East Sixth St. Front Royal, VA 22630-3499
> Ph: 540-636-8800 Fax: 635-4147 E-mail: [log in to unmask]
> "Serving Virginia's Northern Shenandoah Valley
>         A 21st Century Tele-Region."

Valentine Riddell               "Once you're real,
Orenda Healing International            You can't become unreal
California, New Mexico, Sweden          again.  It lasts always."

Email:  [log in to unmask]          The Velveteen Rabbit