• Survey shows support for Kit Carson Park name change, and suggestions include 'Cottonwood' and 'Code Talkers'
  • Short-term rental bill passes council
  • A field guide to the birds in the new mural on Mountain
  • Flamenco institute again has a foothold in the Downtown core, but for what is TBD
Survey shows support for Kit Carson Park name change, and suggestions include 'Cottonwood' and 'Code Talkers'
The city has logged over 60 responses to a survey on the fate of Kit Carson Park's name, and so far, they're running about two-to-one in favor of a change.

Christina Sandoval, a top city parks administrator, told a citizen advisory panel yesterday that feedback was still coming in and that the survey would remain open for another month, at which point the panel would have a chance to make a formal recommendation on the issue to Mayor Tim Keller. (That meeting is scheduled for November 10 and details will be posted here.)

Survey respondents have nominated several alternative names for the park, including "Storyteller," "Diné," "Aztlán," and "Rodolfo Anaya," but the names "Code Talkers" and "Cottonwood" have come up multiple times, Sandoval said. 

A city policy adopted several years ago attempts to discourage naming parks after people, both because of controversies unforeseen at the time of naming and because over the decades the people involved sometimes fall into deep obscurity.

As part of the survey process, the city has also invited area neighborhood associations to weigh in. South Broadway opposes a name change, Huning Castle supports it, and EDo elected to stay neutral, Sandoval said. The city has also asked the Navajo Nation and All Pueblo Council of Governors to weigh in but they have not yet done so, she added.
Council passes short-term rental bill
A bill that would impose new permitting and occupancy rules on short-term rentals cleared the City Council Monday afternoon on a unanimous vote. One amendment to the bill, which would add an additional two adults to the maximum occupancy of larger units, also passed.

Assuming Mayor Tim Keller signs the legislation, the ordinance will take effect in six months. The text of the bill, along with a description of its journey through the council, is here. For additional background on this issue, check out an article toward the end of the August 13 DAN.
A field guide to the birds in the new mural on Mountain
The new mural wrapping around the walls of the Little Bird de Papel gallery at 12th and Mountain is more than just an explosion of color: It's an homage to local avian life produced with serious scientific rigor.

Muralist Andrew Fearnside is a bird fan, though he confesses that "I love them with my heart more than I do with my brain." As a child growing up in Massachusetts, he spent time working at a bird rescue operation and more recently enlisted a guide to take him birding on a research trip.

The result: Six painted cameos from birds that either call New Mexico home or pass through on their regular migratory rounds. Below is a field guide.
CIRCLE AT LEFT: The eastern bluebird. As the name might suggest, it is less commonly found in the western United States, but Fearnside said it can occasionally be spotted in the East Mountains.

CIRCLE AT RIGHT: The summer tananger. Though rare, Fearnside has actually spotted one of these birds in the bosque. They tend to winter in a large range from central Mexico all the way down to Brazil.
LEFT: The spotted towhee, which can be found year-round in New Mexico. Some groups "are permanent residents," the Audubon Society says, "but those from the northern interior are migratory."

RIGHT: The ubiquitous white-winged dove, a staple of Albuquerque's urban landscapes and apparently an important food source for other birds. "That happened yesterday morning," Fearnside said. "A hawk had breakfast at my house - on a white-winged dove."
LEFT: The famous sandhill cranes, a staple of bosque-adjacent landscapes around town and the spectacular takeoffs and landings at the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge.

RIGHT: The American robin, which has learned to live in both human-constructed and wild landscapes all over North America.
Flamenco institute again has a foothold in Downtown core, but for what is TBD
The building on Gold that housed the former Hartford Square restaurant was recently donated to the National Institute of Flamenco.
The National Institute of Flamenco is a staple of the Sawmill district, but a benefactor recently donated some key real estate in their old neighborhood: The Downtown core.

The institute took possession of 218 Gold, the former home of Gold Street Caffé and Hartford Square restaurants, on June 30. It's just a few doors down from their old headquarters, which was destroyed in a large 2013 fire

"We'd like to be able to use it in some programmatic way if possible for our organization," executive director Marisol Encinias told DAN.

But she hastened to add that it was too eary to say much for sure, given how the pandemic has upended life at the institute.

"The plan for the building is to kind of come up with a plan later," she said.

The top floor of the two-story building is already occupied by an architecture firm, and the bottom floor is for lease.
Downtown Albuquerque News covers greater Downtown, which we generally define as the area created by I-40, the Rio Grande, and the railroad tracks. We publish weekdays except for federal holidays. If someone forwarded DAN to you, please consider subscribing. To subscribe, contact us, submit a letter to the editor, or learn more about what we do, click here. If you ever run into technical trouble receiving DAN, click here.
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