Our View: Clean Plaza initiative a great idea

Perhaps the brooms aren’t new, but they definitely are sweeping clean — the Santa Fe Plaza, that is. It’s part of a citizen-inspired initiative to make the city sparkle. The idea is to send out citizens to shine up the town.

  • Our View: Hospital strike bad for patients

    With July 31 fast approaching — one week from today — Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center management and the union representing nurses and technicians remain at a contract impasse. Earlier this week, the union served hospital officials with a strike notice. Its members had rejected what has been described as the hospital’s last, best contract offer.

  • Our View: A cleaner park just first step

    The current cleanup of Cathedral Park is long overdue. It has been a disgrace, packed with aimless young people who — in their own words — want to hang with their homies, even if that includes public drinking, pot smoking and selling drugs.

  • Our View: Time to celebrate Spanish culture

    Anticipation is building for the 63rd annual Traditional Spanish Market, which returns this weekend to the Plaza. This year, aficionados of traditional work don’t have to wait until the booths are up and the artists are out early Saturday morning. With ¡Viva la Cultura! festivities, it’s almost as though Spanish Market begins today.

  • Our View: For Hispanics voters, preservation matters

    The common perception of environmentalists is that they are affluent and Anglo in their makeup. Minorities, so the thinking goes, aren’t as worried about the forests and wildlands, especially when there are jobs involved.

  • Our View: Amtrak support growing stronger

    Seeing hundreds of people wait at a train station for hours, signs in hand as a show of support, would gladden the heart of any politician — especially in an election year. That was the scene on a recent train tour, but not because of politicians on board. No, the crowds were there to support the train itself: Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line on a whistle-stop tour of a portion of the route from Chicago to Los Angeles.

  • Our View: A clash of cultures along the highway

    Planners at Pojoaque Pueblo should begin pondering the business district’s impact in total. Can the collection of enterprises become more of a real town. How does the McDonald’s fit in with Poeh Center?

  • Our View: State needs water courts

    Federal District Court Judge Martha Vázquez has recused herself from concluding the Aamodt water-rights litigation — her husband, Joseph Maestas, is now a city councilor in Santa Fe. By federal statute, Vázquez is no longer allowed to hear the case because her husband is an officer of the city of Santa Fe, a party to the lawsuit.

  • Our View: City’s video system needs adjustments

    Video surveillance appears to be a nasty reality of modern life — to increase safety, catch crooks and otherwise keep an eye on public spaces, cities and governments around the world are spying on citizens. With, of course, the citizens’ knowledge.

  • Our View: New medical school is a game-changer

    Word from Las Cruces that New Mexico State University, along with a private businessman from Santa Fe and state political leaders, will be announcing the opening of the state’s second medical school is welcome on several fronts. The new school will train doctors of osteopathic medicine. Osteopathic doctors receive similar training as conventional (allopathic) doctors, while also learning hands-on therapeutic treatments.

  • Our View: Car-free Plaza? It’s here (almost)

    Be careful driving downtown — the traffic patterns are changing. Starting today, Mayor Javier Gonzales’ initiative to partially close the Santa Fe Plaza is in place. For drivers, that means Lincoln Avenue on the west and Old Santa Fe Trail on the east will be closed to through traffic.

  • Our View: Go after answers on behavioral health

    Aftershocks from the abrupt decision a year ago to shake up behavioral health service for New Mexicans are still being felt today.

  • Our View: Commuting comes at a cost to Santa Fe

    More than half of Santa Fe’s workforce lives outside city limits. That’s the word from a new study released earlier this week by the state Department of Workforce Solutions.

  • Our View: Folk Art Market brings the world

    The evolving nature of the International Folk Art Market/Santa Fe has been a joy to behold. Consider these numbers: Eleven years, 690 artists from 86 countries. More than 1 million people impacted. Sales by artists totaling more than $18 million, with 90 percent of those sales going home with the artists.

  • Our View: Fight alcohol abuse with new taxes

    No politician wants to raise taxes — that’s understood. But it’s a mistake to rule out increasing taxes across the board, as the first President George Bush found out when he famously said, “read my lips: no new taxes” in 1988. In some cases, new taxes are exactly what is needed.

  • Our View: Carson decision should stand

    The decision to rename Kit Carson Park in Taos has sparked a storm of protest. So much so, that the Taos Town Council could revisit the vote today — whether the councilors will rescind the name change, simply listen to testimony so people can vent or leave the decision as is, we don’t know.

  • Our View: Energy solutions from a village

    The small British village has long been a staple of detective stories.

  • Our View: The Black Place — worth preserving

    Balancing the need for energy and the necessity of preserving what makes New Mexico unique is an ongoing process in our state. The latest threat showcases how hard it can be to maintain landscape while allowing oil and gas drilling.

  • Our View: Celebrate the Fourth by having a heart

    The Fourth of July, that celebration of freedom and liberty, is upon us once more in the United States — and boy, this year is a complicated birthday in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

  • Our View: Danger lurks in Santa Fe

    Dangerous times in Santa Fe — armed robberies, once a rarity, are taking place with alarming frequency.

  • Our View: Taos teacher sets example

    Not many people would have the resolve to turn down a $5,000 professional bonus — especially one that rewards and recognizes excellence at a job. But English teacher Francis Hahn of Taos High School said no to the New Mexico Public Education Department, which offered the bonus because his Advanced Placement students did so well on 2012 tests.

  • Our View: Donation stations make sense in city

    One idea mentioned in the tourism transition team’s report to Mayor Javier Gonzales was the recommendation that Santa Fe consider “donation stations” as a way to discourage panhandling, while at the same time, get help to people who need it. The idea has been pioneered in cities such as Denver and San Diego. It’s one worth trying in Santa Fe.

  • Our View: Put hospitality first in Santa Fe

    Let’s make Santa Fe a center of excellence for hospitality education.

  • Our View: Urban farming needs support, not more talk

    Most city folk have no business wearing a pair of overalls or handling a scythe. But some are anxious to try.

  • Our View: Brilliant opera season begins

    The Santa Fe Opera’s 2014 Summer Festival Season begins tonight, and we couldn’t be more excited. Few things epitomize summer in the City Different more than an evening spent at the opera house nestled within the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos, tailgating with friends and enjoying world-renowned performances against the backdrop of the Jemez Mountains.

  • Our View: Truancy initiative shows promise

    Reform in education takes many forms — but the newest change announced this week by Santa Fe Public Schools has the potential to pay great dividends. Administrators are zeroing in on chronic truancy as a way to improve student achievement and graduation rates. It is the right focus.

Write us! We welcome opinions from the readers. Send either letters (150 words) or My Views (600 words) to letters@sfnewmexican.com.

You can write a letter once a month or one My View every three months. We require the letter writer's name, address and phone number to be considered for publication. We also encourage writers to include a photo of themselves.

Any questions? Call Letters Editor Jennifer West at 986-3063.

Today’s New Mexican, July 25, 2014

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