My View

Reader View: E-cigarettes: A smokescreen?

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs, commonly referred to as e-cigarettes) have been in the news lately and controversy swirls around their use and regulation. E-cigs have been marketed as a “safe” alternative to cigarettes because they do not burn tobacco. However, they do contain nicotine, a highly addictive and toxic chemical (although some are marketed as being nicotine-free).

  • Reader View: Vote Clinton for the Supreme Court

    I have long believed that each election year is the most important election year. In 2004, I was concerned that there would be two or three Supreme Court justices appointed by the next president. Our failure to elect John Kerry gave us Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

  • Reader View: Special-education students deserve a quality education

    Santa Fe Public Schools is going to balance its operating budget on the backs of its most vulnerable students (“District considers special-ed revamp,” April 22)?

  • Reader View: La Fonda — myth or reality?

    Iconic historical buildings can become something like family members. Experiences and memories associated with them become not just part of the history of the building and community, but part of one’s personal history. As in most families, occasionally a narrative is perpetuated that is mostly myth.

  • Reader View: Find the joy in a vote against

    Don’t just vote for candidates, vote against candidates, and do it with vengeful purpose and a releasing joy. If there are candidates running for a lesser office who are not supporting your candidate, do not vote for them, vote for their opponent. Never vote for the sake of party “unity.” In politics, a person who is a real competitor cannot be a good loser.

  • Reader View: Bernie and Donald — how did we get here?

    As we all know, there is a presidential election in progress. Aside from the number of candidates running for president, it is starting to get nasty. A recent Santa Fe New Mexican article (“Disorder at Trump rallies: As American as cherry pie?” March 14), AP writer Jerry Schwartz points out that this is not the first time in our history that violence has become part of the political process. The Chinese have even jumped into the fray announcing that democracies don’t work. I beg to differ.

  • Reader View: Why The New Mexican should endorse Bernie Sanders

    The New Mexican editors should see the merit in an early endorsement of Bernie Sanders. Doing so would make your newspaper vitally relevant to Santa Fe’s deepest political sentiments. I appreciate Bernie because of his positions on climate change and on protecting the environment, and his defense of the individual and of justice in general, particularly for poor people, Native Americans, minorities, and people of color.

  • Reader View: A vote for Donald Trump? Different is not always better

    As someone who has been following politics since 2004, I have to say I have never seen anything like Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner. And that is not a good thing.

  • Reader View: Countdown to International Folk Art Market

    With today’s opening of ticket sales and call for volunteers, we begin the official countdown to the 2016 International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe (July 8-10) — the best arts festival in the country (USA Today, Readers Choice, 2015) and a Top 20 Must-See Event in the world (American Express Essentials, 2015).

  • Reader View: Consider history when contemplating UNM seal

    I am writing to get University of New Mexico regents to consider both sides of the seal issue presented by The Red Nation and other Native groups. It seems to me they would prefer to remove the two figures on the seal, that is, the Spaniard and the frontier man (“UNM confronts colonial past,” Our View, April 25).

  • Reader View: Citizens need to see WIPP plans

    Your Waste Isolation Pilot Plant site photos from Carlsbad (“Journey to the center of WIPP,” April 17) made my hair stand on end. Just because radiation is invisible, silent and hidden from view (without the help of a dosimeter), it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It exists for 300,000 years. Just look at the rare cancers produced in this state, the expensive cancer treatment centers, all the suffering and death.

  • Reader View: An odd couple and a new party — what if?

    I’m no acclaimed political scientist, but I am what every national candidate wants to be in this election cycle — an outsider. From my perch outside the beltway, indulge me a few words on what I believe are the most important and far-reaching lessons from this national election cycle thus far. In my lifetime — and I’m halfway through it unless I really nosedive — we will have more than two viable national parties.

  • Reader View: Keep fossil fuels in the ground

    In late March, the Bureau of Land Management mistakenly announced a decision to defer a planned oil and gas lease sale near the sacred Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico; apparently the final decision doesn’t have to be made until May. Until then, I will remain hopeful, though apprehensive, that BLM will finally come to its senses and put a stop to the sell-off of our public lands for the toxic extraction of fossil fuels — our children’s futures depend on it.

  • Reader View: Hotel renovation is true to its roots

    I am writing my first and probably only viewpoint to express some thoughts regarding the current renovation project at La Fonda on the Plaza. In general, I have refrained from this activity regardless of how much I might have been engaged or entertained by letters reflecting community concerns. However, in this case, the imperative of responding to recent ill-informed and culturally stunted opinions on this subject compels me to produce a rebuttal.

  • Reader View: Play baseball with your kid. What could be better?

    I read, with disappointment, the recent column by Milan Simonich (“Little League falls behind in the count,” Ringside Seat, April 4) about Little League baseball in Santa Fe. It was troublesome to read about the great decline in teams over the years.

  • Reader View: Racist demagogue taps an undercurrent

    Once upon a time, a man with a loud voice and goofy hair wanted to become the leader of his country. The newspapers and radio of the day gave him unlimited coverage because it sold. The man with the loud voice and goofy hair tapped into the anger underneath the veneer of decadence and apathy in his culture. He was adept at blaming a specific group of people for his nation’s woes although they had nothing to do with their creation. But he intuitively knew that in times of fear and uncertainty, people could be easily manipulated, even if what he was saying was deceitful, if not completely ridiculous.

  • Reader View: Connecting dots — to Bernie

    Political dirty tricks against human beings in all societies have ancient roots. History has recorded atrocities, horrific murders, plagues, plots and stories of human suffering instigated by corrupt leaders in all countries for centuries. Our Constitution guarantees human rights and our right to pursue happiness, but human rights were lost through the Patriot Act passed after Sept. 11, 2001. The Glass-Steagall Act, repealed in 1999, created the Wall Street/banking crisis in 2008.

  • Reader View: We need a president who leads with intellectual honesty, intelligence

    Through all of history the times have been bad, and the present is no different. It is, however, hard not to be disappointed with our present. This primary election cycle is unveiling the worst of our populace, from profound underlying bigotry to all the more subtle intellectual dishonesties.

  • Reader View: Our institutional distrust of women is alive and well

    We learn essential elements of life through repetition. A simple song to teach the alphabet. Repetition to memorize multiplication tables. The pledge of allegiance is taught to children in school. Even the campaign slogans come in neat memorable packages to reinforce a desired political message. As the race for the White House proceeds a repeated phrase about Hillary Clinton is, she is untrustworthy.

  • Reader View: Economic policy — thanks to Sanders and Trump

    The media and traditional Democrats and Republicans are astounded that presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have gained so much popular support. Some are, even, frightened that support for Sanders and Trump is based on a rising “economic populism” (a belief that a nation’s economic structure should benefit most people, as opposed to a few) that threatens the current global economic model.

  • My View: Citizen jurors make justice system work

    As we celebrate national Law Day on May 1 and Juror Appreciation Week (May 2-6) in New Mexico, I would like to recognize the vital role each citizen plays in preserving the rule of law by serving on juries in our state courts.

  • Reader View: NMSU effort protects hawks, ensures safety

    Three years ago, a family of Swainson’s hawks nesting at Rentfrow Gym on the New Mexico State University campus apparently hatched what were their first chicks. As they were training the young to fly, there were numerous wayward practice runs. The parents watched over their offspring — as one might expect — like hawks. When the curious humans ventured too close, they were promptly chased off.

  • Reader View: Western energy policy threatens future

    U.S. imports of foreign oil were at a 44-year low earlier this year. Energy security is stronger than it has been in decades. But if the United States is not careful, backsliding will happen and we will wind up back on square one. Shortsighted energy policy — focused largely on federal lands in the West — threatens our energy future.

  • Reader View: High performance — the norm for SFPS

    Spring is in the air and on the school calendar — that means high school graduation season is near. In just one month, approximately 600 Santa Fe Public Schools students will cross the stage to receive their diplomas and embark on their college or career goals. It’s hard to believe that the current seniors are the same students who entered high school as freshmen when I was first starting as superintendent. So much has changed since then.

  • Reader View: Polaroid stories at the Greer Garson Theater

    Santa Fe University of Art and Design pulled out all the stops in February with a compelling production of Naomi Iizuka’s tragedy, Polaroid Stories. Even the gods would have felt lucky to attend opening night at the Greer Garson Theater. Even though the production is over, it’s worth telling you about. The sheer physical beauty of everything, from the pastries to the formal attire, cleverly contrasted with the stark and desperate poverty of the street. In this, and other ways, the audience was teased and confronted, coddled and shocked.

  • Reader View: Here in Santa Fe, no one is an inferior class

    Classifying people, whether by wealth, background or appearance, is commonly done as a practical matter. But whatever class a Santa Fean may be in, Santa Fe stands out, as we remain unaffected by the perennial effort to classify people according to their income or wealth.

Nationalism colors Mideast relationships

A recent column dealt with Jewish nationalism and the effect it has had on the Middle East, especially since the creation of Israel in May 1948, leaving in its wake the turbulent Palestinian territories. Every state has its nationalist streak, which can be aroused in times of national danger and left dormant when the nation is at peace.

¡Ask a Mexican! What’s a Mexican to do with DNA?

Dear Mexican: Recently, I took a DNA test to find out about my genetic heritage. It turns out that my “Mexican” side (maternal side) might not really be Mexican at all. The DNA test has 100 pe…

  • Our View: Hug your dog? Maybe not

    Here’s a study we’d wager that even science-loving Santa Feans might dispute. Despite our desires to hold them close, dogs might not like being hugged.

  • Our View: Untangling the bureaucracy

    Outrageous. Shocking. Criminal? That’s our reaction to testimony from Human Services Department caseworkers who claim that their bosses inflated the resources of needy people applying for emergency food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

  • Our view: Kids need the great outdoors

    This is an alarming, although limited, statistic. In a class of 18 fourth-graders at Aspen Community Magnet School, only four children had ever visited a national forest, according to their teacher. That’s right, in Santa Fe, where the forest is but minutes away and people often complain there’s nothing to do, these kids had never visited the forests.

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