Thursday was a day for New Mexican families with children and those across the country to celebrate. On that day, the IRS began sending most American families with children their new Child Tax Credit monthly payments. Most will receive $250-$300 monthly for each child under 17 to help with everyday expenses far too many families struggle to cover. These new regular payments are part of the expansion of the Child Tax Credit passed by Congress in March. About 39 million households will get the payments automatically, but parents of an additional 3.5 million children who have not filed federal income taxes in the last two years will need to sign up.

This is a great achievement that could cut child poverty nearly 50 percent over the next year. But we must make sure it lasts. The current Child Tax Credit expires at the end of 2021. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández and Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján need to hear now from constituents as additional legislation is being drafted in Congress to help families recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. Tell them to make the expansion of the Child Tax Credit permanent.

Lydia Pendley

Santa Fe

Drying up

The science community seems to agree that the Southwestern United States, including Santa Fe, is in the midst of a megadrought that could last for decades. Multiple water reservoirs are at all-time lows, including Lake Mead (Nevada-Arizona) and Lake Powell (Arizona-Utah) at less than 40 percent capacity and Elephant Butte Reservoir in Southern New Mexico at 7 percent capacity. In addition, two of Santa Fe’s reservoirs are at exceptionally low capacity levels (“New Mexico drying up,” July 14). According to the article, “Nichols and McClure Reservoirs are at, respectively, 55.6 percent and 13.2 percent.” Making matters worse, the Rio Grande is literally drying up.

What is the city’s response to this disastrous water issue facing Santa Fe — build, build, build? According to the city’s Land Use Department, there are over 5,000 residential units being built or approved to be built in Santa Fe in the near future, with more on the way. The city’s own estimates for residential water consumption indicate that 5,000 residential units will consume approximately 146 million gallons of water per year.

What are Santa Fe city officials doing to ensure current residents have enough water to survive the megadrought? In my opinion, the city should reduce the number of people moving to Santa Fe by limiting the number of residential units being built on every plot of vacant land in Santa Fe. Keep in mind, once a residential unit is built, it will consume water well into the future.

Alan Richardson

Santa Fe

Ban it

New Mexico should follow the lead of states such as Arizona and Texas that have banned teaching of critical race theory in public schools. Critical race theory purports to be anti-racist, but in fact it is a racist scam that calls for legally enforced racial quotas.

It teaches students as young as first grade to believe in racial guilt and assume that one’s race is the primary determinant of one’s power, place, and role in society. We don’t teach phrenology or cult religion in schools, so this is not a matter of free speech for teachers.

Critical race theory is a cult religion and should be immediately removed from the public sector on First Amendment grounds, since the First Amendment prohibits the state establishment of religion. I call on House Speaker Brian Egolf and Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth to introduce legislation banning critical race theory in New Mexico.

Ray Rodriguez

Santa Fe

Consider survival

In the throes of the pandemic, are we paying attention to the persistent drastic changes in our planet’s climate?

As temporary guests at the bountiful table of our hostess Earth, are we becoming more respectful as stewards of our only home? We must listen and attend to the warnings of forces that will engulf us. The Earth is being overwhelmed with consequences of the reckless greed of her inhabitants. Those consequences are dire indeed, and may possibly be irreparable.

Our human challenge will become surviving the deluge of the destruction that our thoughtless actions have waged. This reality is part of the wounded past that bleeds into the present. This reality demands our collective attention as we transition into our threatened future. Calls for prevention are critical. More so the urgent need to prepare for survival of the global disasters lurking to unfold.

Edi Lenore Powers


(7) comments

Janet Eduardo

Ray Rodriguez Imagine having a history that is SO bad, that you want to ban the teaching of the FACTS about it.

Khal Spencer

Our history is far from spotless but no other country has the corner on the market of historical virtue, either. Its just that some, ahem, always see the dark cloud rather than the silver lining and then there are the history whitewashers.

My concern is that it will be taught badly but as those two links point out, most of these laws are either so ham handed as to be unconstitutional or if done right, merely restate existing law and SCOTUS cases regarding speech, antidiscrimination law, and the prohibition on coercion or compelled speech. And believe me, there are numerous examples of bad teaching out there for folks to get riled up about.

Bottom line is CRT is a useful lens with which to examine our history. Its a lens with which to discover the truth, not the truth itself.

But hey, it gives all the culture warriors on the two extremes something else to fight about.

Khal Spencer

I suspect most of those who are arguing about CRT don't understand what it actually is rather than the parody version often discussed in public. I suggest the following reading from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for anyone who is actually serious about the discussion.

13 important points in the campus & K-12 ‘critical race theory’ debate

Who’s going to win? I can’t say for certain, but it’s most likely not the children.

by Greg Lukianoff, Adam Goldstein, Bonnie Snyder and Ryne Weiss

For something shorter, this NY Times editorial piece written by four authors ranging from conservative to liberal.

arthur lynn

In CRT the important word is Theory...That is what it is. A hair brained Theory thought up by a Marxist Racist !

Stefanie Beninato

Studies show, Richard, that when parents know they will being getting regular payments for their children that they do spend it on children.

And we have been in a drought for over twenty-five one is paying attention at city, county and state government.

Richard Reinders

Stefanie , I hope your right from personal knowledge when welfare paid a person based on how many children they just had more babies and created more of a drain on the system. I was in the Army with people from New York and New Jersey that told me when they were 4 or 5 years old the parents put them on the street to fend for themselves. They were so happy to be in the Army because they had their own bed and got 3 squares a day. Like I said I hope its changed.

Richard Reinders

Lydia , you are assuming the parents will spend the money on the children, we have the children poverty levels because parents don't make good choices and don't put the children first. I hope I am wrong

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