Kudos to Mayor Alan Webber, the City Council and merchants on the Plaza. I have been wondering how long it would take the city to help make the experience downtown a pleasant one.

I am always excited to show off our lovely city. Each time my out-of-state friends come visit, we enjoy shopping and dining. We spend a lot of money.

Our experiences with noisy, polluting cars and motorcycles have always been disturbing. On visits to the Thunderbird Bar and Grill balcony, we observed several cars with loud music and noisy mufflers circling the Plaza over and over.

This behavior needed to be addressed.

Just because people have always been allowed to do something does not make it right. The downtown merchants need the tourism.

With no dirty, noisy traffic, the Plaza should and will come alive. Restaurants can expand to sidewalks. And merchants can display goods. With pedestrian traffic in the streets, everything will be more inviting. I know I will definitely visit more often and bring every visitor to our lovely city.

The city does need to address the parking issue, though. Find a nearby area where a multilevel garage can be built. Offer the first hour or two of parking free. You could also select a designated area for handicap drop off closer to the city center.

Randy Grant

Santa Fe

Bring back summer

I just found out my summer was canceled. I wish I was skating in a cold rink feeling refreshed, but I can’t do that because the Genoveva Chavez Community Center is closed and there is no ice in the rink. The GCCC will open July 13, but not the rink. My hockey camp July 13 is canceled. I asked my parents when the rink is going to open up, and they don’t know.

Since I started skating when I was 18 months old, the GCCC has been my second home. When the GCCC opens up in July, it won’t be a kid-friendly place.

There will be nothing for kids to do; it will have only activities for adults.

In Rio Rancho, my friends are playing hockey with COVID-safe practices.

I don’t understand why the rink isn’t opening when it is hot outside and I am bored and stuck at home.

I feel like adults think I should be thankful I am healthy and alive, but I feel like summer is canceled and things that are safe even during the virus outbreak are canceled.

All of my friends are going to move or skate in another city or state because there is one rink open for 2 million people in New Mexico. Please open the GCCC on July 13.

Or at least let us know when the rink will reopen for skating.

Noah Shandler, 13

Eighth-grade student, ATC

Santa Fe Capitals Hockey Team

Santa Fe

Sustained support

We owe a big thanks to Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich for their sustained support of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. On June 17, the U.S. Senate voted to permanently and fully fund this important mechanism for conservation. The bill in support of permanent funding now moves to the U.S. Congress, where there is broad bipartisan support.

The fund has been invaluable for protecting natural areas, water resources, drinking water supplies, trails, national parks, wildlife refuges and recreational opportunities on public lands in all 50 states.

Royalties from offshore oil and gas provide the revenues for the fund.

Thank you, Udall and Heinrich, for helping to shepherd this great legislation through the Senate.

Melissa Savage

Santa Fe

It takes a village

Ever hear of Villages of

Santa Fe? I had not until recently. It is a nonprofit organization that was established in Santa Fe about four years ago. Its mission is to help seniors receive and give back services so they can remain longer in their homes.

As members of their community, seniors have access to the resources and services they need, such as transportation, social and educational activities, home repairs, and health and wellness programs.

In addition, the group partners with AARP, which gives free weekly Balance & Beyond and Gentle Yoga virtual Zoom classes for members of Villages and AARP members together with all of our local community people.

More than 160 Villages exist nationwide. For more information, visit the Villages of Santa Fe website at www.villagesofsantafe.org. This is a great service, with reasonable dues, for our senior community.

Rick Tyner

Santa Fe

Beyond statues

To rid our country of the systemic racism and gender bias that have been with us for a long time, we are going to have to do a lot more than tear down a few statues and other memorials.

We would be far better off spending our time and energy to identify and support candidates for office who don’t carry bags full of hate with them wherever they go.

Far better we defeat President Donald Trump and his enablers, and that’s going to take a lot of dedicated, hard work.

We have to get candidates who support inclusion and will work hard to tackle the policies and practices that support racism, gender bias and white male supremacy, which historically has regarded women and people of color as inferior to white men.

Once we get the candidates, we need to work our butts off to get out the vote and get them elected. These are the acts that will make the changes we need.

Tearing down the statues of anyone who supported slavery in any format could be counterproductive by solidifying and even expanding the shrinking base of Trump supporters.

Let’s agree that anyone who was a traitor to our country in the name of supporting the “right” of people to own slaves does not deserve a public statue.

The same can be said for those who slaughtered Native Americans.

But let’s do that in a thoughtful and deliberative way.

Meanwhile, the top priority must be to spend all our time and energy using the power given to us in our democracy to address the fundamental systemic and structural problems in our country that have produced racism and gender bias for more than three centuries.

Acts that may make us feel good at the moment must take a back seat to using the ballot box to get the people in power who will address these long-standing inequities and get those who won’t out.

James Brown

Santa Fe

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(2) comments

Linda Garrido

Thank you, James Brown, for you wise plea. Getting friends and neighbors- everyone! - to cast their VOTE is so much more in-line with making positive CHANGE in our country. Remind everyone to apply for an absentee ballot EARLY, and to get their ballot in EARLY before the November 3rd General Election.

Paul Groh

Hey Noah..sorry that your summer skating is cancelled, but sometimes we have to look at what is best for a majority of citizens..and kids and families in an indoor ice skating rink could potentially be a hotspot for transmission of a virus for which we don’t yet have a cure. And you are bored and stuck at home, but by doing that you may be saving a life. You will have many more summers to enjoy your activities. You will just have to sit this one out.

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