In 1975, my two children and I welcomed a young Vietnamese refugee into our home and into our lives. At the end of the Vietnam War, the U.S. government evacuated over 100,000 refugees allowing them a safe haven in our country. A host program was introduced by our government which asked citizens to welcome and host evacuees.

Our dear M. was then 21 years old, a teacher in her home country. Her family’s departure from Saigon was not unlike the chaotic scene in Kabul with only a few hours to escape the North Vietnamese Regime. Our friendship with M. has blossomed over 45 years. She is part of a huge family who fled the tragedy and dislocation of war. Their struggles and successes here are a tribute to a determination to do the very best in their new country.

We cannot undo what transpired in Vietnam and Afghanistan, but reaching out now allows us to go deep into our moral center and open our hearts. I promise you that while the journey with Afghan families may be difficult and long, this journey will be well worth your love and commitment.

Nancy Dickenson Santa Fe

Investing in children

Our children and their education could end up facing some of the most significant setbacks of the pandemic. I’m pleased to see the president championing children with a historic investment in child care and universal pre-k as part of the Build Back Better Bill.

As a mother and an early childhood educator, I have witnessed the importance of our children receiving high-quality early care and education. Unfortunately, the pandemic has only exacerbated our early care and education deficit.

In New Mexico, 57.9 percent of women participate in the labor market. However, many mothers cannot return to work due to a lack of early care and education opportunities for their children. Our economy depends on children having access to high-quality child care and pre-k. Our future depends on it. Be the voice our kids can’t be, and encourage our legislators to support the Build Back Better Bill.

Amanda Montoya Pecos

Standing together

The Santa Fe Branch of the NAACP condemns the painting of a swastika at the home of Jeff Hornstein. The fact that it is not yet classified as a hate crime is a mere technicality; coming on the eve of the High Holy Days of the Jewish religious calendar emphasizes the onerous nature of this act.

We stand with Mr. Hornstein and the entire Jewish community in outrage that we are all still subject to the perpetuation of this kind of anti-Semitic, anti-human expression of hatred that this symbol represents. We also support Mr. Hornstein in his courageous choice not to wipe away the ugly marking, and to let the world see what the worst of our collective behavior looks like.

Louis Levin, Ph.D.

president, Santa Fe Branch,


Necessary tools

The federal infrastructure bill is a much-needed investment that will create good jobs and repair our crumbling infrastructure. Our future prosperity in New Mexico relies on investing in transportation, clean energy, water and power infrastructure. According to the White House, 207 bridges and over 3,822 miles of highway are in poor condition across our state, and approximately $1.4 billion is needed to repair our water infrastructure. Now is the time to invest in our communities for tomorrow’s needs.

As a 13-year union carpenter, and a member of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Local 1319 in New Mexico, I can tell you the talent and will to build a stronger, more successful state is right here at home. I applaud U.S. Sens. Ben Ray Luján and Martin Heinrich for pushing the passage of this important bill. They are helping give us the tools to build the future New Mexico deserves.

Ed Fuller Albuquerque

It’s not complicated

Regarding the Los Alamos National Laboratory employees who don’t want to get vaccinated: This is pretty simple: You don’t work for yourself, you work for us (“Protest planned against Los Alamos National Laboratory vaccine mandate,” Sept. 4). If you don’t want to get vaccinated, find another job. It’s not rocket science.

Matthew Geyer Santa Fe

(4) comments

Stefanie Beninato

A right to resist public health orders is not in the constitution, Richard. Each employer has a right to keep his/her workplace safe for themselves and other employees. As has been said, there are plenty of jobs out there. I am sure there are some who do not require vaccines or maybe even masks.

Cheryl Odom


Richard Reinders

A vaccinated person passes the virus to others at the same rate as non-vaccinated, so children have more chance of getting infected from their vaccinated parents than a stranger on the street. Like I said they know the risk to themselves for infection or firing, but the choice to fire is not in the hands of the public, it is the Employers.

Richard Reinders

The employees work for a contractor that works for the government, you don't own these employees. They made a bargain they will work for X amount per hour and the contractor gets X amount of productive activity , that simple. This country is well on its way to ruin with all this nonsense and violation of peoples right to chose, the fact is this is a virus that 99% of the population survives. I have vaxxed but believe others are adults' and can make up their own mind without blackmail or extortion. Wear your mask, wash your hands and get your vaccination and those that don't won't harm you. There is a bigger risk with people not going to work so don't discourage the ones that want to work they are a premium.

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