The Peace Corps is turning 60 on Sept. 22. The organization has presented a unique opportunity to serve our country, force us to move beyond ourselves and learn about other peoples. Armed with a liberal arts degree (which meant I knew nothing practical), I volunteered as a community organizer and public health nurse (yes, you read right) in Brazil. The Peace Corps provided excellent public health and language training, so I managed.
I returned home a changed person. Back home I went to work in the U.S. poverty program, then to health policy and reform positions. We need the broad worldview provided by living in other cultures now more than ever. The Peace Corps must be continued, properly funded and its volunteers returned to their countries of service, which they had to leave because of the pandemic. Please support the Peace Corps continuation and growth. Contact your congressional representatives.
Women in New Mexico are proving their solidarity. The national call for actions around Texas legislation that bans all abortions after a mere six weeks is happening. We are overwhelmingly in support of the passage of Senate Bill 10 earlier this year that repealed the historic act that provided definitions, exemptions and penalties for certain abortions. Thanks to our governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, signing the bill and the Democratic Legislature for having the foresight in protecting women’s rights to their own health choices. We are walking the walk, not just talking the talk.
Do the ends justify the means? Members of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium are working to be included in an amendment to the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. They endeavor to extend compensation for radiation injury due to the Trinity detonation in July 1945. Consortium members frequently cite a non-peer-reviewed article on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists website from July of 2019 documenting a rise of infant mortality after Trinity. This article is junk science. The data illustrates a rise of infant deaths in New Mexico counties in 1945 encountering little or no fallout — not the counties receiving the most intense radiological fallout. I don’t believe the end justifies the means in this case. The Trinity downwinders have legitimate grievances, but there are more legitimate ways to advance their argument.
professor of sociology
New Mexico State University
Failure to plan
Monday’s Santa Fe mayoral forum offered even more concern about Mayor Alan Webber for me (“Mayor, hopefuls clash on obelisk, economy,” Sept. 14). By saying he did not issue an order to “stand down” as the obelisk was demolished, does Webber also mean he did not meet with the police chief to set parameters for dealing with a hostile demonstration of which they were forewarned? If so, how was the decision made to minimally staff the Plaza, so the police were almost sure to be overwhelmed and to put the poor commander in an untenable position and place the blame on him?
I voted for Webber and supported him when he ran for governor. He now leaves residents in a position where he could win the race without the true support of the community. At this point it is his ego running, and if he cares a lick about Santa Fe, he should remove himself from the race.
If an unvaccinated person dies of COVID-19, should the cause of death be listed as suicide?