It is a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking story that haunts me: A 14-year-old boy died of cancer on Sept. 10. His parents were charged with abuse in his death (“Santa Fe parents charged with abuse in teen son’s cancer death,” Sept. 15). I hear his parents are grieving their loss mightily.

In the ninth paragraph, not on the front page of the paper but on Page A-4, we read, “The boy had not seen a doctor in two years, his mother told the detective during an interview, because the family does not have insurance.” One has to ask, are we as a society not to blame as well? Aren’t we punishing or abusing a working family with no insurance? It does seem that this family heard the message the U.S. gives loud and clear to 37 million citizens: Only those with health insurance or plenty of money get health care. Others, be damned.

Diane F. Brown

Santa Fe

System worked

Kudos and a big yay for the main office of the Motor Vehicle Division. I had an appointment Monday morning to renew my license and was in and out in 10 minutes. The staff was friendly, helpful and professional providing for a very pleasant experience. True, one must wait a long, long time to set an appointment, but it’s well worth the wait.

Jacqueline Travis

Santa Fe

Don’t forget to smile

While working in Mongolia, I often walked across the main plaza in Ulaanbaatar. I noticed that only the Americans would smile at strangers. Perhaps, I thought, locals knew to keep their mouths closed so the Siberian winds would not blow grit onto their teeth. I returned home and asked my Mongolian student why people didn’t smile. “Why should I smile at you when I don’t know you?” she retorted.

Today, we in America are behind masks and cannot see each other smiling. I still do it, but some days I wonder, what’s the use? One day we will be able to walk about without face coverings. When that day comes, I hope we will not have forgotten the habit of smiling at one another.

Paula L.W. Sabloff

Santa Fe

What’s your plan?

Regarding the article (“New Mexico’s lockdown is having impact” Sept. 26): Paul Gessing of the libertarian Rio Grande Foundation complains about the governor’s lockdown orders. But like Steve Pearce and the New Mexico Republican Party, Gessing offers no solution — just a complaint. Should we just eliminate all restrictions? Will Gessing and Pearce take any responsibility for the resulting increased death rate (I would guess not), or would that just be the cost of doing business, the result of a “cost/benefit analysis?”

Sadly, it’s much like our president, who condemns the Affordable Care Act but offers no replacement. Gessing and Pearce: It’s high time you walk the talk and give us your proposed solution, if in fact you have one.

Michael Golden

Santa Fe

Still not great

Great arrogance and great ignorance are not making America great. Vote!

Ron Nelson

Santa Fe

A better society

“Women and men, working together, should help make the society a better place than it is now.” Simple words from Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Time to give it a try.

Our state economy is on the same shaky foundation built when it tied its success to oil and gas development. The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association recently bemoaned the 62,000 jobs that could leave in the next two years, the cutting in half of oil production and the supposed billion-plus in state revenues “at risk” — but there is a much brighter side to these statistics.

Outdoor recreation in New Mexico outperforms continued oil production: 99,000 direct jobs held by residents, $9.9 billion in consumer spending and $623 million in state tax revenue annually and growing. Add in better health, jobs in oil well reclamation, alternative energy, sustainable forestry, restoration of rivers and watersheds — and we are on a path to a much “better place.”

Teresa Seamster

Santa Fe

Kudos, Stefanics

New Mexico has a hardworking senator who is focusing her energies on protecting our most vulnerable citizens — our children and our elderly. Liz Stefanics is that senator. A competent, proven leader, Stefanics is working to ensure New Mexicans have affordable, comprehensive health care and that schools are fully funded, e.g. the School-based Health Clinics Funding Act. She persists in fighting for the means to grow our economy and to create jobs that pay well. She has the vision and passion to support emerging small businesses and to promote clean energy, e.g. the Solar Energy Act.

Stefanics cares deeply for our state. She supports legislation that preserves New Mexico’s beautiful lands, clean air and valuable water. With her experience, foresight and dedication, we need to keep Liz Stefanics, Senate District 39, in the New Mexico Senate.

Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee

Santa Fe

Proud taxpayer

I’m proud to pay my taxes. They pay for things that I use daily, both directly and indirectly.

I do not always agree with how my taxes are used and I prefer that my portion of it be smaller. But I recognize that others also feel this way: They want taxes spent on things I don’t and also want to pay less. The solution is to vote for those who agree with you.

Avoiding your fair share of taxes is not smart. It is selfish.

Stuart Silloway

Albuquerque

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