Put crews to work by building drag-racing strips (“Spike in racers a drag for residents,” May 19). I’m sure the city owns land somewhere no one wants currently. In the 1950s in Hobbs, we had such fun — good, clean fun — racing or watching races at the defunct air base. In some cultures, subcultures and for some teens, hyped-up cars are an art form. Let it be.
The introduction of federal legislation to protect segments of the Gila and San Francisco rivers under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is great news for hunters, anglers and everyone in New Mexico who enjoys spending time outdoors.
The headwaters of the Gila River support incredible biodiversity, lending to some of the most remarkable opportunities to hunt and fish anywhere in the Southwest. These activities are time-honored traditions that have been passed down for generations. My family and I are proof of this, as we have been fortunate enough to share our love of hunting and the outdoors with many other families.
The Gila and San Francisco rivers are also home to fish species found nowhere else on Earth, including the Gila trout — the first fish I caught, off the banks of the lower Mimbres River. Access to these rare fish species attracts anglers from across the country.
I am grateful that Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich recognize the importance of these outdoor traditions in New Mexico and are willing to use the legislative tools at their disposal to protect the Gila and San Francisco rivers.
Southern New Mexico outreach coordinator
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
Recently, President Donald Trump announced he is taking the drug hydroxychloroquine and zinc to combat the coronavirus (“Trump says he’s taking malaria drug in case he gets coronavirus,” May 19). Why should we believe him or even care?
Open up now
Although serious, effects of the COVID-19 virus have not risen to the levels initially thought by many experts and leaders. Common sense would dictate a rational, measured response to this recent data. I urge Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, as the chief executive of the state of New Mexico, to lift all mandates under the current order(s) in favor of a full opening of New Mexico by May 21.
The recent Department of Health orders, coupled with struggling oil markets, undoubtedly will have disastrous effect on the New Mexico economy. This massive economic shortfall will impact all New Mexicans. Any extensions to these health orders now cause damage to New Mexico that cannot be estimated in severity or duration. The time to act is now. The opening should rely on state-issued guidelines for operation rather than mandated and enforced restrictions.
Let us truly stand together in this serious time. The governor’s attention and action regarding this matter is required and appreciated.
Gregory A. Baca
State senator, District 29
Valencia and Bernalillo
Stop the spread
The city of Santa Fe temporarily put a stop to the requirement that shoppers bring in reusable bags to slow the spread of COVID-19. Please explain to me how reusable bags do not spread the flu, pneumonia or any other infectious virus? Reusable bags can carry a virus — not just COVID-19. So why would the city still insist on using reusable bags when COVID-19 restrictions are gone?
Make hard choices
Former Rep. Rick Miera was in New Mexico’s Legislature for 21 years. Much of that time he chaired the House Education Committee and his fellow Democrats were in control of both the Senate and the governor’s mansion. Yet, in his recent Opinion piece (“Education cuts won’t heal,” My View, May 5), he acknowledges that “education in New Mexico has been in crisis for decades.” Notably, the state spends more per pupil than its neighbors.
Miera argues that policymakers shouldn’t cut education spending due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and swoon in oil prices. His approach is not very helpful. K-12 spending is 46 percent of our budget and higher education consumes another 12 percent. It is hard to see how policymakers could balance the budget without touching 58 percent of it.
Miera offers no prioritization of education spending (early childhood, K-12 or higher ed), and he offers no details on what else he might cut out of the budget or even whether taxes should be raised. Miera and too many in the New Mexico Legislature must understand that trade-offs are real, and they can be difficult and painful.
Paul J. Gessing
President, Rio Grande Foundation