Regarding the editorial (“Boulder fire warns of blazes to come in N.M.,” Our View, Jan. 3): The New Mexican outlined several steps for reducing wildfire risk but left an important action off the list: burying Santa Fe’s power lines. While investigators are still determining the cause of the Marshall Fire, a central cause of wildfires, including the Las Conchas, Tres Lagunas and Thompson Ridge fires, is aboveground power lines. The city should commit to burying Santa Fe’s power lines. Being part of this growing effort — which includes Colorado Springs, Colo., and San Antonio, Texas — is closely aligned with Santa Fe’s commitments to ecological resilience and its leadership on wildfire safety. Certain parts of Santa Fe already have underground power lines, underscoring their viability and the capacity to install them.

The primary impediment to such an effort is cost — but as the newspaper demonstrated, it’s impossible to imagine anything more costly than the Boulder fires.

Katherine Gallagher Robbins

Santa Fe

No need for LANL

I was dismayed by Sunday’s Our View editorial (“Powering up LANL: Project needs explaining,” Jan. 2) with this statement: “Keeping Los Alamos National Laboratory supplied with adequate power … is a matter of national security.” The editorial complains of the lack of consultation concerning a third power line LANL wants to build across the Caja del Rio, which is to provide power for the planned new plutonium pit (bomb core) factory. It notes “an environmental assessment will be conducted,” but does not call for a full environmental impact statement, which is sorely needed. But much more importantly, the editorial accepts the proposition that LANL should persist and expand. This newspaper should call for LANL’s closure and thorough cleanup, not merely consultation over the power line. That is not the problem — it’s the very existence of this evil monster in our midst and its progressive moral, ethical and financial corruption of our state and local politicians and our Northern New Mexico community and culture.

Tom Luebben

Santa Fe

The City Same

I agree with Evalinda Walrack’s concern (“Growth is threatening historic Santa Fe,” Letters to the Editor, Jan. 3) about the surge in construction growth in Santa Fe, and many of the people I know feel the same. This town no longer feels like the City Different. Everywhere you look, you see construction of some sort or another. The most obvious example of the unsightly growth here is the monstrosity on the corner of Cordova Road and St. Francis Drive. Who on Earth thought it was a good idea to crowd a three-story apartment complex on one of the busiest intersections in the city? Traffic is now a nightmare everywhere. We’re losing the quiet places that once surrounded us. It’s time for Santa Fe residents to take a good hard look at the Planning Commission and hold members accountable for their disastrous approach to growth before

Santa Fe loses its soul.

Lynne Fischer

Santa Fe

A lack of respect

NATO nations in Europe provide citizens with services our country can’t afford because we pay for their defense. Necessities of 21st century civilized life also are unattainable for most Americans as long as we subsidize the accumulation of enormous family wealth. We deserve the health care, child care, family leave, elder care and excellent affordable education through college that northern Europeans enjoy, and that descendants of the tax-avoiding rich inherit rather than earn. In supplying others easier lifestyles at our expense, we’re still a colony. Congress recently passed a military budget many times the price of Build Back Better over one year, without taxing billionaires. These same legislators refuse to support Build Back Better — which offers U.S. citizens a fraction of the essentials Europeans and heirs expect — because it taxes billionaires, demonstrating that wage-earning American taxpayers are subjects and slaves: used, abused, not respected by those we elected or those we protect.

Doreen Bailey

Santa Fe

(4) comments

Grace Trujillo

I can't believe so many people are complaining about the traffic, the apartment complexes that are crowding our city, and our culture being taken away (erased). Yet Mr. Webber was re-elected! And you wonder why we're dealing with all this mess. Call the mayor's office and complain to him!!!!!!!!

William Walker

Any objective observer must conclude that LANL has lost whatever raison d'etre it once had. The operators will not and apparently cannot run it safely. More than that, there is no persuasive case to be made that LANL enhances our national defense. What little it contributes, for example, to the nuclear arsenal is redundant and thus superfluous. The only benefit LANL might provide is a starting point for a serious contemporary discussion of defense and security policies. Many ex-DOD officials have asked: "How much is enough?". The same was true for the likes of Johnson, Rusk, McNamara, and, surprisingly, even Kissinger. One thing is clear, however. LANL is too much. Mr. Luebben is right: It is time to close LANL.

Kelly Finnerty

I strongly agree with Katherine Gallagher Robbins that Santa Fe needs to bury its power lines. High winds that down power lines in California are causing many many devastating fires every year. This is a really essential need.

Meanwhile, have an emergency bag packed for a quick escape. That’s how it is in California.

Khal Spencer

My last job at LANL before I retired had me reviewing the entire range of scientific work done at the Laboratory. I was incredibly impressed and proud of the institution and its staff. Would I change some things? Sure, as with any institution.

If the people of the United States, via Congress, wish to fund other work at the Laboratory, the people are free to do so, Mr. Luebben's caustic letter notwithstanding.

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