Builders in Santa Fe have to offset their water use so there is no increase in demand. That sounds wise and reasonable, but Stephen Wiman, a retired geologist who served on Santa Fe’s Water Conservation Committee, provides eye-opening information in the 2020 Watershed Association newsletter. “One way that a builder can offset the projected water use is by buying water rights from the city’s ‘water bank.’ What is little known is that the city’s water bank includes water conserved by residents participating in conservation programs. The water bank is, therefore, a mechanism whereby water conservation is actually enabling growth.”
Santa Fe is widely recognized as a regional leader in water conservation. But do Santa Feans know the water they save is being used to subsidize new developments? We’re in an election year. Ask those running for city government about their plan for balancing continued growth with deepening drought.
Lisa Gray Fisher
Failure to verify
Recently I received in the mail a New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions debit card I didn’t request. I alerted the fraud department and asked what personal information was used in the application so I could ascertain the severity of my identity theft. Workforce Solutions ignored my request, but the department did cancel the debit card. I have filed a police report and notified credit bureaus, a huge hassle.
Workforce Solutions cites urgency to pay the deluge of claims as an excuse for neglecting to verify applications. The unbelievable number of applications should have spurred workers there to inspect applications more closely. Had workers checked my work history or state tax return, they would have learned I retired two years ago and had no 2020 wages, nixing the application. Next year, unsuspecting New Mexicans will receive Form 1099-Gs to pay income tax for unemployment benefits they never received. Disastrous!
Banners of pride
It is admirable and noteworthy that Santa Fe has a New Mexico Hometown Heroes Banner Project in which veterans are honored for their service. Among others, I’d like to thank mayoral candidate and City Councilor JoAnne Vigil Coppler for helping to make this a special celebration. However, I feel the location of these banners is too far out of town. It would be better to see these banners near the Plaza — perhaps around the state Capitol, in the Railyard District or on Old Santa Fe Trail. That way, locals and visitors alike could view them up close, not driving quickly by on the way out of town. As a Vietnam veteran — U.S. naval reservist — I believe this would be a better way to show veterans that we truly do thank them for their service.
The city of Santa Fe closing Bicentennial Pool for the entire summer, even after 20 percent of its leaks have been fixed, is just one more reason why New Mexico continues to rank so low among all 50 states as a place to be a child. We are the capital of New Mexico, for goodness’ sake, and we cannot provide our kids with an outdoor public pool in the summer.
More baseball, please
Santa Fe has a baseball team called the Fuego. When I wrote this, they had played eight games so far this year, and I had seen only one of them, a Friday game, reported in our paper so far. It would be great to see news about their game scores in our sports pages.
It was a welcome opportunity to visit, in person, the New Mexico Wildlife Center over the Memorial Day weekend for the first time in more than a year. Victoria Traxler, The New Mexican reporter, captured the interest and excitement of attendees. There is only one thing to add: The center, 19 Wheat St., Española, is open to visitors 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, visit newmexicowildlifecenter.org or call 505-753-9505.
Display all history
I would like to talk about the Confederate monuments. I think it was a mistake to remove and relocate them. They are a part of American history. A museum is another alternative, since it’s important to learn from history rather than forget it. Otherwise it could be repeated. I think the monuments should be returned to where they were. They should never have been moved.