At Santa Fe Community College, I wear many hats. I am a student employee for SFCC Foundation, study criminal justice and am the student government association president. The association is a governing group of students that represents student interests and concerns to staff, faculty and administration. We are advocating for students impacted by COVID-19. Most recently, the association supplied free food care packages for 100 students.
To get student concerns addressed during the emergency, I hosted a live virtual conversation with college President Becky Rowley and invited students. Our college’s response has been so phenomenal that counseling and advising are now online; the college is waiving online fees for summer and fall; registration is online; and the college has launched a Student Emergency Assistance Fund.
I am honored to serve the student body and to work with an institution that puts students first.
Ian Widrick Martinez
We need local press
Bravo to the shout-out from CNN’s Reliable Sources for The New Mexican front-page article (“Barely hanging on,” April 19). Brian Stelter highlighted the importance of a well-informed public and the role the hometown newspaper plays in covering local news. He emphasized the power the press has in elevating the voices and stories of real people in our community to help folks be heard.
Especially now, the press has to advocate for the needs of the public both economically and with regards to good health. In addition to local restaurants, The New Mexican is also “struggling to get by on a fraction of the income and staff they once enjoyed, hoping customer loyalty will keep them around once the crisis ends.”
Our community has lost two particularly dynamic women recently. Whether you knew them or not, we are all better off having had them in our lives. As a native Santa Fean, I understand the frustration of the growth and change in our community over the last four decades. So many newcomers, so many changes. But we are a better, stronger and healthier community due to much of that change.
Decades ago, Glenna Goodacre and Charmay Allred moved to Santa Fe, and in more ways that we can count, they each made this community a better place to live. Their philanthropy, their creativity, their generosity and their love for this very special place in America made Santa Fe a better place. Rest in peace, Glenna and Charmay. We will miss you both and want to say, “Thank you.” You may have been “transplants,” but you were true Santa Feans to me and to many others. Thank you for being who you were, and thank you for all you did for our community.
Today I read a piece by Milan Simonich (“Gone for 75 years, Ernie still inspires, Ringside Seat, April 13) about war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Growing up in Albuquerque, I remember going to the Ernie Pyle House/Library. Built in 1940, it was Pyle’s from then until his untimely death in 1945 during World War II. It now serves as a branch of the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Library, containing Pyle memorabilia and a monument. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
This article took me back to my youth when getting books in this neat home was the rage! If you’ve ever flown in or out of Albuquerque, then you have been just a short hop, skip and jump from this library. My mother, a kindergarten teacher, died last year of ALS. I try to keep up her traditions by taking my 4-year-old son, Logan, to our Santa Fe libraries on a weekly basis. We can’t wait to go again.
If folks out driving on their essential errands have noticed the medians on Airport Road and Cerrillos Road, among others, looking especially good for this year, they have the city Parks and Recreation Department workers to recognize and thank for their continual efforts. While we are staying at home, they are working daily to clean and improve our medians. Over a period of many months, while weed seeds lay dormant, the Department of Parks and Recreation worked seriously and diligently to develop a workable maintenance plan and a list of better-suited plants. As spring arrived, the department put the plan into action. Thanks to thoughtful planning, this is working much more efficiently than in previous years. Sincere thanks to all who are out on our streets daily working to create a welcoming landscape. We notice and we love the improvements!
chairwoman, Southwest Santa Fe Advocates
member, Special Weeds Action Team
The pandemic has revealed the fragility of U.S. society and the interconnected global economic system — all of which are a natural consequence of minimally regulated capitalism: income inequality; loss of manufacturing — including medicines and personal protective equipment; too many renters, overleveraging of homes and education; lower worker wages and contributions to Medicare and Social Security; inaction on climate change; and a service economy that keeps workers on a never-ending treadmill without a nest egg of $500.
Capitalism is a good, but imperfect, economic system. It could not survive in a democratic republic were it not for social programs like unemployment insurance, Social Security, Medicare, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid. Nevertheless, corporate interests and the Republican Party are relentless in their efforts to destroy the very programs that sustain societal order and protect their wealth. It is time to reexamine our nation’s priorities to benefit all the people and to restore national independence and competency. We cannot help others (and we do have a responsibility to do so), if we are incapable of caring for our own people and sustaining our own country.
In every democracy there are good, bad, even intolerable leaders.
For example, listen to the daily press briefings of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his factual reporting of the coronavirus pandemic in a friendly, down-home manner. Cuomo is an intelligent, compassionate and highly capable leader who reports the facts without political bias and without meaningless supposition or puerile vindictiveness. Furthermore, Cuomo admits when he is wrong and does not take sole credit for that which comes from good advice and/or advisers. Best of all, he speaks truth!
Compare these attributes to those of our “Make America Great Again” president.
Fifty years for Mother Earth
Earth Day’s 50th anniversary takes me back to the 1969 moon landing. Finally headed home, the astronauts extolled the beauty of planet Earth, “like an oasis in the desert of infinite space” — a unique sacred grove alone in the dark vastness. Photographs of Earth rising over the moon’s uninhabitable horizon showed us, “This Earth is it, there is no alternative.” That helped spur policies to protect our lives and health. We instituted safer standards for air and water quality, to control dangerous chemicals, and much more. Today, Washington’s benighted, impeached current occupant and his enablers are doing their utmost to degrade our lives. They have invited special interests to rewrite rules protecting millions of acres and miles of waterways and wetlands, greatly lower standards on auto and factory emissions, and scrap standards on toxic mercury. We Americans will pay with our health!