The cost of running Guantánamo Bay detention camp is reputed to be about $13 million per year per prisoner. For 40 prisoners, the estimated annual cost exceeds $540 billion. Five hundred and forty billion dollars to house 40 men. Is this the best use of $540 billion taxpayer dollars? In whose name are these men being incarcerated? Just think what good this money could do were it being used to repair infrastructure or support people in need.
I’ve been reading about the proposed “short-cut” from Santa Fe to Los Alamos (“LANL revives talk of shortcut to Hill,” Sept. 15). There’s no telling whether this will ever be built, or where. But there is, thankfully, some concern about the environmental impact of a new highway.
For what it’s worth, I oppose new highway construction. Building roads like this might sound good on the surface: roads are fairly quick to complete and have lower upfront costs than many alternatives — such as rail transit. But such logic is flawed. In the grand scheme of things, arguing that a new highway is “cheap” is about as smart as advocating for old-style incandescent light bulbs. Those bulbs may be inexpensive on the store’s shelf, but they don’t last, cost more to run and have added environmental costs. Highways are like that. If we really need a way to get more people to and from Los Alamos, we should look at rail. In the long run, our children will thank us.
Impressive and ironic
Southern New Mexico deserves the same services as we get and will get the same future (“Seeking their share of the boom,” Sept. 30). Revenues from oil and gas, combined with the governor’s increased funding of education, creates an ironic education for kids — driving new roads, to new schools, in towns with better services and future climate chaos accelerating beyond belief.
What education will those kids get? That a booming oil and gas economy, not transitioning quickly to renewable clean energy, leaves us with ecological collapse, including all the kids you educated. Past generations educated us, yet did not move to 100 percent renewable clean energy until it was too late to transition to anything but a future with no future.
Time for change
I often hear friends in Santa Fe express concern about the quality of education our children are receiving. In November, some of us will have the opportunity to impact the education system by electing Dr. Carmen Gonzales to the school board in District 1. Dr. Gonzales started her career as a teacher with a master’s degree in special education and then went on to get a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. She has devoted much of her life to teaching teachers how to provide the quality education our students need. We need someone with Carmen’s education, experience and integrity on our school board. We need a leader with a vision and the experience to make that vision a reality. We need change, so please vote for Carmen Gonzales in November. Our children deserve the best.
Sheila Vaughn, Ph.D.
Do you know that four out of five New Mexico members of Congress are co-sponsoring legislation to restore our democracy by overturning the Citizens United case? Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 51, Democracy For All; Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., is co-sponsoring. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Deb Haaland are co-sponsors of companion House bill, House Joint Resolution 2. Please write or call your representative and senators, thanking them for cosponsoring; encourage them to work across the aisle to increase cross-partisan support for these bills. Call or write Rep. Xochitl Torres Small. Ask her to join the New Mexico team, by co-sponsoring HJR 2.
Seventy-one percent of Republicans and 85 percent of Democrats want limits on campaign spending, according to the Pew Research Center. Any chance for meaningful change must cross party lines. Ninety-one percent of Americans agree money in politics is a problem; only 9 percent believe we can do something about it. That leaves a huge majority who believe there is nothing we can do. This is not a functional democracy. Get involved locally: email@example.com.