With apologies to Mother Goose: “Peters, Peters, Forest Eater!” Thanks to Sterling Grogan and MacKenzie Allen for their letters (“Development eyed for Pecos Valley is too destructive” and “Preserve the land,” July 21) protesting Gerald Peters’ truly devastating plan to develop Cow Creek Ranch in the pristine Pecos River Valley. We who are privileged to live in the foothills of the Sangres find peace, beauty and spiritual renewal there — strong enough even to relieve the weights of political division, climate change, COVID-19 and corporate greed, if only for a few hours.
Peters’ plan to despoil the Pecos Wilderness now adds to the darkness when he could bring light. We have a few weeks before Indian Market, which will take place under Peters’ many windows. The wilderness was kept pristine for thousands of years by our neighbors, the Indigenous peoples who understand, preserve and value the land and its animals.
I hope The New Mexican doesn’t mind a bit of praise. I have not regularly read a print newspaper for many years — I get my news online from various sources. However, I am on an extended visit to the Santa Fe area, and my hosts receive your paper daily. Part of my routine now is sitting down to read the paper. While newspaper readership is declining, and while many midsized city dailies put me off with a subtle, Republican and conventional slant, I find your coverage relevant and fascinating. I’ve been enlightened by stories about the water supply, by Micaela Cadena’s My View response to the refusal of Communion to state Sen. Joe Cervantes (“Communion refusal sends dangerous message,” July 25) and by a story about discontinuing New Mexico’s for-profit prisons (“As state retakes control of some private prisons, strategy is questioned,” July 25). Many newspapers seem designed to make readers ignorant. When I read yours, I get a bit smarter. Thank you.
Duluth, Minn., and Santa Fe
Explore all options
Former New York Gov. George Pataki’s column (“Avangrid is the right partner for New Mexico,” My View, July 27) plus all the full-page ads make the Avangrid/Iberdola option for New Mexico’s energy future sound almost too good to be true. To be sure, even a reframed and reinvigorated Public Regulation Commission would have its hands full regulating an international company from Santa Fe. Maybe Avangrid is the best option. But before we go down that rabbit hole, let’s look at, price and evaluate all the possibilities — public, private, foreign and domestic — so that the choice we make for our energy future is balanced and factual, not reaching for the first bright shiny object that comes along.
I read with interest the recent piece regarding the successful launch of Virgin Galactic and the spirited and forward thinking of then-Gov. Bill Richardson and Sir Richard Branson (“Spaceflight is wonderful news for New Mexico,” My View, July 18). Our state finds itself at a similar crossroad as our leaders contemplate the PNM-Avangrid merger. The question should be, as it was at the inception of New Mexico’s bold step into the new space frontier, do we posses the vision to embrace the proven capability Avangrid provides to enhance and advance our natural abundance of clean energy potential? Scrutiny and serious evaluation are of course necessary, including, I suppose, service interruptions that occurred last year during major storm events that are the focus of detractors of the transition.
Our state cannot afford to be trapped again into small thinking that would sacrifice excellence in the pursuit of perfection and jeopardize another once-in-a-generation opportunity. The demonstration of Avangrid’s proven ability and leadership to providing clean, reliable, affordable energy to customers around the world, and the important opportunities the pending merger will provide our state, should not be sacrificed by interest groups or individuals bent on promoting their own relevance rather than embracing the potential sitting on our doorstep.
Charter schools work
In response to Maureen Cashmon (“Charter School would hurt SFPS students,” Letters to the Editor, July 25): First, thank you for admitting that charter schools provide for a better educational outcomes than the public school system. Second, the question posed is the wrong one: “Should the benefits of 600 students outweigh those of the 12,000 not enrolled in the charter school?” Rather we should ask, ”Isn’t it better to educate 600 kids rather than none?” Perhaps the the entire Santa Fe school system should be run by charter schools.
Not the answer
Paul Gessing pulls a sleight of hand when he says natural gas is the answer (“Heinrich’s coming for your stove and gas heater,” My View, July 25). U.S. CO2 emissions have been falling for a decade because we have switched from coal to natural gas. But this will not get us to net-zero emissions, where we need to be. Natural gas still produces significant CO2, and promoting it in the face of disastrous warming is criminal.
Steven Rudnick, Ph.D.