I drive Interstate 25 daily. Normally I go 80 miles per hour. Invariably I’m passed by numerous other drivers going at least 100 mph. I’m not a driving prude. As a younger person I raced sports cars. To this day, I still embrace the old MG motto of “Safety Fast.” One-hundred miles per hour on I-25 is fast-ish, but it clearly isn’t safe-ish. Not once have I witnessed a speeding ticket being issued. Seldom do I even see a patrol car. Perhaps we can request that federal troops recently used to curb urban protestations in other cities come here to catch speeders who are placing lives in danger on Interstate 25.
Save the post office
The Trump administration and the GOP are trying to destroy the U.S. Postal Service. In 2006, the GOP pushed Congress to pass the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which forced the Postal Service to pre-fund (in 10 years) retiree health benefits 75 years into the future. This alone has nearly bankrupted the post office. Then, in June, Trump replaced the postmaster general with an ally whose policy changes and eliminations of positions already is slowing mail delivery. Bills approved by the House set aside $25 billion to keep the mail flowing, but they remain stalled in the GOP-controlled Senate. Rural communities, seniors, small businesses and millions of Americans rely on the mail for critical letters and packages. And now, in COVID-19 times, we depend on the post office to help us vote safely. If you are as distressed as I am about this, please let your representatives and senators know.
A love letter
I am an older guy with a few health problems who walks the Santa Fe River Trail most mornings, trying to keep in some kind of shape. Sometimes it hurts, but what the hell. This is a love letter to all the folks on that trail who I sometimes manage to say “good morning” to but never really meet. They are all wearing masks these days, which is itself an effort and shows a love of life and a respect for the lives of others. Old age is not for sissies, but being young is not easy, either. Think of the painful confusion of values, growing up in a nation ruled by a pampered killer.
Young or old, I salute them all: the teenage bikers with their brown, bulging muscles; the matrons leading their inevitably cute doggies; the dads pushing strollers full of sleeping toddlers; the lovers holding hands; the homeless person trying to sell a few newspapers — all wearing masks. All making a statement for life, for love, for a future. God bless you all! We will prevail.
Missing the point
Reading John Sanchez’s piece praising the president (“Trump’s approach is helping N.M. rebound,” My View, Aug. 8), which is full of misinformation and laughably paints Joe Biden, the most moderate of Democrats, as a “radical,” we can only be grateful he is no longer lieutenant governor. Notably, he says nothing about Donald Trump’s atrocious handling of the pandemic, which even Sanchez, apparently, could not find words to defend. Nor does he mention the lying and wholesale corruption that Trump has brought to Washington. Can you imagine how much more illness and death we’d be experiencing in New Mexico if our former Republican administration were running the show right now?
Honor a veteran
Santa Fe has recognized its veterans in many ways, including through its “Hometown Heroes” banner program. Here’s another way. The Veterans Administration has had a “Veteran of the Day” social media blog for more than two years. Each VA blog post gets thousands of views, likes, comments and shares, sometimes reconnecting old friends. Family, friends and colleagues — really anyone — can nominate someone by providing information, photos, etc. for the VA to prepare the blog entry. For example, I nominated my dad (Army) and mom (Navy-WAVES) for their service in World War II. Nominees have ranged from peacetime to wartime service members, from those doing their two, three or four years as promised in service to our nation whether domestically or overseas to celebrities to Medal of Honor winners, whether alive (hopefully) or dead from World War I to today. Visit blogs.va.gov/VAntage/28415/contribute-veteran-day.
On growth, agreed
Regarding the letter “Too much development is spoiling Santa Fe” (Aug. 10): I’m sure the First Nations would agree with you.
Las Vegas, N.M.
I find it inefficient, and we constituents do not receive full value, having significant elected and/or appointed individuals not living (with their families) in the state, county or city to which they are elected or appointed. We have Sen. Martin Heinrich, Public Education Department Secretary Ryan Stewart and Santa Fe police Chief Andrew Padilla living for periods outside their elected or appointed areas of responsibility. They need to be and should want to be a part of our community — spending their paychecks and educating their children in New Mexico and, for Padilla, Santa Fe. Hey, it’s a great state and city to live in and raise your family.
Caring for others
All people should wear a mask even if they believe it interferes with their freedom.
One reason to wear a mask is that it is good science. Research from around the world has shown that when we wear a mask, droplets from coughing, sneezing, talking, etc. do not travel through the air and land on another person or make contact with them. Wearing masks keeps everyone you come into contact with safe. People who don’t wear masks can be sick without showing symptoms and pass the virus on to other people.
The next reason everyone should wear a mask is that people not wearing masks make it harder for my mom to do her job. My mom is an emergency room doctor, and the number of people showing up at emergency rooms has gone up since the beginning of the pandemic. Everyone who works in the medical field or who works in hospitals, clinics and urgent care centers is endangered by the spread of COVID-19 if you don’t wear a mask.
And finally, being a member of society means you don’t always focus on yourself. This is not about you, it is about everybody else. Wear a mask to protect the people around you.
Too many dead
About the “eVoices” item Aug. 10 questioning the shutdown. If the statistics presented are correct, then a 0.39 percent death rate based on 330,000,000 people would be 1,287,000 dead people. Using the same stats for New Mexico, with an estimated population of 2,350,000, then our death toll would be 9,165 people. That’s a lot of dead people. A lot of men, women and children gone from their families and friends. Who is willing to sacrifice some family members or friends to open up all of New Mexico? Not me. Keep as much as possible closed, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. I’d rather be alive and well than dead; 1,287,000 Americans! 9,165 New Mexicans! That’s the reality.
We need housing
Melissa Williams (“Too much development is spoiling Santa Fe,” Letters to the Editor, Aug. 10) wants to enjoy the myriad benefits of living in Santa Fe without having to concern herself with the welfare of others, particularly that of people whose efforts allow her — and everyone else — to enjoy these benefits. Consider:
- Tenants in the developments that Williams cites will not be transplants. They will be city workers and employees in restaurants and other local entertainment venues. Would Williams prefer to shut down city services, eateries and attractions so she can drive around on empty streets?
- Many local workers cannot afford Santa Fe’s housing prices (which are 115 percent of the national average and rising), so they now live out of town and commute. The same people Williams claims will “snarl” traffic are therefore snarling it now — as is Williams herself.
In any event, Williams’s entire premise of too much development is without merit: Santa Fe’s population has only increased from 81,000 to 85,500 over the past decade, or 0.5 percent per year. Even so, we have a serious housing crisis as a result of the city’s success, and if we do not address it, everyone’s quality of life will suffer.
Random acts of protest
At a time when groups of peaceful protestors are being attacked and rounded up by secret federal police for speaking up against racism, social injustice and the lack of an effective national policy to fight and stop the coronavirus pandemic, what can we do? I suggest we hold mini Random Acts of Protest. Imagine the impact we could have if individuals or small groups of two or three carried and held up signs for just five minutes even once a week in front of their homes or on their street corners. Pick your issue and make a sign such as: Demand Safe Schools, Safe and Fair Elections, Protect our Troops, Support the Postal Service. The critical issues are almost endless. If enough people were to protest, imagine what the impact could be. We must express how important these significant issues are to all of us. We must encourage all eligible citizens to register to vote, request an absentee ballot and vote in the next election. We can’t afford to do nothing. Stand up, show up, speak up. Every voice counts.