Note to President Donald Trump regarding comments on the California fires: 57 percent to 60 percent of California’s forest land is owned and managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The federal government is responsible for maintaining this land, not the state of California. If you want the forest land raked and cleaned, then get busy. Get some rakes and hoes and put some federal employees like Ivanka and Jared to work.

Ellen Mellon

Santa Fe

Oppression is real

Dear anti-maskers (not to be confused with antimacassars, although they are from the same era):

Know that I share your pain. I, too, have been thwarted in my attempts to be free from the constraints imposed by our dictatorial governor. She who shall not be named.

I am exploring nudism as a bondage-freeing lifestyle, but the repressive system under which we live is denying me this freedom. The “law” says that I must wear clothes in public. Nowhere in our sacred Constitution, the Declaration of Independence or even the Federalist Papers is it found that clothed bodies are mandatory. It is my inalienable right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. God did not send me into this world clothed (not even with a furry body).

I was born naked and demand the right to go naked wherever I choose.

Kay Halbert

Las Vegas, N.M.

Preserve and protect

On this Constitution Day, we must remember that the U.S. Constitution was written to establish and protect our democracy. Although the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, a wealthy company successfully argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment and that the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections.

Let’s return our country to the people by overturning that disastrous Citizens United decision and limiting money’s influence on our political system by passing an amendment to our Constitution. As a publicly financed candidate for the Public Regulation Commission this fall, I’m proud to be free from undue influence of special interests and, if elected, will be a truly independent decision-maker.

Joseph M. Maestas

Santa Fe

Fight big money

Our country was founded on the principle that all people are created equal. But since wealthy special interests can make unlimited donations to support or oppose candidates, some people are more equal than others. As a result, special interests, such as large corporations, pay far less than their fair share of taxes while beneficial government programs are underfunded.

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote, we need to work for another constitutional amendment to allow Congress and the states to regulate election financing. Only a constitutional amendment can overturn 50 years of Supreme Court rulings that favor special interests. Sept. 17 is Constitution Day. It’s a good day to tell our representatives in Congress that we support an amendment to fight the corrupting influence of big money in politics. To learn more check out

Hank Hughes

District 5

Santa Fe County Commission

Santa Fe

COVID-19 relief necessary

As if our country weren’t facing enough problems — COVID-19 killing 192,000 Americans and still raging, devastating wildfires and smoke, hurricanes, police shootings of unarmed Black people, and an administration preparing us for domestic unrest — the Republican-controlled Senate is about to create another by refusing to pass needed COVID-19 relief. In response to the robust COVID-19 relief bill passed by the House this summer, the Republicans in the Senate can’t even agree on an anemic one, highlighting their inability to govern.

A strong relief bill is essential for millions of Americans, especially children, already struggling to have enough to eat; for families who can’t pay their household bills; and for small businesses to avoid closing; for state and local governments to avoid layoffs and cuts to services. In short, it is essential if this country is to continue functioning in any normal manner. Congress must act and soon.

Allison Lemons

Santa Fe

(6) comments

Ed Foley

Ellen Mellon

Your wish has come true.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and the U.S. Forest Service announced a joint state-federal agreement this month to reduce wildfire risks on 1 million acres of forest every year. It commits to establishing a 20-year program of forest and vegetation management by 2021, including wildland and watershed restoration.

(h/t San Francisco Chronicle)

Stefanie Beninato

If you want to promote the US Constitution vote NO for Bryan Biedscheid. When I put a peace symbol on my wholly owned wall as a response to my neighbor's delusional behavior, and my neighbor claimed it was her wall (evidence not withstanding) Biedscheid found the 2 ft peace symbol on a 112 ft wall to be "grafitti-like and a private nuisance because the neighbor "had to see it"--no evidence but as with perjury, Biedscheid does not care--probably because he is skilled in that department. IMHO vote NO ON BIEDSCHEID and NO on retaining the other judges at first judicial district (LaMar, Wilson and Mathews)--all of whom prefer outcomes to application of the law.

Richard Reinders

If your so proud of the symbol why didn't you paint it on your side of the wall to look at everyday.

Stefanie Beninato

Because I was trying to convey peace and because I already have lots of peace symbols that I see everyday on my driveway, by my front door, and inside my house as well as on my fleece vests. The idea was communication to others--not myself--which is what the 1st amendment is about. Right standard is it obscene, defamatory or an immediate incitement to violence? Then the government can control the communication.

Ed Foley

Joseph M. Maestas.

The USA is a Constitutional Republic not a democracy. The word ‘democracy’ does not appear anywhere in our founding documents. So, the Constitution was written to establish our ‘Republic’.

Richard Reinders

Hank IMO start right here at home with Brian Egolf and his ALLS corp. used for spreading dark money to who ever he and his big money cronies want in office.

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