What good news! The New Mexico Restaurant Association has just launched a campaign called “Hungry for Success” to recruit workers for our restaurants, often closed now Mondays and Tuesdays due to staff shortages (“Restaurant industry launches recruiting campaign,” Aug. 31). Although the end of unemployment benefits in September is certainly part of the problem, I believe there is another reason for this shortage. Raising the minimum wage and providing health insurance also are essential to making these demanding jobs worthwhile.
After eating in restaurants in Denmark recently, I noted the change in attitude on the part of servers who were no longer dependent on tips, which are not expected in that country. Working for tips may require, especially on the part of young women, a subservience that is not healthy for them; I remember stories about women staff being asked to remove their masks before diners decided how much to tip them.
Extreme at home
To those Americans who are or were complaining about President Joe Biden’s refusal to continue nation-building in Afghanistan while using the example of the progress made by girls and women during our occupation of that country, you now need to look to your own country and to the state of Texas instead. The Taliban has arrived (“High court won’t block Texas abortion law,” Sept. 2).
Grateful for art
To the artist Tigre Mashaal-Lively, for as much as can be and demands to be said in the space of the possibility that the defilement of your beloved The Solacii was motivated by identity, I just wanted to be a voice among what I know to be many voices in our community grieving with you. People who are grateful for the metal, that are sad for the cloth, that are amazed and grateful for your brilliance and what The Solacii evoked and represented.
While there is an epic truth of the resilience of art and continuing in creation at a moment like this, that is not my intention. My intention is to say that I am sorry straight to your heart for what was done to your artwork. I was visiting home (Santa Fe) a couple of weeks ago and cannot tell you the wonder, inspiration and awe I experienced upon finding The Solacii as I was welcomed into its bosom to delight like a little child, with a friend. To learn more of its message and intention ignites the dormant artist in me in a way that feels like a homecoming. The Solacii leaves great impact in its legacy, and there are fans who support and stand with you.
A bad neighbor
The plutonium emperor wears no clothes. We neighbors are constantly duped about Los Alamos National Laboratory’s mishandling of one of Earth’s most dangerous elements. Lab propaganda has pooh-poohed the seriousness of numerous radioactive spills for 80 years. Los Alamos workers recently failed to recognize how important shut-off valves are. Lab descriptions like “unanalyzed criticality scenario” obscure dangerous human incompetence. Forty-five barrels of toxic waste cannot be moved to safer storage due to its high volatility.
Imagine an aboveground eruption inundating our atmosphere with lethal, invisible plutonium, leaving the Rio Grande valley abandoned. Ludicrously, LANL wants to cover deadly waste dumps with merely two feet of dirt and rocks, diverting the money saved to build more unconscionable warhead pits. Out of sight, out of mind for future generations. What else can possibly go wrong at Los Chernobyl? Remember Oppenheimer who stated: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Make the case
Mariel Nanasi, executive director of New Energy Economy, sent me an email Aug. 21 stating she had “exposed Avangrid and Iberdrola’s corruption.” Very concerned, I replied by email the same day asking her to support this assertion. Her response did not provide support, so I sent her a second email Aug. 25. I received a testy, unhelpful response and, after my third request, I gave up.