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.

Sallie Bingham

Santa Fe

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).

Marcia Wolf

Santa Fe

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.

Delaney Covelli

Austin, Texas

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.”

Gary Reynolds

Santa Fe

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.

Keith Anderson

Santa Fe

(7) comments

Barry Rabkin

Pay restaurant servers more ... yup, that's the solution. However, at the same time, restaurant owners should reduce the costs of the food they purchase to serve, reduce the costs of the utilities they use, reduce the costs of the insurance they must purchase; reduce the taxes they pay to the City / State / Federal Government, reduce the costs of the liquor licenses they purchase, and, of course, reduce the costs of the various inspections they must adhere to from the City / State / Federal Government. Pay servers more - why didn't restaurant owners think of that ????????????

Carol Adams

Higher wages for restaurant workers? Then share tips with owners who make servers good work possible. No tip system? Just another way to diminish individuality.....move on to rinot servers.

Khal Spencer

Gary Reynolds must be competing for the Poe's Law Award. If you want to get killed in Santa Fe, the best way to do it is to try to cross a street. Not to mention, as far as covering the surface of N New Mexico with a dangerous element, we already did so: lead from leaded gas, which was burned and exhausted from vehicles for half a century or more.

I agree with better compensation for restaurant workers. That said, the government did put its thumb on the scale, first by forcibly shutting down restaurants and then by extending unemployment. Mandating vaccination so that workers exposed to the public have a higher sense of safety in the workplace and making these sorts of jobs less hazardous is a good start.

Richard Reinders

Sallie, I grew up in the industry and never heard anyone complain about getting tips.

We also had a service oriented business with servers who also enjoyed making tips but we paid $11.00 to start and up to $15.00 plus tips and bonuses. I also have been to restaurants in other countries with no tip system like Australia and when asking for a glass of water was told to get it myself from one of the counters. So it works both ways, when they lose incentive, their attitudes change.

Cheryl Odom

Sallie, [thumbup]

Yvonne Martinez


Cheryl Meyer

The Netherlands is another country with no tip system. Service in restaurants is notoriously bad. I encountered this myself and it was verified by Dutch friends. I can't say I like a tip system, but bad service may be the result of doing away with it.

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