Whether we’re Black, Native, Anglo, Latino, Asian, a longtime resident or a newcomer, it’s time to pull together to get through this difficult time. Immigrants are critical to our community and our country. They make up 16 percent of health care workers, 26 percent of home health care workers for the elderly and 73 percent of crop farmworkers in the United States. They are putting their lives on the line to keep food on our tables and care for the sick during a pandemic. Yet, Congress has largely left immigrants out of COVID-19 relief — again.
This pandemic has shown how vitally important immigrant health care and essential workers are on the front lines of this fight, and how much our community’s and nation’s health depends on the contributions of these workers. None of us can be healthy if any one of us is denied access to testing, health care and economic relief. Now is the time for all of us to unite across our differences and make policy choices that help everyone. In the next COVID-19 relief bill, our members of Congress must make sure our entire community is supported, including all immigrant families.
Weeds! Weeds! Weeds!
Mercy! Unbelievable. They're starting to become trees.
Not so fast
Nearly every day of the last 16 years, I've resided in a condo at the lower end of Bishops Lodge Road, near Murales Road. Almost never have I seen the excessive driving speeds described by Jim Taylor in his piece ("City needs to act: Bishops Lodge traffic is too loud and fast," My View, Sept 6). At the intersection with Murales Road, I've observed the opposite of what he sees: Nearly every car is traveling at around the speed limit of 30 mph. Never have I seen an accident or collision on that stretch of road. If anyone thinks the screed writer has a valid point, kindly spend a few minutes there and see for yourself. Additionally, contrary to his claim that there is no sidewalk, all but one block of it has a sidewalk, and that one block has a wide dirt turnout that pedestrians use. I walk my dog there and feel completely safe. The problems that Taylor describes do not exist, in my opinion.
No, slow down
My thanks for the observations of Jim Taylor regarding traffic on Bishops Lodge Road. I too have been passed many times by vehicles going up to twice the posted speed limit. I've witnessed two near-head-on collisions. Even going at the speed limit, I've nearly hit deer a few times, and once a bear ran in front of my car. The bicycle and pedestrian traffic alone warrant better enforcement, in my opinion.
Bishops Lodge Road is a no-passing zone from one end to the other. Perhaps a few tickets would educate drivers as to what speed limits and solid yellow lines down the middle of the road mean.
A broader view
Jim Taylor’s My View column emphasizing the need to reduce speed limits on Bishops Lodge Road once again pits the narrow interests of a few property owners against the responsibility of our city to maintain reasonable traffic flows within engineering design criteria. Taylor conflates an acknowledged citywide problem of reckless driving at high speeds by a few with a solution that artificially impedes all traffic from flowing at a proper speed on what is by any definition a connector street, if not an arterial. Santa Fe’s absence of a master plan for traffic has, over time, resulted in a community bending to the parochial interests of every neighborhood association, leading to a connector-road network largely set at 25 mph, contrary to the city’s engineering traffic design standards. The city needs to establish and stand behind a traffic master plan that’s in the larger community interest.
Remove the chaos
I read the Atlantic article about the language President Donald Trump used to describe military members who chose to serve and those who sacrificed everything. I spent that day remembering my father in World War II, parachuting into Nazi Germany. My brothers served in the military. They are Democrats, Republicans and independents. They love our country deeply and what it stands for and were willing to sacrifice their lives to protect our republic. It’s working people who serve in the military; we don’t come from wealthy families.
Trump doesn’t care about us or our families. We’re suckers and losers to him. Trump knows Republicans won’t contain his corruption. No one will stop him from fanning division, chaos and destruction. It distracts from an inability to govern. The atrocities happening today have happened before; we persevered together. We built a better America together. Remove the chaos in the White House.
The commander we need?
Should you doubt the truth of the Atlantic's story that President Donald Trump has called members of the military "losers," look back to passages in A Very Stable Genius, published in January. One well-sourced excerpt describes a meeting designed, with slides, to better inform Trump of essential information he still lacked six months into his administration. But he did not want to be informed of the effectiveness of treaties and military bases over the world. He wanted profitable transactions and wanted to charge for our soldiers based in other countries.
Rex Tillerson, then secretary of state, said, "The men and women who put on a uniform don't do it to become soldiers of fortune. ... That's not why they put on a uniform and go out to die. They do it to protect our freedom."
But Trump was angry, yelling at Gen. James Mattis and the other military present, calling them "losers" and "a bunch of babies and dopes," telling them, "I would not go to war with you people." A question: Can our men and women in uniform feel confident following orders from a commander in chief so lacking in knowledge and control and respect for their service? Even one who assures us that he "knows more than the generals?"
Each day, I look forward to Ricardo Caté's Without Reservation cartoon. Not only is it on point, but funny and thought provoking at the same time. It gives us a glimpse into Native culture as well as letting us know that we are more alike than different. Thank you for including it in your lineup. Ricardo, keep up the good work.
Voters are being urged to return absentee ballots as soon as possible. I encourage The New Mexican to publish its list of candidate recommendations when absentee ballots are mailed out in early October to help expedite vetting and voting.
Change the methane rules
The new draft methane rules proposed by the New Mexico Environment Department cannot be taken seriously. The rules have the goal of reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 98 percent by 2026, yet explicitly exempt 95 percent of all wells in New Mexico from the vast majority of regulation. It seems to be the latest proof that this administration doesn’t want to regulate the oil and gas industry. I would like to be proven wrong. After all, the Environment Department and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department were receptive enough to extend the commenting deadline to Sept. 16.
That's why Youth United for Climate Crisis Action will be writing a comment that will call on the Environment Department to remove this exemption as well as address other glaring issues. Anyone who would like to learn more about the draft rules can follow YUCCA on social media to tune in for a detailed breakdown of the issues with the draft rules.
A beneficial partnership
Among the 50 states of America, New Mexico is one of the leading forces supporting the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. Both countries exemplify the golden age of a mutually beneficial partnership, as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. will invest $12 billion in Arizona. Now New Mexico will become the vital spark to the trade development of the U.S. meat industry, given Taiwan’s decision to ease restrictions on the import of U.S. pork and beef on Aug. 28.
The door to a greater bilateral economic and trade cooperation has widened, as these decisions will not only be good for American farmers and ranchers, but will also further the economic integration the U.S. holds in the Asia-Pacific region and have Taiwan uphold a strong Indo-Pacific led by open and free trade.
Louis M. Huang
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office
Discovering New Mexico
Forrest Fenn definitely left his mark. I discovered his treasure poem online and got caught up in some recreational hunting in New Mexico. He was a driving force that initially took me to a state park in New Mexico three years ago. I was so impressed by the scenery, friendly park staff and wildlife, I returned and got an annual camping pass. I spent almost five months in New Mexico, camping, exploring, sending smartphone pictures to my friends across America and spending money in New Mexico.
During my New Mexico travels, I reconnected with an old 1970s Austin, Texas, friend who I accidentally came across in Cimarron. I had morning coffee at Ute Park general store near Cimarron Canyon State Park often with the 7 a.m. coffee group. I stayed at Sugarite Canyon six times and hung out at the library during the heat of the day in Raton. Saw eight bears, including three cubs and a mother black in a field. I discovered Pancho Villa and Coyote Creek parks also. Forrest Fenn led me to New Mexico. I even scored a ride in a hot air balloon with my jackalope during the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally. Thanks, Forrest Fenn. I am sure there are thousands of adventurers who made new discoveries because your treasure idea.
Farmers: A community resource
Thank you for the photographs and description of farmer Ned Conwell and his crew at Green Tractor Farm ("Steeling for early freeze," Sept. 9) preparing for our sudden, unseasonable temperature drop and extreme winds. These photos provide a good glimpse of how devoted, creative and hardworking our local, small-scale farmers are. And this is the case not just in a weather crisis but all the time.
We’re fortunate to live in the midst of many excellent farmers who bring to market the freshest, tastiest, most nutritious food available anywhere. We’re equally fortunate that our farmers market provides access to this healthful food to a wide community, doubling each dollar spent by customers in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Our local farmers and farms and our market are among our greatest community assets — nutritionally, economically and culturally. Just in the course of feeding ourselves, by buying our food from local farmers, we can enhance these assets and help them flourish.
I want to send a shout out to say "thank you" to all in the community who helped in feeding the people at Pete's Place on Aug. 30. So many came together to help feed 80 people at lunchtime that day. The Pantry Dos donated, cooked and sliced the meat for sandwiches, my neighbors came together to help me make the lunches filled with good eats from The Food Depot. Police Chief Andrew Padilla sent Officer Steve to help serve the clients, Josh from my church came and passed out Popsicles to everyone. What a treat that was on a hot day. It was such a blessing and so very heartwarming to see so many in the Santa Fe community coming together to help where needed. There were many with full tummies and smiles on their faces that day. Thank you, everyone.
The real radicals
Dan Stoddard’s My View (“California’s rolling blackouts — a warning to New Mexico,” Sep. 6) blames “radical environmentalists” and overemphasis on renewables for the blackouts. But drought and record temperatures (caused by burning of fossil fuels!), poor maintenance of high-voltage lines triggering disastrous forest fires and the failure of a “reliable” natural gas power plant were the real causes. Other factors were overreaction by the grid operator when power reserves (9 percent) were well above the 3 percent emergency level, failure by the state’s power companies to plan for a warming planet and the governor’s slow reaction in calling for reduced power consumption as the heat wave threatened. What saved the day in the last crisis was an emergency call to homes and businesses for power from storage batteries loaded by sun and wind. There is plenty of blame to go around. Maybe the “radicals” are those who think global warming is a hoax and that we can simply keep building coal- and gas-burning power plants rather than now-less-expensive solar and wind powered plants, backed up by battery storage.
The dangers of 'normal'
I must respond to Elmer Eugene Maestas’ letter (“Sad state of affairs,” Sept. 8). He refers to “radicals" who are "attempting to divide our communities," but he is attempting to normalize his La Entrada and a version of history that is being upended and a new narrative created.
Normalization implies that the status quo is a natural condition. It ignores crimes by promulgating that there were two equal parties in the past that warred upon each other with casualties each. This is also the case, I believe, in Palestine. There was no “normal” until occupiers, Spanish in our case and European Jews in Palestine, colonized others’ homelands. To state there was/is suffering on both sides is disingenuous if one considers that the suffering would have never occurred if the colonizers did not steal those homelands and subjugate the indigenous.
Longing for the glory of the conquest and dressing it in the clothing of a misconceived sense of “fairness” is plain wrong. His ancestors started the murder; Anglos continued it. We need to face the fact that colonization is wrong, and reparations, including changing "traditions" and denouncing the commemoration of colonizing murderers, needs to take place.