I note that the Santa Fe Post Office on Pacheco Street has removed its recycling bins. Now the trash cans are packed with discarded mail (mostly presorted advertising pieces). This is against the U.S. Postal Service claim of sustainability (facts.usps.com/sustainability) and just one more way the Postal Service management has backtracked on public service and support.

Rebecca Haffenden

Santa Fe

City Indifferent

As a Native New Mexican, I moved back home to Santa Fe last year and bought a beautiful old adobe home on the historic east side. I wanted to replace my broken-down front gate. First the Historic Districts Review Board denied my proposal. So I next took my case to the City Council. The other night, that governing body spent three hours discussing my broken gate. In a 5-4 vote, the City Council denied the replacement.

The members who voted against me, including the mayor, in my opinion ignored the facts and the law and vaguely stated it would not fit with the low walls of the streetscape. Most of the walls are high on my street, and the gate I had proposed was essentially identical to every other arched gate on my street. When a property owner cannot improve her property, the system is broken. The H-board and the city need to manage change — not stop it.

Laura Chocka

Santa Fe

Wrong approach

In an Associated Press article (“Some GOP-led states target abortions done through medication,” April 12), a representative of the Center for Reproductive Rights asserts that state legislation restricting access to chemical abortions lack a medical basis. However, the Federal Drug Administration does restrict the pill; it only allowed abortion by mail temporarily because of the pandemic.

Some in this country now would like to see abortion pills available by mail permanently. I remember an episode of Forensic Files in which a medical student slipped abortion chemicals into his girlfriend’s food or drink. The child she wanted was stillborn.

Many women being sex trafficked are forced into multiple abortions. Interaction with the health care system is an opportunity for such women to be identified and helped. But ready availability of chemical abortion pills to their abusers would remove this opportunity for intervention. It is not unusual for a woman to take the first pill and regret it. Calling the Abortion Pill Rescue Network can help them connect with a doctor who may be able to reverse the effects and give their child a chance.

Elaine Gere

Santa Fe

Let the light shine

The article (“Santa Fe City Council OKs plan to convert PNM streetlights to LEDs,” April 15) refers to the promised public engagement on the Dalkia re-lamping of Santa Fe’s street lights. However, city staff apparently have appointed a commission to take care of this, whose names are not being made public at this time. This is not public engagement, and any who care about the visibility of night skies in Santa Fe should be loudly protesting this secret commission.

Galen Gisler

Santa Fe

Whoa, Santa Fe!

Well, shoot. Two geezers maskless at the bar (“Drinks, if not music, flowing again,” April 16) and a lady in the background similarly undressed, all spewing germs on one another. Wake up, Santa Fe! There is a long way to go yet.

Dr. Stephen C. Joseph

Santa Fe

Real change

Paul Gessing leads the Rio Grande Foundation, a wholly right-wing dependent, partisan organization dedicated to promoting prosperity for New Mexico’s oil and gas industry and those elites who profit on working people’s losses. The Rio Grande Foundation promotes limited government; predatory, unregulated capitalism; and corporate freedom from any responsibility for climate degradation.

There’s much to dig into with Gessing’s distortions, including those in his most recent piece (“State Democrats walk fine line on energy,” Commentary, April 16). His charge that “New Mexico Democrats have controlled the Legislature for years” has no merit until the recent contests that turned out five conservative senators who were Democrats In Name Only. If Gessing has been disappointed in what Democrats could do while former Sen. John Arthur Smith barred the way to real reform, hold your breath, Paul. Change for the better is coming through.

Jim Klukkert

Santa Fe

(7) comments

Doug Lonngren

Whatever the outcome, spending 3 hours of City Council time discussing a single gate is a huge waste of everyone's time. I'm sure there are more important things to address. If people feel the current mayor is not doing his job perhaps these kind of issues are one reason.

Stefanie Beninato

I do not feel sorry for Laura Choka at all. She wanted to change a low wall and put in a new pretentious, 8.5 ft high arch and gate for security. The gate is not broken--she just wanted a different look on a Will Shuster house. Her need for security can be met in a variety of ways--not by changing the streetscape to fit her perception of living on the eastside. Ms Choka could have chosen a home outside the historic zone and done what she wanted. I am tired of new or returning residents who want the cache of living on the eastside but not the responsibility of maintaining the historic architecture in which they choose to live.

Richard Reinders

Jim, what is your viable alternative to oil and gas, try turning off you gas and electricity for 2 days and tell me that is the way to go. Buy a coal oil lamp, haul buckets of water from the acequia, and start splitting wood to cook and heat with and then tell me that is a better alternative. I like you want to see a cleaner alternative but there isn't one yet, ethanol from corn burns more BTU's producing it than what you get out of it, Solar is fine as long as the wind blows and the sun comes out and we don't have ice storms or too much wind. Nuclear is a problem for a lot of the people so what is the best way to move forward. You can't bite the hand that supplies you the comforts of home, the electric you use is probably produced from gas fire electric plant, you drive a car that all the plastics in it are produced from and runs on petroleum products as well as half your consumer goods, how about the street or road pavement, people need to really look at what oil and gas provides to them and say how do I replace that. I am all for a viable alternative not just a feel good attempts.

Jim Klukkert

Good Morning Richard- You bring up some good points, and I concede that for working people, turning off the fossil fuel spigot suddenly is not viable.

However, turn it off we must, as rapidly as possible, not to bite the hand that provides us comfort but to stem the disastrous effects of Global Climate Change, before that once ‘comforting hand’ burns down our home!

I continue to advocate for a ‘war time’ government footing to urgently address the Challenge. Fortunately our President has made Fighting Climate Change a top priority across his Administration. We need policies that will make the switch to carbon neutral choices affordable for those of us with moderate means, and tax those choices which are obviously indulge America’s dependance on Fossil Fuels.

I am glad that you join the many who “all for a viable alternative,” and though those means are not yet completely here, they are more and more available and affordable.

Until the alternatives are fully fleshed out, my partner and I have done what we can to limit our consumption level, as many Americans must if the world is to survive as sustainable for human life. We drive a 17 year old car, and yes, have cut and split wood to heat our home for almost two decades, as I have for most of my life. We have invested in Solar Panels, wear sweaters in the winter, conserve our water and avoid air travel. In many ways we have learned to live a simpler life, though we continue to strive to do even better.

As they say, “live simply so that others may simply live.”

Thanks for your reply Richard. Be well.

Richard Reinders

Update your car a 17 year old car puts out at least twice the emissions what a new car does. I owned an older suburban that got 8miles to the gal, now I drive a new one that runs on 4 cylinders half the time and averages 21 miles gal plus. The auto industry has made leaps and bounds as has the appliance companies. These changes have reduced half the consumption of gas or electric and are doing their part as am I.

Jim Klukkert

Hey Richard, thanks for the suggestions. Over 30 years ago, I too had a Suburban, and had 4 kids to almost fill it. Yours did better than mine, as I only got 7 mpg. What a j0y though, sorta like Mike and his Corvettes.

Driving a well maintained 4 banger Subie, a much smaller Suburban, and even with 250k on it, still getting the same 25+mpg it always has.

I am not sure that our '04 puts out all that much in emissions, though I know that a good mpg score does not mean lower pollutants. I understand that motorcycles do well with the milage, not so much with the emissions.

The Carbon Footprint of purchasing a new car is what puts me off. To repeat the carbon cost of all the parts that I already drive assembled seems not to be the earth friendly choice. I always hated Pres. Obama's Cash for Clunkers program. To see all those perfectly good rigs trashed so folks could keep manufacturing going... I know it was sold as an Environmentally Correct service, but follow the money. Obama was doing his best to pull us out of Geo. W's recession.

I have no doubt you are doing your part. I gather you live out here someplace, and that at least earn part of your keep from the land. Most of us who do the same, know the value of running a tight ship. Conspicuous Consumption is not the way of the range nor the farm.

Richard Reinders

Laura Chocka , IMO from what I have heard and seen you need to offer the Mayor a job when he loses re-election , be the head of land planning or donate $12 million to a museum to be able to get around the Historic District Board or City Council, like Descartes , Carrol Johnson or Vadim, it seem to work for them.

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