Spend funds on homeless not landing 'The Bachelor'

It sounds like some lucky recruiter/ambassador(s) could have $100,000 of public money to wine and dine The Bachelor television series people with no guarantee of any return (“Council approves $100K to help lure ‘Bachelor,’ ” July 31).

Wouldn’t that money be better spent on the homeless and on food shelters?

Russ Shinn

Ohkay Owingeh

Keep dogs on leash

I wanted to remind other dog owners in Santa Fe that it is illegal to have your dog-off leash within the city limits. I admit, I find that a little extreme, but owners should at least have off-leash dogs under voice control. My dog is aggressive toward other dogs when she is on leash. We are working on training, but we have had unfortunate encounters in the Arroyo Chamiso with out-of-control dogs. Please keep your dog under control and don’t let it bound up to a dog that is barking and snarling.

Paul Cooley

Santa Fe

A correct headline

Much as I hate to discourage or contradict a fellow grammar cop (“Cringe worthy,” Letters to the editor, July 30), I’m afraid that Don Van Soelen is wrong in his correction of a headline (“Remembering ‘Dr. J,’ an N.M. institution,” July 26) to “a N.M. institution.” Consider the following sentences: An egg costs a Euro. He bought a house in an hour. The decision to use “a” or “an” is based on how the letter is pronounced, not whether it is a consonant or a vowel. If the headline had been “a New Mexico institution,” it would have been clear, but the letter N is pronounced as if it were spelled “en” and therefore takes “an.” We say “an X-ray” and “an NIH study,” so why would “an N.M. institution” be any different? I’ve been teaching English as a second language since 1997, first in Germany and now with the Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe, and I’ve had to explain this many times. It’s one of those quirks that makes it that much harder to really speak the language well.

Gracie Schild

Santa Fe

Remembering Ted

Board members of the Old Santa Fe Association and many others in Santa Fe knew Ted Williams as a creative, caring and tireless contributor to this community, particularly on watershed matters, as well as a great and passionate skier and a true gentleman. I’m sure our recent rains made him grin. He will be missed. Our condolences to Dora, his loving wife.

Bruce Throne

former OSFA board member

Santa Fe

Noxious weeds

There are 45 noxious weeds identified in New Mexico, and Santa Fe County has at least 15 of them. These are weeds that invade an area quickly, crowding out native plants and threatening native ecosystems. Toadflax, Scotch thistle, tree of heaven, knapweed, pampasgrass and Siberian elm are commonly found in and near the city. Myrtle spurge (not on our state list but it should be) is also abundant, and many cities, including Boulder, Colo., hold annual “Purge Your Spurge” events in an effort to exterminate this weed that can cause severe skin rash. Perhaps the city and county could include a weed brochure with photos in a monthly utility bill to educate residents and ask them to remove them from their property before we get into a situation like Boulder, where tax dollars are used in control efforts. The state list and photos can be found at www.nmda.nmsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/troublesome_weeds_nm.pdf.

Julie Luetzelschwab

Santa Fe

Protect our youth

Pojoaque Pueblo is requesting a new gaming compact that would change the legal gambling age from 21 years of age to 18. Northern New Mexico already has a high dropout rate, and we struggle to find opportunity for our youth. Why not get them addicted to gambling at a much earlier age? It is so sad that we trade out the well-being of our youth for money. The compact would also end contributions to problem-gambling treatment programs. Please urge your elected officials not to allow this to happen. Otherwise, it is just another obstacle working against New Mexico from climbing out of last place in categories such as child well-being, education, graduation rate and poverty.

Ernest J. Silva

Española

Reconsider foreign policy

Here are my suggestions to Secretary of State John Kerry. They are opposite to our official national positions.

Gaza is a cage containing helpless and determined Palestinians resisting their endless oppression by Israel. They use rocks and rockets. Does Israel have the right to defend itself from these Gaza rockets? Absolutely not. No more than a brutal rapist has the right to beat his caged victim because she scratches his face in self-defense. Man up, Israel. Stop using United States F-16 jets to attack Gaza’s women and kids.

On the Ukrainian issue, remember that Stalingrad is only 300 miles east of Donetsk, Kursk 200 miles and Moscow 500 miles to the north. The Russians bled oceans of blood in defeating Nazi Germany in these three unbelievably brutal World War II battles. Is it any surprise that many eastern Ukrainians feel a strong union with their Russian motherland? The Germans and collaborationist Ukrainians were their bitter enemies. The U.S. position is a twist on our own Civil War goals where we stood to unite the Union. Imagine Iran promoting Texas secession and arming the Texas/New Mexico border. Personally, I’d hate that.

Don Liska

Santa Fe