Looking at clouds — follow the money

Do you see the clouds? Individually and collectively, those aggregations of water vapor are a rich potential resource for summer tourism to Santa Fe and the state.

There are multiple groups of “cloud spotters” around the world and innumerable individuals pausing to glance skyward with awe and unconscious appreciation. They are folks fascinated by the dynamics of the wet air especially prominent every summer as it roils above the Sangres and Jemez ranges.

The Cloud Appreciation Society’s 46,000 members in 120 countries regularly hold conventions, “sky gatherings,” in places like the English isle of Lundy, Canada and Bolivia. They exhibit their best pictures of rare formations. They spend money in hotels, restaurants and gift shops. Properly promoted, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and even The Lightning Field in Quemado could attract some of those global travelers. Any hotels in Santa Fe with a rooftop bar or even an accessible roof with a clear view of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains? Check out: “Live with your head in the clouds:” Gavin Pretor-Pinney at TEDGlobal 2013.

Tom Johnson

Santa Fe

That 1776 spirit

Regarding President Donald Trump’s historical blunder during his Fourth of July “Salute to America” speech: As a former Frontier Airlines employee at Denver International Airport who had to deal with maintenance, weather and air traffic control delays plus cancellations with full flights, I can just imagine how fabulous it would have been to work at the Boston airport in 1776. It would have been so easy without air traffic control problems, weather delays, mechanical issues, customer complaints or flight cancellations. I wonder if the pay and benefits were any good? It would have been the pits, though, to ride my horse to the airport six days a week, especially in winter.

Jeff Black

El Prado

N.M. chile — the best

I just read your article on the trash talk over Colorado and New Mexico chile (“Governors talk smack as chile war escalates,” Ringside Seat, July 11) and had read about it in the local news yesterday. Though I am a 40-year resident of Colorado, voted for Gov. Jared Polis and happen to work for the state of Colorado, our fine governor’s harsh words stung.

I was born and raised in New Mexico and graduated from the University of New Mexico. My 93-year-old mother still lives in Albuquerque. I love chile. We eat red, we eat green. We eat ground chile, dried chile, fresh chile. I cook up a mean pot of red chile, and my husband nails it with his pork green chile. We roast our own and freeze it to eat it all during the winter months. And we buy New Mexico chile because, frankly, it’s the best. Pueblo has very good chile, and folks there should be proud of it. But New Mexico chile is a part of the very fiber of New Mexico, the proud people who live there and the culture of the state. There is nothing “inferior” about that.

Pooh on Whole Foods — no one shops for chile at Whole Foods, anyway. Chile eaters buy their hand-selected bushels from vendors set up on corners or vacant lots, operating under blue tarps with big roasters roaring. No worries, New Mexico, you’ve got it!

Dana Shea-Reid

Lakewood, Colo.

Right to die

I want to thank The New Mexican for comprehensively covering and describing medical aid-in-dying legislation. Though the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act, House Bill 90, was tabled in the House of Representatives, the need for this important legislation continues (“ ‘Right-to-die’ bill tabled, done for this session,” March 13).

As a cancer survivor and hospice professional, I support medical aid-in-dying legislation and appreciate the clear information provided by The New Mexican about the right to access medication to hasten death in late-stage terminal illness. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the people of New Mexico. As we carry on the important work of advocating for the most vulnerable among us, the dying deserve to be heard and their personal integrity ensured.

Christen Carmignani Pike


Keep water safe

Thanks for the well-written article about water quality in the Santa Fe River (“Raising alarm over Santa Fe River quality,” July 5) and covering the recent issues with the city’s wastewater treatment. José Varela López, who is raising cattle on land adjacent to the river, should be informed that there is extensive evidence that allowing cattle access to rivers is a very bad idea. They not only pollute the river with feces and urine but also do considerable damage to the riverbanks and riverside vegetation. His cattle need to be kept out of the river with appropriate fencing. He should provide a separate drinking source for his cattle. This has also been shown to improve the overall health of the cattle as opposed to allowing them to drink river water.

Rob Grundy

Santa Fe