Correction appended

My husband and I drove from Arizona to see Zozobra. I was born in Santa Fe, so I wanted to experience the event again. The actual burning of Zozobra was one of the best I had ever seen. The fireworks were grand, abundant and spectacular. I just wondered what happened to the pageantry from years past. I remember Don Diego de Vargas, his men and the Native Americans coming in by horseback. I remember an explanation of why we had de Vargas there in the first place. I remember that the Native Americans were honored for existing side-by-side.

What I don’t remember is the mayor of the city trying to sell us a red convertible! I don’t remember the long, drawn-out music while the children and older people in the audience melted and tired from waiting. I don’t remember Zozobra just moaning forever but rather talking to us. He used to say, “Ay, mamacita,” as his arms swayed. Or he would say “no mi quemas.” I did appreciate the boxes of people’s sadness, distresses being presented at the feet of Zozobra.

I realize you are gearing the celebration to the young, but don’t forget the history, with Zozobra representing the “gloom” we burn and the music and party after.

Don’t forget that people come from all over to get something out of the burning of Zozobra.

Priscilla Pando Marquez

Tucson, Ariz.

A historic building

As a former resident of Santa Fe, I always appreciated the incredible and soothing architectural features, buildings and unique atmosphere of the community in general. Thus, you can imagine how appalled and concerned I was after reading Tom Ribe’s excellent column (“National Parks building too important to close off,” My View, Aug. 24) regarding the closure to the public of the Old Santa Fe Trail Building.

Ribe hits the nail on the head. We, as a society, have a responsibility to respect our past and to value those who went to great lengths to create, through hard labor and artistic talent, a magnificent structure and coveted haven during a time of economic hardship.

The loss of public access to this building needs to be reversed. Quite frankly, it should become a complete unit of the National Park Service and not be allowed to decline, as have so many of our historic structures throughout the nation.

Lynda A. Sánchez

Lincoln, N.M.

No naps?

During a recent kindergarten substitute teaching assignment, I discovered that these 5-year-old kids had no nap time allocated for their seven-hour, aggressive and active school day. How has the “leadership of education” gotten away with depriving little developing bodies a basic requirement? Please, wake up, America, and give our kindergartners their needed sleep.

Mike Sawyer


Respond to Ebola

This Ebola outbreak is the worst on record (“Official: Ebola epidemic worst ever,” Sept. 3, 2014). The question is: Will we, as the Western world, the United Nations, the World Health Organization, rise to the challenge? Diseases like this must be treated globally, or they will travel to affect us locally. We know what to do to stop this epidemic, but it is costly. It will only get more costly in both lives lost and economic losses. At the moment, we need an amazing ramp-up in aid to contain this disease. After that is done, we need to increase the aid to build the health care systems worldwide. Only then will local health systems be able to stop these and other epidemics in their early stages.

Models such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, are sustainable and make sense. They offer assistance while saving lives and building local health systems. Gavi, for example, creates plans to vaccinate all children in a developing country. By providing the vaccines at a greatly reduced cost, the countries are eventually able to graduate and continue their programs. Of course, nothing will happen unless citizens demand it. Call or write your elected officials and ask them to fund these solutions to end the threat of world pandemics.

Willie Dickerson

Snohomish, Wash.

Correction, Sept. 16, 2014

A letter writer on Page A-12 of the Sept. 16, 2014, edition of The Santa Fe New Mexican was incorrectly identified as being from Lincoln, Neb. Lynda A. Sánchez is from Lincoln, N.M.

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