Safeguarding public health is central to the mission of the Environmental Improvement Board, and it has a rare opportunity to protect the long-term health of New Mexicans with a single action this month.

As it considers the New Mexico Environment Department’s proposed oil and gas pollution rules, the Environmental Improvement Board should include key improvements supported by public health advocates and industry that will deliver the strongest possible protections — especially for frontline communities living closest to well sites.

The American Lung Association gave New Mexico’s top oil and gas producing counties an F grade for ozone in its 2021 State of the Air Report. Oil and gas operations are a significant source of ozone-forming volatile organic compounds and methane emissions from venting, flaring and leaks. Wellsite toxins and smog can worsen respiratory diseases like emphysema, trigger asthma attacks and impact the cardiovascular system.

That is why the board should strengthen the proposed rules to protect frontline communities by requiring more frequent inspections to find and fix leaks at sites in our backyards, accelerate the transition to lower-polluting, zero-bleed pneumatic controllers and ensure the capture of pollution created during well completions.

Barbara Webber

executive director

Health Action New Mexico

Solid service

Once again, we found ourselves needing to contact the solid waste department in Santa Fe for removal of green waste. The personnel were different but the result was the same. We left our message and received a call back promptly. Roberta was very informative, very nice, made the appointment and called us when the appointment had to be changed, preventing us from waiting needlessly. Kim called to remind us of our appointment time. Then we met Steven, the driver, a nice young man who cleaned up “like it never even happened.” Thanks for extraordinary effort from this department that made customer service what it should be.

Harold and Rosina Downing

Santa Fe

A loss in the family

The current and past boards and staff of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum are incredibly saddened by the untimely death of John Silver. John was president of the museum during the 1990s. We were a young organization, and he quickly embraced our mission and helped us develop into a vibrant community resource.

He was determined to increase our budget so we could serve the community. He wasn’t an educator but supported our commitment to hands-on experiential learning.

During those years, John was our rock — always there to support new programs, think through our ideas, raise money and help solve problems. And he did it all with grace and a smile.

John brought his family into the museum family. Abe, Marian, Gloria, Margaret, Scott and Carolyn were always present at museum events and helped with our auctions (with John often serving as our auctioneer).

John convinced his dad to give some of his electric trains to the birthday room. We watched John and Gloria’s children grow up at the museum. The Santa Fe Children’s Museum would not be here today if it were not for the hard work, dedication and support of John and the Silver family.

John loved the museum, and we all loved him in return.

Sharon Woods

Santa Fe

Take heed, candidates

The New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office is committed to providing the most helpful and practical information for candidates seeking public office.

For those potential candidates interested in running for office in 2022, one of the first steps to take to get on the ballot is gathering signatures on petition forms from registered voters in their district.

This year, however, the petition forms our office publishes for candidates seeking a district-based office will be delayed because of redistricting and the delay in census data from the federal government.

Receipt of valid signatures on a petition form are based on the official district boundaries set by the Legislature and, by law, our office cannot publish those forms for districted offices until redistricting is complete, likely in December after a special session.

We anticipate publishing the official nominating petition forms for offices that are district-based in January.

Approved nominating petition forms for statewide/nondistricted offices, however, still will be made available by our office on Oct. 1.

These forms can be obtained by contacting our office or by downloading them from our website at

Alex Curtas

communications director

New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office

(1) comment

verne lucero

My Response to Mike Johnson's Letter to the Editor: The Santa Fe New Mexican

Yes! Hearing that Kearny's Army of the west was nearing Santa Fe, Armijo fled south to Mexico. But there were two other vital players in this event that are seldom mentioned, and I, for one, am anchored by the omission. Just like the "Entrada." there always seems to be some other version of precisely what happened in history.

No shots were fired during the conquest of the theTerrortory of New Mexico by Kearny. In contrast, Armijo fled to the south. Two other men left their homes in Bernalillo and traveled north to Santa Fe to greet the General. The elder of the two men was Leandro Perea, my maternal great-granduncle, the wealthiest man in the Territory at the time. The other younger man was Francisco Perea, my maternal great-grandfather, who served as an interpreter. A few years earlier, he traveled the Santa Fe trail East and was educated in Saint Louise. Francisco was fluent in both English and Spanish, and General Kearny offered Leandro the Governorship of the Territory. He declined the offer Because he was not sure of Armijo's status.

New Mexico did not suffer the" Manifest Destiny" brunt, like Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and California. Only because of the deeds of the Peres and also the related Oteros.

Long before Kearny's entry, The Peres and Oteros traveled East and had lovingly embraced the union as their country. Later, Francisco again would traverse the Territory to champion the cause of statehood and muster a battalion of militia volunteers upon President Lincoln's call. It should be noted. That New Mexico provided a more significant number of militia volunteers, per capita than any other state in the union during the "Civil War."

All this is well documented by two early twentieth-century historians, "Twitchell. And Ellison

Twitchell writes in his heralded book "Old Santa Fe"...

"Francisco Perea's name became a household word spanning one ocean to the other."

I am a proud and grateful descendant, but please let's keep history as close to (TRUE) as possible. Thank you Mike

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