Nov. 15 was a win for public lands in New Mexico. President Joe Biden’s proposal to ban oil and gas drilling on federal land outside Chaco Canyon will provide the region with much needed protection. As mentioned in Darlene Superville’s article, “Biden orders agencies to combat human trafficking, other crime on Native lands,” Biden announced numerous plans for the protection of Native American rights. Among these announcements was a 20-year plan for conservation of the Chaco region.

As an intern at Environment New Mexico, I see the value in safeguarding this special place. New Mexicans cherish Chaco Canyon’s ability to grant a glimpse into Puebloan culture through its Great Houses and vast collection of historical artifacts. This beautiful landscape has suffered immense degradation due to drilling. A 20-year moratorium will give lawmakers time to enact permanent safeguards to preserve Chaco’s Indigenous history and its natural environment.

Emma Staudt

Manchester, Mass.

Hardly a merger

First of all, the Avangrid-Public Service Company of New Mexico proposal is not a merger. It is a small fish being gulped down by a huge fish. The acquisition means that drastically higher utility rates are on the horizon. Think in multiples when I say higher. We presently pay around 11 cents a kilowatt hour. In southern California, I am paying 65 cents a kilowatt hour. Simply put, that is the future here. Can you or your business afford those higher rates?

PNM has afforded its customers very reasonable rates. Given the castration from coal-powered electricity, the hundreds of millions in severance fees to that facility, coupled with a politically made mandate for green energy alternatives all comes at a cost that you the ratepayer are being shielded from. As a relatively small utility with a small customer base, PNM has always had to listen to that base. As part of a huge, multinational corporation, the former PNM customer will be lost and ignored. Green power sources, no matter how costly and inefficient will be forced on us — along with ever the routine increases in rates. Remember, a utility always has to make money.

Zeke Woolley

Santa Fe

Lack of leadership

The inane attack on the governor by House Minority Leader Jim Townsend is par for the course from the GOP (“GOP House leader calls governor ‘incompetent,’ ” Nov. 16). A true leader leads by example, not negative hyperbole and insults. The educated medical experts have found the coronavirus has a preference for lodging in the salivary glands to begin replicating in order to migrate elsewhere, like the lungs, where it kills by destroying lung tissue and slowly suffocate the victim. Salivary glands are the source of saliva, aka spit. Spit is ejected from the mouth while talking, breathing or screaming political invective.

The antedeluvian view of the GOP leadership nationwide regarding solid science — that masks save lives by slowing or stopping droplets and mists of saliva borne — virus will slowly kill off the voters who support those leaders. Sad though this is, they will ensure Democratic victories at the cost of average Republican voters. And so what if Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was wearing a mask on camera when appearing on Morning Joe? That is hardly hiding.

Ted Carlin

Santa Fe

The reason why

I suspect that if Kyle Rittenhouse were a person of color, he would have been found guilty.

Edward R. Baca

Santa Fe

Crime pays

Some 100,000 Americans dead from overdoses in 2020; 70,000 dead in 2019. Since 1999, over 750,000 have died from opioid overdoses. But those responsibly for kickstarting the opioid addiction crisis and death in this country are shown on the Forbes list as the No. 13 wealthiest families in the world. Who says crime doesn’t pay?

Mike Dicello

Santa Fe

Impressive history

As recent transplants to Santa Fe, my husband and I were impressed with the series The New Mexican devoted to the 200th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail. Robert Nott, who wrote the series, provided readers with a well-balanced and thorough perspective throughout the week. Given the amount of information available on the subject, Nott had a formidable task ahead of him. We thought he successfully culled the highlights of the crossing with stories and events. The entire celebration earlier this month was fabulous, and we feel we have received a unique introduction to this lovely place. Well done.

Cheryl and Kyle Thornhill

Santa Fe

(7) comments

Philip Taccetta

Zeke! I hate autocorrect

Philip Taccetta

Zelle - I’m guessing that you don’t read much. If you did, your comment

“Green power sources, no matter how costly and inefficient will be forced on us — along with ever the routine increases in rates. Remember, a utility always has to make money.” Anyone that reads or watches television knows that wind and solar are now cheaper than any fossil fuel source of electricity.

I do oppose the Avengrid/PNM takeover. I’m for rooftop solar and locally produced solar/wind.

Stefanie Beninato

Rittenhouse--the poor white boy who just happened to have an AR 15 type of assault rifle and thought it was a good idea as a 17 yo to cross state lines with a gun he illegally possessed and be a macho white supremacist protecting those who did not ask your help from protesters--many of whom were peaceful. And his tearful mom not understanding how her little baby could be considered a killer.... The US justice system has been broken for a long time and the Rittenhouse verdict is just one more example like the rape case where the BOY MAN shouldn't have his life harshly interrupted by prison time, according to the MALE judge, but three teenage girls will carry those memories of violation for the rest of their lives and know their attacker got off because of the misogyny of that judge.

Richard Reinders

it’s funny how people seem pissed off because there is not racial element to that Rittenhouse story, so they want to inject, “if there was a person of color” well there wasn’t .

Edward Baca

This whole case is centered on the topic of racism and white supremacy. Rittenhouse made a laughable claim that he came to Kenosha to "protect" businesses from being vandalized by those protesting the killing of a black man, Jacob Blake, by the police. This case illustrated the double standard that exists in the American legal system: black man gets shot by police and nothing happens; white boy kills two and injures one, and nothing happens. If you think that Rittenhouse came to Kenosha for purely altruistic reasons, here's ample proof to the contrary:

Richard Reinders

I guess you didn’t know about Andrew Coffee who was Acquitted of murder oh he is a black man.

Stefanie Beninato

One out of how many thousands, Richard--a real example to the overwhelming information that men of color have totally different and poorer outcomes (that is being killed) than white males.

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.