In response to (“Don’t mock tree equity — it matters,” Commentary, Dec. 12) we need to add a Santa Fe version. Trees in Santa Fe do not, for the most part, receive the attention they deserve. For those of you who do believe in science, trees take in the carbon dioxide you exhale and release the precious oxygen we need. This is called a symbiotic relationship. However, when trees are allowed to grow like weeds and not watered, pruned or cut back, they become gnarly, tangled and often dead. Look around Santa Fe, and you see dead trees everywhere. How about we each take the time to look at the trees right around us and see what we can do to improve their health. In the long run, it will improve our health and the view of our daily environment. Stop depending on outside sources like the city to keep our community clean.
A great sheriff
It is a great honor to write this endorsement on behalf of a true law enforcement professional, Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza, who has announced his intention to seek reelection. During the past several years, he has displayed unwavering integrity to moral and ethical values. As a result, he has gone above and beyond to keep several communities safe. I have also been impressed with the empathy and compassion he has shown for others. It has allowed him to understand what people, both suspects and victims alike, are going through. This has helped build trust and needed rapport with several communities. He was responsible for implementing critical and proactive public health and safety measures to protect his deputies and the people he is sworn to serve during the coronavirus pandemic.
Adan has additionally expanded the sex offender registration program and secured funding to expand the sheriff’s office. He has also shown a proclivity to anticipate, adapt and overcome challenges in his day-to-day role. Not all law enforcement professionals have this ability. Adan has great verbal and written communications skills to deal with a diversity of people who now seek his advice and guidance. He was appointed by Gov. Michelle Grisham Lujan to serve on the board of the Santa Fe Regional Communications Center, which handles the emergency needs of the county. In my 31 years as a DEA agent, I have worked with law enforcement officials throughout the world and none is better than Adan.
Michael S. Vigil
Former DEA chief
of international operations
Back to normal?
As we pass the first anniversary of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are also several grim milestones we need to remember. [There are] 800,000 Americans dead from COVID-19 and counting; 1 in 100 seniors has died from the virus, and 160,000 unvaccinated Americans and counting; have died from the virus since June.
Want normalcy? Get vaccinated.
Relieving the hospital crisis
Pearland Hospitals across the United States are activating crisis standards to give health care workers the legal ability to ration medical care and allocate resources to those most likely to survive. In New Mexico and other states, hospitals do not have the resources and staff to adequately treat patients. It’s a painful and devastating situation for health care workers and patients, and one that is preventable. While our leaders combat misinformation and improve confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine, several states created health care safety nets. Freestanding Emergency Centers (FECs) in Texas, Florida and Alabama help patients waiting for intensive care beds. Thanks to these freestanding centers, Texas accessed an extra 1,500 emergency care beds. States benefit from these centers’ ability to care for patients. Expanding health care options by allowing additional facilities like Freestanding Emergency Centers to treat patients allow states to avoid rationing care. We should prioritize widespread support for Freestanding Emergency Centers as a valuable safety-net in our health care system.
Rhonda Sandel, RN
President, National Association
of Freestanding Emergency Centers