On Aug. 21, when Democrats nominated Joe Biden as their candidate, the headline in my local newspaper, the Santa Fe New Mexican, was, “I’ll be an ally of the light.” This headline had such profound meaning to me that I have saved the newspaper. He also said that his candidacy was about “saving the soul of the nation.” I have been awaiting a president who would speak this kind of language. A president who stands for the good, which Biden is demonstrating by what he has accomplished during his first 100 days.
However, increasing the military budget by another $13 billion for an already overburdened system has nothing to do with the light. Preparing for war has nothing to do with light. Yes, I am aware the world is a complicated, dangerous place, but we must use diplomacy over war. The soul of America won’t heal unless we switch to a new way of acting in the world.
I know Vigil Coppler
I am writing in response to the opinion piece seeking to discredit mayoral candidate JoAnne Vigil Coppler (“Vigil Coppler for mayor? Absolutely not,” My View, April 18) because of her vote last year against mandating masks. As a 40-year resident of Santa Fe who recently moved to California, I want to say this: I know JoAnne Vigil Coppler. She knows how important masks are at offering protection. She is a 26-year cancer survivor who underwent extensive treatment that killed nearly every cell in her body. She was quarantined in a hospital room for an extended period, and mask-wearing was the rule until her immune system was back to normal. She of all people has never been against masks — not then and not today.
As she said at the time of the vote: “Let me be clear. I am not against masks.” Her questions during the discussion about the mask mandate made clear she thought the ordinance could not be enforced by police as written. In my opinion, there is no reason to create “feel good” laws that have no chance of being enforced. I can attest that she is responsible. When JoAnne represented me in the sale of two properties, she set the requirements for what other Realtors were allowed to do when bringing in prospective buyers. Absolutely, she required masks and set other stringent conditions. JoAnne Vigil Coppler for mayor? Absolutely.
Julie C. Berman
Santa Rosa, Calif.
Keep local rules
I hope Sen. Ben Ray Luján, as chairman of the Senate committee covering broadband, encourages Congress not to overreach local governing authority. Here in Santa Fe County’s Los Cerrillos District, AT&T would need a variance to plant a communications tower beyond our local county zoning requirements. The site the company is targeting sits on a ridge that overlooks the historic village on one side, with Cerrillos Hills State Park on the other. It is also within view of the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway. AT&T must seek a variance from the county code on height and address context.
In the national quest for expanding broadband, local laws could be overridden, as has been done in the past on other infrastructure projects, including the interstate highways — former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall later called that a mistake, saying, “It took the Senate decades before they allowed cities to have options.” People here do not oppose broadband. However, the community and registered organizations are insisting that context-sensitive solutions should be upheld within the laws of the county, and with Luján’s help, across the nation.
I can only hope that our dear mayor and the city fund a bit more to what I believe is our severely understaffed permitting department. A little foresight is needed here.
Barbara Perez Deppman
No beef here
Henry Olsen’s column (“It’s not Biden’s battle — but beef fight is coming,” Commentary, April 29) is designed to scare beef eaters into fearing measures to combat climate change. As such, it’s little better than the hamburger-gate lie propounded by the conservative media and politicians. He notes that Epicurious will no longer run beef recipes, but accuses it of hypocrisy for not banning dairy recipes as well. There’s a reason for that. Beef has twice as much greenhouse gas impact per kilogram as cheese, over five times as much as eggs and nearly 15 times as much as milk.
And while cattle represent only about 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, at some point, as emissions from other sources of carbon (coal-fired power plants, internal combustion engine vehicles, for example) are reduced or eliminated, cattle will become a more important part of the equation. We need to start figuring out ways of reducing — dramatically — both the emissions from cattle used in beef and dairy production, and the consumption of beef itself. At the end of the day, solving the climate crisis will require a lot more from all of us than merely putting solar panels on the roof and driving electric cars.