Not again: The New Mexico Legislature and our governor are about to begin considering legislation that is being labeled “tough on crime.” This is a return to the disastrous tough-on-crime federal bills that choked our jails and prisons with low-level drug abusers, facilitated the arrests of African Americans and had little effect on crime statistics while destroying many lives.

Where are the voices calling for reform of our judicial system? For true prison reform? We can’t afford to allow our legislators to pass another set of unjust and useless bills.

Sallie Bingham

Santa Fe

Celebrate the centennial

As a young man, I’d stop at La Fonda on weekends for a drink with friends to find out where the action is, maybe stay and dance. At the circular tiled bar, Alfonso the Cuban bartender teased and joked while making a delicious and potent margarita. Wow! Patrons from all over sat at the bar telling wild tales of work, travels and adventure. At Fiesta time, the lobby filled with celebrators lined up hoping to get into the lounge for drinks.

Working at a shop in Sena Plaza, my daughter, Sofia, laughed about tourists asking directions to the “Jane Fonda” hotel. When a federal auditor mentioned her fondness for Santa Fe, her mom said she had spent her honeymoon at La Fonda, and she most vividly remembered the blue vigas and ceiling in the hotel bedroom.

¡Con amor y gusto!

Phillip R. Sanchez

Santa Fe

Saving the wolves

Remaining wolf populations in Yellowstone National Park and elsewhere are under increasing attack by rabid, wolf-hating public lands ranchers. They have sworn to kill every last wolf. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat and darling of the ranchers, has encouraged this slaughter.

Another Mexican wolf was found dead Friday (“Endangered wolf found dead in Ariz.” Jan. 9). Anti-wolf and anti-coyote sentiment is raging. At the rate of this concerted, well-organized slaughter, most wolf populations will be exterminated within a decade or less.

Let’s stop making excuses for the Western livestock industry, which has hated and slaughtered wolves since the 1800s. All grazing permits on public lands must be canceled immediately to save wolves, coyotes, prairie dogs, hawks and other wildlife also targeted by this antiquated, barbaric industry — one that we taxpayers support.

Rosemary Lowe

Santa Fe

Still disturbing

It is one of the most mysterious, disturbing and frightening happenings that an intellectually, academically, morally and psychologically challenged man bluffed and bullied his way into the campaign for president in 2016, won, and then ended his time in office by encouraging a treasonous, murderous mob to attack the members of Congress who were about the business of certifying the validity of President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.

It is equally mysterious, disturbing and frightening that one year after the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, former President Donald Trump is the head of his party and lionized as a worthy and entitled politician.

Arthur Panaro

Santa Fe

Consider consequences

Instead of a front-page picture of a child objecting to being swabbed in the nostril, instead of a previous front-page picture of a young child wincing when her older brother is getting vaccinated, show front-page pictures of children laying in intensive care units in local hospitals, struggling for breath.

Show front-page pictures of unvaccinated parents, close to death from COVID-19, or show health care workers, struggling to keep the unvaccinated alive. Do good, not harm.

Ann Young

Santa Fe

Cat danger

The Paws page, helping and showcasing animals and adoptions, is a wonderful part of the paper. I am concerned today, though, to see a photo of a cat in a tree seemingly in stalking mode. Cats in the Lower 48 states kill at least a billion birds a year, according to National Geographic. It’s not good to see a photo like this (incidentally titled, “Birds Beware”) in The New Mexican.

Meredith Britt

Las Vegas, N.M.

(3) comments

Richard Reinders

Sally, no offense but we need to bring back the system we had until we have a proven alternative to replace it with, other wise you are playing Russian roulette with the public’s safety. Our system was not perfect but better than the explosion of crime and murder we have now. When 100,000 people die from fentanyl, we need to give extreme long term or death sentences to the dealer bringing it into the country and major sanctions against the countries shipping to be dispersed in the US.

William Walker

Hello Richard. You are far more optimistic than I am about your proposed solution(s) to the contemporary drug crisis. For one, the primary problem is one of demand, not supply. That supply is plentiful is beside the point. Demand, sadly, is greater still. Also, if the U.S. government and its "partners" seized, jailed, or executed every drug capo, there would be many others to take their place. As antidrug efforts briefly succeeded in Colombia in the 1990s and after, "boutique" operations arose to replace the Cali and Medellin cartels. Also, sanctions against the countries where drugs are produced have not worked either. Operation Intercept at the Mexican Border was a financial anad public relations fiasco. If memory serves, only Bolivia in South America received a formal sanction from the State Department's narcotics office. Almost nothing was achieved as smuggling routes multiplied, as is the case now. In fact, countries like Mexico, which the U.S. government wanted to sanction at various times, were excused with a "national security" waiver. I have litlte doubt that the same would happen again. Until we can successfully address demand, which seems unlikely, we face an intractable problem. Would that it were otherwise. Bill

Khal Spencer

When Sallie Bingham buys a house on Zuni down in Albuquerque, I wonder if she will be singing a different tune. I think requiring a defendant to prove he/she is worthy of bail is probably going to be successfully litigated should it pass, some of these ideas are long overdue.

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