My sister and her husband, Bonnie and Robert Hartwig, residents of Las Cruces, were killed in a tragic car crash July 25 in Albuquerque. It has been six months, and our family has not received a final police report. We have been told the police department is awaiting the results of toxicology tests. Despite numerous witnesses who indicated the driver of the car was traveling at a very high rate of speed prior to running the red light and T-boning the car in which they were riding, no charges have been brought against the driver.

I recently saw a report by KRQE that a 19-year-old was charged with vehicular homicide because speed alone was a factor. Can someone in New Mexico tell me the difference and why the driver that killed my sister and brother-in-law has not been charged?

Gary Fritcke

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Repeal Social Security tax

As another legislative session begins, will 2022 be the year our political leaders finally do right by New Mexico’s seniors and repeal the tax on Social Security benefits? Only 13 states tax Social Security benefits, eight of which have significantly reduced their taxes, leaving New Mexicans with one of the heaviest taxes on Social Security income in the nation, costing the average Social Security recipient nearly $700 a year.

Given a majority of New Mexico seniors depend on Social Security income alone, the taxation of it is a particularly unfair practice that undermines the original purpose of the Social Security Act, to lift seniors out of poverty — not to fund state government. Despite strong bipartisan support in the past for repealing the tax, nothing was done. Isn’t it time for the Legislature to protect the needs of New Mexico’s seniors? If not, perhaps it’s time for new leadership that will.

Nancy Baker

Santa Fe

Get it done

When Doris Kearns Goodwin speaks, I listen. She is a renowned historian and a Pulitzer Prize winner. You can depend on factual, apolitical information. She strongly recommends passage of the voter rights bills now before the Senate, without which our democracy is in great jeopardy.

Republicans will not vote for these bills because they would interfere with their “cheat to win” strategy. So the filibuster must be waived, and all Democrats must vote for these bills. This is a challenge that must be met. Is there any chance that a Republican or two finds a conscience?

Bill Maxon

Santa Fe

The two Sudans

The New Mexican recently ran a story about South Sudan with the headline (“Sudan faces severe hunger,” Jan. 10). While I greatly appreciate seeing coverage of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region, it is important to note that Sudan and South Sudan — the nation about which the article was actually written — are two separate countries. South Sudan is the world’s youngest country, having gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of bloody struggle. Civil war and internal violence have continued to ravage the country, exacerbated by the disastrous effects of the global climate crisis.

For the past 3½ years, I have lived and worked in South Sudan as a humanitarian with the United Nations. Although I am very grateful to see global attention directed toward the ongoing crisis taking place, it is fundamentally important to recognize where this conflict is unfolding: South Sudan — not Sudan.

Megan Kirby

Santa Fe

Not going away

Life will not return to life as we knew it before the pandemic. We must learn to live with the coronavirus. As society transitions from a viral pandemic to an endemic, we should hasten this change by getting vaccinated and boosted; upgrading our masks to N95 or KN95 types; and businesses and schools improving their indoor air quality by using HEPA filters and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation for their heating and cooling ventilation systems.

The state should use part of its current budget surplus to enable this.

Vick Thomas

Santa Fe

(7) comments

Emily Koyama

Bill Maxon.

To answer your question ("will one Republican")

The answer is no.

In fact, Sinema and Manchin will ensure that this bill is DOA.

I'd suggest they try introducing a less ambitious voting rights bill, that includes voter integrity measures that ensure one person, one vote, and is not such a blatant effort to cement Democrat party power

That bill might get bipartisan support.

verne lucero

Bill Maxon "Republican Cheat to win " what hilarity. That must be some bad stuff you are on or have you been living on the moon???

Stefanie Beninato

I loved your "cheat to win" characterization, Bill Maxon--so "right-on".

As for Soc Security--it is the federal government that taxes SS income depending on how much you earn. Your federal income tax forms the basis for your state income tax return. Compared to the federal tax, the savings in state tax will be much smaller than if you work at eliminating taxing SS at the federal level.

verne lucero

Pelosi’s top priority is to pass (H.R.1. ) which is an election reform bill designed to create a fortification for the permanent election of democrats. It is cleverly named the “For the People Act” It would more accurately be called “The Corrupt Politician Act.”

Emily Koyama

It's a wonder to me that Biden has not moved to pass a federal income tax repeal on social security benefits....

It would have overwhelming bipartisan support, and would bring in a lot of votes.

Anyone voting against it would be crucified in the elections.

verne lucero

• A good point Emily, but that does not fit in with the left's agenda. There are so many things that the Democrats could have brought up to help American families that are now struggling. But to them (H.R.1.) was more important to secure their grip. Thanks to Senators Manchin and Sinema

Kelly Finnerty

I agree with Bill Maxon. The Voter Rights MUST pass. Anyone worried about unfair elections should support this legislation. It protects all our citizens of whatever political persuasion.

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