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Cruelty, fear and divisiveness are wrong

July 7, 2018

As a retired school psychologist and professor of child-development classes, I find the administration’s recent policy of separating children from their parents at the border to be abhorrent. Twenty years of research into the effects of adverse childhood experiences demonstrates that the emotional scars from child maltreatment can persist for life. Adult health, from depression to heart disease to cancer risk, is worsened as a result of emotional injury as children. School performance is severely affected, as is the ability, therefore, to be a contributing adult.

The research from many sources shows that children separated from their main emotional support, their parents, are emotionally harmed worse than if they had been physically or sexually abused. This forced separation does as much lifelong damage as torture. To use it as a deterrent to families already fleeing life-threatening situations is not only immoral, it is evil.

For President Donald Trump to use it for the political purpose of forcing the Democrats or Republicans in Congress to support his wall and his harsh immigration policies with our tax dollars describes an administration without a conscience and unable to tell right from wrong.

Call the members of Congress — Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., and Steve Pearce, R-N.M.

Tell them to stop this institutionalized child abuse now.

Sandra Duckert


Protecting homeowners

In public meetings regarding the Pacheco Street/MorningStar building now under construction in my neighborhood, I experienced dismissive, condescending attitudes from developers, their representatives, city officials and zoning board members toward citizens.

So it is no surprise that friends in the neighborhoods affected by the Estancias del Norte development tell me this same stance is present at their meetings.

However, since previous projects for this parcel have been denied five times because of the land’s unsuitability, the approval of the newest plan rises to astonishing levels of disbelief.

This is not “NIMBY.”

Homeowners’ concerns for almost certain flooding, silt and mudslides are real and legitimate.

Developers’ promises to safeguard against these events generally prove to be meaningless, let alone unenforceable under existing regulations.

Until the city can provide effective measures to protect homeowners’ properties, developments such as this one, particularly with the density proposed, should be placed on hold.

Louis Levin, Ph.D.

Santa Fe

Speaking out

Our president and his allies have been on the march, and it reminds me of a quotation from theologian and German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller.

Niemöller was a minister and early Nazi supporter who was later imprisoned for opposing Hitler’s regime. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

This quotation from Niemöller is on display in the permanent exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

First they came for the socialists,

and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one to speak for me.

Most of us are exhausted of the Twitter rampage, but as individuals and groups, we must resist when opportunities arise. Please vote in November.

Miguel Chavez

Las Vegas, N.M.

Hold developers accountable

When will the city begin holding developers accountable for their promises? Developers’ promises are only as good as city enforcement and a troubling trend is emerging.

Behind the El Matador Apartments, across the street from Fort Marcy Recreation Complex, there is a wide, bladed piece of land that runs from the top of the foothills to the arroyo.

It has been scraped clear of vegetation and trees to install a sewage line for a proposed new development.

The city code requires erosion mitigation, but the only mitigation appears to be disintegrating straw wattles strewn across the suddenly barren landscape.

There is no evidence of reseeding, mulch or netting and there is already evidence of erosion, which is troubling for those of us directly downstream.

It is the city’s responsibility to enforce the code. The trends being set for enforcement so far are not promising.

Diane Forsdale

Santa Fe