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2018: The year that was in letters

December 30, 2018

As is always the case in Santa Fe, readers are not shy about sharing their opinions — whether on national politics, the president, immigration policy, local or state elections, and even what constitutes an opera. Here are some of the best letters that appeared during 2018.

Pretend rankings

Your blatant endorsement of Lucinda Lizard for mayor is typical of your left-wing fake news (“A city election with choices,” Our View, Jan. 9). Ms. Lizard is a known consumer of insects and has no history of political ability. Felix Fox will eat her for lunch.

John Smailer

Santa Fe

Jan. 15

Other way around

Why would anyone from Norway want to move here? Compare our political leadership, health and family benefits, education and social attitudes and the question should be: Why don’t more of us move there?

Barbara Watson

Santa Fe

Jan. 24

Sticking around

The presidential election ended over a year ago. It’s time to remove the bumper stickers.

Richard Gonzales

Santa Fe

Jan. 30

Message to Melania

You are still young and beautiful. You speak several languages. (You can pick your country.) Leave him, walk away, find a shark of a lawyer. Take the money, your son and run.

It’s painful to watch you, to feel your pain, to know your fears. He’s the president. He can’t hurt you any more than he has. It’s the year of the woman. Make it yours.

Lorey Sebastian


Feb. 4

Ranked-choice voting

Your attempt to explain ranked-choice voting resembles instructions for solving a Rubik’s Cube, which I am incapable of doing (“Ranked-choice voting explained,” Dec. 24). If it still takes more than 10-column inches to define the word “majority,” you know something’s wrong.

Mike Gross

Santa Fe

Feb. 7

No depth

So the cowardly draft dodger-in-chief now claims he would have rushed unarmed into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to save the students and teachers. Is there no depth to which this pompous publicity hound won’t sink?

Foster Hurley

Santa Fe

March 5

Democracy in action

FedEx can choose to give discounts to National Rifle Association members. I can choose not to do business with FedEx as long as this policy exists. Democracy. It’s a good thing.

Dorothy Starr

Santa Fe

March 5

Repeal and replace

We need to repeal and replace the Second Amendment. It’s old and in the way. Gun ownership is not always a right in other countries such as Scotland, which significantly decreased gun murders by outlawing handguns and war weapons after a school shooting. Having a gun must be a privilege now. Not a right. Put the National Rifle Association out of business.

Lenny Tischler

Santa Fe

March 12

Cough, cough

The forest burning service is burning the forest, to keep us safe, from burning forests. Seems like prescribed fear.

R. McCall

Santa Fe

April 2

Forget how you look — keep moving

Gray brothers, keep pushing forward. As a big, scary looking guy from the valley myself, I know how much it hurts to be discounted just because of the way you look and where you’re from. When I was in elementary school, I was told I probably would be dead or in jail by 21. In high school, I had some folks tell me I’d never graduate. Even when I worked at the state Capitol during the legislative session, someone complained to one of my coworkers that I “looked like a thug” and that I was “scaring people in the gallery.” I proved them wrong. I am 26. I graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with a 4.0 GPA and now I attend a top university in Washington, D.C. The fact that the Gray brothers saved their own money to take a chance on their education shows they have what it takes to make it. Keep proving them wrong. Don’t let them hold you back.

Samuel LeDoux

raised in Española

graduate student

George Washington University

May 10

Trump’s wall: A naming opportunity

My suggestion for Donald Trump’s wall between the U.S. and Mexico is that Trump use his own billions to pay for it, name it after him and give him a tax deduction. This might satisfy his ego and save the rest of us the cost. And maybe even get him to pay for its upkeep. This would always be his main legacy, regardless of what may happen in his presidency.

Herman I. Morris

formerly of Santa Fe

Plano, Texas

May 16

Lifelong trauma

In the past two months, Trump’s administration has torn about 2,000 children from immigrant and asylum-seeking families at the Mexican border. The parents are thrown in (for-profit) prisons or jails, and the children are caged far away in “holding” or detention centers. Some children, as young as 2 years old, also have been placed in distant foster care, and the parents don’t even know where they are. So many children have been caged in detention that new tent cities are being built to hold them all. Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have had the gall to quote the Bible to justify this.

Tearing already traumatized children from their parents is not only cruel and brutal but can cause lifelong harm. It’s a human rights violation. I wonder, would families be treated this way if they were light-skinned and coming from, say, Norway? What has become of America?

Betty Katz Sperlich

Santa Fe

June 20

Unfit to serve

Of course President Vladimir Putin wanted Donald Trump to win the election — his candidate is naïve, uninformed, self-centered, easily manipulated and ultimately weak. All of these attributes are conspicuously missing from Trump’s 2016 opponent.

Frank Bennett

Santa Fe

July 23

A last note on ‘Candide’

On the subject of the recent spate of cranky letters in The Santa Fe New Mexican regarding Santa Fe Opera’s Candide: On the one hand, I was taken aback that one reader actually complained about singing the U.S. national anthem on opening night. This is, after all, a time when it is standardly sung in stadiums and theaters across the country regardless of the subsequent event. And I was bewildered by another reader’s assertion that Candide — which has been part of the operatic repertoire since 1982 — should “only” be performed on Broadway.

On the other hand, I’m overjoyed that, in a metropolitan area of fewer than 150,000 people, so many folks care so passionately about opera that they take time to write our local paper about it. Oh well, I guess that’s the basic irony of life that Candide conveys so well [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DROkQJc_F0]. Don’t miss it, folks!

S.E. Fisher

Santa Fe

July 26

Keep reading

I would like to commend Senna Alarid for her thoughtful and well-written letter about libraries (“Remember joyful feelings of libraries,” Letters to the editor, Aug. 1). I also am a reader from the time I was very young and now am still a lover of books as an old woman. Keep reading, Senna. It will make you smart and help you think of many things while learning every day.

Kenny Goering

Santa Fe

Aug. 8

Grateful for Trump

Every article I read in the newspaper is extremely anti-Trump; so much so it’s mind-control. Where are the free thinkers? Look at the wondrous things he’s done for America. Allies with Russia, which is a really good thing. He’s made peace between North and South Korea. Our economy is building.

Remember, he was not a politician when he was elected. He’s learning how to be a politician. He’s learning so many things, and that is why he keeps evolving. I view him as a magnificent human being, and I am grateful to have him as my president.

Tobi Wilde

Santa Fe

Aug. 18

Grave sins

Whatever happened to excommunication in the Catholic Church? If pedophiles and church leaders who cover up the sexual abuse aren’t excommunicated, who is?

Lorae McEuen

Santa Fe

Aug. 25

Don’t squabble over straight ticket — just vote

What is the problem with straight-ticket voting when one has a choice (“Straight-ticket voting revived,” Aug. 30)? Either vote for one party or fill in all the boxes for all the candidates. For many people who do not know or cannot fathom the depth and honesty of every candidate’s approach, then voting for a party works. For those who do understand, check all the boxes and be done with it. The important thing is to vote.

Desiree Mays


Sept. 9

Weed problem grows more dangerous

The city must focus on weeds and public safety (“Weeds, a perennial Santa Fe problem,” Our View, Sept. 3). The sidewalk along the south side of Zia Road to Candelero Park is unusable because of weeds that cover the sidewalk and in some places are 4 to 5 feet tall. Pedestrians (including people with disabilities or pushing strollers) are forced to walk on Zia Road, putting their safety in jeopardy. As a matter of fact, most of the crumbling weed-infested sidewalk from Ardor Street to Candelero Park is unusable.

My husband has notified our city councilor, constituent services and the city’s Parks Division. The response is often: “Your concerns will be forwarded”; or “We will review it”; or “It will be addressed.” In fact, nothing has happened, and the area has grown more dangerous.

Catherine Martinez

Santa Fe

Sept. 13

Keep it wild

So Santa Fe has a plan to eradicate gophers! Gophers aerate the soil. In this last period of mass extinction with over 99 percent of species already extinct, shouldn’t we be thinking of saving, not destroying? Grassy areas? Buffalo grass requires little water and only needs cutting about twice a year. New developments should require it. Let’s keep as much wild as we can before it’s all gone and we are extinct too, as we will be in a few million years.

Shaton Ahrens

Santa Fe

Sept. 21

Management 101

The Santa Fe New Mexican’s extended stories regarding mismanagement of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society on two consecutive days certainly got the point across (“Three insider deals draw scrutiny,” Sept. 24; “Saving lives, bleeding cash,” Sept. 23). The board was unaware of board management 101 rules — really? They are: Never loan, lease, buy or sell from the organization to board members; conduct outside professional audits; and, when in doubt, seek advice or precedent.

The Council on Foundations has help and national standards for foundation boards. There are Santa Fe foundations that could have been consulted in regard to board practices. The former board seemed to have acted in a willfully negligent, entitled and uninformed manner. What comes next?

Barbara Belding

Santa Fe

Sept. 27

Message for Brett

To Brett Kavanaugh: “Thou doth protest too much.”

Dorothy Rogers-Abbey

Santa Fe

Oct. 7

Changing straws

This is a shout-out to the owner, the George Gundry family, for the change to paper straws at Atrisco Cafe, Tomasita’s Santa Fe and Tomasita’s Albuquerque. Thanks for caring about the environment, George. Hopefully, more restaurateurs will follow your lead.

Jeanne DiLoreto

Santa Fe

Oct. 14

No time changes

Hey, everybody running for governor of New Mexico, I will, as will many others , vote for whoever passes a rule, law, whatever, that stops changing the time for New Mexico. Please, whoever becomes governor, stop the time change cycle, please, please, please. Thank you.

Keith Higgins

Santa Fe

Oct. 31

More stories, deaths and questions

Thank you for your thorough story (“Exposed: The life and death of Chad Walde,” Oct. 26), which tells an ongoing story of cover-up, neglect and loss.

My family could tell a story, too. I taught high school in Richland, Wash., the Handford Site, from 1952 through 1955. Besides having the city sprayed with DDT, there were no warnings about local pollution or radiation activity. My wife and two daughters have died of cancer; I survived prostate cancer. Not much else to say.

James A. McGrath

Santa Fe

Nov. 5

Decency, morality

I am 90 years old, a lifelong conservative Democrat, and I’ve voted for several GOP candidates for president, including, to my regret, Richard Nixon, and to my satisfaction, Ronald Reagan.

I just early-voted a straight Democrat ticket. Why? Because today’s Republican Party is a criminal conspiracy against the people of the United States, and today’s Republican president is an unmitigated liar who lacks a shred of decency or morality.

Robert Siegel

Santa Fe

Nov. 8

Symbol remains strong in Las Trampas

Last summer, I passed through Las Trampas on my way to Vadito. The San José de Gracia de Las Trampas mission church looked fantastic. The plaster was fresh and strong. Considering the serious rain storms this summer, what a fortunate thing. It is a credit to the community’s strength and effort to keep up so beautifully something not only for themselves, but for us all to admire and love. Thank you all for your care and hard work on a New Mexico treasure.

Emily Talley

Santa Fe

Nov. 14

Great spirit

I read with sadness the obituary for Herman Morris (“Using his pen, Herman I. Morris made us think,” Our View, Nov. 23). For those of us commonly trying to put our 2 cents in via Letters to the Editor at The New Mexican and the New York Times, occasionally succeeding, we begin to recognize names familiar to us from those submissions.

Particularly poignant and timely was Morris’ favorite expression: “It’s OK to live like a rich man, but always vote like a poor man.” Important advice in these times of heartlessness and cruelty by so many in our government and country at large.

MacKenzie Allen

Santa Fe

Dec. 3

What Dems want

I’m a Democrat. I don’t want open borders. I’m not soft on crime. I don’t want the middle class to pay more taxes. I want families to stay together. And commonsense gun reform. And the rich to pay their share. And health care, education, jobs and equality for all. That’s what Dems want.

James McCarty Yeager

Santa Fe

Dec. 3

Get rid of it

I always wondered what that piece of junk was on Llano Street and I recently learned it was supposed to be a mini-park (“City councilor: Tiny park ‘looks like urban blight,’ ” Dec. 11). Yikes. Whose idea was that? Is this a city installation? I thought it was somebody’s idea of public art, so I did not research it to find out where it came from, assuming it was temporary. Thank you, Councilor JoAnne Vigil Coppler, for bringing it up again. Please get rid of it.

Laura Hall

Santa Fe

Dec. 14

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