Letters to the editor, Nov. 6, 2016
I am writing to add my support to beg the New Mexico Department of Transportation to please enact safeguards at the Interstate 25 and U.S. 285 interchange (“Third wrong-way driver in month arrested near S.F.,” Oct. 17). This exit ramp has proved to be challenging, even for sober drivers in broad daylight. At night, this intersection is poorly lit and marked and, as a result, we continue to see death in the northbound lanes. Perhaps Department of Transportation Secretary Tom Church should have to call personally on the families of those killed to explain why nothing has been done to assist drivers to avoid mistakes at this obviously poorly designed crossroad. Please reconsider your decision to leave this interchange as is. Lives are depending on it.
Leonard Peltier was a member of the American Indian Movement, formed in 1968 to address issues of treaty rights, police harassment and racism against Natives. The U.S. government-approved Indian termination policies enabled the U.S. expropriation of lands, enforced to the mid-1960s, according to Wikipedia. Leonard, convicted of killing two FBI agents entering the reservation in an unmarked car, has maintained his innocence for more than 40 years. He has served his time yet has been denied parole repeatedly. It adds insult to centuries of injury to keep him imprisoned. Please ask President Barack Obama to pardon him. The White House comment line is 202-456-1111.
Laugh and cry
There is still time to see great political satire about this year’s presidential election. It is a new play written by actors from The Up & Down Theatre and is being performed at the Adobe Rose Theatre. It will make you laugh, think and perhaps even weep. It will be performed through Sunday evening, Nov. 6. If you do not know about the new Adobe Rose Theatre, and love theater, it is really worth checking out. The theater started in January of this year, and so far all the productions have been excellent. It’s great to have another live theater in town. Please give Adobe Rose Theatre your support and attend the company’s productions.
Plants for dinner
What really scares me are the latest reports about the meat industry. Those include repeated reports of studies linking consumption of animal products with elevated risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases. Or reports of the meat industry bullying health authorities to remove warnings from dietary guidelines. Now that’s really scary. I fought back by dropping animal products from my menu, and my local supermarket has rewarded me with a colorful display of fresh fruits and veggies, as well as a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams. I am no longer scared, though I still fear for my friends and neighbors.
Joan Baez came out on the Lensic Performing Arts Center stage last Sunday night in a “Nasty Woman” T-shirt with “NoDaPL” (No Dakota Access Pipeline) on the back. Her band wore “Bad Hombre” tees. Her son, Gabe, was on hand on drums, and the amazingly versatile Dirk Powell playing accordion, piano and bass guitar. Baez introduced her assistant, Grace Stumberg — “who as it turns out, can sing” — and sing did they all. Thank you, Joan. It was great for everyone — great audience, protest songs, love and sad songs, songs of aging, songs of forever young. We sang along like we were all at Woodstock.
She chatted us up about the Dakota pipeline and criminal justice. Some guy hollered out from the audience, “Sing, damn it.” She cajoled him more than once for that. She said she still loves Bob Dylan but his Nobel Prize manners suck. At the end, we whistle-clapped them all back on stage. They brought the house down and our fighting spirits up.
Regarding the article (“Easing access to cross-border dental care,” Oct. 30). Hiring a concierge service is fine if you do not want to drive. But the internet is a great tool for finding dentists in Juárez. Simply Google “dentists in Juárez, Mexico,” and a variety of websites pop up for dental clinics. I picked one and called. The same day, I received a call from a lady in El Paso who made an appointment with the dentist, gave me phone numbers for nearby motels and arranged for a ride to pick me up at a pre-selected location in El Paso. The driver was a personable young man, who spoke English and had a new car. He took me across the border to the dental office and brought me back to my car. I had four dental implants installed and dentures. My cost was $7,000. They take credit and debit cards. My cost in New Mexico was estimated to be $21,000 (plus tax).
Levi J. Valdez
Cate Moses’ My View (“Leave the forests alone,” Oct. 23) cries for a response from either knowledgeable officials or a New Mexican staffer on environmental issues. The smoke from these burns does not smell like smoke from a pleasant pine fire but rather like fumes from a chemical factory. And the devastation of wildlife that can’t escape the perimeter of the fire seems needlessly cruel. Why do we do this in such a careless fashion?