It’s my money, not theirs
I received a federal income tax refund this year. It was a good-sized refund too: 2.46 percent of my federally taxable income. And that’s a problem.
A tax refund means that I paid too much in tax over the course of the year. Like most taxpayers, over the course of the year taxes were taken out of my paycheck and sent to Washington.
A tax refund means too much of my money went to Washington and I am now getting it back, but I am I really getting the same money back? If the federal government had not taken more than it’s fair share, I could have taken the amount of my money incorrectly sent to Washington and put it into a bank account, a retirement fund, a stock — something that would generate a return on investment.
Instead of having just the money, I would have the money and what that money had earned while I had it instead of the federal government. I gave the government an interest-free loan — and that’s a lousy investment decision.
Granted, when the federal government gets my money the money does not do nothing. The federal government is very good at spending my money. Do I really need help with that, though? Might we make better decisions about how to spend our own money than Washington does? Maybe I should adjust my federal withholding and give it a try.
Stolen view at river bridge
When crossing of the Los Lunas bridge, you may be stunned that a riverside sign proclaims “Rio Grande,” but you see only enclosing walls.
Our river view is gone, stolen. How could this have happened in a community where the rio and its cultural heritage is uniquely linked, such as pueblo members having lived for eons on the river’s banks; and descendants of pioneering settlers avowing lineage of centuries along with arrivals during the past few decades?
To really appreciate what was lost, visit the Los Lunas bridge and then compare it to the Isleta river crossing. We believed, as did numerous local residents who were asked, that the new Los Lunas bridge when completed, would provide a view of the Rio Grande comparable to the replaced bridge.
Instead, the replacement bridge has a blinded view of our river. If you have not seen this new bridge, do so. You will immediately notice when approaching what a handsome bridge it is, then be astounded by the tunnel-with-a-sun-roof design. Welcome to reality!
You just crossed the only river in 200 miles, that contains water, but saw only a pair of walls and a line of vehicles preceding and following, no river at all.
Apparently, the district office of the New Mexico Department of Transportation uses only one design for both river and highway bridges. Build a bridge foundation, pave a roadway over it, then place view obstructing walls on both shoulders. This is demonstratively obvious by observing bridges throughout Valencia County and beyond.
If this bridge design is cost-related, it has an extremely poor value exchange, “a river for a dollar.” Of greater concern than losing our river view is that Valencia County residents lost a cultural icon without a whimper of opposition.
Now that a fourth Rio crossing may be up for considered before long, will it become another blinded view structure? It will, unless, when the design is presented for community review, members stand and say adamantly that the structure will not be authorized without a river view design included.
How do we get our Rio Grande view back at Los Lunas? Replace the wall along the bridge shoulders with a metal grill. This would reinstate a view of the river we are all proud of, dependent on, even cherish.
Theft of the Rio Grande crossing should not be allowed to stand, especially not in the birthplace of New Mexico.
We wonder if NMDOT covered-over one third of the acequias in Valencia County, paved them over, then added a wall along their border, would anyone, including county elected boards or governing bodies, even notice? If so, why then did these selfsame folks not notice when the Rio Grande, mother of all of those acequias, was erased from view by a bridge design that is an equivalent act? Just wondering.
Gerald Gates, Ruth Gates, Kathryn Roberts and Gay Linthicum
Appreciation for support
We would like to thank the following for donating to the Jay Torrez Memorial Scholarship: Maryann Chavez, Glenda Baca, Terry and Jane Murray, Elias and Lauren Barela, Rio Abajo Law, Ret. Capt. Helen Smith.
Jeff Aragon, Leroy and Ymelda Baca, Marti Perry, Hub Furniture, Michael L. Sanchez, Ursula Sanchez, Rudy Ramirez, Rudy’s Recycling, Mike Melendez, Pam Cordova, Sharon Cordova, Kandy Cordova.
Pete and Lydia Rael Piro, Frank Gurule, Cindy Otero, Dr. Nancy Joste, Gilbert Aragon, Laurie Kastelic, DYD Enterprises, Diana C. De Baca Mireles, Gloria Carrasco Chavez, Roberta Cordova, Crystal Cordova.
Sondra Finley, Santos and Camille Griego, John and Patty Preston, Vance and Evelyn Braman, Vicky Otero, Sharon Cordova, Jessica Arias and Joseph and Geraldine Aragon.
Additionally, we would like to thank the Valencia County News-Bulletin and the editor Clara Garcia for announcing scholarship information.
This year’s recipients are Vincent Otero, LLHS; Jennifer Tortorella, LLHS; Cristobal Ortiz, VHS; Ryan Rindels, VHS; Annalicia Sena, SODA; and Andre Jaramillo, CNM. Congratulations students!
Regina Chavez and Mary Torrez, MD
‘Writing’ a wrong
Thank you for including the story about Rocket Punch Farm in the recent Cowboy Country special edition. It was an honor to tell the community a little more about our mighty little farm.
I’m writing to correct my own mistake. When describing the ventilated greenhouse that we use in the summer to grow heat-loving crops such as chiles and okra, I accidentally said that it was “photosynthesis” that slows down during the cooler night temperatures. Of course, photosynthesis happens during the day in the presence of sunlight.
The process that occurs at night is called “cellular respiration.” It’s cellular respiration that can slow down at night when temperatures fall below a plant’s preference, slowing the growth of heat-loving plants.
My high school biology teacher taught me well, I simply misspoke.
Rocket Punch Farm, Belen