Many helped valedictorian on her way to academic success


I would like to give credit to so many people who brought me this far. First, God, who guided me; my husband, Robert, for his patience and support; my sons, Michael, Stephen and Angelo, I love you. I hope I inspire you to become valedictorians of your high schools and college. My parents, Dave and Aurora Herrera, for their support. My sisters for believing in me.

Recognizing others:

  • Esther Garcia, babysitter; Joan and Debbie at the UNM-VC Child Care Center.
  • Eugene Torres and Michelle LaFree Olsen, Los Lunas High School teachers who taught an average student to do above-average things.
  • Mary Robinson and Julie DePree, UNM-VC instructors, who said, “you have the talent and patience to teach mathematics to children; you should pursue math as your endorsement. You’re good at it.”
  • Lucille Farrington, a tutor at UNM-VC who knew how to turn on the lightbulb when explaining any subject.
  • Ray Rondeau who prepared much of my paperwork to graduate and answered any questions in a professional manner.
  • Rick Garcia, Judy Carson, Laura Miller, Richard Chavez, Peralta Elementary teachers who are wonderful mentors.
  • Miriam Chavez, UNM-VC biology department head, who encouraged my education endeavors.
  • Jami Hacker, UNM-VC literature department, who showed me I am a poet at heart.

Teresa A. Herrera Martinez


University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus

Volunteer will make you happy


I want to thank Theresa Chené and Annie Sanchez and the RSVP board for giving me the pleasure of getting the volunteer certificate of appreciation. I was very honored to get it.

I also would like to say a few words in regards to doing volunteer work. You can do it, whether you’re young, in between or old. You can do it, anything you try.

Some say “I don’t do volunteer work because I don’t get any pay.” Wrong. You get more pay than money. You get the satisfaction of helping more than one person, and your reward is more than double.

Therefore, I would encourage more people to work with this program; you get more than paid.

I love the faces of the people I work with because the expressions on their faces show how much they appreciate you. You will love it!

Ramona Trujillo


Don’t serve teens alcohol


High school graduation is a very special and memorable occasion (I still proudly reminisce my high school graduation in ’94, now and then), and celebration is common, natural and fun for graduates in this time of transition from high school to a great big world of opportunities, but this is no excuse to ruin one’s celebration by partying with alcohol. I know that every senior can still “party out” without consuming the beer, liquor or even wine. To do otherwise is to break the state law (which is still being enforced), and it endangers both oneself and others with the more one drinks (especially when they are driving on the road).

Parents, if I may be blunt, you are fools if you provide or allow alcoholic beverages for your high school senior’s party for their consumption, and you are also (if I may remind you) making serious violations to state law by doing such. To do such, you might as well allow your kids to go swimming in a pond that you know is infested with piranha. This will likely make some parents angry with me, but I do not want to see another teen die because they decided to drink and rive (or ride with someone who was doing such.)

Therefore, I close with this challenge to all Belen graduates (and even in concerns toward the Los Lunas post-ceremony celebrations) to enjoy the next coming weeks of celebration alcohol- and crime-free.

Jim Wilburn


Heroes exist out there


Sometimes, in the middle of a heartbreaking experience, when we don’t know where to turn or what to do, someone comes along and makes it appear that there is no problem, they handle the situation and lift the weight from your shoulders, making it all OK.

Today, I was fortunate enough to meet not only one of these people, but four. My 38-year-old horse had died over the weekend when there was no way of getting him picked up. When I called the byproducts people, they said they would not take him. Now what do I do? I called everywhere I could think to get help to remove the animal, with no success.

Someone, I don’t know who, called the sheriff and complained that the horse had been in the corral dead for a week, so out they came to see what was going on, and then came the environmental department, re-sponding to a complaint they had received.

Enter the first hero, Mr. David Sanchez, who, when hearing the situation and understanding the dilemma, called the Valencia County Fire Marshal, Mr. John Cherry, Hero No. 2, who came, looked over the situation and listened to the scenario. He understood and called the County Highway Depart-ment, who responded with a backhoe and a dump truck. Enter the remaining two heroes, Mr. Nick Silva and Mr. Isaac Black. They handled the situation quickly and with understanding that I had lost a big part of my life, more than a pet. Anyone who owns a horse, or has for a long time, understands. Gentle-men, my sincerest heartfelt thank you. In my heart, I know who really sent you, all four of you.

At first, I was very upset and angry with whoever (called in) … (but) in the end, they sent those who would turn out to be the heroes. Thank you.

Carole Eastin

Los Lunas

Choice was a good one


This letter is to express my heartfelt thanks to Valencia County Fire Marshal John Cherry and to the Valencia County Commissioners for their ratification of our fire chief, Carl Backstrom, and assistant chief, James Ashmore.

Fire Marshal Cherry has given us many days and weeks of effort and the benefit of his extensive knowledge, experience and expertise. He knows what it takes to make a volunteer fire department and has been energetic and generous with our young department at a time when he is needed in so many other places.

The Valencia County Commissioners voted, in my opinion, on behalf of their experience of those Highland Meadows residents who have worked so hard to make the progress we are finally beginning to see. They knew exactly what was at stake in this vote, and made a fair decision that will assure the safety and welfare of our community, as well as encourage our future.

I have a vision to share with Valencia County. This vision is that Highland Meadows will be a model community in the county, with attractive homes of all income levels and lifestyles, healthy families, youth and seniors, safe roads and recreation areas, as well as desirable local jobs and cottage industries. To reach that vision, we will need to work together. Fire Marshal Cherry and the commissioners gave us encouragement to cooperate and move forward.

Linda Lawrence

Highland Meadows

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