Whitfield is wonderful

Editor:

I have been aware of and associated with the Whitfield Conservation Area for more than 15 years. It all started when my late son, Ryan, told me about an exciting conservation initiative about to take place in Valencia County.

He informed me a large parcel of land was being donated as a conservation easement to our community to establish a wildlife conservation area. He was a birdwatcher and couldn’t wait for a new wildlife area where he could go and enjoy birdwatching.

Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to see it come to fruition. Because of his love for wildlife and his hopes of seeing Whitfield become a reality, I have volunteered for the past six years as a board member of the Friends of the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation.

The Friends is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping provide funding and volunteers to help sustain this amazing place. We support the Whitfield by volunteering our time, funding equipment and educational opportunities, and co-sponsoring events with the Whitfield staff.

The Whitfield initiative came about as a result of community volunteers spending thousands of hours establishing a conservation area and wetland. Efforts to do this included planting thousands of trees, shrubs wildflowers and cacti.

Over the past 10 years, Whitfield has seen increasing wildlife especially birds. More than 200 species of birds have been seen and identified there. The Whitfield staff and Friends have sponsored composting workshops, launched the Junior and Adult Ranger Program, held an Earth Day Science fiesta where well over 200 community members attended, and provide for the annual Master Naturalist Program an adult program that provides lifelong learning and pursuing various way to protect and restore wildlife habitats all while teaming up with other individuals to help care for our natural world.

The Friends have been supporting the Whitfield Environmental Education Program by providing financing for field trips and planned lesson activities focused on plant an animal habitats. The education program provides Valencia County students with opportunities to observe and record information through their visits.

These activities help them to grow in their knowledge of the importance of environmental science restoration projects and connections to native ecosystem habitats. Whitfield has always maintained the support of our community and annually we solicit for new membership. Our current membership drive is now open and you can learn more about it by contacting me at conservation@friendsofwhitfield.org and I will send you a membership application.

Eileen Beaulieu

President of the Friends of Whitfield

Yes, tax the churches

Editor:

I recently discovered you good folks. I read the Lobbs’ letter regarding churches and politics.

If I had been a Lutheran during WWII, I could see myself ducking Hitler. I do favor all churches paying income tax. That alone would allow preachers to not have their First Amendment rights being curtailed.

True enough, your tithes would be taxed and, yes, you might lose that tax deduction. Just think, preachers could call out government officials who promote abortion, who belly up to the government trough and every other thing like sodomy other violations of God’s law without fear of recrimination.

Then and, only then, could we see our government’s insidious intent to take away our God-given rights, not man’s.

Thank you for allowing me to express my views. Yes, I am an Iconoclast.

Tommy Westmoreland

Rio Communities

Majority of Americans

Editor:

At last, America faces the political reality of unified party government in a divided nation.

At the end of this month, following Jan. 5 wins in Georgia runoff races, and the Jan. 7 congressional certification of Joe Biden as winner of the electoral college, the Democrat party will claim the three elected levers of power in Washington — the presidency, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Yet what is the strength of the party’s grip on Congress? Democrats hold the House by under a dozen votes out of 435. Senate control hangs by the thread of a 50-50 tie vote broken by the vice president.

As a group, congressional Republicans and Democrats are close to each other numerically but separated ideologically. Expect partisan Washington politics to continue.

Then again, expect politics to continue to divide us around the country, for we remain a divided electorate. And how closely we can be divided at home, with less than 1 percent of the Georgian vote separating David Perdue from a Senate seat and Republicans from control of what has been dubbed “the greatest deliberative body in the world.”

Winning over a majority of congressional seats does not necessarily mean winning over a strong, enduring majority of American voters to a party’s platform.

The 2020 elections will have consequences. Do not expect massive political unity and bipartisanship to be one of them.

Of course, with the nation so deeply politically split, we might have predicted that well before Election Day.

Jonathan Gardner

Los Lunas

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.