It’s a nice problem and church

is looking for suitable solution

Editor:

I write to the parishioners of San Clemente Parish and the community that surrounds us.

It has been exciting to watch so many people pitch in and develop a beautiful house of worship at San Clemente Catholic Church. Recently, in an attempt to provide more needed parking for the project and to upgrade the roadway, we asked the Village of Los Lunas to consider reverting ownership/custody of Tafoya Road (which is approximately 80 percent surrounded by parish grounds) from public to private stewardship.

There seemed to be some concerns by surrounding landowners whose rights we respect. We continue to look for a solution to the nice problem of parish growth. Thanks to the entire community for your tremendous support in this project.

Father Rick Zerwas

Pastor

San Clemente Catholic Church

Los Lunas

Enforce old ordinances first

Editor:

After reading the article referring to Linda Cisneros, director of the Valen-cia County Animal Control, I had to laugh and wondered why she is even bothering proposing new ordinances for animal control officers to enforce when the existing ordinances aren’t being enforced.

What about the existing “nuisance” ordinance that addresses continually barking dogs that disturb the inhabitants of the county? My copy of the ordinances tells me that the animal control director and his officers, with assistance from the sheriff’s department, are responsible for the enforcement of this ordinance.

Animal control has been aware of an ongoing barking situation for two years now. My neighbors and myself complied with animal control in filing our complaint forms. … The same situation exists as it first began two years ago.

You can put all the ordinances you want on the books, but if no one enforces them, then they are worthless ordinances.

We need accountability in our county, state and government officials people who truly want to make a difference instead of passing the buck. We need honesty and pure hearts.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, we are told in 1st Timothy to pray for all who are in authority. I believe that there are other believers out there that should join me in prayer for our judicial system and government officials in positions of authority people that will seek Him first and do the job they are paid to do with diligence.

Betty Jo Marmon

Belen

Send her a postcard!

Editor:

Hi! My name is Cassy Lefeber and I am a fifth-grader at West Ridge Elementary School at Harlan, Iowa. Our class is studying geography and history of the United States.

We would appreciate it if your readers sent us a post card, souvenir or information about your state so we can learn more about our country. I appreciate your time. Thank you!

Cassy Lefeber

West Ridge Elementary

1401 19th St.

Harlan, Iowa 51537

He cares for Eagles Nest

Editor:

Who cares about Eagles Nest? In answer to my pre-supposed question, “we all should.”

Eagles Nest is a small New Mexico town on the northern edge of a lake which bears its name. The difference is the town does not own the lake. A giant corporation owns the lake. From the amount of car licenses up there, I would like to suggest that it might well be a Texas corporation.

The corporation has now closed the lake to fishing. This sport made the town live both winter and summer. Without fishing, the town will die! There are small businesses all throughout Eagles Nest which made it a New Mexico town. Most of these businesses are mom-and-pop operations this normally requires all their personal savings to be invested in the business. These people are common folk like you and I, investing their life’s savings in business ventures that should support them and contribute to their community. Now they are about to lose everything. Why? Because our state legislature (led by one Manny Aragon) doesn’t give a darn. Manny! Did you know that 75 percent of the fishermen on that lake are Hispanic? Where would you suggest they fish from now on Isleta Lakes or pay the Texas corporation a big fee to do so?

The people of Manny’s district must learn it is not what Manny wants, but what they need before selecting a representative.

God help the people of Eagles Nest until our legislature learns how to best serve the people of this state.

Robert F. Schleicher

Los Lunas

Wonderful people helped

Editor:

I would like to extend my appreciation to all of those who helped us in the recent fire:

Jarales, Veguita, La Joya , Rio Communities Volunteer Fire Departments, Belen Fire Depart-ment, Los Chavez VFD, Sevilleta Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico Forestry, Socorro County Road Department, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Big Thicket Firefighters from Texas, the Zuni Hotshots and Bosque Del Apache Refuge.

Our own dedicated volunteers prove what a great community we live in: Ken Armijo, Ernesto Chavez, Michael Chavez, Ben Crowder, Paul Griego, Gwen Lindquist, Lucy Lopez, Richard Lopez, John Rahart, Gerry Slate and Joyce Yoxall.

Here in Sabinal, Abeytas, Bernardo, San Francisco, La Joya, Contreras, Las Nutrias and Veguita the word “community” refers to people who practice and train to help each other when disaster strikes. We have beautiful little communities. Get involved in yours, wherever you may live. Help the fire department. They need your help. Don’t wait until your feet are on fire. Call the Socorro County Managers office, 835-0589, and find out which fire department district you live in so you can help make the place you live in safe and beautiful.

Thank you all!

Les Crowder

Abeytas Volunteer Fire Department

Breathe that beautiful air

Editor:

I’ve been remembering my favorite junior high school English teacher. His name was David Hill. I loved his classes because he managed to make us think while keeping us well amused. The time flew. I still think of what I learned there to this day. I remember that he devoted one entire class just to the meaning of the word, “euphemism.” That word came to mind as I drove home from tonight’s meeting at Belen’s City Hall.

For one thing, the meeting was called a “public hearing.” One would think that this would be, in fact, the main purpose: to hear the public. But when the public is allowed but one question per person, and that question can be edited to fit a predetermined scope, it soon became apparent that the public’s voice was but endured, and this, barely. For example, it was deemed “not a good question,” to ask the owners of the company or the environmental department representative if they would each be willing to actually live next to a power plant. That question, apparently, cut too close to the heart of the real issue and was thrown out. Thus, I would like to suggest that we not call them “public hearings” anymore unless they really are. “Public shearings” might be more apropos.

Tonight’s meeting was but a hoop for a certain energy company based in Illinois to jump through. They’re calling themselves, “People’s Energy” of course! It is apparent that an overwhelming majority of people don’t want poisonous power plants to locate in lovely, rural Valencia County. Since we know that New Mexico exports more energy than we consume, what’s in it for the people? Tons of toxins in our air which will slowly leave our bodies – you guessed it – devoid of energy. You can see that the night was, oh, so replete with ironies.

This power plant was applying for a permit from a bureau called the New Mexico Air Quality Bureau. I suggest that it should rather be termed the New Mexico Bureau For Non-Quality Air. Its representatives repeatedly passed the buck to an entity called – are you ready? – the “Environmental Protection Agency.” This misnomer would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. This agency is protecting our environment? We, the people are doing a much better job of that by protesting and rejecting the proposed onslaught of poisons into our very air and water. We need to protect ourselves, apparently, from the “Environmental Protection Agency.” They’ve determined that there’s an allowable amount of poison an American corporation can inflict on an unwilling American population. And these are called, of course, “standards.” Thus I suggest they might be more appropriately termed the “Environmental Degradation Agency.”

If I didn’t believe in real democracy, I might find sarcasm in that term, too. Not that “democracy” hasn’t been bandied about lately and misapplied. For example, when the World Trade towers were blown up (and my heartfelt sympathies go out, of course, to all the many innocent victims and their loved ones), we were nonetheless told relentlessly through the various American brainwashing companies that this was equal to an attack on our “democracy.” Rejecting “Mr. Bush’s War” and his dinosaurian energy policy (favoring his cronies and cohorts, the petro-rich) is also being equated with a lack of patriotism, when, in fact, patriotism demands that we rigorously question authority out of love for our country, and with an eye to its betterment.

“That government governs best which governs least,” observed Thoreau in his essay, “Civil Disobedience.” Tonight, it is, oh, so clear. People have a conscience. People are accountable. Distant bureaucracies have exempted themselves from those uncomfortable parameters. Bureaucrats function within comfortable compartments: “That’s beyond the scope of my expertise.” “I’m bound only by these rules.” With one swipe of a pen, a bureaucrat can change the world we live in, but hey, he’s only doing his job. He’s not responsible for the outcome. The compartmentalization of the American business structure as it exists now makes accountability a slippery slope. Real democracy, however, changes all of that by putting the power of choice back where it has always belonged, with the people. Real democracy demands citizen re-sponse and action. The people who gathered at city hall tonight tried valiantly to participate, despite being thwarted at every turn.

I only know it isn’t over yet. It matters deeply that we would all be living near this proposed power plant. It matters that we would all be breathing the fumes of the dragon. It matters that we all love our little piece of countryside. It matters so much that we’ve no choice but to begin initiatives to bring home truly “clean” solutions to all of our problems.

Zero pollution is not a pipe dream! Earlier in the evening, it was my pleasure to join a couple of Greens from Santa Fe, one seeking the nomination for governor: Mr. David Bacon, a highly knowledgeable and modest man. During the meeting’s break, we rode in David’s new silver VW Beetle, where the message of pollution-free energy was literally being driven – he’s converted his car to run on vegetable oil! At one point, he popped open the trunk, broke off a nearby twig, and checked the level of this oil. I can attest that the car ran beautifully, quietly. Zero pollution is more than a possibility – it is a choice, and, because it matters so much, it is the future of New Mexico. Please stand up for your choice of cleaner air and water and the right of future generations yet unborn to breathe and drink the real thing. There will be no life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness without these essentials. Let’s call our representatives, write letters – and be there when it’s time to stand. Together we can protect what is precious. Si, si podemos!

Ruth Smith

Belen

It should give comfort

Editor:

This letter is in response to the March 23 article, “Controvery in the camposanto.” As a mother of two precious children who are buried at the Tomé camposanto, I am not only outraged that the sewage plant lies within 30 feet of my children’s final resting place, but I am even more devastated about hearing of its possible expansion.

One of the hardest things a parent can do is bury a child. I have had the misfortune of having had to bury two children; Marcos died in 1981 and Alicia in 1985. At the time of their unfortunate burials, it was a divine comfort for my husband and I to see the vast horizon and gaze upon those majestic Manzanos. But now, when we visit our angels’ resting place, we are no longer comforted by that view. Instead, the comfort we once had has turned to insult. The placement of the sewer plant feels like a slap in the face.

VIA considered their own financial gain, neglecting to respect the families who grieve for loved ones. As a mother who will do anything for her children, both living and deceased, please move and relocate that sewage plant! There are still 47,000 acres out there which VIA holds claim to. Please let it be that, when our children take their children to visit the graves of their Tio Marcos and Tia Alicia, they can say, ‘There used to be a sewer plant there, but not anymore, because those we thought were heartless did in fact care.”

Frances Sanchez

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.