Another cell tower? Really? And this one is down my street, approximately 20 feet from the playing field at Capital High School and only 500 feet from the Little Paws Head Start Day Care Center. Owned by the New Mexico School for the Deaf, the state land is now being leased to AT&T for a 100-foot tower with 12 microwave antennas. The principal of Capital High, Channell Wilson-Segura, was shocked. Did the person who said yes to this $3 trillion-a-year industry do any research on the effects these towers have on your basic human, especially children, who are more vulnerable because of the thinness of their skulls and their developing brains and cells? Get the facts. The number of cancer deaths related to this radiation is growing fast.
Better pedestrian safety
Regarding Judge Ann Yalman’s idea to make streets safer for pedestrians. I have equally ludicrous and time-consuming alternatives. First option: Prohibit all pedestrians, then foot traffic will be assured safety. Second option: Ban all automobiles and bicycles, making Santa Fe 100 percent pedestrian. Then jaywalking won’t matter. Final choice: Require all tourists to take a road test and obtain a Santa Fe license so they are familiar with our winding streets, mistimed lights, incorrect signage and local idiosyncrasies. Tourists issued tickets won’t show up for their mandatory court date. They will then have warrants issued against them for failing to appear. Santa Fe will then become the Absolute Worst Place in the World for tourists. Or are we only going to penalize locals who jaywalk? That’s prejudicial. Yalman’s idea is cruel and unusual and will have bad consequences.
Cut, don’t burn, forests
I read in the paper that more controlled burns are scheduled for the next few days. I’m no expert, but I wonder why we still use this potentially destructive method of forest management. What would the cost difference be if, instead, we employed local woodcutters to thin overgrown forests, and then use that wood as biofuel or sell the firewood to the public to offset the cost of hiring the woodcutters? Expert cutting of dead wood by people who have been doing it for generations would certainly be healthier for the environment, the forest ecosystem and the local economy. Plus, we wouldn’t have our beautiful blue skies filled with smoke on a regular basis. We need to reassess the way we take care of our forests.
Ideas to fight graffiti
My (some not-so-perfect) solutions for Santa Fe’s graffiti plague: Save the dogs, kill the graffiti. Sentence “vicious” dogs to lifetime community service in the arroyos, where they can serve their neighborhoods by guarding against potential graffiti vandals. Use existing red-light cameras: Adjust red-light cameras after hours to monitor arroyos, roofs and other frequently tagged areas. Similarly, place photo capture technology (as used on speed SUVs) at notably historic areas to be active after dark. Punishment to fit the crime: Apprehended taggers should be sentenced to repainting/cleanup. Hand them a paint roller, insist that their parents participate and charge them for all costs. Name and shame: The New Mexican should have a regular naming and shaming of all graffiti vandals caught throughout Santa Fe.
Refocus on city’s kids
Recent articles have covered news of graffiti, vandalism, teen pregnancy, drug/“Spice” use and the state of our schools. All of these failures cannot be a coincidence. It seems we need to double down our efforts with Santa Fe kids. Let’s start by mandating a curfew. If kids are forced to be in their parents’ guardianship after 10 p.m., they have an improved chance of doing homework, not doing drugs, not fornicating and not vandalizing our town.
Ask any teen, and they would agree: There’s nothing to do in Santa Fe. So let’s get them off the streets and encourage them to do their homework so they can go further in life.
Cleaner air worth cost
While the state has presented what it called a compromise for New Mexico’s coal-fired San Juan power plant, a real compromise would create a much safer future for our kids and grandkids.
Because investing in pollution controls to make San Juan finally comply with the Clean Air Act would commit us to coal for decades, the EPA asked the state to come up with another option. The state proposed retiring the two smallest units and putting substandard pollution controls on the two biggest units. Better than the status quo? Yes, but the status quo — continued violation of the Clean Air Act — wasn’t an option.
The state’s proposal cuts less than half of the carbon pollution from San Juan and keeps the rest running for decades. We want a plan for cleaner energy now, and we’re willing to pay for it, because coal will cost our children so much more.
Meredith R. Machen
leader, League of Women Voters of New Mexico