My wife and I recently enjoyed a near-perfect Saturday evening downtown with great food, pleasant late-fall temperatures and the gorgeous sight of the Plaza all decked out in its beautiful holiday lighting.
Unfortunately, the night was marred by a proliferation of panhandlers along San Francisco Street and Old Santa Fe Trail near La Fonda and across from the Plaza. This activity greatly detracts from the experience of enjoying the charm and uniqueness of downtown Santa Fe and is a significant turnoff for our visitors. It also highlighted the lack of a police presence within the three blocks of the Plaza we walked. Wouldn’t it be terrific to have an officer on foot patrol to walk the main downtown streets, at least on weekends?
It is hardly fair to compare the New Mexico Rail Runner Express to Spaceport America, as your front-page article does (“Out-of-this-world rip-off?” Dec. 13). The spaceport is used by no one, and may not be used by anyone. The Rail Runner is used by thousands of people a day.
Duane W. Roller
A different approach
It is a real shame how many lives are being wasted on this useless and expensive war on drugs. My son’s 26-year-old best friend from his teenage years died recently in California from a heroin overdose. Of course, heroin is not a drug that is defensible. Yet, what killed the young man was the unknown potency of the substance that he unknowingly took too much of. He was a straight-A college student.
Instead of making people use dirty needles that get others sick and can slowly kill, as well as giving them little other choice than street drugs, whose purity and potency is unknown, there should be some way for those that go this road to not have to die or have their lives destroyed. At the same time, our trying to stomp it out feeds cancerous drug cartels that bring other lives down with theirs, all while wasting billions on so-called enforcement.
Is it not better to allow this evil thing, while we hopefully change and heal it, with the light of our awareness and love, than to try and suppress with fear, incarceration and death that which is not going away?
Balance for the budget’s sake
I believe in a balanced approach regarding budgets. In government, in business or your personal life, you have to do both. Increase income and cut expenses to reduce your debt. Cutting expenses alone will never be enough.
Regarding the shortfall for Medicare and all of the talk is about cutting benefits or delaying eligibility. I just don’t understand why the subject of raising the rate is never even discussed. Employees pay 1.45 percent of their pay for Medicare, and this rate has not changed in years. It is 1.45 percent; make it 1.50 percent. I don’t know if that would be enough to really make a dent in the shortfall, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. Where is the balanced approach for this program? Do we really want to make people wait an additional year to age 67 to be eligible?
A proposed 600-mile pipeline from Kansas City to Denver, diverting Missouri River water to Colorado reservoirs, will never work. Politics, if not common sense, defeats it and should. I have long thought the Mackenzie River in northern Canada, connecting through the chain of lakes into the U.S., would be an ideal source of fresh, clean water for the desert Southwest.
But how to get it there?
Study of a map of western Canada and the Rocky Mountains suggests ways to bring water south from the Mackenzie River, directly to the headwaters of the Colorado River, leaving the Missouri basin out of the picture. Such would take many years, but would result in an infrastructure building program beyond compare. Long-term increased employment, the effects of bountiful water into the Colorado River and possibly the Rio Grande — these and many other revitalizing benefits would much reward us all.
Jim Van Sant
A constitutional violation
Media abound these day with news of the debt ceiling is possible outcome, and in the past election we watched many states attempt voter suppression to influence election results.
I rechecked our U.S. Constitution and here’s what I found: The 14th Amendment, Section 3 reads: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.” Also, the 15th Amendment, Section 1 reads: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
It would seem the current power politics in our Congress over these issues and the overt behavior this year of many states in voter suppression are in direct violation of a few amendments we used to think important.
Ban owners, not dogs
Santa Fe does not need a ban on pit bulls. We desperately need a ban on irresponsible dog owners, along with much stiffer penalties for those who can’t seem to handle the responsibilities.