Letters to the Editor


SHS students were impressive
The Nov. 24 edition of El Defensor Chieftain featured a photo of myself and my 6-year-old son trying to fit plastic internal organs back into a life-size model.

My son and I were at the Socorro High School Science Night. We had a wonderful time; about 40 students had prepared exhibits and presentations on a science subject of their own choosing.
The level of interest and knowledge the students displayed was very impressive. All the students I talked to were able to discuss their project in detail and answer questions with thoughtfulness. It is events such as these that give our children the confidence to believe that they could be a doctor, chemist, biologist  or engineer.
I’d like to thank Azza Ezzat and the rest of high school staff for organizing the event and also the many local businesses that supported it.
Kathleen Hodgkinson

Science Night was a huge success
Regarding Ms. Azza Ezzat’s letter to El Defensor Chieftain on Dec. 1, we would like to return the thanks to Ms. Ezzat for her putting on the Nov. 16 Science Night. She did a wonderful job of organizing the event and obviously put a great deal of time and effort into it.
For a “science night,” the format was quite comfortable and relaxed for both the student presenters and the parents. It was such a nice way to get parents and students together for an educational encounter.
Many of the students’ presentations were quite impressive. They were well thought out, and covered many interesting, current and important topics in biology. It was great to see Ms. Ezzat’s students so enthusiastic about their studies. These students obviously worked hard on their projects and were happy to have the chance to show off the knowledge that they acquired.
Our students at Socorro High School are fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented teacher as Ms. Ezzat.
Kim and Steve Schaffer

Toy drive helps local children
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we often forget those in need. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the Socorro Police Department’s drive for toys. These toys will be given to local children before Christmas.
I realize that with the economy the way it is, it has been a hard year on everyone. However, it takes only a few dollars to make a child’s Christmas special.
Our local businesses have an endless supply of wonderful toys this time of year from which to choose. So while shopping for that special toy for your children or grandchildren, toss in an extra one for the needy children of Socorro. These children might not otherwise have a gift on Christmas morning.
You can drop the toys off at the police department until a few days before Christmas. The Socorro police officers donate their time each year for this great cause, so take the opportunity to thank them also for their services throughout the year.
May everyone have a merry and safe holiday season.
Marilyn K. Combs

Donations helped purchase new cages
On behalf of the cats at the Socorro Animal Shelter, I would like to thank all those whose efforts and generous donations made it possible to purchase new cat cages, especially Jill Urban, Dorothy Brook, Gordene MacKenzie, Juanita Gordon and APAS.  
Thanks go out also to the city of Socorro for their matching funds and the shelter staff for getting it all done.  
But as happy as the cats are with their new “digs,” they would be so much happier to find a forever home. So, if you go out to the shelter to see the new cages, think about adopting a furry feline friend or a canine companion. It’s the best gift you can give yourself this season!
Stephanie Mitchell
Shelter volunteer

Cost saving measures affected
The members of the co-op need to examine this new rate increase closely. Most of the increase is in the system charge (from $9 to $15) and only a small amount in the kilowatt hourly rate (from 12.15 cents to 12.5 cents per hour).  
The co-op has intentionally designed the new rate this way to prevent a loss of revenue if the consumers start conserving energy. By the same token, this hampers the consumers ability to save money by installing those funny light bulbs handed out at the annual SEC meeting or implementing the energy saving tips printed in the Enchantment magazine.
Such measures will only affect the hourly rate portion of their bill and not the system charge. The SEC may be fully justified in structuring the increase in this way, but it limits the member/owners opportunity to lessen the impact on their wallets.
Anne L. Dorough
Pie Town

Not in members’ best interest
I would like to thank all the members of Socorro Electric’s District 3 who signed the petition for a recall one of their trustees, Donald Wolberg.
His attacks on Charlie Wagner and outrageous statements prove that he does not have the members’ best interest in mind. Mr. Wolberg, I know you don’t listen, but maybe you can read. Anyone who would approve your redistricting plans would have to be out of their mind. You might as well stop wasting your time.
I plan to be leading the charge in trying to get signatures for a recall of my own representative, Leo Cordova. He doesn’t have the members’ best interest in mind either.
Virginia Martin
Tierra Grande

Co-op employees earn their bonuses
I am submitting this letter in response to Audrie Clifford’s complaints regarding the “discounts” and “bonuses” given to SEC employees. But first I would like to point out the fact that she is not a member of Socorro Electric. I feel that she should not involve herself in something that does not concern her financially.
As an employee of the cooperative for over 12 years, I am offended by her comments. I personally feel that the incentives that the cooperative employees receive are earned, not given. I see it as a “thank you” from the board for the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that many of the employees have put into making this cooperative run smoothly.
The last several months have been emotionally draining on most of us. We too are affected by the changes voted on by both the members of the cooperative and the board of trustees.
Mrs. Clifford should take a walk in our shoes before she gives her opinions about what we do or do not deserve. Many are quick to judge, but don’t realize the dedication that most of us put into the operations of the cooperative.
Our linemen put their lives on the line on a daily basis to provide power to the cooperative. Their job is extremely dangerous. They work many long hours to keep the lights on for the members of this cooperative. Many times when the power goes out, it is due to weather. They risk their lives working at the top of a pole during a lightning or snow storm. They have missed holidays, birthdays with their kids, and anniversaries with their wives because they had to drop whatever it is that they are doing when there is an outage.  I don’t know many people that would be willing to do their job. I know I wouldn’t!
My coworkers and I have worked nights, weekends, and some holidays to provide service to our members. There have been many nights where we have worked a full eight-hour day and continue working until after midnight.  After working these long hours, we had to return to work the next morning at 8 a.m. Yes, we were paid for those hours, but it was not worth the quality time that we missed with our families. I have missed every Halloween with my daughter because the billing date for the Socorro area falls on the last day of the month.
I was unable to fulfill my duties as a mother because providing quality service to our members took priority over my obligations to family. Those moments are something that I cannot get back. I have suffered the loss of both my brother and father during my 12 years here at the cooperative. On the day that each of them passed away, I still came into work because there were duties at the office that I felt I needed to take care of before taking time off.
I am not complaining by any means. I have enjoyed working here. I just want everyone to realize the sacrifices that we make in order to provide quality service to our members. I have lost count on how many times we have been cussed at, screamed at, or insulted by an angry customer. The complaints and insults are unwarranted the majority of the time. It begins to take an emotional toll on a person.
I would like to urge Mrs. Clifford and any interested member to come into the office and observe what goes on here in a day. They will see that we aren’t milking the “Cash Cow”; we earn every dime!
Maria G. Rivera

Editor’s Note: In Audrie Clifford’s letter in the Dec. 8 issue of El Defensor Chieftain, she wrote, ““this letter is not intended to criticize any employee. The problem is the board.”