Letters to the editor (08/29/13)

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Socorro schools rate A+ from 1962 graduate

Editor:
With all the negative publicity in the media about low graduation rates and graduating seniors unable to solve modest math problems and write coherently, I thought it was time someone had something good to say about education.
I was fortunate to have been educated by the Socorro Consolidated Schools system. I graduated from Socorro High in 1962 and later earned a B.S. in physics from New Mexico Tech and an MBA from the University of Utah in the 1970s.
Throughout my education, especially in junior and senior high, I was a rather undisciplined student. I cut classes, sometimes didn’t complete homework assignments and had a terrible attitude about school. I was incredibly shy and self-conscious, so there wasn’t much of a problem deciding whether to attend Holliger’s German class or get some free time.
In spite of myself and my wayward ways, I got a great education from Socorro Consolidated Schools that enabled me to get into Tech to study physics. I could not get into Tech without help, though; I was not qualified based on my grades and poor attendance record at Socorro High. When I convinced him I was serious about college, Joe Ulibarri, our school counselor, went to bat for me and convinced Tech to ignore my overall school performance and give me a chance. After the first semester, I was elevated from “special student” to full-time student status.
At Socorro High, I did not purposely take college preparatory courses,such as biology and chemistry, but I took them because my friends, including Harold Shaw, Janie Hume, Stuart Kempton and Laurel Wilkening, took them. Happily, I inadvertently completed the courses I needed to get into Tech.
I am proud to be a graduate of the excellent Socorro Consolidated Schools system. It may or may not be ranked high among New Mexico schools, but it gets an A-plus from me for the substantial academic foundation it provided this alumnus.

Wendell L. Jones
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque

Animal shelter needs no board

Editor:
In reference to comments made at the City Council meeting Aug. 19, as reported in El Defensor Chieftain on Aug. 22.
I have volunteered at the Socorro Animal Shelter for 10 years. I have also volunteered at animal shelters in Columbus, Ohio, and Laramie, Wyo. Each week I see firsthand that the Socorro Animal Shelter is now staffed by a professional, dedicated, effective and skilled team. The shelter is clean, animals are well cared for. Adoptions and transfers are up, euthanasia is down. The shelter runs smoothly.
A shelter advisory board is not needed, especially when the board suggests returning to outdated procedures that were not effective in the past. I refer to the suggestion that an adopted animal be kept at the shelter until sterilized. While the practice may be viable in a large shelter with a staff veterinarian, it is not feasible here.
In Socorro the adopted animal was kept at the shelter until an appointment could be made with a veterinarian. The animal was transferred to the veterinarian by the animal control officer. In the past this procedure caused the shelter, which is limited in size, to become overcrowded and incoming animals to be destroyed.
The procedure being followed now still requires sterilization of adopted animals, but gives the adopter the opportunity to take the animal from the shelter and make an appointment for spay/neuter that is convenient, within 30 days. Spay/neuter compliance is monitored by the staff. The procedure is working.
As for the statement “When APAS ran the shelter, no animal left without getting fixed,” as a former president of APAS I must point out that APAS never ran the shelter. The shelter belongs to and is run by the city.

Ruth White
Socorro
Socorro Stumper hit with reader

Editor:
Nope, this isn’t a letter regarding same sex marriage, silvery minnows, legalizing weed or partisan politics. No radical gay fish smokin’ pot here … (My beloved Chihuahua may be gay, but that’s another story.)
Uh-uh. This is probably a lot more serious than that! I am speaking of that incredibly fun crypto-puzzle by Dave Thomas in every issue of El Defensor Chieftain: The Socorro Stumper! Every Thursday we crypto lovers look forward to the Stumper!
Competitors who get the secret word(s) rush to see who emails the correct answer first! Shorty, Claudette, my mom Christine, several others and myself have a good-natured, mini Battle Royale every week! It’s a lot of fun!
Thank you, Dave, for providing such an enjoyable and challenging activity to our local newspaper! This is the part of the paper we go to first in this household. Please, keep The Socorro Stumpers coming! We love them!

Vivian McAlexander
Socorro