Letters to the editor (11/14/13)

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Paperwork mystery solved with help

Editor:
Since August of this year I have needed help with solving a paperwork mystery in the Socorro County offices. I want to say publicly how both professional and kind all of the folks in the assessor’s and clerk’s offices have been to me. This was an opportunity to see many of these people at their best, and I thank them all, without naming them, lest I leave someone out. We are all lucky to have such great people in our county!
Beth Schmidt Crowder
Sabinal

Military training should not disturb land owner rights

Editor:
As a property owner whose land is completely surrounded by the Air Force’s tactical training area in the Magdalena Ranger District, I’m disappointed that the Albuquerque Journal’s editorial board has endorsed the military’s proposal to continue training in the Cibola National Forest with so little scrutiny.  I’m especially disappointed by the statement that “it is facile at best to suggest these exercises simply be moved to already heavily used military properties in the state like White Sands.”
I understand that the military is important to New Mexico’s economy and that it must maintain mission readiness.  However, it is not facile to suggest that the military provide more than a qualitative dismissal of the idea that military land be used for such training. The Air Force’s Environmental Assessment contains no evaluation of military land, nor does it provide evidence that additional training could not be accommodated. The Journal article of November 4 quotes Lt. Col. Willard as claiming that the area near the Bear Mountains provides unique conditions, such as higher altitudes and mountainous terrain that are not available on military lands. This is simply not the case – the White Sands Missile Range includes the entire San Andres Mountain range, with many peaks higher than any found in the Bears.
Moreover, the citizens of New Mexico have not been adequately informed about the extent and nature of this training, and last summer the Forest Service denied proposals to extend the public comment period and hold public meetings. Is it too much to ask that the Air Force and the Forest Service hold meetings in the communities most affected by this training and actually engage the democratic process?
Arian Pregenzer
Magdalena

Age should not be used against us

Editor:
Regarding the Oct. 17 article, “Deputy honored by county:”
I take offense at the inference that Magdalena is so bad off that we have to have an 82-year-old deputy. We have a good chief of police and we do need more staffing; but to infer an 82-year-old deputy, Don Lyles, is somwhat “bottom of the barrel,” is insulting! Not only to seniors but encourages the assumption the seniors cannot be productive in our society — “dead wood?” I don’t think so!
Deputy Lyles was raised in the Washington, D.C., ghetto and from a young age encountered gang bangers, domestic abuse and drug lords that would make “our” bangers look like wimps — his 35 years in law enforcement has afforded him much wisdom and compassion, tempered with a “Don’t mess with me, I’ve seen it all before” attitude. He is very good at defusing potentially violent situations with talk and no bullets — what a gift to all.
Deputy Lyles does not have to work but his love of the job leads him to many villages in New Mexico when they call and say  “we’re short can you come?” I’ll bet his 82-year-old bones hurt in the morning when he gets up, he goes to serve and protect the people — how many of us old or young can say the same?
I’m insulted by the slurs printed — senior citizens, AARPs, Area Agency on Aging — all ought to be up in arms about this discriminatory attitude. Speak up, people!
Kelly Barnitz, 72 years old
and still a productive
member of society
Magdalena

Who does Steve Pearce work for?

Editor:
Steve Pearce votes to help Wall Street.
Representative Steve Pearce voted for HR992, a bill that removes some of the financial protection afforded by the Dodds-Frank Act.
In 2008 the insurance company AIG was saved from collapse by an $85 billion bailout. Most of AIG’s problems were caused by derivatives trading.
One section of the Dodds-Frank Act limits the ability of federally insured banks to trade in derivatives. HR992 removes that prohibition, opening up the possibility of new bailouts.
Who does Rep. Pearce work for — Wall Street or the New Mexicans of District 2?
Mary Ruff
Socorro