Letters to the editor 02/06/14

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A new space for ‘war games’

Editor:
United States taxpayers spend millions providing training centers for members of our military. U.S. taxpayers also spend millions to support the preservation, maintenance and staffing of our national parks. We see the results of the military training in the readiness of U.S. troops and we enjoy the beauty of our parks — if they are not closed!
The military has previously held maneuvers in Cibola Canyon and Magdalena. To say the locals were upset about the invasion remains an understatement. One long timer remarked that if troops started peering through his window he would be tempted to shoot.
People move to remote areas like Datil, Pietown, Glenwood, Magdalena and Quemado because they want to get away from the hustle of big cities. They don’t want the hubbub and the noise that comes from commercial enterprises, traffic and/or aircraft flights.
New Mexico provides more than its fair share of space for the military with Los Alamos, White Sands Missile Range, Kirtland AFB, Alamogordo and Cannon AFBs, Fort Bliss (Fort Wingate?). If the military needs more space to play war games I suggest they utilize La Playa in the Boot Heel of New Mexico. This is an open, unpopulated area — suitable for any plane operation. Potential pilots could “touch and go” exercises to get the feel of flying at any and all hours — learning the feel of a plane is all important to its safe operation. Even flat land provides the opportunity to learn recovery methods for what is now called “wind shear” referred to as up and down drafts in the 1940s/50s. My father’s flat land Tucson training served him well when he ended up flying his single engine Piper Club upside down in California’s Banning pass.

Andrea Blodgett
Magdalena

The community gives back

Editor:
It is my distinct pleasure and honor, to once again thank the citizens of Socorro, Magdelena, and the Middle Rio Grande Valley.
Salvation Army and PSI Safe Harbor had a fantastic group of volunteers this year, and the willingness to stand out in the cold, ring a bell, smile and interact with the public, is a great credit and testimony of the heart of our community! This list of volunteers is long, and for the sake of not embarrassing anyone, or forgetting anyone, I trust that you who stood on behalf of the Salvation Army will accept my deepest thanks and gratitude for what you have accomplished!
To the citizens who reached into their pockets and added to the kettles, my sincere thanks to you also. The world is a better place for your kindness! Salvation Army has been a part of our community for four years now, and the generous giving of our residents has been outstanding this year! We were able to put $9,350.00 in the Salvation Army fund and ALL of the proceeds are funneled back into the local community. These funds allow us to help more people who we wouldn’t normally be able to assist, and we have seen great benefits from the ability to reach out to those in need.
The San Miguel Giving Tree was also very generous to us this year, and has supplied us with much needed, if not life saving items such as sleeping bags, warm clothing, and camping supplies that will help people in need who have no place to lay their head. Our sincere thanks go to all who make the Giving Tree a successful project!
In addition, many people have stepped up and donated badly needed items such as food, clothing, and camping equipment directly to the shelter, and we cannot function without these donations.
I would like to encourage everyone to continue to support our mission throughout the year, and become part of the reason that some are able to recover from hard times through our local shelter. I would also like to encourage all to come visit us, and see what your donations have accomplished for our community. You can also visit us on the web at psisafeharbor.org.

Duane Baker
Socorro