Letters to the editor


New Mexico drivers  need more than books


As a newcomer to the Land of Enchantment, one thing I can say is the Land of Enchantment doesn’t extend to its drivers. I totally agree with Dana Bowley’s column on the driving habits of our compatriots in our adopted state.
Book learning is one thing, manners are another. The low incidence of using turn signals, which my husband and I used frequently in Washington state, is most likely a cause-effect relationship.
If a person turns on his or her signal to move into another lane, the effect is that the driver in the next lane considers it (usually) his duty to speed up to prevent a successful merge into the lane he is occupying. If signals are not used for this purpose, one can catch the guy by surprise, thereby successfully getting into the desired lane before it has exited onto another freeway.
When we got our new licenses and registered our cars in New Mexico, we almost had to present our first-born son at the MVD to prove we weren’t illegal aliens; they had our utility bills, our Social Security cards, our old vehicle registration, our odometer reading, our VIN number, and so on and so on.
For a whole day, we were dragging documents out of safety deposit for their perusal, and opening our cars so they could dig around for whatever the heck they were looking for. I mentioned that only one thing was missing — teaching the citizens how to drive.
Book learning just gets you through the test so you can go out there and do whatever the heck you want.
The people we meet in the stores and on the streets are wonderful, smiling, friendly folks until they get behind the wheel of a car. Then they want to be where they were going yesterday.
We live near N.M. 47, and witness daily the race to get ahead of the car in front, even if you both pull up at the same stoplight less than a second apart.
We have thanked the sheriff’s deputy who stopped a guy who was intent on “biting the big one’ by passing at 70 miles an hour on N.M. 47 with an oncoming car in the other lane; we invited the deputy to come back any time — as often as possible. Should be a good money maker for the county. However, the deputies are probably trying to stop the carnage somewhere else.
We are trying to start a new courtesy move by letting cars in when they are faced by a hopelessly long line of cars streaming by. Who knows? It could catch on.

Judy Bechtol
Los Lunas

County ordinance is bad for local businesses
On May 22, the News-Bulletin published an article regarding the county commission adopting new mandatory trash pickup for the unincorporated areas of the county.
While I agree with the idea behind the ordinance, I do not agree with the exclusive contract. The ordinance lists one operator to service the entire county. A small, local business owner in the waste disposal service myself, I feel as though they are pushing the small business owners out.
At the beginning of this year, I started doing curb-side pickup for the residents of Valencia County with the green light from the county to do so. Now, this new ordinance is stating that only one operator will be able to service the whole county. What will this do to the few of us already providing service to residents?
While the county will be issuing a request for proposals, I can think of only one company that will be able to handle the amount of residents that are in Valencia County, and that particular company is not local.
While I can handle some of the business, as a small business owner, I cannot afford to purchase the equipment to even submit the proposal to gain the county contract. What will this do the hundreds of residents that have now contracted our company to service them? Why should they be punished with a mandatory operator whom they may be paying more to service them?
The residents of Valencia County should have the option to choose their provider. Right now, we are charging our customers $15 per month, plus tax. Other companies are charging around $20 per month for the same service that we are providing.
For example, say I am going to the grocery store to buy hamburger meat. I am going to check the newspaper ads to see where the hamburger meat is cheaper. Why should I have to go to one store if another store is cheaper?
Our company keeps our business and gross receipt taxes local. Politicians are always talking about “keeping business local.” So why are they trying to put us out of business?
The residents need to speak out and let the commissioners know if they disagree with having an excusive contractor providing the mandatory curb-side pickup. They need to speak up if they disagree with the new county ordinance in general.
If the residents of Valencia County agree, they need to contact the county commission.

Charles Montoya
AC Disposal Services, Inc.

FEMA needs to learn about our history
I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of FEMA constantly bending all of us over and constantly requiring us to pay more and more for insurance.
Where in the world do they get their information from? How can they justify their findings?
Come on people, When, in recorded geological history of the Rio Grande Valley, has there ever been or has anybody witness a four-foot flood anywhere?
OK, I do admit that when the ditches break or become filled with trash (poor maintenance) that there are floods in some areas. But never to the extent to which FEMA says we will have flooding.
We are paying for the disasters in low lying areas of this country, and none of our representatives from the governor to local representatives have the guts to stand up and say no! Enough is enough!
What I say is for FEMA to justify their findings with truthful historical geological information. And justify the cost we have to pay.
One of the oldest buildings in Valencia County was just torn down, not because of flood damage, but because of an electrical fire. And never was there any flood damage recorded to this building.
Take accounting of all of the additional costs that go into building a home in the valley from bringing in dirt to plumbing to electrical and all the rest. It used to be that we built in the valley with a good solid foundation. Then it was two feet above grade. Now it is four feet above grade. What a crock of baloney.
Attention all representatives: Get off of your fannies and reduce our cost!

Antonio (Mark) Carrillo
Los Lunas

Big banks should learn a lesson
I think that many of us are so very disgusted that the big banks would be given so many of our tax dollars to save them, about $350 billion, but will not use that money to provide credit to local businesses.
Local and regional banks, however, are picking up that slack while being denied any of the remaining $359 billion TARP funds, if they even ask for them, which many have not!
We sit by helplessly as our legislators of all stripes are either unwilling or unable to do anything. This is a whole discussion. But there is something we can all do.
Whether conservative or liberal, we can choose our banks. It is a small thing individually, but it is an ethical move and, collectively, possibly even powerful. At very least, by closing our accounts at the large banks that accepted so much bailout money and moving our personal or business money to regional and local banks and credit unions that lend to our local businesses, at least our money will be helping our own communities and not leaving them to finance interests elsewhere.
I have done this recently, and I am surprised that these banks offer better customer service and better deals, like interest on checking and savings accounts, and all the on-line banking services of the large banks.
Maybe we can all only do a little to save our local businesses, help our country, reinvest in our own communities, and this is a good way!
And of course, buy locally as much as possible!

Shula Rothenberg
Los Lunas

Immigration reform is badly needed
In response to Livy J. Montano’s letter regarding the new Arizona law in the June 9 News Bulletin: Why should the fact that other ethnic groups have suffered harassment and mistreatment in the past be a valid reason for continuing to harass and mistreat people of Hispanic ethnicity? 
Many Hispanic people have ancestors who lived in Arizona long before it was acquired by the United States. Why should they and other Hispanic citizens and residents have to suffer the abuse of racial profiling and the harassment of having to prove their status? 
Immigration reform is badly needed, but it has to be based on the moral and ethical values which this country cherishes.    

Rosalind Ogawa