Letters to the editor

........................................................................................................................................................................................

We need to take better care of our animals
Editor:
To all the animal lovers of this county: Is it possible for you to look around and see how our animals are being treated by the ones who decided to be a dog owner?
I know this lady who has had a mission now for some time to rescue the ones who need to be rescued. Dogs deserve better.
Some people have animals in their yard, maybe feed them, but many times forget about them. They, in the past, have found animals with embedded collars, the dog gets bigger, and they do not release the collar, so the dog’s collar grows into the skin.
What are those people doing? If one cannot look after their pets, do not have them. If they have pets, have them neutered and spayed so we do not get more animals.
Too many animals are euthanized nationwide due to people who do not care. I have often seen programs that offer people to have animals neutered or spayed.
Make an appointment and have it done. Please care and take the time. (Your pets) depend on you.
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” (Albert Einstein)

Magda Rundles
Belen

Labeling increases the costs, not effective
Editor:
Geri Rhodes is certainly entitled to the opinion and belief expressed in a letter to the News-Bulletin.  
Rhodes favors organic foods, and deplores GMO (genetically modified) foods, and believes that genetically modified foods should be labeled as such in local grocery stores as are organically grown foods (through USDA Organic labeling).
Rhodes goes on to say that “Mounting scientific evidence shows that GMOs cause cancer, birth defects and serious food allergies.”  No source is given for this “evidence.”
As a matter of fact, I know of no such evidence relating to GMO seeds created by Du Pont or Monsanto or others. I’ve looked.
What is true is that genetically modified seeds and the food grown from them are our best hope for extending the so-called “green revolution” that prevented the world from falling into the Malthusian abyss of starvation.  
The people starving in Somalia would hardly know the difference between organically grown and GMO-grown food. Neither would their stomachs.
If there were the significant, demonstrable evidence alleged by Rhodes, then it could make sense to control the planting, harvesting and labeling of GMO crops.  
Until that time it makes no sense to me to require such labeling. If producers of organically grown food wish to market this fact and thereby produce a demand for their product at an increased price, that is their right.  
Labeling simply increases costs and thereby prices, not something that is very attractive, especially now.

Robert E. Sanders
Rio Communities

Subsidies to farmers are costing taxpayers
Editor:
The United States Department of Agriculture was formed in 1862 when the Morrill Act that authorized the construction of land-grant colleges  such as New Mexico State University, and the establishment of extension services was approved. The department achieved cabinet status in 1889.
Today, the department is one of the largest and offers a variety of services.  Chief amongst them are various programs aimed at assisting the nation’s farmers.
Subsidies to farmers actually started as early as the 1830s. Government assistance grew from that point on and exponentially in 1935 when homestead farmers in the high plains that included part of Nebraska, most of Kansas and parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma were significantly impacted by the Great American Dust Bowl, 1931-1939.  
Their once prosperous homestead farms failed because of serious drought conditions exacerbated by greed and what man had done to once rich and fertile farm lands in order to meet the country’s demands and make money.
Thousands and thousands of  grassland acres were plowed under to make room for crops. This worked well until the rains stopped and crops failed, thereby converting the plains to one huge desert.  
Because there was no vegetation to hold the soil in place, when the winds came they took the fertile soil that had taken nature hundreds of years to develop.
Under the Franklin D.Roosevelt administration, assistance to these farmers came in the form of loans to help avoid foreclosures, purchase of farm animals to feed the hungry and money to pay for failed crops.
The assistance was welcomed, however, many farms still failed, forcing many to seek their fortunes elsewhere. “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck spells it out in an excellent literary fashion.
Today, subsidies to farmers continue and are costing taxpayers billions.  This year, according to syndicated columnist Victor Davis Hanson, $20 billion will be awarded to the country’s wealthiest farmers in a variety of crop “supports.”  
The richest 10 percent will receive more than 70 percent of the total payouts amounting to at least $5 billion.  Seventy percent of that amount will go to corn, wheat, cotton, rice and soybean farmers. Most other farmers will receive zero federal dollars.
As gasoline consumers, we are all familiar with ethanol. Corn farmers will receive a $5 billion subsidy to produce fuel for our motor vehicles.  Another rip off that is wrought with flaws.
Now, given the huge deficit the country is facing, why does Washington continue to dish out billions to farmers?  
It makes sense to the recipients and to the politicians who dare not rile a powerful voting block.
Sadly, it makes no sense to me or the average American. I wish I  could receive a federal subsidy for being an absentee farmer or for some other bogus reason.  
How about a handout to make up for lack of contract work as a management consultant? Sounds good to me.
Elimination of farm subsidies will never happen. To hell with Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. But, heaven forbid, let us not mess with that sacred cow farm subsidies.
Republicans clamoring for deficit reduction are just as spineless as Democrats who will continue to support farm subsidies as long as $70 billion is included for the food stamp program even though many who don’t deserve them get them.
Bottom line: it is politics as usual. Senators and representatives will never really do what they were elected to do. When will we ever understand that?
They will prostitute themselves much like the barfly and do whatever is necessary to retain their seats and the power and other perks, legal or illegal, that come with the position.
Let there be no question that power corrupts, and once in power, it is very difficult for the average human to give it up.
Good luck folks! Although far from perfect or good, our system is probably better than alternative forms of government; or is it?

John Lopez
Bosque Farms

Support the co-op, settle differences
Editor:
Socorro Electric Co-op members wake up! Your co-op is under attack.
I have been a member of the co-op for more than 25 years and enjoyed the privileges that go with that membership. I am talking about low rates, excellent customer service and a voice in the operations and future plans by district representative Leo Cordova. Try getting that at the big utility of New Mexico.
Members, we need to wake up and defend our co-op against a threat to our independence. Co-op members have more say about their utility than any other form of organization.
Our co-op is under attack by sources from within and from outside the co-op. In my opinion, their motives are not to further the betterment of the co-op, but to divide and conquer it.
We do not want to tear apart our co-op and form come corporate shell that will not be responsible to its members. We want to maintain the independence and responsiveness we have enjoyed for many years.
We, the members, own the assets of the co-op and we should refuse to allow anyone to take them away from us. We pay some of the lowest utility rates anywhere.
We elect our representatives. If we don’t think they are doing a good job, we can run against them or we can vote them out. Try that as the big utility of New Mexico.
I urge each of you to contact your district representative and tell them that you like the low rates, the excellent customer service and the independence provided by the current Socorro Electric Co-op.
Tell them not to let the sources of discontent from within and from outside the co-op gain control of our co-op. Tell them to fight for you.
Tell them to end any silly squabbles that could require the co-op to pay legal fees. We do not need to sue each other.
We need to settle our arguments inside our co-op.

Jimmy C. Cook
La Joya

Democrats have contributed to debt
Editor:
So Mr. Nordell once again rants against Republicans. Too bad he refuses to be intellectually honest.
One needs only to look at individual media contributions for the 2008 election cycle, where donations to Democrats vs. Republicans was 15 to one in favor of Democrats. No bias there.
To deny that Chris Matthews, Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson, Keith Olbermann, et al, are not liberals requires a measure of naivete or complete distortion of the facts in monumental proportions.
All of the above named are self-confessed liberals. It appears that Mr. Nordell’s denial of their leftist leanings is cause for embarrassment to him. Come Mr. Nordell fess up, are you really not a leftie?
As to you’re assertion that only Republicans are responsible for our debt is a true whopper. Democrats have had control of Congress for the majority of the post WWII period to present.
To hold them totally blameless is moronic as well as untruthful. I will be the first to disparage big spending Republicans as well as Democrats. Why can’t you be that honest in your assessment of our debt problem?
You also state incorrectly that Reagan and the Bushes are completely responsible for looting Social Security. If you knew your history, you would know that the sacking of Social Security began in the Johnson administration.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were creations of the Democrats by the Community Reinvestment Act of 1978 which was subsequently watchdogged by Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, who as late as 2008 assured us that both were solid.
You have also chosen to not mention cut cap and balance, which is a path to fiscal responsibility. A lie of omission is still a lie, so please don’t lecture us on the truth.
In closing, let me last visit your comments on the housing market. Mr. Sanders rightly points out that the markets will and should determine values. Only when the government interferes do we get bubbles. It has nothing whatsoever to do with your assertions.
I know Bob Sanders to be an honorable and truthful man of great intellect. Before you try to smear someone look in the mirror.
William C. Darcy III
Rio Communities

Hospital should be located in center
Editor:
The hospital location issue is solved. We know where to put it for easy access from all areas of the county and for doctors that still desire to drive here from the Albuquerque area.
It should be on the major thoroughfare that connects all three major north-south highways in the county (Interstate 25, N.M. 314 and N.M. 47.)
The hospital should be on the new highway that will bisect the county. Call it Valencia County Highway 1 for now.
On the front page of the News-Bulletin on August 24, the headline says “One alignment chosen for LL Corridor Study.”  Job done. Build the road and build the hospital on it.
Widening of N.M. 47 from the “Y” to VC Highway 1 will provide a straight line for patients from Bosque Farms and Peralta to the hospital.
Belen patients will have a safe trip down the wide N.M. 314.
Even Huning Ranch patients will be closer to the new hospital than one in Albuquerque.
Wherever the hospital is placed on VC Highway 1, it will be supported by a major group from Albuquerque, because of its logical location.

Alan Evanston
Los Lunas

County Fair parade was a success
Editor:
The 2011 County Fair Parade was again a huge success with over 58 entries. We greatly appreciate all of the participants and the spectators who lined the streets to cheer.  
We would like to recognize the “skills” of those who threw and caught the candy — good job! We especially want to thank the Parade Marshal Gloria Sanchez. She and her late husband, Sonny, worked so diligently on the 9/11 Memorial through the years. On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack, we wanted to acknowledge their efforts. We will never forget.  
Recognition and appreciation also goes to the volunteers and workers who made the parade possible: committee chairman Michael Vallejos, Bob and Terry Young, Jennifer Hise and Ronnie Torres, JoElla Patterson and Linda Mikiska, Paul Baca and all the participating city and county fire department personnel and police officers.  
Special thanks to the chamber judges, Luz Chavez, Dolores Padilla and Kandy Cordova.   
See you all next year!

Rhona Baca Espinoza
Executive Director
Greater Belen Chamber of Commerce