Letters to the editor (1/21/12)

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(The first several submissions are the remaining letters from the seventh-graders at Calvary Chapel’s Academy.)

Valencia County needs more places of worship
Editor:
I think that Valencia County needs more churches to teach and help people out, and bring more people to believe in Jesus.
There should be more people around that want to spread the Gospel with everyone so everyone knows that God loves them no matter what they do.
I think we need more churches because not everyone knows about Him. Also, so that the next generation is all about Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Thomas Jones

A homeless shelter will help the community
Editor:
I think that a homeless shelter would be a good thing for our community.
I can give three reasons why a homeless shelter would be good for our community. My first reason for this idea is that it would help homeless people get off the streets and give them a place to eat, sleep and shower.
I also think it would be best if the homeless people got jobs and helped out. Another reason why I think a homeless shelter would benefit the community is if the homeless shelter educates the homeless people on how to prepare for jobs, such as writing the resume and how to do an interview.

Ellie Edeal

Dead animals on road cause traffic hazards
Editor:
My name is Jakeline. I am in the seventh grade and go to school at Calvary Chapel Academy.
One thing I really enjoy is taking care of animals. Why I really love them is because I’m an animal person. In fact, when I grow up I want to be a veterinarian and care for animals.
I like Valencia County a lot except when I see a dead animal on the road. It breaks my heart to see something dead lying in the middle of the road.
One day I saw a dead dog on the side of the road and its stomach was expanding because of the heat, then all of the sudden it burst open.
I think that the animal control should get the bodies off the road so there aren’t any accidents or something gross happens. That would cause less accidents and it wouldn’t be as smelly.

Jakeline Blea

Belen needs a bigger space for gymnastics
Editor:
My name is Mia. I am in the seventh grade at Calvary Chapel Academy. One of my hobbies is gymnastics.
I am attending Boardwalk Gymnastics in Belen. Boardwalk is the only gym in Belen.
I think Belen needs a bigger gym because my gym is small, plus we have a lot of gymnasts. If we had a bigger gym, we would be able to hold a meet at our gym, but for now we hold our meets at the Belen Recreation Center.

Mia Willis

City needs to get rid of goat heads at park
Editor:
My name is Ryan. I am a seventh-grader at CCA. One of my favorite hobbies is playing baseball, and I play for the Belen Little League. I practice baseball at Belen Little League Park every day after school.
I like playing at the Belen Little League Park except for the goat heads. I counted 10 out of 15 kids getting goat heads in their hands while practicing baseball.
One of the kids had so many goat heads in his knees that he had to go to the emergency room to have them take the goat heads out.
I think the city should bring in a load of fresh dirt and redo the field by scraping the existing dirt with a tractor. An additional load of dirt would eliminate the existing goat heads, therefore it would help prevent injuries caused by the goat heads.

Ryan Padilla

Valencia County needs its own hospital
Editor:
There has been some talk and debate about the importance of having a full service hospital in Valencia County. As a young resident of Belen, I feel it is important a hospital is built here in the county.
Valencia County has more than 73,000 people with about 80 percent living in Belen and Los Lunas, and the other 20 percent in the country.
Most of these people and their families have to travel to Albuquerque if they need emergency medical care. I live in Veguita, and my family has used the hospital in Socorro since it’s closer for us.
Since my parents pay county taxes in Socorro County it is another option for us. However, other people north of us cannot do that.
With the many farmers in the rural areas, if an accident happened it may be fatal because of the drive to Albuquerque.
Although a hospital will cost the taxpayers more money, it could give more people comfort in knowing they do not have to drive to Albuquerque if a medical emergency occurred.

Noah R. Fleming

Bullying needs to stop in all county schools
Editor:
My name is Leah. I’m in the seventh grade at Calvary Chapel Academy.
I can’t ignore the issue that Valencia County needs to fix bullying. Too many students get bullied every day like it’s supposed to be a part of their daily schedule or routine.
Some people say that bullying is impossible to stop, but I know that it’s not because I go to a school where bullying doesn’t exist.
Bullying doesn’t only affect a student’s feeling or actions, but it can also affect the student’s education because it’s a distraction.
I’m not saying we should go up against the bullies, but to help them be kinder toward others. Bullies usually just act the way they act because they feel sad, lonely, confused, rejected, have had a family tragedy, don’t want to be bullied or because they want to fit in.
But there’s no good reason to beat somebody up, make fun of someone (especially if it’s something they can’t help), or bring a weapon to school.
I ask the teachers and principals of Valencia County schools to put a stop to bullying once and for all.
Thank you for your time.

Leah Mazer

The EPA is not hurting America
Editor:
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has been the source of an inordinate amount of misinformation and propaganda.
Having lived in Appalachia most of my life, it pains me to see the propaganda having an effect even in the Southwest. It was refreshing to move here where large numbers of people are aware of the dangers and long term consequences of environmental harm.
Unfortunately, it seems that the pervasive and well-funded efforts of a few wealthy individuals and corporations are taking hold in public perception. I am routinely astonished at the general public’s reluctance to accept that greenhouse gases actually do produce a greenhouse gas effect.
But I am even more astonished with recent attack ads and commentaries regarding EPA’s efforts to hurt the American people. I am honestly at a loss as to how any rational person can really believe this.
I have been following EPA rule making closely for almost 15 years now, and the only outrage that I’ve felt has been when the EPA succumbed to the will of industry lobbyists. If anything, EPA does not go far enough to protect the welfare of the nation and its inhabitants and resources.
I can not think of a proposed or final rule from the EPA in which it seemed that the interest was to “destroy jobs” or “hurt business.” It is asinine to think that the EPA is part of some secret conspiracy to undermine the American economy.
Contrary to the beliefs of some politicians, most industries will not regulate themselves for the good of the community. And no business will pursue new technologies simply to improve the quality of life for the next generation. It just isn’t a reasonable business model.
We need regulations and oversight to maintain the health and resources of our nation and our planet. Even though they start off kicking and screaming, industries will adapt and make the necessary changes and keep going.
New EPA regulations always include industry input for achievable and reasonable time lines and technologies.
EPA’s recent requirements for reducing nitrogen oxides by 36,000 tons per year at the Four Corners Power Plant is expected to cost customers about 70 cents per week. This will not only control the brown haze in the area, but will also serve to reduce ground level ozone.
Other plants across the country installed this kind of technology years ago. There’s nothing unreasonable about requiring for the nation’s biggest nitrogen oxide emitter to make reductions.
I’m also concerned about what seems to be a recently developed attitude of isolationism in regard to environmental issues. I agree, it would be really nice if pollutants respected borders and we could work alone on only the problems we create.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case and the sooner politicians realize it, the better.
From regional haze to climate change, we need to resolve our problems on a bigger, more inclusive, scale. Stomping our feet and refusing to work on a solution because one or two of our neighbors isn’t on board doesn’t help the situation.
It would certainly be easier and cheaper in the short term to keep our heads in the sand and not pursue renewable energy or prevent climate change.
Here in the U.S., my quality of life will probably not be degraded significantly from climate change in my lifetime. And I don’t plan to have children, so why should I care? But I do.
I can’t buy into the philosophy of being unconcerned about the conditions of people in other countries or leaving the problem for the next generation to solve.
The foresight provided by our last state administration’s Renewable Portfolio Standards created a gentle push in the direction away from coal that would not have been initiated by the utilities.
In the interest of our state and our country, it’s better to begin working on the solution before the problem has become a major crisis. New Mexico has some of the best raw materials for coming up with solutions to our nation’s impending energy problems: plenty of sun, space, wind and scientific and technological expertise.
This may come as a shock to some, but there are jobs in the environmental sciences, research and development, and renewable energy.
A good economy with high quality jobs and a healthy environment are not mutually exclusive.
They say that if you don’t remember your history, you’ll be doomed to relive it. Let’s not forget some of the “highlights” of our nation’s recent past without an environmental agency.
I’ve personally heard numerous first-hand accounts of the permanent smog cloud over the Ohio River Valley in the 1960s and 1970s.
But there were the better known accounts of Philadelphia being considered a “two-shirt town” due to the airborne soot and filth from the steel mills necessitating a mid-day clothing change.
There were also the multiple incidents of the Cuyahoga River catching fire. And please remember Love Canal.
The EPA is not hurting America.

Penny Avery
Peralta