Letters to the editor (03/28/12)

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Optimist Club needs help after a fire
Editor:
The Belen Breakfast Optimist Club suffered a loss of many of its material assets on Feb. 22 when a fire broke out in the club’s storage shed.
The shed contained many items used for fundraising and for children’s projects put on by the club. Most everything was burned or ruined.
A refrigerator and a freezer were the biggest loss. In them were the food the club uses for events such as Breakfast with Santa, the annual Fishing Derby and our main fundraisers of selling food at the Sachs 5th Auction, which supported our scholarships and our events.
Also lost were toys for those events that were given to the children, a Santa Claus suit, memorabilia and a file cabinet of records from the past 30 years and other items such as toys used for Breakfast with Santa and the Fishing Jamboree.
Thank you to all who have generously supported the club with your attendance at events and donations in the past. This is a great town and we have wonderful children.
If you would like to make a donation to the club, you may send it to Belen Breakfast Optimist Club, PO Box 990, Belen, N.M., 87002.

Cindy Clark
Belen Breakfast
Optimist Club
Treasurer

Occupy Movement is about democracy
Editor:
This letter is in response to Mr. Gabaldon’s letter to the editor published in the News-Bulletin on March 3.
While there are occasional grains of truth here and there in what he writes, what he believes about the Occupy Movement is completely incorrect (not to mention the misspelling of my name).
His beliefs parrot what Fox News reports about Occupy. And Fox News is certainly a mainstream news source consistently showing Occupy in as bad a light as they possibly can while completely ignoring what is important about Occupy.
This fact contradicts his claims that the mainstream doesn’t want to show Occupy in a bad light. In fact, showing Occupy in a bad light is about all that the mainstream media does because the corporate media and the mainstream politicians are desperate to distract us from the problems identified by Occupy.
While I don’t agree with some of what Occupy does, I fully support the fundamental issue that Occupy is addressing, and the mainstream press is generally ignoring — the widening gap between the rich and the poor.
And the gap is widening in large part because the game has been rigged through big money buying our government. The rigging is done by legalized bribery — euphemistically called campaign finance. This country is already more of a plutocracy than a democracy.
Occupy is bringing to the national conversation a question of critical importance to the survival of our democracy: Is a society in which very few people own most of the wealth, a healthy and vibrant society? Is that a society in which you want to live?
Huge wealth disparity was the norm during the Middle Ages with nobility and serfs. If you think that is healthy, then there’s really not much to talk about.
Just celebrate what’s going on in our country because that’s where we’re heading (thanks to the collusion of both parties with a few exceptions), and feel free to denigrate people attempting to call attention to the trend. That is your prerogative.
If, however, you agree that’s not healthy, then come and join us to talk about solutions. This is the critical message that is fundamental to Occupy, as well as to those members of the Tea Party who are not shills for the rich.
And yes, I have spoken with some who understand. And I differ from those in the Tea Party who advocate violence and talk about “Second Amendment solutions.”
I oppose all violence done by anybody. Violence has no place in the conversation.
I have right-wing friends and one of them was complaining to me about Occupy in a similar vein to Mr Gabaldon’s letter. After he viewed the video on the top right of our Web page, www.occupyloslunas.info, my friend understood what’s at stake.
I’m hoping that enough of the readers of my and Mr. Gabaldon’s postings in these pages will be motivated to do their own research and make up their own minds. Do not rely on the talking heads.
And some readers (I hope you may be one) may just be willing to come out and join us. We’re at Belen’s Anna Becker Park on Saturdays at 1 p.m., and at River Park in Los Lunas on Sundays at 1 p.m. to help remind people of the importance of the issues Occupy is raising because our media has failed to do so.
And, in fact, your ability to ascertain for yourself what Occupy is fundamentally about demonstrates one of the critical needs of our democracy, which is to have a fully open, independent, and uncensored Internet.
People, at least for now, are able to research issues fully without fear that somebody is trying to protect us from certain views and opinions on the Internet.

Paul Kinzelman
Peralta

Los Lunas responded, street now looks great
Editor:
Last fall, I wrote, and you published, a letter complaining about the village of Los Lunas and the shabby appearance of Camelot Boulevard, a main entryway to a very nice residential zone.
Now, I must applaud Los Lunas for the following:
1. New sidewalks, where there was none, on Camelot Boulevard.
2. Beautiful bench seating and trash receptacles.
3. A general clean up of the entire street.
Now, instead of my previous brand suggestions, (the village that doesn’t care, etc.) I suggest this brand: The village that responds to citizens’ concerns.
Again, thank you Los Lunas for re-affirming my decision to become a part of this great community.

Bill Granger
Los Lunas

Food pantry thanks the community
Editor:
First Assembly of God Church in Belen would like to thank all of the people who made it possible to continue our dedication to feeding the needy in Valencia County.
Thank you to David Swanson, manager at Walmart in Belen, for allowing us to ring the bells for the Salvation Army kettles. Thank you to the bell ringers who stood in the rain, snow and freezing cold to accomplish our goal.
We would like to give a special thank you to all the people who gave from their hearts, especially the young children who were excited to give their dollars and coins.
Thank you Belen and the nearby communities. Your generosity will help us to continue this most needed ministry for 2012.

Mary Lou Dallas
First Assembly of God
Food Pantry Coordinator

Spay/neuter clinic was a success
Editor:
The Valencia County Animal Shelter, together with the Santa Fe Animal Humane Society held its first spay/neuter clinic at the El Cerro Mission Community Center.
The event was held on Friday, March 2-4. We had an excellent turnout as the team conducted 107 surgical procedures and 105 dogs came out for the shot clinic conducted during our down time.
The event went so well that an additional 57 people have already signed up for round two. The Valencia County Animal Shelter staff is already making plans for its second clinic to be held in June 1-3.
Although out of the way, people came from each corner of the county to take advantage of these low prices. We charged $30 for cats and $40 for dogs.
We want to thank the sponsors of the event, they were: The Valencia Valley Kennel Club, The Zimmer Foundation, Friends of the Shelter, the Moose Lodge and The Valencia County Animal Shelter.
Food was donated for all team members and volunteers by: Paradise Donuts, Breakfast each day by Rita’s Restaurant in Belen, lunch by Rutilios Restaurant in Belen, Benny’s II in Los Lunas, Pizza Hut in Los Lunas, Dominos in Los Lunas and Little Caesars Pizza in Los Lunas. A farewell dinner for the traveling team was provided by Tai’s Chinese Restaurant in Los Lunas.

Ruben Chavez
Community Service Director

Why is the price of
gasoline so high?
Editor:
Supply of U.S. crude has been increasing. Although the United States has only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, U.S. production has increased.
According to the CIA World Handbook, U.S. production has increased from 8,457,000 barrels per day in 2007 to 9,056,000 barrels per day in 2009 to 9,688,000 barrels per day in 2010.
Given the current pace of drilling in the U.S. and Canada, according to data compiled by Bentek Energy (a Colorado firm that tracks energy infrastructure and production projects), North America crude production is expected to hit an all-time high by 2016 of 11,500,000 barrels a day!
According to the American Petroleum Institute, the average number of active rotary drilling rigs in the U.S., as of Feb. 1, was 2,003, and the 2011 average was 18,75.
Compare this to the all-time high of 4,530 announced Dec. 28, 1981 and record low of 488 announced April 23, 1999.
The demand  for U.S. gasoline has been decreasing. According to the American Petroleum Institute, gasoline deliveries, a measure of consumer demand, decreased 0.2 percent in January to 8.4 million barrels per day, a nine-year low for the month of January.
So, given increasing supply and decreasing demand, why is the price so high? Studies show that a shocking amount of the price at the pump, between 50 cents and 60 cents per gallon, is due to oil speculation.
Goldman Sachs acknowledged earlier this month that speculation is at least partially responsible for driving oil prices up faster and higher than supply and demand could possibly explain.
That means the people who are betting on oil prices are actually making the price of oil go up.
On Monday, March 5, 70 members of Congress (not including Rep. Steve Pearce) got together and asked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to stop excessive oil speculation.
The 2010 financial reform law mandated that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission put position limits on contracts for crude oil.
New restrictions on speculation were approved in October 2011, but these have not yet gone into effect. Why are the commissioners dragging their feet? Who is to blame for rising gas prices?
We all are, for letting them get away with it.

Jane Fedor
Belen

Tomé is a place to enjoy life, scenery
Editor:
As a resident of Tomé, I find it necessary to respond to non-resident Clark Metcalf’s letter published on March 7.
Yes, many of us in Tomé are IMPS. We are, and consciously seek to be IMPS: Impeders of Progress.
We don’t want N.M. 47 to be four lanes because we would like you to slow down. We are old-school conservatives.
We believe in family, craft and community. We believe in taking time to enjoy life and watch things grow; be it community gardens, and individual vegetable patch, dogs, horses, grapes or hay.
We believe in tradition of the arts. That’s why the Tomé Art Gallery and artists like Charlie Sanchez — just to name one of our many talented artists and artisans — are appreciated.
We believe in nature, in cranes and geese, goats, chickens and home-raised food.
We would like all people to enjoy these things too, so slow down.
We’d suggest they leave a little earlier for that doctor’s appointment and enjoy the fields and trees of Tomé.
Slow down and enjoy the wildlife area. Walk there and watch the birds.
In Tomé, we IMPS say, walking is the best doctor. So go slow, climb Tomé Hill and enjoy the view and perhaps say a prayer.
We IMPS have looked progress in the eye and we do not care for what we see. At the same time, we are peaceful, loving IMPS, so we are open to compromise and discussion.
Perhaps folks don’t know that the Tomé Neighborhood Association and community leaders worked with the department of transportation for occasional turnouts so you speeders could get around slow-moving farm vehicles, or that we were willing to discuss turn lanes.
We IMPS regret you, and many of the students at our local UNM-VC college, feel they must race through life and seek “progress.”
For us, family, craftsmanship, cooking, art, tradition, locally-raised food, matanza and community are enough.
Here’s hoping that those reading this will slow down and simply enjoy Tomé.

Peter A. Lupsha
Tomé