Letters to the editor (05/05/12)


Neighborhood clean-up was a successful event
On behalf of the Rio Communities Association, I would like to thank the following for their participation in a fantastic neighborhood clean-up, Saturday, April 7.
George Moscona, president of the RCA and Pampered Chef representative, who donated the money for a dumpster; Randy Sanchez of Valley Disposal, who delivered and picked up the dumpster on Saturday.
Tom Greer, RCA board member, who offered his services to haul trash to the dumpster for neighbors who were unable to; Mark Guinn, vice-president of the RCA and his two grandsons who collected dead brush from alleys and open spaces throughout the communities and hauled it to the dumpster.
Two youth groups from the Boy Scouts of America, ScoutReach of Valencia County led by Violeta Vunzueta,  and local troop No. 105 led by Scoutmaster Steve Merrill and Senior Patrol Leader Nathan Gale, who came out and worked all morning picking up trash.
Other neighbors joined in and all together, 50 bags of trash were collected from the streets and parks of the Rio Communities.
My son, Jonathan Gentner,  picked up all of these bags and hauled them to the dumpster.  Thank you so much!
You are definitely making a difference.

Chris Montgomery
RCA board member

Yard sale donations go to ailing firefighter
I would like to thank all the Valencia County people who stopped at our yard sale (recently), and my friends who donated items for the sale.
It was a fundraiser for firefighter Vince Cordova, who is fighting for his life as I write this.
Every penny raised goes to him, and I’m so happy to report that we made $1,400 for  Vince.
Thanks to my grandkids, who sold water and donated their money to Vince, too.
You rock Valencia County people! Thank you so much again.

Chris Arana

If the 1 percent paid more, we’d pay less
The statistics just came out, April 6.
In 2010 in the United States, there was $288 billion in new income.  While the 99 percent of us saw our income increase by $67 each on average or $268 for a family of four, the 1 percent increased their income 93 percent, or about $350,000 for their family of four.
That $350,000 was in addition to 3.2 million dollar income. If this increase in income were reversed and the 1 percent saw a 7 percent increase in income or $6,700 each, while the 99 percent received the 93 percent increase in income, the 99 percent would have $890 each or $3,560 for a four person family to spend.
When you buy something, you create demand which creates jobs. Also with $3,560 more in our family’s pockets we’d be paying 30 percent towards taxes.
OK, well, $2,492 would end up in our pockets while $1,068 would help pay down the $10,000 each person now owes due to the two wars. Those yellow ribbons sure were expensive.
However, the 1 percent is only paying less than 14 percent in taxes and instead of spending $268 billion and creating jobs. An awful lot of the 2010 increase in income ends up in Swiss bank accounts.
An election is coming up in November, so you can decide.

Ward B. McCartney III

Authorities need to investigate abuse
What is happening in Valencia County?
Los Lunas, Belen and in several parts of New Mexico that are allowing opportunity for animal cruelty, abuse, abandonment and at best, a pattern of severe animal neglect to occur on a regular basis?
The televised footage of sick, maimed, starving horses laying helpless on the ground for hours and days is forever etched in my mind.
This is what prompts this letter —– perhaps a plea for mercy — for animals who have no voice in this place.
So what is going on in the minds of local officials … and with others in government or in law sworn to uphold laws, protect the innocent and yes, even, consider the treatment of lowly animals who have no voice for themselves.
At the Southwest Livestock Auction in Valencia County,  workers and the operator are now being questioned as they stood by and watched starving horses lay on the ground till they died. They couldn’t get up.
Is this a community that will respond quickly to the cruelty?
What is occurring in places where dogs, cats, goats, pigs, cows and horses are left to starve in the open, where animal parts are found and acts of abuse or cruelty?
(Is this a) place where animal code unit management dismiss the idea of responding to dead animals because they’re too busy with other “duties.”
(Are these) communities that are too busy to find and shelter live, abandoned animals? A place too busy to provide adequate animal assistance? It appears that elected officials, and others may have ignored the cruelty that no animal advisory board person exists for reports. I call, but no one is available to talk.
So what is happening in the minds and hearts of a community that promote live slaughter for local, weekend entertainment. The matanza event held each year was not a pretty place to be as 37 pigs were butchered  (with a USDA waiver) and outside USDA guidelines in the name of old traditions.
According to officials, the New Mexico Livestock Board was not allowed to sit at the table, to have a voice or to represent livestock at all. Not my idea of a nice, friendly get-together, but one that cherishes the traditions of other countries where the concept of animal rights may not exist or who are not much bothered by existing laws to stop abuse.
In some places in the world, animals are a meal, a meat, a product and will not be treated with humanity or anything close to mercy.  In this place of New Mexico, near Los Lunas, Belen, in Valencia County, the abuse and other evidence of inhumanity, cruelty and abandonment are getting more common and serious.
The assortment of dead animals and how they are treated at the Southwest Livestock Auction is just now coming into focus as the governor’s office has wisely decided that someone, something, some behavior should be investigated there.
Only a few weeks ago, the Livestock Board, who once served as the only voice for livestock has raised questions about these places and how animals are treated.
Only recently, the board and the Association of Veterinarians have asked the 13th Judicial District Attorney Lemuel Martinez to finally “look into the potential abuse.”
What they find in Valencia County or Los Lunas (aside from film footage) may be an ugly picture indeed. It’s important to recall that it was a Washington, D.C., based USDA Administrator Alfred Almanza who allowed a waiver to U.S. law and gave the matanza the OK for a “pig kill.”
But I have to ask what other disturbing, and cruel behavior has been authorized over the years, what other animal abuse has been pushed away and ignored?
I only hope Gov.  Martinez and Mr. Lemuel Martinez find out exactly what is going on in this part of New Mexico.
It may be an ugly story, a pattern of animal cruelty at the hands of many with no mercy at all.

Dawn Newman
Rodeo, N.M.