Letters to the editor (10/03/12)


Belen citizens should have something to say
I want to remind the citizens of Belen, Jarales and Rio Communities that the destruction of our area’s historical past continues at a pace which unmistakably ensures little will remain of our colorful and vibrant heritage.
We will be celebrating our 300 years as a town in eight years, but what will remain of our past?
Belen is a unique and rare Hispanic-Anglo American community along the Rio Grande. It has served the farming and ranching community as well as serving as the railway hub for much of the Southwest.
The demolition of Tommy’s Lounge on Main Street recently is a tragedy for one of the most important intersections of our town. This anchor, an important part of our history, once housed a telephone operator, Adolph Becker’s Grocery Store with a hotel above, Charlie’s Bar, and a soda fountain, all served with a two-story outhouse attached to the building at the back.
In my lifetime, I have seen 44 significant relics of former prosperous times leveled. Many of these sites remain vacant several years later.
Currently, there are at least 24 non-residential and at least 23 residential buildings that warrant serious consideration for preservation and restoration.  But where are the community leaders (i.e. school leaders, librarians, business leaders, the Valencia County Historical Society, elected officials and history lovers) to champion this effort?
Area residents should have the opportunity to learn about plans to remove historical buildings so they can weigh-in and voice concerns.
Reading about it in the paper four days after demolition begins is not adequate notice. The owner has every right to do what he sees fit however additional notice to the public may have brought about other solutions for the owner of Tommy’s Lounge in order to save the building. Now it’s too late.
Indeed, with the tearing down of anything that speaks of the past, the public should be informed and part of the discussion, regardless of voting status or age level. One need not fear self-expression.
Belen only has one chance to make a good first impression. Strengthening our business core is critical to attract businesses and offer a safe and quality shopping experience to pedestrians.
The loss of Tommy’s Lounge has compounded an already-blighted area that could have been improved and preserved for years to come, through community folks working together for a common goal.

Ken Gibson

Few residents shouldn’t control energy future
I read with interest Mary Holmes letter published in the News-Bulletin and want to respond to what was stated in her letter.
I too have attended all the PNM committee meetings as a private citizen participant and have come to a different opinion than those expressed. In addition, some information stated as fact in the letter are not as stated by PNM or as concluded in the notes each member has received.
First: Yes, it is true that the site will use natural gas, about the same as 275  homes might use in a year. Yes, it is true the natural gas is unrenewable yet it does not stop most of us from using it for various reasons and in various forms in our homes.
Second: The proposed generating stations are to supply peak power needs and to provide power when renewable resources such as wind and solar are not producing electricity.
Third: PNM has never stated what the depth of proposed water wells would be; they have repeatedly stated that they would not do further well studies until and unless the site were approved for development. They have stated that they would adjust their well depth and numbers to minimize impact.
Certainly no one at PNM ever stated at the meetings I attended that there would be two wells of any particular depth.
Fourth: These proposed plants are 150 long and only 30 feet high, they would be placed on the other side of the ridge of an area which is very sparsely inhabited. The visual effects due to their placement should be minimized.
Fifth: I understand that the noise which was referred to occurring on July 16 was caused by a transformer blowing. That can happen anywhere, any time.
Sixth: It appeared in conversation with residents in the area that the average residential well on the mesa is seven hundred feet deep. One person stated his well (admittedly marginal), was 115 feet.
One thing I would agree with is that most folks on the mesa are friendly and helpful. They obviously like their peace and quite.
What I don’t agree with is that the few residents on the mesa should control the energy future of all those of us who expect our electricity to work when we need it.
What I don’t agree with is that this would be a noisy plant as we have been presented with decibel levels of less than 45 for the plant itself.
What Ms. Holmes seems to think is OK, is for it to be good only if it is somewhere else in which case the energy and water use are alright. She assumes the collection ponds apparently would not exist and that the water would just go down the Rio Grande, instead of evaporating in ponds.
Apparently it is OK to use the water if it comes from somewhere else, but really we are all feeding on the same aquifer.
I do not agree that the very few persons who expect the mesa to stay undeveloped should be undermining the developmental which by the way will ad between 800,000 and one point $2 million in the tax base.
I have taken  the time to drive to the site location on three occasions. I am convinced that this is a good site and that PNM has tried to be inclusive in the development of the proposed location.

Thomas P. Zanotti
Rio Communities

Power plant isn’t right for the area
The proposed gas generating power plant has some drawbacks. The toxic emissions from the power plant would contaminate the atmosphere.
In addition, the water table could potentially become contaminated.
The toxic emissions can also cause people to get sick, many people are located near the proposed building site of the proposed power plant, they will be exposed to the emissions.
It is important that people write and telephone the county commissioners and attend their meetings. The phone number to contact the county commissioners to express their concern about the power plant is 866-2001.
This includes Walmart customers and employees, high school students and housing development people.
The commissioners gave their permission to build the power plant.
For more information, call me, Jean Valentine, at 869-2860, between 3 and 5 p.m.

Jean Valentine

Catholic Church was founded by Christ
This letter is in response to Robert Paoletti’s entry of Sept.  8.
Three hundred twenty-two years ago, a man named John Locke wrote these words in his “The Second Treatise of Government:”  “For ‘tis with commonwealths as with particular persons, they are commonly ignorant of their own birth and infancies.”
Basically, this means if you don’t know your past, then you do not know where you are going. Please keep this mind as I explain about the Catholic Church using reason, history, and Scripture.
The Church that Christ founded was, indeed, the Catholic Church. The New Testament does not mention it by name, of course, but, then again, it also does not mention Trinity or Incarnation, and yet, all Protestant denominations accept these words as sound Christian teachings.
In addition, what other church can possibly trace itself back 2,000 years? What other church dares to evenly publicly claim to be the one true church of Christ?
Only the Catholic Church can historically map out its Apostolic link from its first popes (St. Peter, St. Linus, St. Anacletus I, St. Clement I, St. Evaristus) to the most recent ones (John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI).
You also mention that “the Catholic Church was established by man.” According to the Gospels, however, it was established for mankind by the God-man Himself, Christ Jesus.
In the Book of Matthew, Jesus says “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”
Thus, Christ founded the first church with Peter as the first prime minister (pope). All other churches, on the other hand, have been, indeed, founded by men, e.g. Luther and the Lutheran Church, Chuck Smith and the Calvary Chapel Church, Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church, etc, etc.
Mr. Paoletti also writes, “The church mentioned in the Bible is in reference to all those who follow Christ.”
I believe that Jesus is quoted in John 17:21 as saying, “…so that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
How can the rest of the non-Christian world believe that God the Father sent God the Son when there is, obviously, only diversity of followers instead of unity of them?  Last time I checked, there were more than 35,000 different Protestant denominations teaching different ideas about the Word of God.
In regards to Martin Luther, let me give you a reminder of what he wrote in his “Commentary on St. John”, chapter 16: “We are obliged to yield many things to the Papists (Catholics) — that they possess the Word of God which we received from them, otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it.”
Luther himself says that without the Catholic Church, there would be no Holy Bible!  Plus, if you have ever read his “Ninety-Five Theses” then you would be familiar with this sample: No. 1. “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”
That sounds very Catholic!  (Nos. 38, 41 and 48 also mentions Catholic teachings on the Pope’s authority on indulgences!) Or how about No. 7, “God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest.”
How many Protestants would agree here with Luther that the priest is the one to go and see about remitting guilt?
I have many more points to mention regarding Luther and Mr. Paoletti’s letter but, suffice it to say, I shall keep them to myself for now until such a time arises to write again.
God bless us all!

Trey Martinez

Blue Star Mothers grateful to county
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for publishing our donation drive notice for the Blue Star Mothers of Valencia County.
We appreciated the help from the newspaper. It contributed to our successful donation drive.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you people of Valencia County for the success of our donation drive at the Los Lunas Walmart.  We had a huge success.
The people of Valencia County are so generous when it comes to giving for the soldiers of Valencia County.  I would also like to thank the Los Lunas High School JROTC for helping us with the donation drive. The young men and women are exemplary roll models for our youth.
The Blue Star Mothers of Valencia County appreciate all the support and generosity that we have had directed towards our efforts to make the troops feel a touch of home when they are so far away over the past five years.
We are also looking for names and addresses of troops who may be deployed so that we may send them a box for our October packing.
Please send it to bluestarmothersofvalencicounty@gmail.com, or mail the address to Blue Star Mothers of Valencia County, P.O. Box 743, Los Lunas, N.M., 87031, or phone 807-1033. Thank you again.

Gwen Gordon
Blue Star Mothers of Valencia County

-- Email the author at nlujan@news-bulletin.com.