Letters to the editor (11/24/12)

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We allow the good, the bad and the ugly in
Editor:
I looked back at some files to see how many “responses” I’ve made to citizen-letters printed in the News-Bulletin.
I count four — more or less — not my ordinary writing habit. Ms. Montano’s disappointment with our country’s reputation and behavior bothered me, and I wanted to respond without “shouting at her,” or launching a personal diatribe directed at someone offering an opinion.
We live in towns and cities inside the USA (much better than, say, Islamabad), and we don’t direct behavior for the rest of the world, although we are accused of doing that.
Our religious preferences include the whole of a fairly long list of beliefs and faiths, without confusing them with “law.” The safety and relative comforts we take for granted are enjoyed because we have rules structuring our lives and ensuring opportunities, but not limiting those we may pursue within our civil laws.
We allow the good, the bad and the ugly to have safe passage through our countryside with us, figuratively and literally, as long as the “rules” are followed.
That wonderful document allowing passage is actually written; not true for the vast majority of nations with whom we share this planet.
Because it is in writing, you and I get to vote on the amendments offered when we wish to alter our Constitution. Most of our neighbors do not have that privilege in places of work, worship and play.
Our citizens are not perfect, and it justifiably angers us when a U.S. citizen exhibits poor behavior because of our free society to those who can not understand. It’s also a fact that our laws are immediately activated to examine that poor behavior.
Collectively, we all rise up in support for this way of life, warts and all, when our flag is trampled, our foreign service employees are injured or killed and those we attempt to befriend turn violent.
I don’t know where the weakness, spinelessness, etc., exists in your everyday, non-political life assessment. However, I would sit with you at your supper table and likely never hear the things you mentioned, never hear your children say them and you would be dismayed to a greater degree were I to say them as we enjoy your posole and chile.
Try to be patient (as we have for nearly 240 years), while we educate, offer aid and our productivity to the rest of the world — even when they don’t understand.

F. Guy Glover
Los Lunas

People shouldn’t tie  up dogs with chains
Editor:
Why do people have animals at all if they’re going to put them on chains? Dogs deserve better.
If one has no fence, at least put them on a trolley. It gives them a little  more freedom.
When one decides to have one or more animals, please consider what you offer that animal — a life of desperation, being on a chain without too much freedom.
Dogs should have a life, too, without being stuck on a stake.
I cannot understand some people. I would love to put them in that situation. Animals need companionship, love, food, water and shelter.
And since I am on that subject, neuter and spay your pet. Free neuter and spaying is  offered all over.
Do something for our animals.
We even offer dog and cat food when available at our local food bank in Belen.
Think about it please.

Magda M. Rundles
Los Chavez

County should give  mill levy funds back
Editor:
(Recently), an architectural firm based in Oklahoma City, Okla., presented its plan to develop a new, 100,000 square foot, $55,000,000 health care facility in Los Lunas.
The meeting was hosted by the village of Los Lunas. The architect’s presentation left many unanswered questions regarding the financial feasibility of the project and other relevant issues. Foremost among these are the following:
1. Valencia County has about 75,000 people. Of this total, 20,000 are Medicaid eligible (a welfare program that affords limited access to health care services). Of the remaining 55,000, 25,000 are insured by the Presbyterian Healthcare System, 10,000 are insured by the Lovelace Healthcare System, and an estimated 10,000 are insured by other commercial health care insurance companies.
An estimated 10,000 have no health care insurance at all. Can a population of this size and with this socioeconomic make-up support a health care facility of the magnitude and scope being proposed?
A detailed financial feasibility study conducted by a national health care consulting firm would probably conclude that it cannot.
2. To make the project financially feasible, the architectural firm said that the project would have to be subsidized by the taxpayers of Valencia County.
Initially, this subsidy would come from a so-called tax levy earmarked for this purpose, which is projected to reach a balance of approximately $20,000,000 by 2014 (the law enabling that tax levy expires in that year).
Although the architectural firm stated at the meeting that county taxpayers would not have to subsidize the project after that date, they made other statements at the meeting that may lead one to conclude that a continuation of the tax subsidy would be required.
What, in fact, is their position on this issue; and, if county tax subsidies will be required beyond 2014, shouldn’t there be a public referendum authorizing a continuation of the tax levy before the project proceeds?
3. Of the three major health care systems based in Albuquerque, only the Presbyterian Healthcare System, a not-for-profit, faith-based, system has a presence in Valencia County (a primary care center in Los Lunas, and an urgent care center in Belen).
Also, and as noted above, Presbyterian insures approximately one-third of the county population …
Presbyterian has stated that it plans to expand its presence in Valencia County as the county grows and develops … a logical “walk-before-you-run” approach that begins with building the base of primary care physicians in the county and ends with a health care facility comparable to that being proposed by the Oklahoma City-based architectural firm.
Moreover, Presbyterian is not asking Valencia County taxpayers to subsidize the development of new facilities in the county. Logic and reason would suggest that Valencia County should work closely with Presbyterian in bringing additional health care services to the county, and move away from taxpayer subsidies.
In fact, logic and reason would suggest that consideration be given to repealing the tax levy and refunding the accumulated funds to the taxpayers of Valencia County.
These, of course, are questions for the Valencia County commissioners to address, not the village of Los Lunas or the Oklahoma City-based architectural firm.

Charles W. Murray
Los Lunas

LL would be a good home for a hospital
Editor:
We were very excited and pleased with the presentation given to about 80 people on Oct. 16 by Mr. Darin Miller of Darin Miller Architects concerning a proposed new, privately-financed hospital complex.
We both agree that such a hospital complex is viable for this location (a short distance west of the Los Lunas Walmart).
We feel strongly that this is an excellent opportunity and a good location for the citizens of Valencia County for the following reasons:
1. Nearly half (48 percent) of Valencia County lives within a 7.5 mile radius of the proposed location.
2. Los Lunas is one of the fastest growing areas in New Mexico.
3. The proposed hospital complex is privately financed, with no risk to the citizens of Valencia County.
In summary, we are in strong support of this proposed hospital at its proposed location.

Thomas A. Lobb and Nelda B.  Willmon-Lobb
Los Lunas

Hospital personnel were friendly
Editor:
I just got out of Ana Kaseman Hospital. I feel great.
They fixed my up in four days. The staff are the hardest working, friendly and cheerful people, and I wasn’t exactly an angel.
The facilities are in excellent condition. The medicines are a godsend, the food was well prepared, tasty and just darn looks good. Good bless the memory of Mrs. Ana Kaseman. My hospital of choice for  every procedure.

Martin Frank Kirtley
Los Lunas