Letters to the editor (04/13/13)

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The intention was good
Editor:
In Crystal Romero-Carter’s defense,  and in an attempt to get back to the original purpose of her statements, perhaps the words “thieves and lowlifes” were harsh.
My common sensibility tells me that the statement was probably not directed at anyone in particular. Clearly there were many more words that show an intention to support the lifestyle she grew up with and honorably returns to Tomé to defend as a representative of her family.
Unfortunately, only three of her words have become a wasteful focus of negative energy. I realized their harshness when I read them, but was soon distracted by the more important points and good intentions of the many other words surrounding them.
It seems to me that the agenda of these committed community members goes way beyond hurt feelings of people who need to defend their personal shopping choices. Historical preservation, respect of the agricultural environment, love of a child and hope for a rural, peaceful upbringing — these are the main points and should not be overshadowed.
My husband and I, some might remember, posted a not-so-friendly sign on our property a few years ago during our involvement with a similar local issue. We were not liked by many for the words we used and for deflating the hopes of local business owners who might have profited from over-development of property.
I, personally, have some regret for unintentionally offending neighbors we had not yet even met at the time.  Not for one single moment do we regret the underlying intentions and efforts we had in order to do what was we felt was right for the community.
Most anyone who has ever stood up for what they believe in, personally, socially, politically, in any way has had to risk loss and the possibility of offending  the opposition and others caught in the crossfire. I know, from more than one personal experience, that when you stand up for what is important to you, you have to be willing to not be liked.
Defenses rise when the game is not easily won. It’s worth the risks if you represent the good stuff like dignity, culture, community, family, etc.    Crystal and many others in Tomé and the surrounding communities have serious, legitimate concerns that need positive support.
Offending shoppers should be seen as a speed bump in the road toward the victories of historical preservation, peaceful childhoods and cultural and environmental respect. Those topics are the important points in all of this. We can all learn to use our words more carefully, but it takes special people to do the work necessary to back up the dignified intentions behind them.
To Mrs. Romero-Carter and to all who continue to demand respect for the important things in our communities, thank you for your courage, your drive, your passion and your dedication to what you know is the right thing to do, regardless of whether everyone agrees.
Our society is not at a lack for things to buy nor places to buy them but we can surely use more brave and resilient human resources like you. “In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy.”

Clarissa Flores
Tomé

Tomé has a rich history
Editor:
When did it become frightening to exercise one’s First Amendment right to speak? Well, it happened.
During a recent community meeting in Tomé, one of the audience participants expressed her experience and observations about Dollar Store customers. This was preceded by her own admission that she in fact shopped at Dollar Stores on occasion. He comments were taken out of context, causing undue criticism and angst to her personally and professionally. Cyrstal Romero was responding as a private citizen and had every right to express the feelings she had.
Alice Tortwirt’s criticism in Thursday’s News-Bulletin further exacerbates the discussion. How ironic because Torwirt and her husband have always been proponents of freedom of speech, especially during all of those long and laborious hospital discussions.
To now criticize someone who is expressing her thoughts on an issue that will critically impact her family is really disingenuous. Alice Torwirt is the same individual who after last week’s planning and zoning hearing discussing the R-2 to C-2 zone change to accommodate a Dollar Store in Tomé, blatantly attacked Tomé by stating that Tomé was a “pit” and the people of Tomé were “snobs.”
Hearing this from a seasoned newcomer to our valley was shocking and was very telling. It demonstrated to me that this individual has not even bothered to research and appreciates the rich history that Tomé offers. It was further hurtful to hear Alice Torwirt ridicule my mother’s public service record, having served the community of Tomé for 43 years as the postmistress.
To compound the discussion, Alice Torwirt revealed that she and her husband went searching for my house in Jarales after accusing me that I did not live in Tomé. For the record, I along with other members of my family own property in Tomé and have been residents as long as Tomé has existed.
To question someone’s patrimony is extremely malicious. Also, I believe that stalking is a serious thing and people shouldn’t be targeting individuals who have disagreed with them on political issues.

Rita M. Padilla-Gutierrez
Bosque

Thanks for contributions
Editor:
Belen Goju Ryu Karate school would like to thank the students, and families, and all who contributed to our Kick-A-Thon for the Belen Area Food Pantry.
All the karate students kicked for 15 minutes non-stop and then went into the community asking for help to kick hunger out of Belen.
We are very happy to have presented the Belen Area Food Pantry with $1,027.83 raised to help Kick Hunger Out of Belen.
After 20 years of supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association with our annual Kick-A-Thon, we are happy with our decision to support our local food pantry now and in the future.

Richard and Cindy Long
Belen Goju Ryu Karate