Letters to the editor (08/08/13)

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Rodeo flier degrading
Editor:
I received a flier in the mail, which was an invitation to a bikini rodeo. The flier even looked evil.
How degrading to women! What are we teaching our children? Have we lowered our moral standards to this?
We pay to watch people sin, what a lustful temptation, another level of porn, some people have encouraged.
And all for what? Money. We are people of moral values. I encourage sponsors not to support such activities.

Mike and Dolores Silva
Belen

Appalled city is promoting event; degrading to women  
Editor:
I just received my water bill from the city of Belen. Enclosed was a flier advertising a bikini barrel race and roughstock challenge to be held here in the city of Belen.
Large, hard-to-miss letters advertised “Girls running barrels in bikinis.” Along with that statement was a picture of a woman on a horse with her back completely bare except for a thin bikini tie. Two thoughts came immediately to mind.
I wondered, “Are the women who run barrels wearing only a bikini, so untalented that they need to reveal their bodies in order to compete in this sport and draw a crowd? Or is it the event planners who figure that they can make money by degrading the dignity of these women in order to draw a crowd?”
Barrel racing is a sport that requires a lot of work in the care and conditioning of the horse, many hours of practice, a great deal of skill and determined courage. Any serious barrel racer will attest to that. To ask a woman to race unclothed is a complete distraction from her hard work, practice, skill and courage. It is a degradation of women and of the sport.
Using the beauty of a woman’s body to make money is a form of prostitution. I am appalled that (the organizer) has such a low esteem and regard for the women who barrel race and for the sport.
I am appalled that the city of Belen is promoting this event through the distribution of this flier with my water bill. I also wonder if the sponsors of this event listed at the top of the flier and in a column on the left side of the flier and the Valencia County Sheriff’s Posse know that they are supporting something so degrading to women.
I think I will ask them.

Therese L. Salazar
Bosque

City apologizes for flier
Editor:
Dear Ms. Salazar,
Thank you for your letter dated July 30, 2013, sharing your concern regarding the City of Belen sponsoring the bikini barrel race event.
Each year, the Caspar Baca Rodeo group comes to the city for assistance in promoting an event which draws GRT’s to our city. As you know, this is how the city’s operations and services to our community are supported.
We have been supporting this event and many others by placing colored fliers in our water statements for years. When asked this year again, we said yes, but assisting with less money and no colored flier.
I do have to admit, I did not take an interest in the flier.  I did not check it. I should have, and I can see your point. I apologize to you and anyone who may have been offended by this flier.
At this time it’s too late to recall. All I can and will do, in the future is be more diligent about checking what goes out in our mail.
Again, I am sorry. In today’s economy, I suppose some of us get wrapped up in trying to balance a budget and forget the basics.

Mary Lucy Baca
Belen City Manager

Event is not demoralizing
Editor:
My name is C.J. Baca, and I am the producer/promoter of the event “The Heat” Bikini Barrel Race and Roughstock Challenge.
It has come to my attention that there are a few people who have a different opinion about the event and the ads we run (poster) to promote the event. I am well aware that everybody is entitled to their own opinions, I get that.
To say that the event demoralizes woman and is smutty is far from the truth and far from being what we are about. In so many cases we are thanked by our contestants (barrel racers) for giving them the opportunity to step outside their box of insecurity and put on a show that is fun and exciting for everyone.
When you go to the mall, gas station or even driving down the road or go to the pool or beach and see a woman in a bikini, do you jump to the conclusion that it’s demoralizing? And so you write letters to the company that made the clothing? I think not.
This event is a new twist on an old thing. The event has grown so much and creates so much draw that the VCSP Arena is at capacity before the night is over ― the event is truly for everybody. In fact, we have so many families that attend that we decided to incorporate a fun park for the kids, a place where they can jump on jumpers and have their faces painted and stuff themselves with snow cones and just be kids having fun.
If we were to keep track of how many woman and children attended, I think you would be surprised that there are more women than men at the event.
We draw contestants and spectators from all over the Southwest. We even had a contestant drive 19 hours from Louisiana. Restaurants and hotels fill up. Businesses do really well when “The Heat” comes to town.
Sponsorships are up every year and the event is growing and getting more established. Next year we plan to involve the Breast Cancer Foundation and hope to make a good contribution to their cause, thus has been a goal since we began these events and we are now big enough and established to do so.
If after you read this and still have a harsh opinion, I personally invite you to “The Heat V” and give us the chance to change your mind and have a good time. Thank you

C.J. Baca
Belen
The Heat