Letters to the editor (09/19/13)

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Thanks to the community
Editor:
As an Adelante board member and parents of an Adelante client, we want to extend a huge thank you to the community of Belen for the support after the recent fire at Adelante’s  Bargain Square Thrift Store in Belen.
Thanks to the firefighters who fought the fire, and to all the members of our community who have helped Adelante in the recovery process by donating time, money, and items to restock the store.
Bargain Square is still accepting gently-used furniture, clothing, and housewares in Belen (look for the sign in the Bargain Square parking lot) or these can also be taken to the Los Lunas Bargain Square.

Molly and Rick Madden
Los Lunas

Birthday party surprise
Editor:
Words cannot express my heartfelt thanks to the American Legion Post No. 81 in Belen for a wonderful surprise birthday party. It made 95 years worth waiting for!
My thanks to all who attended and the “gag” gifts from the American Legion, Ladies’ Auxiliary and American Legion Riders. I love the little monkey!
This was my first surprise birthday ever and it was such a success. I truly was surprised and enjoyed “my” day.
Again, thank all who attended and helped in any way.

Maurine Nelson
Los Lunas

Lifeguards are terrific
Editor:
After a serious knee injury, my doctor recommended physical therapy in the pool. My brother, Pierre, designed a program for me and I have been going to the Belen High School pool for the past two months, strengthening my knee and leg in preparation for surgery. What a bargain and blessing this pool is to our community.
Our pool is old, but it is clean, well maintained and staffed with hard-working young people. Sometimes I look at these lifeguards as sweet, young innocents, but I have been at the pool during lap times and watched them train over and over and over again for possible emergencies. I am impressed with the quality of their training and their professionalism. They really know what they are doing and care.
Recently, a man collapsed in the pool. Within seconds, the lifeguard was blowing his whistle for help and assisting the man. The entire crew snapped into motion. Like clockwork, three more lifeguards were assisting the man and other lifeguards were directing all the other swimmers out of the pool and out of the way.
Within seconds, the supervisor ran to assist and 911 was called. The lifeguards began CPR and a hush fell over the crowd of swimmers. The water became still as people prayed and the pool staff concentrated on trying to save the man.
My hat goes out to our lifeguards, their supervisors and the entire pool staff for such an amazing response. We, as a community, are so blessed for their knowledge and expertise.
I learned that the man passed away. This was tragic. I am so sad; my heart goes out to the family.
I couldn’t sleep that night. This entire experience will be engraved in my memory. I am sure this experience affected our young lifeguards as much as it did me and I prayed for them.
I realized that I needed to write this letter to let everyone know in our community know how wonderful our pool staff is and to ask them to thank these young people for their dedication. I know I will.

Joan M. Artiaga-Armijo
Belen
Patients are suffering
Editor:
There is a mental health and substance abuse crisis in New Mexico, and it is not due to the mentally ill or drug abusers.
It is directly related to New Mexico’s Department of Human Services. They have stopped all Medicaid funding to 15 nonprofit, core service agencies. These are the mental health and drug addiction agencies that provide services to the uninsured and low income.
They claim fraud, yet provide no evidence to back that up. They did bring in an outside audit company from Boston, whose findings suggest some misuse of funds and even using the word fraud for why they stopped the funding.
Funny how the dollar amount is $36 million exactly, the same as the Boston Company accused North Carolina of misusing in their audit.
Most of the 15 agencies accused have passed numerous audits done by Optum Health and HSD, who (used) to oversee these agencies. Maybe Optum Health and HSD need retraining on its auditing practices.
Why does the New Mexico Department of Health have companies in Arizona taking over these 15 agencies at a cost of $17 million? Do you plan on giving more than 1,000 jobs to Arizona? What about New Mexico?
We have enough unemployed as it is. Is our state government not able to fix its own problems?
Our nonprofit core service agencies are closing due to the lack of funding and the only answer we have is Arizona?
Where is Gov. Martinez? Where is the justice system?
And where am I and more than 30,000 other mental health and drug-addicted humans going to get our care?

Lynne Getchell
Los Lunas

There really are nice people
Editor:
On Friday, July 26, I was at the Subway in Belen. The young man ahead of me ordered a flat bread sandwich.
After he left, I ordered, and when I went to pay, the young lady at the register told me the young man in front of me had paid for my meal.
I thought that was very kind of him to do that. It is nice to know there is still a few kind-hearted people out there.
I went outside to try and thank him in person, but he had already left. I just hope that he gets to read this in the paper that I was really touched by his kind gesture.

Catherine Jernee
Belen