Letters to the editor (10/03/13)

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Better late than never
Editor:
The Peralta Senior Affairs committee members would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the wonderful people who attended the first  Senior Citizens Spring Fling.
Your participation made it the great success that it was. A special thanks to the following sponsors and volunteers for their help and generous donations:
Benny’s Mexican Kitchen, Peralta Town Hall staff, Sopas, Peralta mayor and councilors, Ortega and Sons, Maez Water Source, Elias and Carla Maez, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Baily and friends, Water King, Angel Dear, Joe’s Pharmacy, Randy’s Electric, CG Concrete, Peralta Fire Department, Manny’s Fine Pastries, Lorena Herrera, Southwest Grill, The Little Store, Paul’s Son Signs, Randy Spartz Fireworks, Fiesta Tent Rentals Inc., Frances Aragon, Mattie McGee and Frank Cox.
Special recognition to the following guests that attended this event:  Rep. Kelly Fajardo, County Commissioners Donald Holliday and Mary Andersen,  County Sheriff Luis Burkhard, Bosque Farms Police Department and last but not least, to the staff at Valencia County News-Bulletin for their fine coverage and support.
Thank you to all for making the Spring Fling a success for the Town of Peralta. See you next spring!

Lucy Romero
Peralta Senior Committee

Program is a success
Editor:
The tables were turned for the Women of the Moose and in a very good way.
The WOTM hold fundraisers every month in order to donate to Moose Charities and local activities. For a group so used to giving, what a delight it was to be given to! On Saturday, July 13, the WOTM held a car wash, which was worked by the kids in the ScOutreach Juvenile Diversion Program. The kids and their supervisors did all the work and the WOTM collected the money which will be donated to Moose Charities and other organizations.
The ScOutreach program is a division of the Boy Scouts of America Juvenile Diversion Program. Valencia County, along with Bernalillo and Sandoval counties are covered by this program. The youths in this program have all been involved with some type of misdemeanor. Rather than involving these kids in the legal system, the diversion programs offers these young people an opportunity to clear their records while rethinking their actions.
Instead of being placed on probation with a juvenile probation officer, the kids in the program must attend seven meetings and donate 20 hours of their time in community service. The meetings include topics such as anger management, stress reduction, teamwork and leadership. The program strives to provide the youth with caring adults who act as role models.
Some of the other community service projects have included the Belen Community Garden, the Los Lunas Fire Department, food distribution through “Let’s Move That Food” and Casa Esperanza.
One of Saturday supervisors was Alayna Bowman, who explained what her program was all about. Alayna said that if the kids in the program stay out of trouble for two years, or until they turn 18, their juvenile records are expunged.
Currently, there are 24 youths in this program and, according to Alayna, it’s very successful. She said their recidivism rate is wonderfully low.
The kids worked really hard washing, vacuuming and cleaning car windows and the WOTM made sure they were fed and well hydrated. But this is small beans compared to what they get upon graduation from the program. Each young person gets a scholarship to Gorham Ranch, a summer youth camp in northern New Mexico.  There, they can ride horses, camp out, and enjoy all types of water sports.
Bowman explained that her program is funding through a grant from the Department of Justice which runs out this coming September. She said they have enough money to run through next year and then, hopefully, they will get another grant.
You can bet that the WOTM are making a donation to this great program.

Jo’l Moore
Women of the Moose

Shameful actions shown
Editor:
I attended the county commission meeting of July 17, at which the issue of the mill levy allocation was on the agenda. I have been following this issue, not because I live in the county (which I don’t), but because I have active economic interests there ― my family owns a shopping center in the Greater Belen area.
Also, I am the current president of the Greater Belen Economic Development Corporation. As a qualifying broker in New Mexico, I specialize in consulting on issues of land economics.
In the issues surrounding how and to whom the mill levy should be distributed, there exists a great deal of factual information, not the least of which relates to the potential efficacy of the two competing proposed hospital projects. These facts, alone, could and, indeed, should be the subject of vigorous and in-depth discussion and comparative evaluation at both the staff and elected representative level in order to come to a reasoned decision.
In fact, what transpired at the meeting was more akin to the brawls which regularly occur in some Third World parliaments. During the public comments section of the evening, virtually all of the public speakers opposed to the conditional assignment of the mill levy to the south county project never spoke in terms of the established facts.
The bulk of the comments were, instead, vitriolic and hate-filled attacks, threats and innuendos directed at the commissioners who favored the motion.  Furthermore, the repeated use of uniform language by these malcontents was unquestionably indicative of an unseen puppet master who cowardly uses surrogates rather than publicly stand behind these opinions him/herself.
I am reminded of the axiom that old lawyers and politicians use as stock-in-trade when they find themselves on the wrong side of history, “When you can’t win on the facts, attack the person!” In Latin, and legalize, this is called an ad homonym attack.
This was a shameful instance of angst and ignorance in action ― ultimately to no avail.

David Blacher
Albuquerque