Letters to the editor (11/07/13)

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Lardner family needs help
Editor:
Anyone who has lived in Belen for a period of time fondly remembers Tim Lardner.
Tim was a special person who was always willing to give to the community or help out any cause. He was the person behind community celebrations such as Octoberfest. He saw to it that needed materials were available for projects such as the 9/11 memorial and he was a supporter of our young sports teams, schools and churches.
Tim and Janice were a special couple who worked to raise a beautiful family of children who followed his legacy in giving of themselves and working to better the community and the world.
Tim fell ill and died in a short period of time a few years ago. It was a devastating loss to his family in every way. Not only did Janice and the children lose their husband and father, but they lost the home he had built for them. Life for his family has been very difficult since his death.
Last month, Nicole, Tim and Janice’s youngest daughter, was in a car accident. She was airlifted to UNM Hospital and is still there today.
Janice and her children are with Nicole, praying and hoping that she will open her eyes and begin the road to healing.
Meanwhile, the little bit of progress Tim’s family had been able to make towards building a life again is shattered as they suffer this most recent tragedy of Nicole’s accident.
Everyone who knew Tim and Janice can attest to the fact that if anybody needed anything, Tim and Janice were the first people to step up and help in whatever way they could.
Well, now Tim’s family needs help.  He gave so much of himself and his resources to our community that I know if people were aware of the situation, they will help Tim’s family.
Please do what I am sure would bring a smile to Tim’s face and be there for his family. An account has been set up at MyBank in Belen.
Please contribute to the Nicole Lardner Benefit Account. Let’s help this family who has always given to everyone else.

Debbie Trujillo
Albuquerque

Example of fanaticism
Editor:
Rep. Alonzo Baldonado (R-District 8) consistently has used his position as a state representative to legislatively pursue a conservative Christianity-based religious agenda.
Now he would have us believe that having schoolchildren participate in stretching exercises on a mat prior to physical exercise is an anti-Christian plot to indoctrinate children into Hinduism.
Baldonado jumped into the fray at a recent meeting of the Legislative Education Study Committee after an Albuquerque elementary school teacher said she refers to her exercises as “stretching or mat work” rather than as “yoga” to eliminate any perceived religious connotation. Baldonado immediately chose to perceive a religious connotation.
He pounced on the term “yoga,” which indeed does derive from Hindu philosophy as an exercise technique for mental and physical health. It does not require any sort of prayer or devotion to Hindu gods, and, frankly, most people who practice it don’t see any religious connection at all as they try to find relaxation and inner peace through meditation, breath control and comfortable body postures.
One need not be Hindu to practice yoga, or even have the slightest idea what Hinduism is. In fact, millions of Christians practice yoga.
Yet Baldonado finds the practice of yoga, which the teacher said is not what she teaches, so egregious that he believes parents should be warned that the teacher is using “stretching and mat work” and give them the opportunity to opt out for their children.
Any athlete knows that stretching is essential prior to physical exercise, but in Baldonado’s eyes it is an affront to his version of Christianity because of the negligible chance it might expose a child to Hinduism, or that the child might actually care. No matter if the child pulls a muscle from improper warm-up and stretching.
This is yet another example of the right-wing religious fanaticism that labels differing viewpoints as evil and looks for any excuse to deem as anti-Christian anything that doesn’t meet a narrow litmus test. It is part of a growing effort by the religious right to circumvent separation of church and state by eliminating everything that hints of anything they can construe as religious but not Christian, even as they argue for allowing Christian symbolism and teaching in schools. This approach has now reached the ridiculous point of adding yoga to the made-up war on Christianity.
Ironically, Baldonado defended his position against critics by claiming he was only trying to preserve separation of church and state by keeping the evil of Hinduism (yoga) out of the classroom. Ironic because he is a consistent supporter of legislation that would force ultra-conservative Christian positions on everyone else.
In the face of the plethora of education issues before the Legislature, it would seem there are more important topics for its members to address than trying to micro-manage the classroom over stretching exercises that some might wish to construe as yoga.

Dana Bowley
Los Lunas

Benefit was a success
Editor:
On Nov. 2, the Bosque Farms Police Department held a breakfast benefit to raise money for Deputy Robin Hopkins of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, who was shot on Oct. 26.
A generous resident donated all the food that was prepared. Those who volunteered to prepare and serve the food worked very diligently to ensure that it was a wonderful benefit.  The food was prepared and served by Bosque Farms police officers, many village residents and officers from other agencies. Patrons were served pancakes, sausage links and scrambled eggs with orange juice and coffee.
A silent auction was held with merchandise that was donated by local businesses and residents.
Erin Castillo, of Peralta, donated a handmade pottery bowl, J&A Ranch Jewelry and Leather donated several leather and beaded jewelry pieces, Inner Beauty Salon donated several baskets of hair care products, Going Custom donated a metal cross and Rebel Donuts donated a gift certificate.
We also received many monetary donations. A total of $4,483 was raised for Deputy Hopkins and her family through this horrific time in their lives.
Chief Greg Jones will meet with Sheriff Dan Houston to present him with the money raised for Deputy Hopkins.
The Bosque Farms Police Department would like to thank all those who assisted with and attended the benefit. We are very proud of our community!

Lt. Andrew Owens
Bosque Farms
Police Department