Letters to the editor (01/02/14)

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Proposed ordinance wrong
Editor:
The citizens of Valencia County need to think long and hard regarding the Valencia County commissioners and the Pain Capable Child Protection ordinance.
It would appear the Valencia County commissioners are attempting to supersede the rights of their constituents by pandering to a group bent on ignoring the rights of citizens.
No doubt abortion is a highly emotional issue for all — those pro-(choice) and those anti-abortion. But a larger more important issue is at hand.
It’s not the job of elected county officials to be the arbiter in deciding which constitutional rights a citizen will be allowed to exercise and which rights citizens will be precluded from exerting.
What will be next? Should someone decide they don’t believe in birth control, will the commissioners attempt to ban birth control with an ordinance? Should someone decided overweight people are unhealthy, will the commissioners attempt to force these individuals to go on a diet with an ordinance?
I realize these are hyperbolic examples, but take a moment to consider what could happen if the county commissioners are allowed to pass ordinances which usurp any of our constitutionally guaranteed rights.
As hard as it might be, we need to put aside our emotional, personal feelings regarding the current abortion issue. We need to consider what consequences await us should the Valencia County commissioners be allowed to pass ordinances affecting any one of our constitutional rights.
Passing an ordinance such as this opens the flood gates for the county commissioners to become “big brother” to the citizens of Valencia County. Is this what any of us wants?

Laura Sklarski
Los Lunas

Firefighters were honored
Editor:
I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the members of the city of Belen Fire Department for their accomplishments in 2013.
Another year has quickly gone by and we accept challenges that face us in 2014. A grand thank you to David Moya and his staff of the Sheriff Posse Cafe for their hospitality and wonderful food at the annual fire department banquet.
The following members were recognized for years of service as follows: Benjamin Leverett, Justin Thomas, Ryan Martinez and Vanessa Griego, one year; Charles Cox and Rocio Salas, two years; Chris Martinez, three years; Captain Damian Rivera, four years; Ana Pope, eight years; Joyce Rumschlag, nine years; Johnny Gutierrez, Josephine Gutierrez and Fire Chief Manny Garcia, 15 years; Assistant Chief Nathan Godfrey, 19 years; Assistant Chief Kathy Peoples, 20 years; Captain Joe Saiz, 21 years; and Lenore Pena, 25 years.
Our department was fortunate to recruit and obtain new personnel this year, including Matthew Esquibel, Angela Galvan, Nathanial Jaramillo, Shalene Snipes, Jeremy Olivas, Paul Dykema, Donald Thomas and Jonathan Kidd.
Members of the Belen community were also recognized for their support to the firefighters and emergency medical technicians as follows: Charlie’s Paint and Body, Rebecca Dominguez, Jessica Perez and PHI Air Medical and city workers Herman Madrid and Herman Madrid Jr.
Congratulations to Rocio Salas for being awarded Emergency Medical Technician of the Year, and Charles Cox who was named Firefighter of the Year

Manny J. Garcia
Belen Fire Chief

Thanksgiving was great
Editor:
I want to thank all who brought food in and volunteered their time to serve for Thanksgiving at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. We had a great success. We could not have done it with out you. Thank you again for all you do for your community.
We are still picking up people if you need a ride. Call St. Philip’s and leave a message they will get it to me.
Our soup kitchen continues every Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thank you again for everyone who helps out. You’re a blessing.

Magdelene Padilla
Belen

Annual event was successful
Editor:
On Saturday, Nov. 30, the city of Belen held its 26th annual Miracle on Main Street Electric Light Parade and Festival.
Throughout the day and evening we hosted several activities, contests and ended the night with a beautiful parade.
First of all, I would like to thank our sponsors, which were Wells Fargo, Pete’s Equipment and Plateau. Their monetary contributions contributed to the success of this event.
I would also like to thank our Snow Queen and Snow Princess candidates who participated in this year’s contest. These giving young ladies raised more than $4,000 for local charities and causes.
Lastly, I would like to thank the entire community for supporting the event and everyone who participated in our Store Front Decorating and Baking contests. You are all winners and we appreciate your efforts!

Brenda M. Gurule
Belen Recreation Director

BMS grateful for donations
Editor:
The Belen Middle School Math and Science Departments would like to give a special thanks to the following businesses for providing wonderful donations that helped make the Math and Science Night on Oct. 29 a huge success: Sonic  (Belen), McDonald’s (Belen), Burritos Alistante, Pizza Nine, Rutilios, Cindy’s Hair and Nails, Baskin Robbins and Chili’s.
Thanks again!

Theresa Armijo
Belen Middle School Math and Science Departments