Letters to the editor (05/15/14)


San Clemente appreciative
Members of La Asociacion de la Comunidad de San Clemente would like to thank the village of Los Lunas Public Works Director Rudy Archuleta and Marcus Montoya, the village supervisor of solid waste, for opening the village transfer station for three hours on April 26, providing San Clemente residents a place to dump trash at no charge.
Fifty-four loads of trash and metal, totalling about 15 tons, was collected from our homes and the west mesa on that day.

Teri Mack
Janice Clinger
La Asociacion de la Comunidad de San Clemente

The governor is to blame
An article about Susana Martinez in Mother Jones magazine revealed emails and recordings that showed the Martinez administration when they thought no one was listening.
The recordings were a jarring contrast to Martinez’ carefully nurtured public image, but then petty, vindictive, potty-mouthed politicians have been around since dirt was young.
The more troubling revelation was a conversation recorded between Martinez and her “shadow governor,” Jay McCleskey. The topic was how to promise teachers no cuts in funding during the campaign and then slash education money after the election.
“Put up a YouTube video that no one will ever see,” McCleskey said, “where you talk about making everyone feel the pain. And when you win, we say, ‘See, we said this s—t the whole time.’”
Sure enough, Martinez spread the pain — to the 99 percent, that is.
Martinez took office faced with a large budget shortfall. The governor takes credit for balancing that New Mexico budget with extreme cuts. Fair enough. But if she takes the all credit, then she has to take all the blame for New Mexico’s economy after four years of her administration. And folks, it’s not pretty.
The United States’ income distribution is looking more like Kuwait than like other industrial democracies, and New Mexico’s income inequality is the worst in the nation. While the  unemployment rate is almost down to 2008 levels, Albuquerque is still losing jobs. We’re second in poverty only to Mississippi. We’re at the very bottom in child welfare, yet Martinez prioritized tax cuts for corporations.
Our permanent fund is overflowing with cash, yet critical state jobs go unfilled and infrastructure deteriorates. The budget philosophy of “Deprivation will continue until moral improves” is not working. We need a change.

Laura Sanchez
Los Lunas

Animal shelter needs help
The Valencia County Shelter Animal Shelter is full right now. Every day, more animals come in. The shelter has been averaging 90 or so a week for a while now.
This past week, the intake was 144 animals, up almost 50 that we had been averaging weekly.
Many are “owner surrenders” who have hit hard times and cannot afford to feed their dog or cat. They feel surrendering them is the only way.  But with so many coming in daily, it is becoming so overwhelming for the shelter, the volunteers who try and help get these animals re-homed, and the animals, who by no fault of their own, end up in an overcrowded, loud, and scary place facing uncertain future.
The way we see it, this is a three part problem:
1. Lost animals: If you have lost your animal, we beg you please come by the shelter daily to see if your animal was picked up.
The shelter is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We also have a Facebook “Volunteers of the Valencia County Animal Shelter” page for animals currently in the shelter and try to keep it updated every few days. Please look at our page and share the adoptable animals.
2. Owner surrender; can no longer afford: The shelter likes to keep food on hand in the instances they can speak with the family and send them home with a supply of food rather than surrendering.
They are in need of food donations  to lessen the financial burden afflicting these families and preventing the surrender  of animals into the shelter. This is extremely helpful to families who don’t want to but have to make the choice between feeding themselves and feeding their cats and dogs.
If you can donate a bag of food please contact the Valencia County Animal Shelter at 866-2479.   Food can be dropped off at the shelter, 1209 N.M. 314,  just south of Daniel Fernandez Park, or send them a private message on Facebook to arrange a pick up.
Monetary donations are also accepted and very much appreciated, and can be used for vetting.  You can contact Viva! Animal Rescue NM for pick up info. They will be delivering donations.
3. Strays: The shelter staff is also busy trying to manage the large population of stray animals. This would be greatly reduced if our companion animals were spayed and neutered. Please make sure to spay and neuter and encourage others to do the same.
Here are some other resources:  New Mexico Animal Friends, Donna Bradley, 2917 Carlisle NE, Suite 212, Albuquerque, NM, 87110, 881-7297, www.nmaf.org
Low-cost spay/neuter program for low-income residents of Valencia County. Co-pays for cats: $15 for neuter, $25 for spay. Co-pays for dogs: $35 to $80, depending on size.
Feral cat low-cost spay/neuter program in partnership with Animal Humane New Mexico’s clinic. $15 for spay or neuter.  For more information about the entire trap/neuter/return program, please call or visit the website. Also serves Edgewood, Estancia, East Mountain area and Valencia County.
Animal Protection New Mexico is a great resource for rescue groups and shelters seeking information on resources statewide. Their directory of low-cost and free spay/neuter resources is at www.apnm.org.

Gail Mercer
Volunteer for Valencia County Animal Shelter
Adriana Martin
New Mexico Animal Rights Alliance and foster parent for Valencia County Animal Shelter

We should help one another
For many, engaging in their community has become too burdensome. People are too busy raising their children and trying to make a living to contribute to their communities.
Neighbors would once help one another, but it seems nowadays, people don’t want to even get to know the people who they live next to. Instead of helping cut weeds for the neighbor, people are reporting them to the city.
It’s a shame that we can’t go back to when we would all help each other rather than fighting and complaining. It doesn’t help anyone.
There are a lot of elderly people in Valencia County who can’t clean up their own yards. We should help them. We should all help our neighbors.

Melissa Chavez
Los Chavez