Letters to the editor (06/12/14)


Veguita needs health care
I read with an invested interest the article about the Veguita Health Clinic dated May 22. The article I felt down-played how devastating this is for Veguita residents.
I have invested more than 11 years of my life in making the clinic a reality. How on the eve of the clinic becoming a reality did we let the money fall through our hands? Excitement was being generated that at long last the clinic was to become a reality. How do I explain to families the bureaucracy that failed them once again?
Yes, we can reapply for funds in October, but that delays the clinic by another year — another year of people not getting the health care they deserve and need. Since we didn’t use the funds the first time around, are they going to look favorably on this application?
Veguita residents need a health clinic; we have donated land, a contractor willing to provide care and a provider to provide that care. This delay is more than about money. It is about hope and people’s trust.
Thank you to Rep. Dan Tripp who has been in the battle for as long as I and has never wavered his dedication. Next year at this time, I hope my people have a health clinic and not a bureaucratic excuse.

Leo Mendoza

We need emergency care
My primary care physician, Dr. Sanchez, has his office in Belen next to Interstate 25. It takes about 25 minutes to reach his office from my home.
That’s also about how long it takes to reach hospitals in Albuquerque. That’s too long if I need emergency services.
What Valencia Country really needs is the ability to receive emergency services within a much shorter time — 10 to 15 minutes — day or night. That is, emergency rooms that operate 24/7 at multiple locations on both sides of the Rio Grande.
The location of a hospital lacking those multiple points of 24/7 emergency services has little importance to health care. The county commission should ensure that tax dollars of Valencia County citizens are used to address this very real need for 24/7 emergency services at multiple locations on both sides of the river.
The value of a hospital to economic development is important, but not as important as rapid access to emergency services by all citizens who may need them at any time.
Flip a coin to choose between Belen or Los Lunas for a hospital, but make sure the provider will build those much needed 24/7 emergency facilities on both sides of the Rio Grande.  Then get on with construction without more endless delays.

Paul Burnett
Los Lunas

RSVP thankful to supporters
On April 25, the Mid Rio Grande chapter of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program held its annual luncheon for its many volunteers, at the Belen Elks Lodge.
More than 125 seniors and their guests attended. Besides a delicious comida provided by Rita’s Restaurant, representatives from the New Mexico Aging and Long Term Services Dept., Molina Health Care, Center for Ageless Living and Amerigroup provided seniors with information about their services.
Master of ceremonies Belen City Councilor Wayne Gallegos spun records that got everyone in the mood for dancing. Patty Herrington, of The Valley Dancers, led seniors through a variety of dance steps. Former Mayor Rudy Jaramillo provided the blessing for the meal.
Belen Mayor Jerah Cordova and city councilors, Darlene Aragon, Frank Ortega and David Carter helped serving meals prepared for the seniors.
RSVP would like to express its gratitude to the Belen Elks Lodge for graciously offering its facilities for our lunch for seniors.
The following organizations and individuals provided gifts that were awarded to our seniors by lottery: Affordable Tires, Molina Health Care, the Fred Luna Senior Center, Lenore Pena, Department of Aging and Long Term Services, Belen Meadows.
Lucy Baca, the Belen Community Center, Center for Ageless Living, Eddie Jaramillo, the Belen Police Department, Belen Fire Chief Manny Garcia, Belen Fire Department, Amerigroup, C & M Ceramics, Del Rio Senior Center, Rita’s Restaurant, the Greater Belen Chamber of Commerce.
The Bosque Farms Senior Center, the Belen Harvey House, the Belen Public Library and the sewing lading from the Del Rio Project Center.
Assisting the RSVP advisory council, Linda Duree, Mark Rosenblum, Pearl Armijo and Jim Rickey, in helping setting up the hall and serving seniors were RSVP assistant Leandra Chavez, Lillie McNabb, Eileen Stone, Margaret Gutierrez, Lois Bulkley, Gilbert Baca, Dorothy Vaughan, Ashley Hernandez, Herman Armijo and Felix Padilla from the Elks Lodge.
Many thanks to all who made this a successful and enjoyable experience for our many volunteers!

Bertha Flores
Mid Rio Grande Chapter RSVP

Think, listen and learn
It seems we (all of us) have supposed insight into whatever news is reported by the media.
Most news sources offer little understanding, but we seem to believe that a specific source renders us able to editorialize on the information. The next step is to inform each other, with near-war-like enthusiasm (in some circles), and we are merely a “smidgen” short of participants beating on each other.
Well, listen up neighbor: I know I’m right, because a tough kind of fellow in town agreed with me. He let me know that his information was confirmed by someone on a radio talk-show, who said it could be “taken to the bank.”
“Well, that’s comforting,” I told him, and with some misunderstanding I asked which bank the faceless voice recommended. He gave me an odd sort of look, and then informed me, “relax, and fear no one when arguing an approved-media-inspired piece of information!”
Is that a license of some kind, I wondered? Can I go back to places where the “hotbed of news” could develop into threatening words? I carry a cell phone, and I have a way to reach “him” if support is needed.
Of course my friends offered advice on the relative folly of that action. Although I was taught (that) to err is human and valor important; additionally, of valor discretion is likely the better part.
On that note, I will assure all of you I’m going to do my best to analyze, visit more than one source, and mindful (that) we are each citizens in this community while forming my opinions.
I’m going to avoid situations resulting in intentional offense, and attempt those offered by conclusions well-thought through. We are a relatively young nation needing the “room” to learn to walk now that we’ve been through the crawling period.
Think, study, decide and contribute … you will make a peaceful difference.

F. Guy Glover
Los Lunas