Letters to the Editor

A history lesson


Wonder why people scream “Nazi” when you say you’re going to vote for Trump? No doubt you think it’s wild accusations since you are an upstanding, law-abiding citizen, raised your family, contributed to your community, paid taxes, possibly attend church and are generally a good person.

To understand why you are being called a Nazi, it’s necessary to go back a bit in history. I don’t doubt that many of your parents and grandparents fought in the second world war. At least you know something about it from school.

Before the second world war, Germany was a Christian country; predominantly Catholic, in fact. Most of the people were ordinary citizens like you and me. They, like us, were coming out of a very traumatic period of social upheaval with an economic depression.

During the period between the wars, a political party gained public interest with the promise “To make Germany great again,” and gave hope that their party policies would improve people’s economic position.

Over the course of several years, the party gathered public support for their efforts to silence and eliminate certain opposing groups. Shortly after the party was formed, the first group they went after were the people who disagreed with their party line. The party labeled these dissenters “communist and socialist” whether they were or not.

The next group the party went after were those they called “the deviates,” which was anybody who didn’t follow their stringent definition of “normal” sexual and gender identity. Before that, and all along in fact, people with mental and physical disabilities were sent to institutions, where they died in the hundreds. Check out the T4 program.

All this occurred long before the second world war broke out. This all happened many years before they went after the Jews and other ethnic groups. The German people, at the time, accepted what was happening despite their thinking it was reprehensible. Remember what happened to dissenters.

Oh, you say “that would never happen here,” which is pretty much what the majority of Germans said in their naivete in the beginning, especially those who did not live in the major cities. If you choose not to believe this at least go to the public library and research it for yourself and think, “How could this be happening now?”

Mae Velasquez

Los Lunas

Keep an open mind


How many times do you read and/or hear information and believe everything that’s printed or said? It baffles me how many people do.

I want to stress that there may be a small element of truth to some news issues, but there is always another side — a side that may completely change your mind about what you initially believed. But, you may never get to know the other side of a news article or issue.

People can go on with life having made a decision or judgement about someone or something, yet didn’t have all the facts about what has been written or said.

How many people ask, “Why was a case settled and the plaintiff awarded $$$?” or “What did that plaintiff do to have been terminated?” “What really happened?”

I will add, rarely do employees get wrongfully terminated. There is probably another side, in which you may never know the details.

Please know all the facts before you judge, condemn or question someone’s integrity. Think about how issues are dealt with and why so much is left unsaid.

Some people honor court rulings in settlements, some don’t. Often it’s about wanting to prove that they have the power to influence the public whether ethical or not. There is an audacity or no conscience about playing with someone’s integrity, and knowing that they can get most, not all, readers to believe what has been written or said, especially when certain issues keep getting repeated. This is a clever way to ingrain what is written as indeed the truth, even if it’s not.

I encourage you to keep an open mind in everything you read and hear, especially when it comes to government issues. Don’t judge or believe that you’ve been given all the facts. Sometimes, legal issues may prevent disclosure, but still ask yourself, “Why not?” before you believe everything you read or hear. Questioning what you read or hear is the intelligent thing to do.

I quote from the Bible, Matthew 7: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye.”

Mary Ann Baca

Los Lunas

Protecting our history


The Valencia County News-Bulletin brought sad news (June 18) about the closing of the Luna Mansion as a “go-to” restaurant due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the pandemic, so many lives have been lost, so many people are hospitalized, so many people have recovered, so many people have lost their small businesses and so many have been furloughed, laid off or left to try and live on unemployment compensation, SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare, savings or a forced retirement, etc., just until they can get back on their feet.

The Luna Mansion is not a precious person, but it once housed people who tried to make a go of it in the territory of New Mexico and then as a state in the USA, and they succeeded.

The Torres family saw the benefit of preserving the unique building of its era and tried to make a go of it as a restaurant, and they succeeded.

The pandemic has forced many to distance from each other, wear masks and open to half capacity, but for the future prolonging of human lives. This is a good thing, too.

What would be wonderful is to honor these pioneers by buying the building and keeping our history alive. The council must have so many ideas for the use of this building but to not forget why it was built. Not everything can be learned from a library or the books in that library.

So many buildings were torn down in the 1970s, like the Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, which I knew well as a child attending St. Mary’s School, and as a young adult singing from the balcony, a wedding of a young couple beginning their married life.

The Alvarado in Albuquerque met its end, too, in the 1970s, such a creative but sad time, too, what with the Vietnam conflict raging.

The pandemic must not be an ending to any hope for the future. In fact, it’s a sign for we survivors to continue to honor the past and keep history alive, not torn down or warehoused.

Please consider this as a wonderful opportunity to say yes to the future. Los Lunas prides itself on the motto that I see on the I-25 bridge, “Small Town, Big Possibilities.” Let’s make this motto a reality.

I was not around in the 1970s in Belen to save the Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church or save the Alvarado in Albuquerque, but I did stand up before the Albuquerque City Council in my 40s to save the Albuquerque High School building on Central Avenue, and it was saved.

I want to finally give voice to many in the Rio Grande Valley who want to remember and preserve.

Susanna Gilbert


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