On the mark
Bravo Santa Fe Reporter! Dave Maass’ eye-opening piece, “Failure to Appear” [Outtakes, June 25] is the type of investigative journalism we need much more of here in northern New Mexico (wish we had this news before June 3, but better late than never). Perhaps the Santa Fe Reporter will turn its collective eye next toward the congressional candidates, especially those from Block-like-minded political dynasties! George W Bush’s political ascent, however, does prove that a past filled with substance abuse and youthful indiscretion isn’t a major political liability anymore —but perhaps it should be!
Chris Trussell
Santa Fe

Teachers first
Whether some police officers believe it or not, I do support the police, and I understand how hard it is to afford a home here, and they have a right to live where they want [Cover story, June 25: “Home Away From Home”]. It took me more than 11 years working as an attorney, after more than nine years of college, to finally purchase a modest home here. It’s a struggle for many every month. Some people work hard all their lives and still have to rent. However, letting these officers use their police cars to commute is not the answer, and it is, in my opinion, outrageous, especially considering the price of fuel and the wear and tear on the vehicles. The whole concept of allowing police officers to take their vehicles home makes no sense whatever, when they are commuting.

If we’re going to give free transportation to public servants for the commute let’s also give it to teachers, who struggle to live here and are as important or more important to the community than are the police. If we’re going to provide free or subsidized housing on school or park grounds, as I have heard discussed, let’s do it for teachers, who are also underpaid, but in most cases better educated, with burdensome student loans to prove it. Let’s help the teachers, give them the houses at the schools and parks and park the worn-out commuter-cop cars outside as a deterrent.
L Val Whitley
Santa Fe

OverHear this
I have come to love the column Santa Fe Eavesdropper. It is the first part of the Reporter that I read. I often laugh at the quotes of our fellow Santa Feans.

However, I was disturbed by the recent quote of the New Yorker who stated, “I can’t handle that shit—I am from New York” [June 25].

My advice to this dear lady is love Santa Fe for its wonderful, unique, quirky reality. If you can’t handle the lovely old city, take your shit and head back to your rat-infested, over-populated, over-inflated ego of New York.
M Russell Williams
Santa Fe

Focus on crime
[Regarding City Councilor Rosemary Romero] Her No. 1 issue should be public safety. Santa Fe’s crime is up over 90 percent and she is worried about affordable housing [SFR Talk, June 25: “New Kid on the Block”]. She needs to get her priorities right and focus on our public safety. Yes affordable housing is important. And yes there is a solution, but the mayor and the City Council can’t seem to get their act together. A 30-year bond to pay for affordable housing must be issued and half the profits of a sold house would go back into the fund. Instead, they recently voted to spend $90K dollars for a March election that is just a band-aid approach and doesn’t solve the problem.
Edw Brown
Santa Fe

Health not war
As you know, the Bush administration and its surrogates keep making increasingly incendiary comments about Iran. We certainly cannot afford another war.

It is bad enough President Bush dragged this country into a war of choice, which has left Americans less secure than we were before 9.11.

Now, the president is rattling his saber at Iran. We need health care NOT warfare, with over 47 million Americans lacking health care—most of them working Americans.

In Iraq, we have more than 4,000 dead American troops, not to mention the thousands more who are injured and will need medical care for the rest of their lives. Current estimates put the cost of the Iraq war at $3 trillion with no end in sight. And all we get from this administration is the possibility of yet another war—with Iran.

The Republican Party is now harboring more escaped war criminals than appeared at the Nuremberg Trials. We the people need accountability, not more White House terrorism.
Ernest Sturdevant

Exercise caution
This regards the article that appeared in the 2008 edition of your Summer Guide, entitled “Rafting Through Time” [June 18]. This otherwise well-written article suffers from the one-sided view of the rafting scene presented by Billy Miller, self-described maverick outfitter, and the only outfitter that the author interviewed.

It is all well and good that the public has the opportunity to choose from a variety of rafting companies, from the marginal and anachronistic to the modern and well-equipped. There should always be a place for the former.

Unfortunately, in relying only on the biases and mis-information of the sole interviewee, the article mis-represents the rafting industry at large. For instance, all but Billy Miller are dues-paying members of the New Mexico River Outfitters Association, an organization dedicated to upholding the standards of the river industry.

Everyone but Billy Miller puts his money where his mouth is, while he claims he can’t afford the dues.

Additionally, Billy Miller asserts that the larger “McRafting” companies employ only “younger, less-experienced people looking for seasonal work,” which is anything but the truth. The well-established rafting companies (which had been around long before Billy Miller showed-up) have guide staffs that include many with more than 20 years on the water.
Steve Miller,
President of New Mexico River OUtfitters Association

correction: It was SFR opera critic John Stege, not Santa Fe Opera General Director Richard Gaddes, whose first time at SFO was at its inaugural production of The Rake’s Progress in July 1957 and who has been to 219 productions of 117 operas at the Santa Fe Opera. A piece in last week’s Reporter [Performing Arts: “Farewell Deep Valley”] stated otherwise as the result of an editing error.

Correction: A story in last week’s Reporter [Cover story: “Home Away from Home”] mis-stated the number of city employees. The correct figure is 1,600. SFR regrets the error.

The Reporter welcomes original, signed letters to the editor. Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to speci?c articles in the Reporter. They may be edited for clarity and space. Include address and phone number for veri?cation purposes; these will not be published.