Mail letters to Letters, Santa Fe Reporter, PO Box 2306, Santa Fe, NM 87504, deliver them to 132 E. Marcy St., fax them to 505-988-5348 or email them to the editor.
Thank you for looking into the DWI challenge in New Mexico. Had you looked a bit further, you would have discovered the real story: Interlocks work. Go to impactdwi.org and see the real story. Every day interlock providers are seeing reports of customers blowing into the device above the legal limit of .08 percent [blood alcohol content].
There are fewer deaths from DWI and hundreds of serious injuries prevented each year. Offenders themselves are not re-arrested at the same rate with interlocks. And it is paid for by the offenders.
If a reduction in DWI is due to higher gas prices and the economy, then the non-alcohol crash rate would reduce at the same percentage. It did not. Perhaps [Executive Director of the DWI Resource Center, Linda] Atkinson has a better solution? We have not seen it. Interlocks are not the "golden bullet" but they are, at least, a "silver."
Timothy L Hallford
New Mexico Interlock
Drunk on texts
How could your article on drunk driving miss the incredible number of people driving technologically drunk? Yes, they are as drunk as someone who has consumed six beers; in fact, their peripheral vision is less than a drunk driver's. Texting and driving is driving twice drunk at least. I know the cell phone industry brings in huge revenues for you, and they do not allow research or questioning (particularly about addictions to cell phones). We have allowed a technology [without] ethical research for its safety, so citizens are the unpaid subjects of the greatest human experiment in the history of the world. I don't know how the University of Utah got away with doing research on cell phones and drunk driving, but they did. When will our mayor and city councilors do the right thing and have fines and consequences that are appropriate to technological drunk driving?
Robert Francis Johnson
St. Mike's might
I was struck by two important implications of Zane Fischer's article on revisioning St. Michael's Drive. First: Cities continually change. We don't have to be resigned to the results of bad planning. We can actually channel change in the direction of evolution. Second: Evolving and improving St. Michael's will require more than good street design. Mr. Fischer correctly observes that the vibrancy of great places (like Barcelona's La Rambla) depends on the interplay between culture and design. Bringing St. Michael's to life can only happen if Santa Fe reaches deep to find indigenous planning solutions that reveal and reinforce the best in its culture, environment and way of life.
Obama vs. Khan
[Your article on credit cards] came out the same day the United States Senate rejected legislation that would cap the interest rates credit card companies can charge [News, May 13: "Plastic People"]. That a Congress with the greatest Democratic majority in decades could not muster enough votes to pass the most crucial element of reform of this notorious industry amounts to Congress condoning loansharking. The rest of the package of "reforms" is just window dressing because it is the astronomical interest rates that are keeping people who want to pay off their debts from being able to do so. It is obvious that no matter how much stake the government buys in the big banks, it's still the banks who own Congress, not the other way around. Ralph Nader was right: Democrat or Republican, they are still throwing the middle class to the corporate wolves, while they shovel our money at them by the truckload to clean up THEIR debt. My vote for Obama was the last one I will ever cast for a major party candidate. That the Democrats could not do THIS MUCH for the beleaguered, over-burdened, already staggering middle and working classes is beyond the pale. They can whistle for my vote in 2010 AND 2012. I don't care if Obama is running against Genghis Khan.
The Reporter is to be congratulated for such a well-done piece on medical marijuana. However, just after its publication, Alfredo Vigil, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health, seems to have begun a vendetta against the program and the patients who could benefit from it. He arbitrarily and capriciously rejected the most recent seven maladies recommended by DOH's medical committee for treatment with medical marijuana (MMJ), including both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. While adding pain relief to the approved list, he did so saying it should be used as a last resort. It is not compassionate to hold out effective medication as a last resort. Also, he has changed the rules regarding patient approval, now requiring two, sometimes as many as three different doctors' prescriptions before a patient qualifies for MMJ use. These changes are not part of the MMJ law here in NM. They are purely the whim of Vigil.
Vigil's actions suggest to me he is not the person to lead such a bold new program. I feel the time has come for a new secretary at the DOH, one who has the vision and open-mindedness to go forward with the MMJ program, not one who is determined to jam it in reverse whenever possible.
Robert C Ford
Once again, a transplant resident of Santa Fe who capitalizes on the marketability of "Southwestern culture" (a culture to which he has absolutely no entitlement) has managed to epitomize everything I have come to despise about my hometown. It was courageous of him to use the Reporter as his conduit to insult the very people he has objectified for profit.
In regard to the Indian School's demolition, the Pueblo Council [members] were well within their right to destroy buildings that were historically used to tear apart their families. The desire to redesign such an institution as they see fit, without consulting the upper crust of Gentrification, NM, is understandable. As for the trees lining Cerrillos Road, most were not indigenous to the area to begin with, and the desert we live in will merely improve in their absence.
I would like to thank the white people who insist on complaining about the demolition, and about any decisions and policies we NDNs make for ourselves. You do so much for our "shared" community by delegitimizing our
sovereignty and steamrolling over our history. Keep up the good work.
V Natonabah Jones
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