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 the excellent article by Laura Paskus, "Stealing the Past." It was balanced, well-written and answered many questions regarding the antiquities raids, grave robbing and Native American objects. Good job!
"Stealing the Past" seems to equate dealing and collecting with looting and criminal behavior. Paskus writes, "...Even casual collecting—by those who might not even realize they, too, are looting—is a problem."
As members of the Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association, we have observed that the overwhelming majority of both serious and casual collectors, as well as the dealers from whom they buy, are certainly not looters or criminals of any kind. In fact, serious dealers and collectors make it their business to know and observe the law.
And if they are uncertain about the current statutes, they can access atada.org and click on "Legislative Alert," where the laws are summarized and the originals may be accessed.
A small point—when Paskus quotes ATADA President Arch Thiessen talking about historic pottery (circa 1870-1940), in all cases he meant to say prehistoric pottery (circa 1200).
Protecting New Mexico's history is a priority of all ATADA members.
Executive Director, Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association
The resignation of Melissa Milam [as program coordinator] is just further evidence that the leadership—[Health Secretary] Dr. Alfredo Vigil—at the New Mexico Department of Health for the Medical Cannabis Program is almost nonexistent. Vigil has repeatedly shown what little regard he has for those patients who could truly benefit from medical cannabis. From the ridiculous number of approved legal producers—one, so far—to an internal investigation of Melissa herself, it is clear he does not care for the program nor the patients. I wish Melissa well in her quest to form her own nonprofit to produce medical cannabis for those in need she cares so much about. It's too bad the governor doesn't install someone at the DOH who can be part of the solution, like Melissa, rather than retaining Vigil, who seems to be a large part of the problem in keeping success from the Medical Cannabis Program here in New Mexico. So, good luck, Melissa!
Robert C Ford
Fancy the Future
I, too, was a recipient of one of those emails with the subject heading, Fantastic New Santa Fe Specialty Retail & Entertainment Complex Under Consideration, as described in Zane's World. At first, it hit me as well that this was a little too development-crazy—eco-conscious or not—especially in our ongoing economic climate. But the name Baca Junction and all it described caught my fancy. After reading its proposal for a new bowling alley (now absent in Santa Fe), what would be our town's only miniature-golf course, nature-reserve elements, gold mining and dinosaur digs for the kids, and an amphitheater and more right off Cerrillos Road next to the Baca Railyard area, it really stirred my imagination. I asked several people if they thought that considerably more people would patronize, say, a bowling alley on this open acreage with hundreds of aboveground, free parking spaces than the one that has been proposed in the past for the Railyard's Market Station (with belowground pay-to-park). All of them concurred. I agree and see this as a great vision for bustling community togetherness and wholesome activity for adults and youth alike.