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.
10 Ways To Do
I'm writing to praise Laura Paskus' "10 for '10" article. I react to many news stories with, "Hey, this stinks! Somebody should do something about it." By suggesting a few things than can be done and by giving resources to follow up on each issue, "10 for '10" makes it easier for me to be the somebody. I'd love it if that kind of information were appended to all the news I read. The article was a gentle prod to be involved in where I live and to express my grumblings and kudos to politicians and reporters. And it's already resulted in a letter to Rep. [Ben Ray] Luján, [D-NM]. Please run this type of article more often (so I don't get lazy!).
Brian C Harmon
Man Up Positively
The focus of the Dec. 16 cover story "Man Up" is mainly on domestic violence deniers; however, there is a third side to the story with respect to men. The efforts of men like Ray Lopez, who is briefly mentioned in the article, are part of a growing movement among men in our community and across the country to end the cycle of violence toward women rather than denying or excusing it. I've been fortunate to have been mentored by two such men at IMPACT Personal Safety who have been part of these efforts in Santa Fe for many years. It is important for men to know that they can and need to be part of the solution to end violence toward women, and that there are places and support systems that exist where they can "man up" in a positive way.
IMPACT Personal Safety
Thanks to Christina Hartsock for highlighting the impact your coffee choices can make [Letters, Jan. 6: "Greenwood"]. While it is true that buying shade-grown coffee helps protect sensitive habitats for migratory bird species, it does not directly address one of the biggest problems in coffee-farming communities.
There are over 125 million people around the world who are completely dependent on coffee for their income. Many can expect to receive between 12 to 25 cents per pound of coffee they pick by hand. Price premiums for shade-grown, fair trade or organic coffee provide a more equitable price, but do little to reduce dependence.
A recent study by the Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center estimates that at least 10 percent of coffee farmers in Central America have abandoned organic coffee production because the price premiums do not even cover their costs of production.
To truly make a difference in these communities and reduce impact on the environment, we need to reach out to the people farming coffee and support alternatives that address their dependence on this crop. Coffee Kids (coffeekids.org), a Santa Fe-based nonprofit, supports
coffee communities through sustainable programs in economic diversity, education, food security and health awareness.
I invite you to visit our website and learn how you can support sustainable programs in coffee communities.
Birds are good Joe
Last week's letter from Ms. Hartsock hit home with me as I have drank only organic coffee for several years now. I've enjoyed coffee daily for many years (I used to be a truck driver) but, after reading a list on the internet of chemicals used in coffee growing (found by ORCA Robotized Workstation for Chemical Analysis), I almost gagged. Over 1,000 different chemicals have been found in non-organic coffees—including DDT(!), which has been banned in the US for many years but still sold to 3rd Worlders. It is good to know that almost all the better-known cafés with a conscience here in Santa Fe (I've been to all of them) serve some organic and shade-grown (birds are good) coffees.
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