Cover, April 23: “Vacancy Place”

Left in the Cold

I know there are complex factors around the tailspin of this mall. It was a vibrant place when I moved here 15 years ago. I don’t know if this had anything to do with it, but the owners who took over Villa Linda Mall and remodeled and changed the name turned what was, yes, a dated facility, but one that had a warm atmosphere with plants and spaces that invited you to stay. What they replaced it with is exemplified by the main dining area. There was a merry-go-round, built-in seating and plants, etc., and they instead left an aircraft hangar. The place is cold and uninviting now.

Mark Dickerson


John and Leslie Gardener are the owners of Heart of the Lotus Gift Bazaar at Santa Fe Place. A story in the April 23 edition failed to mention Leslie's role.

School Reformed, April 30: “The Parent’s Dilemma”


While reading Seth Biderman's column in your most recent issue of SFR, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Not only does he describe his friends as "The New York Times, Subaru Outback subset," but he lumps all Santa Fe public schools into one pool.

I will play along with his arrogant stance of his social circle. I am a member of the Prius or Tahoe (depending on road conditions), Huffington Post-reading, Jon Stewart-watching subset, and my kids go to public schools. As a matter of fact, they used to go to private school, one of the best in the Southwest. I, too, was a bit nervous about sending my precious two to a public school after they were so well looked after in private school. I have to say, Biderman is deeply misled on the current state of all elementary public schools in Santa Fe.

When I walk into my child's school, I am warmly greeted by the secretary, principal and any teacher or aide that may be near. The walls are decorated with beautiful art, projects and schoolwork from kindergarten through the sixth grade. The teachers are warm, professional, caring and very proud of what they do. By the way, the teachers also collaborate on a daily basis.

I agree that Santa Fe public schools have their problems, but do not be fooled into thinking that private schools are free from drama. I would ask Biderman to please visit Wood Gormley Elementary. My children come home happy, educated, full of questions and homework.

Daniel Calderon
Santa Fe

Choices Limited

The problem I see with this is that not all parents can make a choice. We are stuck with the public school option simply because we can't afford anything else. So what then? Do we just sit idly by and watch our kids become little robots of the education system, or do we actually try to make changes? My children are more important than anything else in life, so not fighting against this wrecked education system isn't an option. We've got bigger concerns coming our way fast if we don't take a stand. Look around at other states across the country and see what is happening in their schools. Please, let's do something about our schools here in Santa Fe before it gets that bad.

Cynthia Allen

Culture of Respect

For many years I worked with small businesses (under $200 million in sales) and nonprofit organizations. Essential to their success was an attitude of appreciation for all stakeholders. Treating people with dignity and respect and celebrating their individual contributions, large or small, was a critical element in accomplishing the mission of each business or nonprofit. We sought to create a culture of respect and continuous improvement in each enterprise. Success was driven by positive attitude. Negativity led to poor performance and high turnover.

Creating such a culture requires leadership from the top. People will treat others as they are treated.

By grading our schools A-F, by judging teachers based on student test performance, they are being degraded, as are all those associated with so-called "failing schools," to say nothing of the governor's recently disclosed comments. Negativity is reinforced. No wonder many teachers are quitting, and students dropping out before graduation.

Seth Biderman asks whether public schools have a culture of learning and respect. The question goes not just to Santa Fe, but to every school district in the state. Is the state educational policy creating an attitude of positivity and appreciation for students and teachers? I don't think it can.

Sure, I wanted my kids to learn to read and write and do math. But more than that, I wanted them to develop a healthy self-esteem so they become confident and happy adults. That is what matters in the long run; not how they scored on some test. Creating a healthy respectful school culture, where children's differences are appreciated, where self-esteem is positively reinforced and where learning is fun seems to me to be the goal.

David Prescott
Santa Fe

Briefs, April 30: “New Indigenous Market”


Go Native peoples. For so long, people have made money on your art and cultural ways. We change to meet their requirements, and they kick us to the curb. Congratulations for taking a stand; the Indigenous Fine Art Market is almost here, and we are thrilled. Wherever, we will go!

lucia Valdez

Briefs, April 23: “Cyclist Fatality”


This was a tragic accident and has left me greatly saddened by the loss of Suzanne LeBeau. I am truly sorry for her family and friends during this time and the train engineer as well.

A full investigation has not been completed, yet Marc Bertram is quick to place the blame on a neighborhood.Really, this is stooping pretty low with the blame game. Disgusting. There were too many variables in place to make the oversimplified statements by Bertram. There is no evidence that opening the station is going to make the Zia intersection safer and the number of stops the train would make at Zia. The New Mexico Department of Transportation stopped this station from opening, not this neighborhood. Sure, the neighborhood has many concerns around this station and the mega development planned. Is it right to call a neighborhood a "major obstruction" when all they want is to see things done in a reasonable and safe way? Bertram wants "his" station and development without concerns being brought to light because it is his idea, and everyone should love his ideas without question.

This was a horrible article and should have never been printed.


Wrong Time

My wife and I have lived in Santa Fe 17 years and love your paper. Hence I was flabbergasted that you would publish the lies and false accusations by Marc Bertram. It's time for some truth about the Zia station. This station was built, at the bidding of Bertram, surrounded by property owned by his company, SF Brown, primarily to serve a development that he has not yet built. He calls his property a TOD, Transit Oriented Development. This train was built primarily as a commuter train from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. Has Bertram canvassed the Albertsons, Office Max and Walgreens across the street to see how many of their employees commute from Albuquerque and if the train schedule would meet their shifts?

It is true that the train stop might be convenient for a couple of people daily, and I would probably ride it a couple of times a year, but that does not justify stopping and delaying hundreds of commuters from Albuquerque on the train. This stop is not for "the entire city of Santa Fe," as Bertram says, that is the downtown and South Capitol stops—this station is to increase the value of Bertram's property. The whole safety and traffic issues around the area, especially the inadequacy of Galisteo and its junctions with Zia and Rodeo, need to be addressed before opening the station or Bertram's development.

David Pease
Santa Fe

Cover, April 2: “I Saw it on Facebook”

It’s Serious

Regarding your article on chemtrails, this is a serious matter that deserves actual "fact finding," not a flimsy dismissal. Contrails are not the same as chemtrails. Chemtrails, called geoengineering, leave a particulate trail, remain in the sky for long periods, then spread into a filmy haze. They are in all quadrants of the sky, in all directions and often not coordinated with commercial flight routes.

Geoengineering patents describe the use of aluminum, radioactive barium and strontium. These metals are being found in water and soil samples in massive amounts. Normal levels of aluminum in the environment are two parts per billion. Levels as high as 350,000 parts per billion are now being seen. Aluminum is associated with autism and dementia. The Centers for Disease Control reported a 30 percent increase in autism in the last year.

The nano size particulates described in the patents are damaging to the respiratory system. Respiratory illnesses this winter were prolonged and reported to be "often unresponsive to normal medical intervention."

There is an overwhelming body of evidence that geoengineering is happening without our consent. I urge everyone to research this dire subject. Google Dane Wigington, Kristen Meghan, Rosalind Peterson, Michael J Murphy, Clifford Carnicom or geoengineering

T Keefe
Santa Fe

Media Lies

I could not be more disappointed with the article. Maybe you should say radiation and GMOs are just fine. The word for chemtrails is geoengineering. That word was not even used in your article. It is the science of weather control. Even Al Gore has spoken against it! Some people in this town get sick after these "clouds" are thick in the sky. I am one—aluminum and other metals suddenly show up in my body. Might as well be an article in The Wall Street Journal or some other publication whose purpose is to keep us stupid.

Donna Neumann
Santa Fe

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