Sept. 23, 2017
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Anson Stevens-Bollen

Letters to the Editor


June 28, 2017, 12:00 am

Cover, June 21: “Permanent Collection”

Take Care of Your Peeps

I enjoyed reading “Permanent Collection.” The tattoo world does tend to have colorful characters, and, at 72, I am planning on finally indulging. When I got to “Tattoo Etiquette,” though, the idea of a confraternity carrying on a multi-millennial tradition began to seriously fray. “These people 100 percent have your best interests in mind.” Unless you want a “zia symbol” (new here. I had to look it up). How arrogant! How crass and prissy. Aboriginal body art almost always has a repeated tribal theme. Why would an aboriginal sun symbol not qualify?

I think that $150 per hour is not unreasonable, and how wonderful it must be to get that kind of money for doing what you love. But tips! Seriously! Maybe I’m remiss, but I don’t tip my doctor, or my lawyer, or even the guy who does a decent job on my taxes. How many artists do you know that expect a tip when they sell a painting? Save your money for the poor souls lugging heavy trays of hash and beans, for minimum wage.

Rick Vail
Santa Fe

Letters, May 31 and June 7

Local Gadflies

I’d like to see the Reporter perform at least a cursory level of research into the assertions of “Letter to the Editor” writers before their views are published. Arthur Firstenberg’s “Woodsy Propaganda,” for example, advances numerous theories on forest management that are at odds with scientific consensus and historical fact. It is worth noting that Firstenberg ... to my knowledge, has no training or experience in public lands or wildfire management (I do).

Likewise, Cate Moses—who is quoted in Firstenberg’s letter and has written a number of her own—has appeared at numerous Forest Service meetings to make outlandish claims, including the bizzare assertion that controlled burns cause women to miscarry pregnancies.

The rationale for conducting some elementary level of fact-checking should be obvious: You’re journalists. We live in a world of “alternative facts” and false equivalency (see: the climate change “debate”) that necessitates a more vigilant approach to journalism to ensure the public is given accurate information. While it may be easy to write off Mr. Firstenberg and Ms. Moses as local gadflies, it’s just this type of carelessness that helped put another fact-averse gadfly in the Oval Office.

And for Chrissakes, if you’re gonna publish this, at least Google me to verify I know what I’m talking about.

Jonathan Hayden
Santa Fe

Editor’s Note: Yes, we are journalists; but our letter-writers are not. Letters to the editor are not presented as reported pieces of journalism from our staff, and—believe it or not—the most harmful and the craziest of the crazy do not make it into print.

SFR will correct factual errors online and in print. Please let us know if we make a mistake, or 988-7530.

Mail letters to PO Box 2306, Santa Fe, NM 87504, deliver to 132 E Marcy St., or email them to Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to specific articles in the Reporter. Letters will be edited for space and clarity.


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