Acting Out, January 3:  “Pura Vida”


Winnipeg produces many fine artists, including Talia, and it is wonderful to see she and Bill are spreading the word through their many talents and skills. Winnipeg's loss is Santa Fe's gain. Bravo and continued good fortune!
Liam Taliesin

News, December 20:  “SFR v. Martinez—Still”

Nothing New

I would say Martinez has a long history of denying citizens' rights to government documents. This was the policy when she was the DA of the 3rd Judicial District in Las Cruces.

When the city and the Las Cruces Public Schools denied repeated requests for documents, I went to her office requesting help through the Inspection of Public Records Act. Her representative told me to "go tell the newspaper [the Sun-News]."

As the saying goes, this was the straw that forced the filing of the 2003 federal lawsuit Chavez/Weinbaum v. Las Cruces Public Schools [over] Christianity in the public schools. When that lawsuit was intentionally delayed by federal magistrate Lourdes Martinez, the 2005 federal lawsuit Weinbaum/Boyd v. City of Las Cruces, et al, for using government funds and properties to promote Christianity was filed.

Martinez has done the same things the lawsuits were about since she has been in office.
Paul F Weinbaum
Las Cruces

Letters, Nov. 15-Dec. 13:  “Huntress”

Step Back

The letter exchange resulting from Elizabeth Miller's article "Huntress" somewhat misses the point as far as killing animals. … Indeed, while hunting is on a long-term decline in the US, Americans have available about 180 lbs of meat of all types per year each (USDA) and are ravenously killing chickens and eating more meat, even as red meat consumption decreases (Rabobank data).

While a lot of the meat sold at upscale stores may be advertised as grass-fed, free-range, antibiotic-free, etc. in order to attract the healthy living market in the City Different, I don't know of any "no-kill meat." So unless one is a vegan (milk, cheese and eggs support animal agriculture), one is killing animals with one's wallet rather than a gun or bow, and sometimes under deplorable conditions found in "animal factories." At least hunters are honest about how their meat gets to their table.
Khalil J Spencer
Los Alamos

News, December 6:  “Cutting Cover”

More to Consider

Although I still think too many trees were cut at Leonora Curtin—you did a really thorough job on the article and we appreciate the coverage.

I just wish [the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve] would have tried removing a smaller area [of Russian olive trees] first, and waited to see how the area recovers and whether native plants get established. Birds use Russian olives, and because so much riparian habitat has been lost all over the Southwest, it's still important to leave areas of shade and cover, even near cienegas.

Because developments and groundwater wells are responsible for most of the water depletions of springs and cienegas, it seems that they are over-relying on this tree removal to bring the water level back up. …
Hopefully the area will recover and not just dry out more because of no shade and evaporation. The water level goes down in the spring and summer because of warmer temps, more evaporation, water use upstream, etc. and not completely from the trees. …

I hope the birds will find some suitable nesting and feeding habitat next spring somewhere; though this is just one less place available for the warblers and other migratory songbirds.
Please visit the area next spring if you get a chance—even with the trees gone. At least the area around the pond is intact and beautiful.
Joanie Berde

Toxic Choices

I read with dismay your article about the removal of 6 acres of mature Russian olive trees at the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, managed by the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens. This was accomplished thanks to a grant provided by the State of New Mexico to the tune of $20,000. Russian olive was established in our area over 100 years ago. As a tree it is invasive, but it also provides beneficial fruit for birds, deer, bears and other animals. In addition to cutting down the trees, the Botanical Gardens also applied gallons of Habitat herbicide (banned by European countries) to the stumps. While the agency promotes protecting our "delicate ecosystem," I'm trying to understand how cutting down acres of trees and applying toxic herbicide to the ground qualifies as responsible ecological management? A much more beneficial program could have utilized all that money to re-establish native vegetation, instead of an ill-advised eradication program. Leonora Curtin migrated here as a naturalist. She was fascinated by the benefits of medicinal plants and our curanderas. Interestingly, the medicinal benefits and uses of Russian olive are well documented.
John Gagne
Santa Fe

Email Newsletter: “Morning Word”

The Secret is Butter

Just want to thank you for the last word today (and most days). You crack me up and inject a very welcome humorous note to my mornings. Sometimes wonder, though, what you all put in your coffee!
Linda Moore
Via Email

Editor's Note: Our daily morning news digest from staff writer Matt Grubs, the Morning Word, features a "quip" at the end of each email—a little line about our thoughts, what's happening in the world, what we're having for lunch, what YOU'RE having for lunch—stuff like that. Our readers seem to enjoy it. See for yourself: Subscribe at

Email Newsletter: “The Fork”

We spell it chile, y’all

Hey "y'all," we are not in Texas—wake up and smell the chili! You write like a third-grader. (Don't you have spell check?) Also, your foul language is sophomoric—let's go the high road, ok?!
Ken Terry
Santa Fe