Cover, February 21: “Power Failure”

Smilin’ at Me

As a rate payer of PNM for the past 32 years, I have steadily seen my rates go up, while I have seen the pollution of gray skies from here in Santa Fe despite my (naive but well-meaning) extra $1 per month I paid to PNM in the late 1990's for a "Blue Skies" program which was to help with the development of renewables; but saw very little evidence that PNM was doing anything but drag their feet and merely paying lip service to renewables. And I read about the largest methane plume [in the world] from the Four Corners region. You could see it from space, and methane is much more polluting than CO2 gas. And I have not read much about how our government has been dealing with it or what state it is in, or how it may decrease with the closure of the power plants, or is it a product of strip mining and will continue?

As for the citizens of Farmington, maybe this is a good time for you to think about moving.

And for all of us, perhaps we need to think about [how] it is not always about money. … The bottom line is maybe we need to think about what has been bad for us has been bad for the planet, and maybe we still have a small window of opportunity of at least slowing the tide of climate change.

Mai Tang

News, February 28:  “Yes, I Can”

Aw Hell No

Steve Pearce is the scariest man in New Mexico; note the disasters of Republican governors in Michigan, Kansas, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee and Indiana, to name a few, while California, New York and Minnesota thrive. His animosity toward Susana may be his only redeeming quality.

Gov. Martinez did only one good thing that Pearce would not do and would end: the institution of the Affordable Care Act for New Mexicans. Otherwise he is a wealthy oil baron who has never cast a vote for his constituents, and neither belongs in Washington nor Santa Fe. It mystifies me why Southern New Mexico elects him, but hopefully the entire state will restore a Democrat to the state house if it has any ability to learn anything from experience!

Gerald M Rosen
Santa Fe

Aw Yiss

Go Steve! New Mexico won't get out of the bottom of everything with the same old same old corrupt liberal politics we've had for decades. The Santa Fe swamp needs draining!

Dale Sivils
Via Facebook

Cover, February 28: “Stairway to Nowhere”

Deja Vu All Over Again

Please, please, please do not let the City get into bed with another for-profit education company. The for-profit educational model is deeply flawed; it was a bad idea in 2009 and it's an even worse idea now. I have been so disturbed by the reports of UNM considering some sort of public-private partnership with the same shady, foreign company whose purchase of SFUAD was already denied by its accreditors. Have we learned nothing? Did the misguided students who chose yet another for-profit institution that subsequently also closed learn nothing?

The beloved 150-year-old College of Santa Fe should have been integrated into the public university system in 2009, and but for the all-too-powerful Sen. John Arthur Smith, may well have been. He killed this school just as much as Laureate did. Just as he has killed so many other nascent propositions—most recently, an amendment to expand early childhood education in our already poorly educated state. At least he's consistent?

Laura Smith
Via Facebook

Extra Thoughts

Untapped Resource

In the wake of another horrific school shooting, television and radio pundits and social media are again consumed with discussion about solutions to stop the insanity of having young lives taken from us by disenfranchised students determined to get the revenge they feel they deserve from their social isolation. While gun control arguments and mental health reform immediately surface, an often overlooked and underutilized resource can make a significant difference: the professional school counselor.

The majority of school counselors graduate from 60-credit masters programs that include coursework in identifying early signs of depression, social isolation, aggressive and anti-social behaviors, and other pre-determinants leading to a school shooter mindset. Despite their advanced training in mental health, the role of the professional school counselor is often misunderstood or not properly recognized by school administrators. Adding to this dilemma, counselor caseloads in New Mexico far exceed the recommended ratio.
A plethora of findings from research indicate that increasing the number of school counselors, reducing caseloads, and providing counselors with more time to work directly with students are effective proactive strategies to reduce school violence. Providing school counselors with the opportunity to do their jobs the way they were trained is a good start.

Kevin L Ensor
Assistant Professor of Counselor education
New Mexico Highlands University

Nukes ‘n’ Stuff

Santa Fe will be at a loss if there is a nuclear conflict anywhere of any size.
Check with all those Los Alamos whiz kids that omitted thinking that if part of the earth is heated to solar temps, a lot of oxygen will no longer be atmospheric. The odds of enough O2 at this altitude are not good. Beyond the comprehension of anyone inside the DC Beltway is the fact that 10-12 fusion weapons or 25-50 fission nukes will reduce O2 in earth's field to real near 0.0 percent and no matter how much you, your cockroach or anybody else can resist radiation, … limited nuclear conflict is not an option at this altitude. … How many pounds of O2 are in your grab bag?

Bryan L Fitzgerald
Santa Fe