Cover, Dec. 11: “Moving Mountains”

Protecting Our Lands

For whatever lands are developed for public recreation in New Mexico, two things seem to bring in the "loved to death" result seen everywhere in the world these days. One is that tourism boards promote the place at all, which brings "loved to death" to home. I would say stay silent about any promotion, or tax it at 20%. Fine those who advertise without supporting the resource.

Second is that the parking lots are located well away from the feature at hand. We are a too-soft, comfortable, entitled culture. Encourage grit. Give nature respect and plenty of distance from vehicles.

Third is develop a local stewardship council which involves the locals to respect what they have in their own backyards. Have retirees as well as the kids build the trails and maintain the infrastructure. Can we avoid contracted maintained facilities? Finally, plan aggressively on how not have the typical trashing of public lands which is so common in New Mexico and elsewhere. Who wants trash, bullet holes and fire pits at the trails? No one really. Be aggressive about [Leave No Trace]. Become the leading example here in the Four Corners.

Tomas Robison
Santa Fe

First, Get ‘em There

I loved your interest and enthusiasm in your article. I sure hope these ideas find good legs and take off making great success for New Mexico. People coming to our state need to trust in safety of getting to and from their destination. It aids the commerce in that community.

Our roads leading to the most popular areas in the San Juan Basin is Navajo Lake. State Hwy. 173 from Aztec to San Juan River has been in disrepair for decades. Many other roads in NM are in this condition.

Please help to make your article more advantageous to future tourists by getting to work on our roads.

Kevin Berhost
Flora Vista

News, Dec. 11: “City Votes to Push Pipeline Forward”

A Lot of Money

Your article raises the question: What is the real story with the rushed vote by the City Council to spend $20 million on a pipeline of uncertain purpose and utility?

The council took it up one week after it was hastily added onto a resolution concerning water planning. When it got to the full council only the water division was allowed to speak, with the project opponents muted in their seats. This was the first time that the project was presented to the council.

So, in the space of one week, with no discussion of budget, alternatives, energy costs, or other critical aspects, and no public hearings (although lots of "open houses" and other lobbying of the public by the water division) the mayor and all but two council members signed onto an expensive proposal that will drastically cut flows in the Santa Fe River and reduce water security for the city.

We do need to do water planning, but before, not after making a decision that commits the city to an expensive, highly engineered project with uncertain benefits.

Shame on the mayor and those who pushed this through.

Gini Nelson
Santa Fe

A&C, Dec. 11: “Reading in the Arroyo”

Just Lovely

Dear Molly [Boyle],

I wanted to write a quick note of thanks for your good column. I'm a local author and teacher and I'm so glad to see this thoughtful assessment of a few books (I, too, was very intrigued by Jake Skeets' collection.).

I'll be watching for more columns.

Wishing you a happy year-end, full of ease and pleasure.

Lauren Camp
Santa Fe

Online, Dec. 18: “Holiday DWI Prevention”

Not On Par

Wow … sounds like a pretty uninspired meeting. I recently wrote to my city councilors and the mayor about whether or not any transportation initiatives were in the works. For example, a safe ride program like other cities in NM have, late night public transportation, partnering with bars to reimburse a portion of Uber rides, etc. From the responses I got, they basically shrugged their shoulders and said "nope!"

Lenore Gusch
Via Facebook

Food, Dec. 18: “Looking for a Burrito?”

Not Here for the Food

Not everybody in Santa Fe likes New Mexican flavors every time we eat. Chipotle is just another option, especially when most of the restaurants close so early and I get hungry after 8:00 pm.

Rick Hernandez
Via Facebook

News, Dec. 11: “These Hats Are Made For Working”

Bravo, Rich Dude

I'm really struggling to grasp the point of Katherine Lewin's article … As I'm here thinking about it I need to decide if just it's lazy reporting bordering on muckraking or a more sinister method of political and class division that really doesn't match the usual quality investigative reporting that makes the Reporter such an outstanding paper.

My two cents: Alan Webber is a millionaire many times over. Instead of flying off to do his shopping every other week in Paris or Milan, he keeps his money local and purchased a fine hat crafted by local artisans. To press that point: Instead of sitting back and talking as mayor, Webber is quite outspoken in at least vocalizing the issues facing the class divisions in Santa Fe and especially those of the Southside. I'd say we're rather lucky as a city to have someone who tries to find the middle ground between the marginalized working class and those folks to whom an $1,800 hat is met with a proud wearer instead of a resentful balk.

Furthermore, in this day and age of the wealthy sitting on vast sums of money, bravo for Mr. Webber doing his part to keep the money flowing. Maybe listen to what he actually has to say instead of worrying what's on top of his head.

John Gonzales
Santa Fe