Letters, Feb. 26: “Angered by Inaction”

A correction

In a recent letter, it was stated that during the recent legislative session, Retake Our Democracy opposed bills that would have eliminated taxation of Social Security benefits in New Mexico. That is incorrect. Upon evaluation of these and hundreds of other important bills introduced during the session, Retake Our Democracy decided to take no position on these particular bills. We never opposed the bills, we didn't provide comment on them at committee hearings and we never wrote about them. Retake's purpose is to engage, educate, organize and activate. But we are able to do this with only a small fraction of the bills that the legislature considers during a session.

David Thompson
Retake Our Democracy

News, March 4: “Soccer for All”

A few extra details

I am the executive director at Rio Rapids Northern Soccer Club. We are the largest soccer club in Santa Fe. Northern Soccer has been around for over 50 years and operates as a nonprofit. We are a proud member of Santa Fe's community and take pride in being an active community member and partner. I would like to point out some inaccuracies in your article.

Rio Rapids Northern Soccer Club offers players an opportunity to play soccer for as little as $110 (with early registration and does not include scholarship which can reduce those fees further). This includes two jerseys. We have players from all skill levels, beginners all the way through advanced players… For the past decade, we have operated our after-school program that offers free soccer to Southside kids… The article mentioned the city's and county's investment in the MRC facility. Northern Soccer Club paid a majority of Pilar Faulkner's fees as a lobbyist to secure funding for the MRC improvements. Northern Soccer Club headed up the efforts. …

I was happy to see soccer in Santa Fe being highlighted in the Reporter. SF United's mission is not unique to what is already happening in Santa Fe. I feel the cost of soccer (and other sports) is an important dialogue that we should be having.

Marco Ortiz
Rio Rapids Northern
Soccer Club

SF Community Soccer

To add to the information contained in "Soccer for All:"

The Santa Fe Community Soccer League began over 10 years ago as the only free, age-graded soccer leagues for children and youth from 3 to 15 in the Santa Fe area. Under the leadership of Luis Morataya, its all-volunteer staff currently oversees 26 teams comprising 338 children, involving approximately 179 families. The youngest players are the enthusiastic 3-year-olds who begin their skill building in the weekly "la escuelita" practice sessions. There are all girl, co-ed and all boys teams.

Our slogan is "un deportista mas, un delincuente menos" ("one player more, one delinquent less"). We are a community development program, concerned with self-esteem and problem-solving strategies for the present and the future. The program provides valuable skills, including self-confidence, physical accomplishment, stress reduction and positive problem solving. Visitors always comment on the high level of play as well as the visible mutual support and cooperation demonstrated.

For more information, please contact: Mara Taub, administrative coordinator, at 505-982-9520 or cpr1911@gmail.com.

Mara Taub
Santa Fe

News, March 4: “Housing Station”

What About Homeowners?

It was very disappointing to read Julie Ann Grimm's one-sided puff piece on the proposed massive apartment and commercial development at the Zia Road Rail Runner station…

Unfortunately, she never once mentioned previous opposition to the project from Candelero residents, nor did she bother to wait for the Candelero Neighborhood Association to provide a comment. Surely this issue isn't so pressing that she couldn't delay a week to get the other side of the story. Candelero homeowners have serious concerns about this project and would appreciate a fair treatment of the very real issues—density, run off, traffic congestion, view disruption, lack of affordability, impact on Zia-St. Francis intersection, etc.—rather than just the developer's very self-interested side of the story.

Joan Conrow
Santa Fe

Online, March 4: “City Acts Against  Panhandling”

It’s About Housing

This all starts with access to affordable housing. This city is absolutely ridiculous when it comes to the rental market with some casitas and studio apartments going for well over $,1000 a month. One gentleman in the article was homeless for five years while on a waitlist for housing!

Santa Fe needs to stop pandering to the wealthy retired out of staters that move here "for the culture" and address the rapidly accelerating gentrification it's feeding into. Adding these signs is like putting a band-aid on a broken arm.

Eugene Gurule
Via Facebook

Talk to Panhandlers

Omg, thank you for actually talking to panhandlers!!! Seriously, I cannot fathom why the people making decisions about homelessness/panhandling do not ever talk to the impacted parties, and make decisions as though they know what they're experiencing and know what's best. For fuck's sake, people want to be treated like people, and panhandling is one of the hardest decisions to make to get one's needs met, especially because of the way they will be treated while panhandling. If someone is panhandling, it's because they are in need.

Hayley Horowitz
Via Facebook

Cover, March 4: “Classroom Equity”

What’s Art Message?

While Leah Cantor's article is informative and thought-provoking, the accompanying cover art and sidebar graphic are examples of what's wrong with how many educators think about teaching and learning.

Sure, all three kids have "equity," but all three are excluded from what they are focused on. The graphic on page 12 shows three dark-skinned kids looking over a board fence at a baseball game. Why aren't they inside the park? Being able to equably view what you can't have access to is pretty much what education looks like right now. Kids can see what's possible, but no one's providing the funding and child-centered focus required.

The cover art is almost worse. We can't see skin color or facial features, but they could easily be a mix of Latin and Anglo. Instead of a board fence, they are peering over a high, very solid-looking brick wall. What are we keeping them from, why is there a wall, and why are they not on the other side of it?

The pictures stick in the mind, while the words can be forgotten. The lasting public image of the school district's approach to educational equity is not, I think, the one they'd like to have us remember. Perhaps your talented art department can brew up something more hopeful?

Randy Barron