Seeking host families for exchange students

Dear East Mountain and surrounding communities, I have recently become a local coordinator with Academic Year in America. Academic Year in America is a high school cultural exchange company that works to place students from all over the world in safe and suitable homes here in the United States for an Academic Year.

As a local coordinator, it is my responsibility to find those great families who are willing and eager to open up their home. I would love to talk to you more about how you can get involved in this opportunity. Being a host family is a great way to not only provide an international student with the experience of a lifetime but the ability to provide your home and community with the experience and exposure to a new culture! I would be happy to talk with you more about AYA and answer any questions you have about becoming a host family. Check out AYA’s website, get registered, and start looking at student profiles to find a student that would be the best fit in your home. That’s right, you can choose the student! You can email me at nicole.nayloraya@gmail.com or call me at 505-514-8319, or visit academicyear.org or find us on Facebook.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Nicole Naylor

Leaks are a distraction from congressional agenda

Why would Donald Trump come out and publicly admit to obstruction of justice—an impeachable offense?

This admission is in tandem with a week of unbelievable leaks and damaging admissions, all suggesting impeachment or at the very least extreme censure and shame.

When you really think about it, this is the ultimate distraction—a Trumpian tactic which he used very effectively throughout the campaign and even more so after his election.

After listening to the hearings held by the two houses of our Congress, it is apparent both by the questions asked and by comments to the media that the Republican House of Representatives and the Republican Senate simply do not care to even try to get to the bottom of the Russian interference with our election—a crime that any true American should be totally outraged over.

Then there is the deafening lack of outrage by Republican Congressional representatives over Trump blatantly giving the Russians beyond Top Secret intelligence at a chummy meeting in the Oval Office of the White House. Our elected Republican representatives simply do not plan to do anything.

Since both houses of Congress are controlled by the Republicans, there is zero chance that charges will be either brought up in the House or tried in the Senate as long as Republicans control these two governing bodies.

What a wonderful distraction to what we should really be watching. While the media is focusing on potential impeachment—what a great story—both the Russian agenda and the Republican agenda are moving forward.

The Republican health care plan was passed before it could be scored by the Congressional Budget Office. That score will be released by the CBO this Wednesday. I’ll just bet Jared Kushner will be actually named as “the person of interest” reported as being investigated for Russian ties.

Buried in the leak, leak, leak of last week was an Executive Order titled the “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity” to establish a commission to review alleged voter fraud. The vice chair of this commission is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the man who engineered “Cross Check,” a voter suppression tool which caused an estimated 3 million Democratic voters to be purged from the voter rolls. This is a voter suppression order.

The budget is about to be released. We need to watch what programs are being cut to give even more tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. We have heard that Medicaid was slashed. What about all the other programs that were designed to help the poor, guarantee quality education, protect the environment, our food, the air and water—these are all being chopped. The Republican plans for the banks are too complicated to even try to explain. Just know who is going to benefit when the next crash comes and who, you, as the taxpayer, will have to bail out. We get screwed yet again.

Trump is wealthy enough and as president powerful enough to threaten and muzzle his opponents in the face of what should be the real news and the greatest threat to the United States. The Republican office holders are in league. It’s working.

We’re focused on impeachment potential instead of the Russian interference in the election and the Republican agenda for the future which will destroy the United States.

Ann Ruhnka, Moriarty

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.