Do you have strong feelings about a subject? Writing a letter to the editor is a time-honored tradition. Send yours here.

East Mountain resident concerned about fires

I’m writing this letter to express concern over the controlled burns in the east mountain area. Last week, I started out towards Albuquerque and noticed a huge plume of smoke to the southwest of Edgewood. That evening, I went online and could find no information on a controlled burn in this area. This afternoon, there is another huge plume southwest of Edgewood. Once again, I went online to the New Mexico Fire Information and there was no burn in this area listed.

A little over a year ago, residents in the Edgewood community scrambled and were prepared to evacuate due to the rapid advancement of the Dog Head Fire. The fire burned within seven miles of my house. If the winds hadn’t shifted, the town of Edgewood would have been toast. In July of this summer, we watched the Collette Fire smoke plumes. Still traumatized by the Dog Head Fire, we watched anxiously as this fire was contained.

After these experiences, and watching with horror as fires have burned in the West, I have two questions: Where is information on prescribed burns posted online to inform the East Mountain residents; and why would you have a prescribed burn today when the winds have been around 15 mph all day and gusts over 20 mph? When I’ve watched news coverage of the California fires, always in my mind is the thought, “This could happen in New Mexico.” There are still some of us around who remember watching in disbelief as a prescribed burn nearly burned down the town of Los Alamos.

I think the Forest Service needs to be very careful with controlled burns in the East Mountains, especially with such dry and breezy conditions. I just read on Facebook someone posting concern over the size of this current controlled burn with these winds.

That said, I have to emphasize wholeheartedly that the firefighters in our state and nationally are all heroes. They are warriors.

Denise Reed, Edgewood

 

Bethel thanks RV Sales for annual fundraiser

The Bethel Community Storehouse would like to thank RV Sales and everyone involved in making this year’s Trick or Treat Trailer to Trailer a success. You provided our community with a safe and fun Halloween event and raised $776 and nearly 666 pounds of canned goods for Bethel’s food pantry.

Thank you so much,

Linda Smith, Executive Director

 

 

Beware of distraction from important matters

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. This is 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 from what we should really be watching. While the media is focusing on potential impeachment—what a great story—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 (CBO). 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 cost an estimated 3 million Democratic voters to be purged from the voter roles. 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). 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: Republican officeholders 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.