Letters to the Editor - June 5, 2016

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Let’s get kids to read

Get kids to read during the summer — we’re hearing this message from the recent Optic editorial (May 25), from the Optic’s lead article by the editor “Stopping the Summer Slide” on the Governor’s initiative to “entice” kids to read, and everywhere.

Right here in Las Vegas, the same message is loud and clear:  make sure that all kids have good books to read this summer. And here is an answer.

The Literacy Council (of Northeastern New Mexico) is inviting children, parents, grandparents, and all adults interested in helping kids discover the magic of books to come to a special event: the Summer Reading Fiesta, a two-day event where children can find books to read with a reading buddy, create special projects in art, and explore their imagination.

ummer school and camp groups of all ages are especially invited for the Friday event.

For the past eight years, The Literacy Council has held a community-wide Literacy Fair in January. This is the first summer event, intended to give more children the opportunity to read during the vacation. Please participate with your children in this special event, to be held Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25, at Sala de Madrid on the NMHU campus, Eighth and University, from 10 to 3. Watch for posters and plan to attend.

The goal is for every child in Las Vegas and from surrounding communities to have the opportunity to create art, read with a buddy, and take home a special book chosen by the child for summer reading. Bilingual books will also be available.

To help with the event or participate with a group of children, please contact Dorothy Maestas, 505-454-0005, or Carol Winkel, 505-425-6186.

Dorothy Maestas and Carol Winkel
The Literacy Council of Northeastern New Mexico

Car was blocking the sidewalk

The weather is finally warming up. People are out and about, enjoying a bike ride, or a nice walk with their spouse, children or dogs. We usually travel as a pack. Jess walks the dogs while I push my two toddlers around in our double stroller.

He has it easy. The dogs pull, while I have to push the whole way. We always enjoy this time together, seeing familiar faces and buildings. It’s especially exciting when we see something new. Like this week, we noticed that Tome on the Range is indeed moving up to the Plaza.

Unfortunately, one thing that happens all too often on these walks is having to figure a way around inconsiderately parked vehicles. I ventured out alone today, and almost made it home without incident. But, alas, one block away from home (and cake) there it was, a car completely blocking the sidewalk. So, as I was walking with my kids in this huge double stroller, with my dog, who is also huge,

I have to figure out how the heck I’m going to get around this. The guy was outside and said “Oh! Sorry! Can I help you?” I said, “Yeah, you can help by not parking on the sidewalk.” I’m not writing this to be rude, or call him out. I hope he was genuinely sorry, I know he saw the struggle I had trying to squeeze my way around the entrance with a stroller that barely fits through a standard doorway. When you park, try to remember those that like to use the sidewalk for their intended purpose. It is not an extension of your driveway. It is a means to keep us pedestrians safe and off the road. The sidewalks down here are bad enough as they are; please don’t add to the problem.

RaeDawn Price
Las Vegas

An endorsement for Rep. Nick Salazar

An Rep. Nick Salazar’s long list of contributions to New Mexico extends beyond his legendary work in the Legislature. His commitment to serving his community has inspired many others over the decades.

I know first-hand, because Salazar took me under his wing early in my career as a public servant.

To this day, my work in Congress starts and ends with my own commitment to the constituents I serve — a lesson I learned from Salazar.

During the past 43 years, Salazar has put the people in his legislative district first. As the steady leader of the North Central New Mexico Economic Development District, Rep. Salazar has effectively leveraged the power and resources of the communities throughout the region.

I am particularly proud of his work to protect the rights of senior citizens and build a statewide system of services. He was instrumental in establishing the Indian Area Agency on Aging, and he sponsored legislation to create the State Aging & Long-Term Services Department. I was proud to work with Salazar in my role as Cabinet Secretary of the new Department.

Salazar’s vast knowledge of the legislative process and his experience working closely and effectively with elected officials on both sides of the aisle simply cannot be matched nor replaced.

As a member of Congress, former colleague and long time supporter, I am proud to endorse Representative Nick Salazar, and I ask voters in House District 40 to vote for Representative Salazar on June 7.

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham
Washington, DC

Mora needs more school principals

This is an election year, people may decide to keep some people in office, or get new blood, one thing that needs attention is that the Mora School Board members need to request more monies from the state so they can hire a principal for the middle school, and one for the high school.

Just as students don’t really get the best education in crowded classrooms, and it’s hard for teachers when they are overloaded; the same is true for a principal who has to take care of two schools.

If there is enough funding, there should be a principal at each level. Grade school, middle school and high school.

The teachers and students are too many to keep track of and the stress level is high. This needs to be addressed. One person cannot do it all, or do a good job. It’s not fair to the students or the parents.

Another issue that needs to start sending a report of monies that come in, and how that money is used. There should be a publication in the Optic at least yearly if not monthly. The county needs to do the same. The voters of Mora County have a right to know what monies come in and how that money is used. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s important that these issues be addressed and acted on ASAP.

Rosalie Regensberg

Hillary’s position keeps shifting

Early in 2008, I favored Hillary Clinton’s candidacy over that of relatively unknown Barack Obama. Then I watched her sacrifice left-oriented policies in a move toward the center for reasons I did not understand. I felt I could not trust in her true motives and moved my support to Sen. Obama.

This year, I have watched Secretary Clinton drift back to the left in response to Bernie Sanders’ support from progressives. Now, it appears that she is sliding back toward the center to court Republicans and Independents who will not vote for Donald Trump.

Secretary Clinton has historically espoused many progressive policies, including my favorite — support for equality for women and quality health care for them. And I truly believe she will continue to work toward those goals.

However, as to much of her stated progressive and populist agenda, I wonder how sincere it is, and whether it will remain in place if she is elected.

So many people have said they do not trust her because they feel she is lying about her emails. But that, to me, is of concern secondary to her true political leanings.

Is she shifting around in order to scoop up votes? Is she trying to get all the campaign money she can, regardless of the political philosophy of the donors? It is difficult to support such a constantly moving target.

I cannot help but vote for Bernie Sanders, whose agenda remains unchanged and reflects concern for voters over concern for votes.

Adele E. Zimmermann