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Letters to the Editor - May 29, 2016

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Winkel guest column right on the money
I applaud the guest column by Carol Winkel in the May 22 edition of the Optic. She is absolutely correct when she proposes changes in school administration and classroom management. In order to create a learning atmosphere it is imperative the classroom be student-centered and not goal- oriented. 
Learning teams are an excellent way of achieving this.  Another possibility is similar to a program we developed at my rural school back in the dark ages. As a sixth grade teacher, I and the kindergarten teacher worked out a plan to assign a troubled student of mine released time to work with one of her students. My student became the envy of my class and his attitude greatly improved.
The kindergarten class loved having one of the big kids “teach” them. After an appropriate period of time we expanded the program to include other students and the program became one of the high points of my teaching career. 
 There are many such ways of involving students in the teaching-learning process and Dr. Winkel is correct when she encourages schools to begin using them to benefit the students.
Milton Deemer
Las Vegas

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Support for Bernie’s revolution
Yesterday I went to town, picked up the mail and went to the county courthouse to vote. 
When I got home and read the pile of Optics that had collected in my box I was very pleased to get profound reinforcement that I had made the right decision in voting for Bernie Sanders. 
Eric Martin’s Perspective on the future that he and his generation is inheriting from our generation, and how he got into this situation is thorough and well thought out. 
What a tragedy that his generation must honestly face the thought of whether or not to have children.  This has come to pass because too many people have not done what Eric has, take a reasoned and educated look at the reality of the situation we are in and then act upon it. 
Eric, you have my full support as a member of Bernie’s generation in favor of revolution.
Leslie Hammel-Turk
Las Dispensas

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An endorsement for Rep. Nick Salazar
This letter is my strongest endorsement for the re-election of state Rep. Nick Salazar in a large district which covers Rio Arriba, Mora, parts on San Miquel and Colfax counties.
As a community activist of 25 years on behalf of the charter school movement and arts-based educational initiatives for children and youth in the Española Valley, I am thankful for Rep. Salazar’s wisdom and guidance in the establishment of a successful State Public Charter School that expands school choice to families students of all cultures on the Ohkay Owingeh pueblo in 2012.
I urge local voters to look closely and compare his impeccable record in this critical election cycle. Rep. Salazar brings decades of unmatched service and an earned reputation that has been forged through his consistent care for the diverse needs of all citizens in this district over the last four decades.
Experience, respect and honor are the qualities we have seen from a leader who never boasts about his record and has never gone negative in campaigning.
In contrast, as we see locally and in the national presidential race, we have several candidates who are untested and underqualified who are running for public office at a time when the stakes could not be higher.  In New Mexico, thankfully we have Salazar who is among the longest-serving senior members of elected office in our state’s history. He is well respected by both sides of the aisle as a trusted leader on several key committees, including the legislative finance committee.
This year law makers will make crucial decisions as they face unprecedented cuts to our state budget.
When I think of Nick Salazar I remain hopeful.
I am reminded by Nick’s example that political leaders can bring intelligence, humility and sound judgement to public office.

Roger Montoya, Velarde

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An observation on  Memorial Day
Over 58,000 U.S. troops were killed in Vietnam. Since then, thousands more have died defending the concept of democracy, a grand proposition yet one which never has been realized but only conceptualized so that we, the people, believe that what is seen is democracy.
We’re jumping through hoops, running in circles, and doing handstands as an amusement for Fat Cats above an increasingly bleak situation.
From the look of things it can be surmised that soldiers will die, and Cats who are fat will preach to the grieved what sorrow should mean.
Frank Torres
Cañoncito de Las Manuelitas

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Mil Gracias
The Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance would like to acknowledge and thank the businesses, organizations, and community volunteers who helped make the 4th Annual Gallinas River Clean-Up a successful event. A huge thank you to Einstein Bros. Bagels, World Treasures Travelers Cafe, Mary Ann’s Famous Burritos, Pedro’s Bakery, Lowe’s and Semilla Natural Foods for supplying food, snacks, and drinks for our volunteers.
Thanks to El Fidel Restaurant, Indigo Theater, the Plaza Hotel, El Fidel Hotel, Domino’s Pizza, Love Music, Kocina de Raphael, Subway, Little Saigon and K-Bob’s Steakhouse for providing donations for the event.
The City of Las Vegas was a huge help, especially Alvin Giron, in picking up the trash and allowing for the free disposing of it at the local transfer centers.  This event would not have been possible without the help of several community volunteers: Ana Murphy, the NMHU Conservation Club, especially Nickolas Lormand, and Debbie Morse.
Heartfelt thanks to the volunteers who donated time and efforts to collect 1,220 pounds of trash and debris, and making the Gallinas River a cleaner, more beautiful place. Without you this event would not be possible.
Katie Withnall
Hermit’s Peak
Watershed Alliance
Las Vegas