These letters published in the Jan. 23, 2022 print edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News.
Respect for the Indigenous community
This letter is in response to your article "Change unlikely for street with slur in name."
To the 14 people who do not think that the word sq**w is not offensive to Indigenous people and to many people of color, we have endured these racists slurs and comments most of our lives. We have endured economic, social and political policies and laws, (Dawes Act) that have had long-term negative effects on our communities. Many of us have worked hard to overcome the effects of racist policies and laws by educating ourselves and teaching others how to overcome the ignorance that put these laws in place.
So, to those who did not think these slurs were offensive, you are on the wrong side of history. Please do me a favor and educate yourselves on the economic, social and political history of this country. You might all be less ignorant of the consequences of these slurs if you picked up a history book by Angie Debo on the history if the American Indian.
Maria Nava, Las Cruces
Upset at city permit being issued
A 20-year tradition of art displays that gave a night of elegance to the downtown area was demolished by a sudden notice that was sent out to businesses and galleries there on the afternoon of Dec. 3, 2021.
Apparently, this was done to help out a specific flea market that certainly did not elevate the downtown area, which I had thought was one of the goals of developing said area. The street was also closed off so that no one could easily park close to the buildings of the businesses there. I understand that this entity was issued a permit to do this throughout 2022.
Whose idea was this to insult the business owners who have their premises there, and who pay taxes to the city and county? For shame, city manager, an whomever issued the permit.
Judith Baca, Las Cruces
No more taxing Social Security
We are on a limited income and not wealthy. We have been mad as hell about the double taxation on our Social Security benefits for years. This grievous betrayal of New Mexicans occurred in 1990 when the New Mexico state legislature passed and the then Gov. Garrey Carruthers signed into law obnoxious legislation basically double-taxing all New Mexico residents 65 or older who receive Social Security. This tax is a form of double taxation, since New Mexicans pay income tax on the money that is deducted from their paychecks for Social Security, and then they are taxed again on the benefits they receive.
Social Security is arguably one of the most important Federal social programs in this state. More than 225,000 residents each month receive a Social Security check. Yet in 1990 the New Mexico state legislature and the governor double-taxed retirees to feed the state coffers. Many reside in nursing homes.
Only 13 states allow this hideous double taxation of social security. New Mexico has the worst tax costing the average Social Security recipients hundreds of dollars per year. The state legislature and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham need to work together in the legislative session to repeal now this grossly unfair tax. It is the least our leaders can do for our seniors who are bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic devastation.
Greg and Kathie Lennes, Las Cruces
Parks and weeds
Las Cruces has so many lovely parks that we unfortunately have been able to use. The problem is the lack of weed control over goat heads. The plant, Tribulus Terrestris can be eradicated by physically pulling the plant from the ground. This has been successful at Rockhound State Park. Perhaps this could be a volunteer group's goal, park by park?
Barbara Heavens, Las Cruces
Appreciation for Arvizu, Floros
I don't know Dan Arvizu or John Floros the head honchos of NMSU, but when they were hired and their salaries were announced I thought the taxpayers were getting a real bargain. I think I know university administration better than most people since I worked for nine university presidents over 32 years at Central Michigan University and a few years back worked for NMSU for a year as interim director of public broadcasting.
If you went to a major university during the Vietnam war sit-ins, you know how hard it was for your university to maintain order. You might compare that to dealing with a pandemic while trying to maintain order. I think Arvizu and Floros and the staff and faculty at NMSU were on top of COVID from the start.
I remember a bit of advice I got from a president at CMU. He said if you have a need to be loved, you don't want to work at a university. I don't know if Arvizu and Floros have a need to be loved, but they should be, and are, appreciated.
Bill Grigaliunas, Las Cruces
Why not electric or hybrid buses?
Miranda Cyr’s astonishing spread across your Sun-News this morning (Jan. 18) floored us: “100 New Busses For Las Cruces.” Without any electric included?! Have we gone mad? No. Electric, or at least, hybrid buses? Next article “Clean Future Act Targets Greenhouse Gas Emissions” But, not in my town, bud?
Dennis Tapley, Las Cruces
There is potential here
I have been here for five years now and have found its small-city character disarming and comforting but I also see great promise in this city. I believe Las Cruces can become a quiet leader in advance manufacturing and engineering with a few investments.
If Las Cruces invests in itself, for starters, it’s infrastructure; build out a fiber optic network, build out an electrical network for electric vehicle charging stations and maybe later down the line invest in revamping the school system from cradle to college to include integrating apprenticeships into high schools. Maybe lobby to the FAA for some parts of Las Cruces to be experimental areas for drones or maybe establish an experimental zone for drone cars with special purpose built roads for only wheeled-vehicle drones. Definitely invest in a high-speed rail between here and El Paso in cooperation with El Paso of course; it is badly needed.
Of course for some fun a city football (soccer) club that in time would rival Manchester would be nice to see. There is much more potential here that I wish to see revealed, to wit, before Rome was an empire it was a city.
Brandon Robinson, Las Cruces
Where to cast blame
President Biden Administration is being attacked by critics for inflation, continuation of the COVID pandemic and inability of Congress to pass voter-rights legislation. Let’s go through these issues one by one. Inflation was largely caused by high energy costs and supply-chain bottlenecks. Energy costs are set in the world market and heavily influenced by Saudi Arabia and Russia. Supply-chain issues occurred because of the severe downturn and sudden increase in demand (over the past two years) due to the COVID pandemic.
The COVID pandemic would be under better control if most people had gotten life-saving vaccines. In some states and counties less than 50% are fully vaccinated — due to misleading conspiracy theories about the safety of the vaccine.
Both Republicans and Democrats used to support voter-rights legislation. Recently, more conservative members of the Republican party convinced their colleagues that lower voter turnout is better for their conservative agenda — like tax cuts, appointing conservative judges and less regulation. Consequently, all Republican Senators and Representatives now reject the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Act.
Of course, Democrats in the administration and Congress could have done a better messaging job, but all Republicans and two moderate Democratic Senators have done is obstruct — with no constructive answers to these issues. However, in 2017, Republicans passed tax cuts for corporations and rich contributors — ignoring the filibuster rule — but can’t support voting rights for all Americans. What a shame.
Paul O’ Connell, Ph.D. economist, Las Cruces
This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Letters to the editor: On street name with Indigenous slur