AP NEWS

Thank civil servants for keeping us safe

May 16, 2019

I, and over 54,000 federal employees and retirees in New Mexico, have had the privilege to serve our country in a variety of careers for the federal agencies within this Land of Enchantment. Federal employees serve and protect us every day at every level across the country and in our community. At no time was this more evident than during the 35-day partial government shutdown earlier this year.

When natural disasters strike, we provide relief and help rebuild. When mass shootings take place, we enter harm’s way and care for the wounded. And, when once-eradicated viruses reappear, federal employees investigate public health crises. Whether we are in the public eye or active behind the scenes, civil servants take pride in working for something bigger than themselves.

At a time when the image of civil servants is unfairly tainted, and the idea of a career in public service is not on the minds of young professionals, it’s imperative that we recognize public servants and the noble profession of civil service. Let’s thank federal employees for keeping our country running safely, efficiently and for the good of the American people.

Lorna Howerton

Albuquerque

Exploring housing options

After eight years, $500,000-plus invested and five City Council resolutions, the Siler Yard project (www.sileryard.org) recently received $10.4 million in affordable housing funding to build 65 units of affordable live/work rental housing on Siler Road.

This is a thrilling accomplishment for project partners Creative Santa Fe and New Mexico Inter-Faith Housing. But our city needs at least 3,000 units of affordable rental housing and we desperately need a systemic housing response that rises to the scale of this problem. Let’s use what we’ve learned from Siler Yard as a pilot for new projects; let’s adequately capitalize our Affordable Housing Trust Fund; and let’s explore innovative designs, technologies, and resources that can provide the housing desperately needed in our community. Consider joining our next event Housing the Future in June www.creativesantafe.org or contact us at info@creativesantafe.org.

Cyndi Conn

executive director

Creative Santa Fe

Santa Fe

Two great senators

My partner and I recently moved to New Mexico, drawn to the state’s diversity of people and to experience its natural beauty. I work in the nonprofit conservation field, so New Mexico’s amazing public lands are a great fit professionally, too. We are fortunate to have Democratic Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall champion public lands and conservation. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, Río Grande Del Norte and collaboration with tribes that results in better water and air quality are just a few examples. Most recently, they led members of Congress to pass the John D. Dingall Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act. This act is the single most important and wide-reaching public lands legislation package since the 1970s. It protects wildlife and habitat, creates jobs for young people in rural areas and much more. It is an extraordinary achievement in today’s political environment, and I thank the senators for their leadership.

Charlotte Overby

Santa Fe

Money well-spent?

One million in taxpayer dollars to exercise students instead of educate students (“SFCC showing off new fitness center,” May 9). Taxpayer bargain? I think not. How many students would benefit from $1 million tax dollars for a quality education?

C. L. Winneberger

Santa Fe

Santa Fe spring

Hummingbirds, Iris,

Spanish Broom in bloom – and snow.

Santa Fe in May.

Jim Meehan

Santa Fe