Free parking downtown throughout the year
Tourism put Santa Fe on the map, but its residents are what keep it alive year-round. Hosting a couple of free hours of parking on certain days downtown and in the Railyard for tourists (“Perks aim to boost downtown,” Nov. 24) is important to its economy, but as with all high-volume tourist art towns such as Carmel, Calif., Park City, Utah, and Scottsdale, Ariz., parking should be free year-round to encourage a welcoming atmosphere to all.
When the tourists go home after Thanksgiving and Christmas, who shops downtown for the next six months? Its residents — if they feel liking doling out 25 cents for every eight minutes. That revenue is self-defeating, and there are so many other ways for the city to earn income. Let’s be progressive in our thinking and support small, locally owned businesses by promoting free parking downtown throughout the year.
Growing and improving
I was very pleased with the article on University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes (“ ‘She’s not a politician; she’s a leader,’ ” Nov. 23). It represents a positive view. I have had the pleasure of hearing her speak several times and also had a conversation with her. She represents a very strong future for UNM. As a UNM alum, I have watched a number of presidents pass through the university with very little accomplished other than padding their résumés or incomes. President Stokes will make the institution grow and improve to the status it deserves.
Ringside Seat (“Saving soccer is risky play for Dems,” Nov. 23) also delivered a message that politicians would be wise to heed. I do like soccer and admire the UNM team. However, House Speaker Brian Egolf and others should not be taking such stands just for political reasons.
Thanksgiving Day, we were returning to Santa Fe on U.S. 84/285 and one of our tires blew out. Since there was an exit within a few yards, we pulled off the very busy highway and found a safe place to park and evaluate our problem. Within a few seconds, our knight in shining armor (a white pickup) appeared and asked if he could help. Allen introduced himself, giving us his name and saying he was from Tesuque Pueblo; and then, when he saw the problem, he offered to change the tire.
Our very inadequate jack had to be replaced with his, and within minutes, our problem was solved. Our day ended giving thanks for many things but especially for Allen. Is is wonderful to know that there are such kind, thoughtful people in our community.
Don and Kathy Fiero
Choose our flag
If the migrants in the caravan had paraded an American flag instead of the Guatemalan, Honduran or El Salvadorian flag, I would have formed a totally different perception of their motives and aspirations.
As the director of a social service agency in Santa Fe working with the homeless, I was pleased to see the article on Bienvenidos Outreach (“ ‘Best-kept secret in Santa Fe,’ ” Nov. 18). I wish, however, that mention would have been made of its founder — Beatrice Nevarez.
I first met Bea more than 30 years ago when we were both volunteers at St. Elizabeth Shelter in its earliest days. She would be at the shelter every day giving her time, energy and love to the men, women and children who stayed there. A few years later, she inherited some money and decided to branch out on her own. She rented a small, older motel on Cerrillos Road and opened a shelter that she named, appropriately, Bienvenidos (Welcome). There, she showed the guests the same dedication she had shown at St. E’s.
However, after a few years, the expense of running it became too great. So she took her work on the road. She bought sleeping bags, blankets, food, clothing and other necessary items, and would drive around town looking for the homeless. She tirelessly begged businesses to donate or sell items to her at reduced cost to give away to those in need. She truly was, and is, a saint of Santa Fe.
St. Elizabeth Shelters & Supportive Housing