Democratic ticket in 2020 — we need one now
As a Democrat, I am dismayed by my party’s seeming inability to find someone to take the mantle of leadership that the Dems so badly need in the age of Donald Trump. The presidential election is just a little over two years away, and now is the time for leaders to emerge. So far, here is what I have observed. Bernie Sanders? Too old. Elizabeth Warren? Not always palatable to a national electorate. Joe Biden? Way too old.
I have thought a lot about this, and I have come up with what I think would be the strongest challenge to Trump. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif. It doesn’t matter who heads the ticket; either way is a formidable ticket. This combination crosses both racial and gender lines, is progressive but pragmatic, and best of all is youthful. Cory Booker is 49 years old, and Kamala Harris is 53. Come on, Dems! Let’s talk this up and get some support for the strongest possible Democratic ticket in the 2020 election.
Doesn’t make sense
How can the willful harm (leading to the death) of an endangered species be properly penalized with a mere $2,300 fine (“Advocates want rancher’s forest permit pulled,” June 24)? The same year that welfare rancher Craig Thiessen took a shovel to a trapped juvenile wolf, he also collected $255,299 in government subsidies. Sounds to me like Thiessen gets to have his cake and eat it, too.
I am sick to death of listening to the ranching industry whine and complain about being forced to deal with predators. Every small business person in this state has to deal with one type of predator or another. How and why does the livestock industry merit such special benefits? A species once on the brink of extinction deserves so much more than this.
I take exception to Mark Johnson’s view (“Not N.Y., but that’s OK,” Letters to the Editor, July 8), that the Santa Fe New Mexican, through the writings of its classical music editor, is somehow over-critical of Santa Fe’s classical music presenting and producing groups. Why shouldn’t Santa Fe’s classical music offerings be held to the highest standards in the land? Just because we are a much smaller market than New York, Chicago or San Francisco doesn’t mean we don’t offer first-class classical music programming and performance. In fact, several of our classical music organizations are already considered the best in the West, if not the country.
James Keller is arguably among the nation’s top classical music writers, bringing a high degree of sophistication, critical insight and nuanced commentary well-suited to Santa Fe’s impressive classical music scene. Keller’s reviews are consistently well-balanced, informed, incisive and fair-minded. Should we expect less? It is gratifying to have a writer of James Keller’s caliber to keep us on track.
Up to the mark
Superintendent Veronica García’s priority for the Santa Fe Public Schools, to satisfy the Public Education Department’s regulations, as reported in The New Mexican, in announcing her contract extension, was nothing short of appalling (“School board extends Garcia’s contract with salary increase,” June 21). Compliance is the job of the finance and human resources departments primarily, the support functions, with some of the load falling on school principals.
Isn’t the job of the public schools to educate our children? And don’t we have an abysmal record of doing that? Every year, the PED reports that only about 30 percent of our children read at grade level. What will it take for the Legislature to recognize that our primary-grade teachers need better training (rather than higher degrees) and more resources, like classroom aids and supplies? I hope the annual “school grades” are released before the Santa Fe Public Schools board meets again in August, and I hope people who care (don’t you?) will show up to voice their concern.