N.M.’s public school problems can be solved

September 2, 2018

I am one who has benefited from a very good education and am a mother and grandmother of children who are now experiencing a not-so-good New Mexico education. First and foremost, the problem I see is the lack of funding for school operation. Teachers must supply their own rooms with notebooks, pencils, paper, while struggling on their own limited income. I just bought supplies for my son, who is a teacher.

The population has changed in recent years. We now have many parents who are drug-addicted or incarcerated, and children are raised by a single parent or a grandparent or are left on their own. In this situation, many students arrive with no discipline or social skills, creating difficult tasks for the teacher. There are overcrowded classrooms because of a lack of teachers. Our Legislature needs to have a coalition of teachers, parents and administrators come together to find a solution for the future of our people of New Mexico.

Ms. Gene Watson

Santa Fe

Making it

Paige McKenzie’s op-ed on licensing reform is spot-on with how state regulations restrict individuals from performing simple jobs like being a handyman and yardwork (“Gov. Martinez right to pursue licensing reforms,” My View, Aug. 12). Under current state rules, a handyman cannot have employees, can only have one job at a time, cannot advertise and can earn only $7,200 a year.

A handyman may charge a reasonable fee for skilled labor of $20-$25 per hour, but if he gets caught by the state for earning more than the $7,200 limit, he must go to work for a licensed contractor or licensed landscape company, where he might earn $10-$12 per hour, and the contractor has to charge at least $50 per hour to make it worthwhile to pay an employee, plus insurance. In this case, the client pays more, the worker earns less, and the contractor is the only one who profits.

Tom Wright

retired contractor

Santa Fe

Stop the hypocrisy

It will take nothing short of a court-issued, clean bill of health for me to believe that House District 46 candidate Andrea Romero did not know what she was doing on her expense reports at the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (“Romero’s comments on Bull Ring bill differ from earlier statements,” Aug. 23). She is too smart and too well-educated. It is unbecoming of our Democratic leadership to promote such a person without having vetted her more carefully and, since her indiscretions have come to light, to continue supporting her. If Dems want to take on a corrupt Republican leadership nationally, we must first make sure our own house is in order. Give us good, clean candidates.

Will Schmitt

Santa Fe

Building paradise

Many groups have gathered to discuss the Santa Fe housing problem (“New housing coalition aims to act, not just talk, on issue,” Aug. 19). A similar problem has existed in several California cities for many decades. The writings of economist Thomas Sowell should be required reading by all who sit at the discussion table.

Santa Fe is following in the missteps of San Francisco and other cities who have regulated and restricted until the price of housing is so high that many people are forced to commute many miles and hours daily. Keep it up; add to the regulations, restrictions and code requirements in Santa Fe. Then sit back and ask, what happened?

Jon Hicks

White Rock

No return

I recently visited Big R on St. Michael’s Drive, a store that was new to me. As I tend a small farm and the store offers a range of ranch-related tools, hardware and outdoor clothes, it seemed a good prospect. I was impressed by what I saw until I got to the sporting goods department. There I saw a prominent display of assault rifles.

When I later spoke with a man who identified himself as the manager, I said that seeing the assault rifles disappointed me. He said, “People in this community buy them, and other stores have stopped carrying them. So we are going to sell them.” I said, “That’s being part of the problem.” He shrugged. I said, “I guess this is the last time I’ll visit your store.” And we parted company.

William deBuys


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