Location matters when planting trees

March 5, 2019

I applaud your editorial (“Healthy trees: A worthy goal for Santa Fe,” Our View, Feb. 16) in which you encourage more rainwater catchment systems in Santa Fe, especially to “keep trees thriving.”

I agree that we can and should be planting more trees in our city. However, I am alarmed that it is suggested that trees be planted in medians and along sidewalks. It is being demonstrated in our Santa Fe Plaza that human traffic causes compaction, thus stressing the root systems of the trees. Therefore, it needs to be emphasized that vehicular pollution near trees in medians and compaction caused by sidewalk activity all conspire to stress trees.

Yes, let’s enjoy planting more trees in Santa Fe, especially when tree placements are designed for less nearby traffic and more systems for rainwater catchment.

Lura Brookins

Santa Fe

Carefully considering

Legislative House Bill 356 will have a dramatic impact on the families and culture of our state (“Bills to legalize recreational pot move forward,” Feb. 24). This should not be imposed upon the people through a legislative bill without a prior ballot measure majority vote. Nine of the 10 states where recreational marijuana is legal had statewide ballot-measure voting on the proposal during an election cycle prior to enacting legalization legislation. New Mexico families must have the opportunity to vote on this serious change in policy. Recreational marijuana is not just another business. Currently, it is one that is at variance with federal law, interstate banking and interstate commerce.

New Mexico has a diverse population. Its registered voters must have the opportunity to be well-informed, to consider carefully and then to vote regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Nancy Oliphant

Santa Fe

Future hope

No, no, no. The current slate of gun control legislation will no more reduce gun violence than will banning spoons combat obesity. We are not New York. None of the current “commonsense” legislation will have any effect on criminal behaviour and will not reduce the violence.

Please, spend money for more prosecutors so criminals can be brought to trial instead of being cut loose to continue causing harm to society when the prosecution cannot put a case together in a timely manner. Please, find ways to reduce the opioid use. Create school programs where folks can learn an honest trade. Give our citizens hope for a future.

Scott Potter


No denying

People with pre-existing conditions need to know that New Mexico has their backs, and a bill being considered by the state Legislature would do just that (“House Dems want elements of ‘Obamacare’ added to state law,” Feb. 9). House Bill 436, sponsored by state Rep. Liz Thomson, D-Albuquerque, adds the Affordable Care Act’s pre-existing protections to state law. That means that no matter what happens at the federal level or in the courts, New Mexicans can rest assured that their health coverage is safe.

A lawsuit moving through the courts has reignited fear among people with pre-existing conditions. Usually, the Department of Justice would defend the law in court, but the Trump administration backs the argument that pre-existing condition protections are unconstitutional, putting those protections at great risk. House Bill 436 ensures that insurance companies cannot deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, charge higher premiums based on health status, or exclude pre-existing conditions or essential benefits from coverage.

Colin Baillio

director of policy and communications

Health Action New Mexico


Failing grade

In inviting former Gov. Susana Martinez to join the board of his educational think tank (“Martinez joins Jeb Bush education Policy group,” March 2), Jeb Bush described her as “a visionary leader, bold advocate and longtime champion for education reform.” Really? During her eight years as governor, Martinez’s failed policies resulted in New Mexico’s educational system being ranked annually as one of the absolute worst in the country. Now she is being lauded as someone who can “guide our work in states across the nation?” That statement and Bush’s offer both deserve a failing grade.

Mark L. Asquino

Santa Fe