Letters published in the May 3, 2020 print edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News.
In good hands
As the state navigates a difficult course of action with regard to COVID-19, it is understandable that some would question the decisions made by our governmental leaders. Although history will be the ultimate judge of these leadership decisions, there is also an old axiom which states that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
Seven years ago the Martinez Administration made false claims against many mental health facilities in the state that ultimately led to closures of numerous agencies. Our current Gov. Lujan Grisham appointed competent and knowledgeable staff who were able to negotiate a settlement. Thank you governor for understanding the complexities of these cases, for appointing the right people and supporting a fair settlement.
Senate Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen is a staunch advocate for the provision of mental health care. She introduced and with hard work and much effort was able to pass a bill that would never allow another administration to do what Martinez had done. Her advocacy in pursuit of the settlement for mental health was crucial. Thank you senator for the years of support to a system of care that is crucial to our lives.
Lt. Governor Howie Morales never once questioned the innocence of the providers. Ultimately all agencies proved their innocence, aided by seven years of his support and advocacy. Thank you Lt. Governor Morales for all you have done.
As our state now navigates this unprecedented crisis, it may be understandable to question the decision of our government leaders. But if past behaviors are the indications of the behaviors and actions affecting our future, then I believe that we are in the best hands available.
Roque Garcia, Las Cruces
Papen for NM Senate 28
I strongly support Sen. Mary Kay Papen’s reelection in NM District 38. Her ongoing accomplishments enhance our quality of life. My experience with Sen. Papen covers many projects. I respect and admire her as a genuine force of nature!
The senator and I worked to acquire the Walnut Street armory for La Casa. People came together to make it the state’s largest free-standing women’s shelter. This dynamic nonprofit enables communities and individuals throughout southern New Mexico overcome domestic violence.
Sen. Papen is assisting with our city’s revitalization. When the arts community committed to the Rio Grande Theatre, she secured funding for its successful renovation. As executive director of Las Cruces Downtown I worked with business leaders to reopen Main Street; Sen. Papen guided us toward state funding for this significant local project.
St. Genevieve’s Church and the Amador Hotel anchored the multicultural heritage of downtown. Like the church, the hotel might have been lost, but the Doña Ana County Historical Society stepped up. A foundation began preservation of The Amador; as president of the foundation’s board I appealed to Mary Kay for help. Again she has been invaluable and we have dedicated the hotel’s lobby to her. Once the city completes structural renovations, the public will be able to enjoy this remarkable building.
When Mesilla Valley Hospice had financial difficulties several years ago, the MVH board contacted Sen. Papen. By securing reduced interest on a loan from the NM Finance Authority, she helped Hospice, an essential nonprofit, keep afloat to continue serving our community.
Mary Kay Papen’s devotion to the many needs in our area is outstanding. My personal interactions with the senator are testament to her willingness to listen to her constituents, accept difficult tasks, and use her outstanding knowledge of NM’s legislative system to benefit all of us.
Heather W. Pollard, Las Cruces
Ferrary an advocate for animal welfare
Joanne Ferrary, NM representative for District 37, has been a progressive voice and agent for change since, and before, her election in 2016! Joanne has worked tirelessly, advancing the cause of animal welfare for our community. In particular, Joanne was instrumental in the recent and hard-won passage of Senate Bill 57, the pet label fee which will provide needed funding for low cost spay-neuter surgeries across the state. This is truly significant because it will mean lowering intake rates at animal shelters and reducing euthanasia numbers by the thousands. We are grateful to Joanne, fighting for years as a legislator for the successful passage of this bill.
As a pet guardian and resolute advocate for animals, Joanne “walks the walk” promoting best practices in sheltering standards and programming through coalition building. Joanne is well-acquainted with national organizations in the forefront shaping positive direction in communities for live outcomes for animals such as the No Kill Advocacy Center, Best Friends Animal Society, and Alley Cat Allies. Joanne has steadily advocated and lobbied for this programming in Las Cruces, visible over time in the reduction of stray-feral cat populations through the community cat-colony manager program and others showing increased lifesaving and increased numbers of vaccinated, altered, and microchipped pets.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, Joanne has been on alert to the needs of pets ensuring veterinarian clinics are open for emergency services and essential vaccinations. During this hard time, Joanne has been here to serve and represent us and our animals … something she’s been doing very well all along.
Jean Gilbert, Las Cruces
Response to Biad column
Regarding Mr Biad’s column 4/19/2020: He states “there are still some who hope the president stumbles.” Oh please! I hate to inform you Louis, but the president being quoted about the Democrats and the coronavirus “this is their new hoax” in most people’s eyes would be considered a stumble; toss in all of his self-inflicted delays about even believing there was a problem adds to the stumbling. Throw in that alleged bastion of conservatism Sean Hannity claiming “let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax” and you have a lot of the far right stumbling (later Hannity claimed “this program has always taken the coronavirus seriously and we’ve never called the virus a hoax”)!
Many other gaffes have hampered the American people being prepared for a pandemic. Instead of trying to badger Gov. Lujan Grisham maybe you need to consider any party’s common sense like waiting for a 14-day downward trend in new cases of the virus before even deliberating opening anything at all; worrying first about the economy rather than New Mexico’s people is certainly not morally correct. Also: In case your argument is that trickle down economics will eventually get to and enhance the lives of the people, that argument has been disproven many a time.
Bill Perry, Mesilla
I’d suggest that since President Trump wants the citizens of Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia to “liberate” their states, he should also be willing to “liberate” the White House!
We can only guess that Trump wants to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia because they have Democratic governors who he has repeatedly criticized. Could this be a case of partisan politics? This is the same president who referred to the coronavirus pandemic as a “Democratic hoax …!” a few months ago when he should have been formulating a federal response. Such a swift response may have saved millions from being infected and thousands from dying. The coronavirus was, according to Trump, a “pass through …” as it was a waterway and would “decrease from 15 to 0…” within a short time. Well, we now know the medical/scientific truth!
So, now is the time to “liberate” the White House. Think President Trump will only realize the deadly seriousness of the coronavirus when, heaven forbid, some of his staff contact it. Then he’ll truly know it’s not a ‘hoax” and is real!
John J. Mc Caugney, Ed.D., Las Cruces
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