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Today's Opinions

  • Is romantic, exotic “Land of Enchantment” overlay useful today?

    With her energy, money and international company of luminaries, Mabel Dodge Luhan helped create New Mexico as a romantic ”Land of Enchantment.” By the time Luhan and others wrote in New Mexico Quarterly, Summer 1951, she had been in Taos for 33 years. It is likely her leadership time had passed. Luhan died in 1962.
    (My complete notes from the New Mexico Quarterly are posted at capitolreportnm.blogspot.com.)
    Drawn by romance and exoticness, pilgrims continue to come. In 1980 I met an aspiring poet who couldn’t spell.
    I mock the pilgrims occasionally for their mantra, “I came to New Mexico, saw the sun set over the mountain and found God.”
    Such folks are prone to overlooking the details of paying the bills. Unless, like Luhan, they bring money, such details catch them. Then they return to New York or wherever, mumbling about stupid New Mexicans. Very annoying.
    The sixties brought hippies and communes. In 2013, New Mexico Magazine said that by the late 1960s, the state had 25 communes, “according to one count.” The reception was mixed. One view shows in an essay, “Taos: Hippies, Hopper and Hispanic Anger,” in “Telling New Mexico A New History.” Other perspectives appear in “Scrapbook of a Taos Hippie,” by Iris Keltz, published in 2000.

  • Letters to the Editor 7-17-16

    We need to support our police officers

    Police actions in Ferguson, MO; New York City, Baltimore, Baton Rouge and Minnesota have been in the news, and a few police officers have been seen using excessive force and shooting people.  I believe a small number of police officers use excessive force, and these officers should be held accountable for their actions.
    The vast majority of police officers diligently do their duty and treat criminals and suspects with respect.  Unfortunately, police officers are being vilified and attacked because of a few over-zealous officers.  The result is police officers can be hesitant to take actions that could possibly be construed as too forceful, and thereby criminals are emboldened to commit violence.  Unfortunately, this could have been the situation leading to the murder of the Dallas police officers.  And, by the way, why aren’t people on the streets protesting the killing of the five Dallas police officers?
    The ramifications of hesitation by police officers in doing their jobs can place their lives in jeopardy and have a negative effect on public safety.
     We need to support our police officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe.
    Donald Moskowitz
    Londonderry, NH

    Sheriff, police have my full support

  • Early voting may involve a long drive

    The map of New Mexico is a vivid reminder of what starkly different worlds we New Mexicans live in – one tight clump in the center of the state and enormous open spaces dotted with small towns.
    The map, in this case, was provided by the Secretary of State’s office, showing the polling sites for early voting and Election Day voting for the recent primary. It is online at polling.sks.com. Save this link for the general election.
    We can’t tell from the data how much early voting influenced our recent primary election.  What we can tell is how much the early voting option was utilized.
    The numbers indicate that early voting was much more heavily used in Bernalillo County and other metro areas than in our sparsely populated rural counties.  
    The early voting period this year was May 21 to June 4. By law, each county was required to make early voting available at the county clerk’s office.  Counties could also set up additional early voting sites.
    Several rural counties used only the clerk’s office. Others had an additional location at a fire station or other public building. Most tribes had a site location at a tribal community center, but not all. Voters from little Picuris Pueblo would have to go to the Peñasco community center.

  • Luhan brought artists, romantics, intelligentsia and radicals to Taos

    Maybe Mabel Dodge Luhan didn’t do everything required to create a romantic overlay on Taos and northern New Mexico. But she did a lot.
    An excellent show at the Harwood Museum of Art (harwoodmuseum.org) in Taos, running through September 11, tells Mabel’s tale without quite making the leap to one significant result.
    An article in the Summer 2016 issue of the Museum of New Mexico’s “El Palacio” (elpalacio.org) magazine, “A ‘Creator of Creators,’” parallels the exhibit. The author, Lois Rudnick, now retired to Santa Fe, apparently is the expert on all things Mabel.
    I brought to the exhibit general knowledge that Luhan lived in Taos a long time and famous people such as D.H. Lawrence visited. At the exhibit, a page from the New Mexico Quarterly, summer 1951 issue, was open to view. It said, “For the world Taos has become a living symbol…” This symbol creation appears something that happened as a layer on top of the locals who weren’t especially involved.
    In late 1917, Luhan was summoned to New Mexico. Husband three, Maurice Stern, wrote her from Santa Fe, “Save the Indians, their art—culture—reveal it to the world!”
    Save the Indians! They are objects, artifacts.

  • The tragedy of the commons, part two

    BY GEORGE CHANDLER
    Guest Columnist, Los Alamos

  • Woodworking business gets startup help

    BY METTA SMITH
    Vice President, Lending and Client Services, Accion

  • State doesn’t take its own advice to buy local

    BY LORETTA HALL
    Guest Columnist

  • Yes! We have no bananas

    “Bananas –59¢/lb.” Bananas are rich metaphors for the untold oddities that lurk deep in nature and in humans.  
    People see different things in a banana plantation. You hear them called banana “plants;” others call them “trees.” Botanically, bananas grow on a plant whose “trunks” of tightly-woven leaves look to all the world like trees. Say what you will.
    Equally strange, the heavy bunches of bananas grow upwards from their stem-end, which looks upside down to our eyes. Nor is that surprise the last.  
    In the early 1800s, sailors returning from trips to the tropical Americas would earn a little extra profit by loading on board the mostly unknown long, yellow fruit. In 1866, one Carl B. Frank began the first planned importing of bananas from northern Panama to New York City.
    That same decade saw the birth of banana republics, a name coined in a 1904 book of short stories by O. Henry.  
    Bananas are now as common as fish, but the exotic fruit is still popular in today’s markets. Nothing grows a tougher wrapper that makes peeling and eating so easy. Nothing else has a bite-size cross section that neatly reseals the end where it is bitten or cut.