[Re: Feature, "Somewhere Under the Rainbow," July 16-22] I've decided that I just have to write to you because I went to the Rainbow Gathering for the first time ever after hearing of it for many years. As a 60-year-old grandmother, I had a fantastic time. The location was spectacular, the weather was wonderful (I'm so grateful that we had some rain to keep things cool), I barely saw an insect, saw no dog poop and encountered many friendly people who were very generous of spirit. I fail to see anything wrong with the absence of alcohol or hard drugs. Many people who in their lives do much work toward sustainability of our planet, peace and health for all people were in attendance. I think it is a great thing to take some time out, be in the forest, appreciate the beauty of the Earth. People were intentionally greeting and respecting the people they encountered and offering hope for peace.
I returned to my home very inspired to take these attributes into my daily life.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Waste Not, WIPP Not
[Re: News Feature, "WIPP Tides," July 9-15] Thank you for your lead article by Marisa Demarco on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The picture that accompanied the article showed a small part of our local group of women who sing parodies of songs on such social topics as health care reform, anti-war and other social justice issues. I spent most of the afternoon and evening at this five-year recertification hearing with the Raging Grannies to support CARD (Citizens for an Alternative to Radio-Active Dumping), Citizen Action (a citizen group monitoring the hazardous dumps at Sandia and Kirtland and possible groundwater contamination) and AVAT (Agua es Vida Action Team).
Ms. Demarco’s article was well-written, clear and focused. She captured the community’s main focus of concern about this depository, reporting on the detail of the animated debate between Dr. Richard Phillips (full text of report and appendices at witnesstoacrime.com) and Rick Beauheim (no written report and canceled a scheduled Alibi interview without explanation, according to Demarco).
One very serious point the citizen watch groups are concerned about and that the article failed to mention is that although WIPP is not permitted by the DOE (Department of Energy) to accept high-level nuclear waste, it has been reported that the nuclear re-processor plant in West Valley, N.Y., is preparing vitrified high-level waste for WIPP in Carlsbad.
I feel there is little or no public information or discussion on the continued policy of using our state as a dumping ground for toxic waste in our water, air and underground. Do New Mexicans need jobs so badly that we are willing to poison ourselves? Sandia National Laboratories and Kirtland Air Force Base have federal permits for Open Air Burning and Detonations. Not one word from KNME’s weekly “news” program, although I’ve contacted them several times.
Keep up the good work and the needed reporting on the quality of the water from the Rio Grande, which we will be drinking soon. A 10-year study presented by the CDC last month in Pojoaque on the legacy [of] building atomic weapons at LANL indicated the contamination that the Rio Grande has received since the '40s.
CORRECTION: In the July 16-22 issue of the Alibi, the restaurant review of Dahlia’s Central Mexican Cuisine contained incorrect biographical information about the co-owner. The farm Dahlia Carrasco-Romero grew up on was located between Carlsbad and Loving, N.M. The Alibi regrets the error.
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