Alibi V.28 No.51 • Dec 19-25, 2019 

Letters

Here is a selection of our favorite letters from 2019, in no particular order, by Weekly Alibi News Editor August March.

Municipal Wells Uncontaminated

Dear Alibi

The July 25 Kirtland fuel spill article by August March [v28 i30] quotes a representative of the SouthWest Organizing Project, Juan Reynosa, who refers to a “toxic plume of jet fuel in our water supply.” Mr. Reynosa goes on to say that SWOP’s community garden is “using city well water” and that “some members of the community wonder if we’re raising crops that are going to have poison in them.”

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, which operates the municipal wells serving Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, wishes to reassure Mr. Reynosa and other concerned members of the community that no Water Authority wells have been affected by the fuel spill. The jet fuel plume lies to the southwest of our nearest well field, and sentinel wells between the leading edge of the plume and the nearest Water Authority well would provide ample warning before contamination of any of our wells occurred. We also sample and test the drinking water wells nearest to the plume on a monthly basis to ensure that the water remains safe to drink. Should any drinking water wells face an imminent threat of contamination, we would of course cease to use them before allowing jet fuel constituents into the water supply.

The Water Authority and its governing board have been working diligently with the Air Force and with the New Mexico Environment Department to ensure that no municipal wells become contaminated as a result of the fuel spill. Certainly some wells are under threat, but we are hopeful that ongoing cleanup efforts will completely eliminate the possibility of contamination. Albuquerque’s water supply, meanwhile, continues to meet all federal standards for safe drinking water and can be consumed with utmost confidence. A complete report on water quality in Albuquerque, updated annually, is available on our website at www.abcwua.org/Water_Report.aspx.

David Morris,

Public Affairs Manager

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority

Gun Control, Quirky Style

Dear Editor

I have mixed feelings about banning guns at City Council meetings. “Gun Free Zones” seem to attract mass shooters like feces attracts flies. However, there is a similarity between Council meetings and rowdy bars, where we have long banned guns. Just make sure the councilors go through the metal detectors with the rest of us.

As to “Lock Up” requirements: Why do I never see this suggested as to automobiles? Stolen cars are just as big a threat to public safety as stolen guns. There would be less threat of theft of guns from cars if there were fewer places where lawful CCW holders were nevertheless prohibited from carrying. This requires leaving the weapon in the car.

I have only seen one government program that actually and significantly reduced gun violence.

In the early ’90s, Richmond, Va. was a shooting gallery. Gang bangers were doing drivebys that left more noncombatants dead than rival gang bangers.The local cops and prosecutors got together with the federal prosecutors and federal judges, forming Project Exile. This program not only had the backing of the normal antigun groups, but also the NRA, which gave at least two $100,000 contributions to help fund it. It resulted in as 50 percent reduction in gun homicides (and even more for noncombatants) in one year, and continuing.

What was the program? Every time a convicted felon was caught in possession of a firearm, he was taken to federal court to be tried and sentenced under existing federal law, providing a minimum sentence of at least 5 years. It was also arranged that this prison time be served in a federal prison as far away from Richmond as available. If Freddy Felon missed his mommy—great! That was the idea. This program was widely publicized, giving Freddy fair warning. It made gun carrying by felons extremely unfashionable.

The same program could work here, if law enforcement and courts have the huevos to do it.

Ken McDaniel

Rio Rancho

You Gotta Keep ’Em Separated

Dear Alibi,

To the author of “Conflate Church and State” [v28 i45]:

You sound like you are from the great WWII generation, when our flag stood against imperialist regimes—like Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan—that were actually invading other countries as well as killing and/or imprisoning people of different religions within their own nation. Maybe you have forgotten how we imprisoned Japanese-Americans during the war on no more evidence than that they were of Japanese descent.

Since WWII, people of color in this country did not enjoy all the “liberty and justice for all” that the Pledge of Allegiance states in its opening line. Hence, the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum and was actually signed into law (Civil Rights Act of 1964) by President Johnson. But just because a law is made doesn't mean people actually follow it.

Many injustices are still being done against the underprivileged here, and it has only gotten worse under the present administration, whose focus seems to be for the 1 percent , extremely wealthy and white class. So really, there is no common belief here that all men and women are created equal. That is in your idealistic mind, which is not a bad thing—except that you see everything in black and white, or maybe red, white, and blue.

The reality is that people have been kneeling during National Anthems to show that we have a lot of problems here at home that need to be addressed, with no disrespect to the flag itself. Why, don't you kneel to pray to the God that you think is common to all here? We allow freedom of religion here; that's what makes this country great.

One of those current problems is our borders that were once open to the world are now being closed (Mexican border) under the pretense that only criminals are coming here. Mostly, they are families trying to escape the nightmares that their countries have become from corrupt governments, supported by the USA, in Central and South America, as well as gangs that commit crimes, for the flow of drugs and guns between our country and theirs. And we don’t even have enough immigrant workers to harvest crops in the US anymore, and Americans won't do it because it’s “peasant labor.”

Many European countries would argue that this is the greatest country in the world. Many Native Americans would tell you that this land has been taken from them by force. We don’t even stand united with the rest of the world on climate change. Do I have to say it: Dissent is patriotic, or we would probably still be a territory of England.

If you look at the Constitution, the First Amendment prevents our government from officially recognizing or favoring any religion. That is the reason the Ten Commandments (Judeo-Christian) are not allowed in public buildings. And until liberty and justice is for all here in the USA, I don't see how you can force people to recite the Pledge in school and public meetings.

Sorry, mister, but the world has grown (without your permission) into an international world, and your nationalistic fervor, possibly stirred up by white supremacy and the present government, is only going to cause more injustice. We still need, as the founding fathers intended, separation of church and state.

Mark Nolan

Albuquerque
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to letters@alibi.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 346-0660. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.