Don 'T Feel The Burn

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[RE: “Sun of a Bitch,” May 13-19]: Thank you for your excellent article on the sun, sunburn, Don Schrader, etc. As someone who went through a minor battle with basal cell carcinoma, I note that there were several important things you omitted: Wear a hat! Not a baseball cap (which doesn 't protect your ears or neck), but a real hat with a wide brim. Hats are cool, when you realize how they protect you. This is especially important for balding men, most of whom seem to ignore those red splotches they constantly get on their scalp when they don 't wear a hat. Wear sunglasses, especially polarized ones. UV rays are bad for your eyes.

Beaches, lakes and snow are extra bad because they reflect additional light back into your eyes. Sunscreen is great stuff and helps but isn 't fool proof. There is no alternative to covering up—long sleeve shirts and long pants. As you say, who wears clothes at the beach, but if you are prone to sunburn you probably should stay away from the beach, or as least stay in the shade. Cover up when you garden, walk for exercise, etc. I constantly see half-naked folks burning themselves to a crisp. There are many new sunscreen shirts and pants out now that also help to protect you.

A dermatologist told me once, that if you want nice skin when you are older, stay out of the sun. (Yes, I know, who will really do this?) but good advice anyway. Thanks for your series of articles—I enjoy them and always learn something.

Full Of It

[RE: Book News, “Filthy Liberal Scumbags,” May 6-12]: Steven Robert Allen “might not know it,” but perhaps he is the one who is “full of shit.”

Gop Party Girl

I applaud Gwyneth Doland 's courage for writing that insightful article [RE: “Why Heather Wilson is the Kind of Politician I Hate Most,” May 20-26] concerning Heather Wilson 's hypocrisy. Like many moderate Democrats and Republicans, I was taken in by the moderate demeanor she exhibited when she first ran for office. Unfortunately, once in office, it didn 't take her long to reflect her true ultra-conservative, corporate and party girl characteristics.

What bothers and saddens me the most is the arrogance that she has displayed since she won her second term in office. Her responses to some of my inquiries have been nothing short of defensive and self-serving. Instead of addressing my specific concerns, she has chosen to feebly justify this administration 's unfettered, aggressive and abusive exhibition of presidential powers on behalf of corporate America. These presidential abuses have had the result of heavily oppressing the average working American, which Wilson seems to heartily support. This kind of representation we can do without.

I, too, am looking forward to seeing her soundly defeated in the November elections. And hopefully, that will be the end of her political career.

Tossing And Turning

[RE: Payne 's World, “Your Own Private Albuquerque,” May 6-12]: Alibi columnist Greg Payne continues his remarkable criticism of a business planning to expand to Albuquerque. Tempur-Pedic will invest more than $60 million of its own money to build a 740,000 square foot manufacturing plant that will employ hundreds of our citizens during its design, construction and long-term operation.

Once again, Payne belittled the company in his column, this time suggesting it will create only “a gaggle of below-median income level jobs” for the community. Were he interested in learning the facts, Payne would discover the many reasons why elected leaders at the state, county and city government, along with the private sector, came together in a joint effort to win this project. Wages and benefits included.

Payne knows better, but he still leads his readers to believe that “IRBs and other taxpayer funded goodies are a done deal” and don 't allow opportunity for public input. Wrong. The company will submit an application for job training funds, and be subject to two or three public hearings before a vote is considered for issuance of Industrial Revenue Bonds. The Albuquerque City Council, after considerable debate in a public meeting earlier this month, voted 7-1 to authorize an engineering contract for design of a road to serve the public purpose this important project represents. Other public meetings at the state and local level are to come.

Payne is suffering because no other local mattress manufacturer currently receives “any sort of similar support from city or county government,” but he fails to mention that every program available to new manufacturers is available to existing manufacturers. We invite you to introduce us to the expanding local mattress manufacturers you're concerned about, Mr. Payne, and we 'll be delighted to assist them. If appropriate, we 'll even offer to help you champion IRBs for them.

Cheap shots at Tempur-Pedic damage the corporation and ignore the benefits associated with the investment of an excellent corporation. Over time, those who honestly assess this project will recognize its indisputable value to the community and state.

Funny Math

Jerry Ortiz y Pino usually does a good job. That’s why I read the column so often. I’d like to know if the joke in “Shotgun Wedding Works Out” [May 13-19] was intentional. It called for students to develop “employable skills that further technical and academic training can build on.” It also claimed that if a school loses five percent of its students from each secondary grade every year that 20 percent of students are dropping out. Here’s the joke. The math doesn’t work. The real answer is (ready?) a dropout rate of about 18.5 percent. Hint: 0.95*0.95*0.95*0.95=? Was it a mistake or was Pino intentionally showcasing a lack of employable mathematical skill?

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