Implied Corruption

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Jim Scarantino, in his article "What in the World is Wrong with Gary King?" published in the July 5 Alibi , ingeniously utilizes sarcasm to lay praise upon our state’s current attorney general, Gary King, for his efforts to fight public corruption in government. While Dr. King should be applauded for his efforts, Mr. Scarantino ignorantly implies that Dr. King’s predecessor, Patricia Madrid, was a corrupt public official. Scarantino’s fallacious argument follows that if Ms. Madrid did not prosecute corruption, then she is therefore corrupt herself. There is no fact or sound reason to support this argument.

While there are many county, state and federal agencies that prosecute criminal activities, the New Mexico Attorney General is involved with myriad issues that affect the people of our state. Prosecuting corrupt government is not necessarily the job of our state attorney general as Mr. Scarantino claims. Each legislative session, a budget is approved for the attorney general to use as he or she sees fit. Unfortunately, money is limited, therefore the attorney general decides on which issues he or she would like to focus. Patricia Madrid prosecuted and litigated against a range of criminal offenders including murderers, rapists, internet child predators, unethical businesses and polluters of New Mexico’s environment. Lawsuits from Madrid’s administration brought in around $100 million to the state. This money has funded programs to improve the lives of all New Mexicans. These are not the results of a corrupt politician, but rather a dedicated and hard-working elected official. Scarantino’s witty sarcasm should not disregard Ms. Madrid’s accomplishments.

There’s Something In The Water

[Re: Feature, “Parched,” May 31-June 6]

The city has not told the truth about drinking Rio Grande River water. The new water system is advertised as delivering water from pure, clean snow-capped mountains of Colorado. Actually the “clean” water first travels down the Rio Grande, filled with dangerous agricultural, human and industrial waste effluent. This water will include uranium and plutonium.

Some nuclear waste in the river is surface runoff from the Cerro Grande fire in 2000, which released fallout from years of atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in Nevada. Some is from explosive testing around Los Alamos with nuclear materials or from 60 years of Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) nuclear waste dumping.

Some comes from leaks from the lab into local streams flowing into the Rio Grande and Cochiti Lake, which serves as a settling pond for this waste. Albuquerque was alerted in 1981 that Cochiti fish were contaminated with radionuclides and unsafe for eating. Now that same water suddenly comes to us as delightfully fresh from the high Colorado mountain snows.

As it stands, manufacturers like Intel will wash their chips in pure water from deep underground, the war bases and Sandia Labs will use pure aquifer water for weapons/war preparation, and we will drink the river waste stream. This is immoral.

The city water report admits that there are radionuclides in the water but states that they are “naturally occurring,” as if that makes them OK. The city has said plutonium can be removed using clay beds, but a major Department of Energy (DOE) study regarding the decontamination of ground water shows that plutonium cannot be completely removed. Can the city do what the DOE cannot?

The city doesn’t address the future possibility of massive amounts of radionuclides coming downstream. LANL intends to expand production of nuclear warheads, which involves massive amounts of plutonium. … The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) reports that plutonium concentrates in human bones, creating a cancerous deterioration. IEER states that the 1976 Safe Drinking Water Act set inadequate limits on plutonium in water. Governor Richardson agrees and has called for a new standard to be used by the NM Environmental Department.

There is no safe level of ingested plutonium exposure for humans. We should not drink water that is laced with any amount of plutonium or could be further contaminated in the future. …

Cheerleaders for the atom once claimed drinking a little radiation cleansed the body. Have city officials fallen prey to the same lack of foresight? Children, the ill and elderly will be most at risk. How many health risks will we accept so that the military-industrial complex can drain the aquifer?

Other options exist. Intel and the war bases could build and use a dual pipe river water system while citizens curtail their continued use of the aquifer. Pure water should be reserved for humans, not machines and bombs!

Woah To Wow

[RE: Feature, “Ask Brenda!” July 12-18]

I lost a wife of many years to WoW. Her "playing partner” left his wife to come here and they moved in together. I played too, but since I worked, my weekly playing time was roughly equal to hers and his daily playing time. Not to mention, subsequently I’ve met at least one other person with a similar story.

At the point where it becomes an addiction, it isn’t necessarily harmless.

Also, did you read the story of the people arrested for neglecting their children due to a similar addiction to the online version of D&D []?


CORRECTION: In "Homeless Services Under Pressure To Relocate" (Newscity, June 28-July 4), we incorrectly stated that the Barelas Sector Development Plan was submitted to the City Council on June 4. The plan has not yet been submitted to the Council. The Alibi regrets the error.

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. 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.

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