These letters published in the Dec. 6, 2020 print edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News.
A student’s perspective
I want to voice my opinion on school right now while being virtual. I personally am not a fan of this virtual learning. I don’t feel like we are getting enough instruction time during this virtual learning model.
In the past couple of weeks I have only gotten an average of 4 hours of school per week. Since the beginning of the school year we have been behind in every subject. I have had teachers tell me in the past couple of months that we are almost a quarter or more behind in all subjects. So with this knowledge we now know that when this school year is over we will be missing almost half a year of school. With that said that means that we will be going into our next year of school being behind or possibly getting held back. If this happened to all students in the school district that makes sense but if schools let kids move on that is not helping the students that is just harming them.
I am a student myself, I am a freshman in the LCPS school district and the teachers are not taking advantage of the Zoom classes on Monday and Tuesday. They are only using their Thursday and Friday zooms classes to teach us new things in class. I have only two classes at this point that are using their Monday and Tuesday Zooms and that is my biology and JROTC class. The other problem is that classes aren’t taking up the full 45 minutes they are given. I have classes that only last 20-30 minutes instead of the full 45.
I might be the only one saying this out loud but I know that my friends are struggling along with me this school year.
Tyler Boston, Las Cruces
Chile, salsa, pecans, pistachios, beef, lamb, cheese, pork, hemp products, beer, wine, distilled spirits, lavender, herbs and New Mexico-flavored coffees. The list is extensive. The opportunities abound. This is New Mexico agriculture. The giving season is an opportunity for everyone to share part of what makes New Mexico special.
Buying local and supporting home-grown, community-based businesses is more important than ever. There are small businesses in every New Mexico community that depend on sales of locally-grown products to help their business support their local communities. According to a 2014 New Mexico State University publication, if New Mexico consumers increased their purchases of food from local farmers and ranchers by 15%, the total income associated with these added purchases would contribute $725 million per year in outputs and wealth for New Mexico communities. Not only would farmers and ranchers benefit, but so would our growing value-added sector, creating more jobs in local communities statewide and helping diversify our economy. Everyone would benefit from locally-grown and locally-made products by enjoying all that makes New Mexico a famous food destination.
To help support our dynamic agriculture sector, your New Mexico Department of Agriculture launched the “Elevate New Mexico Agriculture $5 at a Time” challenge last year to encourage New Mexico families to look for locally-grown products when they shop.
Follow Explore New Mexico–Taste the Tradition businesses on Facebook and Twitter (@tastenewmexico), Instagram (@tastethetradition) and Pinterest (@tastetradition). Watch videos of dishes made with delicious New Mexico products on Taste the Tradition’s YouTube. Also visit our Ag Products to Consumers page on the NMDA website at www.nmda.nmsu.edu.
Jeff Witte, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture
The people’s store
We should be concerned about the closure of Mountain View Market. More than just a grocery store with fresh organic produce and other products, it’s a place for members of our community to meet, to gather over a cup of coffee, hot bowl of soup or a healthy meal. The co-op is also a long time supporter of local growers and community members.
The Market is a place to bring your family for a healthy and affordable $3 meal. Imagine, a place where mom, dad, kids and grandma and grandpa can all afford to eat nutritious foods. An option not provided by the multitude of cheap, fast food joints whose products promote cardiovascular degeneration, cancer and other diseases.
We can save the co-op if we all come together to do so. If big banks can be bailed out why not a co-op which by the very nature of it’s existence is a vital support to our people and community? Perhaps our political representatives can address this on a city and state level to come up with a solution to bail out Mountain View Market after it’s loyal service to the Las Cruces and other surrounding communities for 45 years.
When small, people owned businesses are allowed to fail, so too are our choices and freedoms taken away. We become indentured to corporate run stores that dictate our food choices and subsequent health by the nature of the products offered, including health damaging chemicals, preservatives and GMOs.
The choices we make now to come together and to save our people’s co-op will dictate ours and our children’s health and even affect the well-being of our planet, for many generations to come. Let’s make good, healthy and sustainable ones!
Lorelei Horse Stands Waiting, Las Cruces
MLG should be US health secretary
Michelle Lujan Grisham was the first undercover boss before it was a television program. About a year after the Twin Towers were hit, she was appointed by Republican Gov. Gary Johnson as New Mexico’s first Hispanic secretary of the Health and Human Services Department. Her competency was quickly recognized by the new administration under the leadership of Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson. She told me that she was packing her desk and he literally came up to her and asked, “where are you going?” He then asked her to remain and to continue to head up health and human services.
She knew there were problems with the department’s psychiatric hospitals. So instead relying on the traditional, same third-party observations and recommendations of staff, she posed as a patient. She knew that the best way to solve a problem was looking at it through a different perspective.
She told none of the staff of her position. She came “undercover” as a patient. Lujan Grisham was able to obtain a full understanding and unique perspective of the plight of persons with mental illness.
After becoming a congresswoman and now governor, the people in New Mexico and we in the disability field recognize that besides drive, commitment and fortitude, she has tremendous organizational skills and acumen.
Gov. Lujan Grisham is a mother, a widow and possesses the tenacity to organize the needed battalions of workers to get all of America inoculated. President Elect Biden would do well to consider her seriously for this most important position.
Robert Stack, president of Community Options
Rural health more important than ever
On Nov. 19 we celebrated National Rural Health Day across the nation. This year more than ever this day was especially important. The COVID-19 pandemic made it abundantly clear that those living in rural America are especially vulnerable to this deadly disease.
This day of recognition not only brings to light the health care issues facing our rural health providers and first responders but to honor their heroic efforts since the COVID-19 virus has ravaged our country.
Let’s not forget there are 57 million Americans living in rural communities and all of them deserve the best possible medical care. Over the years, USDA Rural Development has become a major partner to rural America by providing financing to pay for numerous health care projects. For example, here in New Mexico we’ve funded the construction of hospitals, medical centers, the purchase of ambulances and medical equipment and the construction of a factory making medical gloves. We’ve also funded telemedicine systems and Project ECHO operated by the University of New Mexico Health Care Sciences Department which provides a weekly educational series to medical professionals on how to handle and treat the COVID-19 virus.
Finally, please join me in thanking and honoring our health care providers and our first responders who have dedicated themselves to provide the best possible health care to our rural residents at all times especially now during this pandemic.
Remember their commitment could be saving your life someday.
Blake Curtis, state director of USDA Rural Development
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