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Fiction: An unexpected change in the weather

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Memoir: Two sisters' trip, before it all changed.

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Climate of Fear

Thank you for publishing your wonderful newspaper each month. We always look forward to reading Desert Exposure. In the few years you've taken over, the quality of your newspaper has just grown better and better. (And larger! Takes us lots more time to read.)

August's "Editor's Note" is the kind of editorial we never see in the Las Cruces Sun-News, sad to say. An in-depth, thoughtful, thought-provoking essay on the climate of fear in the US, tying together the fear of the McCarthy era—masterful. Of course my husband and I are both appalled at how our country has changed since 9/11. We agree with your editorial. We've read countless articles and books on these monumental changes and how this administration has so skillfully used a climate of fear to dampen down criticism. Because we've been active in signing anti-war petitions (back in 2002), have done a little bit of protesting on the street and have signed numerous online petitions, we wonder if our names are on a list at the NSA.

That's how silly and worrying a climate of fear feels.

Congratulations on another great and informative issue. Keep it up. Please! Newspapers owned by the big conglomerates just don't seem to allow creative individuals to write for them.

Violet and Ronald Cauthon
Las Cruces

 

Nuts and Bolts

I just finished reading your article "The Road to Ripoff" (August). I'm not taking up for the repair shop—in general, most of them suck. Although the shop manual indicates removal of the tank to replace the fuel pump, on that model (GMC Sonoma) it is much easier to remove the bolts that secure the bed and then merely prop it up on the left side for easy access to the top of the tank. Especially easier to do if the tank has a significant amount of fuel in it. You don't mention whether or not the Mills Cooper mechanic checked to see if the bed bolts might have been recently removed.

Craig D. Merz
Silver City

Getting a Buzz

I write to thank you for publishing David A. Fryxell's splendid story, "Dances with Hummingbirds" (July). It's a well-thought-out piece that answers many questions for me. Please tell Mr. Fryxell that I appreciate his talented writing.

Martin Young
Silver City

 

You Say Dry Heat, I Say Hot!

A friend of mine, Julie McIntyre, recently moved to Silver City and sent me your newspaper. I particularly enjoyed the "dry heat" article (Continental Divide, July). I hope you will continue to write these kinds of articles about the Midwest. We have absolutely terrible weather year-round; it is nasty and miserable and you really don't want to move here. This is the mantra of most of us living here. We would really like it to stay the way it is.

I must tell you, though, that my husband and I—we are full-time musicians—did our first tour of the Southwest in April and I am sorry but, dry or not, it is hot. On top of that, after three weeks my skin looked like a lizard's; we could not drink enough water. Doesn't it bother you to be in such short supply of that vital element? My feeling was: too many people, not enough water. You can complain about mosquitoes, but that means water in abundance. It was a joy to hit Nebraska and see a thunderstorm and double rainbow. While I enjoyed the beauty of the desert, I did not find that this land welcomed me like the well-watered green of Northeast Iowa.

You see, we each see the best in where we live and overlook the bad. You keep the dry heat and the swamp cooler. I live in the Midwest with no air-conditioning and love it. By the way, I sleep like a baby on those hot, muggy summer nights.

Vicki Price
Lansing, Iowa

 

Under Construction

I believe the time has come to ask some tough questions of our Town of Silver City government officials regarding the forever-ongoing Pope Street construction project (Business Exposure, May). Work began in March 2006; it continues to this date with little sign of completion. Please consider the following:

Why five months (possibly six) to pave three city blocks of straight, level roadway (regardless of the underground utility work done while the pavement was removed)?

Why were all the "delays" stated by the city and Southwest Concrete & Paving not accounted for in the engineering report (which the city paid good money for)? Who was responsible for this report? Will the city do business with them again? If they were, then why were these issues ignored by the contractor?

Why has Southwest closed the roadway (at times in its entirety) rather than use flagmen as the state requires for its jobs? Does Southwest employ a state-certified traffic safety engineer or officer?

Why has the city felt stressing businesses, inconveniencing motorists and killing a significant portion of our local business economy summer season was necessary? Why a five-month-plus contract to resurface three blocks?

Regardless of the "delays" (you'd think they found Jimmy Hoffa and Blackbeard's treasure), why schedule at this time of year and then complain about the weather (as if they did not expect the summer monsoon!)?

I assert this project, as was the case with the Swan Street and Little Walnut construction fiascos, has been ill-planned, poorly overseen and horribly executed. We are dealing with the same public officials, the same contractor and possibly the same engineering firm. These are YOUR tax dollars being misspent here, YOUR streets being torn up, YOUR local businesses being stressed and, finally, YOUR local government apparently not learning anything from past practice!

M.J. Burns
Silver City

 

Piece of the Past

I've lived in Pinos Altos since 1970, and yesterday I decided it was time to go through many things and either give them to family or get rid of them. It's uncanny how much has accumulated after 36 years. I started in the family room and near the bottom of a stack of books and magazines I found a 2000 copy of Desert Exposure.

It really made me think, about how many copies I have read and enjoyed through these many years. Your publication brings a lot of information and happiness to a lot of people through the years. I decided I should send this copy to the current editor with a thank-you letter of appreciation for your work, courtesies and all the free Desert Exposure papers I have enjoyed.

Evelyn Carlisle Yates
Pinos Altos

 

Editor's note: Reader Yates kindly enclosed the March 2000 issue she'd unearthed. Especially in this, our 10th anniversary year, we appreciate receiving any pre-2003 copies of old issues to help us complete our Desert Exposure archives!

 

 

Let us hear from you! Write Desert Exposure Letters, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email letters@desertexposure.com. Letters are subject to editing for style and length.

 

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