Tell Me a Story
The Storytellers of Las Cruces have been spinning yarns for 85 years

A Hike Through History
Revisiting some favorite sites in Apache country

Floating Away for the Weekend
Truth or Consequences offers hot-springs soaks, art and more

Our Vanishing Riparian Landscapes
Can we meet the threats to the Southwest's water systems?

More 2012 Writing Contest Winners

The Tunnel of Love?
Hester and George plan a breakout – from the nursing home

It Came from the Agave!
When the agave started to bloom, the battle began

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Our Readers Write


Endangering Species

I wonder why Mr. Lightner is surprised that wildlife is disappearing ("Natural Disasters," September). A great many articles he has written for the Desert Exposure contain the sport murder of two- or four-legged creatures. Is he personally responsible for the steep decline? Of course not. But multiply his actions and attitude by a million and you have species decline with the corresponding environmental degradation and, equally, with corresponding environmental degradation, the destruction of species. After the Hornocker study of mountain lions in New Mexico, there was no definitive population determined, yet the state upped the kill of females because they wanted the money. That's how wildlife is managed: living creatures as disposable sources of revenue, or at least the fodder for articles, with all the destructive baggage that comes with it.

We have witnessed this decline in our own limited ecosystem. Fox, skunk, bobcat, quail, have all but disappeared. But I don't drop to my knees and pray to Creator/God, repent, and beg for the land's resurrection. It isn't God's business to fix our problems. It's ours, and Mr. Lightner's.


R. Earnheart

Silver City


Larry Lightner responds: Actually, I went back through the annals of cougar study history in the US and found the last Hornacker study of cougars did not occur in New Mexico but in Idaho in 1970 — a far different environment and food culture than in our state, plus it is outdated. To compare that study with us is to compare apples to grapefruits. We did indeed have a 10-year Hornacker study in New Mexico, but it was on black bears. The study concluded that New Mexico had more bears than what was beforehand believed. As for my writing about hunting and killing in this paper, I have not had even one column on either subject in over nine years now, as the publisher can attest.



Getting Bain'd

I hope Desert Exposure will update its great article of July 2004 on Bain Capital's Stream International and its call center in Silver City ("Dialing for Dollars").

Mitt Romney has based his presidential campaign largely on his alleged success as a businessperson building Bain Capital into a leading private equity company. Bain Capital is not primarily about producing wealth or jobs. They profit largely by raping and pillaging debt-laden companies. It is standard practice for Bain Capital to immediately load up the companies they acquire with debt. In turn these companies are vulnerable to bankruptcy. Bain carries no risk beyond its limited investment and its crafty use of the tax code.

This has been the case in New Mexico. Romney's Bain Capital exploited the Land of Enchantment — simply eliminating jobs. Just look at the thousands of lost jobs with the bankruptcies of KB Toys, Bealls and Toys"R" Us by Bain. Then there is the case of Bain Capital's Stream International and its call center in Silver City. New Mexico was bilked.

Now America has Mr. Romney running for president on a flim-flam business record, at least in New Mexico, that is shady and abysmal. Let's hope New Mexicans are not duped again by Romney's so-called business experience.

Greg Lennes

Las Cruces


Editor's note: The original article was published before our current website, but we've recently made it available online at www.scribd.com/doc/100443943/Desert-Exposure-Dialing-for-Dollars. According to ProgressNow New Mexico, Bain Capital purchased a majority stake in Stream International in 1999 and sold its interest to Solectron in 2001. That means Bain did benefit from more than $2.5 million in taxpayer subsidies for the Silver City call center, but was not in control when Stream shut down here in 2003.



About Mary

Just read the September issue — some good pieces! Mr. Fryxell's essay on the Olympics (Continental Divide column) included commentary on what Mary Carillo does the rest of the year. She is a former pro tennis player who was quite successful on the circuit for years, primarily in women's doubles. Since her career ended, she has been doing tennis commentary at many of the major tournaments in various locales around the world for decades.

Elizabeth Carr

via Facebook



Repaving Paradise

Editor's note: We ordinarily don't publish letters about letters, but are making an exception in the case of the next letter in the interest of accuracy on this, er, important issue:


Regarding "Paving Paradise" in the letters section of the August issue. Being a Joni Mitchell fan I had to set the record straight. Joni Mitchell wrote "Big Yellow Taxi" while in the paradise of Hawaii and recorded it in 1970 and it was released on her album "Ladies of the Canyon."

This is over twenty years before Counting Crows was formed and when most of the members of the band were probably under 10 years of age. They did include the song on their 2002 release "Hard Candy."

David Goudy

Port Orchard, Wash.



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 (maximum 500 words, please), and must be in response to content that has appeared in our pages. Deadline for the next issue is the 18th of the month.



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