Another Desert
Jean Chandanais Bohlender paints Americans in Afghanistan

Super New Mexico
From the Hulk to Aqualad, ground zerofor memorable comic book characters

Back to School
Turning 65, time to tackle college algebra again

Learning the Ropes
Photographing NMSU's "rodeo school"

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Editor's Note
Desert Diary
Southwest Gardener
Henry Lightcap's Journal
100 Hikes
The Starry Dome
Talking Horses
Ramblin' Outdoors
Guides to Go
Continental Divide

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Red or Green

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Designing an Ecosystem

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Corporations and Catfish

Our readers write.


Homegrown Wealth?

As usual, your editorial ("Greed, Inc.," May) was well thought out. It is a sad commentary on the nation, that we subsidize billion-dollar corporations, who then jump ship at the first opportunity with all the loot that was thrown at them by the state/local governments to attract the "jobs. It's typical Wall Street piracy.

It seems to me that if New Mexico is going to actually become prosperous, we must put maximum distance between our economy and Wall Street.

There are ways to do it, so that what is done for New Mexico will stay here. First, establish a state-owned bank, but to assure honest banking, have the credit unions in the state elect the board of directors annually. The credit unions are the most stable, democratic financial institutions we have. The bank's main features are to handle the state and local governments' financial needs, and to establish a "financial market" for investing in New Mexico businesses and co-ops. Special accounts might be established by credit unions to collect some of the savings into accounts that pay 2%-6% per annum, which is far more than the current savings accounts' rates and yet is very achievable in a well-run business.

Second, establish a deliberate legal framework that makes establishing financially and ecologically sound co-ops a public priority, with the objective being to employ people at a reasonable living wage by producing and distributing the necessities of life here. Emphasis should be to make the co-ops catalysts for forming stable mini-communities that enable people to be housed, clothed, fed, healed and schooled. These can be formed using the ingenuity of the participants in nearly any setting from rural to urban. The co-ops should be governed by a boards of directors that are annually elected by employees and investors on the basis of one vote per human, not per dollar. The state bank would be the financial fountain. This would make the employees responsible for the success, but protect them in the process. The co-ops could be merged with other co-ops but not "bought out" by corporations.

Third, establish a state investment bond system for investing in the utilities, transportation and other infrastructure, modeled on the old savings-bond idea. If we can sell lottery tickets, why not sell investment and thrift? Once again, use the state bank as the fiduciary agent, since it's governed by our honest credit unions.

This should stabilize our society and take pressure off our government safety net programs. By stabilizing the society, it would be possible to correct the problems we now have in education, and put a large dent in the finances of the corporate prison industry.

Something to think about.

Charles Clements

Las Cruces



Your editorials are a pleasure to read and an inspiration to act. Please keep opining; your writing is opening minds.

Michael Murphy





A Gardener Remembered

Thank you, Vivian Savitt, for the wonderful thoughts about Dorothy Eagan (Southwest Gardener, May). I knew her through the Mogollon Mountain Dulcimers. She was an eager learner and eventually took over our music library. She single-handedly created an easy-to-use file; I am sure her library experience came in to play. Dorothy was a beautiful woman, who was loved by all of us.

Peggy Spofford

Silver City



The Catfish's Tale


There are some good and bad points to catfish ("The Catfish's Meow," May). In your story it appeared that you were trying to protect the State of New Mexico, which writers have been doing for far too long now.

Catfish must be stocked in lakes and rivers where they cannot travel to other water sources. In every state where my colleagues and I did research we learned that catfish take over with really no natural predators. This is the reason that certain lakes and ponds should be for catfish only.

Catfish never return money to the state. The reason is that every other state has catfish except for Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. No one comes to New Mexico to fish for catfish.

Recently one of my closest friends (a bass aficionado) spent over $15,000 trying to see if Bill Evans Lake could withstand a bass tournament. The last tournament he held in West Texas brought in just a little over $7 million for a town the same size as Silver City. But Bass Pro and Cabela's did studies and learned that there were just too many catfish in Bill Evans Lake. That is the lake in Grant County that should be our bass and catfish lake; however there needs to be a stocking of bass for maybe four years before we can have a successful bass tournament.

It is unnecessary to stock catfish in any Grant County water source; they are doing very well on their own. However, the Rio Grande should be stocked with as many catfish as we can get for a variety of lucrative reasons, not to mention the fun you listed in your article.

States that have mixed catfish and trout together have all lost millions of tourist dollars and have paid for it by kids having fun (they do not care what they catch) and adults who love to eat catfish, which is also one of my favorite fish to have for dinner. Wherever this has happened in New Mexico (Bear Canyon), the lake should be shocked. We need to stock Bear Canyon with trout and withhold fishing it for 150 days; the same can be said for Lake Roberts.

New Mexico Game and Fish has always done things the cheapest way without any regard for what can make money for our rural communities. We can make people happy and make money if we designate each lake for certain fish. Did you know that Pennsylvania and West Virginia are stocking only trout in their mountain waters? This was done to stop their outdoorsmen from going west to fish for trout.

As far as angling is concerned, many serious anglers do not like the way catfish fight; the fish do not come to the surface or jump, making it boring to the more serious angler. I would also like to see only night crawlers and liver used for catfish. Other baits have made it difficult for some species to live in the water. Also it is a known fact that catfish grow very rapidly on both of these baits as well as hamburger.

American catfish from Mississippi were planted in Europe and now they are all being removed and given to organizations that feed the poor. Why? They planted them everywhere instead of enclosed lakes, which is what I am trying to get them to do at this minute. They are punishing catfish for their stupidity!

Bass and trout tournaments make a lot of money for their communities; people come to the West to fish for trout, not catfish. Tourists from Texas will come for bass and bass tournaments.

Dr. Anthony "Tony" Zine, PhD, wildlife biologist

North American High Streams Fishing Catfish Assn.

Las Cruces




Correction [printed edition]: Contrary to last month's Starry Dome column, the M51 galaxy is not in Ursa Major. Though nearby, it's actually in Canes Venatici.





Let us hear from you! Write Desert Exposure Letters, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, 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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