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A bad state of affairs
I am so appalled reading the internet about New Mexico. Month after month. Not much good coming out of here... pollution, crime, drugs, police brutality, racism, outrageous taxation, white collar embezzlement and corruption of our tax dollar, on and on.  
Now I read Farmington, New Mexico,  is number two in the nation as the worst place to raise children. 
Tell me this is not happening. I moved here for a better place for my children instead of Los Angeles. Los Angeles didn't even make the list!
Please someone report on this, and can’t anyone do something about this?  
Personally, we are worse off financially since moving to Farmington. We bought a house off Butler Avenue and can’t stand the end of peaceful enjoyment for us in a residential area for crying out loud anymore. The traffic noise, speeders, big wheelers, all hours of the night into the early a.m. taking shortcuts to Pinion from Main/Apache north. 
We cannot open a window. We can't have visitors over, enjoy BBQs, phone calls, talk outside because of the noise in this area. Forced to have children play in alleys because of traffic, pedestrians can’t even cross the street without speeding vehicles refusing to give right of way. No crosswalks or stops to slow them down. One vehicle came within a foot of a woman in a power wheelchair crossing Butler (I had to wave and scream at the driver to make her stop! I have witnesses!). 
We need get off of this sinking ship!  
Our home is not worth what we paid for it (yet our property taxes keep rising). Now because of what the city has done to our home, yes they caused this nightmare, we can only hope to be able to sell and recoup something to start new in another city.  
I know, I know...I hear you and the rest of City Hall saying not my problem, cuz you don't live here.

Bubble busted. 
C McMullen
Farmington

Editor's Note: Go to http://bit.ly/2ycHXNh to read our coverage on this issue.

Masons – Christian or anti-Christian?
I will not say all, but some of the public think the Masons rob old ladies and drown kittens. But let me enlighten you about a few things.
We have in San Juan County three Masonic lodges, two in Aztec and one in Farmington. The lodge in Aztec has a school for dyslexic children paid for by the Masons. We send a therapist to a school so they can teach the children to read and get along in life.
One of our main interests is charity, like the burn centers for children.
Freemasonry refers to the principles, institutions and practices of the fraternal order of the Free and Accepted Masons.
The largest worldwide society, Freemasonry, is an organization of men based on the “fatherhood of god and the brotherhood of man,” using builder’s tools as symbols to teach basic moral truths generally accepted by persons of good will.
Their motto is, “morality in which all men agree, that is, to be good men and true.”
It is religious in that a belief in a Supreme Being and in the immortality of the soul are the two prime requirements for membership, but it is nonsectarian in that no religious test is used.
The purpose of Freemasonry is to enable men to meet in harmony; to worship God is to be of service to people.
Though some masons trace their organization’s origin back to the beginning of time, much of their teaching is tied to Solomon’s Temple. They also claim that John (the Baptist and the Apostle) were Masons. Modern Masonry dates only to 1717. It was in that year that four lodges in Great Britain formed the first Grand Lodge of England.
America’s so-called Founding Fathers were themselves Masons – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Ethan Allen, John Hancock, John Paul Jones, Paul Revere, Robert Livingston, and 35other lesser-known men who were signers of the Declaration of Independence and/or the Constitution.
Other notable men in history who have been Freemasons include Mozart, Henry Ford, Rudyard Kipling, Gerald Ford, Norman Vincent Peale, Douglas MacArthur, Will Rodgers and, most notable, 13 past presidents.
The views of the Masonic lodges are utmost noted for their non-dissemination of belief in religion or color. The only requirement to enter the Masonic Order is that he believes in the Supreme Architect of the universe.
Many allegories and symbols are used in Masonry. “Freemasonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbol, (Freemason symbols can be made to mean almost anything a person chooses to make them; master Masons take an oath: “Ever to cancel, never to reveal.” It seeks to make good men better through the form of belief in “the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and the immortality of the soul.”
To be a Shriner you have to be a Mason in good standing, and I’m sure you’ve heard of the work the Shriners have done with their hospitals and burn centers for kids.
In fact, 38 Shriners from Farmington have rented a bus to go to the Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City. We had a collection and raised over $1,000 for presents for the kids.
Jerry Billings
Farmington

Not crying wolf
To the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
Look, we’re all grown-ups here.  Let’s cut through all the B.S.
Every USFWS employee involved with the Mexican Gray Wolf recovery program has sold them out.  You’ve all sold out the Mexican Gray Wolves.
Either by the “Sin of Commission” or the “Sin of Omission.”  Either selling them out by direct action, like those who wrote the new recovery plan. Or selling out the Mexican Gray Wolves by their inaction, like not standing up or speaking up or screaming at the top of your lungs that the program has, and is continuing to fail the Wolves.
Let’s also cut the BS about the reasons the program is failing. The real reason, the core problem, is money, power and influence.  Some people who have a lot of money then want power. And some people with power want to influence things. Mostly to make themselves more money.  In this case that influence is also killing Mexican Gray Wolves. And killing them off.
And let’s skip the pretense that this new recovery plan will succeed. It will fail for so many reasons that if it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable. That pretense is the “Elephant in the room” that no one speaks out loud. And the silence is deafening.
Heck, even just considering the failure of this program, and that the draft plan continues that failure, it’s obvious they’ve been sold out.  Eighteen years and there’s only 113 Wolves. After 18 years. And 35 years more just to get to 300? That is insulting to everyone’s intelligence, as well as to God. And a sorrow in my heart.
Those of you in this program who know right vs. wrong must stand up and speak up. You have more influence than we who submit comments. And do the right thing. And call out this vicious recovery plan.
Call from the mountaintop if you must. The night before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead he gave his last speech. Known as his “Mountaintop” speech. He knew by that he was a marked man. He ended his speech by saying:
“And so I'm happy, tonight.
I'm not worried about anything.
I'm not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
And while we should always to do right by God, we must also do right by the Mexican Gray Wolves. Not the humans who already have enough money.
This program is for the Mexican Gray Wolves, remember?
David J. Forjan
Tularosa/Barton NY

Don't abandon Mexican gray wolves

The U.S. and Wildlife Service (FWS) could soon derail years of conservation efforts for one of America's most iconic and important predators: Mexican gray wolves or "El Lobo."
Currently, FWS is considering legislation that would prevent wolves from reaching essential habitats and growing the population to healthy levels. The plan – disguised as a recovery effort – goes against the recommendations of wildlife scientists and advocates. FWS should abandon this plan and opt for one that enables habitat access and boosts population growth to stable levels.   
Thousands of Mexican gray wolves once roamed the wilds of New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, as well as Northern Mexico. By the 1970s, the wolves were driven to near extinct in the United States due to massive habitat loss and ruthless, deliberate hunting measures. By 1976, the species was placed on the Endangered Species List, and the last seven remaining wolves were captured from the wild to ensure that the species would not become extinct.  

El Lobo made a small comeback in 1998. Thanks to wildlife advocates, descendants from the seven remaining Mexican gray wolves were slowly reintroduced to parts of Arizona. Now, there are only 113 Mexican Gray Wolves roaming free in the southwest U.S. 
To aid the ongoing recovery, FWS has just drafted a plan that establishes criteria that, when met, will allow FWS to remove Mexican Gray Wolves from their list of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.
Here's the problem: FWS' proposed "recovery" plan falls fantastically short in helping the wolves. 
For starters, their plan ignores scientific recommendations for stable population growth. Scientists dedicated to wolf recovery in the region have repeatedly concluded that the population needs to total at least 750 wolves in three interconnected U.S. locations to ensure survival. FWS' current recovery plan would have them removed from their List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife once they number 320 wolves in just two non-connected populations. That's not even half of the suggested total.
What's more, the plan allows for artificial barriers that would prevent wolves from interbreeding. Currently, the plan prevents wolves from dispersing outside of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA). This means wolves are unable to expand throughout the Grand Canyon, parts of New Mexico, and Colorado. 
Unfortunately, some of the most suitable habitat areas occur outside FWS' designated MWEPA. By depriving wolves of these great habitats, FWS makes it harder for the species to thrive in new environments and to breed with one another. A recovery plan that discourages population growth is no recovery at all.
By accepting the recovery plan as is, FWS is abandoning gray wolf recovery in the southwest. After once obliterating the population to near extinction, humans owe it to El Lobo to stand up against this reckless plan. 
Jacy Gomez 
Washington, D.C.

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