Oct. 4: Opinions from our readers

Farmington Daily Times

William "Bill" Chagnon made the community better

Dear Editor
We recently learned of the passing of William ‘Bill’ Chagnon. Bill served as a founding director of the San Juan Medical Foundation joining the board in 1985.
Bill led the Foundation’s Public Relations team and served on the Foundation’s Executive Committee during its initial $1 million campaign to build the San Juan Regional Cancer Center.
Chagnon established the then Mountain Bell Cancer Walkathon event as the Foundation’s premier annual fundraiser. This year, the Foundation celebrated its 35th Annual Cancer Walk. Each fall, this event draws hundreds of generous and compassionate friends who walk to honor those whose lives are effected by cancer. To date, nearly $2.3M has been donated to the San Juan Medical Foundation to help fulfill its mission to enhance healthcare in our region.
Foundation directors remember Bill Chagnon for his wonderful sense of humor and caring, compassionate ways.
Though we are sadden by Bill’s passing, we rejoice in knowing that he Farmington a better place because he lived, worked and served here. Our regional health care system continues to benefit from Bill’s involvement.

Brenda Shepherd
Interim Executive Director
San Juan Medical Foundation

Masons are good people who help others

I will not say all, but some of the public think masons rob women 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 the 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 builders' 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, but 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 35 other 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 and Will Rogers. And most notable, 13 past presidents.
The views of the Masonic Lodges are noted for the 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 have heard of the work the Shriners have done with their hospitals and burn centers for kids.

Jerry Billings

EPA ozone standards are weakest possible

The EPA has tightened their National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone down to 70 parts per billion (ppb), down from the 75 ppb limit set in 2008.
While we commend the agency for updating the standard, it does not go far enough to protect public health. San Juan Citizens Alliance joined other environmental and public health groups in urging a more stringent limit of 60 ppb.
The EPA went with the weakest recommendation of its own scientific advisory panel (60-70 ppb), which may have been a result of aggressive lobbying by industry.
Ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, is formed when emissions from tailpipes, power plants and oil and gas operations react with sunlight, leading to asthma, lung and heart disease. Although historically southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico have enjoyed enviable air quality, rampant oil and gas development now put us on par with major cities.
The American Lung Association’s 2015 State of the Air Report issued La Plata County a "D" for ozone levels and San Juan County, N.M. a "C". Both counties are at risk of violating the new standard and citizens are bearing the health costs.

Letters to the editor

San Juan Citizens Alliance
Mike Eisenfeld, spokesman
Durango, Colo.