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Bad time to close UNM's San Juan Center

Editor: It is really sad to hear the news that the University of New Mexico will be closing their San Juan Center office here in Farmington. This service has helped many achieve bachelor’s degrees without having to travel to Albuquerque.

With the recent downturn of oil and gas and the huge impact that is having on Farmington, re-education to another career is one of only a few choices some people have without having to uproot and move their families. For years UNM benefited from oil and gas revenues and now when the community that benefited them for years needs them, they pull out.

Having to deal with UNM personnel over the phone, who do not have the level of interest in our education goals and successes as someone onsite has, is a no-win situation for Farmington. Catherine Grobler’s presence here was a voice Four Corner Area residents needed.

An educational base gets you a lot further in life than a basketball scholarship and a coach. Yet UNM chooses to fund the highest paid state worker that serves a team of how many – 15? Why doesn't the education of many take precedence over sports and the few?

Kathryn Hunter, UNM San Juan Center/UNM Grad 2014

Farmington

Community should find a way to save KSJE

Editor: The article “San Juan College Projecting Budget Deficits” tells a frightening tale for any community with multiple assets, changing needs and limited funding sources.

While it’s admirable of the college leaders to maintain current tuition rates and not make students suffer any additional tuition burden, determining how to close the budget gap is indeed a challenge. It’s unfortunate to consider eliminating the college's community radio station KSJE.

When a city loses a radio station — particularly a public station — part of the community fabric starts to unravel. Connections to thought leaders and traditional and emerging media consumers (on one media platform) are lost. While commercial media outlets have their place and do their share, public radio immerses itself into the community without parallel.

This is certainly the case with KSJE. I listen to the online audio stream almost daily and am duly impressed with the extent of coverage it provides to local newsmakers and the variety of programming it offers. As someone who has visited the Four Corners region more than a dozen  times in the past 20-plus years, maintaining an interest in Farmington’s news and community values is important to me.

When I visit, I shop in your stores and dine in your restaurants. Because of guests I’ve heard interviewed on “The Scott Michlin Morning Show,” I’ve made gifts of support to your local charities. If you don’t think KSJE’s presence holds meaning to your local enterprises, think again. Creating a community conversation may be KSJE's best strength. Positive talk begets more positive impacts. KSJE’s diverse program mix – from local newscasts, informative local origination programming, global news, classical music, jazz, world music, and beyond — is original, hyperlocal, fresh and unlike corporate radio with its bland voice, tracked announcers and canned programming. When you have a purely hometown media choice in your community — especially one that is generous in telling community stories and lending its power to promote arts, education, business and community service events — it deserves a place in your media landscape, and if you’re a business owner or donor who values community investment, it deserves a line item in your expense budget.

Now is the time for the community to help KSJE signal its own value and find or raise the funds it needs to maintain this valuable service.

Cherie Messore

West Seneca, N.Y.

Celebrate the nation's national parks

Editor: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Organic Act, which established the National Park Service.

That act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

Among the regions ready to celebrate is the Four Corners which includes Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.

The region has many national parks and because of that it is one of the most traveled regions of the entire Country.

But it's not just the Four Corners region celebrating the National Park Service's centennial, it is also California and it's national parks, New York and its national parks, Washington State and its national parks, Oregon and its national parks, Texas and its national parks, Florida and its national parks as well as DC and its national parks and the entire nation as well.

Americans should be reminded that these parks are our parks and that it is we who preserve these monuments so that generations can look and say we are one nation that can protect our nation's beauty and environment so that all people can enjoy their visit to these parks for all to see.

John Huerta

Warren, Ark.

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