Letters: Readers weigh in on issue of the day

Farmington Daily Times
Letters to the Editor

Street ministry thanks the public

The Overcomers street ministries would like to take this time to thank all those who helped us get through our winter gear drive, helping those in need.

Donations  included jackets, gloves, beanies, socks, men's and ladies' hygiene items, underwear and snacks.

The drive was very successful and we are proud of our community.

Special thanks to Noels Hardware, 7/2/11 Food Stores, Ryan with Sun Country Motorsports, The Master's Hand Church of God in Bloomfield.

Thank you all and we pray for you and yours. Have a blessed 2016.

Ike, Keith, Trenda, Tina & Valerie


Area residents, animals could lose ground

The City of Farmington and San Juan County have been partners in building the new Farmington Regional Animal Shelter, or FRAS, since May 7, 2013. However, the San Juan County Commission will soon decide if they will continue to contract with FRAS or move the contract for animal services to the Aztec Shelter.

If the Commission decides to move their contract to Aztec, residents of San Juan County outside of the Farmington city limits will no longer be able to surrender their animals to FRAS. They will also no longer be able to access any of the services provided at FRAS, including the low/no cost spay/neuter program. Sixty-two percent of the San Juan County residents who benefited from this service in fiscal year 2016 to date were from outside the city of Farmington; of those, 86 percent were free.

The city of Farmington and San Juan County have been partners in building the new FRAS since 2012. Over the last two years, the intake numbers for animals have been reduced, the euthanasia numbers for animals have been reduced, and the live-release rate for these animals has increased. It appears obvious that the efforts made by the city and the county to date IS making a difference.

However, if the Commission decides to terminate its animal services contract with Farmington, it is very possible that these improvements will backslide to the dismal numbers the Farmington shelter had before it implemented "animal welfare" at FRAS.

People were rightly upset by the environment the animals at the old shelter had to endure as well as their limited length of stay and the euthanasia rate. Many, many residents of San Juan County rallied together, pooled their resources and lobbied city, county and state officials to ensure this wonderful new facility was built and the Foundation thanks them.

It is time for those same generous donors and all of San Juan County to step up once again. If you are disturbed by the Commission's possible action to terminate their contract with the new FRAS, we encourage you very strongly to let your San Juan County commissioners know by emailing or calling them RIGHT NOW! These animals can’t afford for you to wait. They need your help to live in a good environment while they await their forever homes. You can find the contact information for the commissioners at this link:

Thank you for your continued support of the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter and Foundation.

Betty Ahrens Berry

Regional Animal Shelter Foundation chairman

Gold King Mine spill impacts still felt

Regarding the May 16 Farmington Daily Times story "Two day San Juan College conference starts Tuesday about the Gold King Mine spill."

On May 18, the Bureau of Reclamation implemented a plan to increase the flow 10 times the normal rate from Navajo Dam to the San Juan River. This higher river flow will clean the river of silt and debris — but also re-suspend heavy metals — supposedly to bring our river to a healthier state. Does this mean our government or the Environmental Protection Agency is not telling us the whole truth?

This season at my Shiprock farm I was contemplating whether to plant a garden and alfalfa.

The two latest stories confirms our measurement of high lead content from the lab where I work. Every Wednesday, our lab runs a full analysis, including heavy metals. Because of these findings, I will not be farming this season. I do not want to jeopardize my family, livestock and contamination of my farm soil. Last season my six grandchildren from Longmont, Colo., helped on the farm. Their effort was a total loss due to the spill.

Justin D. Yazzie Jr.