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Letters to Editor

This category will hold letters to the editor, as requested by at least one Beat reader. This editor agrees that letters to the editor should be separate from editorials. Letters to the editor may not reflect the opinions of the editor.

The Hiroshima Peace Day Observance has been a public event sponsored by Gila Friends Meeting (Quaker) for more than three decades. It would have been held at Gough Park at 12:30 p.m. this coming Sunday, August 9. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Friends have decided not to hold the observance in person this year, but urge the public to recognize the continuing horror of atomic weapons.

August 9 is the 75th anniversary of the date the United States detonated an atomic bomb over the city of Nagasaki, Japan, at 11:02 on a Thursday morning. More than 70,000 people died immediately, more died later from radiation-induced illnesses.

Three days earlier, at 8:15 on Monday morning, August 6, the U.S. detonated the first nuclear device ever used in warfare at Hiroshima, Japan. The death toll there may have been as high as 200,000 people.

An American report after the bombings said Nagasaki looked "like a graveyard with not a tombstone standing." The devastation was total, as was the indiscriminate killing and wounding of military and civilian personnel within the area affected by the blasts.

The United States and other nations engaged in another quarter-century of a nuclear arms race. World acknowledgement of the unconscionable horror posed by atomic weapons led to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which went into effect in 1970. A Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was signed by the U.S. and most other nations in 1996; it is not in force because the U.S. and several other nations have not ratified it.

The world's nuclear arsenal reached a peak of more than 64,000 nuclear warheads in 1986. Today, that number has been reduced to about 13,720, with 3,720 deployed - ready to use! All are many times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan. The U.S. spends billions annually to maintain and upgrade its nuclear arsenal.

Gila Friends Meeting carries on the Hiroshima Peace Day Observance in spirit, despite not being able to gather in person, as part of its commitment that nuclear weapons should never again be used. Rather, Friends encourage the U.S. and other nations to renew their efforts to achieve one of the goals stated 50 years ago in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: "... to pursue nuclear disarmament aimed at the ultimate elimination of their nuclear arsenals."

Tom Vaughan
Silver City

Letter to the Editor, 8/4/20

I recommend the councilors vote against the proposed facemask ordinance. There are times when draconian government action is required, but this is not one of those times. This is not London; we are not suffering a Blitzkrieg.

Yes, we are threatened by a dangerous virus, one probably more deadly than the flu for those over 65. There have been about 21,000 cases in New Mexico and 651 deaths. Of the deaths reported in The Grant County Beat, most are people over 70. In Grant County there have been 67 reported cases. I believe the population of Grant County is about 28,000. There have been two reported deaths here.

The proposed Face Covering Ordinance is totally unnecessary and very demeaning to the people of the Town of Silver City. It is unnecessary because people are already wearing masks. Wherever I go in the Town, people are wearing masks -- I see them downtown, in Albertsons. in Wal -Mart, in private businesses and government offices. Businesses are requiring that masks be worn on their premises. Employers are having their employees wear masks. Government employees are wearing them in their offices. Why over regulate people and threaten them with punishment when they are already voluntarily self-regulating? It demeans and belittles people. The Governor has made mandates regarding wearing face coverings and it is enough that the Town has endorsed those mandates. Shouldn't the Town be commending the people of the Town and Grant County for what they are doing? I unequivocally oppose this proposal.
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Thank you,
Barbara Saxton
Silver City, NM

Dear Editor,

The Town of Silver City has a notice of intent for ordinance number 1293 entitled “REGARDING THE USE OF FACE COVERINGS BY EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS WHEN INSIDE PLACES OF BUSINESS AND BY ALL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WHEN IN PUBLIC PLACES”

This ordinance would enable the municipal police to cite violators, with provisions for a warning and a subsequent fine. I would encourage the town council to vote against this ordinance for several reasons.

I am in full favor of both face masks and social distancing. I was heavily involved in the blood borne pathogen standard compliance in a federal agency. I know both masks and distance reduce infection, so why am I against this ordinance?

Dear Editor:

For more than 30 years, Gila Friends Meeting (Quaker) has held a public witness near the August days when the United States detonated atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. Our purpose has always been to remind New Mexicans of the horrendous toll of those explosions, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and leaving radioactive "hot spots" on the land.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the birth of "the Bomb," right here in New Mexico. The Atomic Age began in a flash of light at 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945, a Monday morning. Our history of "downwinders" - populations affected by the fallout of atomic detonations - began in the Tularosa Basin a few minutes later. One of the makers of the bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer later remarked that it brought to mind words from the Bhagavad Gita: "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

Today on July 3 2020 most of us received a phone call on the emergency alert line telling us to stay home and wear a mask.

That alert line should be used for emergencies ( as is meant to be used ).

In case our Governor doesn't know what an emergency is- her phone number is 505-476-2200. Missing or abducted children, adults in danger, a jail or prison breakout or perhaps a grass fire growing in a neighborhood is an emergency.

The last member of a pack of endangered Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico's Gila National Forest was intentionally killed in late April, by federal agents acting on behalf of the livestock industry.

Are you outraged? I am. This is an injustice to the individual animal, to the species, and to the majority of New Mexico's tax paying public who want native species living on the land.

I wanted to congratulate Yvette Herrell on her hard-fought victory in the primary election. I am endorsing Yvette Herrell, and I will make myself available to help her in the general election. Yvette Herrell has shown her ability to win without compromising her basic conservative principles. It will take all of us the help elect Yvette Herrell to congress. Please help Yvette with your support and vote. Our country's future depends on you.

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