The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

THE GAUNTLET

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letters, opinions, editorials

The Signpost welcomes letters of opinion to encourage dialog in the community. Letters are subject to editing for length, clarity, libel, and other considerations.

copyright Rudi Klimpert

re: terrorized in Rio Rancho

The Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety will take serious allegations against you without question. RRDPS officers will lie in wait until they have an opportune time to walk into your home without explanation or warrant. They will pepper you with questions even when you exercise your right to remain silent and they find no evidence to support the allegations. They will threaten you with physical violence when you refuse to answer their questions and injure you with a forced personal search.

They will use off-line communications that can’t be recorded. And then walk away with impunity, filing no reports, letting the allegations stand.

When you ask for explanations, no one—not the mayor, not the city manager, not the city attorney, not the RRDPS director, not even your city councilor—will give you an answer.

Your constitutional rights in Rio Rancho have been revoked. And you’re stuck with the medical bills. Isn’t freedom wonderful?

—CHARLES ARASIM, Rio Rancho

re: Costco vs. Wal-Mart

WomenWork!, a national network for women’s employment, recently reported good news about Costco.

In a competitive retail market that often credits success with low wages and few benefits, Costco is breaking the mold. The average Costco worker earns $16 an hour, and both full-time and part-time employees have access to solid benefit packages that include health and dental insurance for workers and their families. Besides medical benefits, Costco offers part-time employees life insurance policies and enrollment in a 401(k) plan.

Unlike Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club, Costco employees will not be using public assistance to make ends meet. The staff of the House Committee on Education and Workforce estimates that because of low wages at Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club, the superstore conglomerate costs New Mexico $108,000 a year for children’s health care costs and $42,000 annually for low-income housing assistance—per store!

The NM Commission on the Status of Women, which in 2004 announced it would no longer take charitable contributions from Wal-Mart, is proud to see businesses such as Costco prioritize their employees’ welfare.

The commission, as the voice for New Mexico women, believes in the practices of Costco’s comprehensive benefit package and wages. As a commission, we support pay equity and equality for women, minorities, and all New Mexicans.

—MARY MOLINA MESCALL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NM COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN


re: response to dog-napping dogcatcher

In response to “dog-napping dogcatcher” [March 2006 Signpost], by Susana Vincent, of Placitas, we would like thank Ms. Vincent for helping direct a loose animal to safety at Watermelon Mountain Ranch. So often we see roaming animals whose outcome is tragic and we therefore encourage pet owners to microchip or tag their animals so that if they are captured they can be reunited quickly with their owners. Sadly, the vast majority of animals we receive have no identification.

While we do not know the circumstances under which the Sandoval County Animal Control officer, George Griegos, was contacted, we wanted to assure you that our experience with Mr. Griegos has primarily been positive and helpful. Unfortunately, animal-control officers face a tougher job than most would ever realize—vicious animals, sick and dying animals, abuse, uncaring owners and seeing far too many animals euthanized at our local shelters. This is known in our industry as compassion fatigue, and many shelter staff and animal-control officers face burnout after a year or two.

What most residents may not realize is that Sandoval County has only one animal-control officer to assist over a hundred thousand residents in an area that covers nearly four thousand square miles and includes seven pueblos. On average, residents have a minimum of two animals per household, so if you do the math you can only imagine the impossible task of handling and meeting our community’s needs. We ask that you please request support for this important department to be adequately funded. At the very least an additional animal-control officer and vehicle are needed.

We also encourage the public to help out by spaying and neutering their animals, ensuring that they are properly tagged or microchipped, and by being responsible pet owners.

—JULIEN MCROBERTS, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, WATERMELON MOUNTAIN RANCH


re: dognapping dogcatcher postscript

The question is why, given the 4000 square miles and 100k residents in Sandoval Co., the county's only dogcatcher would choose to take a dog from its own yard in the "Animal Friendly" Village of Placitas. Placitas isn't exactly a hotbed of abused, sick or vicious animals; on the contrary, we have local animal advocate groups who work tirelessly, as well as many Placitas residents who provide foster homes and devote their own time and effort to rescues and to reuniting lost animals with their owners. Quite a few of us have adopted shelter animals, as well. Sandoval County animal control clearly has a daunting task; however, unless the dogcatcher prioritizes his time and uses some discretion, existing county resources are being used frivolously.

—SUSANA VINCENT, Placitas


 

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