Talk of the Town: Credit unions, pandemic response, Navajo water, frustration with APD, zero bus fares, KAFB burns, big banks and malpractice insurance - Albuquerque Journal

Talk of the Town: Credit unions, pandemic response, Navajo water, frustration with APD, zero bus fares, KAFB burns, big banks and malpractice insurance

Credit Unions safe place for deposits

OVER ONE million New Mexico credit union member-owners can rest assured their funds are safe and sound.

N.M. credit union deposits are comprised of deposits from New Mexicans, and our credit unions then lend that money within our state to the hard-working people who live here and operate small businesses.

Credit unions’ No. 1 priority is members’ financial success, and we focus on financial security. Each credit union member has at least $250,000 in total deposit insurance coverage.

No credit union member has ever lost a penny of insured funds at a credit union.

Deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration and are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

New Mexico credit unions do not make risky investments in Wall Street or Silicon Valley but instead use member deposits to invest in our community members right here at home.

Juan Fernandez-Ceballo, Credit Union Association of N.M., Albuquerque

Evaluate NM’s COVID response for future

… THERE ARE vital questions about the (COVID-19) response that have had no rational evaluation in our state or country. For example, should all mom-and-pop restaurants have been shuttered while fast-food and chain restaurants were left open, even at partial levels? Did the color-coded “red to green” system really protect our citizens? Would we ask restaurants next pandemic to take contact names of diners on scraps of paper? Did the New Mexico Department of Health handle contact-tracing successfully? Should student-athletes be required to wear masks for playing on the field at outdoor sports events? Did a $10 million lottery markedly improve the up-take of the original COVID-19 vaccines?

I urge the governor to prepare for the next pandemic by evaluating the state’s response to the last one. Failure to do so at this point is irresponsible.

Hubert Allen, Albuquerque

Navajo water rights are likely to prevail

I BELIEVE the Navajo Nation has an excellent chance of prevailing in its current water rights case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, especially if the justices have a good understanding of the history and significance of federal Indian law. The Navajos signed two treaties with the federal government, in 1849 and 1868.

There are at least two important doctrines that favor the Navajo: One, the Winter’s doctrine from a 1908 Supreme Court decision that enables the viability of the reservation, with the legal implication of adequate water, and Two, the Canons of Construction or Doctrine of Interpretation as it applies to Indian law, where treaties are to be interpreted as the Indians would have understood them at the time, with ambiguities being decided in favor of the Indians.

Last, we need to understand a treaty has the same legal force as the U.S. Constitution itself. And, of course, the American Indian nations existed long before the founding of America.

Steve Ponton, Tijeras

Why bother calling APD to report crime?

WHY BOTHER calling the Albuquerque Police Department?

Last year I witnessed a hit-and-run, got the perpetrators’ license number and immediately called APD. The operator determined it was a non-emergency and put me on hold. After more than 20 minutes of a bilingual recording advising me my call was important and not to hang up, I hung up.

Last month my family was awakened at 3 a.m. by multiple gunshots. I duly filed a police report. The following morning, while walking the dog, we found a half dozen spent gun shells in the street. A call to APD resulted in being advised only the officer who made the initial investigation could take the information; we were unable to leave a message and told to call back three days later, after 8 p.m., to speak with the officer when he was back on duty.

Yesterday, again walking the dog in the park between an elementary school and the adjacent high school, I tried to report the person speeding back and forth on the road that intersects the school — more frustrating minutes on hold led to terminating the phone call.

Good citizens should be encouraged to report disturbances and crimes, and those reports need to be handled with urgency. Long hold times and follow-up calls are frustrating and lead to the conclusion it’s not worth the effort to contact the police. …

Andrew Horwitz, Albuquerque

Zero fares ruined ABQ’s bus system

CONGRATULATIONS ALBUQUERQUE City Council, if your goal was to destroy our transit system you have done an exceptional job. Since your implementation of the now extended Zero Fares Pilot Program, enough drivers have quit to force all 12 commuter routes to be discontinued, along with the previously popular Blue Line connecting the city’s West Side to the UNM area, and yet regular routes are still forced to be skipped without notice on a daily basis, further stranding passengers.

If this was not enough, the already stressed Sun Van service is now required to allow self-determination of qualifications, something you must realize will be abused? But you got what you wanted in that anyone can ride the bus regardless if they have a dollar, the ability to carry any simple form of identification, basic hygiene such as shoes and unsoiled clothing, control of cognitive capabilities, or free from the influence of alcohol and controlled substances.

… This widespread program has proven not to be feasible and certainly adverse for traditional transit riders. I challenge each of you to rely on ABQ RIDE for just one week as your means of transportation to work and see what you think.

Brian Vineyard, Albuquerque

KAFB burn a good neighbor gone bad

KIRTLAND AIR Force Base was an unobtrusive neighbor until March 9, when it ordered prescribed burns next door to residential property. The exact date of the burn was unannounced, so homeowners were not prepared to evacuate the ensuing smoke.

The AFB lied. Residents were told the AF would not burn unless winds were out of the north. However, the burns began when winds were out of the southwest, trapping the smoke inside Four Hills. Then came the evening when the east canyon winds blew the smoke back into neighbors’ homes along Soplo, Conestoga and Wagon Train.

The next two days, fires from hot spots billowed smoke and flames. Calls to the (base) commander for help went unheard when the office refused to take calls or messages. The same for the legal department. … Four days later, the stench from the burn area was still present.

For two decades, Kirtland has never burned anything. Its lack of concern for the safety and health of neighbors is a blatant disregard of what our military has historically promised. Shame on Kirtland’s command and its rude Public Affairs.

Colleen Aycock, Albuquerque

Big banks financing our climate chaos

(March 20) senior citizens in more than 100 U.S. cities sat down in their rocking chairs in front of the country’s four largest banks, including Wells Fargo here in Albuquerque, to call on them to stop financing climate chaos.

The protests were organized by The Third Act and a broad coalition of environmental groups, including According to the Rainforest Action Network, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo together have provided more than $1 trillion in financing for new coal plants, natural gas pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure since adoption of the Paris Climate Accord in 2015….

The protests coincided with the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , which warned that nations must rapidly shift their economies away from fossil fuels if they are to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Continued financing of fossil fuel projects by Wells Fargo and the other big banks is undermining that effort.

Kevin Bean, Albuquerque

Make workers’ comp a malpractice model

NEW MEXICO is failing to allow for proper health care with a tort system that discourages providers from working in our state. Why not try an entirely different approach to malpractice insurance, using a system like our workers’ compensation insurance? We took the “lottery” out of work-related injuries, we could do the same with medical malpractice. We could start with the system we already have in place for workers’ comp injuries.

We might need to apologize to the many personal injury lawyers for removing their gravy-train, but the people of New Mexico should benefit.

Thom Wright, Albuquerque

Home » From the newspaper » Talk of the Town: Credit unions, pandemic response, Navajo water, frustration with APD, zero bus fares, KAFB burns, big banks and malpractice insurance

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