Letters to Editor

Match for hospital on funds administered by Quay
In the Jan. 10 issue of the Quay County Sun, the story headlined, “County to pay hospital $526K” failed to mention that the Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital is a “Sole Community Hospital.” The hospital has this designation because there is not another hospital within a 35-mile radius.

And as a Sole Community Hospital, Trigg Memorial Hospital is entitled to participate in the Sole Community Payment Adjustment Fund Program.

The fund is managed by Medicaid Services and is supported by a mill levy and gross receipts tax from Quay County. Because these funds are managed by the state of New Mexico and administered by Quay County, the hospital has to routinely go before the Quay County Commission to have the funds appropriated to the hospital.

Participation in the fund also provides for a three-to-one match that is paid out in quarterly installments.

For example, for each of the four quarters beginning in September, the county’s appropriation of $131,563 will be matched by a federal contribution of $333,983. In all, from September 2007 to June 2008, the county’s appropriation will be $526,254 and the federal contribution will be $1,335,933, for a total of $1,862,187.

We are appreciative that the county continues to support the hospital and we appreciate the fact that the citizens of Tucumcari and Quay County continue to support the hospital.
Matt Posinski
Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital, Tucumcari

Tucumcari bright spot in delayed journey
To all in Tucumcari who made our layover a positive experience. We were with 245 people on Friday, Dec. 29, 2006, in the school gym. It was three days, three nights. Our time was a very good experience, it could have been terrible. Your fire, police EMT, chaplain, Jim Witcher, and his church people, Jared Langenegger, regional manager of the New Mexico Parks, spent his three-day holiday to make our stay special. These people turned what could have been terrible into a positive break in our journey. Thanks to all.
Pat and Bill Langenbrunner
Duluth, Minn.

Stranded for 21 hours
I would like to share with the Quay County Sun my letter to Gov. Bill Richardson: Now that I have recovered from spending 21 hours in a vehicle on I-40, in 15 degree temperatures, I would like to inform you of my ordeal.
We spent Dec. 27 in Tucumcari. At 4 a.m. on Dec, 28, we tried to resume our travels on I-40. After waiting four hours, we spoke to a state patrol officer, who was patrolling the on ramp. We were told stalled vehicles had to be removed. We spent Dec. 28 and 29 in Tucumcari.

At 5 p.m. on Dec. 29, the interstate was reopened. We were delighted to be on our way again. We drove about 60 miles, and traffic stopped for three hours while a semi was removed. Our next driving lasted 10 miles. We assumed there had been another accident, and we would be on our way after it was removed. From the time the wrecker and patrol car went east at 11 p.m., – we did not see any kind of vehicle that would assist the thousands of people who were stranded. Were people warm ? Were there any medical problems? Would there be enough gas to keep vehicles running all night in 15 degree temperatures? Did people have enough water? Where were they to go to the bathroom? At 8 a.m. traffic began moving. Again, we never saw any state patrols or snow plows. It took us another 6 hours to go the remaining 100 miles. It was a total of 21 hours in our vehicle to go 174 miles trom Tucumcari to Albuquerque.

When the interstate was closed for two days, why wasn’t it plowed and sanded? Why was the road opened at 5 p.m., when the state patrol and highway department knew the conditions on I-40? Patrol cars were directing traffic onto I-40. On Jan. 4, I heard on the national news that Colorado and New Mexico were dropping feed for cattle, as you, Governor Richardson, had declared New Mexico a disaster. It is important to take care of livestock, BUT NOT people stranded on I-40?
Patricia Jensen
Sierra Vista, Ariz.

Increasing minimum wage is a positive step
The editorial page of the Jan. 6 issue of the Quay County Sun had a cartoon showing a small business owner having to fire someone due to the increase in the minimum wage.
Studies have shown that increasing the minimum wage has no negative effects on employment or the economy. Henry Ford reasoned that he could not be successful if his employees could not afford his cars. He more than doubled the average industry wage for his employees. You know the rest of the story.
No other expense incurred by business has remain unchanged for that long.
In the same issue, regarding the editorial headlined, “Freedom Index suffered a hard hit last year:” I agree with sections on the Patriot Act and Eminent Domain but disagree on other points. The editorial said, “The country has a long way to go to fully restore property rights that have been whittled away over decades.”
Which rights does that refer to — the “right” to own slaves, the “right” to pollute the environment, destroy public lands, making the air unfit to breathe?
The editorial also said, in part, “If Democrats use the new found power to return to old ways, by growing government, jacking up taxes, regulating recklessly, spending with abandon or to augment the power of the state at the expense of the individual the index will fall sharply in 2007.”
Here are my thoughts on some of these points:
Growing the government: This administration has grown the government and the privatizarion it has attempted has proven to be incompetent, inefficient and more expensive.
Jacking up taxes: The deficit is primarily due to the tax cuts for the rich. The deficit will have to be addressed sooner or later. What is to pay for the’ war of choice’?
Regulating recklessly: Do you mean holding corporations responsible for wrongdoing like poisoning air and the water, mine safety, ensuring safe food and drugs? I’m sure you don’t mean gay marriage, flag burning. intelligent design,etc. Spending with abandon: Examples – Iraq freedom, tax cuts for the rich,subsidizing oil companies, earmarks, etc.
Augment the power of the state at the expense of the individual: Terri Schiavo comes to mind. The corporations have more to fear than individuals. Corporations and big business perform more responsibly with a healthy chaperone.
Leon Logan