July 18 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

My parents were both immigrants. Arriving in the United States they attended night school after working at their respective day jobs to learn proficiency in English, enabling them to study for the United States citizenship exam, and subsequently becoming proud American citizens. I saw citizenship through their eyes, not as a birthright but as setting a high standard for living their lives here in the United States.

They had to work for, and in their minds earn, this esteemed privilege, impressing upon me, years later, how important this continued to be to them and should be to me as well. Inherent in studying to become American citizens was a value system that was similar with the values and principles they were taught as children in the rural, agrarian, environment they grew up in.

I am sure they would be deeply hurt, shocked and dismayed at the vituperative diatribes used recently by the President of the United States. The language of political discourse being something that, in my parent’s minds, would have been held to a higher standard, something that could be looked up to and emulated by school children, as a model for their linguistic excellence, and a construct for clarity of thinking, by which to express ideas and opinions, political or otherwise.

Perhaps the means will justify the end and the complicit silence is a tacit tactic to sustain economic growth, garner more conservative justices on the Supreme Court, etc.

Once this and a litany of other goals have been achieved, will there then be a collective resetting and referencing of moral compasses, enabling us to return as watchful adherents of the Constitution and of the beliefs regarded as sacrosanct to our religious and political freedom?

Perhaps somewhere, at some point, a young person attempting to square the validity of a value system learned from their parents, clergy, Imam, Rabbi, shaman, with current dialogue emitting from the “highest office in the land” discovers in the arcane writing of late nineteenth century philosophy the nihilist implication that there is no truth, just the will to power.

Respectfully submitted,

Eugene Binder


Dear Editor,

As a resident of Alpine, I am quite concerned about the situation described in last week’s Big Bend Sentinel article entitled “Alpine finance director ‘un-resigns’ then leaves suddenly.” Unfortunately, a number of valuable, experienced city employees have resigned since Jessica Garza was hired as city manager. The latest resignation – that of finance director Megan Antrim – is a serious blow to Alpine.

According to last week’s article, Ms. Garza said there was no doubt she could do great things for the city if she could be left to do her job and if employees would cooperate. Councilmember Olivas was quoted as saying, “She has vision. The council needs to back her.” Well, this sounds like a firm contradiction to everything I learned in college and in training classes during my working years. And it is the exact opposite of my observations and experiences as an employee and as a volunteer. A good manager inspires and empowers her staff. A good manager encourages her staff to contribute ideas. A good manager earns the trust of her staff by creating an environment in which everyone works together as a team. It sounds like Ms. Garza does not want an experienced, educated staff; rather she would prefer to hire drones who blindly take orders from her – or in her words “cooperate.”

Ms. Garza might have great ideas, but she obviously lacks the interpersonal skills to build productive working relationships with an experienced staff. Is this the person we want managing Alpine?

Kay Plavidal


Dear Editor,

Re: previous letter concerning spraying Roundup in Marfa alleys for weed control.

In a recent trial, Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, was fined 2 billion dollars and the spraying of Roundup was proven to have caused cancer in a couple both of whom used it for years in their landscaping work.

In the interest of the health of the city employees whose job it is to apply the spray and to protect the city from potential lawsuits in the future, can we please consider alternatives to spraying weeds in Marfa with chemicals? Any other weed killing spray is going to be using the same chemical formula more or less. I would like to recommend mowing.

People vulnerable to the use of spray weed killer include people with weakened immune systems, children, dogs, the elderly, and especially people who have a lot of contact with the product such as city workers.

I was looking at an alley in Marfa recently with 3-4 foot tall weeds growing all around and I really think that mowing would take about the same amount of manpower as covering every weed with spray. We need to think of what is safest for the whole community here. If it is about money, what is the current cost to spray this product? I am guessing the cost for mowing would be comparable.

Or how about a compromise, let folks maintain their own alley and let them choose to opt out of chemical spraying by house or by block.

This issue is not going away, there are enough of us bothered by it that we are going to continue to speak out against spraying poison on our alleyways.

If you would like to make your voice heard, a petition requesting that the City of Marfa please stop using these chemicals is available to sign at The Get Go, Communitie and Food Shark.


Mary Lou Saxon


Dear Editor,

On behalf the Brito Hernandez’ family, we appreciate the love and support you gave us during the difficult loss of our father, brother and grandfather, Arturo Brito. Thank you to the community for the food, flowers and cards. To our priest, Esteban Sescon, for the beautiful Mass, we will be forever grateful. Once again, thank you and may God bless each of you.


The Brito Hernandez family


Dear editor,

I found last week’s article “Second Amendment Sanctuary”, interesting in several areas. I admit it is refreshing to know the people of Presidio County are supporters of our Constitution and personal rights. I have to agree that our rights are disappearing at an alarming rate.

The Constitutional check and balance system is dead. Our Executive Branch continually harasses Judges and Media representatives.We refuse to honor Federal subpoenas. Fully one half of the critical appointments are being manned by “acting” officials that have NOT been approved by Congress. Daily press briefings are almost non-existent. After a two-year investigation into Russian meddling, even our elected Congressmen have not been allowed to see the complete final report. This list could go on for pages. Yes, things have changed.

But the gun argument? You now can strap on the trusty Glock 9mm and strut through the grocery store. You can have almost any kind of gun you want, any time you want. I have yet to hear of one coyote hunter or one armed housewife that has been denied her right to have a firearm. The NRA remains the most powerful lobby in Washington. Those are the facts.

We have many rights, none are without restrictions. For sure the litmus test for patriotism is not the 2nd Amendment, but rather loyalty to our Democracy. As far as a threat of revolution, I think that is called TREASON.

We can gather, we can talk, or even scream. None of it will speak louder than the Constitution of the USA.  It may be a little tattered and torn, but it is the law of the land and will always be. God Bless America.

Randy Jackson