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By Ralph Damiani

We enter 2009 with a lot of questions. From the situation nationally with a new president to local issues of jobs and development, many folks are wondering just how well off we are.

As we entered 2008 there were some serious matters facing us – some of which has been resolved. But some were not and many new ones surfaced.

The situation at Los Alamos National Laboratory is far from settled. There are still talks of cutbacks, questions of funding – especially given the unsettled national situation and economic problems.

But given that there were no major budget cuts and that the labs’ managers are doing a good job, there is some hope for stability there.

The county government is also unsettled. The election put in some new faces, and returned some old ones. There are many questions as to spending and project priorities, as well as what to do about a municipal building, facing the new body.

And if the economy remains weak, things will not get any easier for us or the state. And with a new state government coming, things are very much in flux there.

The school district is facing a crisis year as a very important bond issue is coming to a vote in January. Its passage is critical to the schools and a defeat would set us back a long way.

But this is coming at a hard time and a bad economy and uncertain times make this an iffy measure.

No one likes to pay taxes – except perhaps the vice president elect – but sometimes it is a necessary evil. That is the case in the school bond vote.

We must pass this so our first-class schools stay so.

We think 2009 is going to be a good year. As the lab settles in, so will the community.

There are some great people here, with strong visions for the future. And while there are still matters that demand attention we believe that these problems can be solved the same way the ones we faced before were solved – by all of us working together.