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Letters to the Editor 4-21-17

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The cautionary tale of the golf course

When the county’s consultants asked which recreation projects were most favored, golf course work was just about last on the list. Yet it gets a $4.5 million piece of the bond pie.
Why? “Because,” as Mallory so nicely put it, “it’s there.”
So much has been invested that it’s nearly unthinkable to do anything other than maintain and upgrade the course, even though most taxpayers either don’t care or actively wish it were gone. They’d probably be annoyed to learn it costs the county about half a million dollars a year out-of-pocket just to keep it going. The proposed rec center will be about as expensive, not including the cost of construction.
The real rule is: if you build it, you will pay. And pay. The bond alone will last long enough that many of your kids will get to pay off some of it, but the maintenance and upgrades will be the gift that keeps on giving, long enough for their kids to ante up too.
But by then, some other sports facility will be the hot ticket. Enthusiasm for new toys can fade fast, but the credit card bill doesn’t care.
David North
Los Alamos

Thank you, Los Alamos!

Like many others, I am confused at Gov. Susana Martinez¹s recent veto on higher education funding.
While working for the UNM-LA mil levy effort, we always knew there would be further cuts in the UNM-LA budget, but we never expected a flat out refusal to fund any portion until a special session.
Through all this madness, I want to join the UNM-LA Advisory Board in saying, “Thank you, Los Alamos.”
Thank you for coming out in a large majority and approving the UNM-LA Mil Levy. Although it does not completely fill the gap, the institution would be in real risk with all the foolishness in Santa Fe.
However, despite these setbacks, your support will allow UNM-LA will be able to continue to provide a world class education to its students, and making Los Alamos a better community.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
James Robinson
Los Alamos

Staying on Mountain Standard Time makes more sense

Every year the Legislature tries to pass a bill allowing New Mexico to stay on Daylight Savings Time year-round. However, it makes much more sense to stay on Mountain Standard Time (MST) year-round. 
This year when we “sprang forward” to Daylight Time, I witnessed many problems: children falling asleep in class, people missing appointments or coming late, sleep disruptions, and general confusion, especially for those who forgot to set their clocks ahead.  Please consider Standard Time year-round like Arizona has done for years.
Pam Prichard
Los Alamos

County Council should be brave with its stance on immigration, refugees

As I was an authorized immigrant to and am now a citizen of the United States, you might think that, having followed the legal requirements, I would not be supportive of all refugees and immigrants, whatever their status. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although I did not leave Canada out of fear or persecution, I did learn some relevant history there that most Americans are not likely to have encountered.
The two main early European waves of immigrants to North America were from England and France, but they were of completely different characters. Most of those leaving England were doing so following their own impetus, whether fleeing persecution or feeling daring and adventurous. Most of those leaving France were vetted by the French government as being good French citizens, loyal to their king, law-abiding and rule-following.
France did succeed in avoiding a revolution by its colonies, but the population was small, grew slowly and showed little initiative. When conflict with England inevitably came, it was not just the British naval superiority that decided the difference, but also the abundance and fervor of the by then “American” colonists that made for a clear winner.
My conclusion is that, as was so true in the past, the immigrants that America benefits from most are those who are driven, those who take chances, and those who are not deterred by impeding laws and restrictions. Although I am confident that I have made a good contribution to America, I think that they are the ones who will produce the most vibrancy, the most drive for the future. They are the ones most like our ancestors who came to populate this continent, whether they came 10,000 years ago, 500 years ago, or only about a 100 years ago.
So I will be greatly disappointed if the County Council does not pass a resolution very close to the one recently proposed by Councilor Pete Sheehey. Lansing, Michigan recently displayed what I view as an un-American cowardice by retracting their official support for refugees and immigrants for fear of negative economic consequences. They can no longer claim to be a part of the “home of the brave.” It is my fervent wish that Los Alamos will remain true to that spirit and a part of the great attempt to create E Pluribus Unum.
Terry Goldman
Los Alamos