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Columns

  • Dear citizens and Los Alamos County employees ...

    Over the course of my career in city management, I have observed many changes in how municipal government has improved and evolved.
    Also during this time in public service, I have faced many challenges and feel that in all aspects I was able to contribute toward making a positive difference in the outcomes of those challenges faced by the communities that I served.  

  • The Municipal Building Initiative — a Primer

    Now that the judge has approved the settlement we reached with the county council halting an election on the question posed in a petition regarding the location of the new municipal building, we feel an obligation to explain our position to Los Alamos.  

  • Techno-terror bites

    A tsunami is an onslaught of waves generated in any large body of water by an earthquake, volcanic eruption, or some other cataclysmic disturbance.  Drop a large enough object into the Atlantic Ocean and you would generate a tsunami (maybe we could toss Washington D.C. in just to test this out?).

  • Just A Wag 01-07-11

    Mortillaro breaks silence
    Former County Administrator Tony Mortillaro has written a letter to the community. Look for it on Sunday’s opinion page in the Los Alamos Monitor.

    Settlement approved
    Word is that Judge Barbara Vigil signed the order Monday approving the settlement that local attorneys Christine and George Chandler reached with the  county council halting an election on the question posed in a petition regarding the location of the new municipal building.

  • More than 10 years have past since the feared 2000 disaster

     I remember it like it was yesterday: 9 p.m., Dec. 31, 1999. The world, according to people who knew, would soon end. All of civilization was run by computers, and when 1999 rolled over and became 2000 we would be launched back into the Stone Age.  
    Or at least the Eisenhower years.
    I checked our stockpiled food and water, gathered the family together, built a fire, brought out our most cherished family game, and waited. Ever vigilant.  
    Finally, I dozed off. My son poked my ribs, “Wake up.”

  • Seeking answer to school woes

    Education may be the biggest item of discussion in the 2011 Legislature. That is as it should be. New Mexico’s constitution identifies public schools as the state’s most important service. And it’s almost half the budget.
    But every year, state lawmakers get embroiled in discussing social issues. The media add to the distraction by pushing open government legislation that will help us tell you what is going on up here.

  • Obstacles to state restructuring may be set in concrete

    In the old days, a friend reminisced long ago, we had to move after every election.
    State office buildings were rented, she explained. After the election the new governor could reward political supporters with leases.
    Mediocre facilities, scattered all over the place, imperfectly matched to the needs of their occupants or the public. Short leases.
    With all the talk of reorganization and consolidation, don’t we wish those good old days were back again. Many of New Mexico’s state institutions are now, literally, set in concrete.

  • Stunning vistas and recent storms

    Here’s a classic poem that’s dear to me, both for its manic intensity and its meaning in the natural world. It’s so short you can memorize it right now and always have it at your disposal when you consider news of storms and their destruction.
    “Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!”
    The poet was Edna St. Vincent Millay. Her lines always come to my mind when heavy rains ravage the West and homes, bridges and roads are swept away by mudflows and flash floods.

  • Seeking the new and novel

    The current Age of Anger feeds on daily news that reports and receives public gripes.
    Mainstream news is a prime venue for bouts between camps of adversaries, called “strategists.”  
    The most public value of the medium, apart from entertaining joy rides or rant fodder, depends on whether its role is understood. What is news and how does it fit in?  
    To explore news, I make up a typical, but imagined, news event. I do it to disrupt political habits.  

  • New year, new time for new business plan

    Writing a business plan is a daunting process to many entrepreneurs, but one that will help find financing and keep a new or existing business on budget and on schedule for growth and development. And it’s worth it — studies show that business owners without a formal plan are three times more likely to close their doors.