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Columns

  • Guest Opinion: Bikers beneficial - but many others help out on local trails

    John Cortesy’s commentary on trail maintenance on National Forest lands is dead-on in one respect: I am a hiker and I mountain biker and neither he nor anyone else has ever seen me carrying a chainsaw on a national forest trail.

    However, over the past 10 years I and at least 800 other volunteers that I know have worn out more than a two-dozen blades on my collection of four 22-inch bow saws.

  • Governor unveils new education initiatives

    I must state up front that with many issues, I am generally not on the same side as the governor, but this time, I think he is right on.

    Recently, Gov. Richardson and Education Secretary Veronica Garcia announced six new statewide education initiatives.

    The plan, as stated by the governor, is to fulfill his pledge “to be New Mexico’s educational governor – giving our students, teachers and schools the opportunities and tools for success.”

  • Guest Opinion: Bikers beneficial to forests

    June 1 was my first trip into the forest this year, and like most years, I spent it with a dozen other motorcyclists, clearing trails. The plan was to work in the North Jemez and see how many trails we could clear in a day. How far we would get was determined by how many trees the snow and wind felled during the winter.

  • Sierra Club: Break your routine this summer

    Have a great summer, Los Alamos! The Sierra Club would like to remind everyone to make time this summer to get outside and enjoy our community. Whether you take lunch at Ashley Pond, walk with family or friends on the fabulous trails in town or hike in Bandelier National Monument, be creative and break your routine.

  • But I digress: Even if we disagree, can we talk?

    A man I’ve known for many years recently told me that he no longer wants to have anything to do with me. He accused “my kind” of being responsible for the 50 million deaths incurred during WWII, the turmoil we endured from the Cold War, the more than 50,000 deaths during the Vietnam War, the collapse of America’s moral infrastructure, the decline of the nuclear family and finally for the 9/11 attack.

    He summarized his explosive outburst by telling me that he was sick of my “anti-American pacifist left wing liberal hippie drivel.”

  • Off and On: Air is filled with more than pollen

    Been sneezing lately? Eyes a bit watery? Nose a bit irritated?

    Well, it could just be that it is more than the pollen that is flying about that is causing you distress.

    According to two Associated Press stories, there is more flying in the air in this part of the world than dust.

    San Juan County ranks No. 6 on a list of U.S. counties with the highest carbon dioxide emissions in a study published in a scientific journal.

  • Off and On: Layoffs at nuke lab stir fears of a brain drain

    There was a very interesting story by the Associated Press out of California this past week.

    It dealt with fears of an irreplaceable loss of brain power as the result of layoffs at the nation’s top nuclear weapons design lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    It seems the lab has laid off hundreds of workers, raising concerns about a brain drain.

    Because of budget cuts and higher costs, Lawrence Livermore laid off 440 employees May 22-23. Over the past two-plus years, attrition and layoffs have reduced the work force by about 1,800.

  • PEEC SPEAKS: Wildflower Notes – It's Penstemon time

    One of the most beautiful times of the flowering year is the height of bloom of One-sided Penstemon (Penstemon secundiflorus).

    A walk out Bayo Bench trail is a good way to see these “nature’s snapdragons.” There are several hundred plants along the trail, some nearly2 feet high with many stems and blooms. Other plants are only 7-9 inches tall with a single stem.

    Regardless, their color is nearly indescribable. Lavender is the closest I can come but it doesn’t do justice to the soft, subtle hues of the blooms.

  • Fried Light: From Hollywood to Tamalewood

    All that glitters is not stardust.

    New Mexico has been offering lavish lubricants to the film industry for several years now in the form of loans and tax credits.

    Nothing creates the illusion of success quite like subsidies. And no place in the country has a better record for booms that bust than the western United States.

    Think gold. Think oil. Think celluloid.

    For a while, everybody wants the glamour. Everybody imagines the bucks. Everybody wants to get in on the act.

    But guess what? Subsidies are one hard act to sustain and a harder act to follow.

  • Medical Minute: The finest auxiliary anywhere

    This week, the Hospital Auxiliary of Los Alamos Medical Center celebrated its annual awards recognition and installation of new officers. While we all know that volunteers are the backbone of America, coming out in great numbers to help with such disasters as the Cerro Grande Fire or Hurricane Katrina, few probably understand the day-to-day, year-to-year dedication of an organization like LAMC’s – the finest auxiliary anywhere.