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Letters

  • Letters to the Editor 1-31-18

    Why I joined the Women’s March

    Dear Editor,

    Why did I don a handmade pink hat and march alongside my wife, Naishing Key, and thousands of others on a freezing day at the 2018 Women’s March in Santa Fe?  Because I feel the same outrage that millions of people across the United States feel. No one, whether the president or a private citizen, should abuse women or other human beings, or treat them with disrespect.

    Together we demand equality, justice, and respect. That means an end to discrimination on the basis of gender, race, age, sexual orientation or disability. These are not liberal values: these are American values, established in our Constitution.
    We will never solve the many problems of our state and nation with the same old politics of division and scapegoating. We can start to solve our problems by recognizing the dignity of each and every human being.

    That is why I am running, and that is how I will do my job if I’m elected as our next District 43 state representative.

    Pete Sheehey
    Los Alamos County Councilor,
    Candidate for District 43 NM State Representative

  • Letters to the Editor 1-24-18

    Recent editorials favor immigrants

    Dear Editor,
    The Los Alamos Monitor seems to run a disproportionate number of “woe the poor immigrant” editorials, gathered from national news media. The most recent was, “Leaving immigrants in legal limbo isn’t fair,” from the Boston Herald on Jan. 12.

    Why never headlines that might read, “Continuing one of the highest rates of immigration in American history unfair to workers, the poor and the environment.”?

    I will admit national corporate media is almost universally biased toward unfettered immigration – because they are owned by companies being enriched by unfettered immigration – and that can make for “slim pickins” for editors. But there are nonetheless reputable sources for better representation of the other side of the coin.

    Let’s begin with the last paragraph of the Herald editorial. 

    It states, unsubstantiated, “America needs its immigrants just as much as they need a safe haven from the countries they left.” That is an example of a statement that has been blithely repeated by open-border advocates (led by media who are at least occasionally supposed to be fair, fully inclusive of all possibilities and objective) with no effort to justify or substantiate it.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-12-18

    Contrast between Sunday columns are amusing,
    disturbing

    Dear Editor,
    The contrast between the two columns and one letter on the Los Alamos Monitor Sunday Editorial page was both amusing and disturbing.
    As usual, John Bartlit presented an even-handed/minded analysis of the football-and-the-flag controversy, recognizing that the breadth of responses is a testament to the vitality of our democracy. My own thinking had been limited to: “Standing shows respect while kneeling shows obeisance or committed fealty – the latter choice of action doesn’t seem to match with the stated purpose for it.”
    Meanwhile, Paul Gessing continued to display what appears as barely-thinking partisanship against anything Democratic despite acknowledging that it was a Democratic governor who lowered income taxes – too much for stable state funding, as subsequent events have demonstrated.
    I still consider it a miracle that the State Permanent Fund maintains a legacy for indefinite generations of New Mexicans rather than being siphoned off to immediate political needs. (And by the way, doubling the gas tax would not be a tax increase – it would only restore the purchasing power of the tax to about the level of almost 30 years ago.)

  • Letters to the Editor 1-7-18

    County in deep fiscal trouble

    Dear Editor,
    Unfortunately Mr. Pete Sheehey seems to have a gross misunderstanding of the shape of LA County fiscally. We are in deep trouble running a debt twice the legal limit and on top of that at least $71 million in the red!

    This is all available for anyone to read on the county website in the last audit done after the fiscal year 2016 ended. As it’s rather hard to find and it’s a rather long report mostly taken from figures the county supplied and broken down into small sections it can be tedious reading and hard to put together.

    You find it by going to Los Alamos County Administrative Services, Finance and Budgets, Reports and Budgets button, Fiscal Year Reports and Budgets,

    Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, Incorporated County of Los Alamos FY2016 CAFR button.

    On page 196 you see the summation of debts and on pages 179 and 180 the summations of all available moneys including reserves and all moneys spent.

    The bottom line is Los Alamos County is broke and bankrupt  to the tune of over $100 million!

    Greg White
    Los Alamos

  • Letters to the Editor 12-22-17

    A bit of nit picking

    Dear Editor,
    I think that the term “windfall” is not appropriate to describe the gross receipts taxes paid by LANL contractors. Merriam-Webster defines “windfall” as:

    • Something (such as a tree or fruit) blown down by the wind;

    • An unexpected, unearned, or sudden gain or advantage.

    The term is not correct for two reasons. First, the term refers to a “one-time” event. Once all the apples are off the tree you can expect no more apples to fall. The citizens of Los Alamos should expect that LANL contractors will continue paying gross receipts taxes. Second, the term “unearned” does not apply to the taxes paid by LANL contractors. In the ‘70s, the legislature “reformed” the tax structure in New Mexico. In general, funding for basic governmental services (roads, police, fire, recreation, etc.) went from property taxes to gross receipts taxes (mostly from retail sales). In general, property taxes were to fund capital improvements.

  • Letter to the Editor 12-13-17

    Have charter school
    organizers, parents tried to improve LAMS?

    Dear Editor,
    I was surprised to read about the effort to organize a Polaris Public Charter School for sixth- to eighth-graders in Los Alamos. I am asking and, this is something I do not know, if the organizers and parents have tried working to improve Los Alamos Middle School, LAMS.  
    I worked for many years at the high school when Mike Johnson, the current principal at LAMS, was there. I do not think one could find a more competent, caring, hard-working administrator.  I believe that he would always be interested in ideas (even radically different ones) to improve the education for our children at the middle school.  
    As a teacher at the high school, I was always aware that the success of Los Alamos schools was in many ways a direct result of the parental interest in education.
    The parents convey this message to their children in innumerable ways and the children then come to school ready to learn because they understand it is important, even during the years when children seem not to be listening to their parents.   I would love to see this considerable effort and parental interest work toward improving the middle school that all ready exists.  
    Julie Wangler
    Los Alamos

  • Letter to the Editor 12-10-17

    Statement was changed

    Dear Editor,
    Let’s get facts straight. Mr. Richardson recently totally changed my statements at the school board meeting and in my last letter to the editor. Please see the minutes of the School Board meeting, or better watch it on video, as well as read my letter in the Nov. 19 edition of the LA Monitor to see I fiercely defended the children.
    I find it detestable that someone would deliberately use children to misrepresent in order to advance their own political agenda. This includes the school board, teachers and parents who pass resolutions stating what is already protected by federal law rather than address the repeatedly stated reason for the resolution which is bullying!
    Each school board members’ comments and letter to the editor have given one reason for the need for a resolution, that Latino and Hispanic students are being repeatedly targeted for bullying by apparently white students calling them names and threatening them with deportation. Why is this bullying not being addressed? Why are our children not being taught to respect others? Why are they not disciplined or suspended for bullying?
    Every child and teenager deserves to have an education AND to feel SAFE while getting it !!! I was bullied in elementary and middle school so I know first hand what it’s like.

  • Letters to the Editor 12-8-17

    $7 million Kiddie Pool with a $34 million
    Cash Cow

    Dear Editor,
    Earlier this year, County Councilor Chris Chandler told us that what the voters would decide in the REC Bond election, would become the “Council’s marching orders.” So I ask, was a $5 million or a $7 million kiddie pool the voters’ “marching orders”? A $5 million pool was questionable. But $7 million? Citizens voiced their opinions and made their voices heard on May 23, 2017.
    We had hoped that our County Council would vote on what the majority wanted. Democracy in action. Apparently, that was asking too much.
    Further, Councilor Susan O’Leary told us that “if the bond fails, $7 million in CIP funds allocated to the projects is likely to be distributed to non-recreation projects vying for that money.” If only voters had known what this actually meant: “if the bond fails, $7 million in CIP funds will be distributed for an expanded kiddie pool.” Unbelievable!

  • Letter to the Editor 12-5-17

    Make your voice heard about Aquatic Center

    Dear Editor,
    On Aug. 8, 2017, the County Council voted to just do a small kiddie pool for $5 million, instead of using the entire $7,816,000 that was in the projected budget for a multi-generational pool. Since then the county staff did the research as requested by the council and has now presented a design for the $5 million, they had to leave out the lazy river and the water slide and it is now just a zero-entry, warm water pool with some water sprays.

    The extra $2 million will bring back the lazy river and water slide. The county has the money to make a nice family recreational pool that can be enjoyed by all ages, all year around. What are we waiting for!

    Thirty years ago, the entire Aquatic Center was $4 million things are not going to get cheaper. This community can afford to do this for our families, what we can’t afford is to wait any longer!

  • Letters to the Editor 11-8-17

    Some county codes do not fall into county purview

    Dear Editor,

    (A letter to the County Council:)

    I missed out on completing the citizen survey of attitudes towards the above, but wanted to register my opinion before your meeting tomorrow.  I agree with comments that the recent code enforcement and county attitudes towards the code in general are over-reaching and excessive.  The power of the county to tell people what their houses and yard should look like is limited to health and safety issues only.

    I also agree that the county code and related enforcement smacks of a homeowners’ association of private parties, and is not authorized by governmental powers. This is still the Wild West and we Westerners love it that way; people who want homeowner associations should move down to Tanoan or back to the East Coast.

    While monster weeds and obstructive junk on curbs may fall within the realm of governmental regulation, peeling paint and the cosmetic appeal of yards is not health and safety related. The influence of real estate agents on the county council is also excessive and a conflict of interest, designed to line their own pockets through sales commissions rather than in support of public welfare.