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Letters

  • Letters to the editor 3-28-15

    Councilor wants to clarify point

    In the March 25 story about a Los Alamos County Council discussion on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP), a comment made by another person was incorrectly attributed to me, as a review of the meeting recording (audio recording on KRSN at 42:37 mins) in the public record will show.  
    The story quoted me as saying that the county needs to “aggressively” ensure that the park’s national headquarters is located in Los Alamos and the story went on to report about all the people who disagreed with that position.  
    While I wasn’t the person who made that point, I think it’s perfectly appropriate for Los Alamos to argue that we should host the Park Headquarters, vying for the high paying federal jobs and locally-based decision authority that will go with the headquarters operations. I expect Oak Ridge and Hanford to make similar proposals, and I think our chances to land the headquarters on the merits in a fair competition are great.  

  • Letters to the editor 3-27-15

    Support arms negotiations

    As the United States and Iran work toward a historic nuclear draft accord on the status of Iran’s nuclear program, dozens of U.S. senators have interfered in the negotiations.
    Senator Tom Cotton and 46 others sent an ill-informed letter to Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, threatening to end any negotiated agreement regarding nuclear weapons once President Barack Obama leaves office.
    This undermines the president’s ability now, and in the future, to achieve the national security goals of the United States. It should be the long-term goal of our national leaders to rid the world of all nuclear weapons, whether they be in the hands of Iran, North Korea, Russia, or the United States. We in New Mexico should stand up and be the leaders in this area.
    Whether we have parents affected by radiation from the Trinity test, friends who worked in the uranium mines, or distant relatives who created Fat Man, the history of the atomic age is littered with human and environmental casualties.
    As an Action Corps leader for Global Zero, I urge all New Mexicans to support negotiations with Iran, and pressure our local leaders to support the elimination of nuclear weapons.
    Jesse Guillén
    Santa Fe

  • Letter to the editor 3-18-15

    Superintendent Schmidt
    addresses PARCC concerns

    On March 11, a group of Los Alamos High School students met for half an hour after school in the Los Alamos High School lobby to provide information to the public about their concerns for next week’s state test, called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
    PARCC, as it is known to students and staff, replaces previous years’ Standards Based Assessment.
    This marks the first year of the PARCC test, which is a part of the New Mexico state graduation requirements. While there are alternatives ways to demonstrate proficiency, high school students must first attempt achieving proficiency on the PARCC test before alternative demonstrations of competency are allowed.
    In addition, the newly introduced PARCC test presents an opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of the New Mexico Common Core State Standards, as well as demonstrate readiness for college and careers. Students at the information forum met with their high school peers, staff, school administration and some community members to share concerns about the upcoming PARCC tests.
    Several themes emerged from my one-on-one and small group conversations with students, including:

  • Letter to the editor 3-8-15

    Value of PARCC test questioned

    I am retired now, therefore my grandsons might be subjected to the PARCC testing or its equivalent.
    I still wonder though, if I had been “assessed,” I might never have gone to New Mexico State University, to spend six and a half years earning a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s degree seven years later and becoming a registered professional engineer in New Mexico and Washington state.
    I was scholastically outclassed much of the time.
    Years later, after earning my credentials, I decided that tenacity was more important than brilliance.

    Jon Hicks
    White Rock

  • Letter to the editor 3-5-15

    Numerous uses for plastic bags

    When I go to Smith’s, I take my reusable bags. My favorites are the two that I received free from Smith’s. They have box bottoms and wooden handles.
    They can’t be machine washed so I separate my groceries and request plastic grocery bags for the things that might leak.
    I have five wastebaskets and a garbage bin under the sink. I use plastic bags to line all of them. The only ones that get thrown away are the ones that line the garbage bin.
    When I was a volunteer at the library book store and the Jemez House Thrift Store, we used the plastic bags that people brought their books and things to be recycled in to pack things that other people were buying.
    On the rare occasions when it rains in Los Alamos, both libraries have plastic bags on-hand to place books in so they won’t get wet.
    The important thing about plastic bags is that they have handles. I usually walk to Smith’s. I use my backpack and plastic bags to carry my things home in. If I have more plastic bags than I need at home, I take a used plastic bag with me.
    Our Los Alamos Monitor comes in a plastic bag five days a week. I recycle them or use them for dog waste if our grand puppy is visiting.

  • Letters to the editor 3-3-15

    Guaje signage hard to see

    The directional sign to Guaje Pines Cemetery is so low that it is hard for first visitors to see. In the summer, it is shaded, too.
    Could the sign be lifted for better view?
    Also, a little green and white sign on the other side of Diamond Drive would be helpful.

    Sue Y. Conner
    Los Alamos

    Casino not a place for teens

    Showering after a night at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino helps wash away some of the smell of the smoking.
    Gambling is illegal for our high school students. Drinking alcohol is also illegal for them.
    Drinking alcohol helps them make bad decisions.
    Memories from the prom night.

    Anne Brinkley
    Los Alamos
     

  • Letters to the editor 2-25-15

    R-T-W attacks middle class

    Right-to-Work is an attack on the middle class. It is unfair, unnecessary and hides the bill’s true goals.
    Our legislators need to be focused on issues that strengthen the communities of their constituents by closing tax loopholes that only benefit the wealthy, raising salaries for public school teachers that help raise our youth and cutting taxes for small-business owners.
    Our focus should be on strengthening New Mexico’s economy from the core and making sure all of our children get the education they need and deserve to lead us into the future.
    Facts show that Right-to-Work laws such as House Bill 75 law will not stimulate growth and increase jobs in New Mexico. In fact, such laws lower wages and negatively effects workers’ safety and security in northern New Mexico at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    As a member of The International Guards Union of America local 69, I, along with our membership, do not support the passing of HB 75. It is clear to see the long-term agenda and effects will be negative for all workers.
    Supporters of HB 75 have promised that the law would create jobs, yet not a single company has come forward to make a statement that is a factor in selecting New Mexico for a site. Why didn’t we hear any of this during the election?

  • Letters to the editor 2-15-15

    Misconceptions of Open Space Plan

    I am writing to correct any misperceptions that may have been created by the Los Alamos Monitor’s coverage of my comments to the County Council regarding the Open Space Management Plan made at Feb. 6 meeting.
    As reported, I am a member of the County Planning and Zoning Commission. The Los Alamos Monitor’s story stated I opposed the Open Space Management Plan. That is not correct. At the beginning my verbal comments, I voiced my support for the Open Space Management Plan, that it was necessary and long overdue.
    My comments were critical of two portions of the plan:
    • The provision proposing, in effect, a Vista/Viewpoint zoning overlay district, without any guidance on how to enact it.
    • The inclusion in the proposed open space map of virtually all of the vacant land owned by the county (not all the vacant land in the county), particularly a large parcel in Pueblo Canyon adjacent to the sewer plant, recently acquired from the federal government and previously proposed for economic development by the Open Space Advisory Group.

  • Letters to the editor 2-11-15

    Fundraiser concert a success

    The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos great room was the place to be on Sunday. For eight hours, 47 performers entertained a generous audience that contributed $1,264 to the UNM-LA Scholarship fund, the most ever in the fifth Annual Music Marathon. This was also the first one to which local businesses contributed door prizes.
    We would like the community’s help in thanking Bob’s Bodacious BBQ, Casa Mesita (which supports a dozen local charities), Chili Works, Del Norte Credit Union, Khalsa Acupuncture, Northroad Inn, Pam Reass, Professional Skin Care Choices, RadioShack (now selling musical instruments), and Village Arts for their door prizes, valued at more than $500. Shop locally, folks!
    Thanks performers, without whom all of this is impossible: Cathy Turner, Ruth Williamson, Sonja Ebey, Troy Makela, William Dale, Karin Ebey, Katie Brown, Sonja Ebey, Troy Makela, Joseph Dale, Kathleen Brodnax. Other piano soloists were The Little Piano Group playing Edvard Grieg: Rheta Moazzami, Robin Gurule, Claudia Hilko, Judy Hutson, Bonnie Kiang, Phyllis Slattery, Susan Mendel, Joyce Guzik and Juanita Madland.
    Donna and John O’Donnel delighted the audience with their baroque recorders.

  • Letter to the editor 2-6-15

    Loving local businesses

    I don’t shop on the Internet.
    I wanted a pair of New Balance shoes. I found what I wanted on the Internet. I chose the color and size and printed it.
    I took it to CB Fox and ordered them. I picked them up today. The price was the same as the Internet but there was no shipping.
    If they didn’t fit I would not have had to pay for them — they would have been put in stock and sold at the store. Is there a place on the Internet that does free gift wrapping?
    Our son Shaun worked at Clement & Benner (that’s what CB stands for) all through high school and college. He was employee of the year in 1986.  
    When Shaun went to college, Mary Pierce from the office would send him cookies.
    Shaun has a degree in petroleum engineering, but has been in sales all his working life. I used to tell Tom Hall he taught him everything he knows about selling.
    We moved here in 1967 and the only stores that were here then that are still here are CB Fox and Metzger’s, which are both family owned businesses.
    I would like to see them here at least until my maker calls me home.
    Camille Morrison
    Los Alamos