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Letters

  • Letters to the editor 12-28-14

    Special relations needed for council
    Arin McKenna’s story in Wednesday’s Los Alamos Monitor (Dec. 24) about the training received by new county councilors inspires me to comment.
    The relationships between the council and the county manager and the county attorney are critical to the effectiveness of the council. It is important for councilors especially to be cognizant that these relationships are more than social niceties, and that the council is not just the nominal top layer of a smoothly functioning top-down corporation.  
    In a democracy, the power flows up, not down, and the council is how the people on the bottom — you and me — get their non-professional, incoherent ideas into the organization.
    Newly elected officials typically come into office understanding this concept — diamonds-in-the-rough, so to speak. But they tend to rock the boat, so professional government staffers all over the country set up these educational forums, ostensibly to teach the neophytes the technical details of government, certainly a noble endeavor.
    In the process they like to “train” the democratic ideas out of their students, to knock off those rough edges. Same thing happens with boards of directors of corporations, which the article correctly analogizes to the council.

  • A big LALT thank you

    The Los Alamos Little Theatre is very pleased to announce that one day and one very generous patron was all it took to raise the final money for the purchase and installation of an assisted listening system for the Performing Arts Center at 1670 Nectar St.
    All contributions received will go toward improving the listening experience for LALT productions and special performances.
    We want to give a special thanks to the Los Alamos National Bank for jump-starting our fundraising effort through its community reinvestment program.
    We have to have the system installed and operating in time for the opening performance of “Murdered to Death” on Jan. 16.

    John Gustafson
    Vice president
    Los Alamos Little Theatre
    Board of directors

  • Thank you, public servants

    A big thank you to the Secretary of State’s staff and the Los Alamos County Clerk and her staff for all the many hours and hard work that went on behind the scenes in accomplishing the first ever in New Mexico statewide recount. I’m sure much the same thing went on in clerks offices across the State. Those of us who did the recount in Los Alamos saw how hard Sharon, Adrianna , Gloria, Ona and Jocelyn had worked in preparing for the recount to go smoothly. Thank you for making a tedious and time-consuming job as painless as possible. It was a pleasure to work with the entire recount team.
    Mary Wilhoit
    Los Alamos

  • Open spaces gives Los Alamos an advantage

    I’m one of those kids who came back. I had many choices, but my family and I chose Los Alamos. Why? What makes Los Alamos special?
    My friends who live elsewhere are not impressed by my lab job. Nor are they impressed by the slower small-town pace of life, the great schools, the friendly people, or the opportunity to really make a difference in public service. These types of things are big pluses, but they are available in lots of places.
    However, they are impressed by the fact that I can walk out my back gate into a forested canyon system on public land. If that’s iced over, I count at least half a dozen official and unofficial trailheads within a couple of blocks. And this from a house in the middle of town!
    What makes Los Alamos special is our extraordinary natural setting. Los Alamos County itself has 10,000-foot peaks, large and small tuff canyons, large and small basalt canyons, caves, ponderosa forests, spruce-fir forests, piñon-juniper forests, meadows, mountain and canyon streams, springs, mesas, the Rio Grande, hundreds of cultural sites, 1,000 species of plants, a national monument, tremendous views and more.
    Within a day’s drive, we can reach world-class mountains, rivers and canyon country. I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world that really has what we have.

  • Letter to the editor 12-17-14

    Many elves make
    event a success
    It takes many “elves” to make our community event a huge success! Thank you to everyone who played an “elf” role this year for the Children’s Christmas Bazaar at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church. We had 77 elves that setup, cleaned up, wrapped gifts, greeted and helped children shop, baked treats and served coffee.
    In attendance were 160 children and we hope that the joy they receive in giving their gifts will continue with them throughout the year. Allowing children the opportunity to make decisions on their purchases in this environment is the gift of empowerment.
    Thank you to our community for the donations that make this event possible. It is truly the ultimate in recycling and re-gifting!
    The proceeds from this year’s event will be used to support health clinics in third world countries through Episcopal Relief and Development and for scholarships for TOTH’s youth choir to attend a summer choir program in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.
    Merry Christmas!
    Co-chairs Beth Pattillo and Cathy Walters
    Los Alamos
     
    Christmas spirit
    is alive & well

  • Letter to the editor 12-14-14

    No fly zone
    My son David and I recently went on a trip so we booked a round trip flight with Fly New Mexico from Los Alamos to Albuquerque. The flight down Monday was fine, but when we returned on Friday, the flight had been cancelled. We were unaware of this, so we waited at the gate where the board read, “Flight 91, 5:45” and not “Flight 91, cancelled.”
    It is very unprofessional for an airline not to update their board. Just before takeoff time, another man came hoping to get a last minute ticket. Since there was no one there, he found a direct connect phone at the gate and found out the flight was cancelled. I would have panicked if I were traveling alone, since I have never rented a car, nor do I drive off the Hill.
     Seniors and inexperienced travelers, beware of this airline. The man turned out to be a friend of a friend. He rented a car and offered us a ride to Los Alamos. So we would like to thank Paul Leslie for his kindness to us.
    When we got home, there was a message on David’s answering machine about the cancellation, but the airline knew we were in the middle of a round trip so why call the home phone? An email or call to a cell phone would have been better.
    Sally Baggett
    Los Alamos

    Thanks for
    food bank support

  • Students speak out about Aspen renovations

    Editor’s note: The following letters were written by sixth graders from Aspen Elementary School regarding recent renovations and rededication of the school. Keep reading for more letters through the week.

    This new building that Los Alamos has built is beautiful!
    One thing that surprised me about the new building was the architecture. The architecture around the whole school is just amazing and beautiful. Another thing that surprised me was the media center. The media center has a fireplace and couches so you can read quietly.
    One thing that was eye-catching in the building was the Aspen trees all over the school. The trees in the windows of the media center are incredible! Another thing that was eye-catching was the dining hall. It is very neat and beautiful.
    Something that will take some time getting used to is the hallways that take you everywhere. I think the hallways are amazing; you don’t pay attention where you’re going because everything is amazing! Other things that will take some getting used to are the different types of stairs to go down because all lead to different parts of the building. I am most excited about the sinks in the hallway, because you can wash your hands before you eat.

  • Republican agenda raises questions

    Marita Noon’s op-ed in Sunday’s Los Alamos Monitor never actually states whether she is in favor of the Republican agenda laid out, but based on her previous letters, one has to assume she is, which is a bit scary.
    The sum total of her bulleted points can be summarized as “drill, baby drill.”
    Let’s drill in the Arctic, build the Keystone pipeline, and export our oil, but let’s not worry about those pesky EPA regulations, or endangered species. Why bother passing new legislation or changing enforcement of regulations in the United States. It would be simpler to just move to China!
    I’m sure Ms. Noon would be happy to have Beijing-levels of smog in New York and Los Angeles, not to mention having to deal with those annoying oil pipeline leaks.
    However, Ms. Noon saves the best for last, stating “If the Republican policies turn the economy around ‘as predicted’ offering a sharp contrast to the ‘stagnation’ of the past six years (my quotes) ….”
    One needs to ask, predicted by whom? George W. Bush’s tax-cutting policies didn’t work so well for the U.S. economy in 2008, driving us into the Great Recession. And what is meant by stagnation?

  • The real mission of LANL

     
    I have read the recent Santa Fe New Mexican stories on the Valentine’s Day radiation leak at WIPP, Director Charlie McMillan’s response to Los Alamos National Laboratory employees in the Los Alamos Monitor and Greg Mello’s various comments on WIPP and LANL.
    I think it is time that someone spoke up about the real mission of Los Alamos Scientific (later National*) Laboratory.
    When my family and I came to Los Alamos in October 1969, I began working in group N-6. Which has had many names and divisions over the years; at present it is NEN-1. In late 1989, Norris Bradbury was just beginning his 25th and last year as the second director of LASL. Julius Robert Oppenheimer (Oppie), the lab’s first director appointed Norris as director when he went back to academia in October 1945.

  • LANL campaign contributions a success

    As this year’s institutional champion for Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Employee Giving Campaign, I am proud that laboratory employees and Los Alamos National Security (LANS), LLC again have shown their support for northern New Mexico by pledging a record-breaking amount (alpha-g.ds.lanl.gov/discover/publications/connections/2014-12/giving-record-breaking-giving-campaign.php) to regional nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving our communities’ quality of life.
    Over the last seven years our employees and LANS have invested more than $20 million in nonprofit initiatives, and the Employee Giving Campaign this fall adds another almost $3.2 million. As part of a larger network of community partnerships, these contributions are meant to provide building blocks for stronger communities.
    We are committed to partnering with nonprofit projects that address short- and long-term goals. Food pantries, after-school services, eldercare, safe havens from domestic violence, animal shelters and job training, for example, can provide many with cornerstones for a brighter future.