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Letters

  • Letters to the Editor 7-27-16

    Kudos to Los Alamos Fire Department

    Kudos to the Los Alamos Fire Department for the handling of the North Mesa fire. Their quick and skillful response prevented what could have been a disastrous situation with the current dry conditions.  I wish to convey a personal thank you to all of the firefighters who did an outstanding job.
    Carol Bronisz
    Los Alamos

    BPU should consider free market economic forces for setting rates

    Regarding the setting of (gas) rates, the Board of Public Utilities appears to have ignored the importance of free market economic forces.
    With a commodity rate, these forces can act to reduce consumption when prices are high due to supply limits. Their efficacy depends on the elasticity of demand, but turning down thermostats on hot water tanks and furnaces is not difficult compared to, say, buying a more efficient automobile. With a fixed rate, however, consumers have no impetus to conserve in times of shortages.
    It would be very disappointing if the BPU did not consider this aspect of rate-setting at all; the report in the Monitor makes no reference to any such discussion.
    Terry Goldman
    Los Alamos

    Los Alamos deserves better venue for hosting visiting scientists

  • Letters to the Editor 7-17-16

    We need to support our police officers

    Police actions in Ferguson, MO; New York City, Baltimore, Baton Rouge and Minnesota have been in the news, and a few police officers have been seen using excessive force and shooting people.  I believe a small number of police officers use excessive force, and these officers should be held accountable for their actions.
    The vast majority of police officers diligently do their duty and treat criminals and suspects with respect.  Unfortunately, police officers are being vilified and attacked because of a few over-zealous officers.  The result is police officers can be hesitant to take actions that could possibly be construed as too forceful, and thereby criminals are emboldened to commit violence.  Unfortunately, this could have been the situation leading to the murder of the Dallas police officers.  And, by the way, why aren’t people on the streets protesting the killing of the five Dallas police officers?
    The ramifications of hesitation by police officers in doing their jobs can place their lives in jeopardy and have a negative effect on public safety.
     We need to support our police officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe.
    Donald Moskowitz
    Londonderry, NH

    Sheriff, police have my full support

  • Letter to the Editor 6-26-16

    Honored to attend
    Vietnam War ceremony

    I was honored to attend The Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony held at the Santa Fe Veteran’s Memorial on Saturday, June 18. New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services, New Mexico State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America, Northern Mew Mexico Chapter 996, the American Legion Riders Chapter 25, the Santa Fe National Cemetery and Josetta Rodriguez did a wonderful job in putting this event together.
    Eloquent and passionate speeches were given by State Rep. Bob Wooley, Dist. 66, who co-chairs the Military and Veteran’s Affairs Legislative Committee, and John Garcia, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and former Cabinet Secretary of New Mexico Veterans Services.  
    Both Vietnam Veterans gave personal accounts of their involvement, participation and how it impacted their lives.
    Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales gave thanks and recognition for all who served.
    After the ceremony, Vietnam War veterans were presented with a certificate of appreciation by the Department of Veterans’ Services for their service during the war and were also given a special 50th anniversary commemorative pin.

  • Letter to the Editor 6-22-16

    Dog Jog 2016 a success thanks to supporters

    The weather gods smiled on homeless cats and dogs on April 30. Despite rain and wind on Friday and snow on Sunday, Saturday was sunny and calm for the 19th annual Los Alamos Dog Jog. The fine weather brought out hundreds of humans and their canine companions to enjoy the 5K run or the two mile walk.
    This year’s Dog Jog raised over $13,500 for Friends of the Shelter.  Friends of the Shelter (FOS) is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to abandoned animals and to pets and their owners in northern New Mexico.  Our catastrophic care program pays for veterinary care for sick or injured animals that have no owners or whose owners cannot afford the treatment.  
    Our spay/neuter program provides grants to our partner organizations, including the Española Valley Humane Society and the McKinley County Animal Shelter so that they can provide low- or no-cost spay and neuter services to their clients. FOS also encourages responsible pet ownership and promotes adoption of shelter animals through education and outreach.

  • Letter to the Editor 6-15-16

    County workers are appreciated

    Every year I feel the urge to let these workers know how very much their work is appreciated. We do not just take it for granted. The medians in our streets are always beautiful with colorful flowers, such as the Springtime Iris and later lovely lavender. The hanging baskets are a joy in the central town area. Thank you.
    Dot Smith
    Los Alamos

  • Letters to the Editor 6-10-16

    Monitor story on
    Am-241 source moved to  LANL

    An article in the Friday Monitor, LANL partner in radioactive removal, relates LANL assisting NMED in moving a drum containing 8.63 Ci of Am-241 from Santa Fe to LANL for safe storage. The Santa Fe New Mexican carried an article on the same exercise. This article misstates the drum as containing 9.2 Kg of Am-241. I assume the Monitor value of roughly 9 Ci is correct. An Am-241 source containing 9.2 Kg of Am-241 would be about 32,000 Ci, i.e. a very large and dangerous source. A 9 Ci am-241 source would also be dangerous, if not shielded by the source shield and the drum that contained it.
    The principal radiation from Am-241 is alpha-particle, and alphas can not penetrate a sheet of paper or even the first layer of human skin (epidermis). I assume the source was in some type of lead (Pb) shield from which no alphas would escape. Approximately 60% of Am-241 decays are also accompanied by the emission of a 60-kev gamma ray that does penetrate further, but they would be totally absorbed by any Pb shield.
    The bottom line of this note is that the source in question was of minimal health hazard and certainly didn’t require up to $6 million or involve 40 people; it could have been safely transported in a common pickup driven carefully.
    Dr. T. Douglas Reilly, physicist,

  • Letter to the Editor 6-5-16

    Sheriff Rojas would have tears in his eyes

    Remember when you said the sheriff and everyone knew you meant Louie Rojas? I have been here 49 years and I can’t remember another sheriff by name.
    It was an elected office and Louie was a born politician. He worked at Zia and called every male who worked at the Lab “doctor.”
    Louie’s kids were known as the sheriff and Patsy’s kids. Being sheriff wasn’t a job to him, it was a community service, and Patsy was serving right beside him.
    I don’t know what he was paid but he was the best P.R. person the county ever had.
    Louie is no longer with us, but I know wherever he is he has tears in his eyes.
    Camille Morrison
    White Rock

  • Letter to the Editor 6-1-16

    Council’s handling of
    sheriff’s issues disappointing

    I am so ashamed for Los Alamos.  The county council this week managed to make me very sad in the way that the sheriff’s issues were handled. Normally, the council discusses things almost to the point of being ridiculous. But, this decision was done with little discussion and the timing seems very suspicious given that two council members were not present.
    Whether you agree with the argument that the county needs a sheriff department is really not the issue. The fact that four councilors decided to strip the department of its’ duties, save one, with only four days notice, is inexcusable. I definitely will not be voting for any of those involved if they are up for reelection in November.    
    As Pete Sheehey argued, (thank you for your sane voice) Sheriff Marco Lucero and deputies should have been given one more chance to voice their side. I am so mad I could say bad words, but they would not be printed. But, I bet the four councilors could hear them, if they only listened.
    Becky S. Scarborough
    Los Alamos

  • Letters to the Editor 5-25-16

    Thank you to those who supported Living
    Treasures of Los Alamos

    On behalf of the Board of the Living Treasures of Los Alamos, I want to give immense thanks to Los Alamos National Bank for underwriting this year’s Living Treasures ceremony on April 24.
    The 300-plus attendees enthusiastically honored our newest Treasures, Nona Bowman, Chuck Tallman and Selvi Viswanathan, and enjoyed a delicious reception afterward.
    We are most grateful to our biographer, Colleen Ollinger, photographer Jim Gautier and calligrapher Marilyn Stevens for their significant contributions as well as other community members who have so graciously made donations all of which help us to continue our tradition of honoring those who have given richly to our community. Bravo!
    Pauline Powell Schneider
    Los Alamos

    Imperative to do what is proper and right

  • Letters to the Editor 5-22-16

    Committed to principled decision-making

    A recent letter to the editor discusses a citizen initiative petition of several years ago relating to the construction of a new municipal building, but omits several important facts. 
    In 2010, the original municipal building was demolished after it was deemed unsafe for continued use.   The county council commissioned a citizen committee to identify and recommend an appropriate site for a new building. That committee spent countless hours reviewing several potential locations, including the old location by the pond. However, after much public discussion and input, the committee supported placing the building at the current location on Central Avenue as the best site for a number of reasons. 
    As with every decision, some agreed, some did not. With regard to this issue, a citizen drafted an initiative petition that would have required the building to be built in the exact same spot and with the exact same design. Specifically, the petition read as follows:
    “The municipal building shall be fully rebuilt and restored to its original site and design for the specific purpose and original intent as the location and use of and for the Los Alamos County Council Chambers and offices and the Los Alamos County Administrator and offices.”