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Letters

  • Letters to the editor 10-24-14

     

    Defeat Constitutional Amendment No. 5

    Constitutional Amendment No. 5 is a sleeper that might well pass because it is not easy to understand. 

    It allows investment of the Land Grant Permanent Fund without the protection of the Prudent Man Rule that has governed the State Investment Council (SIC) management of the fund and served us well since statehood. 

    This rule states that one would make investments of trust money as one would for their own portfolio with essentially minimum risk. The proposal removes this rule and substitutes a new rule that would give the SIC (under the Uniform Prudent Investor Act (UPIA) the leeway to legally make risky investments. 

  • Letters to the editor 7-3-14

     

    The Y helps people with financial aid

    Reviewing applications for financial aid is truly a humbling experience.

    I communicate with each by email or telephone, and all of them share their overwhelming relief, appreciation, joy, and gratitude because the Y’s assistance has helped them, their family or children. At our Y, this is more than 200 people helped; 72 kids in camp and afterschool care, and 140 people of all ages in healthy programs.

    Donors do important work. They help children access safe, supervised childcare so parents can work. I receive at least one scholarship application a day now as we are enrolling for Camp and After School.

  • Letters to the editor 06-22-14

     

    Gratitude and a plea

    This is a heartfelt thanks to members and leaders of Junior Girl Scout Troop No. 10027 for your outstanding beautification project between the Aquatic Center and the canyon trails! It is a wonderful improvement to the area and your efforts are greatly appreciated.

    How grand it would be if this special spot, and all other areas of our community, could remain free of litter for all to enjoy! 

    Once a week, on the daily morning dog walk, I collect a full bag of trash behind the Aquatic Center and on the trail that begins below the parking lot. (I know others do this as well.) By the evening walk more trash has already accumulated. The abundance of bottles, cans, plastic items and paper products of every description, which are seen along our streets and trails, does not support the local belief that we are a highly intelligent community. 

  • Letters to the editor 06-08-14

     

    More support for Dr. Lindberg

    Over the past few weeks, I have seen two letters in the Los Alamos Monitor regarding the termination of Dr. Peter Lindberg’s contract with the Los Alamos Medical Center (LAMC). Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in males after skin cancer. 

    Each year, more than 186,000 males learn they have prostate cancer and more than 3,500 die from its advanced forms. Dr. Lindberg is New Mexico’s leading physician in understanding and treating this cancer. He is recognized throughout the country as one of the leading practicioners. 

    Dr. Lindberg reads extensively to keep up with research, treatment statistics and United States physicians diagnosing and treating prostrate cancer. He also publishes an occasional newsletter describing advances in this medical area.

  • New amendments violate previous one

    Our county council is asking us to approve two amendments to the county charter, one of which will give the council more influence over the Board of Public Utilities.
    How can we trust them not to abuse this power when they are flagrantly disregarding the charter amendments approved just two years ago?
    In the last general election, we, the voters, approved an amendment to the Los Alamos County Charter affecting the amendment process. Amendments “that are not dependent on each other” and where “there is no direct, necessary or logical connection between the operation of each” would be “submitted separately to the voters.”
    This year we have two questions on our ballot that each has multiple amendments. Each part is capable of independent operation. This is clearly a violation of the letter and the spirit of the previous amendment.
    It would have been easy enough for council to conform to the new rules and submit multiple questions to voters. After all, we managed 11 questions four years ago.
    The voters two years ago clearly indicated a preference for separated questions. How can we trust the Council on large matters when they betray us on small ones? Please vote “no” on both charter amendments.
    Robert Pelak
    Los Alamos

  • Letters have misleading facts about charter

    I don’t understand why letter writers who oppose the Article V question feel the need to obscure or otherwise make inaccurate or misleading statements about the proposed revisions (Question 2). The opposition’s op-ed in Oct. 23 Los Alamos Monitor is a good example.
    First, it is true that the Utilities Charter Review Committee proposal will make it difficult to remove a board member, because that is something that should only be carried out under unusual circumstances. Hence the requirement of a 6-1 vote by council. That does not make it “cumbersome,” nor is it an attempt to have it “both ways.” It only ensures that such an action will not be taken frivolously.
    Second, the fact that the proposed revision contains 67 percent more words, only reflects the fact that the current charter consists of several large, complex paragraphs, each of which incorporates different important issues. The increase in words is primarily due to the use of an easier to follow outline format and expanding on ambiguous language to make the intent clearer, reducing the likelihood of conflicts between the board and council due to differences in interpretation.
    Third, and most importantly, is this issue of transfer of funds from DPU to the county.

  • Stop attacks on Garcia Richard's support

    As the former program manager of the First Born Program of Los Alamos County, I feel compelled to respond to negative ads attacking Stephanie Garcia Richard for her support of expanding these programs. Recent ads depicting government monitors and mandatory home visits are pure distortion and demonstrate a frightening ignorance of the purpose of early childhood home visits.
    Across our state, home visitation is supported by Republicans and Democrats alike because it works. The science is clear: investment during early childhood enhances the lives of our children through the developmental years and into adulthood. This year Governor Susana Martinez signed the state budget that awarded a $27 million increase in early childhood funding and included more funding for home visiting.
    Raising children is indeed a personal responsibility. The First Born Program is, therefore, a voluntary program that offers new families free weekly visits from a trained professional who offers support, encouragement, connection to community resources and a wealth of evidence-based information.

  • Get facts straight about charter question 2

    Today, I received a mass-mailing campaign letter at my work email address at the Department of Public Utilities. As a project manager at the DPU, I could not help but read the letter and was aghast at the misleading manner in which the information was presented.
    As a county employee, it is highly frowned upon to get involved with political matters, but this one has to do with the Charter Amendment No. 2, so much information is being presented about how the Utilities Board and the DPU operate and make decisions. Getting to the point, the email contained a letter to the editor that simply misrepresents the facts and the way that the county council and utilities board interact and worse, how the utility board and the DPU operate.
    I would encourage interested voters to look at the DPU’s website for a more clear picture of the facts and the transparency of the DPU and the utilities board:
    losalamosnm.us/UTILITIES/Pages/default.aspx.

    Clay Moseley
    Los Alamos 

  • County's utility board should be held accountable

    Let’s see if I’ve got this right: we don’t trust the county council that we elected; we do trust the utility board appointed by the council.
    We can recall elected officials but not the utility board. The council can appoint but not remove utility board members.
    Council meetings are televised. Utility Board meetings are not.
    Everyone has a boss. Private utility companies are held accountable by state regulatory agencies and boards of directors. Our public utility needs to be accountable to the council.
    The fundamental issue that charter amendment 2 addresses is accountability of the utility board. Once appointed, board members determine utility department policy with very little interaction with council other than the annual budget approval process.
    Charter amendment 2 defines a process for resolving differences between the board and council and gives the council authority to remove a board member with a super majority vote of 6 to 1. The autonomy of the Utility Department will be preserved to the extent allowed by state statute. Charter amendment No. 2 will ensure council and public input to our publicly owned utility.
    I believe the current Charter Article V is broken. It is time to fix it. Please vote for charter amendment No. 2.
    Mike Wheeler
    Los Alamos
     

  • Vote 'yes' on Amendment 2

    On behalf of Northern New Mexico College and the Board of Regents, I urge voters in the upcoming election to support Amendment 2 to grant Northern a voting student regent. Northern is the only four-year college in New Mexico without a voting student regent, a role that I believe is essential in representing the student perspective in administrative decision making.
    This position also provides students with an important leadership opportunity that benefits them later in life.
    I thank you for voting in support of expanding opportunities for New Mexico students and assisting us in our mission of ensuring access to higher education in our state.

    Nancy “Rusty” Barceló,
    President, Northern New Mexico College