.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Letters

  • Future with Common Core math

    Luckily John Pawlak will not have to worry about students using calculators in math in the future. When they are indoctrinated with Common Core math they will be given word problems such as this: “Juanita want to give bags of stickers to her friends. She wants to give the same number of stickers to each friend. She’s not sure if she needs 4 bags or 6 bags of stickers. How many stickers could she buy so there are no stickers left over?”
    You don’t even need to use a calculator to find the answer. Just pick a friendly number, as second graders are requested to do in Common Core math.
    Jacqueline Krohn
    Los Alamos

  • Rio Grande Foundation responds to attack

    In a recent letter attacking my organization, the Rio Grande Foundation, Jody Jones fails to make a single statement on the issue of whether Washington or New Mexico would do a better job managing lands in our State that are now controlled by Washington.
    Rather, she spends her entire letter attacking my organization and anyone affiliated with it, even going so far as to advocate for censorship! The political left has become quite hostile to free speech in recent years.
    To be clear, the Rio Grande Foundation is based in New Mexico. I have personally been to Los Alamos many times to speak to Rotary groups and the like. We have hosted speakers from ALEC and a wide variety of organizations of a free market bent, but often with differing viewpoints.
    Our most recent opinion piece merely critiqued New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich for accusing advocates of “devolution” of some federal lands to state control when it is Washington that has taken several large tracts of land throughout the state.
    I respect differences of opinion. I’d love to hear from Jones and others what special knowledge or resources that bureaucrats in Washington have for better managing our lands than people right here in New Mexico. Alas, instead of a factual argument, we got name-calling.
    Paul J. Gessing
    President, Rio Grande Foundation

  • Letters to the editor 11-9-14

     

    Understanding what peace means

    In the theater, the overture is the moment when everything begins. It gently directs our attention to the stage. It helps us willingly suspend disbelief and enter the world of possibility. The overture says, “Hush, pay attention, something wonderful is about to happen.”

    On Oct. 27, the White House released a letter (full text posted at thecommunity.com) that created in me almost exactly that feeling of wonder and anticipation. Perhaps this feeling is even better because this possibility is very real. What if now is the time when we can end, peacefully and permanently, the awful practices of “extraordinary rendition” and “enhanced interrogation techniques?”

  • Criteria unsuitable for publication?

    This is in regard to your posted criteria for the letters the Los Alamos Monitor welcomes for publication versus the piece published on Oct. 30 from Paul Gessing. The criteria published in your paper says, “Letters that might be deemed unsuitable for publication include those that are . . . part of an organized letter-writing campaign, or are part of a mass mailing.”
    Gessing is the president of the Rio Grande Foundation. His letters are part of organized letter-writing campaigns backed by nationwide conservative think tanks. A web search on his foundation will show that it hosts writers chosen by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, whose funding is 100 percent anonymous and which screens its writers to ensure a free market bias before hiring them.
    According to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) website, The Rio Grande Foundation also has ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a corporate bill mill.

  • Partisan attack misdirected

    The letter by a prominent local Democrat, exemplifies several facets of today’s political climate that turns so many people off.
    The letter asserts that “Republicans” were campaigning illegally near the high school late last week and had done so previously. It also asserts citations were issued. The letter then blasts Republicans several times.
    At least, the letter writer recognized it likely “the Republican Party knew nothing about this illegal act.” Of course, the Republican Party was unaware of these unfortunate incidents. In fact, no citations were issued and the organizer was a registered Democrat.
    The event itself, a few signs placed where they should not have been, is trivial. The use of that excuse to launch misguided blanket partisan attacks distracts from the issues and candidates that we should be focusing upon. Los Alamos has a proud tradition of civil public discourse. Let’s stick to it.

    Robert Gibson
    Chair, Republican Party of Los Alamos
     

  • Behavior unbecoming

    On Oct. 28, a political savvy teacher passed the high school at 4:30 p.m. and saw some Republicans waving candidate signs on the sidewalk by the high school property. But, in addition, there were numerous large and small candidate signs stuck into the ground, which blocked visual access to Diamond Drive from Canyon Road. She was concerned and called me.
    This was the third time she had seen this action on high school property with the Republicans. Los Alamos County has strict ordinances that candidates must follow with signage. In fact, they sign an agreement before they are allowed to have any signs displayed. Although it is permissible to stand on the public sidewalk and wave signs, political signs are never allowed in the ground on school property, and that includes UNM-LA. As a teacher, she felt very strongly about this continual flagrant violation of the rules.
    I drove over with a friend to see what was actually occurring. Indeed it was just as she described. We parked our car across the street and took a picture to document the violation. I tried to nicely inform the demonstrators that it was against the county code to put signs on the school’s property.

  • Voters shouldn't fear experimenting

    I’m a theorist, so I have much more respect for experimental results than for theoretical arguments.
    Our county charter has worked reasonably well but includes inconsistencies with state law and limits citizen control of the utilities department by isolating it from the county council.
    I have been to charter amendment committee meetings and know and respect
    those who served. They have made careful and sensible efforts to improve the charter.
    We should do the experiment and see whether or not improvements result. It’s not as if these changes are irreversible in our strong local democracy.
    If conservative Kansas can try significant changes, surely Los Alamos County can try relatively small ones.
    Many people whom I respect and admire argue that the charter amendments will drastically alter the positive features of the current charter. I find this fearfulness and the associated scandalous characterization of our current and potential leaders to be unbecoming and see no reason for the associated predictions to be accurate.
    True, we are a suburb of Washington, D.C., but we don’t have to behave like people there do.
    I’m voting for the charter amendments and I hope you do, too.

    Terry Goldman
    Los Alamos

  • 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.

  • 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.