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Letters

  • Gun show controversy, coverage a wasted effort

    With regard to the opinion expressed by Ms. Schick concerning the use of Pueblo Gym for our annual gun show, I wish to make two points: (1) I deeply resent her trying to lay an undeserved guilt trip on us regarding the tragedies in Newtown and Columbine and (2) I resent the promised extended coverage of this “issue” by the Los Alamos Monitor. Are her hollow threats regarding adverse public perception worthy of extensive reporting?
    In her letter to the Monitor, she asserts that “in this country we do what is right, not what is popular.” As a teacher, she should be aware of the fact that our Constitution states “We the People . . .” and not something like “We the self-righteous elite . . .”
    If she wishes to do something meaningful regarding this “issue,” she should volunteer her time and resources to programs designed to diagnose and treat the underlying mental problems that lead to such tragedies. I would support her in those efforts.
    Ludwig Gritzo
    Los Alamos

  • Gun show protester creating the problem

    Ms. Nancy Schick is expending considerable effort trying to create the perception of a problem where none actually exists. Until she started her agitation, few if any in the community cared where the annual gun show was held.
    That is probably still true, except possibly for now-disquieted folk who have unthinkingly succumbed to her campaign.
    The reaction of the superintendent and school administration was entirely reasonable because most of her arguments are specious and somewhat insulting.
    An example of the latter is her not-so-subtle attempt to associate the Los Alamos Sportsmen’s Club with a “neo-Nazi white supremacist group.”
    The “gun free zone” advocacy has always been interesting. Ms Schick seems to be among those who have never noted the correlation (quite likely even a causal relationship) between such zones and atrocities. The list is huge and worldwide, including schools, fast food joints, commercial firms and notably Utoya, Norway, among many others.
    If there were such a thing as truth in advertising, a disclaimer would be required. “This is a gun free zone. Neither you nor your children can be protected.”
    As for students, the issue is most likely irrelevant for them, at least until they become exposed and vulnerable to Ms. Schick’s propaganda.

  • Guns not to blame for violence

    Here we go again! Another individual blaming the guns instead of the psychos that are committing these heinous crimes that have been occurring in our country.
    Yes, the schools have a posted no guns policy which is just the kind of school these lunatics are looking for. It’s just like businesses putting “No Guns Allowed” signs in their windows, which translates into “Please Come Rob Us.”
    But after 17 years of having the gun show at the Pueblo Gym why protest it now?
    Let’s leave the emotion out of our debates and follow them up with facts. It is not the guns that are the problem, but the mental and moral attitudes of our youth.
    Do your research and you will find that the individuals, or groups, that are committing these horrible massacres are indeed mental cases, or young people that have not been raised appropriately by their parents.
    That’s right I said parents. Good parenting is a thing of the past. No longer do they instill moral values into their children and teach them right from wrong, but they don’t discuss and reemphasize that killing is wrong and you should treat others as you would have them treat yourselves.
    It also wouldn’t hurt to reintroduce these morals back into the school curriculum and do it at a very young age.

  • Remember the stop sign

    School safety is undoubtedly on everyone’s mind. We should also take into consideration the safety of our students as they’re traveling to and from school.
    Older students are on their way to school before 8 a.m. while elementary students have until 8:20 a.m.
    All the students head home after 3 p.m. every day with one exception — the elementary schools are out at noon on Wednesday afternoons. Please make note of this time, especially if you head home for lunch.
    Many students walk or ride their bikes or scooters to school. Several corners have crossing guards, but many do not. Please pay attention to the streets and the crossing guards. The hand-held stop signs they use are equivalent to existing stop signs. It is illegal to make a right turn through the crosswalk when the guard has traffic stopped.
    It is also illegal to pass around a car that is stopped at a crosswalk. The car in front of you is stopped for a reason. Please slow down in the school zones and make a complete stop well before the crosswalk.
    Making a complete stop at a stop sign applies to buses, too. When the school bus is stopped and the stop sign is out, traffic in both directions must stop and remain stopped until the bus driver removes the stop sign.
    The students getting off the buses are often very small children and difficult to see.

  • Gay marriage in Los Alamos

    After reading County Clerk Sharon Stover’s comments regarding marriage equality in the Los Alamos Monitor yesterday, there a few things I would like to point out.

    As of this week, the Doña Ana County Clerk is giving out licenses to same sex couples, and a District judge ordered the Santa Fe Clerk to begin issuing licenses Friday.

    Ms. Stover was quoted Wednesday as saying “Our office will wait until the courts and/or the legislature acts.”
    Well. The courts have acted and Attorney General Gary King says he will not take action against clerks who issue these licenses.

    By refusing to allow gay couples to get married in Los Alamos, I believe Ms. Stover is being discriminatory. Must we waste time and taxpayer money in the local courts to “force” her do the right thing?

    There were no protests at the Doña Ana court where same sex couples married this week. (Which is in southern New Mexico, usually a conservative area.)

    When asked what she would do if a gay couple sought a license from her office, Ms. Stover said she would inform them that, “Doña Ana has them.” Not very helpful.

    Who is she to stand in the way of loving partners who want the same rights straight people in this county have?

  • Support local university

    UNM-LA has a huge positive impact on local education, starting with many of our high school students; our 16-year-old has been learning robotics there. Local entrepreneur William Sellers has argued that Los Alamos does not need “our own little private university.” But let’s look in detail at what UNM-LA actually does (losalamos.unm.edu, or ourcommunityourcollege.com).
    It doesn’t pretend to be a self-contained university. It offers classes to: young people, to help them get their education started conveniently and at low cost; people in mid-life, who want to add skills or get help starting their own business; or people of any age who just enjoy learning. Many staff members at LANL appreciate the opportunity UNM-LA offers to share their skills with the community. Mr. Sellers has proposed that we should convert the campus into an advanced manufacturing training facility.
    Such a facility would be a good way to grow a more diversified, high-tech economy. I submit that we are much more likely to get things like an advanced manufacturing training facility going here, if we build upon existing programs, such as robotics, in a healthily funded UNM-LA.
    I will be happy to work with UNM-LA, LANL, and entrepreneurs like Mr. Sellers to get forward-thinking projects like these going in our town.

  • LA school funding requires action

    In commenting on large class sizes, a Los Alamos School Board member said: “This (school) district, financially, is headed toward an iceberg like the Titanic.” The issue is much broader than class size.
    Because of the way New Mexico funds K-12 education, our schools won’t have the resources moving forward to support the educational quality we have come to expect. Funding for the operation of New Mexico schools is collected into a central pool, and distributed back to the school districts according to a complex “equalization” formula.
    The state requires and funds a “sufficient” educational program, but many of us would like to build and sustain superb schools. Unfortunately, New Mexico takes the punitive position that individual districts are prohibited from spending more on education than the formula provides. This approach says: if everyone can’t have it, you can’t have it.

  • Thankful to good samaritans

    Will the person or persons who saw my husband, Archerd Youngblood (a white haired gentlemen), fall somewhere in the vicinity of the Blue Window restaurant and Smith’s on Central Avenue between 10-11:30 a.m., July 26, please call me (his wife Marjorie) to let me extend my personal thanks to you. These individuals rushed to his aid and called an ambulance. My phone number is 663-3360.
    Marjorie Orth-Youngblood
    Los Alamos
     

  • More support for UNM-LA

    I moved to Los Alamos in 1969. At that time there was no institution of higher learning present in the community. The community was negotiating with University of New Mexico to establish a branch. They wanted a way to enhance the learning opportunities for those in the community. In 1970, UNM established a branch and it became known as UNM-LA.
    I was the first biology teacher hired at the new branch. For the first seven years I taught general biology, plant taxonomy, human anatomy and physiology and ecology. Then later I taught community education classes. In the early years, we were housed in what is now L-Wing of Los Alamos High School (presently home of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center). There were a handful of us teaching the basic college courses. It was both an exciting and challenging time. Resources were limited. I had to conduct my labs in the high school with the wonderful cooperation of the high school teachers.

  • Support the mil levy

    Every person who lives in Los Alamos who has benefitted from education in any way should vote ‘yes’ on the UNM-LA mil levy.
    This school is one of the not-so-hidden treasures of our community. It does an incredible job of providing a wide variety of higher education opportunities to high school and college students, as well as community members who are seeking professional development and personal enrichment.
    Dual credit courses (taken by 1,399 high school students to date, 794 from LAHS), innovative programs in fire science, EMS certification, robotics and many other classes taught by a highly qualified and capable faculty are just a sampling of what UNM-LA has to offer.
    Interestingly enough, the college accomplishes much of this on a shoestring budget. Many people are unaware that UNM-LA receives no funding from the UNM main campus.
    Furthermore, its state funding is dwindling, reduced by 38 percent in the last five years while enrollment has increased by 14 percent.
    In addition, the presence of a college contributes to higher property values in a community.
    The reasonable mill levy is a small price to pay for this economic benefit.