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Letters

  • Fly New Mexico Airlines

    I recently flew New Mexico Airlines from Los Alamos to Albuquerque and it was a wonderful experience.
    The pilots were courteous, the service was great and convenient and the views were spectacular.
    Please consider flying and supporting New Mexico Airlines.
    Save time and money considering gas, parking, hotel and food fees. Parking at the Los Alamos airport is free. The flight is $49, tax included, with a flying time of 20 minutes, right up to the back door of the Albuquerque International Sunport.
    It was the best plane trip I have had in a while.

    Annette Fox
    Los Alamos 

  • Public art a diverse subject

    At the county council working session on Tuesday night much of the discussion addressed two widely diverse viewpoints. Some speakers addressed the goal of having public art attract visitors and visitor dollars.
    Alternatively, some spoke to the question of how public art might serve the local community, entertaining us and our children, educating us about our history and perhaps even providing fodder for thought.
    It was clear that many citizens have invested many hours working on how to best achieve those goals.
    I would like to encourage members of the county council and Art in Public Places Board, while they further debate how to allocate the limited funds available for public art, to consider the very generous offer on the part of Ed Grothus’ family.
    For those who have forgotten, before he passed away Ed Grothus commissioned a dramatic large-scale stone sculpture. The work consists of two white granite obelisks standing on black granite bases and topped with black granite spheres. The assembled obelisks would stand almost 40 feet tall.
    Inscribed on the bases in 15 languages is text condemning the nuclear weapons defense work that has been done here at the lab in the decades since 1943. Many in the community find the inscribed message decidedly offensive.

  • Citizen concern saves life

    Accolades and kudos should be awarded to Bertha Romero and Gina Garcia of the Smart Set.
    When a client/friend who lives alone failed to appear for an appointment and didn’t answer her phone, they were concerned enough to call 911. The client had suffered a stroke. Because of their concern, the client received the medical attention needed to avert more serious damage from the stroke. Thank you Bertha and Gina.
    Joy Drake
    Los Alamos
     

  • Time to honor vets

    eterans of Foreign Wars will conduct a commemorative program to honor the Veterans of the United States. The program will be at the VFW building on Deacon Street and is open to the public.
    Other community groups will be represented and several speakers and appropriate patriotic programs will be represented.
    If your parents are unable to attend this program, I would suggest you take this opportunity to talk to your children about Veterans Day and explain to them what a veteran is and why it is important to know about this federal holiday.
    A person who receives and honorable discharge from the military or someone who was killed on active duty is considered a veteran.
    Today, we will honor all of these men and women plus all the veterans who participated in previous wars and conflicts in the past.
    The military gave us freedom of speech, assembly, religion and the press. These freedoms are part of our American heritage and some of the reasons why our country is great.
    Nov. 11 should be more than just another day off. It should be a day of remembrance of what the veterans did for our country and why freedom is so important especially in today’s complicated conflicting world.
    Remember freedom is not free. The veterans paid the price and did more than just their share to preserve our great nation.

  • Thanks for support after barn fire

    We would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the many, many people and organizations, who have reached out to us in the aftermath of our barn fire and the loss of our beloved mare Sparkling Moonshine.
    Our family has received more hugs and casseroles and physical labor assistance and financial generosity than we can begin to count, and we just want to let everyone know how much we appreciate your kindness.
    Los Alamos County’s Police and Fire Departments rapid response helped save the other horses, and keep the fire from spreading. Los Alamos Parks Department and Solid Waste were on the job right from the start and we are so grateful for the help in clearing the lot. Community Development, Parks, Utilities and Public Works are helping prepare for the daunting task of rebuilding.
    The Los Alamos Stable Owners Association, Los Alamos Pony Club, 4-H, Pajarito Riding Club, Pet Pangaea, the “Tractor Brigade” and so many others have reached out with aid in the form of temporary housing for our other horses, replacement equipment, hay and grain.
    We can’t begin to list the individuals, you know who you are, but your hugs and phone calls and actual presence and continued support has been a lifesaver. We couldn’t ask for better friends.

  • Closed parks but drilling open?

    As the seasons turn to fall, many of us here in New Mexico typically head to Bandelier National Monument before the cold rolls in. However, as a result of the government shutdown, our national parks, wildlife refuges and national forests all across New Mexico are closed to any and all visitors.
    Bandelier National Monument typically sees a flood of visitors in October who come to experience the beauty of its cliff dwellings, or spend a last night under the stars. Last year in October alone more than 125,000 people visited New Mexico’s national parks. This year they will arrive greeted by closed gates and empty ranger stations.
    What’s worse is a majority of personnel from the Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture are temporarily out of work, halting many of our nation’s critical clean air and clean water programs. Despite this lack of environmental oversight, most public lands and waters remain open to oil, gas, and mining operations, further threatening their well-being.
    Having the doors close on “America’s best idea” is bad enough, but keeping our public lands and parks open to private mining and gas drilling companies who are polluting these treasured landscapes in spite of these closures is truly deplorable.

  • An open letter to founding fathers

    ashington and Thomas Jefferson:
    You established a wonderful experiment when you set up our nation as a Republic, and it worked well for about 200 years. But then elected officials got greedy and appropriated all sorts of perks for themselves. 
    They voted lifetime pensions for themselves after they leave office. They exempted themselves from laws and regulations that they didn’t like. They, including the President, refused to enforce laws that were voted on by the people, and made new laws without going through the legislative process. They didn’t do what was best for our country, but only what was best for their re-election campaigns.
    When voters tried to remove corrupt officials from office, they discovered that hard-working honest citizens couldn’t get elected unless they were lawyers and/or had tremendous amounts of cash on hand, and/or were backed by corrupt individuals or organizations who had tremendous amounts of cash on hand.
    In almost every case, the person who wins an election is the one who spends the most money on his/her campaign. A lot of it goes into ads, which deceive the people and distort the issues.
    You would be amazed at how our country as a whole has turned its back on the God of the universe and on the solid biblical principles upon which you founded this nation.

  • Reasonable, measured approach

    nd throughout the nation is undergoing significant change. Newly introduced Common Core Standards are replacing learning benchmarks that required a generation of students to be “proficient.” Federal “No Child Left Behind” assessments used in past years called for students to be proficient as measured by Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
    The failure of these standards is demonstrated by the oft-reported failure of N.M. high school graduates to be prepared for college or careers. AYP standards have been replaced with New Mexico Standards Based Assessment tests that measure individual student growth during each year.
    In addition, a New Mexico teacher evaluation process that simply rated teachers satisfactory (99 percent of the time), or unsatisfactory is being replaced with a new evaluation protocol that rates teachers in five categories ranging from exemplar to minimally effective and identifies individualized areas for professional growth.
    These national and state educational changes are being rapidly implemented in New Mexico generally through mandates from the Public Education Department (PED). The relatively large number of mandated changes being rapidly implemented has led to increased frustration by a substantial number of the instructional staff in Los Alamos.

  • Profit and run

    The contractor model is not working in the case of the National Laboratories when it comes to the federal government shutdown. The corporate entities that are contracted to run these laboratories should be required under their contracts to maintain operations during a federal government shutdown using their own resources when funding is temporarily stopped.
    The resources I’m referring to are the fees they are awarded with for operating the laboratories and their corporate ability to borrow money. Wasn’t that one of the reasons to set up the federal government contractor model; a separation of national security operations from the whims of the congressional budget process?
    Corporations generally maintain continued operation of their facilities if they want to remain in business except for corporations contracted to operate federal government facilities. Contractor corporations operating the National Laboratories take the benefits of operation without the risk.
    Paul D. Richardson
    White Rock 

  • When Will Enough Be Enough?

    onals don’t normally speak out about the unbearable conditions they work under and how over worked they are.
    Yes, they speak about this with small groups of co-workers as they set out to accomplish their tasks. Now is the time you must speak out, and exercise your 1st amendment right to free speech guaranteed to us by the Constitution of the United States.
    If you don’t speak out conditions will not change and change it must. As education professionals you are not just talking about change for yourselves, but change for students. It’s not about money, it’s about students and this is what makes you education professionals!
    You filled out post cards and sent to Hanna Skandera, the Public Education Department’s Secretary-Designate, a demonstration was outside the high school, there was a union meeting with the AFT New Mexico Union President Stephanie Ly with Superintendent of Los Alamos Public Schools Eugene Schmidt in attendance.
    Several people spoke including me and told Dr. Schmidt and Ms. Ly how teachers felt about the new evaluation system, how much stress teachers were feeling, and the problems it was causing.