• Flowers make for better downtown

    What a joy it is to see the baskets of flowers on the lamp posts in the downtown area! Various traffic islands in Los Alamos and White Rock are also aglow with colorful iris and other well landscaped plantings. My husband Ken was chairman of the first Los Alamos County Beautification Committee back in the 1960s. He would be delighted, as I am, to see the improvements since that time. Warmest thanks to Dick McIntyre and the Parks Division for sprucing up our little town so beautifully.

    Ruth Williamson
    Los Alamos

  • Don’t waste money on LA “brand”

    Instead of squandering $50,000 for a non-local public relations firm to develop a “brand” for Los Alamos, how about if we instead donate that money to the Sheriff Posse Shack remodeling fund? If we’re looking for a good investment to bring long-term tangible benefits to our community, I think the Posse Shack is a better bet than a catchy slogan.
    Elizabeth Jones
    Los Alamos

  • Smart Meter Study a public intrusion

    The Department of Public Utilities will be rolling out the Mesa Smart Meter Study on Barranca and North Mesas. There will be involuntary installation of Smart Meters on every home on Barranca and North Mesas, regardless of whether or not the homeowners consent to the installation of these monitoring and power controlling devices.
    There has been enormous national and international controversy regarding the potential health hazards and privacy intrusions that Smart Meter installations will bring to our community.
    There is also much evidence that Smart Meter Technology does nothing but increase private utility profits and will eventually require the purchase of many new household components to accommodate this new Smart Technology. DPU will only tell residents their marketing approved propaganda about Smart Meters and the International agenda to force a “Smart Grid” on the nation.
    This will be enforced on all members of Los Alamos and White Rock very shortly. I encourage everyone affected by the Mesa Smart Meter Study to do your own research on the potential health effects and privacy issues by searching online for Smart Meter Problems. Do not simply accept the one sided information provided by DPU.
    Jeff Theesfeld
    Los Alamos

  • Effects of well drilling on springs

    Most of the discussion of the county’s proposed well project has focused on wellhead impacts. However, I believe there is a greater concern: potential impact to the springs in White Rock Canyon.
    This project is designed to extract ground water before it becomes surface water flowing into the Rio Grande. Ground water becomes surface water by emerging through springs. Therefore, by definition, some springs somewhere must be affected; the only question is which ones and how much. The county’s explanation that “experts with knowledge of the White Rock Canyon hydro-geologic region have expressed opinions to the Department of Public Utilities that the various springs in White Rock canyon would not be adversely impacted” is apparently at odds with this fact.
    Pajarito Spring along the Red Dot Trail is the most well-known of the White Rock Canyon springs, but there are lots more scattered through the canyon. These springs are truly remarkable oases in a unique canyon and should be protected.

  • Stoddard was a friend, mentor

    Upon returning to Los Alamos as a young man, my family relocated to White Rock where I had the opportunity to live across the street from Senator Steve Stoddard.
    I had known the Stoddards from growing up in Los Alamos so the move allowed me to renew old friendships.
    Over the years, Steve and I would have occasion to visit on Sunday evenings, where we would sit together and discuss the issues of the day and issues related to state politics.
    During this time, I would always recall that Steve would start by saying “Well … Alan as you know …” This was normally followed with educational information and a story or two that was always entertaining and very informative.
    After several years, both our families left the neighborhood, and although we were unable to continue our Sunday evening talks, we would visit at community events or activities. We would spend five to 10 minutes discussing the issues of the day.
    I will always remember Steve’s ability to look at the big picture and provide advice. If he did not have the answer, he was able to use his vast network of contacts throughout the state to provide assistance. I, along with so many others in the community, would like to thank and remember Steve as being a friend, mentor and dedicated public servant.
    Alan Kirk
    Los Alamos 

  • LAPS' planning was poor with renovations

    This is responding to an article about Los Alamos schools renovating two schools and not planning ahead. First, if they knew about the renovations, schedule, and work to be done, then the schools should be able to accommodate the kids.
    I attended school when there were two junior high schools. At that time, Pueblo was closed and Cumbres became Los Alamos Middle School. Many schools have been closed and leased to other entities, mostly Los Alamos National Laboratory. While the schools provide much needed space by LANL, the schools could also be using the space, yet, because they have it all leased, it is a dilemma.
    Due to lack of planning and foresight, they are now pondering the question of how to accommodate the kids when they return to school. While I grew up there, this was never a problem. The two schools I attended ended up closing down--both were excellent schools. I also heard that the LAHS does not have a cafeteria.
    Really? Why? Some kids stick around for lunch and a cafeteria is important to ensuring kids get lunch--I don’t think crossing the street and getting food from the local gas station qualifies as good nutrition. Based on what I have seen and heard,my son benefited when we moved from Los Alamos.
    Jackie Kolakowski
    Papillion, Neb.

  • Success for Spring Arts and Crafts Fair

    The hard work of many dedicated volunteers resulted in a successful Northern New Mexico Spring Arts and Crafts Fair. It was a fantastic day with nearly perfect weather, giving people the opportunity to visit with friends and mingle among the booths. In addition to the Los Alamos Arts Council, the fair benefited from the efforts of RSVP members who posted flyers around Los Alamos before the fair. RSVP members also sat at our survey table during the fair. LAAC thanks New Mexico Airlines for the donation prize of a round trip to Albuquerque.
    We also wish to thank Los Alamos County Parks Dept. for mowing and trimming the grounds around Fuller Lodge, as well as providing cones and cleaning up trash during the fair. Many people commented about how nice the area looked for the fair. It truly was beautiful.
    As always, a big thank you goes to our board members and volunteers who spent many hours in preparation, as well as time staffing the fair. This includes Mikala Pulliam from LAHS National Honor Society, David Hawes, Zackary Coker, Bill Hamilton, Lisa Lloyd, Taedg Woods and Terry Goodwin. We also appreciate support from the Lodgers’ Tax Board and MainStreet for advertizing.

  • Ignored water well issues

    The article in the Los Alamos Monitor about the water wells proposed to be on White Rock Canyon did not include some issues, which should be an important part of the discussion.
    Many of us support the Los Alamos County desire to get access to additional water. What we oppose is drilling wells in county open space land adjacent to residential areas. These proposed wells will permanently degrade the quality of life and therefore health of a good many residents of Los Alamos County.
    The impact of these wells will be permanent. The impact during the time of construction is agreed by all to be severe — construction of the access roads, laying the utility lines, drilling the wells and constructing the well site. But there is a permanent impact.
    The small open space areas will be effectively destroyed by the access road and the one acre walled site containing the pump and wellhead. In addition to this visual impact, the noise of the operating pump will impact will affect all the nearby residents 24 hours a day.
    Constructing these wells as planned violates County Comprehensive Plan. A great deal of effort was put in by citizens and county councilors to identify the values of the County, and to write a comprehensive plan that captured these values. Two sections are quoted below that are specifically violated.

  • What motivates County Council


    I would like to make the following comments regarding possible actions to be considered by our County Council.

    The retail stores in Los Alamos now provide a significant amount of the basic needs and desires of the community. For whatever else is desired, we go elsewhere. The council seems to be bent on providing more retail space. Is this necessary? What kind of businesses will be willing to take the risk? What have we learned from the fact that the town has lost two shoe stores, two sporting goods stores, two drug stores and several others in the recent past due to lack of demand? Many existing spaces are empty and available right now. Do we want more?

  • CalPERS rate increases addressed

    Newspaper reports about an 85 percent hike in the cost of long term care insurance offered to California State employees tells only part of the story according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.
    Slome noted that letters mailed to CalPERS policyholders offer seven options. “The letters clearly explain that options include accepting the premium increase and keeping current coverage to reducing options such as the built-in inflation protection and even reducing the premium paid,” Slome notes. “Isn’t it funny how that never gets mentioned in the news coverage.”
    “No one likes paying more,” Slome adds. “But in many cases these polices were purchased 15 years ago and the economic world has certainly changed over the past few years; not to mention that many of these folks are beneficiaries of increasing State-provided pensions.” Long-term care insurance policies offering five percent compounded growth options have been the ones most impacted by rate increases.