• Carbon emissions cap overdue

    President Barack Obama’s leadership on capping carbon emissions is long overdue with the impending climate crisis. Special interest groups can no longer decide the fate of the environment we all share.
    New Mexico is already experiencing the effects of climate change. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than 60 percent of New Mexicans live in conditions of exceptional drought. This drought is aggravated by increasing global temperatures and extended periods of time without precipitation.
    We need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, but natural gas is not an alternative. The EPA reports that methane is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. This country is rich in renewable resources that can be harnessed in place of dirty, finite sources.
    I applaud President Obama’s action as climate change becomes a more pressing issue. The climate must be considered over profitability if we do not want to become climate refugees.
    Karen Ortega
    White Rock

  • Bury power lines to prevent fires

    erry Robinson’s column of July 3, “Cut hundreds of trees or lose them to fire.” A third, and more effective option is never mentioned. Bury all power lines through, or near the forests. This is a proven method of providing utility service and its use in forests is long overdue. All the discussions about clearing vegetation, purchasing wider easements and interagency cooperation are fruitless.
    Even with 150-foot easements, a downed power line can ignite weeds and fire can run into the forest under the right conditions. And, as has been demonstrated since the Las Conchas fire, maintenance is very often deferred in agency operating budgets. Trees marked for clearance two years ago were still standing when the Thompson Ridge fire started.
    Between Los Alamos and Jemez Springs, miles of power lines are strung through trees with no clearance at all. This is obsolete technology that frequently fails with catastrophic results to forests, firefighters, wildlife and quality of life. Some scientists now believe our forests may never grow back under current climactic conditions. Although no firefighters were lost in the Las Conchas or Thompson Ridge fires, the tragic loss of the Granite Mountain Hotshots must surely remind us of the importance of preventing human-caused fires to the greatest extent possible.

  • Thankful to have July 4 back

    ration at Overlook Park was an outstanding success. After the tragedy of the Las Conchas fire in 2011 and the cancellation of the fireworks display in 2012, we all traded nervous excitement for satisfaction and wonder. Thankfully, good rains in White Rock in the days leading to the event helped put our minds at ease. What joy we all felt to spend the day together; listening to great local bands, watching the public servants rapidly consume pie, enjoying the beautiful sunset and views of Overlook Park, and then ... a truly great small town fireworks display. America at it’s best!
    The Celebration has a great deal of the community behind it long before the first BBQ. We would like to thank our major sponsor, Los Alamos National Bank, who has contributed to this event for more than two decades. Del Norte Credit Union contributed as well and deserves our support to staying with Kiwanis these past years.

  • No rescue for Ashley Pond fish

    Yesterday at the grocery store I stopped at the customer service counter to ask if someone could maybe water the plants outside. It was hot and they were really droopy. 

    The lady was nice and she said she would try. We started talking and I mentioned that watching the plants wither bothered me after what had happened at Ashley Pond — all the fish and crayfish having been bagged in burlap and taken off to the Eco-Station.

    The lady at the counter said “no, no” and insisted she had seen them netted and heard they were rescued. I told her that this was, unfortunately, a rumor. All the fish and all the crayfish were killed. Unlike the ducks, they did not get to live happily ever after. 

    A lot of people who followed what happened at Ashley Pond a couple of weeks ago might say that the mass slaughter was necessary because the fish were “diseased.” 

  • Response to ‘Monitor’ editorial

    ction of the June 23, Los Alamos Monitor chose to criticize the manner in which the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos is preparing for our annual July 4 celebration at Overlook Park.
    I would like to respond to that editorial with our own viewpoint, and to remind all of the residents of Los Alamos that a great deal of preparation and planning has already taken place, and much of that has been in consultation with the Los Alamos Fire Department.
    We take the safety issues associated with a fireworks display very seriously and would not jeopardize the people, or property of Los Alamos if we thought it were not safe to do so.
    Let me also remind you that we did not have any fireworks displays in 2000, 2011, or 2012 because of safety concerns and local forest fires, and that the final say of whether fireworks can be set off remains with the fire marshal — as it always has been.
    We appreciate the cooperative efforts of the LAFD, who reminds everyone that a community-wide fireworks display under controlled conditions can be safer than having individuals set off their own fireworks in widely dispersed neighborhoods throughout the county. This sentiment was repeated by Governor Martinez, who in an interview with KRQE-TV, encouraged New Mexicans to attend their community-sponsored fireworks displays under these safer conditions.

  • Fireworks show is bad choice

    When I read Friday that plans were going ahead for a July 4 Fireworks display at Overlook Park, I had to double check — had I picked up The Onion by mistake?
    Sunday’s editorial in the Los Alamos Monitor presented a similar reaction, in which the author expressed the feeling of being in a “Twilight Zone” episode. And I concur with the questions asked how the conclusions drawn.
    C’mon, folks, we’re experiencing a record-breaking drought, we’re surrounded by wildfires, and unless the monsoons arrive quickly, “mission improbable: a fireworks show in a tinder box with a guarantee of ‘ultimate safety’” could quickly become “mission in flames.”
    I respect that the highly competent members of the Los Alamos Fire Department will do their utmost to prevent a fire being started by the fireworks, but I’d prefer that they be available to respond to other fire calls (and fervently hope that there are none). I also understand that that the Kiwanis Club will use the proceeds from the fireworks to fund its many community service projects, and that community members enjoy and look forward to the traditional display.

  • SAN says thanks

    On June 1, the community produced the annual Senior Appreciation Night. SAN started 29 years ago to provide students a safe alternative to drinking and mountain celebrations. It costs over $13,000 each year, $6,000 for prizes and $7,000 for food and entertainment.
    Officially, 154 (out of 280 graduates) went to every event and were eligible for the grand prizes at breakfast. Friends accompanied most graduates so an estimated 300 youth were entertained throughout the night.
    Volunteers supervised 12 events, prepared food, organized and assisted in numerous ways. Thanks to all the parents who donated money and/or volunteered at SAN.
    A total of 72 businesses and organizations lent monetary support to SAN, and numerous entities helped plan for SAN. Planners include Los Alamos County’s Recreation Department, The Family YMCA, the Youth Activity Center, LAHS administration, LAPD, LA County DWI program, LA Teen Center, Kiwanis Club, and First United Methodist Church who were all key in producing the event. Thank you to every staff member and friend behind the scenes.
    Special thanks to event coordinators: Ruby Alexander, Bette Christensen, Ronaele Freestone, Don Casperson, Paul Martinez, David Clark, and Diana Martinez.
    Jeremy Smith
    Sports and Adventure Program Director
    Los Alamos 

  • “Small Town, Big Heart”

    Last Friday night as I was preparing for a trip, I was zipping around town doing last-minute errands: post-office, photo-copying at Upex, gift purchase at CB Fox, etc. As usual, was carrying my trusty (and most favorite) “Camelback” water-bottle.
    Admittedly, it seems shallow to get attached to “things”, but honestly, this water bottle is the best! It has all the features I need and I hardly go anywhere without it since it helps relieve the chronic dry throat I have living in the Southwest.
    As Murphy’s law would dictate, I absent-mindedly left the bottle somewhere downtown on my journey, and by the time I realized it, businesses downtown were closed. Since I was leaving early the next morning, there was no chance to back-track.
    Before you let the smoke-choked lethargy of the “tough luck” clouds get you down, here comes the silver lining: upon my return, some very nice person had returned my favorite water bottle. And, it was returned directly to my house!
    I know I’m not the only person with a cobalt blue water –bottle, so I stuck my address-label on it to avoid confusion. In this case, it allowed a very kind fellow Los-Alamosian to return it to my door.

  • Baffled, outrage

    Dear Editor,
    I read your article about Aaron Nguyen with a combination of bafflement and outrage. I am certainly relieved that this young man does not reside in my neighborhood.
    I am baffled that any trip out of Los Alamos would be permitted while this case is yet undecided. Any decision by our judicial system permitting these casual trips, regardless of any conditions placed upon them by the court, is sending the message to the perpetrator and the public there are no consequences for this type of crime, which is outrageous. As to the diagnosis of mental illness, I won’t quote statistics, as I am not an expert. What I would suggest is that there are many, many youth and adults with ADHD. Going on a crime spree is not something I have observed from media reporting to be frequently associated with this disorder.
    It is fortunate for the accused that he has advocates to assist him in the future to curb his illegal activities.
     I suspect that a majority of youth offenders whom end up incarcerated from the exact same behavior would benefit from this type of support, but it is not readily available.
    If these holidays out of state are permitted by the court, I am, yes, baffled and outraged.
    Madeline Boyd
    White Rock

  • Thanks for help with speech and debate invite

    Many, many thanks to the following businesses and people that supported the recent three-day-long National Christian Forensics and Communications Association Region III Speech and Debate Invitational: to John Roberts and Smith’s for discounted food for students and judges — tremendous help; to Denise Lane and the Dixie Girl, Ruby Alexander and Ruby K’s Bagel Cafe, Brian Booth and the Coffee Booth, and members of the First Baptist Church of Española for providing scrumptious food for judges — thanks also to local churches and families — all food was appreciated, and most assuredly did not last long.
    El Parasol provided dinner for our social event — a hit. A big thanks to the local judges that volunteered their time and energy to help competitors hone their skills, and to Crossroads Bible Church for use of its facility.
    Thank you also to Bradbury Science Museum and Los Alamos National Laboratory for the wonderful educational experience in- and out-of-town competitors were able to enjoy in the museum. Our town is a gem, in both its history and participation of community. We deeply appreciate the commitment and uniqueness of Los Alamos!
    The Los Alamos Home School Speech and Debate Guild Board.
    Kris Hollis
    Mary Spill
    Kelley Baer