• Letters to the Editor 03-07-14


    Trivializing a sensitive word?

    After spending an hour talking about Judaism to the high school humanities class a few weeks ago, I took some questions, and one student raised an important issue; one I could tell was difficult for her to pose in public. Why did I think, she asked, that Jews have been labeled as obsessed with money? 

    I looked at her with my best poker-face, and asked “Will you give me a twenty for an answer?” When she meekly said no, I pretended to then disregard her and go to the next raised hand. Everyone laughed at the obvious self-mockery, and I felt that the joke had diffused the tension around us, so I could go on to speak to the subject of anti-semitism and ethnic discrimination in general. 

  • Boys, Girls State benefit students

    Senate Bill 169 has passed both houses of the legislature and is now on its way to the governor’s desk.
    Last year, the governor pocket vetoed this same bill.
    We need to make the governor aware of the benefits that our boys and girls can derive from this legislation.
    We need to contact her in every way possible to get our message to her, write a letter, send an email, send a fax, use letters to the editor, write a news article, contact “talk radio,” or make a phone call to the governor’s office.
    Here are some of the reasons for the governor to sign this legislation into law.
    Citizens are woefully ignorant of how our government works.
    • People do not have an idea of what kind of government we have.
    •  Civics is not taught in New Mexico as a singular classroom unit. It is scattered in social studies over 13-year grade levels and pieces.
    • The American Legion is an organization of military veterans that are concerned about the lack of interest in government. Hence, the programs to inform and teach young men and women the essentials of our form of government. Boys State and Girls State are sponsored by the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary to provide training and experience in how government is operated and how we govern ourselves.

  • Get ready for Crab Fest from Rotary Club

    Ahoy, Los Alamos! It’s time for Rotary’s 5th Annual Crab Fest, Feb. 22 at the Knights of Columbus Hall. This all-you-can-eat crab and prawn dinner, our biggest fundraiser of the year, is served family-style with coleslaw, beans, rolls, dessert and beverages. There will be chicken for those who do not care for seafood.
    The cash bar opens at 5:30 p.m.; dinner, primarily prepared by Blue Window Bistro, will be served at 7 p.m. with help from members of the Los Alamos High School National Honor Society.
    Along with dinner, you’ll be treated to guitar music by Tony Chan, and you’ll have many opportunities to bid on an abundant selection of silent and live auction items, with Jill Cook as auctioneer.
    Auctions items include a Towa golf and overnight package at Homewood Suites; a condo stay at The Village at Steamboat Springs; a Firehouse Station 3 dinner and tour; and spring clean-up by Oasis Landscape. There will also be a handmade quilt by artist Katy Korkos, antique New Mexico window frame mirrors, fine wines, jewelry and artwork, golf lessons and massage certificates and gift certificates for ciopinno, filet mignon-prawn, and sushi dinners with wine pairings. There’s even an airplane flight to Taos with Sunday brunch.

  • Aspen Ridge Lodge a positive experience

    I think until you have lived or worked in an area for a while you cannot truly know the quality of what it has to offer. I have lived at Aspen Ridge Lodge in Los Alamos for eight months.
    In that entire time, I have experienced only wonderful care and observed great professionalism by all of their staff at all levels: management, dining staff, custodial staff, nursing and care staff, activities staff, and transportation staff. I have never once observed or experienced the slightest bit of negative attitude, neglect, or mistreatment by any member of the staff toward anyone, regardless of how that person may behave.
    In fact, the Aspen Ridge employees are among the most personable and professional people I have ever encountered, particularly in one fairly large establishment. I think whoever makes the hiring selections and provides staff oversight at Aspen Ridge Lodge has done an amazing job of finding and keeping this group of terrific employees.

  • Moving forward on Pajarito Mountain

    On Feb 4, the Los Alamos Ski Club (LASC) Board of Directors held a special membership meeting to inform members and bring about a vote to transfer all or part of the club’s assets (Pajarito Ski Area) to Los Alamos County, or another third party.
    Unfortunately, the voting resolution was not seen by the members until just minutes before the vote was called.
    In addition, other potential options have yet to be discussed openly.
    I respect and appreciate the significant efforts made by the LASC Board to assess options and discuss the issue with some members.
    However, many members were not even aware that dissolution was being considered and were caught off guard by the board’s announcement in the paper and the subsequent meeting and vote.
    While we all have known for years that there have been financial challenges at Pajarito Mountain, the idea of gifting this exceptional resource built from thousands of volunteer’s sweat and tears to the county was not well communicated to the members and in fact was not in any newsletter, or General Membership Meeting that I am aware of.

  • Employment rising with the sun

    One thing that doesn’t rise as consistently as the sun is our employment rate. The solar energy industry could help to change that though, because like the sun each morning, jobs in the solar industry are on the rise.
    The solar industry has added over 20,000 jobs since November 2012, a 19.9 percent increase, which is more than ten times the national employment growth rate of 1.9 percent. The best part about these jobs that are being created is that most of them are paid a living wage! Right now New Mexico is ranked 10th in the nation for solar jobs per capita.
    The solar energy industry is not only good for the unemployment crisis so many of us New Mexicans are suffering through, but it is also a positive step to a healthier environment. We have an abundance of sun here in our Land of Enchantment, and our sunsets are something we are known for.
    If we could harness more of this power from the sun, and reduce our independence on fossil fuels, then maybe we could be known as the leading state for solar energy as well! And to top it off, we would be creating much-needed jobs for New Mexicans.
    Tyler Schutte

  • Dishonesty runs amok

    I was interested to read the story in Tuesday’s Feb. 4 Los Alamos Monitor on the scam to steal Smith’s fuel points. It is lamentable that it seems a daily occurrence to hear of yet another way dishonesty intrudes upon our everyday life.
    Since many of us in Los Alamos enjoy the advantages of being able to see excellent programs at University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall, I felt compelled to write of deceptive tactics used by secondary ticket sellers offering tickets at inflated prices, along with unwarranted service charges. I myself fell prey by searching for “Popejoy tickets” and going to a website whose URL looked like it was really Popejoy.
    I called the number on the website to find out if I could purchase tickets at an Albertsons ticket outlet.
    I was misled by the salesperson into thinking I couldn’t purchase tickets in person. However, I could obtain the tickets I wanted over the phone from them. I went ahead only to find out later that indeed the tickets would have been available at either Albertsons, or directly from the UNM ticket office for a much more reasonable price.

  • Charter silent on added utility

    Los Alamos Monitor regarding County Council’s discussion of the possibility of establishing a Community Broadband Network (CBN) utility made an unattributed statement to the effect that a Broadband utility could not be created under the current county charter.
    I was not at the council meeting, so I don’t know the basis for this conclusion, but as a member of the Utilities Charter Review Committee, I should point out that the current charter is silent on the issue of both adding and selling a utility.
    It simply says that “There shall be a Department of Public Utilities which shall operate the county-owned electric, gas, water and sewer utility systems...”
    Many people interpret this to mean that a new utility, not already specified in the charter, could not be added to the DPU, although only a court case can resolve this question. Due to the lack of any definitive statement in the current charter regarding the addition or sale of a utility, and after considerable discussion, the UCRC opted to add sections to the new proposed charter to clarify this issue and provide for procedures addressing both the purchase and sale of a DPU utility.

  • Positive view of Aspen Ridge Lodge

    This is in response to the negative comment in Sunday’s Los Alamos Monitor about Aspen Ridge Lodge.
    I am leaving Aspen Ridge Lodge today healed from a broken arm. Sounds simple doesn’t it?
    The first thing they gave me was a call button. Believe me, I used it around the clock. I was always answered with a smile and called by my name. I found the staff to always be courteous and treated me with dignity.
    My dog was being cared for at a nearby veterinary. Everyday I asked and Aspen Ridge Lodge staff picked him up and returned him for me.
    This is a great place to heal and live. It is a dedicated professional facility and a great asset to Los Alamos. My experience has only been positive.
    Ruth Parker
    Los Alamos

  • A step in the right direction

    Thank you councilors for recently passing the new property maintenance standards for Los Alamos! As a new resident who moved to Los Alamos from Austin, Texas about 18 months ago, I feel new property maintenance standards are badly needed and your passage of this measure is a first step in the right direction for this community.
    I appreciated how Councilor and Vice-Chair Kristin Henderson stepped up and explained in plain English why the measure is good for Los Alamos. I agree with her that improving our personal properties in Los Alamos is a step in the right direction toward positive economic development. I also agree that while the new property maintenance standards document isn’t perfect, it’s a great place to start.
    I appreciated how Councilor and Chair Geoff Rodgers also supported the measure by explaining that while many aspects of a community’s appearance may be subjective, it isn’t a subjective issue when property values drop.