• Letters to the Editor 6-24-15

    Poor implication made in story

    The story “Aquatic center to reduce its hours” in the Los Alamos Monitor on June 19, 2015 strongly implies that the Rio Grande Foundation, a Libertarian think tank in Albuquerque, influenced the Los Alamos Aquatic Center budget cuts when it says, “According to the county, the decision was made to attempt to save money for the county. In the past, the Aquatic Center has been pointed to as one of the big revenue drains of Los Alamos County, that according to the Albuquerque-based Rio Grande Foundation.”
    I was surprised to read that the county was following the recommendations of the Rio Grande Foundation in Albuquerque, rather than input from locals.
    I contacted Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan, director of Community Services for Los Alamos County and she said that nothing had been said about the Rio Grande Foundation in the budget hearings. After checking with her staff Kalogeros-Chattan assured me that this information did not come from the county. Another person who was present at the hearings said she heard nothing about the Rio Grande Foundation there.

  • Letters to the Editor 6-19-15

    Take action against pancreatic cancer

    By 2020, pancreatic cancer is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death. The average five-year survival rate is just 7 percent.
    Clearly, we must take action. This year, almost 49,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Without increased funding for research, they have little hope for the future because there are no early-detection methods or effective treatment options.
    We are ready to wage hope against this deadly disease. Please join me on Tuesday for the National Call-In and ask Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Representative Michelle Luján Grisham, Steve Pearce and Ben Ray Luján, to make cancer research a priority by increasing federal funding for the National Cancer Institute.
    Cancer research is not a partisan issue. It is an issue that unites us all.
    For more information, visit pancan.org/nationalcallin.

    Cheryl Vaughn

  • Letters to the editor 6-14-15

    Branding LA is wasted effort

    Branding Los Alamos? Really?
    Are we nothing more than a herd of cattle? For our illustrious county council to even consider spending a quarter of a million dollars for a brand is ridiculous!
    What’s wrong with what we have? For many years, we had a big “LA” whitewashed on the side of burnt mountain courtesy of the high school. Looked like a pretty good “brand” to me.
    Maybe, instead of spending all that money to some out of Los Alamos business, why don’t you follow your own advance and “shop Los Alamos?” Surely we have some firms capable of providing your requested services! As another possibility, the councilors could perhaps initiate a program with the high school wherein the kids could get paid for or reimbursed for the whitewash needed to replenish the LA each year and throw in some hot dogs, burgers and soft drinks to make it worth their while to do the work.
    If that is impractical, perhaps the county could hire some summer students and add that to their job description or duties. They could even hire a few homeless people who might be looking for temporary jobs.
    Too easy? Probably! Too inexpensive? Definitely!
    Regardless, it is one heck of a lot cheaper than $250,000 of taxpayers’ hard earned money.

  • Letter to the editor 6-11-15

    Plastic bags account for small fraction of petroleum use

    In reading John Gonzales’ Guest Column on June 4, I found unbelievable his assertion that “8 percent of all petroleum is used for the manufacture of plastic bags.”
    Online research uncovered the truth: the U.S. Energy Information Administration says 2.7 percent of the total U.S. petroleum consumption (191 million barrels) is used to make plastic, in all forms and according to American Plastic Manufacturing, 12 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic bags (or 6.3 percent of that to produce all plastics). These numbers can be confirmed from many sources.
    Hence, plastic bag production amounts to only .17 percent of our petroleum use, not the 8 percent quoted by Gonzales. That is truly a tiny fraction.
    Furthermore, among the huge variety of plastic bags made, plastic shopping bags most likely make up a small fraction of this .17 percent, although it is difficult to find a precise estimate.
    It is errors like this one that should make people highly suspicious of activists’ arguments.

  • Letters to the editor 6-9-15

     More opposition
    for plastic bag ban

    I read the guest columnist column on plastic bags, and I find it difficult to reply to nearly a yard of column inches in 250 words. I had no particular opinion one way or the other until I heard the proponents. The complete absence of content in their statements drove me to search for information and, eventually, as a result, I decided to oppose the proposal on factual grounds.
    The guest columnist article was, as usual for those supporting the proposal against plastic bags, very emotional and totally devoid of facts, or data. Mr. Gonzales calls the proposal a “green initiative” and advocates the use of “greener products.”
    In most places, such as Santa Fe, paper is used as a replacement for plastic. Unfortunately, there is a rather substantial amount of data identifying the use of paper as one of the most polluting activities on the planet. Plastic bags are far less polluting than paper bags at all stages in their life, production, shipping, use and disposal.
    The Sierra Club, whose members seem to be the most avid proponents of the bag ban proposals appears only to claim that bags produce litter, which can harm animals. No one has claimed that this is a problem in Los Alamos.

  • Letters to the Editor 6-5-15

    Voter mandates and pitchforks

    On D-Day, General Dwight D. Eisenhower did not tell his troops that we were going to defeat the National Socialists so that we could cooperate with them. The order Eisenhower gave was to rid the Earth of Adolf Hitler, his band of murderous thugs and everything that they stood for.
    In the November elections, America gave the Republicans a mandate to stop President Barack Obama and the Democrats from wreaking this country and we expect that this carnage be stopped and reversed.
    Republicans now say that they want to cooperate with Obama so that he will move to the middle. Americans don’t want to hear this nonsense because Obama is a leftist who hates our Constitution and deliberately circumvents it.
    Much to our chagrin, GOP House Speaker Boehner and all but 67 House Republicans joined Obama and the Democrats to repeal Section 716 in the Omnibus spending bill. Section 716 was included to prevent government bailout of Wall Street trading losses in speculative credit swap derivatives. Obama knew the contempt voters have for Wall Street bailouts when he told bankers that he was the only thing between them and the pitchforks.

    Robert A. Dahlquist
    Orange, California

  • Letters to the editor 6-3-15

    Why the open forum do-over?

    I was very disappointed to see that the open forum on the plastic bag ban was reopened this week.  When I asked the Environmental Sustainability Board’s staff liaison, “Why?”
    She told me, “to give more people a chance to answer.”
    I am calling foul on this.  The original survey was open for four weeks and had over 400 on forum responses — which is more than any other open forum survey results. The open forum survey was also well publicized by local media, as well as by my group, Save the Bag: Los Alamos. I assume that the Sierra Club advertised it among their membership as well.
    If people did not take the opportunity to answer during the original four-week period, they should not get a “do-over.” This action is an attempt by supporters of the plastic bag ban to get results that favor their position. It also makes the Environmental Sustainability Board look biased in support of a bag ban and tax.
    In regard to the results of the original open forum, 80 percent of Los Alamos residents do not favor a ban on lightweight multi-use plastic shopping bags. The comments were also interesting, as well.

  • Letters to the editor 5-31-15

    Project impact on community

    We write this letter to share our deep enthusiasm for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP) and the opportunity and impact it will have on our community.
    This coming week, Los Alamos County will host representatives from the Department of Energy and the National Park Service who are coming to town to discuss some of the operating details of the MPNHP.  On Tuesday, Los Alamos County will host a reception for these representatives and the Los Alamos community.  It will be held at Fuller Lodge from 5-7 p.m.  
    We encourage you to attend this event and share your ideas about the park and the opportunity it offers to showcase the achievements of our citizens during the Manhattan Project. Your ideas are important to this process and will be considered by these representatives and Los Alamos County.  
    We would also like to share with you our belief that the MPNHP is truly a game-changer for our community.
    The tourism business generated by the MPNHP has the potential to diversify our economy in a significant way.  

  • Leadership Los Alamos gives many thanks

    On behalf of the Leadership Los Alamos Board, we want to acknowledge the unwavering support of staff from the Community Programs Office provided in hosting Lowell Catlett.   
    We were honored and fortunate to have someone of Catlett’s caliber visit Los Alamos, as he is well known as a futurist both nationally and internationally.
    Catlett was the keynote speaker to the 2015 Graduates of Leadership Los Alamos, and during his presentation he stated what an amazing community we live in. He was impressed with the afternoon tours he was given from key Los Alamos National Laboratory staff.  We are pleased to say that Catlett left Los Alamos with a better understanding of the dedicated LANL staff and the difference their work does for our nation. We have gained an advocate and friend in Catlett.
    In addition, we would also like to offer a very special thank you to our core sponsors Los Alamos National Bank and Los Alamos County whose generosity allows Leadership Los Alamos to operate, as well as offer scholarships to several applicants.
    Leadership Los Alamos has graduated more than 250 leaders who are making a difference in our community.   

  • Thanks for attending basketball skills camp


    On behalf of the Alex Kirk Foundation, we would like to thank all the young basketball players and parents that came to our camp at Griffith Gym on Aug. 5-6.
    Los Alamos High School coach Mike Kluk and his staff did a great job in providing coaching support for the participants.
    The Zia Credit Union was a valued partner and sponsor for the camp providing backpacks for the players. It was a surprise to see Jamal Fenton Lobo point guard who lives in Houston stop by and work with the kids.
    As a result of the funds raised, I was able to provide a donation to the LAHS basketball programs.
    Thanks again for all the participation and support with our first Alex Kirk Basketball Skills Camp and we look forward to working with the youth in Los Alamos in the future.
    Alex Kirk
    Los Alamos