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Letters

  • Funds needed to complete missions

    Los Alamos is a unique, wonderful community with good schools, favorable climate, and beautiful scenery.
    However, there are those in our community who need some aid in order to enjoy these gifts.
    Fortunately, there are resources available to facilitate these needs, but they likewise need funding to accomplish their missions. My husband, Pat Soran, and I have been regular contributors to the United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) for several decades.
    We have watched our investment used wisely to “give a hand” to those who, for whatever reason, can use a boost.
    This year we are the Co-chairs of UWNNM Community Campaign, raising funds for the Community Action Fund (CAF). But until we started actually visiting many of the 20-plus recipients of last year’s CAF, we really had no idea how much they are able to do for our community’s needs.
    Without CAF funding, many of them would not be able to stay in existence today. In addition to grant funding, CAF contributions enable United Way to form partnerships and collaborations that pull resources and have them work together to directly address pressing challenges and fill gaps in services our region faces.

  • Tremendous turnout to Health Fair

    Thank You from the Los Alamos Heart Council.
    I had the pleasure of being the coordinator of the 29th Annual Los Alamos Heart Council Health Fair Sept. 27. It was a tremendous success, with attendance in the thousands.
    It takes a lot of work and generosity to be able to offer free flu shots, reduced price blood tests, all kinds of free health screenings, exhibits from scores of health providers and, of course, free bike helmets.
    The Heart Council would like to thank all those who pitch in every year to make the event one of the largest community events in the County. Obviously, it not possible to thank every one of the hundreds of people it takes to make the Health Fair work. So I want everyone who volunteers for the various jobs we need done, it is noticed and appreciated.
    The generosity of the Los Alamos Medical Center is indispensable to our efforts. Without them underwriting the costs of flu shots and the reduced costs of blood draws, we would not be able to offer those services. Staff members and employees from all over the hospital donate their time as well. I particularly wish to thank the marketing director for the hospital, Mary Beth Maassen, for her help.

  • American Legion fundraiser drew support

    The American Legion Post 90 had a parking lot sale to raise funds for ongoing community projects on Sept. 20.

    Thanks to all the members and friends that donated not only goods, but their time, to make the sale a huge success.
    A special thanks also to the public for coming to our sale and buying our goods.
    Support from all of you is what makes this a great community.

    Kim Baldwin, Member, Frank G. Frainier, Post 90 American Legion 

  • Clarification of First Born Program

    At a recent fundraiser in White Rock, candidate Geoff Rodgers expressed concern that the First Born Program was the government telling parents how to parent.
    For clarification, First Born is a non-government health promotion program that has been heavily supported by Governor Martinez through the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.
    In Los Alamos, the First Born Program is overseen by a Board of Directors of a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit group. Current funding is designated to reach up to 60 families who request services.  
    With expanding knowledge of human growth and brain development in the earliest years of life, combined with results from longitudinal studies of child development programs, we now know that children’s success in preschool and beyond is built on the foundation of relationships, experiences and skills they develop in their first three years of life.
    The LANL Foundation is a core supporter of First Born and believes that investing in newborns at birth, when they begin learning, can change lives of individual children today and for years to come. 

  • Changes would hurt utility customers

    All those who have served on both the Utilities Board and the County Council — and have seen the relationship between them from both sides — feel strongly that the proposed change in the charter would be damaging both to utility users and county citizens in general.
    I have been overseeing or watching Utilities Department operations for more than 30 years. My experience during the 10 years I spent on the County Council and my 10 years on the Utilities Board make me believe that the present charter affecting utilities has worked very well.
    The proposed change could lead to utility funds being drained to support other county undertakings instead of being reinvested in utility infrastructure. The proposed change would also expose utility rates and services to politically motivated manipulation that often benefits special interests to the detriment of most customers.
    Please vote “against” Question 2.

    Lawry Mann
    Former County Council, BPU member
     

  • Race does matter in Los Alamos

    As an African-American citizen living in this community, I empathize with the recently published letter to the editor by Thalia Gibbs-Jackson regarding her perception of “Encountering racism in Los Alamos.”
    I have the highest respect and appreciation for the fine work of the Los Alamos law enforcement officers whom I believe work diligently to uphold their sworn duty to serve and protect the citizens of this community. Racial profiling is a very serious and sensitive issue facing this country, particularly for persons of color. In my experience, African-Americans tend to arouse suspicion not necessarily as a result of the course of actions we may engage in, but rather, all too often, we arouse suspicion without probable cause merely due to the color of our skin.
    In my view, one’s perception is a reality that is deeply intertwined with the depth and scope of one’s individual life experiences over time.
    Race is a crucial component of how we relate to one another in diverse communities like Los Alamos. As a minority in this community, I have experienced prejudice and racial profiling on numerous occasions over the years that has caused me to sometimes feel rather ill at ease.

  • Ross' response shows naïvity

    Inez Ross’ response to Thalia Gibbs-Jackson’s expression of distress over encountering racism in Los Alamos was well intentioned, but I believe, naïve.
    I am a white woman who grew up in Los Alamos. Leaving the safety of this community after high school and encountering the “real world” was a real education for me.
    I have never been followed through a store because the manager thought I would steal something. I have never been stopped on the highway because I “match the description” of someone who might be trafficking drugs. I have never had to excel in any field in order to be judged adequate. And I have never been followed by law enforcement as my car crept slowly down a street because I was looking for a particular address.
    But all of these things do happen to people of color every day in our country, even in Los Alamos. In her letter Gibbs-Jackson very clearly stated that the driver of the law enforcement van did not speak to her, or make any effort to explain why she was being followed. Did she look like a “bum from out of town?” On what basis would such a judgment have been made?

  • Letters to the Editor 9-21-14

     Forming public banks 

    is an option for U.S.

    Our economy is in bad shape. Two observations make this clear: First, the fraction to the population living below the poverty level has been steadily increasing for several years now. Second, the average income of the middle class — those earning $100,000 or less per year, — has been steadily decreasing over recent years.

    One of the causes of this could be the fact that the local and regional banks have less money available to loan to local businesses and entrepreneurs. (They are also operating under increasingly strict regulations, and the overhead of increasing reporting requirements.) 

  • Vote 'For' the Charter Amendments

    A few letter writers have opposed approval of the Charter Amendments to be voted on in the Nov. 4 general election, essentially arguing that the status quo should be preserved … because that’s the way things have always been.
    Let’s look at specific issues:
    First, Los Alamos County government structure is unusual in that 40 percent of our community’s budget, public utilities, is controlled by an organization not explicitly under our council or county administration. Such disconnection is a likely source of costly confusion due to inadequate coordination of work between the utilities operation and the rest of county administration; e.g., planning, construction and maintenance projects.
    Would those arguing for continuing independence of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and Public Utilities Department similarly advocate having autonomous police and/or fire departments independent from an otherwise fully integrated county government; i.e., our elected county council and its subordinate county administration?

  • Rocket Day was a blast

    On Sept. 6, Girl Scout Troop 116 and the Zia Spacemodelers organized the first ever Rocket Day at Overlook Park in White Rock. Close to 1,300 people turned out to watch the launching of more than 260 rockets. It was a great day and we hope to earn our Girl Scout Silver Award for all of our hard work.
    There were so many people that helped make the day a success. First we would like to thank our event sponsors, the Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Programs Office and Boeing. Rocket Day never would have launched without their support.
    Thank you to the Kiwanis Club, the Key Club, the National Association of Rocketry, Positive Energy Solar, the Holiday Inn, Los Alamos National Bank, Ken Nebel of Fuller Lodge Art Center and Village Arts, Boy Scout volunteers, the Girl Scout Council, and Molly McBranch who were all key to our success. In addition, Metzger’s White Rock (glue and pieces parts for launch racks) and Estes Industries (Make-it-Take-it Rocket Kits and engines) provided deep discounts. Thank you to KRSN and The Los Alamos Monitor for getting the word out.