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Letters

  • 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.

  • Thanks for an enjoyable Chalk Walk

    The Los Alamos Arts Council hosted the fifth annual Sec Sandoval Chalk Walk last Saturday. It was a beautiful day and the Ashley Pond sidewalk was bustling with artists of all ages expressing their creativity and having an enjoyable time. Thank you to those who helped to make the event interesting and fun. We were a part of the Los Alamos ScienceFest and enjoyed all of the activity provided by the nearby booths. Ashley Pond was definitely the place to be.
    Special thanks goes to Sec Sandoval who attended the event and talked with some of the budding artists about their artistic efforts. We look forward to seeing him each year.
    Thank you to those local businesses that provided prizes for the different categories: Village Arts, Reel Deal Theater, Metzger’s and Starbucks Coffee.
    A huge thank you goes to LANB who sponsored the 3D chalk artist from We Talk Chalk in Los Angeles who created a special 3D drawing for our community. Bank representatives were busy all day taking pictures of people with the special effect. This coverage of the event was much appreciated. As always, the Los Alamos Arts Council appreciates your support of our community events. Everyone really enjoyed this addition to the Chalk Walk.

  • LAHS homecoming parade will go on

    In spite of the closed street and construction project, the county has agreed to allow the Los Alamos High School Homecoming Parade to proceed from 4th Street on Central Avenue all the way to Canyon Road and then to Sullivan Field.
    LAC will have the barricades pulled back so that the parade will have use of the direct and traditional parade route. Those barricades will be replaced immediately after the parade passes and Central is still closed to all other vehicle traffic from 15th to 20th Streets.
    We are excited to showcase our community to returning classmates and are grateful to Mike Johnson, Debbie Garcia and LAHS, the Holiday Inn Express, The Lodge, Ashley Pond, Urban Park and Los Alamos County Staff, Los Alamos Public School Foundation, Georgia Strickfaden of Buffalo Tours, the LA History and Bradbury Science Museum, Valles Caldera National Preserve, the Los Alamos Golf Course, Rick Nebel, Mike Luna, Armando Jaramillo, Bobby Chacon, KRSN, the Los Alamos Monitor, Rio Grande Sun, The Santa Fe New Mexican, Betty Ehart Senior Center, Smith’s Marketplace, Sue Dummer and Manhattan Project, Red Barn Screen Prints, LA Chamber of Commerce, Auto Zone and all the wonderful individuals, businesses and groups in the northern New Mexico region that are helping, and have helped, us make this event (Sept. 19, 20 and 21) a great success.

  • Patroling not profiling

    Two weeks ago I was victim of a gas theft in the night at my house in the Western Area.
    When my almost empty tank was re-filled it cost $34. I called the police to report and Jeff Regenold came to take the information. We had a friendly chat, and I said I’d be more careful to lock the car from now on. I asked him to continue the night patrols through town.
    I had to leave the next day on trip to California, and although neighbors are good about picking up my newspapers for me, I know there are bums from out of town who cruise here, looking for open garages and other opportunities for theft.
    I am sorry that the Los Alamos Monitor delivery lady felt racially profiled when a police car followed her as she was delivering papers on North Mesa. I hope he explained and apologized. The police are trying to keep us safe. Her experience recalled an incident that happened many years ago to a friend of mine who had recently moved here.
    When she arrived from Albuquerque after midnight, she noticed a patrol car following her. She drove slowly, going all over town, including Barranca Mesa. When she finally stopped, the officer asked what she was looking for. She said, “Just seeing how far I could lead you all over town.” They both laughed and after he explained, she thanked him for keeping the night watch.