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Letters

  • Success for Spring Arts and Crafts Fair

    The hard work of many dedicated volunteers resulted in a successful Northern New Mexico Spring Arts and Crafts Fair. It was a fantastic day with nearly perfect weather, giving people the opportunity to visit with friends and mingle among the booths. In addition to the Los Alamos Arts Council, the fair benefited from the efforts of RSVP members who posted flyers around Los Alamos before the fair. RSVP members also sat at our survey table during the fair. LAAC thanks New Mexico Airlines for the donation prize of a round trip to Albuquerque.
    We also wish to thank Los Alamos County Parks Dept. for mowing and trimming the grounds around Fuller Lodge, as well as providing cones and cleaning up trash during the fair. Many people commented about how nice the area looked for the fair. It truly was beautiful.
    As always, a big thank you goes to our board members and volunteers who spent many hours in preparation, as well as time staffing the fair. This includes Mikala Pulliam from LAHS National Honor Society, David Hawes, Zackary Coker, Bill Hamilton, Lisa Lloyd, Taedg Woods and Terry Goodwin. We also appreciate support from the Lodgers’ Tax Board and MainStreet for advertizing.

  • Ignored water well issues

    The article in the Los Alamos Monitor about the water wells proposed to be on White Rock Canyon did not include some issues, which should be an important part of the discussion.
    Many of us support the Los Alamos County desire to get access to additional water. What we oppose is drilling wells in county open space land adjacent to residential areas. These proposed wells will permanently degrade the quality of life and therefore health of a good many residents of Los Alamos County.
    The impact of these wells will be permanent. The impact during the time of construction is agreed by all to be severe — construction of the access roads, laying the utility lines, drilling the wells and constructing the well site. But there is a permanent impact.
    The small open space areas will be effectively destroyed by the access road and the one acre walled site containing the pump and wellhead. In addition to this visual impact, the noise of the operating pump will impact will affect all the nearby residents 24 hours a day.
    Constructing these wells as planned violates County Comprehensive Plan. A great deal of effort was put in by citizens and county councilors to identify the values of the County, and to write a comprehensive plan that captured these values. Two sections are quoted below that are specifically violated.

  • What motivates County Council

     

    I would like to make the following comments regarding possible actions to be considered by our County Council.

    The retail stores in Los Alamos now provide a significant amount of the basic needs and desires of the community. For whatever else is desired, we go elsewhere. The council seems to be bent on providing more retail space. Is this necessary? What kind of businesses will be willing to take the risk? What have we learned from the fact that the town has lost two shoe stores, two sporting goods stores, two drug stores and several others in the recent past due to lack of demand? Many existing spaces are empty and available right now. Do we want more?

  • CalPERS rate increases addressed

    Newspaper reports about an 85 percent hike in the cost of long term care insurance offered to California State employees tells only part of the story according to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.
    Slome noted that letters mailed to CalPERS policyholders offer seven options. “The letters clearly explain that options include accepting the premium increase and keeping current coverage to reducing options such as the built-in inflation protection and even reducing the premium paid,” Slome notes. “Isn’t it funny how that never gets mentioned in the news coverage.”
    “No one likes paying more,” Slome adds. “But in many cases these polices were purchased 15 years ago and the economic world has certainly changed over the past few years; not to mention that many of these folks are beneficiaries of increasing State-provided pensions.” Long-term care insurance policies offering five percent compounded growth options have been the ones most impacted by rate increases.

  • Piñon luncheon a success

    May 6-10 was Teacher Appreciation week, and I again had the privilege of organizing Piñon Elementary’s Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon.
    This reminded me how many people at Piñon work together to provide a good educational experience for the children.
    This includes teachers of preschool through sixth grade, special education, gifted and talented education, English language learners, art, library, Physical Education, music/band and orchestra; instructional assistants; principal; secretary; clerk; custodial and maintenance workers; counselor; nurses; psychologist; social worker; speech language pathologists; physical and occupational therapists and technology specialists.
    Thank you to all of you for all that you do for our children.
    Thank you, CB Fox and CB Fox’s Pajarito Greenhouse in Pajarito Acres, for again supporting Piñon Elementary’s teachers and staff by helping provide the beautiful blooming pansy plants for the staff gifts by obtaining the pansies, providing the individual pots and soil for the plants, transplanting and caring for the plants until the luncheon and even delivering the plants to us.

  • Mother's Day letters

     

    Editor’s note: Second-grade students from Pinon Elementary School submitted their Mother’s Day letters.

     

    This is what I like about my mom. My mom lets us play board games. Another reason I love my mom is that she cooks the best pasta for me. The last reason I love my mom is that she plays in the pool with me.

    Luke G.

     

  • Support for Kathryn

    I would like to express my wholehearted support for Kathryn Vandenkieboom, Aspen principal. I know Kathryn to be a kind, compassionate and supportive woman of integrity. The students of Aspen are always her first priority.
    Though the demands of her position require much of her, her door is always open and she is always available. She is the ultimate professional. Kathryn exudes a calm and confidence as a leader. She does not make decisions lightly, but rather is very thoughtful and conscientious.
    Her high expectations of her staff, students, and herself have provided a school of excellence where all are valued and respected. She has provided a purposeful direction for Aspen school, of which I am honored to be part.
    I have never worked in a more encouraging, supportive, professional environment. Aspen school is fortunate to have such a respected and dedicated leader. I am privileged to be able to work for and with Kathryn!
    Tammy Moore
    Los Alamos 

  • Grateful for many Great Conversations

    Do great conversations matter? How about civility? Does having the best possible local schools matter? I say, “You betcha!”
    Sunday marked the fourth annual Great Conversations fundraiser hosted by the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation; a delicious afternoon of sharing ideas with a diverse group of Los Alamos-ites, who enjoy critical thinking, problem-solving, listening intently with an open mind to new ideas and worldly experiences of some neighbors we hadn’t had a chance to know until Sunday’s “meeting of the minds.” I loved every minute of our round-table exploration of the future of higher education led by Cindy Rooney, associate dean and chair of business at UNM-LA.
    Other fully engaged round tables discussed a wide variety of topics on fire science, resilient children, earthquakes, fashion, “Curiosity” on Mars, health care, school shootings, auroras, basketball, aging mightily, the environment and iPhones, all led by an expert in the field. We have many experts in Los Alamos, fortunately.

  • Give credit where it's due

    Imagine my surprise when returning from out of town I find a brand new (huge) trail sign behind my neighborhood proclaiming The Satch Cowan Trail. And all this time I thought that Joe Devaney had built this trail, although it had almost disappeared after the Cerro Grande fire and Joe’s subsequent death. And then I thought that I had never seen Satch Cowan on this trail or on any other near the Quemazon trailhead in more than 30 years of hiking here.
    And then I remembered the spectacular trail that Jim Billen built single-handedly in Pueblo Canyon, possibly the most scenic in the county — a great wide path 1.2 miles long cut into the Bandelier Tuff below the rim.
    I even attended his trail completion party where he bought donuts and coffee for the hiking community.
    And then I did a little asking and found out that trails are not named after living people in this community and I thought about the Mitchell and Knapp trails that bore the names of the young men who built them and the Devaney Trail in Los Alamos Canyon named after Joe while he was still alive.
    What does it take to get the county to name the Jim Billen Trail after him while he is still alive? Why can’t credit be given where credit is due?
    Andi Kron
    Los Alamos 

  • Special thanks to run volunteers

    What a wonderful community we live in! On behalf of the Los Alamos Chapter of Hadassah, we want to thank all the runners, walkers, sponsors and volunteers who supported our Third Annual Run For Her Life To Fight Breast Cancer 5K and 10K Run Fundraiser on April 14 in Los Alamos.
     Although it was a very cold and windy morning, we had
    70 participants and made $4,100 that will be sent directly to Hadassah for breast cancer research. Every dollar counts when we are helping Hadassah help everyone in the world.
    We want to acknowledge our gratitude to the following individuals, organizations and volunteers for their generous support:
    Los Alamos Monitor
    Ruby K’s in Los Alamos
    Dr. Phillip and Jeri Hertzman, Los Alamos/Santa Fe
    Sam’s Club of Santa Fe
    Chalmers Capitol Ford and Lincoln in Santa Fe
    Santa Claran Hotel and Casino in Española
    Los Alamos Medical Center
    Pearl V. White with Real Estate Associates, Los Alamos
    Los Alamos Jewish Center
    Kendra L. Henning with ReMax of Los Alamos
    Delaney Rieke with White Rock Sewing, LLC
    Mary Anne Beard with Mary Deal Realty
    Whole Foods Store in Santa Fe
    C B Fox Department Store
    KRSN Kommunity Radio
    Desert Tees and Sporting Goods, Santa Fe