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Letters

  • Encountering racism in Los Alamos

    My name is Thalia Gibbs-Jackson. I’m a citizen of Los Alamos having moved here November of last year. I was born and grew up in a small town in South Georgia where I graduated high school and went to college. I later transferred to Atlanta and attended Georgia Tech and Southern Tech. I have worked for numerous companies and government contractors. I’ve travelled abroad and have loads of interests. I am also African-American.
    I’ve been working for the Los Alamos Monitor as circulation manager for the past three months. My job involves me sometimes delivering papers for carriers who are out of town or have given up their routes. I’m meticulous in making sure that every person who has paid for a newspaper actually gets it delivered to their home in the manner they have requested.

  • Letter to the editor 9-11-14

     

    Volunteer, inspire tomorrow’s leaders

    Girl members and adult volunteers alike benefit from their Girl Scout experiences. 

    How does a girl accomplish her goal of learning about robotics? Or defy gender stereotypes and become a firefighter, leading a team of other heroes? Or set in motion her dream of becoming a leader when opportunity seems like only a buzzword to her?

    How? It’s simple: Girl Scouts.
    About 30 years ago, my mother signed me up as a Girl Scout in our small hometown. She knew Girl Scouts would be a positive after school activity for me.

  • Bartlit 'spot-on' as always

    John Bartlit’s Sunday column, “Eyes on gold, oil … rare earths,” provided a perfectly balanced, non-opinionated, review of the strategic and economic importance of the 17 named rare-earth elements to the United States.
    As the world’s population continues to grow at an exponential rate anyone reading through the lists of where rare-earths are utilized by modern-day industry can see immediately their importance for the defense industry, computing, the generation of several different forms of solar energy etc.
    He also points out in no uncertain terms that currently the world’s major supply and associated cost is dominated by China and other growing foreign sources. With Russia’s recent embargoes on fuel supplies to EU and former Soviet States in mind we obviously need to concentrate on developing and retaining our own rare-earth resources.
    Once again recycling of used rare-earth containing products is an absolute national must.
    The rare-earths have the ability to react and form compounds/alloys with every known element except most of the noble-gases (helium, argon etc.).
    This made studying them during the 1960s and early-1970s extremely difficult because of the cost and almost impossibility of isolating them as pure metals.

  • More response to Milder's letter

    Ken Milder’s letter encouraging voters to vote down Question 2 on the November ballot has some incorrect and/or misleading statements regarding the revisions proposed to Article V of the Los Alamos County Charter that address the operation and oversight of the Department of Public Utilities (DPU).
    Although it is true that the language in Question 2 appears to be completely new, the text of roughly half of Article V is actually not new, but rather just rearranged for clarity and to separate fundamental issues so that they are not co-mingled, as they are in the current Article V document.
    More importantly, Mr. Milder suggests that under the new charter, council will be able to use the DPU to generate “hidden” revenue for the county, by forcing the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to raise utility rates and then transfer these funds into the county budget. However, the dispute resolution process in the proposed Article V requires two public meetings and a 5 out of 7 vote by council before council can require the Board to increase utility rates, or force DPU to transfer utility funds to the county. That hardly qualifies as a “hidden” rate increase.

  • Excited about United Way events

    My name is Jenna Erickson and I am the 2014 chair of the United Way Youth Team. It is such an honor for me to be in this position to work on the events that the team has to present to the community this year. I am so excited for everyone to see what we have to offer.
    The members of the team this year are so motivated, creative, passionate and just cannot wait to present all the hard work that they have been doing to everyone. We hope the community is as excited as we are.
    The United Way Youth Team just kicked off its campaign at the beginning of this month. Proceeds from the youth team events benefit the Community Action Fund. Last year, the funds raised at youth team events helped start Link Crew, which is a peer to peer mentoring program at the high school. At the start of the school year, the Link Crew leaders welcomed freshmen into the high school community. Many of the youth team members are also a part of the Link Crew program.

  • Works of art to lead homecoming parade

    The Los Alamos High School graduating class of 1964 will have its 50th reunion in Los Alamos instead of Albuquerque. Opting to hold it on the weekend of LAHS’ homecoming game (Sept. 19), the organizing committee chose to bring to their alma mater and Los Alamos much of the business many reunions give to Albuquerque.
    The administration of LAHS graciously invited the Class of 1964 to ride and walk in the lead of the homecoming parade Friday starting at 2:30 p.m., with a special seating section that evening at the game against Kirtland Central High Bronco’s at 7 p.m.
    Everyone thought it might be really “cool” if the ’64 Homecoming Court could ride in ’64 vintage vehicles … however, locating such transportation proved to be a bit more of a challenge than first thought.
    After putting the word out through various contacts and media, having several volunteers and then drop out due to engine difficulties, it is exciting to finally announce that the ’64 court will be in convertibles and classmates will ride in a beautifully restored pick-up truck — all vintage works of art folks!

  • Vote 'no' to county charter changes

    The most important, long-term decision facing Los Alamos voters is not only choosing candidates, but the proposed major changes to our County Charter, our county’s constitution.
    Ballot Question 2 proposes to gut Article V, Utilities, by repealing that section in its entirety and replacing it with new language. That is, charter language that has served Los Alamos citizens quite well for over 45 years must be “fixed.” Go figure: Something that ain’t broke needs “fixing!”
    Be wary. The so-called “fix” will actually break something that works well.
    How? Foremost among the proposal’s many flaws is that it inserts several loopholes into governance of our utilities system. Those loopholes give future county councils the ability to impose hidden taxes that ultimately increase utility rates.
    The change also shifts governance from a business-focused board to a politically motivated council, a shift that violates the industry-standard model for management and oversight of a publicly owned utilities system.
    The changes are substantial and arcane. They are so massive and confusing that Article V must be totally repealed in order for the new language to make any sense.

  • Letters to the editor 9-3-14

     

    To hundreds of locals and visitors, the face of PEEC has long been a smiling boy in an orange sweatshirt looking delightedly at a bird perched in his hand.  This picture sums up everything that PEEC wants to be for the community—a source of joy and delight in nature.  

    We at PEEC were heartbroken to hear that the model for that joyful picture has passed away. Ryan Pappas’ smile has meant so very much to us for many years.  

    It’s hard to comprehend that he is no longer out in the world, spreading the delight that his smile reflects.  

    We can’t imagine what his family and friends are going through now, but our thoughts are with them.   

  • Cut foreign aid, not our military

    The Department of Defense sent out separation notices to 1,200 Army captains, including 48 deployed to Afghanistan. They received eight to nine months of notice so they could prepare for civilian life. What good is the notice for the captains deployed to Iraq for the next eight or nine months? How will this affect their performance in a war zone?
    The next group to get the ax will be majors, and I can only assume this will continue up the line to officers who have not served the 20 years needed to retire and receive their retirement benefits.
    The separations are part of the force reductions necessitated by the sequestration defense cuts. The projected savings in defense spending across all branches of the service will be $3.5 billion over five years.
    Our foreign aid is $37 billion annually. If we cut it by 2 percent, or $0.74 billion per year, we will save $3.7 billion over five years, and not have to cut our military forces. Surely, with some rational thinking, we can squeeze 2 percent out of the foreign aid budget without jeopardizing our interests overseas, which will allow us to maintain our current force levels and enhance our national security.

    Donald A. Moskowitz
    Londonderry, N.H. 

  • A sacred solution for immigrants

    The disagreement between political parties and pundits regarding the undocumented children and moms flooding our southern border can be solved by the one national institution which is united in one principle, that of charity.
    All American churches of all denominations have in common a belief in the brotherhood of man, the belief that we should “do unto others…” love thy neighbor and succor the wounded man who is stranded beside the road.
    These children are refugees fleeing horrible, life-threatening situations. Their legal status fades under necessity of immediate aid. Each church, synagogue and prayer meeting house that has a parish hall, a meeting room, or a pot-luck basement with bathroom facilities can take one mom with two kids, or two unaccompanied children to foster, feed and comfort until their screening and permanent status can be determined.
    Bishops, priests, preachers, rabbis, prayer leaders, can set up “go-and-get-them” systems to gather the refugees, reviving the purpose of the 19th century Orphan Trains or the Underground Railroad. No classrooms need be overcrowded if each church has only one family to enroll.
    If our church leaders can unite in this humanitarian effort, they will see even the smallest congregation come forward to welcome one family with clothes, casseroles and a warm bed.