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Letters

  • Letters to the Editor 2-10-17

    Support HB 123, a bill that addresses overpopulation of unwanted animals

    I write in support of House Bill 123, a bill that responds to legislative momentum to address New Mexico’s overpopulation of unwanted companion animals, a problem which results in the euthanasia of 60,000 dogs and cats each year.
    HB 123 creates a non-appropriations based mechanism for funding state low-cost spay/neuter through a $100 a year surcharge on pet food companies for each dog or cat food product type sold here, raising about $750,000 a year. Unwanted companion animals are a statewide epidemic that impacts not only dogs and cats, but New Mexico’s families and counties. Counties, in particular, bear the fiscal brunt of this statewide problem. For example, a 2012 study on the scope and impact of animal overpopulation showed that collectively counties budgeted $27 million in 2011 to fund animal shelters (an increase of $2.1 million from 2008), even as upwards of 80 percent of shelters’ animals were euthanized. In 2012, those costs increased, as we would expect.

  • Letter to the Editor 2-8-17

    That gut-wrenching pain

    Have you felt that painful, tightening, gut-wrenching feeling when you hear someone state something that infringes upon your rights or beliefs?
    Good, that means you’re human. The feeling comes from an emotional system that helps us survive.
    Have you allowed that feeling to develop into anger towards the one expressing the statement?
    That’s not good. It’s true that anger is part of our humanity, but it comes from the lowest and most ancient parts of our brain, one we share with lizards.
    Have you taken an oppositional stance of the idea or policy that was stated?
    That’s good. You’re using the higher levels of your brain to do something constructive with that painful feeling you felt initially.
    Is your opposition causing you to see the one who made the statement as someone from another group that’s evil?
    That’s not good. You’re letting the lower levels of your brain control the higher levels. You’re developing what we call hatred.
    Is your opposition directed at the idea or policy that was stated with the understanding that the one who made the statement is your brother or sister?

  • Letter to the Editor 2-5-17

    Ellen Ben-Naim is my choice for school board

    Los Alamos has an opportunity for fresh, community-minded leadership on the school board. Ellen Ben-Naim will provide new insights and vigorous advocacy for teachers and students. As a professional educator with a master’s degree and enormous community experience, Ellen will provide oppressive teacher evaluation, mental health, increase teacher salaries and reduce oppressive teacher evaluation. Ellen is an excellent people-connector and communicator. She will serve our community well.
    Ellen supports mental health issues and is committed to enacting recommendations from the Mental Health Design Team Plan. These mental health issues, including stress and depression, affect our students and faculty. Ellen recognizes the need for more community awareness around these issues.
    Ellen has a child attending Los Alamos High School. She understands the issues of today’s families and she is committed to voicing these perspectives.
    As a community-oriented person, Ellen spent four years as a the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board program coordinator. She has enthusiastically served on many LAPS committees, including the School Budget Committee, School Bond Committee, District Parent Council and GATE Advisory Committee.

  • Letters to the Editor 2-3-17

    Time is approaching for seasonal employees

    While we are still in the icy grip of winter, summer is not that far off and with it will come a small crowd of summer seasonal employees, here to work the season and looking for a place to live.
    With the ever-tightening housing market in Los Alamos and the requirement for yearly leases, summer employees find it difficult to locate housing.
    Los Alamos National Laboratory often dominates the scene with its summer interns and techs that visit for projects during the summer, allowing few opportunities for others. Santa Fe and Española have housing available, but the distance and price make it much more costly and less efficient.
    Most summer seasonals will start their season in April or May (some even earlier) and finish up in the fall around October. If you have a small apartment, efficiency or room available that you would be willing to rent for less than the usual 12 months, to an outgoing, pleasant, quiet, hardworking (hopefully) person, please let me know and I can pass on this information to those who are looking for a place to stay this summer.
    Brian Kliesen
    White Rock

    Apologies to drivers
    running amok around town

  • Letters to the Editor 2-01-17

    Jim Hall has leadership that is needed on school board

    Voters in the Piñon district have a choice that one wishes every voter would always have, namely, two excellent candidates. I have had the pleasure to work with Jim Hall and Ellen Ben-Naim. They are both dedicated public servants who care deeply about our students, teachers, and schools.
    If I were eligible to vote, I’d give my nod to Jim Hall. Jim has a remarkable set of experiences from leading business computing at the lab to serving as the State Chief Information Officer, to serving as a county councilor, our state representative, and president of the school board. Jim is also a successful businessman and property developer, who serves on the board of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation. He understands budgets and information technology from both a private and public sector perspective. His breadth of knowledge is an invaluable asset for governing our schools, especially in times of resource constraints and changing needs for our students and teachers to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-27-17

    Join NM Wildlife
    Federation for annual rally Feb. 1 in Santa Fe

    On Jan. 21, millions of people from around the globe rallied for women’s rights, civil rights, the environment and a host of other issues. Here in New Mexico, thousands attended rallies across the state. The day was an amazing example of communities coming together and the power of organizing.
    The big question is, what’s next?
    As the legislative session continues and a new administration takes control in Washington, D.C. more and more citizens are looking to get involved. I think the best way to do that is by learning about local issues, elected officials, and races.
    One issue that hits particularly close to home in New Mexico is the continued access to our public lands. We are lucky to have an abundance of public lands in our state, but politicians are pushing to overturn our national monuments, and public land seizure is officially in the GOP platform.
    Our public lands give New Mexicans the opportunity to hunt, fish, hike, camp, and enjoy the outdoors however they want all year long. Transferring control of our national lands to the states is fiscally irresponsible and could deny Americans access forever.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-25-16

    Governments can’t be trusted with existing gun
    regulations

    Unfortunately Terry Goldman and I’m sure many others do not keep informed and therefore do not realize that both the federal government and state governments lie to the people all the time, especially about gun rules and laws. Though the Brady Bill requires that the Federal Bureau of Investigation destroy requests for background checks after 24 hours, the FBI has proved over and over again during the last year that they do not do this.
    Reference for one example that within three hours of the San Bernardino shooting, they knew where the shooter had bought his gun. The only way that is possible is if they never destroyed the background check, as required.
    And while we’re on the Brady Bill let’s not forget that at the moment it does not exist! Federal Judge Reed O’Connor declared the act “on it’s face blatantly unconstitutional,” and the Obama administration never appealed the ruling. Not to mention that the Second and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution clearly say the federal government has no jurisdiction to control firearms period! So the Interstate Commerce clause does not apply!
    Requiring gun owners to carry gun insurance is a form of registering.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-20-17

    Sugar says he would bring unique, personal view to school board

    My name is Dr. Darryl Sugar. I am running for the school board in the Chamisa area, because I feel I can help continue the high quality of education at Los Alamos Public Schools. Nationally, the data indicates a growing number of stresses that affect students as well as teachers. As stresses from social platforms and other demands grow, mental health is increasingly at risk and can interfere with performance. That increases the likelihood of significant anxiety/depression or drugs/alcohol being used.
    I have a unique and personal perspective on this. My wife died unexpectedly on Christmas in 2009 in Denver, while we were visiting my daughter and her husband who are also physicians. Looking back, I became severely depressed and felt like my  life ended. When I returned home to South Carolina, the depression worsened, and I went to the office where my wife and I spent most of our time and decided to join her. I started a fire but found it was impossible to end my life.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-18-17

    Thank you to community for support

    In today’s world when there is so much focus on disturbing news, we want to focus on the positive and send a huge thank you to this wonderful community, for supporting our fundraising efforts for our young friend and co-worker Valerie.
    To the Los Alamos Monitor and the LA Daily Post for providing such supportive vehicles for the community to get our stories out, Thank You! To the Sheriff’s Posse Lodge and its volunteers who work many hours to offer a perfect venue for groups and organizations to do their thing, Thank you!
    And finally to a community with a huge heart and generous spirit that is always there when the chips are down and help is needed. Thank you! Your donations of casseroles, knitted hats for Valerie, kind, encouraging words and thoughts, precious time and hard-earned cash made our Frito Pie Night a huge success. We appreciate you all so much. Full of wonderful!
    Valerie, Xaedyn, and all of the friends, family and co-workers of Valerie

    PEEC thanks Rotary for new play area

  • Letters to the Editor 1-13-17

    We must properly fund New Mexico’s court system
     
    New Mexico’s courts face a funding crisis that threatens to undermine the judiciary’s ability to protect our rights by delivering timely justice. We must act now to prevent further damage.
    As Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Daniels recently told a legislative committee, “We are now basically on life support through the end of this fiscal year.”
    In courthouses across the state, New Mexicans can see the corrosive effects of budget cuts and underfunding of the judiciary.
    Most magistrate courts are closed to the public for at least half a day each week because the courts are unable to fill vacant staff positions.  
    These courts are the busiest in the state, resolving more than 170,000 criminal, civil and traffic cases last year.
    There will be no more criminal or civil jury trials starting in March unless the courts receive additional funding. Criminal defendants, whether innocent or guilty, are entitled to a speedy trial under the constitution.
    The prosecution of criminal cases is being impaired. Some courts confront the possibility of dismissing cases because the state’s public defender office lacks the staff and budget it needs to handle more cases.