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Letters

  • Letters to the Editor 5-18-16

    Seriously? Christine Chandler?

    In the current political environment, where our government thinks that they should make all the decisions for us, we are offered Christine Chandler as a candidate for county council.
    I had to think back on the name, as I recall it being associated with some controversy in Los Alamos in the not too distant past. Following a bit of research, it all came back.
    In 2010, Christine and her husband, both attorneys, sued the county to keep a petition, regarding a proposed location of the new municipal building, from being put in front of the voters of Los Alamos County. Roughly, the petition suggested letting the voters decide if the new municipal building might go back where the old one was torn down.
    Prior to the lawsuit, the county council thought voter input was appropriate, given the petition. The whole ballot process had been set up and was ready to go, but it would appear that the Chandlers didn’t want that to happen. From all the articles in the Los Alamos Monitor, it wasn’t like there was some grand movement, public sway or another petition that drove them to champion the cause.
    It looks like it was just them and a pup tent where they wanted the new building to be.

  • Letter to the Editor 5-15-16

    We need to learn to
    ‘unvalue’ our differences

    In a recent Rolling Stone article entitled: “The Line That May Have Won Hilary Clinton the Nomination,” Matt Taibbi makes a valid argument for the role that racism played in the financial crisis of 2008. His argument begins with Clinton’s question at a rally aimed at her opponent, Bernie Sanders: “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow would that end racism?”
    While there is amble evidence that people of color were specifically targeted during the sub-prime fiasco, it appears that Taibbi is suggesting not that greed and racism are tied together but rather that the marginalized are easy targets for those who are greedy. I would suggest, however, that greed and racism are intimately tied at a deep and dark subconscious level.
    To see the answer, we need to get below the materialism of greed and the black and white of racism. We need to get to our deepest fear, the fear of being cast out by society. We need to see it for what it is, a true reality that drives much of our behavior but, at the same time, is no more than a state of mind produced by an electrical potential along the axons of a certain group of neurons.

  • Letters to the Editor 5-13-16

    Thank you to Los
    Alamos community

    The family of Jessica D. (Casados) Fleming wishes to say “Thank you” to the community of Los Alamos.
    We hope these simple words can express how much we appreciate the outpouring of love, sympathy, caring and comfort we have received. To the friends and family who came to share in the celebration of life, thank you for coming, all your kind words and wonderful stories. We felt her smile in each of you. Please continue to smile and think of hers. To the many people who brought food to our homes, we were so blessed to have friends like you. To everyone who sent flowers, the “Flower Girl” was so happy to share her joy of flowers with everyone. Thank you for filling the hall with them.
    We would like to especially acknowledge the Smiths Market Place and all the staff there. Your kindness and help went above and beyond. We thank each and everyone for everything you did to help us.  

  • Letters to the Editor 5-11-16

    May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

    I would just like to remind everyone that May is “Motorcycle Awareness  Month” as declared by Gov. Susana Martinez, State House Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard and the Los Alamos County Council.
    As summer approaches, you will be seeing more and more motorcycles on the road. Too many motorcyclists are injured or killed on New Mexico roadways by inattentive drivers.
    As bikers, we know the inherent dangers when riding, and we accept those.   
    All we ask of drivers is that they look twice for us, share the road with us and remember that we are their friends and their neighbors. Be aware of motorcyclists, you just might save a life!
    Richard Sturgeon, Chair
    LANL’s Motorcycle
    Safety Committee

    Chandler worked to move LA forward

    Chris Chandler, Los Alamos County Council candidate, has worked for many years to move Los Alamos forward. Her analysis of legislative matters at the county and state have been invaluable to the legislature and county. For these reasons and many others please join me in supporting Chris for Council.

  • Letter to the Editor 5-4-16

    Roundabout battles: the root causes?

    Why does Los Alamos find itself, time after time, over a decades-long period, in roundabout battles? I think it’s a result of double-vision that exists at a deep level among both county planners and citizens. My view of this underlying schism has been formed as a result of participating in two expensive roundabout contests, and through second-hand knowledge as an observer of several previous battles. For convenience, I’ll call these two visions the “utopian” and the “utilitarian”. First, I’ll sketch the visions of each group. Then, I’ll broadly characterize how each group “sees” roundabouts.
    Utilitarian-speak can be recognized by words and phrases such as, “artery,” “efficiency,” “productivity,” “congestion,” “safety,” “cost effectiveness,” “redundancy,” “waste of taxpayer money,” “usability,” “smart signal,” “right tool for the job,” “examples,” “statistics,” “analysis” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  • Letters to the Editor 3-13-16

    P&Z Commission invites public to Comprehensive Plan review

    During this past week, press releases, news articles, thousands of post cards, radio interview and print, electronic and radio ads have announced public meetings on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday to begin the process of public input in the coming update of the County Comprehensive Plan.
    I would like to take this opportunity to describe the function of the Comprehensive Plan in straightforward terms and invite the community to be an active part in the decision making process. Simply put, the Comprehensive Plan lays out the county’s policy and plans for land use decisions in both the Los Alamos Townsite and White Rock for the next five, 10, even 20 years.
    The current Comprehensive Plan elements are disjointed, significant portions of which were adopted in 1987. The County Charter requires and current needs demand that the Comprehensive Plan be updated to reflect current realities and provide better and more transparent guidance.

  • Letters to the Editor 3-9-16

    Round and round
    we go?

    Would you consent to costly, painful surgery that might or might not improve your health and could result in increased blockage of one of your major arteries?
    The wheels of transportation progress have turned and we’re now faced with the prospect of having our very own two-lane roundabout (RDB) built on Trinity Drive (NM 502) at Central Avenue, beginning in the Spring of 2017.
    Over the past 20 years or so, roundabout proponents have generated three large proposals. The most recent grand plan, in 2011, proposed reducing Trinity to two lanes and installing nine roundabouts. A $300K transportation study was performed by MIG, Inc., a roundabout engineering firm. After review of the study by several concerned county residents, the County Council obtained a second professional opinion that confirmed the citizens’ review: the proposed scheme would not operate as claimed by MIG, but would create a traffic nightmare. (More historical and technical details are available at wcmead.org.)

  • Letters to the Editor 2-19-16

    LA County owes Marquez debt of gratitude

    Richard Marquez recently left the Los Alamos National Laboratory after working there for over 10 years. Most people do not know that before working at LANL, he worked as a Department of Energy official in the Albuquerque office. During his tenure there, he provided significant assistance to Los Alamos County.
    Los Alamos County borrowed over $110 million to finance their hydroelectric facilities and other projects. After the bonds were issued, the market changed and it was to the county’s advantage to refinance those bonds. By doing so, they could save thousands of dollars per year. The transaction was held up in a disagreement on how to split the savings between DOE and the county. The county was in danger of missing the window of opportunity to refinance the bonds because of this disagreement. Richard stepped in and said that this was ridiculous. The DOE and the county are arguing over hundreds of dollars when thousands of dollars could be saved. He took an active part in the further negotiations with the county and hammered out a compromise that was fair.

  • Letter to the editor 2-12-16

    Bartlit unaware of LANL’s various contributions

    As usual, John Bartlit’s Sunday column on Structural Health Monitoring is wise, insightful and informative.
    But it is somewhat startling that he was unaware of SHM, as Los Alamos National Laboratory has been a significant contributor both in applying techniques, such as frequency response (sound spectra) measurements for both validating parts (such as castings) and in situ monitoring (such as metal beam bridges) for corrosion or stress accumulation leading to cracking.
    LANL has also contributed to designs for such monitors that can be powered and report without grid connections (reducing costs and enhancing remote sensing capabilities).
    While Lab publications can be painfully self-congratulatory, they are worth at least skimming for the many technological developments carried out here that they report regularly.
    Terry Goldman
    Los Alamos

  • Letter to the Editor 1-24-16

    Vote yes on schools bond

    Because we don't have our own children, we were supporters and observers of our schools system as community members and property owners, until a young nephew came to live with us and attend Los Alamos High School.  What he found was a system that had the resources not just to teach reading, writing, science, math and computer skills, but to offer music, sports, debate, and many other extracurricular programs.  All of these things helped him learn and grow in many ways, and he was well prepared for college.
    The HB33 schools bond, on which Los Alamos citizens can vote by mail no later than Jan. 26, provides money to maintain our schools and buy needed equipment and facilities.  As a County Councilor, I have consistently voted against raising the county's portion of property taxes, in part because I believe this community prefers that property taxes should go first to support our schools. Good schools benefit everyone, not just in the young lives changed for the better, but by building a prosperous community with good property values.  Please join us in voting yes for the HB33 schools bond.
    Pete Sheehey
    Los Alamos County Councilor
    Naishing Key