• Letters to the editor 2-24-15

    Dems want a ‘Ready-to-Work’ state

    Last week at the Capitol building in Santa Fe, something really exciting happened. The Senate Democrats unveiled an economic development plan for New Mexico that they call “Ready-to-Work.”
    The Ready-to-Work plan would capitalize on the strengths of New Mexico and New Mexicans and create more than 73,000 jobs.
    Thousands of workers in our state have all the skills and the drive that good employers want today. They are Ready-to-Work, but the jobs are not available.
    That’s why our caucus is rolling out an economic development plan that develops strong measures to get help to working people in our state by attracting new employers and creating more home-grown jobs now.
    Our Ready-to-Work plan is a package of bills being proposed by senators from around the state. It includes bills to spur job creation, and also bills that create opportunities for economic development in our rural communities. It focuses infrastructure investments that support jobs and bring economic development to the state.
    Ready-to-Work includes bills that help our lowest-income residents to fully participate in the growth and opportunities our great state offers and rewards them for their hard work.

  • Letters to the editor 2-15-15

    Misconceptions of Open Space Plan

    I am writing to correct any misperceptions that may have been created by the Los Alamos Monitor’s coverage of my comments to the County Council regarding the Open Space Management Plan made at Feb. 6 meeting.
    As reported, I am a member of the County Planning and Zoning Commission. The Los Alamos Monitor’s story stated I opposed the Open Space Management Plan. That is not correct. At the beginning my verbal comments, I voiced my support for the Open Space Management Plan, that it was necessary and long overdue.
    My comments were critical of two portions of the plan:
    • The provision proposing, in effect, a Vista/Viewpoint zoning overlay district, without any guidance on how to enact it.
    • The inclusion in the proposed open space map of virtually all of the vacant land owned by the county (not all the vacant land in the county), particularly a large parcel in Pueblo Canyon adjacent to the sewer plant, recently acquired from the federal government and previously proposed for economic development by the Open Space Advisory Group.

  • Letters to the editor 2-11-15

    Fundraiser concert a success

    The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos great room was the place to be on Sunday. For eight hours, 47 performers entertained a generous audience that contributed $1,264 to the UNM-LA Scholarship fund, the most ever in the fifth Annual Music Marathon. This was also the first one to which local businesses contributed door prizes.
    We would like the community’s help in thanking Bob’s Bodacious BBQ, Casa Mesita (which supports a dozen local charities), Chili Works, Del Norte Credit Union, Khalsa Acupuncture, Northroad Inn, Pam Reass, Professional Skin Care Choices, RadioShack (now selling musical instruments), and Village Arts for their door prizes, valued at more than $500. Shop locally, folks!
    Thanks performers, without whom all of this is impossible: Cathy Turner, Ruth Williamson, Sonja Ebey, Troy Makela, William Dale, Karin Ebey, Katie Brown, Sonja Ebey, Troy Makela, Joseph Dale, Kathleen Brodnax. Other piano soloists were The Little Piano Group playing Edvard Grieg: Rheta Moazzami, Robin Gurule, Claudia Hilko, Judy Hutson, Bonnie Kiang, Phyllis Slattery, Susan Mendel, Joyce Guzik and Juanita Madland.
    Donna and John O’Donnel delighted the audience with their baroque recorders.

  • Letter to the editor 2-6-15

    Loving local businesses

    I don’t shop on the Internet.
    I wanted a pair of New Balance shoes. I found what I wanted on the Internet. I chose the color and size and printed it.
    I took it to CB Fox and ordered them. I picked them up today. The price was the same as the Internet but there was no shipping.
    If they didn’t fit I would not have had to pay for them — they would have been put in stock and sold at the store. Is there a place on the Internet that does free gift wrapping?
    Our son Shaun worked at Clement & Benner (that’s what CB stands for) all through high school and college. He was employee of the year in 1986.  
    When Shaun went to college, Mary Pierce from the office would send him cookies.
    Shaun has a degree in petroleum engineering, but has been in sales all his working life. I used to tell Tom Hall he taught him everything he knows about selling.
    We moved here in 1967 and the only stores that were here then that are still here are CB Fox and Metzger’s, which are both family owned businesses.
    I would like to see them here at least until my maker calls me home.
    Camille Morrison
    Los Alamos

  • Letters to the editor 2-3-15

    Praise for Aspen Ridge

    My reason for writing this is two-fold. First and foremost there are no words that could express fully the thanks and praise for the care, compassion and love shown from the staff at Aspen Ridge Assisted Living Facility to my mother in law, Virginia Marr, who recently passed away.
    We could never have made it through this experience without their help and expertise. How lucky this community is to have such a wonderful facility to help with our aging community members. Thanks also to Ambercare Hospice for
    their help during Virginia’s last days.
    A very special thanks to the United Church, Pastor David Elton and his staff who helped us through this very emotional and sad time. They were instrumental in making Virginia’s service so very special to us all. They really went above and beyond to make her day the best it could have been and I know Virginia would have been honored and pleased to hear and see all her family and friends there to help celebrate her life.
    Our thanks to the staff at Medical Associates of Northern New Mexico, the Los Alamos Medical Center Emergency Room and the Los Alamos County Fire and Rescue who have assisted us on many occasions.

  • A no pets plea

    Recently, before the snow arrived in Los Alamos, we were visited by our grandchildren. On the sunny dry day we sent them to the Barranca Soccer Field to play a few goals.
    They returned back quite disappointed and our 8-year-old Simon sat down to write this note so somebody who is in charge of the soccer fields would read it.

    Sig and Andrea Gerstl
    (for Simon Braun)
    Los Alamos

  • Letters to the editor 1-22-15

    Donate for Valentines for Vets

    The Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8874 in Los Alamos is a nonprofit organization of volunteers who donate their time and talents for the benefit of our veterans at home and abroad.  
    We send care packages to our military overseas, as well as phone cards (via Operation Uplink) to our deployed military personnel.  
    On the home front, we financially support the VFW National Home for Children, Unmet Needs and Cancer Aid and Research programs, we continually work to obtain legislation that will benefit our veterans and their families, we sponsor the Young American Creative Patriotic Art, Outstanding Young Volunteer and Americanism youth programs in our schools, we assist local families of disabled and needy veterans, and we visit the VA Hospital in Albuquerque every February for the Valentines for Vets event.
    The Valentines for Vets event consists of visiting our veterans and distributing amenities along with Valentine’s Day cards made locally and collected by our Girl Scouts.  
    This year’s event will be at 1 p.m. Feb. 8. Since the Albuquerque Veterans Hospital services the entire northern area of our state, we are soliciting donations from everyone in our connected communities.  

  • Letters to the editor 1-20-15

    Food tax proposal
    good for communities
    The food tax exemption enacted by the state Legislature in 2004 stretched the food budgets of middle- and upper-income New Mexicans, but did nothing to help low-income residents who qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) vouchers, which are tax exempt.
    Subsequent actions by the Legislature to compensate for this lost revenue only made matters worse, especially for the least advantaged New Mexicans — the supposed beneficiaries of the food tax exemption.
    The 2004 law raised the state gross receipts tax (GRT) rate by .5 percent, and in 2010, the state GRT on non-food products and services jumped again from 5 percent to 5.125 percent.
    In 2013, local governments were allowed to raise local tax rates three-eighths of a percent for non-food items, which could increase GRT by three-quarters of a percent if a city and county both imposed the increase.
    For example, the GRT in Red River is 8.4375 percent. If both the town and Taos County enact the local increase, purchases made in Red River would be subject to GRT of 9.1875 percent. A GRT rate over 9 percent is hard on low-income families, bad for businesses and harmful to the town when tourists choose less-expensive destinations.

  • Obama was AWOL in Paris

    On Jan. 11, 40 leaders from various countries and 1.3 million people participated in anti-terrorism events in Paris.
    President Obama was AWOL, and he was only represented by our ambassador to France.
    It is difficult to believe our president overlooked the need to be in Paris for the anti-terrorism rally.
    Based on his previous comments, it is quite possible he decided he did not want to offend Islam by appearing at the anti-terrorism unity march.
    In the past he has refused to label the multitude of attacks conducted by Muslims as Islamic terrorist attacks. He said “we are not at war with Islam,” but it sure appears Islam is at war with us.
    After all, what is the religion of almost every terrorist who has attacked Western civilization in the past 50 years?
    President Obama, you just offended every freedom loving person in the world.
    Donald A. Moskowitz
    Londonderry, New Hampshire

  • Letters to the editor 1-9-15

    China’s growing interest in U.S. companies
    According to Forbes Magazine Nov. 24 issue, which I paraphrase below, since the year 2000 Chinese companies have made almost 900 purchases of U.S. assets worth $43 billion.
    China’s billionaires are gobbling up U.S. companies at a record pace.
    Most disturbing are the implications of these purchases by Chinese Communist companies on our national security.
    Ralls/Sany purchased four wind farms in Oregon near a Navy weapons system base. Wanda group purchased 342 movie theaters previously owned by AMC Entertainment. WH Group bought Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor. Lenovo purchased Motorola and part of IBM’s server business.
    “In five years China’s direct investment in the United States has grown from $2 billion a year to $14 billion.”
    We should limit the purchase of U.S. companies by the Chinese Communist regime, and probably restrict the ownership of U.S. companies to less than 30 percent of outstanding shares of stock.
    Donald A. Moskowitz
    Londonderry, New Hampshire