• 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

  • Letter to the editor 1-4-15

    Thanks to county workers
    Before I even dragged myself out of bed on New Year’s morning, I heard the snowplow go by on my street. I have also heard that the dedicated county workers who provided this valuable service were advised to restrict their previous night New Year’s Eve celebrations in order to be prepared for the call that would come so early.
    I thank them for both their service and their related self-abnegation.

    Terry Goldman
    Los Alamos

  • LA County Council doesn’t endorse tax on food

    LA County Council doesn’t endorse tax on food

  • Letters to the editor 12-28-14

    Special relations needed for council
    Arin McKenna’s story in Wednesday’s Los Alamos Monitor (Dec. 24) about the training received by new county councilors inspires me to comment.
    The relationships between the council and the county manager and the county attorney are critical to the effectiveness of the council. It is important for councilors especially to be cognizant that these relationships are more than social niceties, and that the council is not just the nominal top layer of a smoothly functioning top-down corporation.  
    In a democracy, the power flows up, not down, and the council is how the people on the bottom — you and me — get their non-professional, incoherent ideas into the organization.
    Newly elected officials typically come into office understanding this concept — diamonds-in-the-rough, so to speak. But they tend to rock the boat, so professional government staffers all over the country set up these educational forums, ostensibly to teach the neophytes the technical details of government, certainly a noble endeavor.
    In the process they like to “train” the democratic ideas out of their students, to knock off those rough edges. Same thing happens with boards of directors of corporations, which the article correctly analogizes to the council.

  • A big LALT thank you

    The Los Alamos Little Theatre is very pleased to announce that one day and one very generous patron was all it took to raise the final money for the purchase and installation of an assisted listening system for the Performing Arts Center at 1670 Nectar St.
    All contributions received will go toward improving the listening experience for LALT productions and special performances.
    We want to give a special thanks to the Los Alamos National Bank for jump-starting our fundraising effort through its community reinvestment program.
    We have to have the system installed and operating in time for the opening performance of “Murdered to Death” on Jan. 16.

    John Gustafson
    Vice president
    Los Alamos Little Theatre
    Board of directors

  • Thank you, public servants

    A big thank you to the Secretary of State’s staff and the Los Alamos County Clerk and her staff for all the many hours and hard work that went on behind the scenes in accomplishing the first ever in New Mexico statewide recount. I’m sure much the same thing went on in clerks offices across the State. Those of us who did the recount in Los Alamos saw how hard Sharon, Adrianna , Gloria, Ona and Jocelyn had worked in preparing for the recount to go smoothly. Thank you for making a tedious and time-consuming job as painless as possible. It was a pleasure to work with the entire recount team.
    Mary Wilhoit
    Los Alamos

  • Open spaces gives Los Alamos an advantage

    I’m one of those kids who came back. I had many choices, but my family and I chose Los Alamos. Why? What makes Los Alamos special?
    My friends who live elsewhere are not impressed by my lab job. Nor are they impressed by the slower small-town pace of life, the great schools, the friendly people, or the opportunity to really make a difference in public service. These types of things are big pluses, but they are available in lots of places.
    However, they are impressed by the fact that I can walk out my back gate into a forested canyon system on public land. If that’s iced over, I count at least half a dozen official and unofficial trailheads within a couple of blocks. And this from a house in the middle of town!
    What makes Los Alamos special is our extraordinary natural setting. Los Alamos County itself has 10,000-foot peaks, large and small tuff canyons, large and small basalt canyons, caves, ponderosa forests, spruce-fir forests, piñon-juniper forests, meadows, mountain and canyon streams, springs, mesas, the Rio Grande, hundreds of cultural sites, 1,000 species of plants, a national monument, tremendous views and more.
    Within a day’s drive, we can reach world-class mountains, rivers and canyon country. I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world that really has what we have.