• Not accepting contributions

    Dear Editor,
    While your Sept. 16 article, “Council Campaign Donations Subdued,” correctly states that my first campaign report showed zero contributions and zero expenditures, I feel that your article unfairly implies that this is because I entered the race at such a late date.  In fact, I am not accepting campaign contributions as I have already reached my fundraising goal of zero dollars.  Due to the fact that I am assuming Kenneth Johnson’s place on the ballot, I do not have to pay the $50 filing fee with the county clerk.  As a result of this I do not need to raise any money in order to run my campaign.  Since I entered the race on Aug. 29, several people have offered to contribute to my campaign, but I have refused all financial contributions.  I feel that there is enough money in politics as it is, and I feel that this race can be won without it.  I have accepted a few small in kind donations of used materials that I have used to create some homemade yard signs, and this will be reflected in my next finance report.  As the race progresses I may accept further in-kind donations, but I remain committed to refusing all monetary donations to my campaign for the duration of this election.
    Michael Redondo
    Los  Alamos County Council Candidate

  • Explore better Trinity Site options

    The Los Alamos Monitor’s headline, “Council short on options,” of Sept. 13, regarding the Trinity Site should not be just a lament.  It should be a call to action.
    The economic viability of the Trinity Site “lifestyle center” concept was uncertain when it was developed in 2005-06, long before investment money for such projects dried up.  Two developers, first Boyer and now NADG, have been unable to implement even scaled down versions.
    Why should we think a third entity, Kroger / Smith’s, whose interests are much narrower, would make the dream happen?
    Our options presently are so limited because generations of councilors, county staffers, and various advisors have refused to even consider developing any alternatives.  Too many have too much personal or political capital invested to admit the old concept is not working.  They keep flogging this dead horse instead of exploring options that might serve us better.  

  • Smith's, Shell don't charge pump fees

    Thanks to Roberta Marinuzzi for being a Smith’s customer!
    However, on Aug. 23 she submitted a letter that was unduly critical of Smith’s fuel program when she stated “if you use your points to buy gasoline and use a credit card you will be charged a $1 fee.”
    To set the record straight, Smith’s nor participating Shell stations charge a fee for the redemption of rewards points to save money on fuel.
    If a $1 charge appeared on her credit card statement, we would appreciate Ms. Marinuzzi contacting her credit card company rather than to place blame inaccurately on Smith’s.
    We are grateful to our Los Alamos and White Rock customers, and we look forward to providing continued savings on their fuel needs.

    Marsha Gilford
    Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Vigil a poor choice by Democrats

    The decision by the Democratic Party hierarchy to select Barbra J. Vigil as the party’s candidate to fill the vacancy on the New Mexico State Supreme Court could not be more wrong!
    In the past the decisions made by Judge Barbra J. Vigil could be revisited and reversed by a higher court. The decisions made by the State Supreme Court are essentially the law of the land and it would take a lot more effort and energy to reverse any ill-conceived rulings that she is a part of.
    Barbra J. Vigil has not shown the depth and breadth in her thinking needed by a justice of the State Supreme Court.
    As the Chief Judge of the First Judicial District Court that is based in Santa Fe she is essentially an administrator of the court.
    Her decisions that concerned the operation of the court and the staff especially in the Tierra Amarilla region revealed the vast inadequacy in her decision-making experience and ability.
    Like many of her courtroom decisions, her administrative decisions shows a “let them eat cake” attitude. This exposes shallowness in her manner and a detachment from the people and the culture of New Mexico that is absolutely requisite for any Justice on the New Mexico State Supreme Court.

  • Talking brands

    In a Aug. 10 headline article, Councilman David Izraelevitz is right on when  he says “A brand is not defined by what we think. It’s defined by what  other people think.”
    That is, just because the County  Council and Chamber of Commerce have put up stone monikers and light pole banners advertising Los Alamos as the place “Where Discoveries are Made”  does not make that slogan a “brand.”
    Yes, the county parents and  marketing folks would dearly love to have that slogan be the brand of this  town, but it just ain’t so. Most people who know anything about Los Alamos think “Bomb Power” or Manhattan Project, rather than what the monikers and banners say. Witness the arrests of activists that the Los Alamos police  made the same day!
    To achieve such a transformation of slogan to brand will require a spiritual transformation of this place.
     That is, when we can get to a level of community awareness where community citizens and visitors will think that motto includes “where spiritual discoveries are made,” only then will we have a brand with integrity that can capture the world’s attention. Before that happens, we’ve got a lot of community introspection and transformation yet to do.
    Eugene Kovalenko, Ph.D.

  • Hidden charges?

    Beware Smith’s customers. If you use your points to buy gasoline and use a credit card you will be charged a $1 fee. As far as I know there was no notice given either from Smith’s or from the various gas stations. So you have to decide if it is worth being charged an extra fee for using your points to buy gasoline or use your points to get a money coupon to reduce your cost of groceries.
    Granted a $1 fee may seem unimportant. It is just another way Smith’s is taking advantage of customers. Since they are the only grocery store in town, they already have us at a disadvantage.
    Who knows what hidden charges are in store for  us when the new Smith’s gas station opens up on Trinity?
    Roberta Marinuzzi
    Los Alamos

  • Columnist should use full quote

    Dear Editor,
    I was very disappointed to read Jay Miller’s  Sunday column. Although usually a good read, Miller repeats the egregious edit of Obama’s  July 13 remarks regarding business creation.
    The omission of six intervening sentences between  “You didn’t get there on your own.” and “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” is egregious, to say the least. This is hardly distinct from picking out any set of words to “quote” anyone as saying whatever calumny you wish to spread.
    While our common political liars behave this way frequently, I had come to think better of Miller. In particular, the full transcript (see  factcheck.org/2012/07/you-didnt-build-that-uncut-and-unedited/)  shows “that” refers to at least roads and bridges if  not the entire American business and governmental  system. Whatever you think of Obama as President  or politician, such arrant misrepresentation should not be considered acceptable in a decent society.
    Terry Goldman
     Los Alamos


  • Project Vote Smart

    The columnist Jay Miller recently contributed to the Los Alamos Monitor an article describing a new website aimed at helping us decide who to support in the November elections.  Apparently Mr. Miller and many other folks are not familiar with an organization called Project Vote Smart which has been providing information about candidates for many decades.  
    With the click of a finger you can access data on biographies, interest group ratings, public statements, voting records, issue positions and campaign financing.  This information is assembled by staff and volunteers and is rigorously screened for accuracy and removal of bias.  And it is free.

  • No need for reservoir

    It seems that the time has come for us to cut our losses on the reservoir. As  a civil engineer, I understand the benefits of having a reservoir, for recreation, water supply, and flood control. I also appreciate the immense  effort that goes into designing, constructing, and maintaining dams. As a  geologist, I understand that in the end, all reservoirs are doomed to failure, succumbing to the natural forces that created watercourses and  canyons in the first place.
    Consider that we really have no further need of the reservoir, as we have  moved beyond the needs for which it was constructed in the first place.

  • Place the blame where it belongs

    In his recent column lamenting the loss of green areas in Los Alamos, Chick Keller urges us not to blame firefighters for destroying a canyon after fingering those same firefighters for setting the back burns that blackened it. Sadly, Keller’s apparent bitterness over the present state of Valle Canyon betrays an insincerity of sentiment toward the grim but necessary work of firefighters engaged in steering an inferno away from the heart of our community.