• Fire risk questioned

    I commend the Los Alamos County Council for imposing a partial fireworks, campfire and smoking ban in some portions of the county in this extreme drought.  
    According to Asst. Fire Chief Thompson, “...the ignition potential for the forest has been determined to be 100 percent, meaning that every ember reaching combustible material has the potential to start a fire” (Los Alamos Monitor, June 22).
    But Idongedit.
    If the danger is this high (and I don’t doubt that it is), why not impose a complete ban?  
    Why are ANY fireworks and ANY campfires or grill fires allowed?  Why take the risk?
    Can’t we all forgo those pleasures until after the monsoons arrive, in the interest of safety?

  • Government contracting: A new path to revenue?

    In times of economic upheaval when private sector output slows, government contracts may mean the difference between running a company at profit rather than loss.
    The Procurement Technical Assistance Program, set up by the New Mexico Small Business Development Network in 2009, is a non-profit organization that helps small businesses obtain government contracts.
    PTAP counselors provide seminars and help clients identify government contract opportunities. Most PTAP services are provided free of charge. The federal- and state-funded organization has helped more than 600 New Mexico clients obtain over $70 million in government contracts.

  • Local schools need community's help

    On June 14, during the lunch break from my employer-funded MATLAB training course I attended a Kiwanis meeting.  
    There I heard Dr. Gene Schmidt, LAPS superintendent and John Wolfe, LAPS business manager, describe the school’s budgeting process.  
    Next year’s program budget will be about $700,000 less than last year’s and the schools have had to make some serious cuts!   
    For example, over the last few years the amount available for professional development has shrunk by more than $150,000.
    Our teachers have not had a pay raise for four years. In fact, because of increased deductions for retirement and benefits, their take home pay has actually shrunk.

  • Test to reveal the truth about traffic circles

    I have read several letters to the editor supporting the idea of a two-lane Trinity Drive with roundabouts.
    These letters presented arguments that show how roundabouts have worked in other areas. Yet when I ask people I know for their thoughts on the matter, I have not heard a single person say they’re looking forward to the change.

  • Look who benefits from traffic circle travesty

    Regarding the ill advised plan to construct eight traffic circles in a 4.2 mile stretch of Trinity Drive —  while the bombardment of ads about how great traffic circles are continues to bombard us at the Reel Deal theater, and we watch the waste of money being spent trying to convince a dubious public that this really is a good idea, one can only echo the Roman judge Lucius Cassius: “Cui bono?”  Who benefits?
    Eight traffic circles in four miles?  That’s one traffic circle every half a mile - creating an accelerate-decelerate cycle that disrupts traffic flow, commute speed and fuel economy.  Who benefits?

  • Teamwork leads to big success

    A community working together can accomplish amazing things, and LA Cares is grateful.  On Saturday, May 7, the local chapter of the National Association of Letter Carriers and the Boy Scouts of America teamed up for the semi-annual Help Stamp Out Hunger food collection.
    With support from the Postal Service – mailing the postcard reminders, use of trucks and facilities – the carriers picked up bags of food left on mailboxes along their routes, and delivered them for sorting.

  • Trinity Drive could use significant rehabilitation

    Forty million dollars is a lot to spend in the name of improving the “safety” of Trinity Drive.  
    When I was in business school, I was taught to use cost/benefit analysis when looking at a proposed expenditure.  
    I would like to know if there is an estimate for the reduction in lives lost or bodily injury crashes so that we can see what we will get for $40 million.  
    It seems that  few towns are able to spend that kind of money, but thousands more are providing appropriate safety for their residents and visitors in a cost effective fashion without roundabouts every half mile.
    It is clear that Trinity Drive could use significant rehabilitation, but I am sure that could be done for a lot less.

  • Arizona fire haze reminiscent of coal-fired power plants

    The visible news for days now has been the thick smoke from Arizona forest fires filling the Rio Grande Valley. Old-timers recall the 1970s, when haze from the large coal-fired power plants in the Four Corners region often reached the valley.
    A decade of citizen effort cut down the then-legal emissions of ash by 300-400 tons daily.
    Later, the legal emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the plants also were reduced by 300-400 tons a day.
    Albuquerque rules and new engine technology cut NOx emissions from vehicles. Ash, SOx and NOx cause haze.
    More citizen work and political help from both parties produced laws and rules for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration in treasured parks.    

  • Restaurant seeks beer and wine license in unincorporated area

    We’d like to thank the Los Alamos Monitor for the article ‘Enchantment by the River’ about Embudo including our restaurant, Embudo Station.
    However, there are some factual inaccuracies. Chef John Cox has never been the chef at the restaurant. Chef Cox designed the initial menu in 2009 and is a member of our small business.
    We loved Jay Bost, who did cook there last year, but is no longer employed with us because the restaurant is not open yet this season. We have run into serious difficulties with the landlord, but are hoping to find a resolution and open again soon.

  • Call to expand sports coverage

    I am writing to ask you if we could have a Los Alamos Middle School section in the sports section.
    This is because this year we had an outstanding football season, a  good cross country season and a pretty good track season. If we had a middle  school section in the sports section more people would know about our success.
    This addition might also boost customers for the Los Alamos Monitor.
    With this addition, we would also increase the awareness of the Los Alamos  community on what is going on around the middle school. With that I hope you at least consider putting a middle school section in the sports section.

    Christopher Bond
    Los Alamos