• Tourney raised thousands for students

    Los Alamos Knights of Columbus Sacred Heart Council 3137 held our annual scholarship fundraising golf tournament on Sept. 26 at the Los Alamos golf course with more than 80 golfers participating, followed by a wonderful steak dinner at the hall.
    The tournament raised nearly $10,000 all of which will be used to award scholarships to worthy Los Alamos High School students. As the Knights look to support students with potential but from disadvantaged backgrounds, these scholarships have a real impact.
    We are grateful to the community of Los Alamos for your most generous support of our tournament. The outpouring of donations was overwhelming. We were honored to have on hand both our current and former pastors, Father Glenn Jones, and Father John Carney.
    Special thanks to go to the Knights Ladies Auxiliary and Bill Inkret and his band for making the dinner a success, Mhairi MacKay for helping us out again with the special fundraising hole in support of the Jaime Lee Ireland Scholarship Fund, and Donnie Torres for outstanding help with the tournament. We look forward to seeing everyone out again next year on Sept. 19, 2015!

    Jeff Brown
    2014 tournament chair 

  • Support GO Bond

    About seven bazillion ads and letters later, I’m hoping this is short enough (and absolutely important enough) to encourage Los Alamos County residents to support Library GO Bond Issue B on Nov. 4.
    In this year’s annual library report, dependence on our library system was confirmed:
    • 16,718 registered users
    • 26,170 reference questions
    • 314,612 library visits (87 percent of county residents are users)
    • 21,191 program attendees
    • 26,898 public Internet computers users
    Any long-time resident knows our circulation is roughly three times the national average. Both information and literacy are important to us and have been critical here since the 1940s.
    In addition to a public library system, Los Alamos County is gifted with both public school and university-level (UNM-LA) libraries reflected by excellent test results, literacy levels, and research availability through multiple sources. These libraries need our help, too.
    The critical need for passing Library GO Bond Issue B remains. Please vote yes. Expanding on the details of the three library systems benefitting from a passed GO Bond Issue B makes for a great reference question — at the library!
    Judy Crocker
    Los Alamos

  • Resist tampering …vote 'No' on charter

    I’m voting “no” on the charter amendment questions pertaining to proposed changes in governance of the Los Alamos County Utilities Department.
    I have had long experience as a customer and constituent dealing with both the county government and council, as well as with the Department of Public Utilities.
    During those many years I represented a private, nonprofit organization that was both one of the biggest property tax payers in the county, as well as one of the bigger utility customers. I have never been an employee of the county or the Utilities Department, I have never been a politician, nor am I a cheerleader for the Utility Department. Like most organizations, I think the Utility Department has plenty of room for improvement, but I see no connection between the proposed charter amendments and making improvements.
    I read the election materials published by the county and the logic of the proponents’ argument seems to be about their notion of ideal representative democracy rather than about improving effectiveness of the utilities operation.
    I respect their views and concerns, but I disagree that idealism and hypothetical concerns are what are important in deciding how to vote on this proposal.

  • Funds needed to complete missions

    Los Alamos is a unique, wonderful community with good schools, favorable climate, and beautiful scenery.
    However, there are those in our community who need some aid in order to enjoy these gifts.
    Fortunately, there are resources available to facilitate these needs, but they likewise need funding to accomplish their missions. My husband, Pat Soran, and I have been regular contributors to the United Way of Northern New Mexico (UWNNM) for several decades.
    We have watched our investment used wisely to “give a hand” to those who, for whatever reason, can use a boost.
    This year we are the Co-chairs of UWNNM Community Campaign, raising funds for the Community Action Fund (CAF). But until we started actually visiting many of the 20-plus recipients of last year’s CAF, we really had no idea how much they are able to do for our community’s needs.
    Without CAF funding, many of them would not be able to stay in existence today. In addition to grant funding, CAF contributions enable United Way to form partnerships and collaborations that pull resources and have them work together to directly address pressing challenges and fill gaps in services our region faces.

  • Tremendous turnout to Health Fair

    Thank You from the Los Alamos Heart Council.
    I had the pleasure of being the coordinator of the 29th Annual Los Alamos Heart Council Health Fair Sept. 27. It was a tremendous success, with attendance in the thousands.
    It takes a lot of work and generosity to be able to offer free flu shots, reduced price blood tests, all kinds of free health screenings, exhibits from scores of health providers and, of course, free bike helmets.
    The Heart Council would like to thank all those who pitch in every year to make the event one of the largest community events in the County. Obviously, it not possible to thank every one of the hundreds of people it takes to make the Health Fair work. So I want everyone who volunteers for the various jobs we need done, it is noticed and appreciated.
    The generosity of the Los Alamos Medical Center is indispensable to our efforts. Without them underwriting the costs of flu shots and the reduced costs of blood draws, we would not be able to offer those services. Staff members and employees from all over the hospital donate their time as well. I particularly wish to thank the marketing director for the hospital, Mary Beth Maassen, for her help.

  • American Legion fundraiser drew support

    The American Legion Post 90 had a parking lot sale to raise funds for ongoing community projects on Sept. 20.

    Thanks to all the members and friends that donated not only goods, but their time, to make the sale a huge success.
    A special thanks also to the public for coming to our sale and buying our goods.
    Support from all of you is what makes this a great community.

    Kim Baldwin, Member, Frank G. Frainier, Post 90 American Legion 

  • Clarification of First Born Program

    At a recent fundraiser in White Rock, candidate Geoff Rodgers expressed concern that the First Born Program was the government telling parents how to parent.
    For clarification, First Born is a non-government health promotion program that has been heavily supported by Governor Martinez through the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.
    In Los Alamos, the First Born Program is overseen by a Board of Directors of a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit group. Current funding is designated to reach up to 60 families who request services.  
    With expanding knowledge of human growth and brain development in the earliest years of life, combined with results from longitudinal studies of child development programs, we now know that children’s success in preschool and beyond is built on the foundation of relationships, experiences and skills they develop in their first three years of life.
    The LANL Foundation is a core supporter of First Born and believes that investing in newborns at birth, when they begin learning, can change lives of individual children today and for years to come. 

  • Changes would hurt utility customers

    All those who have served on both the Utilities Board and the County Council — and have seen the relationship between them from both sides — feel strongly that the proposed change in the charter would be damaging both to utility users and county citizens in general.
    I have been overseeing or watching Utilities Department operations for more than 30 years. My experience during the 10 years I spent on the County Council and my 10 years on the Utilities Board make me believe that the present charter affecting utilities has worked very well.
    The proposed change could lead to utility funds being drained to support other county undertakings instead of being reinvested in utility infrastructure. The proposed change would also expose utility rates and services to politically motivated manipulation that often benefits special interests to the detriment of most customers.
    Please vote “against” Question 2.

    Lawry Mann
    Former County Council, BPU member

  • Race does matter in Los Alamos

    As an African-American citizen living in this community, I empathize with the recently published letter to the editor by Thalia Gibbs-Jackson regarding her perception of “Encountering racism in Los Alamos.”
    I have the highest respect and appreciation for the fine work of the Los Alamos law enforcement officers whom I believe work diligently to uphold their sworn duty to serve and protect the citizens of this community. Racial profiling is a very serious and sensitive issue facing this country, particularly for persons of color. In my experience, African-Americans tend to arouse suspicion not necessarily as a result of the course of actions we may engage in, but rather, all too often, we arouse suspicion without probable cause merely due to the color of our skin.
    In my view, one’s perception is a reality that is deeply intertwined with the depth and scope of one’s individual life experiences over time.
    Race is a crucial component of how we relate to one another in diverse communities like Los Alamos. As a minority in this community, I have experienced prejudice and racial profiling on numerous occasions over the years that has caused me to sometimes feel rather ill at ease.

  • Ross' response shows naïvity

    Inez Ross’ response to Thalia Gibbs-Jackson’s expression of distress over encountering racism in Los Alamos was well intentioned, but I believe, naïve.
    I am a white woman who grew up in Los Alamos. Leaving the safety of this community after high school and encountering the “real world” was a real education for me.
    I have never been followed through a store because the manager thought I would steal something. I have never been stopped on the highway because I “match the description” of someone who might be trafficking drugs. I have never had to excel in any field in order to be judged adequate. And I have never been followed by law enforcement as my car crept slowly down a street because I was looking for a particular address.
    But all of these things do happen to people of color every day in our country, even in Los Alamos. In her letter Gibbs-Jackson very clearly stated that the driver of the law enforcement van did not speak to her, or make any effort to explain why she was being followed. Did she look like a “bum from out of town?” On what basis would such a judgment have been made?