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Today's Opinions

  • Support Sage Cottage nonprofit preschool

    I appreciate the stories you have been publishing regarding poverty and hunger in Los Alamos.
    I am on the board of directors for Sage Cottage Montessori Preschool, currently the only preschool in Los Alamos that accepts state-aid children. About six years ago, Cheri Host, the former owner and executive director (now deceased), decided to make Sage Cottage a nonprofit preschool so that she could provide a place for low-income children and request grants and donations to cover the cost differential.
    The aid provided by the state for childcare covers only a fraction of the costs for a full-time child, and because of various circumstances most of these children are not full-time.
    Currently, Sage Cottage has four state-aid children. Sage Cottage receives some generous support from Casa Mesita, Los Alamos National Bank, Smith’s Earn and Learn, and from designated giving through United Way. But support over the past several years has decreased, jeopardizing our ability to continue to provide this necessary service to our community.
    Those who would like to support this cause can make a tax-deductible donation by check to Sage Cottage, 142 Meadow Lane, Los Alamos, NM.
    If you would like more information about Sage Cottage, call Director Sandra Sorensen at 672-0534.

  • The quicker picker-uppers

    We have just experienced one of the many benefits of living in Los Alamos. Our loss of a large piñon tree resulted in a very sizable pile of limbs and debris.
    The bulk pick-up truck arrived on schedule and the operator efficiently and quickly loaded everything and left the area clean and presentable. Our thanks to this employee and to the county for this great service!
    Joseph and Lois Thompson
    Los Alamos

  • Great performance from Missoula

    On behalf of the Los Alamos Arts Council, I would like to thank the cast members of Missoula Children’s Theatre’s production of “Blackbeard the Pirate” for their wonderful performance.
    The Arts Council would like to thank the County of Los Alamos for co-sponsoring this event, which was also partially funded by a grant from the New Mexico Children’s Foundation.
    We would also like to thank all the parents and friends of the cast who attended the play on Saturday, as well as the staff of Crossroads Bible Church. They were wonderful to work with and made the week a complete success.  Thanks also to the Christian Church for graciously hosting our Tuesday rehearsals.
    Additionally, many thanks go the Los Alamos Arts Council board members who volunteered their time to help make this year’s production a wonderful experience for the participants and to all of LAAC supporters whose annual membership fees make programs like this possible.  
    Finally, thanks, as always to the community of Los Alamos for supporting the many programs and events presented by Los Alamos Arts Council.
    Margaret McIntyre
    MCT Chair, LAAC
     

  • See more 'Manhattan'

    Sunday evening, a crowd joined the Los Alamos Historical Society at the Time Out Pizzeria near the Bradbury Science Museum to watch and discuss the first episode of the “Manhattan” TV series. The series has potential.
    The show is a serious effort, the production values are good, it captures the times in national feeling and even in cars and music, it begins to tell many stories humanly, and the first episode effectively raises conflicts of the times. Initial conflicts are the tensions between civilians and the military; the deserty, rudimentary setting; the intense race to get the bomb first while so many people die per week in the war; and morality, both of creating super bombs and of defending the nation and families.
    We will see where the stories go.
    John Bartlit
    Los Alamos
     

  • The cost of compassion

    At a Fourth of July potluck, we asked a neighbor who commutes to California for work how he was doing. Instead of small talk, we got a tirade about how he was working to support all those jobless loafers living on government handouts. A grandmother sitting with us pointed out, gently, that we’re paying for two wars that weren’t in the budget.
    Since that conversation, the news has brought us the faces of Central American children seeking safety within our borders and the bludgeoning death of two homeless men in Albuquerque. Which makes me wonder, whatever happened to compassion? The answer is, it’s still alive, but it’s being tested.
    This neighbor is in California because he lost his manufacturing job and was out of work for months before finding another job. Fortunately, his wife was still working, so they didn’t lose everything. Lots of people have relocated and made sacrifices to get work. They can look at it two ways: If I can find work, the rest of you shiftless people can find work. Or, hey, it’s really tough out there and people could use a hand.

  • Confronting our troubles: Mumbling and the Ross Perot fantasy

    Conversations about our economic, ah, problem, mess, disaster, lack of an economy… (you pick the word or phrase) are happening behind the scenes. I have few further specifics. Even if I had more, probably I couldn’t share. Our leaders — call them “power brokers” — are worried, as well they should be. In larger communities, the power brokers may even have regular, scheduled gatherings. In small towns, it would be the café across from the courthouse.
    When the broker conversations propose action, especially specific and public action, taking on Person or Organization A, and seek people to lead the charge, the candidates for the civic role tend to say, “I have a contract with Organization A and can’t afford to lose it.” Or, “I can’t take the risk.” Or, “I’m just too busy.” Or, “Another power broker opposes this action and I can’t annoy this other power broker.” Or whatever.
    The result is no action and continued wringing of hands.
    An informal survey of theoretically potential cage-rattling, meet-the-challenge organizations leads nowhere.

  • Healthcare access: Are some more entitled?

    Healthcare policy is an endless debate in the United States, and in New Mexico the debate has its own special complications.
    Thoughts about how theories and ethics bump up against pragmatic realities come to mind in the wake of two recent public discussions I attended.
    Is there such a thing as “deserving” healthcare, and do some people deserve more than others? Should some people be more entitled to access healthcare, or better quality healthcare, than others? (“Entitled” is a loaded word. I used it deliberately to provoke your thoughts.)
    Should those who can afford to pay for it have a greater right than those who don’t? Should smokers, or fat people, or drug addicts have less access, or be forced to pay more than others? Should young people be at the front of the line and old people forced to the back? These questions arise starkly when we consider extremely limited resources such as organs for transplant, but they permeate the entire healthcare system.
    To develop the system we really want, we have to know what our values are. This message emerged from a presentation titled “Balancing Universal Healthcare with Medical Rationing,” by David Teutsch, a rabbi and ethicist, speaking recently to a New Mexico audience.

  • EPA’s carbon pollution rules good for business, economy

    Some national business organizations have hammered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for proposing new rules on carbon pollution from existing power plants, cutting carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, using 2005 levels as a baseline. What planet are they on?
    It’s ludicrous to pretend that climate change isn’t happening, or that it won’t affect every industry. It’s beyond comprehension that large business advocacy organizations, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, think that our government should stand by and do nothing, while climate-related disasters in 2012 caused more than $139 billion in damages, while U.S. taxpayers shelled out $96 billion in climate-related damages in 2012 alone, or while sea levels rise 6.6 feet by 2100 — enough to swamp Miami.
    Let’s be clear: the costs from carbon pollution will be terrible for business. Climate change poses tremendous risks — insurance premiums will skyrocket, electricity prices will soar, jobs will be lost, food and transportation costs will dramatically rise and taxes will likely increase in order to pay for needed infrastructure upgrades.