Today's Opinions

  • Moving forward on Pajarito Mountain

    On Feb 4, the Los Alamos Ski Club (LASC) Board of Directors held a special membership meeting to inform members and bring about a vote to transfer all or part of the club’s assets (Pajarito Ski Area) to Los Alamos County, or another third party.
    Unfortunately, the voting resolution was not seen by the members until just minutes before the vote was called.
    In addition, other potential options have yet to be discussed openly.
    I respect and appreciate the significant efforts made by the LASC Board to assess options and discuss the issue with some members.
    However, many members were not even aware that dissolution was being considered and were caught off guard by the board’s announcement in the paper and the subsequent meeting and vote.
    While we all have known for years that there have been financial challenges at Pajarito Mountain, the idea of gifting this exceptional resource built from thousands of volunteer’s sweat and tears to the county was not well communicated to the members and in fact was not in any newsletter, or General Membership Meeting that I am aware of.

  • Employment rising with the sun

    One thing that doesn’t rise as consistently as the sun is our employment rate. The solar energy industry could help to change that though, because like the sun each morning, jobs in the solar industry are on the rise.
    The solar industry has added over 20,000 jobs since November 2012, a 19.9 percent increase, which is more than ten times the national employment growth rate of 1.9 percent. The best part about these jobs that are being created is that most of them are paid a living wage! Right now New Mexico is ranked 10th in the nation for solar jobs per capita.
    The solar energy industry is not only good for the unemployment crisis so many of us New Mexicans are suffering through, but it is also a positive step to a healthier environment. We have an abundance of sun here in our Land of Enchantment, and our sunsets are something we are known for.
    If we could harness more of this power from the sun, and reduce our independence on fossil fuels, then maybe we could be known as the leading state for solar energy as well! And to top it off, we would be creating much-needed jobs for New Mexicans.
    Tyler Schutte

  • Dishonesty runs amok

    I was interested to read the story in Tuesday’s Feb. 4 Los Alamos Monitor on the scam to steal Smith’s fuel points. It is lamentable that it seems a daily occurrence to hear of yet another way dishonesty intrudes upon our everyday life.
    Since many of us in Los Alamos enjoy the advantages of being able to see excellent programs at University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall, I felt compelled to write of deceptive tactics used by secondary ticket sellers offering tickets at inflated prices, along with unwarranted service charges. I myself fell prey by searching for “Popejoy tickets” and going to a website whose URL looked like it was really Popejoy.
    I called the number on the website to find out if I could purchase tickets at an Albertsons ticket outlet.
    I was misled by the salesperson into thinking I couldn’t purchase tickets in person. However, I could obtain the tickets I wanted over the phone from them. I went ahead only to find out later that indeed the tickets would have been available at either Albertsons, or directly from the UNM ticket office for a much more reasonable price.

  • Charter silent on added utility

    Los Alamos Monitor regarding County Council’s discussion of the possibility of establishing a Community Broadband Network (CBN) utility made an unattributed statement to the effect that a Broadband utility could not be created under the current county charter.
    I was not at the council meeting, so I don’t know the basis for this conclusion, but as a member of the Utilities Charter Review Committee, I should point out that the current charter is silent on the issue of both adding and selling a utility.
    It simply says that “There shall be a Department of Public Utilities which shall operate the county-owned electric, gas, water and sewer utility systems...”
    Many people interpret this to mean that a new utility, not already specified in the charter, could not be added to the DPU, although only a court case can resolve this question. Due to the lack of any definitive statement in the current charter regarding the addition or sale of a utility, and after considerable discussion, the UCRC opted to add sections to the new proposed charter to clarify this issue and provide for procedures addressing both the purchase and sale of a DPU utility.

  • Civilized Murder

    The death penalty recently topped the daily news headlines. A couple weeks ago, it was “D.M.”, who in 1989 kidnapped, raped, sodomized and murdered 22-year-old Joy Stewart (who was 30 weeks pregnant) by slashing her throat.
    The drug which terminated D.M.’s life took more than 15 minutes. This was seen by many people as “cruel and unusual punishment.”
    Yeah, I know. I had the same thought.
    Recently, headlines have been inundated with “D.T.,” the self-proclaimed jihadist who, with his brother, orchestrated the bombing terrorist attack in Boston on April 15, 2013.
    Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, and Martin Richard were killed by the blasts. Another 264 people were severely injured.
    It is with strong (and usually long) emotion that people debate the death penalty. In fact, I’ve seen people nearly kill each other while arguing it.
    Since the United States Supreme Court’s 1976 decision to allow capital punishment, the United States has executed more than 1300 people. Interestingly, only 12 of them were women.
    With so many male-dominated arenas being invaded by competitive women, it’s nice to know we men are still better at something, eh?
    The arguments for and against capital punishment both have merit. And both are equally without logic at times.

  • Equine care in the Year of the Horse

    With the Chinese New Year Jan. 31, it is time we recognize the New Year’s Chinese Zodiac: the horse, symbolizing character traits such as intelligence, energy and strength.
    While the Chinese Zodiac horse may be strong and full of energy, what happens when yours adopts uncharacteristic behaviors of limited mobility and weakness? Though equine lameness is a problem seen in many horses during their lifetime, there are ways of preventing and treating it to help your horse be as healthy as the Chinese Zodiac horse this year.
    Equine lameness, or limping, has different causes. “Some of the common causes are due to a traumatic event, a performance induced injury — such as a strained tendon, or ligament, or pulled muscle — or a wear-and-tear type injuries causing arthritis or bone spurs in joints termed osteoarthritis,” said Dr. Robin Dabareiner, Associate Professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “There are also some causes of lameness that young horses are born with termed ‘developmental bone disease,’ where the cartilage and bones do not form correctly.”
    Once recognized, it is important to have a lameness evaluated immediately by a veterinarian.

  • Give America a raise?

    President Barack Obama said something especially perplexing when he implored Congress during his State of the Union address — to “Give America a raise.”
    Since when does Congress have the power to do that?
    We live in a nominally private-enterprise economy, so it should strike the ear as odd to hear Obama acknowledge that it’s not a private-enterprise economy at all, much less a free-enterprise economy. What we have is an economy dominated by an alliance of politicians and well-connected, mostly corporate, interests.
    Obama, of course, was calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that only 4.7 percent of hourly workers made the minimum wage or less in 2012, so those 3.6 million people hardly constitute “America.”
    Can Congress give those workers a raise? No, it can’t.

  • Positive view of Aspen Ridge Lodge

    This is in response to the negative comment in Sunday’s Los Alamos Monitor about Aspen Ridge Lodge.
    I am leaving Aspen Ridge Lodge today healed from a broken arm. Sounds simple doesn’t it?
    The first thing they gave me was a call button. Believe me, I used it around the clock. I was always answered with a smile and called by my name. I found the staff to always be courteous and treated me with dignity.
    My dog was being cared for at a nearby veterinary. Everyday I asked and Aspen Ridge Lodge staff picked him up and returned him for me.
    This is a great place to heal and live. It is a dedicated professional facility and a great asset to Los Alamos. My experience has only been positive.
    Ruth Parker
    Los Alamos