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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the Editor 12-25-16

    Mill levy is important for UNM-LA, County

    Many individuals considering the upcoming special school election are asking UNMLA what happened after the failed mil election in 2013. What financial impacts did the campus sustain and how did it respond? Providing that information may help frame the challenge UNMLA is facing moving forward as it continues to serve the Los Alamos community.
    After the 2013 election, UNMLA was faced with difficult decisions to determine which programs and services were essential to UNMLA and which ones could continue to be supported by the anticipated revenue sources. Based on that careful review, the campus underwent a 15% budget reduction and reallocation of all resources to those identified programs and services deemed essential in meeting our mission of preparing students to transfer, creating pathways to careers, and serving those with a passion for lifelong learning. It is important to note that the 15% reduction came after years of belt tightening that included eliminating campus functions and outsourcing other services to create cost savings.

  • Letters to the Editor 12-21-16

    Thank you from Children’s Christmas Bazaar

     

    Christmas is almost here! I would like to thank the Los Alamos community for their generosity in supporting the Children’s Christmas Bazaar at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church during the Winterfest weekend. You were generous with giving of your time and your donations. 

    At least seventy-five people helped with set up, baking, greeting, wrapping (at least 25 wrappers wrapping all at the same time!), helping children select gifts and cleaning up. And this all occurs within a twenty-five-hour period of time. I would especially like to recognize the young and old from Trinity on the Hill and the high school students from National Honor Society and Key Club who continue to offer their support every year. 

    Imagine the joy on the children’s faces as they present their gifts to loved ones and friends this Christmas! Your support will bring joy to more than 200 children. It truly takes a community like ours to make this event a success.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

    Beth Pattillo

    Children’s Christmas Bazaar Chair

     

  • United World College scatters alumni across the world

    MONTEZUMA—A warm and sunny December day in this international enclave suburb of Las Vegas had 237 teenagers beavering away at their studies. From the road, N.M. 65, the students and the roughly 100 adult staff supporting their academic work were invisible. 

    Their main building, the approximately125-year-old Montezuma Castle, gets attention as it rises four stories above the trees, plus towers, with spectacular Queen Anne design. 

    The students disperse a few days later for winter break. If everyone goes home, it would be to 75 countries. 

    Discrete signs on the road say, “United World College.” 

    New Mexico’s college president carousel brought new leaders to four institutions during 2016. Victoria Mora came to United World College after 24 years at St. John’s College in Santa Fe. St. John’s also has a new president, Mark Roosevelt. (The other 2016 newbies are Stephen Wells at New Mexico Tech and Richard Bailey at Northern New Mexico.) 

  • Letters to the Editor 12-16-16

    I plan to run for LA Public School Board

    I plan to run for the Los Alamos Public School Board in District 2 in the upcoming election. Our district has been served well by Matt Williams for the past four years.
    Upon hearing about his choice to not seek reelection, I have decided to run for the position. The LAPS Board has a substantial responsibility to our community.  Our schools and the educational opportunities available in Los Alamos are a strong attractor for new Laboratory employees, retirees, and others who come to Los Alamos.  We value education in Los Alamos and we want to continue strengthening our educational resources. I can carry on the representation of District 2; all three of my daughters attended Chamisa and I’ve lived in the district for 24 years. As a member of the UNM-LA Advisory Board and husband of a LAPS chemistry teacher, I also bring a background and knowledge of issues facing our older students. I hope you will give me this opportunity to serve Los Alamos in this new and exciting manner.
    Steve Boerigter
    Los Alamos

    Thank you to community, many others for help with fundraiser

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank my new community for assisting with my fundraiser this past weekend at the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce.

  • When might opening a joint bank account make sense?

    BY NATHANIAL SILLIN
    Practical Money Skills

  • Standing Rock about much more than one pipeline

    What you need to know about the Standing Rock standoff is how much you don’t know. This confrontation, playing out in frigid North Dakota, has drawn thousands of people from across the country and the attention of New Mexico’s senators.
    In April the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe camped in the path of a $3.8 billion pipeline project to protest plans to tunnel under the Missouri River, which the tribe says would jeopardize its water supply and destroy cultural sites. On Sunday, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected the current route.
    It’s not over.
    Here are five things you should know:
    One: Organizers say they’re not opposed to the oil and gas industry. This is about protecting Standing Rock’s drinking water. The company insists the pipeline is safe. Protesters don’t believe it. Since 2010 regulators count 3,300 leaks and ruptures ranging from a few gallons to hundreds of thousands of gallons, according to the Center for Effective Government. Just last week, a natural gas liquids pipeline exploded near Kansas City.

  • NM’s tendency to whine rates high

    “Tendency to whine” should be a business-climate rating category. New Mexico’s tendency to whine probably would be high.
    Just before Thanksgiving there was news that New Mexico has the second worst state business climate for construction contractors. So says the Associated Builders and Contractors, a national trade group. Only Illinois is worse.
    That same day complaints claimed Facebook’s standards for contractors working on its $250 million data center near Los Lunas were too tough. Faced with the whining, ever sensitive Facebook acquiesced to an old New Mexico joke, if the standards are too high, lower the bar. Facebook said it was committed to using local companies and that some of the requirements were only guidelines.
    Our review of rating studies continues. The source is the annual “Toward a Competitive Colorado” report, produced by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. (metrodenver.org). The report provides 75 measures gathered under the general headings of economic vitality, innovation, taxes, livability, K-12 education, higher education, health, and infrastructure. We continue braving the statistical gods by averaging the measures within each general heading, some of them averages of yet other measures.

  • Letters to the Editor 12-7-16

    Residents should be aware of comp plan change

    During the past year, many community members participated in drafting a new comprehensive plan for Los Alamos County. Within the plan is a future land use map, which is designed to be a “guide to land development and preservation decisions.” At the Nov. 14 county council meeting, and in several previous public planning sessions, a map was presented which showed the entire area surrounding the paved Canyon Rim Trail, south of the airport and NM502, designated as “Open Space.”
    However, during the meeting, a change was made by the council to designate part of that area as “mixed-use,” a category which allows both residential and non-residential uses. It is the category assigned to the downtown area as well, which comprises high-density commercial and residential development. This change was made by the council without prior public notice.