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Today's Opinions

  • Diamond delays truly costly

    The Los Alamos Monitor’s blazing headline on Sunday, September 30, “Councilor makes costly motion,” was about three County staffers each spending roughly five hours waiting for an agenda item delayed in a Council meeting.
    Actually, most staffers anticipate that possibility and work on something else in an anteroom.  The time can be at least partially productive.
    A more important story would address how much time we have wasted sitting in traffic on Diamond Drive.  Construction took five years, not the planned three.  In most of those years, work extended weeks to months beyond what was scheduled.  Traffic control plans appeared to have been developed in response to jams, not engineered in advance and then tweaked.

  • Time to restructure

    As Jerome Block Jr. joins the roster of bad boys and girls forced to leave the state’s Public Regulation Commission, let’s look back and see how we got here.
    In 1996 voters passed a constitutional amendment to combine the State Corporation Commission, whose three members were elected on a statewide basis, and the Public Utility Commission, whose three members were appointed.
    It would be replaced by the Public Regulation Commission, whose five members would be elected by district.
    This super-agency would regulate utilities, phone companies, water and sewer systems, insurance, pipelines, and tow-truck operators.

  • It gets better

    They say death is the great equalizer. We all feel pretty much the same after we die.
    And when a loved one dies, the living all suffer the same pain of loss. And so it was for my friend when Bill died.  
    My friend was inconsolable and there was little anyone could do to ease the torment in his heart. Bill had died of AIDS and Mark was his friend, his life mate, his lover. But not his husband.
    As Tina Turner sang, what’s love got to do with it?
    Mark and Bill had lived together in a loving relationship for more than 20 years (far longer than most heterosexual marriages I know.)  
    The disease that took Bill’s life had been contracted by an infected blood supply, not by infidelity or promiscuity.  

  • Gerrymandering lives on

    Elbridge Gerry had quite a life. Born on July 17, 1744, in Marblehead, Mass., he died 70 years later in Washington, D.C.
    In the intervening years, Gerry graduated from Harvard University, where he immersed himself in classical studies.
    A decade later, he was serving in the Colonial House of Delegates before going on to become a member of the Continental Congress.
    It would be a dazzling political career that put Elbridge Gerry among that select group of American patriots who signed the Declaration of Independence and later among those who served in the new nation’s First and Second Congresses.
    His final triumph came in 1812, when he was elected vice president of the United States under President James Madison.

  • Stepping back from dam power

    Just over a century ago, when William Howard Taft was president and I was a young woman, an entrepreneur named Thomas Aldwell started building a dam in the Northwest woods of the Olympic peninsula in Washington.
    The 108-foot-high Elwha dam became an early hydroelectric powerhouse, helping to fuel population and industrial growth related to activities as varied as forestry and ship-building.  
    Over the following decades more hydro-dams in the West were built.
    Mega-dams like Grand Coulee and Boulder rose across rivers, and the cost for electricity to users dropped sharply.

  • Naming names is important

    As I read the Sunday Los Alamos Monitor with excitement on the ‘Toppers win against the Albuquerque Academy Chargers, I realized there was an important omission as I read the front page photo caption next to the photo of the homecoming court members.    
    The photo caption finished by saying: “At halftime of Friday night’s game, the homecoming court also was announced.”  
    This is where the omission occurred.
    This would have been a great opportunity to name the members of the homecoming court — at a minimum — the names of the homecoming king and queen.

  • Retain sheriff’s office

    It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian or Tea Party member, it is time to get involved.
     Local discussions are underway to decide if the County of Los Alamos should retain the elected position of sheriff.
    We as Americans should always be aware of when changes could be made to impact our right to vote in the future.
    I would like to take this opportunity to urge the community to contact the Charter Review Committee and the County Council to support the office of the sheriff.
    While it doesn’t affect the current sheriff, it would impact future elections.

  • Government only helps

    Here’s the recipe for growing an economy:
    “The growth rate of real per capita output is the sum of the growth rate of real per capita labor input and productivity growth.
    Productivity … is determined by the technology and regulatory structure of the economy and therefore is largely independent of spending policies.”
    The good words come from two economists, Harold L. Cole of the University of Pennsylvania and Lee E. Ohanian of UCLA. Their essay appeared Sept. 26 in the Wall Street Journal.
    Growing real per capita labor input means more people working more. Doing more stuff and doing existing tasks more efficiently grows productivity.
    Companies are doing something about growing real per capita output.