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Today's Opinions

  • Let us prepare now

    The Las Conchas Fire is mercifully coming to an end. Hopefully monsoon rains will finish it off.  
    But its effects will be long-lasting, and its size (despite the valiant efforts of firefighters) is alarming.
    After the Cerro Grande Fire, Los Alamos National Laboratory held a three-day conference on new concepts in fire suppression.
    It was widely recognized that existing suppression technology was badly outdated. The conference included experts from most agencies involved with fire fighting and research.
    Several very interesting ideas were forthcoming, but perhaps the most important one was a three-agency collaboration proposing to fight fires primarily from the air and at night when most fires are relatively dormant.

  • Viewpoint: Band of recycling fairies and more

    Do you ever wonder what happens to your recycling after you toss it into your roll cart?  
    Is there a band of recycling fairies who utilize their magic powers to sort the materials and generate new products?  Farfetched explanation?  
    Perhaps, but the fact is most people are unaware of the processes involved with recycling. But no worries, I am here to enlighten you.
    In Los Alamos County we have a single-stream recycling collection system, meaning all recyclable materials are mixed together by the resident in one cart and collected.  
    The roll cart is emptied into one of the County’s recycling collection vehicles and brought to the Eco Station.  

  • Hope where there is none

    For us in the County of Los Alamos, the view of smoke on the horizon gives us the sense of “not again.”  
    As a resident, I have experienced the La Mesa Fire, the Dome Fire, the Oso Fire, the Cerro Grande Fire and now the Las Conchas Fire.  
    But in addition, as an ecologist for 33 years, I have studied and measured the recovery of several of these fires, especially the La Mesa Fire.
    Out of the sense of hopelessness and grief of losing trees, I have found that watching the area recover from each of these fires has given me a sense of hope and awe at nature’s intricate balance and healing.  
    We sometimes see only the loss and not the miracle of rebirth.

  • Leakage is top problem

    “Our downtown is disappearing; local businesses are struggling; local residents are shopping elsewhere; non-residents are earning incomes here and taking that money out of town; there is too much ‘leakage.’”
    Sound familiar?  Welcome to Whittier, Calif., where the leakage problem was the central issue in the 2006 city council election campaigns.
    For the past years we have heard a constant drum-beat about “leakage,” the money earned in Los Alamos, which leaves Los Alamos.  Supposedly this is problem number one.  

  • Move over, Harry

    Lord Voldemort was a threat to all that is good in the world.
    As his forces expanded and his strength grew, there seemed little hope left for the magical kingdom he sought to claim.
    But all stories have a hero and Harry Potter came to the rescue.
    We all knew that Voldemort would eventually meet his end at Harry’s hand.  After all, Harry is a true hero!
    For some others, it’s Batman. Or Iron Man. The Lone Ranger. Matt Dillon. Davy Crockett. The Shadow (and who else knows).
    We go to work, put in our nine to five (if you’re lucky), pick up a frozen pizza on the way home, and sit back to watch heroes entertain us.

  • Just A Wag 07-15-11

    Fireworks rescheduled

    We’re hearing that officials are considering holding the Kiwanis Club’s annual fireworks extravaganza Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-4 at Overlook Park.
    Also, being considered is a community healing/appreciation  event on the day of the fireworks.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  
    The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • New Mexico aviation infrastructure graded C-

    New Mexico has a seaplane base. It’s one of 61 airports open to the public, according to the 2005 Report Card on New Mexico Infrastructure from the New Mexico Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
    The report said our aviation infrastructure, graded C-, is ahead of the national average of D+.
    This is as it should be; with the least amount of surface water of any state, we have a seaplane base.
    Wikipedia places the base on Conchas Lake, near Tucumcari, and says it’s owned by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. This figures; the Corps messed up the New Orleans levees, but managed a seaplane base in the desert. The base brings new meaning to puddle jumping.

  • Don't let courts redistrict

    State legislators assume they’ll be back at the  Roundhouse in a couple of months for a special session devoted to redistricting New Mexico’s three U.S. House seats, along with the five seats that comprise the Public Regulation Commission and, of course, the legislature itself.
    Their target date for this late-summer conclave is Sept. 12, after Labor Day when the tourist season has waned, and hotels, motels and other accommodations will be available during their Santa Fe sojourn.
    This will be Gov. Susana Martinez’s first special session, and it is she who will set the date for the legislature to convene.
    Nor has she indicated whether that mid-September date suits her fancy.