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Today's Opinions

  • Blackened land and red ink

    Clearing out old magazines last week, I came across a National Geographic (May 2010) story summarizing simply and graphically how, exactly, the 230-square-mile blast zone around Mount St. Helens is recovering.
    If life can return on this most damaged of lands, it’s encouraging for us.
    Ecologists expected most growth to begin on the margins.
    Instead, it’s recovering from the inside out. Surviving pocket gophers pushed soil to the surface, where wind-blown seeds landed and took root; perennials poked through the ash, shrubs resprouted.
    Other burrowing creatures, like toads and mice, emerged. As new plants appeared, insects returned; elk hooves broke up the crust and mixed ash and soil. It will take 50 years for a forest to reappear.

  • State revenue is up

    Reports and reality checks about the New Mexico economy bring us to survey what’s happening.
    Start with the most recent news, that revenue to state government (that means taxes paid) is running ahead of the December 2010 forecast.
    The estimated growth was eight percent through the first ten months of FY 11, the budget year that ended June 30.
    The forecast was for 6.8 percent. Estimated income to the state’s general fund, the main pot of operating money, was $4.25 billion, up a nice $313 million over the first 10 months of FY 10.
    The news came in the June issue of the Legislative Finance Committee’s monthly revenue report. See www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/lfc/lfcrevreports.aspx for the reports.

  • Many areas subject to wild fires

    The situation in Los Alamos reflects so many other areas that are vulnerable to wild fires. Tragedy can be alleviated and losses kept to minimum through a change in national policy. I am referring to the policy of contracting for air fire suppression.
    Consider the C-17 Globemaster:
    •A load capacity of 170,000 lbs. (that’s 21,250 gallons of water).
    •Capable of dropping loads near ground level.
    •There are three squadrons based at Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash.
    •Range is 2,400 nautical miles fully loaded.
    •Capable of operating from airfields of 3,500 feet of runway and 90 feet width.

  • Who is conservative enough?

    Three years ago, four of our five-member congressional delegation gave up their seats to retirement or a run for higher office.
    An 80 percent turnover in any state’s congressional delegation is most unusual. It is almost a total loss of seniority.  
    Sen. Jeff Bingaman, with his 26 years of experience was the only seniority the delegation had.
    Four years later, New Mexico will lose Bingaman’s seniority and that of House member Martin Heinrich who is running for Bingaman’s open Senate seat.
    That will put New Mexico even farther down the seniority ladder. But it will give us two very exciting congressional races in both the primary and general elections.

  • Good experience at Dr. Tom's

    We recently took our three children for their annual physicals with Dr. Tom Csanadi (Dr. Tom) in his new office. He saw them together, taking time to exam and speak to them.
    Our children have never seemed happier after a doctor’s appointment.  They talked all through dinner about the funny things Dr. Tom said and how they’re no longer nervous about going to the doctor.
    Our’s children’s ages span a daughter going to high school and a son in kindergarten who were equally happy with their visits. Dr. Coombs came over from her OB-GYN practice to visit with us — it’s one stop shopping!
    We couldn’t recommend Dr. Tom more highly ... it’s so nice to have options out there now.

  • Lots of kudos go to KRSN

    I don’t listen much to KRSN. But when I need them, like the recent Las Conchas evacuation, they’re always there at A.M. 1490. They did a clearly spectacular job over the period of the fire in keeping us all informed and connected.
    Things have changed since I last listened to KRSN (Cerro Grande fire). I was, at first, taken aback by the lady announcer they had on the air.  
    But the more I listened, the more I really began to like her. Her jerky, staccato, school-marmish, breezy, amateurish (in the highest sense of the word) on-air delivery often left me in stitches.
    A smooth, polished, well coiffed Katie Couric she ain’t. But CBS News’ loss is Los Alamos’ gain. Gillian Sutton ... you’re simply the best!!!

  • Roundabouts may have hampered evacuation

    I am glad to hear the recent evacuation went well.  
    Imagine how it would have gone had the proposed seven roundabouts on Trinity Drive had been in place.
    Contact your favorite council person.

    Phyllis B. Holland
    Los Alamos

  • Requesting council provide explanation on MIG deal

    Los Alamos County Council, I was recently informed that despite being shown data that proves the MIG presentation and proposals are severely faulted, you intend to continue to invest our tax dollars in hiring them — at the tune of another $80,000 — to present more of their biased analysis.  
    So far, I think you’ve already paid them $400,000 for this venture alone. I am asking you now for a justification statement for this continued expenditure. In any well run business, large expenditures can always be formally justified by a written statement.  
    I am asking you for this written statement.