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Today's Opinions

  • Just A Wag 07-22-11

    Retired teacher tapes History Channel Show

    We hear that former Los Alamos teacher Petr Jandacek fly to New York City in June and was filmed as part of a documentary  about Otzi, the Neolithic iceman whose frozen remains were found in the early 1990s.

    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.

  • Will teach pupils for pulp

    Being a teacher can be frustrating.  
    Meetings with parents after school, tutoring sessions, late nights and weekends spent preparing lessons, constructing tests, grading tests, getting really depressed over test grades – it’s all part of the job and as masochistic as it sounds, I love it.
    But there are things that do get you down. For instance, paper.  Yeah, those 8 1/2 by 11 inch flexible flash drives we use for kinesthetic education.  
    Maybe you remember these from before the computer age?
    You hold a stylus (called a pencil) in your hand and enter data (called writing) onto the information pad (called a piece of paper).

  • New Mexicans less educated, work less

    The interim Economic and Rural Development Committee held its July meeting in Santa Rosa.
    My concern here is the presentation by two esteemed observer-analysts of New Mexico, Adelamar Alcantara, who directs Geospatial and Population Studies at the University of New Mexico, and Jim Peach, economics professor at New Mexico State University.
    We couldn’t find the meeting. Alcantara and Peach provided their presentation materials.
    New Mexico’s population, as reported in the 2010 census, was Alcantara’s topic. Peach followed with a discussion of demographic trends and labor markets. Trust me, this stuff really is more interesting than watching paint dry.

  • Fix fireworks issue

    Were you outraged, around July 4, that there was no statewide ban on the sale of fireworks?
    You’re not alone.  
    So was almost everybody else, including several newspaper editorial writers.  
    Some legislators have tried to change the New Mexico law; while several bills in favor of public safety died in committee, the law has been amended more than once in favor of the fireworks industry.
    The dangerous conditions are not the fault of the fireworks industry, and nobody is alleging otherwise.
    In matters of this nature, special interests tend to turn the argument upside down, implying that they are being scapegoated for conditions they did not cause.
    So let’s be clear that the public is not confused about this.

  • Not willing to let Trinity endanger kids

    As a biker, I am more than willing to avoid Trinity Drive during rush hours. As a taxpayer, I am appalled at the money we are throwing at this proposed redesign. As a parent, I would NOT allow my precious young children to cross this road at any time.
    There is nothing they need on that side of the road. Older children have the crosswalks. The hidden agenda of this redesign appears to be to make Trinity Drive so slow that morning and evening traffic will use the truck route or Pajarito Road.

  • Seeing regular folks become heroes

    On June 27, normal life stopped for all of us in Los Alamos because of the Las Conchas Fire.  
    As residents abandoned their homes to escape the fire, the firefighters of Los Alamos, including my daughter’s fiance, left their families to rush into harm’s way.  
    During the first hours of the fire, the men and women who make up the Los Alamos Fire Department provided a protective barrier between Los Alamos and the fast moving fire.
    There were no Hot Shots, helicopters with water buckets or planes with slurry, just the firefighters and personnel from Los Alamos County, making their stand by downing trees and making a barrier in order to try to get control of the direction of the fire.

  • Call for change in policy

    The situation in Los Alamos reflects so many other areas that are vulnerable to wildfires. 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: 1. A load capacity of 170,000 lbs. (that’s  21,250 gallons of water). 2. Capable of dropping loads near ground level. 3.  There are three squadrons based at Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington. 4.  Range is 2,400 nautical miles fully loaded. 5. Capable of operating from  airfields of 3,500 ft of runway and 90ft width. 6. Their mission is to:  

  • Roundabouts do work

    As we evacuated, I thought about what evacuation traffic might be like if Trinity Drive had roundabouts instead of the traffic lights currently in place.
    Guess what? Los Alamos  County police officers had to be stationed at each of these intersections to keep traffic moving in effect creating a roundabout.
    This appeared to be necessary because traffic lights turning red would have stopped traffic flow and caused backups.
    My thanks to the county police for helping us avoid the joys of sitting at a red light with no side traffic waiting to evacuate town.

    Daniel Varley
    Los Alamos