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Today's Opinions

  • Retool, rethink, reshape

    Consideration of competitiveness began and ended the recent Domenici Public Policy Conference in Las Cruces.
    Norm Augustine, former Lockheed Martin CEO, began the conference. Since Lockheed manages Sandia National Laboratories, it is reasonable to figure that Augustine knows a bit about New Mexico.
    James L. Jones, retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former National Security Advisor for President Obama, closed the event.
    Reports from news organizations such as the Washington Post indicated that Jones didn’t fit with established Obama advisors, giving Jones added credibility.
    First, a note on the conference. In four years it has grown into an event bringing the highest-level national policy players to New Mexico.

  • The time for action is right about now

    I was very happy to learn that Ms. Coffin, a victim of an accident on  Trinity Drive, is able to walk and get around again.  
    We should look at options to prevent such accidents now, and not wait for grandiose plans that may never materialize, and cost many millions of dollars.
    For example, we could adjust the current signals so that if a pedestrian pushes a button to cross the street, all lights would go red.
    Additionally, the county should install the HAWK (High Intensity Activated Crosswalk) system that has resulted in a 29 percent reduction in total crashes and a 69 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes on Tucson highways.  
    It is cheap, and can be implemented without significant delay.

  • Serving on local T-Board is less than a thankless job

    At the risk of getting involved in another senseless debate, I admonish the Los Alamos Monitor for publishing childish letters intended to damage the enthusiasm of  our community volunteers.
    Please let me remind the roundabout detractors that the Transportation Board  is a citizen advisory board of volunteers who give their time to serve the community.
    They are not paid for their service yet they do their best to advise the county council on transportation issues in the community.
    It is less than a thankless job. Some of the nastiest letters I have ever read have been directed at the Transportation Board.
    All I can say is, “Shame on you for attacking our community service volunteers!”

  • Design within context

    In the Thursday story published in the Los Alamos Monitor, “Trinity Drive Still Hot Topic,” the reporter greatly simplified my blog comments on the relative value of separated bicycle facilities vs. on-street bicycle facilities.
    There are no good “one size fits all” solutions and I would not suggest, without context specific information, what type of bicycle facility I would recommend to the county council in my capacity as a Transportation Board member or for that matter, as a private citizen.
    Readers can refer to the blog for details (www.labikes.blogspot.com.)

  • Flor and fauna a lovely sight

    I would like to express my appreciation to Los Alamos County and the Parks Department for the great job that is done on our medians and our downtown area in making them so enjoyable.  
    All summer, it is a joy to travel around town and enjoy the colorful and well-kept gardens, hanging baskets and medians.  
    Thank  you!

    Dot Smith
    Los Alamos

     

  • Thoughts on giving thanks

    I attended the Thank You service on Aug. 25 to thank the Lord God for sending the civil servants and also for intervening Himself to rescue Los Alamos from the Las Conchas Fire in answer to our prayers.
    Our national anthem’s fourth verse states, “Blessed with victory and peace, may the Heaven-rescued land praise the Pow’r that has made and preserved us a nation!  Than conquer we must, when our cause it is just; and this be our motto, ‘In God is our trust.’  And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”  

  • County council should disregard input

    A public forum?  That was certainly questionable during the discussion related to the existence and authority of the Sheriff’s Office in Los Alamos County.  
    Several members of the committee made every attempt to limit public opinion regarding the subject at hand.  The manner in which Chair John Hopkins and committee member Harry Ettinger attempted to control opposition to their views was, to say the least, very unprofessional.  
    The public who attended, insisted on being heard regardless of the attempts to limit them to a short amount of speaking time and to rebut comments from the committee.  

  • Driving the rascals out comes back to mind

    In 1992, a little organization sprang up in New Mexico called “Drive the Rascals Out,” calling on voters to vote all incumbents out of the state legislature.
    This organization appeared to have just one member – Marvin something – but it caught on with public sentiment and got plenty of news coverage and TV time.
    This was the period when “RaymondandManny” was pronounced as one word. New Mexico House Speaker Raymond Sanchez and Senate President pro-Tem  Manny Aragon were quite different in style and substance, but the word symbolized the contempt with which many New Mexicans viewed their state legislature – as incompetent, corrupt and uncouth.