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Today's Opinions

  • The value of a life is not something to ponder

    When we moved to Los Alamos, we were warned that Letters to the Editor in the local paper might include mathematical formulae, so I was not surprised but pleased by Ms. Max’s recent letter where she used mathematics to point out likely errors in the consultant’s presentation on the Trinity Drive project.
    As she indicates, the crash rate shown in the presentation comparing the state, county and N.M. 502 crash rates indeed pertain to crash rates per 100 million vehicle miles, not million vehicle miles, and I suspect that the N.M. 502 crash rate listed applies either to the portion of NM 502 within Los Alamos County, or possibly even its whole length from Pojoaque. I agree that this should be corrected in any future presentation.

  • Dollar saved can be yours

    Those of us who have been around the block a few times will remember the last time gasoline hit $4 per gallon a new industry sprang up.
    Drivers could buy magnets to attach to fuel lines to allegedly boost a car’s gas mileage by 20 or even 30 percent.
    The devices didn’t work, but the brisk market for them reflected the pain we were feeling at the pump.
    The Rock Doc confidently predicts the current spike in gas prices will lead to yet another round of activity by the charlatans we saw last time.

  • 10 items or less and other public education failures

    You’re standing in the grocery store “10 items or less” line and the person in front of you clearly has more than 10 items in his or her basket. Do you:
    •Mumble under your breath about the injustice of it all?
    • Love them unconditionally?
    •Think, “What the *@##! They’ve got 21 items in their basket. Can’t they count?” and recognize that our public school systems are responsible for dumbing down our math skills?
    •Feel guilty about placing the blame on math teachers and realize the problem is the failure of reading teachers?
    •Set your basket down and leave?

  • State budget ripple effect

    We complain that they aren’t competent. But now we have reason to worry that there aren’t enough of them.
    Government employees, that is — specifically, the front-line regulators who are charged with keeping us safe and keeping our institutions honest. This is an effect of the looming cuts in the state budget.
    Construction inspectors are in short supply, a construction industry executive told me.
    Budget shortfalls have led several New Mexico municipalities to let go of their own inspectors because they can turn over inspection duties to the state.

  • Spaceport: Economic and education engine

    As I begin my new position as the executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, I anticipate an exciting time ahead for New Mexico as the commercial space industry grows by leaps and bounds.
    My vision for Spaceport America is to create the world’s premier commercial space-launch facility, providing first-class customer service and attracting visitors from around the world.
    We view Spaceport America as an engine to help stimulate New Mexico’s economy by creating new jobs and to motivate and inspire our students to achieve greatness in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

  • Successful roundabout example exists

    As an author published in the area of traffic safety and a former Transportation Board member, I would feel remiss in not pointing out numerous errors in Joel Williams Thursday “ViewPoint.”
    What has surprised me in the discussion of local roundabouts is the obvious, successful, example that already exists.  I was a Transportation Board member when the alternatives for the intersection at North Mesa and San Ildefonso were discussed.  

  • Taking melodramatic media to task

    In Japan’s recent devastating earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant structures remarkably survived the 9.0 quake intact, but suffered major damage when the tsunami destroyed external electrical transmission.
    It also topped the seawall and inundated the backup diesel generators that power pumps for cooling water to the cores and adjacent spent fuel storage pools.
    It is a severe loss of coolant event. The frantic reporting is reminiscent of Three Mile Island – inflated and misinterpreted.
    It is hard to separate the facts from the assertions and the media are not helping, but with each passing day more information relevant to the outcome emerges and the hand wringing of previous days lessens.

  • It really does take a village

     My Labrador Coalby and I just got certified as a FEMA Urban Disaster K9 team. We are now deployable anywhere to respond to urban disasters (i.e. what Japan is going through right now.)  
    We could not have accomplished this without the support of several community members and establishments.  
    Thank you to Ed, Michelle and Conrad (Lee) at the Black Hole, Paul Parker, Aspen School Principal Kathryn Vandenkieboom and her staff, my K9 wilderness team Mountain Canine Corps (especially Trish Mylet.)
    Also, the 2009 Los Alamos Leadership class that helped us get off on the right paw, Lette Birn, and Ridgeview Veterinary Hospital.