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Today's Opinions

  • Letter to the Editor 12-13-17

    Have charter school
    organizers, parents tried to improve LAMS?

    Dear Editor,
    I was surprised to read about the effort to organize a Polaris Public Charter School for sixth- to eighth-graders in Los Alamos. I am asking and, this is something I do not know, if the organizers and parents have tried working to improve Los Alamos Middle School, LAMS.  
    I worked for many years at the high school when Mike Johnson, the current principal at LAMS, was there. I do not think one could find a more competent, caring, hard-working administrator.  I believe that he would always be interested in ideas (even radically different ones) to improve the education for our children at the middle school.  
    As a teacher at the high school, I was always aware that the success of Los Alamos schools was in many ways a direct result of the parental interest in education.
    The parents convey this message to their children in innumerable ways and the children then come to school ready to learn because they understand it is important, even during the years when children seem not to be listening to their parents.   I would love to see this considerable effort and parental interest work toward improving the middle school that all ready exists.  
    Julie Wangler
    Los Alamos

  • Cedar Crest woman brews up business with help from nonprofit lender

    By FINANCE NEW MEXICO

    Hannah Johnson left Cedar Crest, New Mexico, to get a biology degree, and after a stint in shorebird conservation, she returned to start a coffee shop in her hometown in the eastern Sandia Mountain foothills.

    The owner of Cabra Coffee, which opened in spring 2017, started making quality coffee at college. “My first job working in the industry was when I was going to school at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. It was just the coffee shop in the school, but we were getting coffee from a cafe in Seattle, and they would come down and train us. That’s where I first learned how to make coffee professionally.”

    During her subsequent conservation work with the piping plover at Massachusetts Audubon, Hannah found that her side job in a coffee shop brought her more joy because it offered social interaction. “I wasn’t working with anybody, … and I needed a way to make friends. The coffee shop (in Nantucket) was brand new. I realized that I knew more than anybody else there just from working at the coffee shop at my school. So I was put into the manager position, overseeing everything to do with the coffee. And that’s when I really discovered that it was something I liked doing and that I was good at.”

  • Letter to the Editor 12-10-17

    Statement was changed

    Dear Editor,
    Let’s get facts straight. Mr. Richardson recently totally changed my statements at the school board meeting and in my last letter to the editor. Please see the minutes of the School Board meeting, or better watch it on video, as well as read my letter in the Nov. 19 edition of the LA Monitor to see I fiercely defended the children.
    I find it detestable that someone would deliberately use children to misrepresent in order to advance their own political agenda. This includes the school board, teachers and parents who pass resolutions stating what is already protected by federal law rather than address the repeatedly stated reason for the resolution which is bullying!
    Each school board members’ comments and letter to the editor have given one reason for the need for a resolution, that Latino and Hispanic students are being repeatedly targeted for bullying by apparently white students calling them names and threatening them with deportation. Why is this bullying not being addressed? Why are our children not being taught to respect others? Why are they not disciplined or suspended for bullying?
    Every child and teenager deserves to have an education AND to feel SAFE while getting it !!! I was bullied in elementary and middle school so I know first hand what it’s like.

  • Why must Los Alamos be divided?

    BY LISA SHIN AND KATHLEENE PARKER
    Guests Editorial

    Our nation is divided. Must Los Alamos be too? Why, so often, are letters or comments at public meetings about personal attack? Perhaps we should remember Thomas Jefferson’s, “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.”

    In the Dec. 1 edition of the Los Alamos Monitor, Jess Cullinan – incidentally, a prime driver in asking the school board to pass a sanctuary policy – wrote labeling “those vocal few” as seeking to “sow chaos and to sabotage” the school board’s and superintendent’s efforts to protect vulnerable students.

    But, it is that assumption – that students are even vulnerable – that is our right to question. Cullinan’s letter defines that federal immigration policy “prohibits by law” asking about immigration status and that ICE activity in schools is restricted, proof – based on Cullinan’s own information – that the Los Alamos effort is not about solving a real problem but make a political statement.

  • Letters to the Editor 12-8-17

    $7 million Kiddie Pool with a $34 million
    Cash Cow

    Dear Editor,
    Earlier this year, County Councilor Chris Chandler told us that what the voters would decide in the REC Bond election, would become the “Council’s marching orders.” So I ask, was a $5 million or a $7 million kiddie pool the voters’ “marching orders”? A $5 million pool was questionable. But $7 million? Citizens voiced their opinions and made their voices heard on May 23, 2017.
    We had hoped that our County Council would vote on what the majority wanted. Democracy in action. Apparently, that was asking too much.
    Further, Councilor Susan O’Leary told us that “if the bond fails, $7 million in CIP funds allocated to the projects is likely to be distributed to non-recreation projects vying for that money.” If only voters had known what this actually meant: “if the bond fails, $7 million in CIP funds will be distributed for an expanded kiddie pool.” Unbelievable!

  • Throwing money at The Wall is pointless

    New Mexico’s border crossing at Columbus small but brisk.

    Tiny Columbus’s claim to fame is Pancho Villa’s raid in 1916, commemorated by a state park. Snowbirds hunker down in the campground to spend a comfortable winter. The only shopping is a Dollar Store close to the international boundary.

    Across the border, the much larger Palomas gets a steady stream of Americans shopping at the Pink Store, getting dental work done or buying cheap over-the-counter drugs.

    Border guards on both sides are friendly and professional. The atmosphere is relaxed.

    You can’t visit the border without contemplating The Wall.

    The existing wall here of 18-foot steel columns is of fairly recent vintage. I try to imagine a new wall of the prototypes on display in California and envision a tourniquet that squeezes trade and relations between the two countries.

    In October the U. S. Customs and Border Protection unveiled eight giant rectangles made of concrete or composites. If you live in Ohio, you might believe a wall of this stuff will keep us safe and hold the hordes at bay.

  • Letter to the Editor 12-5-17

    Make your voice heard about Aquatic Center

    Dear Editor,
    On Aug. 8, 2017, the County Council voted to just do a small kiddie pool for $5 million, instead of using the entire $7,816,000 that was in the projected budget for a multi-generational pool. Since then the county staff did the research as requested by the council and has now presented a design for the $5 million, they had to leave out the lazy river and the water slide and it is now just a zero-entry, warm water pool with some water sprays.

    The extra $2 million will bring back the lazy river and water slide. The county has the money to make a nice family recreational pool that can be enjoyed by all ages, all year around. What are we waiting for!

    Thirty years ago, the entire Aquatic Center was $4 million things are not going to get cheaper. This community can afford to do this for our families, what we can’t afford is to wait any longer!

  • Businesses unsettled by DACA uncertainty

    FINANCE NEW MEXICO

    Barring congressional intervention, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is ending, and DACA recipients — or “Dreamers” — are subject to deportation when their work permits expire if they didn’t get an extension before the Oct. 5 deadline.

    The demise of the program has created uncertainty among employers who are required to fire DACA recipients the day after their permits expire but risk discrimination charges if they act too soon to terminate — or even identify — DACA recipients on their payrolls.

    Companies risk fines for employing ineligible workers. They’re also advised to prepare carefully for this sudden change in circumstances for up to 800,000 young people whose parents brought them into the United States without proper documentation when they were children.

    A delicate question

    All employees, regardless of their citizenship status, must fill out an I-9 form and provide multiple forms of identification to verify their eligibility to work in the United States. Noncitizen workers carry papers that authorize them to work here temporarily; the paperwork includes a code that specifies the basis for the permit, but employers are discouraged from using the code to identify DACA recipients.