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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the Editor 11-6-2016

    Support for
    Stover for State Rep. Dist. 43 

     

    I am supporting Sharon Stover for State Representative. I have known and worked with Sharon for years, and she has always been kind, dependable and inclusive. Sharon is a leader with knowledge of Los Alamos and New Mexico, competent and professional.

    I am speaking to one issue that has surfaced.  Many people have tried to suggest her actions regarding issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Los Alamos County were motivated by bias.  Rather than acting from bias, however, Sharon was part of a Professional and unified effort by all 33 county clerks in New Mexico to get the courts to decide on one standard for the whole state.  I believe their actions were courageous and necessary since the Legislature at the time refused to resolve the issue through the appropriate method -- legislation. As soon as the New Mexico judge affirmed a ruling for same sex marriage and the New Mexico Supreme also affirmed it, the Los Alamos County Clerk’s office has issued marriage licenses to same sex couples since September 2013.

  • Public art is tool for economic, community development

    Public art has been a force for economic development in New Mexico at least since the Great Depression, when the federal government paid hundreds of unemployed artists to create murals, sculpture and other artworks that grace federal buildings to this day. 

    Nearly a century later, many New Mexico cities are using public art projects to promote economic vitality by creating a foundation for community identity, centralizing disparate neighborhoods with a collective vision and attracting the attention of businesses that value culturally vibrant communities. One of those cities is Rio Rancho.

    “Public art speaks to our culture and how we value the places we live in,” said Daniel Chamberlain, an architect with FBT Architects and chairman of Rio Rancho’s volunteer Arts Commission. “It is a wonderful negotiator of vision. It’s a quality-of-life driver.”

    The payback can be enormous, Chamberlain said, even if it’s hard to measure. 

    Committed to the arts

  • Letters to the Editor 11-2-16

    LA MainStreet says thank you to community

    On behalf of Los Alamos MainStreet and the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation (LACDC), we would like to specially thank the businesses and sponsors that supported Halloweekend and Trick-or-Treat on MainStreet. The good weather helped bring a record-breaking 5,000 people into downtown Los Alamos for Trick-or-Treat on MainStreet last Friday evening. We so appreciate the businesses that opened their doors to the public and bought candy for children and their families.
    A special thank you to our sponsors, Los Alamos National Bank, Los Alamos Medical Center and Smith’s Marketplace and our partners Los Alamos County, Central Park Square, Los Alamos Creative District and LACDC staff. Without your support, we could not put on this event. Equally important, thank you to the organizations that provided supporting events within Halloweekend including, but not limited to, Bradbury Science Museum, YMCA, Arts Council, Balloonists Elizabeth & Mike Walker, Mary Urban, Pet Pangaea, Survive LA and Dance Arts Los Alamos.

  • Letters to the Editor 10-28-16

    District attorney candidate Serna involved in case
    dismissal

    Marco Serna (D), 1st Judicial District Candidate for district attorney, is at the center of a storm. Sandoval County Deputy District Attorney Barbara Romo blames Serna, who was Assistant district attorney in the 13th Judicial District, for not filing a key piece of appeal paperwork, the victim’s testimony, leading to the dismissal of a brutal domestic violence case.
    Serna claims: “I didn’t draft the appeal and I didn’t sign the appeal and I didn’t attend any hearings... Nor was I involved in any of the appeal.”
    The victim’s attorney claims Serna was “actively involved with the matter from the beginning,” and that Serna attended high school with the alleged perpetrator and took classes from the perpetrator’s mother.
    A district attorney represents the state, pursuing justice while giving victims a voice. Can we get the facts? Either clear Serna’s name, or identify him to the voters as someone responsible for criminal charges against a friend since high school being dropped.
    • Costello, Brittany, Domestic violence case against former APD officer dismissed, kob.com/albuquerque-news/domestic-violence-case-against-former-apd-officer-dismissed-patrick-ficke/4140981/, May 17, 2016.

  • Continuing education is part of Prosperity Project

     Worried about the election?

    Worried about the not-so-creeping dogmas of control, dependence and redistribution driving the thinking of the so-called “progressives?” Worried about the $350,000 dumped into New Mexico local races during September and October by the Washington, D.C.-based Patriot Majority Democratic political action committee? Worried that the sources of that money were American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees ($250,000) and the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund ($100,000)?

    Wondering if your fellow employees at your organization might find value in issue information but also reluctant to step into the back-and-forth nastiness characterizing campaigns these days, especially because stepping into campaign nastiness would get in the way of your organization’s mission of doing the work and profitably serving the customers?

    Communicating with employees about policy and political matters is completely appropriate, observed Jim Gerlach, CEO of BIPAC of Washington, D.C. After all, Gerlach said during his June visit to Santa Fe, everyone else communicates about all sorts of issues. 

  • Letters to the Editor 10-27-16

     Chris Chandler is dedicated to community

     

    I strongly encourage Los Alamos citizens to vote for Chris Chandler for county council. I have known and worked with Chris for years and have great respect for her abilities and judgment. Her dedication to the community is shown by her previous service on the county council, the planning and zoning commission, and charter review committees. She is a hard worker who makes sure she fully understands an issue before recommending what action she thinks appropriate. She expresses her positions and the reasons for them clearly and understandably, and is able to work with others to find the best solutions for problems being considered.  She listens carefully to citizen concerns, and will strive to make council actions reflect the needs and wishes of the community.

    Mark Jones

    Los Alamos

     

    Anne Nobile will faithfully serve as probate judge

     

  • Assets In Action: Red Ribbon Week celebrates drug-free living

    If you didn’t know, this is Red Ribbon week. I hope you might take a moment to ask the children or grandchildren in your life, if school did anything for Red Ribbon week. Nationally the campaign slogan is YOLO for You Only Live Once, so do it drug free.

    While most schools try to send the message about not drinking or being drug free, almost anything healthy fits into the making healthy choices category, which should make the conversation easy to approach.

    While I love that schools attempt to send message, which I believe adds to creating a safe school climate, we need to carry the message from our homes, community organizations, churches, synagogues and more. Diet wise if I only had to make healthy choices while I was at work for 8 hours a day and then did all the bad things the other 16 hours a day, things wouldn’t work out.

    So we need to have the conversations with our kids and send the message that we as adults make healthy choices every day too. 

    Here’s what some of the data has to say about our youth. Did you know that 26 percent of our ninth through twelfth graders admit to being current drinkers? 15% of those drinkers admit to being binge drinkers and sadly there’s even a category that asks if they have had 10 drinks in one sitting.

  • Overcoming isolation of the elderly

     A woman I know lives alone and, at age 60-plus, has a chronic health condition. Often she doesn’t feel well. She thinks she would not be good company, so she doesn’t reliably return the calls of people who are trying to be her friends. 

    She’s isolated and depressed and has difficulty asking for help when she needs it. Eventually those friends may stop calling. Does that sound like anyone you know?

    Social isolation of the elderly and those with disabilities is an epidemic of our time. It’s receiving increasing recognition in public policy and public health circles. Isolation makes many frail elderly individuals miserable. And they develop health problems that add costs to our health systems. 

    Most people who have homes want to stay in them as they age; the studies confirm what common sense would tell you. But they (make that “we”) are all at risk for the frailties of old age, including losing the ability to drive and other skills basic to living independently.