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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Letters to the Editor 10-23-16

    Garcia Richard’s vote inconsistent with promise

     

    I heard about the recent vote Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard made to take away $25 million from New Mexico public schools. This vote seemed inconsistent with her promise to protect education funding during the special session, so I decided to watch a video of the committee hearing and see what actually happened.

    I am very troubled by what I saw. It seems that Garcia Richard initially voted to table the bill in question, Senate Bill 10, but when she saw that all of her Democrat colleagues voted to support the bill, she changed her vote.

    This bill would have taken over $265,000 from Los Alamos Public Schools. What is more important to Garcia Richard, representing her district or protecting the party line?

    We need representatives that can think for themselves, independent of party instructions. We don’t need representatives who make empty promises or tell us one thing and then vote the opposite way when it matters.

    It’s time to hold our representatives accountable for their actions in the legislature. I’m voting for Sharon Stover because I know she’ll always put the interests of district ahead of party politics.

  • Letters to the Editor 10-23-16

    Solar energy share is less than stated in article

    This letter is in response to a recent article regarding “Does Solar Energy Make Business Sense?”
    A statement in this article says, “In 2010, solar was only 4 percent of U.S. electricity generation capacity. Now it’s 64 percent. That’s incredible...” According to the Energy Institute of America (EIA) it is only 0.6 percent; by far the larger renewable source is Wind Power.
    The table below is from EIA:
    Search eia.gov under “frequently asked questions” and find the following information.
    The website said:”What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?” In 2015, the United States generated about 4 trillion kilowatthours of electricity.1 About 67 percent of the electricity generated was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum). Major energy sources and percent share of total U.S. electricity generation in 2015.”
    • Coal  is 33 percent
    • Natural gas is 33 percent
    • Nuclear is 20 percent
    • Hydropower is 6 percent
    • Other renewables is 7 percent
    • Biomass is 1.6 percent
    • Geothermal is 0.4 percent
    • Solar is 0.6 percent
    • Wind is 4.7 percent

  • Letters to the Editor 10-19-16

    Keep Justice Judy on the supreme court

    I have known Judy Nakamura for over 30 years and have followed her career as a member of the judiciary.
    I first met Judy as a member of the Young Republicans where Judy worked hard to encourage young talented people to run for public office. She was enthusiastic and tireless. She impressed me and we became fast friends. I remember she was encouraged to go to law school and she entered the University of New Mexico School of Law. After law school I did not hear much of her, but when she ran for office and won, I was proud of her.
    Judy has a reputation of doing what is right no matter if she receives harsh criticism. She was honored by both state and national groups though the only one that I can recall is the one where she was honored for her work with teens who had alcohol problems.  She was the judge of the year for the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization.
    Judy was elected by her peers as chief justice, both in the metropolitan and the district courts. She was the chief justice for most of her tenure on the metropolitan court. During that time, she was responsible for the court calendar where she put many long lingering cases to trial despite defense lawyer opposition. Judy has a lot of courage.

  • Vote for bail reform to fix system of turnstile thugs

    One item on your ballot this November is bail reform, an issue with so much support and study it’s a no-brainer. But House decisions muddled by campaign donations came close to killing reform in the last legislative session.
    The issue: Everyone has a right to get out of jail by paying a bond, but over time it’s given us a turnstile system in which the most dangerous criminals get out if they have the money, while many who pose no risk remain behind bars because they can’t afford bail – at a cost of $100 a day to the county.
    “We often release high-risk people who commit new crimes and hold people who are no threat to us at all,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Daniels in a talk before New Mexico Press Women. “We’re releasing boomerang thugs and packing jails with people who don’t belong there. They’ve become debtors’ prisons.”
    It explains why some of our worst crimes have been committed by people who had been in jail but bonded out.
    “How did we end up with a system where money decides who gets out?” Daniels asked.
    We inherited it. The system is so old it goes back to the earliest laws in England. The commercial bail-bond industry has grown steadily since 1900, and, judging by the number of bondsmen stationed near courthouses, is a booming business. Judge for yourself whether that growth is benign or malignant.

  • Make sure every dollar you give to charity counts

    BY NATHANIEL SILLIN

    Financial Matters

     D

    eciding to make a charitable contribution can arise from a desire to help others, a passionate commitment to a cause or the aim to give back to a group that once helped you or a loved one. Choosing which organizations you want to support can be difficult. There are over a million public charities in the United States according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, and every dollar you give to Charity A is a dollar you might not be able to match for Charity B. 

    Whether it’s a friend’s charity run or supporting an animal rescue, often the decision to give comes down to a mix of internal and external factors. You have to determine which causes are most important to you, and with outside help you can compare how effective various charities are at using their funding.

    Many non-profits do incredible work, but it’s always smart to verify their claims. You can start your due diligence by double checking an organization’s tax-exempt status using the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Exempt Organizations Select Check Tool.