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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the editor 6-3-15

    Why the open forum do-over?

    I was very disappointed to see that the open forum on the plastic bag ban was reopened this week.  When I asked the Environmental Sustainability Board’s staff liaison, “Why?”
    She told me, “to give more people a chance to answer.”
    I am calling foul on this.  The original survey was open for four weeks and had over 400 on forum responses — which is more than any other open forum survey results. The open forum survey was also well publicized by local media, as well as by my group, Save the Bag: Los Alamos. I assume that the Sierra Club advertised it among their membership as well.
    If people did not take the opportunity to answer during the original four-week period, they should not get a “do-over.” This action is an attempt by supporters of the plastic bag ban to get results that favor their position. It also makes the Environmental Sustainability Board look biased in support of a bag ban and tax.
    In regard to the results of the original open forum, 80 percent of Los Alamos residents do not favor a ban on lightweight multi-use plastic shopping bags. The comments were also interesting, as well.

  • Wildlife decisions provoke old feuds, trapping is clear

    Cougars and bears: Are they game, predators, varmints, wildlife in need of protection?
    The state Game and Fish Department and the Game Commission are once again in the crosshairs of conservation groups over proposals to control cougar and bear populations.
    The department revisits its plans every four years and suggests it’s time to trim both populations. The public debate has focused on numbers, drought, timing and trapping.
    Like a whirlwind raising dust, the discussion also drags in the old welfare rancher vs. tree-hugger feud. We hear that Game and Fish coddles ranchers and that the commission is a bunch of good-’ol-boy political appointees.
    Let’s dispense with those first.
    If your livelihood depends on livestock, you’ll lean on the department for protective measures. And the commission has always been political. Gov. Bill Richardson caught flak for appointing campaign donors to the commission, and he certainly wasn’t the first.
    This same commission in 2013 accepted the resignation of department director Jim Lane, a Kentuckian with no interest in biology, who would have painted a bullseye on the side of every predator in the state.
    So ranchers and conservationists aren’t going to agree. But there are some troubling aspects of this debate.

  • Weather patterns are often unstable

    Recently, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed a pact with 11 other states and countries to slash greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.
    The non-binding agreement pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. A United Nations summit on climate control will take place in Paris later this year.
    “Climate change” and “environmental pollution” are not very well delineated. Air pollution that extends tens of thousands of feet upward is hard to miss. Neither is dense, choking smog in Beijing. These are examples of mankind’s polluting the environment and not of global climate changes. The greenhouse effect makes common scientific sense. It is the magnitude of the effect of such pollutions on a global scale and the non-human effects that are the issues.
    Having delved into the matter, it is not clear that we are destined for a 2-degree Celsius rise over the current global level that is currently getting lots of press and TV coverage. Pollution is something mankind can moderate and should! Global climate control is something else!

  • Weather patterns are often unstable

    Recently, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed a pact with 11 other states and countries to slash greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.
    The non-binding agreement pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. A United Nations summit on climate control will take place in Paris later this year.
    “Climate change” and “environmental pollution” are not very well delineated. Air pollution that extends tens of thousands of feet upward is hard to miss. Neither is dense, choking smog in Beijing. These are examples of mankind’s polluting the environment and not of global climate changes. The greenhouse effect makes common scientific sense. It is the magnitude of the effect of such pollutions on a global scale and the non-human effects that are the issues.
    Having delved into the matter, it is not clear that we are destined for a 2-degree Celsius rise over the current global level that is currently getting lots of press and TV coverage. Pollution is something mankind can moderate and should! Global climate control is something else!

  • Weather patterns are often unstable

    Recently, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed a pact with 11 other states and countries to slash greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.
    The non-binding agreement pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. A United Nations summit on climate control will take place in Paris later this year.
    “Climate change” and “environmental pollution” are not very well delineated. Air pollution that extends tens of thousands of feet upward is hard to miss. Neither is dense, choking smog in Beijing. These are examples of mankind’s polluting the environment and not of global climate changes. The greenhouse effect makes common scientific sense. It is the magnitude of the effect of such pollutions on a global scale and the non-human effects that are the issues.
    Having delved into the matter, it is not clear that we are destined for a 2-degree Celsius rise over the current global level that is currently getting lots of press and TV coverage. Pollution is something mankind can moderate and should! Global climate control is something else!

  • Letters to the editor 5-31-15

    Project impact on community

    We write this letter to share our deep enthusiasm for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP) and the opportunity and impact it will have on our community.
    This coming week, Los Alamos County will host representatives from the Department of Energy and the National Park Service who are coming to town to discuss some of the operating details of the MPNHP.  On Tuesday, Los Alamos County will host a reception for these representatives and the Los Alamos community.  It will be held at Fuller Lodge from 5-7 p.m.  
    We encourage you to attend this event and share your ideas about the park and the opportunity it offers to showcase the achievements of our citizens during the Manhattan Project. Your ideas are important to this process and will be considered by these representatives and Los Alamos County.  
    We would also like to share with you our belief that the MPNHP is truly a game-changer for our community.
    The tourism business generated by the MPNHP has the potential to diversify our economy in a significant way.  

  • Commencements, causes and campus free speech

    When my daughter told me that Mark Ruffalo — an actor and leftist activist — would be receiving a prestigious prize at her 2015 commencement at Dickinson College, I was dismayed but not surprised.
    Dickinson, an elite liberal arts college in central Pennsylvania, is a hotbed of “sustainability” which permeates virtually everything it does, from curriculum to architecture to what’s featured in its quarterly magazine. It came as no shock that Dickinson chose Ruffalo to receive its $100,000 prize for “global environmental activism.”
    My dismay came from the sinking suspicion that the commencement experience was likely to be a series of unending left-wing bromides. On this score, neither Ruffalo, nor Sam Rose, who introduced him, disappointed. Rose, the prize’s benefactor, claimed that man-made climate change, not ISIS nor terrorism nor illegal immigration nor [fill in the blank], is the main threat to humankind.
    He was dismayed, too, that there’s anyone on Earth who doesn’t wholeheartedly accept the left’s premises about climate change. So, argued Rose, we need to bring people around, “by hook or by crook,” to recognize these indisputable truths. In other words, when it comes to saving civilization from itself, the ends justify the means.

  • Planning a wedding on a budget

    Should a dream wedding mean delaying a down payment on a home? That’s a tradeoff many couples make these days.
    The Knot, a wedding planning and publishing company, recently released its Real Weddings Study of average wedding costs for 2014, announcing a national average price tag of $31,213 — and that’s not including the honeymoon.
    The average cost of a wedding is a good point of comparison against other major financial goals in a new marriage.
    Considering that the average price of a new home in America is now $200,000, that wedding estimate would cover the majority of a 20 percent down payment ($40,000). Despite getting married to my wife at family home 15 years ago, I still remember the sticker shock for all the wedding costs — a whopping $10,000 for the entire event from tux, dress, flowers, food and honeymoon.
    Here are a few suggestions to plan a wedding that won’t break the bank: