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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the editor 2-15-15

    Misconceptions of Open Space Plan

    I am writing to correct any misperceptions that may have been created by the Los Alamos Monitor’s coverage of my comments to the County Council regarding the Open Space Management Plan made at Feb. 6 meeting.
    As reported, I am a member of the County Planning and Zoning Commission. The Los Alamos Monitor’s story stated I opposed the Open Space Management Plan. That is not correct. At the beginning my verbal comments, I voiced my support for the Open Space Management Plan, that it was necessary and long overdue.
    My comments were critical of two portions of the plan:
    • The provision proposing, in effect, a Vista/Viewpoint zoning overlay district, without any guidance on how to enact it.
    • The inclusion in the proposed open space map of virtually all of the vacant land owned by the county (not all the vacant land in the county), particularly a large parcel in Pueblo Canyon adjacent to the sewer plant, recently acquired from the federal government and previously proposed for economic development by the Open Space Advisory Group.

  • Letters to the editor 2-11-15

    Fundraiser concert a success

    The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos great room was the place to be on Sunday. For eight hours, 47 performers entertained a generous audience that contributed $1,264 to the UNM-LA Scholarship fund, the most ever in the fifth Annual Music Marathon. This was also the first one to which local businesses contributed door prizes.
    We would like the community’s help in thanking Bob’s Bodacious BBQ, Casa Mesita (which supports a dozen local charities), Chili Works, Del Norte Credit Union, Khalsa Acupuncture, Northroad Inn, Pam Reass, Professional Skin Care Choices, RadioShack (now selling musical instruments), and Village Arts for their door prizes, valued at more than $500. Shop locally, folks!
    Thanks performers, without whom all of this is impossible: Cathy Turner, Ruth Williamson, Sonja Ebey, Troy Makela, William Dale, Karin Ebey, Katie Brown, Sonja Ebey, Troy Makela, Joseph Dale, Kathleen Brodnax. Other piano soloists were The Little Piano Group playing Edvard Grieg: Rheta Moazzami, Robin Gurule, Claudia Hilko, Judy Hutson, Bonnie Kiang, Phyllis Slattery, Susan Mendel, Joyce Guzik and Juanita Madland.
    Donna and John O’Donnel delighted the audience with their baroque recorders.

  • Letters to the editor 2-10-15

    Column up for theological debate

    I’m sure the Los Alamos Monitor does not wish to begin or encourage theological debates, so I will avoid any such rebuttal to Pastor McCullough’s column regarding baptism, “Explaining differences in types of baptism.”
    However, it might be wise for the Los Alamos Monitor to do some fact checking where it can in its religion columns.
    Pastor McCullough’s article immediately began with a factual error. A quick Internet search will indicate that infant baptism was practiced in the church and was mentioned as such by Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian and Origen, all of whom died well before the year 300.
    Unless Pastor McCullough has a different definition of “Middle Ages” than most people, his first sentence is incorrect. I will leave it to the reader to speculate about the cause of such an egregious error.

    Drew Kornreich
    Los Alamos

    Misinformed about baptism roots

    In reference to Pastor McCullough’s “Religion” column of Feb. 6, he is mistaken when he claims that infant baptism has its roots in the Middle Ages.

  • Letter to the editor 2-6-15

    Loving local businesses

    I don’t shop on the Internet.
    I wanted a pair of New Balance shoes. I found what I wanted on the Internet. I chose the color and size and printed it.
    I took it to CB Fox and ordered them. I picked them up today. The price was the same as the Internet but there was no shipping.
    If they didn’t fit I would not have had to pay for them — they would have been put in stock and sold at the store. Is there a place on the Internet that does free gift wrapping?
    Our son Shaun worked at Clement & Benner (that’s what CB stands for) all through high school and college. He was employee of the year in 1986.  
    When Shaun went to college, Mary Pierce from the office would send him cookies.
    Shaun has a degree in petroleum engineering, but has been in sales all his working life. I used to tell Tom Hall he taught him everything he knows about selling.
    We moved here in 1967 and the only stores that were here then that are still here are CB Fox and Metzger’s, which are both family owned businesses.
    I would like to see them here at least until my maker calls me home.
    Camille Morrison
    Los Alamos

  • Letters to the editor 1-22-15

    Donate for Valentines for Vets

    The Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8874 in Los Alamos is a nonprofit organization of volunteers who donate their time and talents for the benefit of our veterans at home and abroad.  
    We send care packages to our military overseas, as well as phone cards (via Operation Uplink) to our deployed military personnel.  
    On the home front, we financially support the VFW National Home for Children, Unmet Needs and Cancer Aid and Research programs, we continually work to obtain legislation that will benefit our veterans and their families, we sponsor the Young American Creative Patriotic Art, Outstanding Young Volunteer and Americanism youth programs in our schools, we assist local families of disabled and needy veterans, and we visit the VA Hospital in Albuquerque every February for the Valentines for Vets event.
    The Valentines for Vets event consists of visiting our veterans and distributing amenities along with Valentine’s Day cards made locally and collected by our Girl Scouts.  
    This year’s event will be at 1 p.m. Feb. 8. Since the Albuquerque Veterans Hospital services the entire northern area of our state, we are soliciting donations from everyone in our connected communities.  

  • Home remodel for the new year

    Our 2014 huge positives were the first grandchild, a new kitchen and hanging out by the ocean in Monterrey, California. The negatives were many, many trips to doctors.
    The kitchen came courtesy of an inheritance from my mother. In developing the project, we considered many things. Our research led us to million dollar homes with sloppy work. Most of our ideas worked; some didn’t, demanding compromise and rethinking. Our experience may lend some insight as you contemplate such a project.
    While we managed without a $10,000 stove, the project was extravagant. Fortunately we could not enlarge the kitchen because our house encircles it.
    We had the cash. Obvious advice, item one, be able to pay. Call me an outlier in our consumption ethos, but I’ve never been a borrower. Only for houses, but not for cars (once, only) and definitely not now with a fixed income.
    We didn’t worry about recapturing remodeling cost on sale of the house. We plan to be in the house long enough to render such an analysis moot. We did the project for us, not for the next guy.

  • Running a business through a franchise has its advantages

    Multinational franchises like McDonald’s and KFC started small and worked their way up the food chain over decades.
    That methodical approach to growth seems too slow for the owners of two Albuquerque businesses.
    Before Olo Yogurt Studio opened its first store in 2010 and WisePies served its first pizza in 2014, the owners of both ventures planned to become franchises — and to waste no time doing it.
    Olo Yogurt opened a second store — a carbon copy of its colorful original — within three years and was strengthening its brand for further expansion.
    WisePies was less than a year old when it announced its intentions to open 20 new stores within a year and to offer franchise licenses for $35,000.
    In December, the company signed a $5 million deal for naming rights to the University of New Mexico basketball arena, commonly known as The Pit, now the WisePies Arena.
    The franchise or chain store model isn’t the only way for a business to grow, but its appeal is obvious.
    A franchisor can recruit talented go-getters who want to run a business with a built-in market, name recognition and institutional support. And they can do it without draining their capital budgets, as franchisees typically pay much of their own startup costs.

  • Letters to the editor 1-20-15

    Food tax proposal
    good for communities
    The food tax exemption enacted by the state Legislature in 2004 stretched the food budgets of middle- and upper-income New Mexicans, but did nothing to help low-income residents who qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) vouchers, which are tax exempt.
    Subsequent actions by the Legislature to compensate for this lost revenue only made matters worse, especially for the least advantaged New Mexicans — the supposed beneficiaries of the food tax exemption.
    The 2004 law raised the state gross receipts tax (GRT) rate by .5 percent, and in 2010, the state GRT on non-food products and services jumped again from 5 percent to 5.125 percent.
    In 2013, local governments were allowed to raise local tax rates three-eighths of a percent for non-food items, which could increase GRT by three-quarters of a percent if a city and county both imposed the increase.
    For example, the GRT in Red River is 8.4375 percent. If both the town and Taos County enact the local increase, purchases made in Red River would be subject to GRT of 9.1875 percent. A GRT rate over 9 percent is hard on low-income families, bad for businesses and harmful to the town when tourists choose less-expensive destinations.