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Today's Opinions

  • I believe …

     

    In newspapers (in all of their forms.). I believe in the First Amendment (45 words/five freedoms): 

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Our founding fathers thought it important enough to make this the very first one! 

    I believe in delivering fair, accurate, objective, timely and complete journalism across multiple platforms while maintaining integrity and high ethical standards… this is what separates newspapers from the opinion-based blogosphere. Newspapers bring truth to light and are the connection to the community.

  • Current shared utilities leadership protects us

    A principal argument to justify the proposed restructuring of county utilities is to increase its “accountability,” to its customers, all of us, by fundamentally altering the relationship between the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), the Department of Public Utilities and the County Council. Increased “accountability” was rejected by voters in 1966, has proven unnecessary since, and carries great risks. Voters who value their utility service and their pocketbooks should reject it again. This is about control, not accountability.
    The first proposed county charter (basically, our constitution) was rejected in 1966 largely because citizens feared that a political body, the county council, with direct control of utilities could pad their revenues via the back-door path of requiring substantial sums to be transferred from utilities to general county coffers, with resulting higher utility rates or inadequate operating and capital reserves. They also were concerned politicians would tinker with rates and services to favor special interests.
    A completely independent utility presents challenges, too. The compromise embraced by voters in 1968 was the present semi-independent system. It is a work of genius that has served us well for 46 years.

  • Thingamabobs and Whachamacallits

    People adept at Scrabble use some pretty strange words. My wife’s vocabulary is “slightly” better than mine and when we are Scrabbling, I might play a word like “rock” and then she’ll play one like “ozaena.” I’ll challenge her play, claiming that such a word doesn’t exist. She shrugs and tells me that it means having a fetid discharge from the nostrils. That’s usually more than I want to know and so I won’t bother asking her what “fetid” means.
    In the morning, do you wake up with rheum? You know, eye gunk or eye sleepers? Ever get an itch on your popliteal fossa? That’s the indented back of your knee. When you ran track in high school, were you ever preantepenultimate? That means fourth from last. Now there’s a word you can use every day!
    That white half-moon shaped area at the base of your fingernails is called the lunula (as in lunar). When the moon is crescent shaped, do you know what that shape is called? That’s a lune. No, not like your brother-in-law. That’s “loon.” Try not to get them confused.
    If you want to impress your doctor, call that blood pressure instrument by its official name ... a sphygmomanometer. And if you can pronounce it correctly, even better!

  • Vote 'For' the Charter Amendments

    A few letter writers have opposed approval of the Charter Amendments to be voted on in the Nov. 4 general election, essentially arguing that the status quo should be preserved … because that’s the way things have always been.
    Let’s look at specific issues:
    First, Los Alamos County government structure is unusual in that 40 percent of our community’s budget, public utilities, is controlled by an organization not explicitly under our council or county administration. Such disconnection is a likely source of costly confusion due to inadequate coordination of work between the utilities operation and the rest of county administration; e.g., planning, construction and maintenance projects.
    Would those arguing for continuing independence of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and Public Utilities Department similarly advocate having autonomous police and/or fire departments independent from an otherwise fully integrated county government; i.e., our elected county council and its subordinate county administration?

  • Rocket Day was a blast

    On Sept. 6, Girl Scout Troop 116 and the Zia Spacemodelers organized the first ever Rocket Day at Overlook Park in White Rock. Close to 1,300 people turned out to watch the launching of more than 260 rockets. It was a great day and we hope to earn our Girl Scout Silver Award for all of our hard work.
    There were so many people that helped make the day a success. First we would like to thank our event sponsors, the Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Programs Office and Boeing. Rocket Day never would have launched without their support.
    Thank you to the Kiwanis Club, the Key Club, the National Association of Rocketry, Positive Energy Solar, the Holiday Inn, Los Alamos National Bank, Ken Nebel of Fuller Lodge Art Center and Village Arts, Boy Scout volunteers, the Girl Scout Council, and Molly McBranch who were all key to our success. In addition, Metzger’s White Rock (glue and pieces parts for launch racks) and Estes Industries (Make-it-Take-it Rocket Kits and engines) provided deep discounts. Thank you to KRSN and The Los Alamos Monitor for getting the word out.

  • Thanks for an enjoyable Chalk Walk

    The Los Alamos Arts Council hosted the fifth annual Sec Sandoval Chalk Walk last Saturday. It was a beautiful day and the Ashley Pond sidewalk was bustling with artists of all ages expressing their creativity and having an enjoyable time. Thank you to those who helped to make the event interesting and fun. We were a part of the Los Alamos ScienceFest and enjoyed all of the activity provided by the nearby booths. Ashley Pond was definitely the place to be.
    Special thanks goes to Sec Sandoval who attended the event and talked with some of the budding artists about their artistic efforts. We look forward to seeing him each year.
    Thank you to those local businesses that provided prizes for the different categories: Village Arts, Reel Deal Theater, Metzger’s and Starbucks Coffee.
    A huge thank you goes to LANB who sponsored the 3D chalk artist from We Talk Chalk in Los Angeles who created a special 3D drawing for our community. Bank representatives were busy all day taking pictures of people with the special effect. This coverage of the event was much appreciated. As always, the Los Alamos Arts Council appreciates your support of our community events. Everyone really enjoyed this addition to the Chalk Walk.

  • LAHS homecoming parade will go on

    In spite of the closed street and construction project, the county has agreed to allow the Los Alamos High School Homecoming Parade to proceed from 4th Street on Central Avenue all the way to Canyon Road and then to Sullivan Field.
    LAC will have the barricades pulled back so that the parade will have use of the direct and traditional parade route. Those barricades will be replaced immediately after the parade passes and Central is still closed to all other vehicle traffic from 15th to 20th Streets.
    We are excited to showcase our community to returning classmates and are grateful to Mike Johnson, Debbie Garcia and LAHS, the Holiday Inn Express, The Lodge, Ashley Pond, Urban Park and Los Alamos County Staff, Los Alamos Public School Foundation, Georgia Strickfaden of Buffalo Tours, the LA History and Bradbury Science Museum, Valles Caldera National Preserve, the Los Alamos Golf Course, Rick Nebel, Mike Luna, Armando Jaramillo, Bobby Chacon, KRSN, the Los Alamos Monitor, Rio Grande Sun, The Santa Fe New Mexican, Betty Ehart Senior Center, Smith’s Marketplace, Sue Dummer and Manhattan Project, Red Barn Screen Prints, LA Chamber of Commerce, Auto Zone and all the wonderful individuals, businesses and groups in the northern New Mexico region that are helping, and have helped, us make this event (Sept. 19, 20 and 21) a great success.

  • Latinas: King doesn't need to apologize for 'heart' remark

    It’s the gaffe that wasn’t.
    The latest tussle between gubernatorial candidates is over Democrat Gary King’s paraphrase of a statement by labor activist Dolores Huerta, a New Mexican from Dawson and compatriot of Cesar Chavez.
    At a fundraiser, King quoted Huerta as saying that “you can’t just go out there and vote for somebody for governor because they have a Latino surname. She said you have to look at them and find out if they have a Latino heart. And we know that Susana Martinez does not have a Latino heart.”
    The governor’s campaign pounced on what appeared to be a gaffe. Lt. Gov. John Sanchez even demanded an apology, which is gallant of him considering that the governor treats him like an insect.
    Then Sen. Linda Lopez, an Albuquerque Democrat and King’s former opponent, called a press conference with women who had something to say about Latina hearts.
    “I attended the Voices for Children conference as a candidate for governor,” Lopez told me. “She (Huerta) actually said the governor doesn’t have a Latina heart. It resonated with so many people.”
    Lopez also heard King’s statement. “He has nothing to apologize for.”