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Opinion

  • My finest memory from childhood is sailing a kayak my clever brother had made out of plywood and canvas.

    The sailing adventure was on a lake in Glacier National Park. The wind was good, my beloved dog was tucked between my knees for ballast, and I scooted over the water like a rocket – or so it seemed to an 11-year old.  I have a black-and-white photo of that event (the world was black and white in those days) and I cherish it greatly even though it’s faded.

  • Following this Fourth of July, please plan to donate your old cell phones to support our service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can do this by taking them to any Los Alamos Fire Station to donate.

    The locations are:

    Station 1:  West Jemez Road at TA 3 Bldg. 41

    Station 2:  132 DP Road at TA 73 Bldg. 19

    Station 3:  129 State Road 4

    Station 4:  4401 Diamond Drive at TA 00 Bldg. 1096

    Station 5:  State Rd 501 at TA 16 Bldg. 180

    Station 6:  457 East Rd at TA 73 Bldg. 4 and

  • I recently watched a video taken by naturalist John Walthen, flying over the Gulf of Mexico. There were columns of thick black smoke from oil burned on the surface, through which unwary birds were flying. There were pods of dolphins in the oil; some already dead; some still struggling to live.

    There were miles of oil-covered water, in which nothing will survive. Unseen were the subsurface plumes of “disbursed” oil that is sucking all the oxygen from the sea, killing everything in the area.

  • SANTA FE — Why do minor parties have so much trouble getting on the New Mexico ballot?

    Secretary of State Mary Herrera has ruled that the Greens and the Libertarians are not qualified parties so she refuses to accept nominating petitions from their candidates.

    The reason why it is difficult to be a qualified minor party is that they can affect election outcomes.

  • It was gratifying to see a positive outcome for KRSN in this week’s decision from the Planning & Zoning Commission. While the fact that the AM radio station got a green light to proceed with construction of an antenna on school property does not guarantee its future, had the commission’s decision gone the other way the media outlet’s fate would have surely been sealed.

  • Dr. Hook sings this memorable ditty by Shel Silverstein:

    “Rolling Stone

    Wanna see my picture on the cover.

    Rolling Stone

    Wanna buy five copies for my mother.”

    Two guys who didn’t buy five copies for their mothers are Gen. Stanley McChrystal and our very own Val Kilmer. Batman and G.I. Joe didn’t have a lot in common until lately, when the yogurt hit the fan over their published words in Rolling Stone magazine.

  • It was only when I was unpacking my hundredth box that it occurred to me that moving house is similar to having cancer.

    It’s a major upheaval in your life: a time when there are new challenges, new people and new environments to deal with.

    For instance, when I heard the word cancer come out of my doctor’s mouth I burst into tears, and then cried for another two months every time I thought about it. The same thing happened when my husband told me he wanted us to leave Los Alamos.

    Both were life-changing events.

  • The Fourth of July brings lively conversations to the picnic tables each year. How are the kids doing?  

    Did you hear that Doreen got married?

    How is Aaron enjoying college?  

    Burn any flags lately?

    You don’t hear much about flag burning during the rest of the year, but Independence Day seems to always throw fuel on the subject. Every year, people who couldn’t tell you what the Ninth Amendment is if their life depended on it take a fervent stand against those burning the flag.  

  • I was saddened to read the Monitor’s article about the closing of Brownell’s camera department and the departure of Eric Johnson from our community.  The camera department of Decol’s, which then continued on successfully to become Brownell’s, has been an institution in this community for as long as I can remember and Eric Johnson became the “go-to” photography expert for all of us.

  • My husband and I  frequent the East Park dog park several times a week with our two dogs.  It’s a wonderful place for dogs to be able to run and play, but it also seems to have become a wonderful place for owners not to pick up after their dogs.

    It has become quite a trick to navigate the park without getting ones’ shoes soiled as happened to me this morning. East Park itself, where people walk and children play also suffers the same indignity.

  • Imagine the scene. Two poverty stricken, uneducated men are chatting somewhere in Mexico. One says, “Ese, vamos p’ Albuquerque pa’ cometer delitos.”

    The other replies, “Que buena idea!”

    Such was the primary election portrayal among Bernalillo County Republican sheriff candidates. Drug cartel types aside, the occasional immigrant may come to New Mexico with an explicit criminal purpose. But not many. Getting here is too much work. For nearly all, jobs are the attraction.

  • Your editorial of Sunday, June 20, prompts a reply. It is so unfortunate that President Obama has not sought your advice. Had he done so, many of our national problems would be saved by now, in particular the oil leak.

    Pat Blewett

    Los Alamos

  • I find that recent unsigned and undocumented editorial comments to be more the rule than the exception in the Monitor these days.  Sunday, June 20, “The sinking of the presidency,” was unsigned and one-sided and may indicate the bias of the current Monitor editorial staff, while Wednesday, June 23, “Obama and Clinton: The best and brightest” was written by a Jeffry Gardner. Just who is Gardner, what are his credentials and why are such vitriolic and poorly written opinions allowed to be presented undocumented?

  • America has a money crisis. Yes things are tight for governments now, things are tight for most families also.  In the real world where the ability to borrow money is limited and heavy debt carries a heavy cost, most will do the right thing and live within their means.  

    This means cutting spending and altering your lifestyle to your ability to pay for it.  Government feels it has an ace in the hole by their ability to tax. And tax they do!  They sometimes justify taxes by stating public health will improve as they have done with tobacco.

  • None of our governments — national, state, local — was designed for expeditious and orderly action.   

    But when any of them becomes so disorderly as to resemble a circus you have to wonder.

    Briefly last week, key functionaries, civilian, military and judicial, in our national government had a great many people wondering if the circus hadn’t become a zoo.

  • As a recently retired teacher from LAPS, I have with interest followed the search for a new high school principal and assistant superintendent. With 38 years of teaching experience at the middle school level in three different states, including 12 years at a National Blue Ribbon School in lrvine, Calif., a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a major writer of the Baldrige award for LAMS and the LAPS, I feel that I understand what it takes to create an atmosphere of excellence within a school and district.

  • Obama says he will begin withdrawing troops in 2011, but some feel we should end this illegal and immoral war much sooner. This earlier withdrawal would make sense since our invasion and occupation of Afghanistan appear to have been from the very beginning about controlling natural gas pipelines, as well as controlling a lot of previously known resources such as lithium, gold and copper. The pipeline scenario has been well served by both Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice who worked deals with Afghanistan during their tenure with Halliburton and Chevron, respectively.

  • SANTA FE — One year ago, in June 2009, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish was sitting in the catbird seat. She had announced for governor more than two years earlier and had already raised more than $2 million.

    A poll had just been published by Harstad Strategic Research of Boulder, Colo., showing Denish leading both Steve Pearce and Heather Wilson by identical 57-35 margins.

       Pearce and Wilson were both well known to voters statewide, better known than Denish, in fact. Both had given up their U.S. House seats to seek the Senate seat of the retiring Pete Domenici.

  • Green jobs get most of the attention these days, but lately there’s news from an old and not-so-green industry, mining. Here, we have good news, bad news, and no news.

    Good news: Lea County will get its first new potash mine in four decades, Santa Fe Gold Corp. will begin processing ore near Lordsburg, and reclamation will begin soon at abandoned coal mines near Raton.

  • SANTA FE - If you like political surprises, you should love the next six months of the 2010 campaigns.

    Sure, attack ads will fill the air. They’ve already started in the gubernatorial race and we will be able to add the 1st and 2nd congressional district races to that soon. But expect some almost unpredictable twists also.

    Remember the last gubernatorial race in 2006? Gov. Bill Richardson was sailing toward his second term when Republicans suddenly switch horses after they already had nominated Dr. J.R. Damron as their candidate. That was an all- time first.