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Opinion

  • Ken was a close friend. Like us, he was an (earlier) graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, and we had similar interests. Because we were out of town, we were unable to attend his memorial service. Had we been there, we would have shown the attached photograph, from one of the many UFO conferences to which we had taken Ken. For your information, Ken is the individual on the left (we think).


  • Dear Editor,

    The council made the right decision, given the current financial crisis, not to raise our sewer rates at this time.  Salary raises are delayed, property taxes are higher, and many empty homes are waiting for better times. Our utilities, however, face a predicament. The White Rock sewage plant needs replacement. The utilities customer base is small and is unlikely to expand soon, and, in addition, we are using less water because of already high prices. Under these circumstances sewer rates must eventually rise.

  • Dear Editor,

    It was with great sadness we read your June 9 article “L.A. police cadet charged with DWI.” It is unfortunate that cadet Daniel LaDuke made the serious mistake of driving while under the influence. While we don’t condone this lapse of judgment, we feel your readers should know a little about the Dan LaDuke we knew when he was a councilor at the YMCA after-school program (which our son attends) immediately prior to joining the Los Alamos Police Department.

  • Well, it’s official. New Mexico’s multimillion-dollar spaceport is moving ahead toward construction in the southern desert, a big step for commercial space development and tourists who will suit up for $200,000 suborbital flights.

    Put me down for one of those. What a bargain.

    Of course, this belies the fact that the high price of a ticket killed the Concord. But we’re sure that there will be hundreds of folks ready to put down a couple of hundred grand to liftoff.

  • The council’s action in granting some staff a bonus - or pay allowance or what you want to call it - is cause for pause.

    This seems to us to be the wrong solution to the problem and we have to agree with Robert Gibson who voted against the idea.

    Even the chair, Michael Wheeler, is quoted in voicing concerns, altough he voted for the plan.

    As best as we can understand this, it seems that when the council approved its recent budget it did so failing to take into account a group of employees who have hit the top of their pay scale and can’t get a raise.

  • If a hen and a half, lays an egg and a half, in a day and a half, how many eggs do six hens lay in seven days?

    John Paulos’ book, “Innumeracy,” cites a story about a weatherman who was discussing the chances of rain in the coming weekend: “Well folks, there’s a 50 percent chance of rain on Saturday and 50 percent chance of rain on Sunday.  So it looks like there’s a 100 percent chance of rain this weekend!”  

  • Dear Editor,

    The June 12 guest column by Marita K. Noon titled  “Hypocrisy that knows no bounds” should have been a paid  advertisement by Big Oil.  I suspect that she was not driven to her  keyboard in response to President Obama’s comments about the CAFÉ  Standards (auto fuel efficiency standards), but by her funders of  Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy, a nonprofit organization advocating for citizens rights to energy freedom. 

  • Dear Editor,

    “They are not long, the days of wine and roses/out of a misty dream/our path emerges for a while then closes/ within a dream.” Vitae Summa Brevis, Ernest Dowson, 1896

     “Preserve our history” Los Alamos County Strategic Goals, 2005.

     There is a day, which now exists only as an old article in The Atom (July 1967) with old black and white photos; as a weed grown tracery of missed opportunities and the road not taken; as wind across an empty expanse of grass.  But oncemponcem time..............

  • Science is full of unexpected discoveries, some coming at decidedly awkward times.

    Just as there can be a breakthrough in negotiating the end to a war that comes to everyone’s surprise on a major holiday, or intense spurts in which a writer completes a book in a week, there are times a scientist may feel awash in troubles but then see the world afresh as the facts fall into place in a new way.

  • Mining underpins our way of life. Nature may be the champion excavator, if one considers sculpted peaks and canyons. But with man-made mines like the Berkeley pit in Butte, Mont., man gets an “A” for effort. And then too, mines linger on, because they are frequently not adequately cleaned up afterward, even in violation of regulations and statutes.

  • New Mexico is so often near the bottom of any national ranking on child well-being, that we find ourselves in the sad position of saying “thank goodness for Mississippi,” or “thank goodness for Louisiana,” because without two impoverished states, we’d more often than not end up in last place.

  • The county council’s rejection of the utilities department’s request for a sewer rate hike was the right thing to do.

    In a 4-3 vote Tuesday night the council rejected a proposed ordinance that would have increased local sewer rates. This is not the time to be burdening people with more expenses.

    And it is not like the county is hurting for money, they are pretty much swimming in it right now.

    The increase would have provided some  $300,000 of revenue for maintenance and building cash reserves.

  • The theme of Friday’s event commemorating the 60th anniversary of Los Alamos was one of community.

    This is a theme we can agree with.

    But to be honest, we are not sure why the 60th anniversary celebration is so important. Usually a big anniversary would be the 50th or the 75th and so on.

    And there was a very big splash made in 1999 – the 50th anniversary. That makes more sense to us.

    So why this day and year are being played up we are not sure.

  • Each time I hear the news from our nation’s Capitol, I am reminded of the classic line from the movie “Tombstone.” Whether the clip is about spending or taxes, waterboarding or Gitmo, Government Motors or energy independence, I picture Doc Holliday pinning on the sheriff’s badge, as he quips, “My hypocrisy knows no bounds.”

    Our government leaders’ claims and actions seem extremely distant from one another. Do they think we do not notice?

  • Fewer than six in 10 students graduated from New Mexico’s high schools in 2006, giving the state a ranking of 48th in the nation, according to a report released by the Associated Press.

    Education Week’s report found New Mexico’s class of 2006 had a graduation rate of 56 percent. The study showed that an average of 73 students drop out each school day.

    The state only ranked ahead of Georgia (55.9 percent), the District of Columbia (48.8 percent) and Nevada (47.3 percent). The national graduation rate was 69.2 percent.

  • SANTA FE – All three of New Mexico’s newly-elected Democratic members of the U.S. House face re-election next year.

    And all three began raising money and getting in close touch with constituents the day they took office.

    Rep. Martin Heinrich’s 1st Congressional District is seeing much action with two possible Republican candidates, a libertarian, an unregistered hopeful and a lawsuit.

  • Dear Editor,

    In his June 7 story, Roger Snodgrass described very well the mood of the panel at the Albuquerque forum concerning public access to the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Unfortunately, in paraphrasing my comments that the caldera rim has truly world-class views, he transposed the owners of sections of the rim.

  • Dear Editor,

    Take a breather between the 60th Birthday celebration and Chamberfest activities this weekend in downtown Los Alamos with a refreshing stroll down Central Avenue.

    Tour Central Avenue and experience the transformation between Mari-Mac Plaza and downtown as result of the Central Avenue Pedestrian Crossings and Streetscape Enhancement Project.

  • It is no secret New Mexico’s State Investment Council (SIC) is in serious need of greater reform and oversight. Whether the issue is the widely-reported and greatly-inflated fees paid to third-party marketer Marc Correra or the lack of transparency in its decision making process, the issue is not whether the council needs to be reformed, but how broad and deep those reforms must be.

  • The Board of Trustees of the Valles Caldera National Preserve will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. in Los Alamos (at the Hilltop House), and we encourage the public to come and ask plenty of questions.

    Though the trustees make their decisions in closed door meetings held before the public one, (possibly in violation of the Valles Caldera legislation), the public meetings can be informative and at times entertaining, and they provide a chance to watch the “experiment” in action.