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Opinion

  • For the record, if you’re reading this right now, chances are you’ve successfully navigated through the wonders of the 21st century’s first decade.

    Perhaps you even have some water left from the Y2K scare. In fact, is there a better place to begin a reflection on the past 10 years than at the very beginning – or, say, the 12 months before?

  • The year and decade ended for me in an awesome experience of reconciliation in two outdoor ritual folk plays in Alcalde, just north of San Juan Pueblo, on Dec. 27.

    The Matachines dance and “Los Comanches” play were performed back- to-back in the brilliant winter sunshine on the icy ground of the Camino Real, below the snowy peaks of the Sangre de Cristos.  

    The folk plays reminded us how badly our new decade needs respectful truces. Democrats and Republicans, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, modernists and traditionalists, badly need to reconcile.

  • The letter by Mark A. Robinson “Climate change is liberal hot air,” Dec. 31, 2009, is a good example of what’s bothering people about this issue. It attacks the idea of human-caused warming not from a scientific point but from a political/economic one. Indeed most objections to this idea are made because it’s thought that this is some political ploy that’s simply going to cost too much to do anything about. This is understandable since there are a fair number of supporters of the idea who are liberal and many against it who are conservative.

  • The New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) recent public venting at LANL over radionuclide reporting in groundwater appears to be another subterfuge at hiding its own inadequacies in regulation.  NMED clearly has no statutory authority to regulate radionuclides at DOE facilities.  LANL provides large amounts of information to NMED as a courtesy.  Environmental surveillance reports dating back to 1970 and many other reports are full of data on ground and surface water and are publicly available.  For many years there were quarterly public meetings to talk about

  • Words take on a cultural aura. In Spanish, all nouns have a gender. Everything is either masculine or feminine, but neither rhyme nor reason can tell which.

    Would you guess the Spanish word for “necktie” is male or female? Even though neckties are in the men’s wear department, the word for necktie is “la corbata,” clearly feminine. You will do no better at guessing the gender of Spanish words for dress, book or window (masculine, masculine, feminine).

  • So we end the year with a climate “accord” nobody likes. And health care reform limped out of Congress with critics baying on all sides. When the Legislature convenes to contend with the state’s red ink, we’ll probably see more controversial compromises, just as we did in the special session.

    Which makes me think we don’t know how to compromise anymore. I’m not sure we even know what a compromise is.

    I’ve seen the process in two settings – as a mediator and as an observer at New Mexico First’s Town Hall Meetings.

  • With the advent of each new year, we can’t help but reminisce about the good times we had over the past twelve months. Buying your first house. Picking out that new expensive carpet. Bringing home a puppy for your kids. Buying a new carpet after the puppy ruined the carpet in your new house. Yeah, you can’t help but smile as you look back.

    Perhaps the best way to say au revoir (or Good Riddance) to 2009 is to recall some of the highlights that entertained the nation.

  • The Los Alamos Governmental Review Initiative would like to share information vital to the citizens of our community.  In the process of our successful petition drive to put to vote two amendments to the County Charter, we discovered that approximately 8 percent of those citizens who believe they are registered to vote in our county might not receive their mail-out ballots.  

    Anyone in Los Alamos who has moved or had a name changed should contact the county clerk’s office immediately to update their voter registration.  

  • As the Copenhagen Climate Change summit approached last week, articles appeared in liberal venues world-wide proclaiming the pending consensus on climate change, formerly known as global warming, formerly known as the coming new Ice Age.  Yes, I can remember when President Obama’s science czar, John Holdren, was predicting a coming Ice Age in 1971 “Global ecology: readings toward a rational strategy for man, edited by John P. Holdren, Paul R.

  • With the year-end cold comes hot news about population and various nonsense.

    The population news is that New Mexico crossed the 2 million mark in 2009 for an estimated population of 2,009,671 as of July 1, 2009. That’s a 22,908 person increase, or 1.2 percent. Population growth has slowed since 2005 and 2006. For that one year, the increase was 1.36 percent, or 26,070.

  • One of the ways the constitutional framers arranged to limit the influence they feared “We the People” might wield in the chambers of our national government was to have members of the U.S. Senate appointed by the legislatures of the (then) 13 states.

    That arrangement prevailed until the 17th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913, which provides for the election of senators by voters of their states. It was an attempt to democratize an inherently undemocratic institution wherein each state, irrespective of population, is guaranteed two senators.

  • Dear Santa,

    Thank you for all your generosity to millions of people across the United States, not only to the children but the adults who find the magic in Christmas, and for those who also give anonymously in your name to people they will never know.

    In 1948, I lived in the mountains of Colorado, five miles from Golden.  The snow was deep, and the creek was almost frozen over.  My dad had been sick and was unemployed. 

  • We took our three children to the recent H1N1 vaccine clinic in White Rock and were very impressed by the efficiency and speed with which we were treated. Thanks so much to all of the people who helped make this event run so smoothly.

    Steve and April Nolen

    White Rock

  • We’d like to compliment most heartily all the Utilities Department personnel who worked in absolutely lousy and rotten weather Dec. 8 to restore power to Barranca Mesa.

    One of the easiest things to do is complain when things don’t work well. While we might “complain” that the power went down, we certainly cannot complain about the relatively short time for the power to come back up and we know this was due to our Los Alamos County Utility Personnel. Well done and thank you!

    Tom and Bev Keenan

    Los Alamos

  • Braving the chill during that cold spell early this month, a few tennis players cleared the trash along

    NM 502 at the airport as a show of their appreciation for the county’s support of tennis facilities. Those participating were John Bartlit, Shuh-Rong Chen, Cathy and Jerry Morzinski, Bob Nolen and me. David Archuleta of the traffic division supplied the signs and safety vests through a request by the Parks division to Nancy Talley. Thank you councilors and staff!

    Joel M Williams

    Los Alamos

  • SANTA FE — Everyone will be affected by the next round of state budget balancing.

    Thus far, lawmakers have been able to fill budgetary voids by sweeping money out of the cubby holes of state government and cutting back on agency spending.

    But next time the pain will be felt almost everywhere. The easy cuts have been made. Further cuts will affect services. Some of those services are not really noticed.

  • SANTA FE – Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is in the national news again. He has launched a nationwide nonprofit campaign to advocate libertarian views on current issues.

    The campaign includes a Web site, www.ouramericainitiative.com, containing written statements and film clips of Johnson explaining his positions on the economy, drugs, civil liberties, the environment, abortion, the Federal Reserve, taxes and defense.

  • SANTA FE ­— Government efficiency is currently the major focus in Santa Fe. Maybe it was the stern warning from legislative leaders that tax hikes are not inevitable as Gov. Bill Richardson has suggested.

    The spotlight on tax increases certainly will return as the Budget Balancing Task Force makes its report to the governor.

  • SANTA FE — Merry  Christmas. I hope saying that doesn’t ruin somebody’s day. I realize not all of you are Christians but ours is a diverse society. We should all be willing to appreciate each other’s traditions.    

    A Jewish congregation down the street places a large menorah on its fence, this time of year, which I always appreciate. Apparently the rest of the neighbors do too because it goes back up every year.

  • If you look in the habitat of print journalists, you won’t find many with any fashion sense. In fact, if you could see our closets, you’d probably laugh. One reporter I knew thought hiking boots, jeans and a flannel shirt constituted professional attire – and this was a woman.

    So that’s why Gilbert Gallegos stood out from the crowd. It’s not that he was a flashy dresser, but in a newsroom of the, uh, stylishly challenged he stood out in his khakis, pressed white shirt and tie.