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Opinion

  • SANTA FE — It will be a little more difficult for many New Mexicans to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. Bad economic times have hit us hard in the past 12 months causing layoffs, furloughs, business failures and bankruptcies.

    But most will still want to give thanks for having been born in this great country and having enjoyed blessings that much of the rest of the world doesn’t offer. And there still are reasons to give thanks for family, friends and good health.

  • We are all very saddened by the tragic loss of Logan Collins last week. Pedestrian deaths represent a significant fraction of the traffic fatalities in Los Alamos County. Some time ago one of our own children was nearly struck in the crosswalk near the middle school, the same one where last Wednesday’s accident happened. At another crosswalk at the west end of the golf course, in more than one instance a car has changed lanes, accelerated, and passed me while I stopped for a pedestrian.

  • I send my deepest condolences to the Collins family.

  • It was decades ago, but I remember it well. The teacher had caught me chewing gum in class – clearly a capital offense. Fortunately, drawing and quartering children had long gone out of style but spanking had not. As a sixth grader, I was young, but I did have a sense of pride. And so when the teacher walked over with a paddle and told me to bend over, I spit out my gum and told her to go bend over herself.

  • President Obama enjoyed widespread electoral support among women in the past election. The reasons for this are complex and are beyond the scope of this letter. If however we believe that there are no unmotivated behaviors, we must conclude that women voted for Obama in large numbers because they expected to achieve some tangible benefit for this show of electoral confidence.

  • One of the many touchstones by which Thanksgiving is remembered and recharged is the proclamation by Abraham Lincoln on Oct. 3, 1863, that declared the final Thursday of the month of November as a national holiday.

    Before that time, only Washington’s Birthday and the Fourth of July were national holidays.

    A few days before that occasion, on September 28, 1863, Sarah Hale, a magazine editor and the author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” had written him a letter that gave so many future generations this day of rest and contemplation.

  • With the passing of former Gov. Bruce King, a lot of us are recollecting our favorite King moments.

    One of mine was his role in the Big Mac tax cut. It’s a lesson that’s relevant today.

    In 1981, state coffers were bursting with oil and gas money. Euphoric lawmakers expected a $200 million surplus. Not only could they bankroll their pork projects, they could give money back to taxpayers.

  • In response to George Jennings, Jr.’s letter regarding the production in Los Alamos of the film, “Let Me In,” please allow me to address his concern on behalf of the “Let Me In” production team.

  • It appears the Monitor is now publishing “mug shots” alongside the items listed in the Police Beat.  I and many others I’ve spoken with are surprised and horrified.  “Charge or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt.”  That statement above the   Police Beat appears to have little merit now.  To me, mug shots imply guilt.  I can’t think of a better way for the Monitor to influence public opinion against those that may or may not be guilty.

  • I would like to compare “LANL’s Community Leaders Study (CLS)” of October 2009, available at www.lanl.gov/cpo/ with the Community Survey Report for Northern New Mexico, (CSR) available from (joken@valornet.com).     

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  • On Tuesday night, the county council passed two ordinances, which have the effect of penalizing citizens for conservation of water and gas. The ordinances increase the “service charge,” the fixed-rate “tax” paid every month by every consumer regardless of usage. In the case of natural gas this increase was close to 50 percent. Increasing the service charge runs counter to the county taxpayer funded message of conservation.

  • In keeping with the season, I would like to thank everyone in the community who has contributed so graciously to the LANB account established in my name following September’s trial. Many of your names are not available to me through bank records, so I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for your overwhelming generosity.

  • I love peanuts. That is to say, I love “Peanuts.” Charlie Brown was always my hero. Fighting off kite-eating trees. Pitching for the world’s worst baseball team. Having a dog that fought to keep the skies safe from WWI enemy aces. And never, never, never giving up on kicking that football held by our favorite sadistic nickel-a-session psychiatrist.

  • Thanksgiving is a tradition associated with a feast of food.  The traditional Thanksgiving menu often features turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.  There is more than enough food for all.

    Or is there?

    More than 36 million Americans are facing hunger, yet nearly 96 billion pounds of food are wasted every year.  So perhaps there is enough food for all, but not everyone is getting enough food.

  • Please do not put the “Police Beat” on the front page of the Monitor.  This serves no purpose except perhaps gossip and fear-mongering.  Please do not publish photographs of people who have been arrested but who have not yet been brought to court for a just hearing of their case. 

  • When our daughter was cast for “Let Me In,” based on Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s book “Let the Right One In,” we thought the deal was a good one, $9.50 an hour, 40 hours/week, with teachers present as required by state law. Plus she was going to be in the movies! We overnighted the book to check it out. I encourage anyone involved in this movie to do the same. It is a free country but this book goes beyond bad taste. It is of the “horror” genre but it is hideous.

  • You can get a fairly good sense of how people in other parts of the country perceive New Mexico by the questions they ask about the state of affairs in this enchanted land.

    In the latter 1990s, for instance, when Gary Johnson was governor, easily the question most often put to me when talking with folks beyond New Mexico’s borders was, “Is your governor really serious about legalizing marijuana?”

    Some were horrified by the thought, others were downright titillated, but they all wanted to talk about it.

  • Nothing says “lovin’ ” like winning big on an Election Day.

    By now, you’ve probably read every possible spin on Republican wins in governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia. Well, not every one because there remains this one, yes?

    There are three sides to every story. Yours, theirs and the truth. In this case, the sides are the Democrats, the Republicans and reality.

    Let’s take a quick look at the Republicans’ side first.

  • I recently got a speeding ticket. The flashing red lights in my rear view mirror told me I was in trouble. I’d made a poor choice: failing to observe the speed limit signs-and was cited for going 70 in a 55. I suffered consequences for my poor choice. We’ve all made poor choices that typically result in having to pay the consequences. Some consequences are big and others, like my speeding ticket, are small.