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Opinion

  • Maybe it is a matter of just being spoiled by small town New Mexico that makes the head bobble in pure amazement when running across stories about what is apparently considered normal behavior in other places.

    Two stories jumped off the page last week, the first an alarming piece of you’ve-got-to- be-kidding-me hypocrisy, the second a reminder of how lucky we are to live in the Land of Enchantment.

  • A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but a chrysanthemum by any other name would be easier to spell.  Words of wisdom to be sure and who would know better than Henry Deutschendorf Jr., Charles Hardin Holley or Walter Matuschanskayasky?

    What’s in a name? Well obviously, these names never had a chance to become famous. Matuschanskayasky? I nearly sprained a finger just typing it!

  • All over young people say the same thing, whether they live in a big city or a small town: “There’s nothing to do around here”.

    When I was a teenager I said that of my town in New Jersey. Well, I have an answer for that dilemma; get a job or better yet be creative and develop your own job.

    There are many reasons to be your own boss. You can establish your own schedule, work when you want and as hard as you want. Of course, the theory is if you do work long and hard you will reap great rewards.

  • This column is an experiment in enhancing the public dialogue. The six candidates for governor were asked a question about an important policy matter outside the common rhetoric of the campaign. I hoped the topic plus the length of the answer, no more than 75 words, would induce some thought on the part of the candidate. The answers would be printed here without editing or comment, other than if an answer wasn’t germane.  You compare and contrast. Ask yourself if the answers are relevant and useful.

  • With children fast approaching the high school age/grades I am pleased to see that we, as a community, are one step closer to hiring a new principal for the Los Alamos High School.

    The youth of Los Alamos deserve to have a decision made to provide some stability, especially with the upcoming years of construction on the high school facilities.

    However, the one concern that has come to light is that one of the two finalists is the spouse of the current School Board President Ken Johnson.

  • New Mexico citizens will be exposed to potential public highway accidents involving high explosives if the New Mexico Environmental Department denies Los Alamos National Laboratory’s permit to treat these explosives at Los Alamos.

    Each year LANL safely burns many thousands of pounds of high explosive wastes at temperatures sufficiently elevated to destroy all toxins and render them inert.

    If the permit is denied, these wastes will have to be transported on New Mexico’s public highways to treatment facilities in distant states.

  • Tom Brown says, “Exciting and fulfilling as our lives may be, most of us are cut off from our natural surroundings. We live in heated houses, drive automobiles on asphalt highways…we listen to a barrage of unnatural sounds…we live by the clock. We have lost our connection with the earth.”  

  • Tiger Woods returned to golf this past weekend.

    As I write this I have no idea how he finished in the Masters, one of the game’s four major championships.  He had a good first day, a decent second day and made the cut. Damn.

    Look, at the risk of being called every vile name in the book – including racist – let me say up front that I’d hoped he would tank.  

  • SANTA FE — The most dreaded time of year is here again. Income taxes are due tomorrow. Millions of Americans have pulled out the shoebox and are sorting through receipts and bills. If you haven’t started yet, you may be too late.

    On average, Americans filling out the long form spend 21.4 hours wading through the 172 pages of explanations for the federal form. Some 86 million more already have taken their records to a professional.

  • The Luna Community College Rough Riders baseball team routed their bosses and administration last week, without putting on the cleats.

    In fact, the Rough Rider players hit a grand slam last week without picking up a bat. What they did was join together and put their names on the line to stop the years-long shameful drinking on the job by their coach, Peter Ortiz.

  • When I walk on Sundays with my faithful mutt along the bottom of the Snake River Canyon, I usually hear only the wind in my ears.    

    It’s surprising how loud a breeze can be in a human ear, and try as I might I’ve not found anything about breeze-sounds to be particularly interesting. Still, just to keep me awake, perhaps, Mother Nature punctuates the breeze sometimes with a snake’s rattle in the warmth of summer — and, of course, I do listen carefully for them.

  • I’m a hugger. Always have been, always will be. My parents brought me up to be one; I married one and my doctor is one. Problem is, when my doctor has bad news for me, instead of walking into the room with a smile and giving me a big hug, as she usually does, she walks in frowning and sits straight down in the chair. It’s an instant give away. And the problem is, if she’s going to tell me bad news, then that’s when I need a big hug the most!

  • “The challenges and opportunities that confront Mississippi and the nation demand creative and innovative responses if we are to realize the potential that the future holds for our citizens. Our best hope for increased prosperity, health and quality of life for all lies in our ability to take advantage of the full range of talents and perspectives available to us.”

  • It’s another one of those lists with New Mexico bringing up the rear. The subject is broadband access.

    New Mexico ranks 46th nationally in Internet use and 36th in broadband (high-speed Internet) telecommunications, according to the U. S. Department of Commerce. About 78 percent of New Mexicans have DSL, compared with 82 percent nationally; 77 percent have access to cable modem, compared with 96 percent nationally.

  • Huge investments intended for additional plutonium infrastructure at Los Alamos National Laboratory raise equally big questions. Specifically, will current plans make the best use of the growing billions of dollars now claimed necessary to do the job? Can these enormous costs really be justified?

    Or is there already evidence that these projects are simply out of control?

  • In today’s world of rapid pace, warp speed information delivery it sometimes seems as though everything happened yesterday. The Internet and cable television have delivered unto us a 24/7 news cycle, which can, in times of disasters, be a good thing. Other times, maybe not, such as when broadcasters are obviously reaching to fill time with yawn-inspiring stories.

  • Libraries are the canaries in the coal mine. This phrase is from our  high school librarian, Kenneth Holmes. It refers to the practice of coal miners who used to take live canaries with them into the mine. When the air in the mine got foul, the canary suffered the effects  first. When the canary stopped singing, the miners needed to be aware. When the canary died, it was time to leave!

    I write with some trepidation, although the superindent has informed me that input is still appropriate regarding proposed cuts to district programs.

  • The family of David M. Thurston, former Los Alamos High School science teacher, wishes to thank its principal, Sandy Warnock, its faculty, its students and alumni, and members of our community for their contributions to the Memorial Service for Dave at the high school.  

    Afterwards, several people told me it was the best memorial service they had attended.  The singing provided by the high school’s student chorus was especially touching and beautiful. It brought tears to many members of Dave’s family and those who were close to him.

  • Newspapers were guardians of our Republic. Now most have moved left, supporting our country’s slide into socialism or worse. I never thought of the Monitor as a zampolit for Marxism. So, I found the political cartoon that you published on April 18, “Tea Party: White Tea Blend,” which shows a KKK tea bag, vile and offensive, but telling.

    To disagree with the Left is to be called a “racist.” Such “politically incorrect” free speech is handled via today’s state media through character assassination, not facts.

  • The good citizens of Iceland have two mega-problems this spring. One is their economic and banking situation, which is still in something close to meltdown mode. I cannot fathom finances and economics, so I’m in no position to really follow that part of the current and dreary Icelandic saga.

    But the other is geological, and that’s a piece of the story a rock-head like me can better understand.