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Opinion

  • Although the world-wide International Day of Climate Action – urging  legislators around the world to bring the carbon level back to 350 parts per million – is over, some of us who participated in the Los Alamos gathering thought the community might enjoy looking at the creative ways that groups turned themselves into the numbers “350.”  Take a look at 350.org  to see 181 countries from Mongolia to Antarctica, icons from the pyramids to the Great Barrier Reef, activities from kayaking to sky-diving, people from U. S.

  • Our government officials and legislators have plenty of things to work on these days — both at the national and local levels. The economy, health care, education, two wars and state budget cuts — the list goes on and on. But there is a giant looming behind these issues that is more important than all of them: global climate change. Bad decisions or inaction in any of the other areas — even the wars — can have serious consequences but can be remedied.

  • My 84-year old mother bent over the cookbook one day recently and read aloud to me as I wolfed down a chicken sandwich I’d made at lunchtime. The reading was a lesson in how to make a traditional – and very fine as it turned out – pork roast.

    Personally, I suspect it would be morally responsible to live as a vegetarian, and certainly good for my family’s health and for the nation’s medical-care bills. But I’m a sinner, and my kitchen produces meat and poultry meals on a daily basis.

  • In this season of Thanksgiving, I was reminded that we all get snowed under by day-to-day life. Too many errands to do, too much work — keep the house tidy, look after the kids. Life can be a whirlwind sometimes. But when you hear of bad news, or you get bad news yourself, it kind of reminds you what we should really be thankful for.

  • 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.