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Opinion

  • Ring around the collar! Ring around the collar! Remember how that used to be the pinnacle of social embarrassment, a reason to hide in the shadows, the determining factor to your future and your happiness? Or what about the heartbreak of eczema, seborrhea, psoriasis? Scratch your head in public and everyone would know that you have dry itchy scalp. Dandruff flakes on your suit? Well, you can kiss that promotion goodbye!

  • Los Alamos is going over a property tax cliff that will result in a disastrous tax burden on all county homeowners and businesses. However, there are actions we can take to prevent this from happening.

  • Well, the new jailhouse may rock (Los Alamos Monitor, front page headline, Jan. 13), but the old schoolhouse certainly doesn’t. I’m sure the irony in this contrast strikes many of us, especially those involved with children in the county. It’s one of the many reasons why I’m going to vote in favor of the current referendum on behalf of our school system. I want to be part of a community that sends a positive message of support to our students, as well as to our teachers and other school staff.

  • The following was not supposed to be an editorial, but recent news events and new understandings would not allow me to remain silent any longer. Recent Monitor articles including “Getting to the Bottom of Global Warming” (Dec. 13, 2009) inspired a response.

  • There’s been some discussion both internally at the Monitor and externally amongst those in the community regarding why the newspaper has declined to print some letters to the editor. The letters in question have come from proponents of the election now underway concerning two education propositions.

  • Many of us living in the far Western states know what it is to feel the power of seismic waves passing through the Earth. The sharp jolts are unmistakable, and the sense of chaos is terrifying even to those of us who like a thrill.

    A minor earthquake I felt in Berkeley, Calif., still stands out in my mind some 30 years later, and not because it’s one of my favorite memories. My thoughts turned to it as soon as I heard the news from the Eureka, Calif., area, which experienced an offshore earthquake of 6.5 on the Richter scale recently.

  • I could have spoken up about how odd it was to be putting so many people at risk, but I didn’t. I’ll take some blame for that. I’m sorry. Why didn’t I speak up when I noticed that we wanted our youth who ride buses to cross in front of the school bus, but we wanted them to cross behind Atomic City Transit buses? Why didn’t I speak up when I noticed that vehicle drivers must stop for school buses but can whiz past Atomic City Transit (ACT) buses?

  • I am delighted to read (in “Our kids are on fire,” Monitor, Jan. 15.) that “As a math teacher, (John Pawlak) can safely say that turning a blind eye to the dangers [of smoking] just doesn’t add up.” I wish you could also tell the FDA that refusing to reduce those dangers – by allowing use of e-cigarettes which provide nicotine and flavors without tars and other carcinogens (including radioactivity!) — doesn’t add up either.

  • To solve our environmental problems, climate change being by far the largest, we need to think about both smaller bites of the problem and the long term. The small bites won’t be baby steps but bold and far-reaching initiatives that each tackle an aspect of the larger problem. And many of our boldest but necessary steps may not bear fruit within our lifetimes.

  • Economists call them economic engines, and the rest of us call them our golden geese. Whatever they’re called, we need to trim spending carefully and, in some cases, feed the goose.

    Two cases in point: Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and the film industry.

  • SANTA FE — Perhaps  there was good reason for Attorney General Gary King to want his advice kept secret concerning the veto of a double dipper bill last March.

    This column and many other commentaries on King’s action had suggested his motivation was suspicious, maybe even nefarious. But it may be the secrecy was necessary to the performance of his job.

  • The attempted Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in Detroit demonstrates the need for constant vigilance in confronting the evolving nature of the threats to air travel security. As we work to address the vulnerabilities this plot has exposed, we must institute systems and technologies that would prevent the specific security breaches we saw on Flight 253, while having the vision and flexibility to deter future threats.

  • The bad news about state finances comes so often, it’s hard to pay attention sometimes. The latest bad news comes from the New Mexico Department of Transportation, which is warning local governments to expect cuts in money for local road projects because of declines in the state road and local government road funds.

    In a letter sent to local government road fund program participants, the department asks the participants to review projects to determine which can be downsized or postponed. School bus routes, city streets and equipment are all on the chopping block.

  • Tenth Night came and on the Eleventh Day, the picture emerged for the 2010 session of the Legislature that begins Jan. 19.

    The Legislative Finance Committee got there first with a 14-page outline released Jan. 4. A day later, Gov. Bill Richardson proposed, as his news release put it, “a responsible, balanced budget” with 5 percent reserves.

  • SANTA FE — Hooray. We still have a year to redeem the first decade of the 21st century from being a complete bust.

    Reader Earl Nielsen, of Alamogordo, recalled that 10 years ago, I participated in the effort to remind the world that the decade, century and millennium didn’t end on Dec. 31, 1999. It ended a year later.

  • I believe the most important role of newspapers is to keep citizens informed of what is happening in their community.  By being informed we can then be active in the community. 

  • The letter by Charles Chick Keller “Let science make the call on climate,” Jan 5, 2010 was welcomed by me. I was waiting for an opinion by a local scientist in this science-rich town of Los Alamos.

    I agree that the warming is real, but the statement that there has been “ no warming in the past eight years,” is pretty mild when the data shows a cooling trend that is equivalent to 2 degrees Celsius per century. How long does this go on before we change our minds about global warming?

  • On Tuesday, Dec. 24 at about 3 p.m., my Basset Hound, Gracie, was killed on the corner of 44th St. and Sandia in the Western Area right in front of my house. Whoever hit her, didn’t even stop.

  • Watching the antics of the United States Senate these past few weeks, I was struck by images of old men moving slowly and deliberately, afraid to go too quickly in any direction for fear of losing a campaign dollar or a vote.

    In every other American venue, new blood is regularly infused to keep up with changes in population, needs and attitudes. Not so in the Senate, where experience becomes a liability when it inhibits innovation and progress, and when senators’ ideas take on the color of their longtime sponsors.

  • When you are 20 years old, 10 years is half your lifetime, and time moves slowly. However, when you’re an older adult,

    10 years fly by at a speed that is unsettling. How has Los Alamos’ view of the environment changed in the last 10 years?

    The evolution of PEEC and Earth Day celebrations offers a frame of reference.