• Let’s take a different look at the issue of global warming, or better stated, climate change. First a few observations:

    It is undeniable that coal and oil deposits underground had locked up vast amounts of carbon, and to support human activities they are being brought up and burned in enormous quantities, thus releasing the carbon into the atmosphere.

  • For approximately 10 years, I have had a standing luncheon engagement at a popular restaurant in the Mari-Mac Shopping Center.  I used to drive right up and park a half block or less away for a quick and convenient lunch.  But over the years things have changed and my friends and I have a hard time finding a place anywhere near the restaurant row at Mari-Mac to park. The problem built up slowly.

  • The central political battle of our time is between the public sector, public sector unions in particular, and the private sector.

    The battle is over “who defines the work and institutions that make a nation thrive and grow,” in the elegant words of columnist Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal. Easterners seem unhappy with the public sector dominance. Scott Brown’s Senate victory in Massachusetts is the prime example.

    New Mexico’s public sector continues winning.

  • Governor Richardson seems adamant in asserting that whatever tax hikes he pushes through during the 2010 legislative session will be “temporary.” This promise from a lame-duck governor is ridiculous on its face and is an impossible promise for him to keep. Since this is his final legislative session in office, he won’t even be around to determine whether the hikes he enacts will be temporary or not.

  • SANTA FE  — Gov. Bill Richardson’s economic development initiatives continue to be his top priorities for projects not to be cut in this legislative session.

    Richardson calls them the bold initiatives of which he is proudest about accomplishing during his seven years in office. These are the initiatives that have brought New Mexico into the 21st century, he tells us.

    These initiatives have been boldly promoted but their successes in terms of hard numbers are something lawmakers are going to want to see before this legislative session is over.

  • Recently the Monitor has published two interesting articles concerning the upcoming election with respect to the UNM-LA question and LAPS bond election.

    One concerns the writer-perceived perception that many had a “misconception that Los Alamos schools are wealthy.” Furthermore that the recent 32 percent tax increases should not influence the current bond vote.

  • Please allow our schools to pay for maintenance and equipment by voting “yes” on the referendum ballot that has been maailed to county residents

    New Mexico law specifies how school funding works:

    • State funding is used to cover salaries (operational expenses).

    • Bond funding, through local taxes, is for buildings/property (capital projects).

    • Referendum funding, through local taxes, is for building repair, maintenance, equipment replacement and some athletic items (projects under $200,000).

  • Editor’s note: The Monitor has received a number of letters in support of the proposed UNM-LA mil levy and the LAPS referendum, more than we can publish. This supporting statement  from Mike Wismer, chair of the Los Alamos County Council and former member of the UNM-LA Advisory Boar, is representative of many the letters in support of UNM-LA. We will continue to publish perspectives on both issues as space and balance permit.

  • According to a survey prepared for Los Alamos County during the first two weeks of December, the UNM-LA bond issue is likely to fail, while the LA Public Schools referendum is likely to pass.

    The two questions are now in the hands of voters.

    The survey by Southwest Planning and Marketing of Santa Fe is based on 408 telephone interviews with registered Los Alamos voters and was designed to test their awareness of the UNM-LA and Los Alamos Public Schools bond issues and, more generally, their attitudes about bond issues and education in Los Alamos.

  • A Frenchman once said the art of tax collection is plucking the goose just below the threshold of greatest hissing.

    Legislators and the governor will explore that threshold during this 30-day session as they attempt to dam the flow of red ink. Nobody’s pretending this will be easy, but it’s encouraging that the governor and lawmakers begin the process pretty close together with a slate of proposed spending cuts and tax increases.

  • SANTA FE — This column has often declared that the Grand Old Party is not dead in New Mexico or nationally. Although Republicans had some major defeats in 2006 and 2008, reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.

    Victories back East in off-year elections last November gave the national party reason for hope. And in New Mexico, a surprise October mayoral win in Albuquerque has given the state party a dose of adrenalin.

  • 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.