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Opinion

  • Dear Editor,

    You can find data on the latest property tax rates at www.tax.state.nm.us/pubs/TaxreseStat/losalamos07.pdf for Los Alamos and Santa Fe. You will note that municipal rates in Santa Fe are 1.026 mills (residential) and 1.945 (non-residential). In Los Alamos the municipal rates are 3.315 mills (residential) and 4.246 (non-residential). In other words Los Alamos municipal property tax rates are nearly triple the same rates in Santa Fe!

  • Dear Editor,

    I urge all citizens to consider the future of Trinity Drive, a major artery through our town whose function and use is currently being assessed. I wish to offer my thanks to the citizens’ committee, LA Walks and to the County of Los Alamos Traffic Engineering staff for hosting the two recent forums considering the future of Trinity Drive. I found them quite informative and I was pleased to see that over 100 citizens of Los Alamos County attended the last forum.

  • Dear Editor,

    Ed is gone and the joke’s on us; the penultimate black hole is the lab.

    Kay Harper

    Los Alamos

  • For the 10th consecutive year, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is organizing the Earth Day celebration in Los Alamos.

    The theme of this year's event is “Tree of Life,” in recognition of the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary (sesquicentennial) of the publication of his most famous book “On the Origin of Species.”

  • Longtime bicyclist Steven Booth had a concern and while local officials were willing to listen, there was little they could do.

    Booth told county officials that it is very dangerous to ride a bike here. Drivers cut cyclists off or just can’t see those folks on the human-powered vehicles.

    He said it is so bad that he is going to stop riding to work here.

    While education may be a part of the problem, it may go deeper than that. There seems to be a lack of courtesy that goes beyond just a bicyclist.

  • This may seem like an odd place to write about sports, but we have done so before and this subject is worth hammering home.

    Whether or not you are a big basketball fan, March is certainly a time when that sport hits its high note in the college ranks.

    If you have any feeling for the game, you have been watching the teams slug it out in some great exhibitions of talent and hard work.

    But if you are like many viewers, you may have missed the best basketball being played – the women’s bracket.

  • Remember gasoline prices last Fourth of July?

    Those were the days household budgets collided with gasoline prices that were over $4 per gallon.

    Even us geologists – who are sometimes quietly glad to see high energy and metals prices because our jobs depend on them – whimpered loudly when we pulled into the pumps. I can quite clearly recollect the first time I put more than $125 of gas into my beloved 1987 pickup. Ouch!

  • Recent progress in technology has put an ideal future well within the reach of mankind.

    That is, if we can find the will and intelligence to properly accelerate and deploy these newly developed capabilities.

    The technologies involved include (but are not limited to) Nanotech, Biotech, Infotech, and one you will be hearing more about, Cogtech. We now have an unprecedented command of nature and natural resources.

    What then prevents us from moving into the utopia this should imply?

  • Dear Editor,

    Route 502 is a state highway, upgraded to feed the lab, not the town! Two lanes each way divide at the Y into lanes dumping into LA or exiting from LA at 50mph. During rush-hour almost all of these bumper-to-bumper cars are going to or from the lab - somewhere besides the LA townsite.

    So, the main (90-plus percent?) users of 502 during these periods are not local residents.

  • This sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Standing on a golden beach, the sun beating down, crowds cheering, as you waddle your way under a flexing pole.

    I bet you’re thinking that’s the celebration of finishing cancer treatment. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.

    Limbo is not so much what you do, as where you go.

    For months you’ve been coddled and cooed over by doctors and nurses, attentively listening to your every ache and pain, on standby 24 hours a day in case of that dreaded 101.5-degree fever.

  • Dear Editor,

    Is the county’s current scheme for Trinity Drive a solution without a problem?  What is the “problem?”

    Is it lack of “prettiness” in the commercial area from Oppenheimer eastward? Is it excessive speed? Is it an unsafe intersection? Is it poor business access along Trinity? Is it improved ease of shopping for off-the-hill commuters? Or is it a failure to meet the definition of a “complete street?”

  • Dear Editor,

     It didn’t take long for the community discussion concerning improvements to Trinity to devolve into two lanes vs. four lanes and stoplights vs. roundabouts. Unfortunately, these two lines of discussion miss the important points all together.

    The world is changing in fundamental ways we will probably not realize for years to come. It’s important to re-design Trinity to meet the needs it will serve over the next 20-30 years rather than the last 50.

  • Dear Editor,

    Los Alamos is endowed with many talented individuals who devote their time and energy to numerous local nonprofit organizations volunteering as board members, committee chairs and most importantly, as  “workers” who give innumerable hours to make events happen. 

  • My father was a cropduster, kind of a barnstorming migrant occupation, so we moved from town to town, according to the season and where the bugs were.

     

    Sometimes I went to two or three different schools during the year. My least favorite moment was when the teacher said something like, “Kids, we have a new student. His name is Roger Snodgrass.”

     

    I think there were few times when I didn’t hear at least a snigger and often many sniggers.

     

    It took awhile for me to accept my name.

     

  • Dear Editor,

     A “story” in your March 25, 2009, edition stated, “Rumors were running rampant this morning” about the fate of the Mountain Elementary School principal.

  • Dear Editor,

     Regarding the article in Wednesdays paper, “Mountain Principal’s Job in Question,” I was shocked and appalled that the Monitor would print such a premature and irresponsible piece.

    Why add to the issue of “rumors running rampant” when no real news was there to report.

    My daughter is a student at Mountain School and it is my experience that Mike Katko is nothing short of a kind, conscientious and caring principal.

  • A major step forward

    The signing of the Trinity Site Revitalization Project agreement by the school board Thursday is a positive step forward for our community.

    In its unanimous vote to affirm a partnership with the county, school board members took a step toward the future.

    While we believe that there are still many questions and issues here, this project is what the county has basically banked its future on and we need to move ahead.

    Doing nothing is worse than trying something.

  • There was a ceremony Tuesday afternoon to honor retired Sen. Pete Domenici.

    The event was the dedication and naming of three buildings at the center of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The only problem was that no one was allowed to attend outside of the laboratory, which is too bad and something we don’t understand.

    Domenici was on hand to receive the plaudits of laboratory leaders and staff, which is well and good. But the general public should have had some avenue to attend.

  • Dear Editor,

    In response to the March 19 letter to the editor titled “Trinity Drive: 2 lanes or 4?” I would like to clarify some misstatements. The letter intimated that county Sstaff was finishing up a plan to change Trinity Drive from a four-lane to a two-lane road. That is simply not the case.

  • Dear Editor,

    As a pharmacist in Los Alamos, I would like to respond to the letter from Sig Gerstl.  Yes, there may not have been a line at the drop off window at either pharmacy you visited, but here is a “look” behind the counter.