• 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.

  • Sometimes a statistic knocks at your door.

    This one was an attractive, well-spoken, 40-something woman.

    “My husband and I were laid off last month. I can do cleaning, and he can do yard work,” she said, handing me a flyer.

    I could have used her help, but like a lot of other self-employed people, I’ve seen my work thin out lately.

  • Voters considering the UNM-LA operating mil levy and LA Public Schools (LAPS) bond renewal should be aware of a potentially important county council action that may lower the county portion of our property taxes.

  • SANTA FE — Expect the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to be the most fun ever. Brazilians know how to party. Even if Brazil doesn’t deliver on all the promises it made to win the bid, Rio will show everyone a good time, including television viewers.

    I say this after two weeks of travel in Brazil. I realize that doesn’t make me an expert on the subject but it did provide an opportunity to get a taste of the Brazilian way of life.

  •   I’d like to add my voice to those in opposition to the Monitor’s publishing of police arrests — along with photos of those arrested — on the front page of the paper. My opposition is not to printing the information. That’s an entirely different discussion. My opposition is to printing the information with photos on the front page.

  • Newspapers have a quirky kind of give and take with their readers. Typically it’s a predominantly giving relationship — that is until the newspaper does something readers don’t particularly agree with, and then the newspaper takes it… on the chin.

    Such was the case recently when the Monitor made the decision to start publishing mug shots in its weekly Police Beat, that’s become a standard feature on the Tuesday front page over the past several months. Mug shots are, after all, as accessible as the arrest reports that go along with them.

  • Colorado Gov. Ritter and New Mexico Gov. Richardson delivered an early holiday present this year – the new wildlife corridor initiative between southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. In the beginning of December, these two governors agreed to work together to identify and protect key wildlife travel and migration corridors across their shared border. The agreement sets out a plan to use the best scientific geospatial mapping systems available to help conserve several key habitats and migration areas.

  • SANTA FE — It is fun at this time of year to make predictions for the coming year in New Mexico politics. Then a year later comes the accountability, the time to tally how well I have done.

    This year’s evaluation of my 2009 predictions is not pretty. I usually have quite a bit to crow about. But a year ago today was during that brief period when we thought Gov. Bill Richardson was headed for the big time.

  • SANTA FE — Happy New Year. Here’s a toast to it being a happier year than this past one. Actually the entire decade has been pretty grim in many ways. Let’s hope this decade is an improvement.

    In keeping with tradition, herewith are some predictions about what may be in store for our state in the coming year.

    This year will be another uncertain one as far as our leadership is concerned. It was during the opening week of January 2009 that Gov. Bill Richardson announced he wouldn’t be leaving for Washington.

  • SANTA FE – For a moment, ethics reform has tiptoed into the spotlight.  But it won’t be for long and it won’t make much of an impression.

    Budget cutting is the major topic of the day, and for many days to come. It will be the excuse for nothing being accomplished on ethics reform in this coming legislative session.

  • SANTA FE — It appears only two state senators will be trying to climb the political ladder this year. Senators have four-year terms, as do statewide elected officials.

    Those offices – governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, auditor, treasurer and land commissioner – all are elected in even-numbered years with no presidential election.

    State Senate elections are held at the same time as presidential elections. That means state senators are in the middle of their four-year terms when statewide officials are elected.

  • SANTA FE ­— Happy 98th birthday, New Mexico. You’re getting up there in years. What in the world are we going to do for your 100th?  The answer is not much. We don’t celebrate such things as grandly anymore. It has become so complicated. We still feel pretty free about celebrating Christmas, New Years and athletic victories. But anniversaries of events are something else. It’s not that we don’t know how. New Mexico had a huge celebration in 1940 for the 400th anniversary of Coronado’s Expedition. It was truly statewide.

  • You can tell it’s going to be a bad day when you wake up to find that your waterbed sprung a leak during the night. You can tell it’s going to be an even worse day when you remember that you don’t own a waterbed. Some days are better than others and some years are pretty much the same.

    But this is going to be a great year.

  • I am displeased with the overwhelmingly unconstitutional voting record of New Mexico’s entire congressional delegation.

    To judge for yourself and to keep apprised, please allow me to recommend The New American Magazine’s Freedom Index, available at www.thenewamerican.com. This invaluable resource summarizes congressional voting records and provides concise explanations regarding the constitutionality of each vote. Other useful websites are www.campaignforliberty.com and www.oathkeepers.org.

  •  I’m writing to you in support of the mil levy vote for the University of New Mexico Los Alamos branch.  Surprisingly enough, many of our town residents don’t realize that there’s a college branch right here.  We have some of the best faculty that you’ll find anywhere, including our main campus, and our class sizes are small enough that our students enjoy specialized attention from the instructors.  Although the majority of our degrees are two-year degrees, we also offer a full four-year computer science degree.  We are also one of the first

  • For the record, if you’re reading this right now, chances are you’ve successfully navigated through the wonders of the 21st century’s first decade.

    Perhaps you even have some water left from the Y2K scare. In fact, is there a better place to begin a reflection on the past 10 years than at the very beginning – or, say, the 12 months before?

  • The year and decade ended for me in an awesome experience of reconciliation in two outdoor ritual folk plays in Alcalde, just north of San Juan Pueblo, on Dec. 27.

    The Matachines dance and “Los Comanches” play were performed back- to-back in the brilliant winter sunshine on the icy ground of the Camino Real, below the snowy peaks of the Sangre de Cristos.  

    The folk plays reminded us how badly our new decade needs respectful truces. Democrats and Republicans, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, modernists and traditionalists, badly need to reconcile.

  • The letter by Mark A. Robinson “Climate change is liberal hot air,” Dec. 31, 2009, is a good example of what’s bothering people about this issue. It attacks the idea of human-caused warming not from a scientific point but from a political/economic one. Indeed most objections to this idea are made because it’s thought that this is some political ploy that’s simply going to cost too much to do anything about. This is understandable since there are a fair number of supporters of the idea who are liberal and many against it who are conservative.