• 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. 

  • When our daughter was cast for “Let Me In,” based on Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s book “Let the Right One In,” we thought the deal was a good one, $9.50 an hour, 40 hours/week, with teachers present as required by state law. Plus she was going to be in the movies! We overnighted the book to check it out. I encourage anyone involved in this movie to do the same. It is a free country but this book goes beyond bad taste. It is of the “horror” genre but it is hideous.

  • You can get a fairly good sense of how people in other parts of the country perceive New Mexico by the questions they ask about the state of affairs in this enchanted land.

    In the latter 1990s, for instance, when Gary Johnson was governor, easily the question most often put to me when talking with folks beyond New Mexico’s borders was, “Is your governor really serious about legalizing marijuana?”

    Some were horrified by the thought, others were downright titillated, but they all wanted to talk about it.

  • Nothing says “lovin’ ” like winning big on an Election Day.

    By now, you’ve probably read every possible spin on Republican wins in governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia. Well, not every one because there remains this one, yes?

    There are three sides to every story. Yours, theirs and the truth. In this case, the sides are the Democrats, the Republicans and reality.

    Let’s take a quick look at the Republicans’ side first.

  • I recently got a speeding ticket. The flashing red lights in my rear view mirror told me I was in trouble. I’d made a poor choice: failing to observe the speed limit signs-and was cited for going 70 in a 55. I suffered consequences for my poor choice. We’ve all made poor choices that typically result in having to pay the consequences. Some consequences are big and others, like my speeding ticket, are small.

  • I noticed a Los Alamos County pickup and utility trailer parked on our street recently and being curious, asked the crew what they were up to. Estevan of the Utilities Department told me they were checking the sewer lines in our area and graciously invited me to see the procedure. To say the least, I was impressed. They had a miniature TV camera on a little motorized crawler that they dropped into the sewer, and then viewed the sewer line on a TV monitor as the camera roamed up and down the sewer line.

  • I am a very fortunate person. I can (and do) give fresh and clean water every day to my children and even my cats and dogs. When we don’t have rain, I can use that same fresh water to keep my vegetable and flower gardens alive. I am lucky to have enough money to buy food for my kids and pets, too. I even have the choice to feed them healthy food or

    unhealthy food on special occasions, knowing that their next meals will fulfill their nutritional needs.

  • Here’s a little quiz: Name the five lieutenant governors before Diane Denish.

    If you can recall Walter Bradley, Casey Luna, Jack Stahl, Mike Runnels and Roberto Mondragon, you get a gold star.

    If you drew a blank, welcome to the club. The fact that none of them went on to higher office and some disappeared from the political radar tells you something about the office.

  • Dogs pant with their tongues hanging out, young men sweat by the bucket and aging geologists just fall over on our faces in the shade on a hot summer’s day. But is there a way we could choose to cool the whole planet in a few decades if we really need to?

  • Those who love football as well as civil society, like me, face a chilling ambivalence about a sport that has become not only a stand-in for war (although we still have the real thing going on), but also a huge business that commands, in the corporate world of college education, expenditures seldom lavished on non-athletes.

    Football as a game has not only become “war;” it is also big business that deals in millions of dollars and the euphoria (or depression) of thousands of people, depending on winning or losing.

  • You’re driving up the Front Road and right behind you is a very important person ... a VIP. Right behind you.

    You know the type.  There are five cars in front of you and you can’t go any faster, but the VIP just has to pass you since, well, he’s very important.  And so, he tailgates you and once he’s given a three-second window to pass, off he goes, rushing to his very important meeting with other very important people, or “I.”

    Now, if he could only pass those other five not-as-important people ...

  • On Oct. 14 in the afternoon between 1 and 3:30 p.m. the sandwich board sign out in front of my new business (Karen Wray Fine Art-Gallery and Studio at 2101 Trinity Drive, Suite B-2) was stolen. The sandwich board was not small. It is 36 inches high by 24 inches wide, made of white plastic with attached signs stating “Gallery / Open” in black print on yellow corrugated plastic. Earlier, on Sept. 11, this sign was outside with 10 balloons attached to the top, announcing the Arts Crawl that was taking place that evening.