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Opinion

  • Dear Editor,

    The people of Los Alamos will miss Jim West. His decision to resign from the county council must have been difficult and we all wish him well as he pursues treatment and recovery from his illness. Jim has been a hard working servant of the county, and his shoes will be hard to fill.

  • As oil prices waver near to three-year lows as investors weighed falling global demand and a government report showing an unexpected decline in U.S. crude inventories, New Mexico faces a real budget crisis.

    We will admit that it is nice to drive to Albuquerque and buy gas for $1.69 a gallon. But while it may be good for drivers in the short-term, it is disasterous for the state in the long run.

  • The hearts of everyone in Los Alamos goes out to Jim West, as do all our prayers and wishes for his speedy recovery.

    While we may have disagreed with him from time to time, his concern for this community, his hard and dedicated work and his efforts on all our behaves is unquestioned.

    His humor, his grace and his experience will be missed. He will be a tough act to follow.

    It is in that vein that we urge the council to proceed with all due caution. There is precedent for this in the past and the input and care taken then should be followed now.

  • Well, Gov. Richardson is going to become an “economic diplomat” in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration – whatever that means.

    He plans to step down as governor after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate. That could be late January to early February. Or in the middle of the 2009 Legislature’s session.

    Oh well, more work for Diane Denish, who will become New Mexico’s first female governor.

  • The recent events propelling an almost unknown and unique quantity into the White House have captured the imagination and hopes of all Americans and I daresay the entire world.

    Many pundits and observers speak of his charisma, his presence, his intellectualism and his empathy. TV anchors laud his good looks and fitness, noting his workout routines. World leaders talk about the "hope" he brings.

  • The holiday season is upon us and this year, more than ever, people are wondering how to deck the halls with GREEN ideas.

    At PEEC we have brainstormed our favorite green gifts and come up with a list to share.

    1. Handmade gifts are always treasured.

    Make a book of an historic trip or recipes that your family loved when you were little. Aspen Copies can help you make a calendar with family photos for each month. UPEX can help you laminate favorite photos to attach to your purse or luggage.

  • Today is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that is the beginning of the traditional holiday shopping season.

    As we all run off to do our shopping, it would be wise to remember all the options that we have right here at home.

    While Black Friday is not an official holiday, many employers give folks the day off, which increases the number of shoppers. And while retailers decorate for the holiday season weeks beforehand, many of them open early to draw people to their stores.

  • For more than a year we have watched the economic crisis wink into existence, signal its approach and finally melt all over us in painfully slow motion.

    Because the technical definition of recession is six or more straight months of declining gross domestic product, the advance of the illness could be seen coming from a long way off and its likelihood has been left to grow wildly in the mind without definite confirmation or determined response.

    And then the statistical lag time dulls the impact a little more.

  • The council is scheduled Tuesday night to discuss the Municipal Building matter. We urge them to take no action.

    In fact, we think that this council should take action on only matters of extreme emergency to the county.

    We feel this would be in the public’s interest as it was clear by the results of the election that people want a change. And if this council continues to ignore this and proceeds with projects, it would be a grave disservice to the community.

  • At the Los Alamos Sustainable Energy Network’s November meeting, Steve Brugger, Housing Program manager with the Los Alamos County Community Development Department described a new and innovative initiative that the County is currently constructing to assist residents with home improvements including energy efficiency upgrades.

  • SANTA FE – Barack Obama’s victory produced many firsts, most of which have been discussed to death by national analysts.

    One first that hasn’t been discussed is the election of a president from our 50th state of Hawaii.

    President-elect Obama is more closely identified with Illinois now but he grew up in Hawaii and, appropriately enough, he used a 50-state strategy to win his election.

  • It was good to hear state Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez (D-Valencia) say that he supports education funding in spite of a daunting budget shortfall facing existing and future state budgets.

  • Dear Editor,

    Economic tumult – gas pump, real estate, recession, gnashing political teeth and all – has taken its toll on Los Alamos County homeowners, customers and local businesses alike.  

    Talk about being in the same boat! – this boat ride is no joke for any of us.

    Retail in Los Alamos of course has never been exactly a ride on a cupcake.

    And in just three months the voyage has caused many of us to start taking on serious water.

  • Dear Editor,

    Los Alamos is a small town in a small county on an isolated plateau in a sparsely populated region of a sparsely populated state that most folks have either never heard of or think is a foreign country.  

    Los Alamos is a highly specialized single-industry economy with a dominant employer which was responsible for the founding of a town in a location that otherwise would be a lousy place to put a town. Historically, the only towns with those parameters are mining boomtowns.

    And yet there are possibilites.

  • Dear Editor,

    Amidst all the build-up to the elections we had a glorious moment in Los Alamos. It took place on Oct. 29th right in the middle of our community with quite a few onlookers and quite a lot of participants. That moment happened when a ribbon was cut and a mass of our residents, ages 4 to 40, poured onto the sculptured curves and smooth surfaces of our new skateboard park. Instantaneously, there was a tsunami wave of joy washing over those on wheels AND those on the sidelines.

  • Dear Editor,

    Returning from a road trip on Monday evening, I was waiting cued up behind another car about to make a right on red from Central onto Diamond. At the last minute, the lead driver stopped short, and I saw two dark shadows zip past on Diamond heading north – bicyclists riding in the dark. The lead cyclist had no lights at all, and the second one had a tiny, nearly worthless and dim light.

    Frankly, I’ve been keeping a mental tally lately of nighttime cyclists and have seen about ten lightless cyclists for every one I’ve seen lit up.

  • Post election concentration in the media and at coffee klatches around the state has centered on New Mexico turning a deep shade of blue and our chances of pork barrel opportunities now that we have five congressional seniority rookies.

     Then, of course, there is the constant speculation about where Bill Richardson is going and why did he shave his beard. My theory on the latter is Barbara told him to shave it or else, if you get my drift.

  • In “Block, Lass Share a Forum,” published Oct. 22 in the Los Alamos Monitor, Public Regulation Commissioner elect Jerome Block Jr., a former title insurance executive, is quoted as saying  that he does not “have a personal opinion” about the need for title insurance  reform in New Mexico.

    Allow me to explain why Commissioner Block needs to back reform instead of  remaining neutral and allowing the out of state title insurance underwriters to continue to take daily advantage of New Mexico homebuyers.

  • Generally we don’t question voters, the will of the electorate is how the wind blows. But this year, we have to.

    The election of Jerome Block Jr. to the Public Regulation Commission is nothing short of disgusting. And we believe it is due in part to the fact that people can straight party vote in this state – something that should be as out-dated as voter tests.

  • Dear Editor,

    It seems that the share the wealth plans are already in operation a day after the election.

    I was out early Wednesday to pick up my political signs held up with steel posts. Lo and behold the signs were on the ground but the posts were gone. Someone decided to “share” my posts by stealing them. I check with my Republican leader and it wasn’t a Republican making an early retrieval. These steel fence posts are worth $2 to $3 each, so this is petty larceny sharing.

    Vernon N. Keer

    Los Alamos