• In the movies, volcanic eruptions are dazzling in their ability to take people by surprise. Filming an eruption like Pompeii would be rather boring. In a matter of minutes, everyone is choked to death by a massive onslaught of volcanic dust. End of story.

    It’s much more exciting to see lava flows gushing towards towns as people run for their lives. For about an hour, the lava oozes toward its victims, outracing and engulfing them in horrible (ooh, so spectacular on that big screen) death scenes.

  • Who is the mysterious “Monitor Staff” who composed the mean-spirited article on high school soccer published on Sept. 25, 2009? Why didn’t the article have a named byline so I know to whom I should directly complain?

  • When did the Los Alamos Enquirer take over at the Los Alamos Monitor? Five days in a row? Top headline? Not even a local murder trial or killer DWI story gets these kind of headlines! In the interest of full disclosure, I am a proud member of the Los Alamos Community Winds, directed by Dr. Ted Vives for the last 10 years in our community. By the way, you missed a great concert at the Smith Auditorium Friday night. I consider that the reporting seemed quite one sided, an example of which was the tendency to quote some witnesses for one party and not the other.

  • Re: “Contamination shows up in regional aquifer” (Monitor, Sept. 27, 2009). The contrast is striking between Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Danny Katzman, water stewardship program manager, James Bearzi, chief of the Environment Department’s Hazardous Waste Bureau and registered geologist and citizen watchdog Robert Gilkeson.

  • Civil discussions of healthcare reform are possible. I heard one just last week when three panelists took up the subject before a business group.

    Jim Hinton, CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, set the tone: “There are no villains in this debate.”

    Daniel Derksen, a professor in UNM’s Family and Community Medicine Department and president of the New Mexico Medical Society, said healthcare reform is too important to be a partisan debate.

  • At this very minute, hundreds of men and women, working for scores of pollsters, are on the phone pressing whomever is at the other end of the line to reveal his or her opinions about heaven knows what.

    Almost everyone has received calls of this sort, and many of us hang up when we realize what they’re about.

    Granted, polls can be informative, but the questions they pursue are often as predictable as they are banal.

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  • September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and this is deadly serious – no pun intended. We all have a responsibility to turn this disease from the “Silent Killer” that it is, into a “Known Threat.”

    Do you think that ovarian cancer only strikes women older than 60? Especially those who are childless? So did I three years ago. But the fact remains that while the median age for this disease is 63, some 32 percentof women younger than 55, many pre-menopausal, will succumb to the disease.

  • Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Super ... oh, umm, never mind.

    It’s just a murmuration of starlings! Or maybe it’s an exaltation of larks? It could be a convocation of eagles.

    I’m fairly well versed in superherology, but I was never very good at ornithology.

    A venue of vultures? A mustering of storks? An ostentation of peacocks?  So what’s with all the strange names?

  • Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger recently said that the U. S. is in Iraq for oil, and he would like to see our leaders stand up and admit it.  Evidently, we are also in Iraq to spend money.

  • Los Alamos has at least one set of conflicting goals: water conservation and reducing the level of dissolved metals in the water its denizens consume. Many of the town’s aging water pipes are lined with lead and other metals, which may leach into the water. We are told by very reputable sources to run the water for three to five minutes in the morning, to allow the lead and dissolved metals to wash out of the pipes, before drinking the water.

  • This is in reference to the Monitor story of Sept. 11 about the president’s speech.

    One of the finest school systems in the country in one of the leading scientific communities found it impossible for its students to join the rest of the nation’s schoolchildren in listening to President Obama’s back-to-school address. Amazing!

  • On Sept. 21, Los Alamos National Security, the public-private partnership that runs Los Alamos National Laboratory, launched the year’s second Venture Acceleration Fund call for ideas. The fund, administered by Northern New Mexico Connect, invests up to $100,000 in Northern New Mexico businesses that have an association with LANL technology or expertise and want to apply that technology to a commercial product for which there is market demand. The ultimate goal is to create an entrepreneurial culture in Northern New Mexico.

  • Los Alamos is a wonderful place for most families. We enjoy great schools and a wide variety of youth/family programs. I am proud our town is a progressive, vibrant community that is generally responsive to the needs of its residents. But there is a gap not yet addressed. Our community has a small, yet significant, part of the population with developmental disabilities. Outside of school, the families who care for those individuals are often on their own. In Los Alamos, there is a lack of comprehensive programs in place to provide support across the spectrum of abilities.

  • Okay, so we are going to have higher property tax. That’s not surprising.

    Now, since this implies that Los Alamos needs more revenue, the Municipal Building selection group seems oblivious to what is going on around them in making some recent decisions.

  • Looking for new ideas about a next generation retail center?

    Face it, most of us don’t have the foggiest notion about what’s going on in the realm of post-meltdown shopping centers.

    Much less do we know what the odds are that anything is going to work for very long.

    Having been shopping-deprived for most of its existence has been at best a mixed blessing for Los Alamos, but one of the things it has not provided is a well-developed, experienced nose for how to create a vibrant retail environment for the future.

  • I share the disappointment of most that the route to the full development of the Trinity Site remains uncertain. Some blame Boyer, some the county and council, but all of us need to look a little deeper.

    There have been changes in Los Alamos over the past 15 years that have taken their toll. Better roads to Española and Santa Fe and inexpensive and regularly scheduled public transportation have made it faster and easier to shop outside Los Alamos.

  • I sometimes wonder if scientists have ever computed the density of stupid.

    Lead is fairly dense and yet it is only half as dense as the metal osmium. Platinum, gold and mercury are pretty dense also. Mercury is so dense that lead will float on it.

    But stupid has to be the densest element by far. It never ceases to amaze me how much stupid some people can stuff into such small heads.

    What brought on this rant? Well golly, it could be so many things.

  • As legislators prepare to face the $433 million monster in the closet, some folks have suggested a tax increase. They should take a lesson from New Mexico history.

  • I write my story about healthcare as a physical therapist, who retired after

    32 years in large institutions and private office. Healthcare is a subject close to my heart. My story is long and I ask for your patience to hear my voice.

    I am a graduate of the University of California Medical School. I started my practice first as a staff therapist in a large county hospital, followed by private hospitals and clinics, ending in private solo practice where I provided specialized physical therapy services primarily focusing on pain and stress management and education.