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Opinion

  • As you roll your 48-gallon trash roll cart down the driveway to deposit it at the curb, do you ever wonder why you are being charged the same fee per month as your neighbor who has a 96-gallon cart overflowing with trash?  
    There is another option, and it is known as a Pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) solid waste rate structure.  
    With a PAYT rate system residents are charged for trash services based on how much waste they put out every week for disposal.  
    By charging for trash services based on roll cart size, a more equitable rate structure is created.  Also, residents are given a financial incentive to reduce trash.  

  • The U.S. Postal Service study on closing some 3,700 post offices in the nation poses a real crisis for rural America.
    The problem is an $8 billion budget deficit. New Mexico has 54 of those target post offices. Hearings currently are being held to determine which offices should be cut.
    Rural post offices are more than just a place to pick up mail. They are locations to congregate and see your neighbors at the appointed time when the mail truck is scheduled to arrive.
    Driving to the nearest open post office can take hours and be impossible in the winter.
    The only thing worse is losing a school house. School closings began in New Mexico in the late 1940s.

  • In many cases, this newspaper will remain neutral regarding local option issues and elections opting instead to let citizens enliven the debate through guest editorials and letters to the editor.

    With regard to the leisure pool issue currently before voters in a mail-in ballot question, the Los Alamos Monitor is going to step from the gray of neutrality onto the black and white of this page.

    The leisure pool represents more than just a pool. The project is more than just a lazy man’s way to while away the hours on a hot summer afternoon, or a place for kids to become exorcised of way too much energy.

  • Local restaurant takes on partner
    We hear that Los Alamos resident Patrick Mockler has purchased 50 percent ownership in Central Avenue Grill.
    Mockler hopes to expand the restaurant to the rear to include a sports bar.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  
    The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • Councilor gets married

    We have learned that County Councilor Mike Wismer married UNM-LA Campus Resources Director Lisa Clough in a small private ceremony with family members Sept. 9. The couple honeymooned in Alaska.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  
    The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • White Rock is abuzz

    We hear that a certain local businessman and his partners are about to launch a co-work space venture in White Rock near Metzger’s.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • Smile for the camera

    Some angry parents are telling us that they are fed up with students smoking around Los Alamos High School, despite posted no smoking signs, and intend to snap photos of the smokers for Facebook.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  •  

    As the seasonal fires die out, there is now time to ask: “Why?”  

    Why did another round of fires scar the southwest, causing untold loss and destruction of invaluable habitat?

    The answer is simple yet disturbing: our public lands have not been well managed.

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    Seven months after his nomination as Economic Development Secretary, four months after his boss and state lawmakers failed to make jobs a priority in the legislative session, and one month after the state posted the first pathetic job growth after 32 straight months of losses, Jon Barela is traveling the state to hold job creation meetings.

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    Anthony Mortillaro walked into the North Central Regional Transit district (“NCRTD”) May 8, 2011 and wheels started turning. Appointed Interim Executive Director after Josette Lucero retired from the NCRTD at the end of April; he immediately began to review policies and procedures and took time to visit with each member of the administrative staff.

  • Retired teacher tapes History Channel Show

    We hear that former Los Alamos teacher Petr Jandacek fly to New York City in June and was filmed as part of a documentary  about Otzi, the Neolithic iceman whose frozen remains were found in the early 1990s.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  
    The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • The Las Conchas Fire is mercifully coming to an end. Hopefully monsoon rains will finish it off.  
    But its effects will be long-lasting, and its size (despite the valiant efforts of firefighters) is alarming.
    After the Cerro Grande Fire, Los Alamos National Laboratory held a three-day conference on new concepts in fire suppression.
    It was widely recognized that existing suppression technology was badly outdated. The conference included experts from most agencies involved with fire fighting and research.
    Several very interesting ideas were forthcoming, but perhaps the most important one was a three-agency collaboration proposing to fight fires primarily from the air and at night when most fires are relatively dormant.

  • Do you ever wonder what happens to your recycling after you toss it into your roll cart?  
    Is there a band of recycling fairies who utilize their magic powers to sort the materials and generate new products?  Farfetched explanation?  
    Perhaps, but the fact is most people are unaware of the processes involved with recycling. But no worries, I am here to enlighten you.
    In Los Alamos County we have a single-stream recycling collection system, meaning all recyclable materials are mixed together by the resident in one cart and collected.  
    The roll cart is emptied into one of the County’s recycling collection vehicles and brought to the Eco Station.  

  • Fireworks rescheduled

    We’re hearing that officials are considering holding the Kiwanis Club’s annual fireworks extravaganza Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-4 at Overlook Park.
    Also, being considered is a community healing/appreciation  event on the day of the fireworks.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  
    The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • LAMC improvements

    Word is that Los Alamos Medical Center has installed a $400,000 heating and air conditioning unit in its operating room area.
    We’ve also heard that the hospital is investing a substantial amount of money to enhance its neonatal care division.
    This includes the hiring of a top-notch neonatal director.
      Send us your wags
    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  
    The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • Local teenage bullies...
    Parents are reporting that students at the middle school have launched intimidating and humiliating Facebook chatter against specific peers.
    Word is that the parents are reaching the breaking point and are about ready to go public.
     

    Send us your wags
    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought. E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • Utility bill movement

    A reader sent us the following wag overheard at McDonald’s:
    Everyone gets a utility bill so enter yes or no on it about whether to change Trinity Drive. That will let county councilors know what the town wants.
    Don’t sign my name, except as Eavesdropper.
     

    Send us your wags
    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought. E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • Fire officials set to retire

    Although nothing has been formally announced, we hear that Los Alamos Fire Chief Doug Tucker and Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal Mike Thompson are planning to retire some time this summer.
    Tucker has 17 years of service with LAFD and   25 years with the Phoenix Fire Department. Thompson has 19 years with LAFD.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought. E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • Planning early for 4th

    We hear that the Los Alamos Kiwanis are planning the most extraordinary 4th of July celebration yet. Steve Boerigter is chair and said they’re expecting to dazzle the crowd with volunteer skydivers landing in formation along with the traditional air show.
    A new Harley Davidson Sportster will be raffled and Russ Gordon will provide great music.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town. The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought. E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • LA Reservoir work begins

    We hear  the road  to Los Alamos Reservoir will close to the pubic Monday as Los Alamos County ramps up  renovation on the reservoir. Heavy equipment activity will make it hazardous for hikers, bicyclists and dog walkers to be on the road.

    Diamond signage issues

    Some drivers find the limited signage confusing around the Diamond, Canyon  and Trinity area. They caution other drivers to slow down in the intersections where vehicles are stopping, starting and making turns.

    Send us your wags