Letters to the Editor 4-1-16

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We all need to talk about nuclear weapons

The current presidential race is chaotic, and the public doesn’t realize how close nine different world leaders are to their nuclear launch triggers.
We all worry about Kim Jong Un’s plans, but we are not aware of what U.S. presidential candidates, if elected, could do with our nuclear arsenal.
We, the people, have an opportunity to make our voices heard if we speak up.
We can’t remain quiet in this volatile world. Why spend $1 trillion, as Obama has suggested, to modernize our nuclear arsenal, when that money could be used for education, renewable energy development, or diplomatic aid to other countries.
We should push all political candidates to take a stand in favor of the elimination of all nuclear weapons. The thought that 15,000 massively destructive weapons can whisk around the world in minutes is much more terrifying than any candidate’s antics.
Every American president going back several decades has tried to reduce our arsenal, and substantial progress has been made.
But what worries me is that one doesn’t hear much from the current Republican and Democratic candidates.
Make yourself heard around the world, and pressure the candidates to address the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Chris Warren
Santa Fe
Will we go round in circles?

Guinea pigs.
That’s what we are going to be next year when the new roundabout is built at the intersection of Trinity and Central avenues just east of the Hilltop House. It will be a grand experiment to see how well we can learn new tricks. Of course, it will impact more than just Los Alamos residents. Commuters and visitors will also need to learn the new rules and develop new skills.
I’m not for or against roundabouts per se. They work smoothly in other parts of the world. European friends tell me that driver training taught them how to negotiate a roundabout.
But in the United States they are perhaps more of a challenge; or maybe we, the drivers, are challenged by roundabouts.
Roundabouts in Florida and New Jersey are not working well and have been slated for removal because Americans don’t know how to handle them.
Here in Los Alamos, it’s not just residents who will be involved. Over time, we have mostly learned how to handle the roundabout when Barranca and North Mesas join Diamond Drive.
However, a major roundabout at the primary entrance to Los Alamos is another matter. I predict there will be a number of accidents as drivers miscalculate how to meet the challenge.
You have probably remarked on the number of young, hot shot drivers who love speed.
The new roundabout is supposed to slow them down, but guess what? They are going to defy all odds.
Welcome to Los Alamos! Visitors who have survived the cliff-hanger road up to the top of the mesa will be in for another rude shock, as they approach town from the east and encounter another obstacle course.
Large trucks and emergency vehicles will also face an obstacle course if the roundabout is built at Trinity and Central. We’re just asking for accidents. What if we ever have to evacuate town again, heaven forbid?
We’ll manage. So did the early inhabitants of Los Alamos with all the hassles of life on the mesa. Do we really want to do this to ourselves?
Most of the arguments I have seen against building a roundabout at Trinity and Central have been technical. They are reasonable arguments.
There are also financial arguments against spending millions of dollars to build a big mistake and then having to pay once more to have it removed.
Friends, this just doesn’t make sense. A roundabout at Trinity and Central or anywhere else along our major arteries is not in our best interests.
This grand experiment is going to be a major headache.
Dorothy Corner Amsden
Los Alamos