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Letters to the Editor 4-8-18

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Foundation thankful for parents who contributed to recent telethon

Dear Editor,
On behalf of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation and students from the Key Club and National Honor Society, we would like to thank all the parents of LAPS students who contributed to our recent student telethon.
Our fellow students volunteered their time to call parents to ask for their support for projects and programs supported by the LAPS Foundation. These initiatives benefit all public schools in Los Alamos. Doing this telethon is a great opportunity for us students to give back to our schools.
Our goal for the telethon was $2,000. So far we have raised $650. Unfortunately we were not able to call all parents of LAPS students. If there are any parents or others out there who were not contacted but would like to give to the telethon, we would appreciate your support! Gifts can be made online at lapsfoundation.com/donate or by mailing a check to the LAPS Foundation at 1900 Diamond Drive, Suite 1, Los Alamos, NM 87544. Please be sure to indicate that a gift is for the telethon.
We have served on the LAPS Foundation board for the past two years as student board members. It’s been a great experience for us, and we have been able to have a direct say in how money raised is used to benefit our schools. It has been our pleasure to serve this organization.
The LAPS Foundation fills a funding gap in our schools in three main areas: 1) funding classroom materials and resources to support teachers’ innovative ideas, 2) enabling teachers to take advantage of important professional development opportunities, and 3) providing inspiring learning environments within our schools.
All the great work the LAPS Foundation does wouldn’t be possible without help from the community, including those who give to the telethon, so we would like to thank them for all their support.
Ruby Selvage, Vincent Marciano

LAPS Foundation Student Board Members, 2016-2018

Adopting Tourism Strategic Plan on consent agenda was ‘slight of hand’

Dear Editor,
Last month, the Los Alamos County Council, through a sleight of hand process, unanimously accepted the Tourism Strategic Plan and requested a Tourism Implementation Task Force Charter. The acceptance of the Tourism Strategic Plan was listed as a consent agenda item.
A consent agenda is a way to consolidate necessary, but “non-controversial” elements into a single vote. Handle the small stuff, like bottled water for meetings, on the consent agenda.
So where is the problem? Something that calls for taxing short-term rental properties, grows the size and cost of your county government by establishing a new department and jobs and sets up the expectation that this million-dollar-plus project is a done deal, should not be casually approved as a consent agenda item. Everything builds on the approval of the plan.
I think the voters and taxpayers have the right to challenge this plan before they become encumbered with the bill. Oh, that’s right, the council did not put this before the voters.
Again, the County Council, most of which are either terming out, abandoning/leaving their council seats at the end of the year, or are running for other offices within the state, already have their coat and hat on and are wishing us best of luck with this new White Elephant.
This uncontrolled government growth and freewheel spending has got to stop.
We need to enforce transparency and accountability on both the county government and the County Council.
Vote for Brady Burke for council in November.
Brady Burke
Los Alamos

I support Sheehey
for Dist. 43

Dear Editor,
Electing Pete Sheehey to the state Legislature will ensure that the best interests of all of District 43 are represented most effectively.  The reason is simple – District 43 needs to be represented by a scientist, with experience in politics, who also has the best interests of northern New Mexico at heart.
Pete has passion about the issues, such as affordable physical and mental health care for all, plus the ability to apply calm scientific reasoning to problems and proposed solutions.
I have known Pete for many years and have seen his effectiveness in creating a bright future for Los Alamos as a County Councilor.  
I appreciate his support of environmental and educational causes, such as supporting the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, forest preservation and the County’s move toward 100 percent carbon-neutral electricity generation.
Pete’s experience places him in a strong position to work constructively with State government and the myriad individuals, organizations, and businesses that affect the well-being of northern New Mexico.
While Pete is passionate about serving our best interests, he is also well grounded in dealing with the day-to-day issues that affect our future.
Pete believes that better support for education, infrastructure, health care for all, and environmental preservation will result in economic development that will benefit all of the people of District 43.
As LANL chief science officer, and later science advisor to Gov. Richardson, I learned how essential it is to have both a strong science grounding and an understanding of what drives people and politics in creating positive changes.
A background in science provides the critical skills and knowledge needed in today’s high-tech world to independently analyze proposed efforts, compare them to others and modify them to maximize the return on an investment. A political background provides the capabilities to communicate the value of proposed efforts and to work with people in gaining widespread support.
That combination of experience was central in my convincing the Japanese government to invest $57 million in the 1 megawatt solar array and smart grid system in Los Alamos. Pete’s similar background of science and politics will serve us well in ensuring that actions taken by the State of New Mexico will benefit District 43.  
Your vote for Pete is a vote for a healthy and sustainable future for us and our children.
Tom Bowles
White Rock