• Letters to the editor 7-7-15

    Celebrate civil rights in Taos

    Greetings, I am Judi Cantu and I was voted in 2014 to the Town of Taos Council. I would love to invite everyone to attend our first ever attempt at revitalizing culture and encouraging tourism at the same time, and hope to meet you personally when or if you attend the event. We are calling it “A Cultural Preservation, Educational & Tourism Conference to Honor Cesar Chavez.”
    Please feel free to make it a family outing and bring all your loved ones with you. In this day and age of fast living, families sometimes do not get to spend as much quality time as they once did, and this event could be a good reason for a family get together. If you have young children or grandchildren, there will be face painting at the park and if we are able to coordinate properly, jumpers also will be available on Aug. 1 at the Kit Carson Park.
    Taos is a beautiful place to spend the weekend with those you love.
    It has now been 45 years since the signing of the first United Farm Workers Union Contract between Delano, California, grape growers and the United Farm Workers Association.

  • Letter to the Editor 7-3-15

    No ‘God’ in Constitution

    To Vernon Kerr: Surely you know that neither the words ‘Christian,’ nor ‘God’ appear in the U.S. Constitution.
    We who are not Christian are aware of that fact.  Perhaps you should remember that also.

    Alan Hack
    Los Alamos

  • Letter to the Editor 6-30-15

    Rotary club to host many July events

    On Wednesday, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos begins its new year, 2015-16, and will kick off the month with two events over the Fourth of July weekend.
    On Independence Day, we cordially invite the community to attend the naturalization ceremony at Bandelier National Monument. The program, which bestows American citizenship on qualified applicants, begins at 11 a.m. behind the main building. As one of its sustaining principles, Rotary promotes international peace and good will and is pleased to provide refreshments for this meaningful event.
    On Sunday, we look forward to serving you a Cowboy Pancake Breakfast at the Posse Lodge, 650 North Mesa Road. This all-you-can-eat breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee, and juice is only $7 for adults and $4 for children under 10. We are grateful to the members of the Sheriff’s Posse Lodge who make it possible for our club to raise money to benefit our many service projects. Sunday’s funds will support New Generations, our varied and vibrant youth programs, including inbound and outbound student exchanges, weeklong leadership camps for high school students, essay competitions for eighth graders and support for GED students at University of New Mexico-Los Alamos.

  • Letters to the Editor 6-24-15

    Poor implication made in story

    The story “Aquatic center to reduce its hours” in the Los Alamos Monitor on June 19, 2015 strongly implies that the Rio Grande Foundation, a Libertarian think tank in Albuquerque, influenced the Los Alamos Aquatic Center budget cuts when it says, “According to the county, the decision was made to attempt to save money for the county. In the past, the Aquatic Center has been pointed to as one of the big revenue drains of Los Alamos County, that according to the Albuquerque-based Rio Grande Foundation.”
    I was surprised to read that the county was following the recommendations of the Rio Grande Foundation in Albuquerque, rather than input from locals.
    I contacted Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan, director of Community Services for Los Alamos County and she said that nothing had been said about the Rio Grande Foundation in the budget hearings. After checking with her staff Kalogeros-Chattan assured me that this information did not come from the county. Another person who was present at the hearings said she heard nothing about the Rio Grande Foundation there.

  • Letters to the Editor 6-19-15

    Take action against pancreatic cancer

    By 2020, pancreatic cancer is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death. The average five-year survival rate is just 7 percent.
    Clearly, we must take action. This year, almost 49,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Without increased funding for research, they have little hope for the future because there are no early-detection methods or effective treatment options.
    We are ready to wage hope against this deadly disease. Please join me on Tuesday for the National Call-In and ask Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Representative Michelle Luján Grisham, Steve Pearce and Ben Ray Luján, to make cancer research a priority by increasing federal funding for the National Cancer Institute.
    Cancer research is not a partisan issue. It is an issue that unites us all.
    For more information, visit pancan.org/nationalcallin.

    Cheryl Vaughn

  • Letters to the editor 6-14-15

    Branding LA is wasted effort

    Branding Los Alamos? Really?
    Are we nothing more than a herd of cattle? For our illustrious county council to even consider spending a quarter of a million dollars for a brand is ridiculous!
    What’s wrong with what we have? For many years, we had a big “LA” whitewashed on the side of burnt mountain courtesy of the high school. Looked like a pretty good “brand” to me.
    Maybe, instead of spending all that money to some out of Los Alamos business, why don’t you follow your own advance and “shop Los Alamos?” Surely we have some firms capable of providing your requested services! As another possibility, the councilors could perhaps initiate a program with the high school wherein the kids could get paid for or reimbursed for the whitewash needed to replenish the LA each year and throw in some hot dogs, burgers and soft drinks to make it worth their while to do the work.
    If that is impractical, perhaps the county could hire some summer students and add that to their job description or duties. They could even hire a few homeless people who might be looking for temporary jobs.
    Too easy? Probably! Too inexpensive? Definitely!
    Regardless, it is one heck of a lot cheaper than $250,000 of taxpayers’ hard earned money.

  • Letter to the editor 6-11-15

    Plastic bags account for small fraction of petroleum use

    In reading John Gonzales’ Guest Column on June 4, I found unbelievable his assertion that “8 percent of all petroleum is used for the manufacture of plastic bags.”
    Online research uncovered the truth: the U.S. Energy Information Administration says 2.7 percent of the total U.S. petroleum consumption (191 million barrels) is used to make plastic, in all forms and according to American Plastic Manufacturing, 12 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic bags (or 6.3 percent of that to produce all plastics). These numbers can be confirmed from many sources.
    Hence, plastic bag production amounts to only .17 percent of our petroleum use, not the 8 percent quoted by Gonzales. That is truly a tiny fraction.
    Furthermore, among the huge variety of plastic bags made, plastic shopping bags most likely make up a small fraction of this .17 percent, although it is difficult to find a precise estimate.
    It is errors like this one that should make people highly suspicious of activists’ arguments.

  • Letters to the editor 6-9-15

     More opposition
    for plastic bag ban

    I read the guest columnist column on plastic bags, and I find it difficult to reply to nearly a yard of column inches in 250 words. I had no particular opinion one way or the other until I heard the proponents. The complete absence of content in their statements drove me to search for information and, eventually, as a result, I decided to oppose the proposal on factual grounds.
    The guest columnist article was, as usual for those supporting the proposal against plastic bags, very emotional and totally devoid of facts, or data. Mr. Gonzales calls the proposal a “green initiative” and advocates the use of “greener products.”
    In most places, such as Santa Fe, paper is used as a replacement for plastic. Unfortunately, there is a rather substantial amount of data identifying the use of paper as one of the most polluting activities on the planet. Plastic bags are far less polluting than paper bags at all stages in their life, production, shipping, use and disposal.
    The Sierra Club, whose members seem to be the most avid proponents of the bag ban proposals appears only to claim that bags produce litter, which can harm animals. No one has claimed that this is a problem in Los Alamos.

  • Letters to the Editor 6-5-15

    Voter mandates and pitchforks

    On D-Day, General Dwight D. Eisenhower did not tell his troops that we were going to defeat the National Socialists so that we could cooperate with them. The order Eisenhower gave was to rid the Earth of Adolf Hitler, his band of murderous thugs and everything that they stood for.
    In the November elections, America gave the Republicans a mandate to stop President Barack Obama and the Democrats from wreaking this country and we expect that this carnage be stopped and reversed.
    Republicans now say that they want to cooperate with Obama so that he will move to the middle. Americans don’t want to hear this nonsense because Obama is a leftist who hates our Constitution and deliberately circumvents it.
    Much to our chagrin, GOP House Speaker Boehner and all but 67 House Republicans joined Obama and the Democrats to repeal Section 716 in the Omnibus spending bill. Section 716 was included to prevent government bailout of Wall Street trading losses in speculative credit swap derivatives. Obama knew the contempt voters have for Wall Street bailouts when he told bankers that he was the only thing between them and the pitchforks.

    Robert A. Dahlquist
    Orange, California

  • Letters to the editor 6-3-15

    Why the open forum do-over?

    I was very disappointed to see that the open forum on the plastic bag ban was reopened this week.  When I asked the Environmental Sustainability Board’s staff liaison, “Why?”
    She told me, “to give more people a chance to answer.”
    I am calling foul on this.  The original survey was open for four weeks and had over 400 on forum responses — which is more than any other open forum survey results. The open forum survey was also well publicized by local media, as well as by my group, Save the Bag: Los Alamos. I assume that the Sierra Club advertised it among their membership as well.
    If people did not take the opportunity to answer during the original four-week period, they should not get a “do-over.” This action is an attempt by supporters of the plastic bag ban to get results that favor their position. It also makes the Environmental Sustainability Board look biased in support of a bag ban and tax.
    In regard to the results of the original open forum, 80 percent of Los Alamos residents do not favor a ban on lightweight multi-use plastic shopping bags. The comments were also interesting, as well.