• Drivers disregard traffic laws

    The car crash incident at the Montessori school on Canyon road highlights a problem in our community and across the nation; rampant disregard of traffic laws. Living in White Rock on Rover you can see speeders any time you want. Crosswalk, Stop sign, Speed limit, these things just slow down my personal quest; is what some drivers seem to think. While more violators could be ticketed and fined, the attitude of drivers is what needs to be improved. Driving entails responsibility and accountability, attributes seemingly becoming less important in our society.
    Paul D. Richardson II
    Los Alamos


  • Talking sewer rates

    Some considerations to help us move through denial and on to acceptance of the sewer rate increases soon to appear on our utility bills.
    A typical first response is to send a proposed rate increase back to the utility company because its profits are high enough without a rate increase.
    The Los Alamos wastewater utility is municipally-owned, has no stockholders and no profit margin.
     It must collect what it costs to operate the wastewater system.
    A second common response is that someone else should pay, perhaps by getting a grant or maybe hoping that the Zia Company will take care of it for us.
    With the exception of our new wastewater treatment plant in Pueblo Canyon, someone else did pay for our sewer system, many years ago, and then transferred it to Los Alamos County as a gift.
    That gift is now wearing out and it is our turn to pay. A third response is that sewer bills in Los Alamos should match those of Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Unlike Santa Fe and Albuquerque, Los Alamos must convey sewage across mesa and canyon terrain by means of a complex and expensive pipe and pump network.
    Once accepting that we have to pay the costs of upgrading our aging sewer system, there are questions about which we rate payers can constructively inform ourselves and express our opinions.

  • Suggestion for 'Nutcracker' troupes

    Bravo to New Mexico Dance Theater–Performance Company (NMDT–PC) for its world-premiere production of “The Nutcracker.”
     The unexpected visuals were spectacular (including the muscle men carrying the Arabian dancer onstage and the dozens of angels and tiny bakers walking through the aisles).
     All of the dancing was exquisite and a delight to watch.
    Such talent in this small town! And how great to live in a community that has two dance troupes performing this ballet.
    I have a suggestion (or really a question): Would it be possible for the two troupes to share the same performance date and trade off performing “The Nutcracker” on that date each year?
     That weekend could then become “Nutcracker” time in Los Alamos and the community would always know when to expect to see this classic holiday ballet.
    If you haven’t seen NMDT–PC’s production yet, DO go see it this coming weekend.
    Carolyn MacDonell
    Los Alamos
    Editor’s note: Because of a computer glitch, an abbreviated version of this letter ran Sunday.


  • Speaking out on vaccine rights

    In response to recent concerns voiced about vaccine rights, this is a case of the rights of the many vs. the rights of the few.  Vaccines only work to preserve the general population if “herd immunity” is achieved, when vaccines are administered to a high percentage (85 percent).  
    With fewer parents vaccinating their children whether due to personal choice, safety concerns or greater awareness of the health risks to a susceptible child, this high percentage is not being met in some areas and outbreaks have occurred.  Our medical community is rightly concerned and has tightened the circumstances under which a parent may refuse to vaccinate their children.
    Is the information now required too onerous or private for our government to collect?  Good point.  Are so many parents now refusing to give vaccines that the rest of the population is at risk?  And doesn’t that majority have the right to health?  Good point.  Both groups have their rights infringed.  Which group is larger?  Which rights are more important?

  • Opposing stage at Ashley Pond

    On Oct. 30, I presented 188 signed petitions to the County Council that read, “I am opposed to the proposed location of a permanent stage on the southeast corner of Ashley Pond.  I hereby request that the Los Alamos County Council remove the stage from the scope of the Ashley Pond Park Improvements Project, reduce the project’s budget accordingly, and allow the remaining improvements to proceed without delay.”
    The main objections to the planned “location” of the stage on the southeast corner of the pond are that 1) it will be adjacent to the busiest and most dangerous street in town, Trinity Drive, 2) it will place the concert crowds in a more confined area with no evening shade, and 3) that its placement “on the water” will be a permanent eyesore on this otherwise beautiful pond.
    Of the people I talked to over the five days I circulated my petition, everyone I spoke to agreed that cleaning out the pond is long overdue!  I understand that the plans to renovate the pond have been in the works for over two years but, for whatever reason, the vast majority of people I spoke to still did not know about the stage.   And, more importantly, they don’t want it there!

  • Save the zoo

    Rio Grande Zoo is having money problems. Please give $1 to them because if the zookeepers don’t have money for the zoo the animals won’t have any food, water or shelter.
    If they don’t have any food, water or shelter, they would pass away or the zoo keepers would have to send them to another zoo and the Rio Grande Zoo will shut down!
    Thank you!
    Sarah Early
    Age 8
    Barranca Mesa Elementary
    Los Alamos


  • It’s all about integrity

    Richard Skip Dunn is a fine and honorable man and citizen, however, please allow me to contribute a concrete, honest and verible comment regarding his letter to the editor regarding “Clerk mst be neutral, independent.”
    Again, please allow me to state with years of observation and participation in the lives of Sharon Stover and Steve Girrens, their most redeeming character is their unwavering (in all situations and issues) integrity.
    Peggy Pendergast
    Los Alamos

  • Missing the Otowi Bookstore

    Otowi Station Bookstore and Science Museum Shop closed its doors a few days ago having served Los Alamos/White Rock residents and visitors for almost 20 years. Before that, its parent store, Ojo de Dios Bookstore, served our community many more years.
    Bart and I purchased Ojo de Dios in 1990 from Harold Burnett and expanded it to our brand new Otowi Station site in 1993.
    We owned Otowi until late 2005, when Peggy Durbin and Michele Vochosky took over — encountering a very rough business climate.
    The store is enveloped in memory.  For Bart and me in particular:
    • Wonderful employees — full time, part time, student — who gave time, energy, and support. (You will  always be family.)
    • The old-fashioned courtesy of most of our customers.
     • A smiling Danny Doss bustling in to sign extra copies of his Charlie Moon mysteries.
     • The midnight theme music, outside night lighting, and around the corner customer line of a new Harry Potter book sale.
     • Christmas Eve, when we kept the store open as long as shoppers (usually men) showed up for last minute  emergency purchases.
    • Two giggling little girls copying cookie recipes on a Sunday morning.

  • A letter of support

    Several ads list Jim Hall’s experiences. It wrongly assumes that a man 31 years older than his opponent would be a better qualified legislator.   In fact, the N.M .Legislature was set up as a citizen’s legislature.  The intent was for people from all walks of life and occupations to represent our diverse population. Stephanie Garcia Richard is intelligent, already respected in the legislature, endorsed by both U.S. Senators, several current legislators, and came within 190 votes of unseating 20-year incumbent Wallace in 2010.
    Following Hall’s logic, we should not hire young teachers, doctors, or scientists because they cannot do the job.  I want someone representing District 43 for 20-30 years as Jeannette Wallace did.  I want someone representing working people.  I want a representative who will use new ideas to help solve our state’s modern issues. I want Stephanie Garcia Richard to represent me.

    Karyl Ann Armbruster
    Los Alamos

  • Still more on charter amendments

    Laura Walton’s letter Friday night contains several untruths.  Here are the facts:
    The Charter Review Committee has finished its work and made its report to the council.  The council is now considering their recommendations.
    The Charter Review Committee considered making the office of clerk full time but decided to make no recommendation at all.
    The CRC made no recommendation regarding the office of Assessor.
    The CRC recommended changes to the charter that clarify the duties of the sheriff, but did not recommend eliminating the office.
    Los Alamos is an incorporated county, which means it is both a city and county.  Its status as a city having adopted a home rule charter means it has the same home rule privileges as many other cities in new Mexico including Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Silver City.  
    The 1966 Charter provided for 15 percent and 30 days for initiative and referendum petitions, much more stringent than is being proposed by the CRC.  The charter amendments proposed call for the same  numbers that Ms. Walton’s group LAGRI has proposed:  15 percent and 60 days. These requirements are in line with similar provisions in other home rule cities in New Mexico and are very feasible.