• Talking brands

    In a Aug. 10 headline article, Councilman David Izraelevitz is right on when  he says “A brand is not defined by what we think. It’s defined by what  other people think.”
    That is, just because the County  Council and Chamber of Commerce have put up stone monikers and light pole banners advertising Los Alamos as the place “Where Discoveries are Made”  does not make that slogan a “brand.”
    Yes, the county parents and  marketing folks would dearly love to have that slogan be the brand of this  town, but it just ain’t so. Most people who know anything about Los Alamos think “Bomb Power” or Manhattan Project, rather than what the monikers and banners say. Witness the arrests of activists that the Los Alamos police  made the same day!
    To achieve such a transformation of slogan to brand will require a spiritual transformation of this place.
     That is, when we can get to a level of community awareness where community citizens and visitors will think that motto includes “where spiritual discoveries are made,” only then will we have a brand with integrity that can capture the world’s attention. Before that happens, we’ve got a lot of community introspection and transformation yet to do.
    Eugene Kovalenko, Ph.D.

  • Hidden charges?

    Beware Smith’s customers. If you use your points to buy gasoline and use a credit card you will be charged a $1 fee. As far as I know there was no notice given either from Smith’s or from the various gas stations. So you have to decide if it is worth being charged an extra fee for using your points to buy gasoline or use your points to get a money coupon to reduce your cost of groceries.
    Granted a $1 fee may seem unimportant. It is just another way Smith’s is taking advantage of customers. Since they are the only grocery store in town, they already have us at a disadvantage.
    Who knows what hidden charges are in store for  us when the new Smith’s gas station opens up on Trinity?
    Roberta Marinuzzi
    Los Alamos

  • Columnist should use full quote

    Dear Editor,
    I was very disappointed to read Jay Miller’s  Sunday column. Although usually a good read, Miller repeats the egregious edit of Obama’s  July 13 remarks regarding business creation.
    The omission of six intervening sentences between  “You didn’t get there on your own.” and “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” is egregious, to say the least. This is hardly distinct from picking out any set of words to “quote” anyone as saying whatever calumny you wish to spread.
    While our common political liars behave this way frequently, I had come to think better of Miller. In particular, the full transcript (see  factcheck.org/2012/07/you-didnt-build-that-uncut-and-unedited/)  shows “that” refers to at least roads and bridges if  not the entire American business and governmental  system. Whatever you think of Obama as President  or politician, such arrant misrepresentation should not be considered acceptable in a decent society.
    Terry Goldman
     Los Alamos


  • Project Vote Smart

    The columnist Jay Miller recently contributed to the Los Alamos Monitor an article describing a new website aimed at helping us decide who to support in the November elections.  Apparently Mr. Miller and many other folks are not familiar with an organization called Project Vote Smart which has been providing information about candidates for many decades.  
    With the click of a finger you can access data on biographies, interest group ratings, public statements, voting records, issue positions and campaign financing.  This information is assembled by staff and volunteers and is rigorously screened for accuracy and removal of bias.  And it is free.

  • No need for reservoir

    It seems that the time has come for us to cut our losses on the reservoir. As  a civil engineer, I understand the benefits of having a reservoir, for recreation, water supply, and flood control. I also appreciate the immense  effort that goes into designing, constructing, and maintaining dams. As a  geologist, I understand that in the end, all reservoirs are doomed to failure, succumbing to the natural forces that created watercourses and  canyons in the first place.
    Consider that we really have no further need of the reservoir, as we have  moved beyond the needs for which it was constructed in the first place.

  • Place the blame where it belongs

    In his recent column lamenting the loss of green areas in Los Alamos, Chick Keller urges us not to blame firefighters for destroying a canyon after fingering those same firefighters for setting the back burns that blackened it. Sadly, Keller’s apparent bitterness over the present state of Valle Canyon betrays an insincerity of sentiment toward the grim but necessary work of firefighters engaged in steering an inferno away from the heart of our community.

  • Helping out New Beginnings

    I would like to encourage Christians in the  community to donate money to help the New Beginning’s Church.  I heard of one  congregation in town that is taking a special offering.  Others may be doing  the same.
     If that is not an avenue for you to give and you want to, send the  donation to New Beginnings.  They probably have insurance, but as we know  from other fire losses in our town, insurance does not always cover all the  expenses.  No one from the church has asked for donations.  I just think this  is a way the Christian community in town can help some of our brothers who  are in need.
    Kay Grady
    Los Alamos

  • DPU should work with PNM

    The San Juan Generating Station costs New Mexicans up to $60 million a year in public health costs from the asthma attacks, heart attacks, chronic bronchitis, and premature deaths that result from lack of decent air pollution controls on its smokestacks.
      The EPA has ordered the owners of the plant, of whom Los Alamos is one, to install high quality pollution controls to reduce the nitrogen oxide emissions by 80%.

  • A moral document?

    Is the federal budget a moral document?  The budget proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan contains cuts to the food stamp program, as well as to Medicaid for chilldren and disabled.  
    Those cuts could result in 2 million families sliding into poverty, 8 million people losing food stamp support, and as many as 30 million people losing health care.
     But wait!  
    Those cuts for poor people could help balance the extra $8 billion that the Congress wants to give the Department of Defense (DOD); that’s $8 billion more than the DOD requested.  
    The Congress also proposes cutting funding for the State Department.  
    So more for war, less for diplomacy.
    Doesn’t sound like a moral document to me.

  • Shot from the hip goes awry

    In her usually good column Sunday, Sherry Robinson fired a shot from the hip and unwarrantedly struck a Corrales public employee. Robinson claims idiocy for taking an electronic cigarette out into the Bosque during fire surveillance.
    Anyone who has spent more than 30 seconds learning how those things work will recognize how difficult it is to understand one of them starting a fire. Unlike “real” cigarettes, these are low temperature, low voltage devices that are expected to reduce or eliminate fire risk from “smoking.”