• A lesson in civil discourse

    In 1776, we Americans threw off the yoke of the British Empire by signing the Declaration of Independence.  The Boston Tea Party in 1773 was the spark that led the Colonies to send representatives to Philadelphia. It was these representatives who took that brave action on July 4, 1776, setting an example that most of the rest of the world has since followed.
    Now, in 2012, the Democratic Republic that we formed so long ago is once more in danger:  our elected representatives seem incapable of governing this free nation, and are in stalemate on most issues.  They can only agree on issues that are strongly advocated by the most powerful corporations, the ones who provide millions of dollars in campaign contributions.

  • Letter to the Editor 06-14-12

    Since Los Alamos is the most affluent community in northern NM, and we are one of the counties with the most millionaires in the country and have the premier Laboratory in the country, and our county council is spending money like it’s going out of style, why is there an outhouse at the North Mesa picnic grounds instead of modern, inside bathroom facilities?
    I was outraged and disgusted to find this out quite by accident while walking my dog this past weekend. We clean up after our dog in this county yet we have an outhouse for public use?
     This should be intolerable to any citizen in Los Alamos County! Certainly there is a sufficient water source and sewer lines close enough to put inside bathrooms there.

  • Reject the LAGRI petition

     Some years ago while I was serving on the Los Alamos County Council, a group of citizens concerned about local projects formed an organization and named themselves Los Alamos Government Review Initiative. They sought to bring to a vote all county projects that exceeded $1,000,000. Their methods included circulating petitions for citizen signature to require all county projects that exceeded $1M to be brought before county voters for approval.

  • CRC-LAGRI debate rages on

    Dear Editor:
     The county council, having failed to recognize legal precedent and logic, ads and letters are now appearing in the Los Alamos Monitor using mockery and invective to support their ballot proposals.  
     The county council has ruled illegal the LAGRI petitions about capital spending (which were signed by over 2,000 voters) on the grounds that they were logrolling, and subsequently the acting county attorney claimed that logrolling is akin to fraud. (Logrolling is the practice of placing multiple questions addressing separate issues on a ballot.)  Ignoring its own precedent, the county council has now rolled 21 complex issues into four ballots.  Now that’s logrolling!

  • More on the CRC debate

    For some time, it seemed to me, the Los Alamos Monitor was begging for letters to the editor to supplement the tedious daily op eds. A recent spark has arisen though in the Charter Review debate between:
    • those who desire administrative smoothness by strengthening discretion and prerogative of those in office (representative democracy); and
    • those who support the messiness of more participation by students even if it delimits or delays action by elected officials.
    I’d be bemused by this dichotomy in this small and often considered most educated community, but I find it sad.

  • Stable owners thankful

    On Tuesday June 5, Los Alamos Police reported that 3 boys set fires in the  North Mesa Stable Area. Fortunately, LAFD responded immediately to extinguish  the fires and no structures or animasl were hurt. One of these fires burned to  a 10-by-10 foot area.
    The Los Alamos Stable Owners Association would like to  thank Roberta MacInnes for quick thinking in calling 911, and for the  emergency responders for their good work in keeping us safe. There have been numerous instances of petty crimes (thefts, moving horses to different locations, taking equipment) in the past year. The alleged arson is another  category entirely.

  • Presenting 4 groups of ordinances is logrolling

    The Los Alamos County Council adopted twenty-one ordinances to amend the Los Alamos County charter and intends to present the amendments for approval by the voters in four ballot questions at the November general election.  Each ordinance is on a separate subject as required by the current County Charter.   They should not be rolled into groups for voter approval just for expediency.
    Los Alamos Governmental Review Initiative (LAGRI)  presented a request for petitions for six of those ordinances to the County Clerk.   Each petition requests the council to rescind the ordinance or send it separately to the voters.  

  • Have we gone crazy?

    On Wednesday, May 9, the county council passed a record 21 ordinances, 598 through 618 in 4 hours.  These were not just any ordinances; these were proposed rewrites of entire sections of your county charter, some of which drastically change your rights as a Los Alamos voter!
     How did they do it?  They rolled them together and passed them in four groups like a bad piece of pastry, also a first for our county.  

  • The vote we deserve

    In a recent letter, John Hopkins suggested that the members of LAGRI distrust the citizens of Los Alamos and are trying to block democratic processes.
    In fact, the exact opposite is true.
    The CRC recommended and county council approved proposals consisting of 21 ordinances to be condensed into four questions for voters to approve. The reason there were 21 ordinances is because the county charter requires that ordinances be on a single subject.  We have all heard repeatedly that it is important for ballot questions to be on a single subject. So why are they being squeezed into just four questions?

  • Several energy options exist

    or my humanities class I was asked to do research on a topic of my choosing.  I decided to research on energy and specifically renewable energy. I learned a lot about the new attempts and new ideas that we can use as viable ways to  replace the fossil fuel energy source, and I want to share my information  that I have found.
    Our community in Los Alamos has been expanding in different sources of  energy. We have a new solar array at our middle school on North Mesa and we are even in the process of getting one around our dump near the lab and in a  nice open space with lots of sunlight able to be collected. This is one way that our community is making an impact on changing the energy source. This is only one alternitive and there are many more.