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Today's Opinions

  • Lights, camera profit: NM businesses needed to support growing film industry

    BY JASON GIBBS
    Finance New Mexico

    With New Mexico gaining a reputation among film production companies, local businesses are needed to help fill a growing demand for services as more television shows and movies shoot in the Land of Enchantment.

    The New Mexico Film Office reports nearly $506 million in direct spending in the state during 2017, and productions including “Godless” and “Waco” are racking up Emmy nominations by the fistful. This has put the state in the spotlight and local businesses are increasingly needed to provide an array of goods and services in addition to locations and crews.

    “The film industry isn’t just for businesses you would typically associate with making movies – like studios, camera equipment or lighting – they literally need anything you can think of,” said Barbara Kerford, the state outreach coordinator for the New Mexico Film Office. “For the cast and crew, they are all living in New Mexico while a production is happening, if they aren’t already living here. And they need all of the services that they would need at home – like gyms, groceries, gas, salons, medical care, etc.”

    “And they will spend that money with local businesses in New Mexico,” she said.

  • Pineapples have the gift of hitching rides

    Pineapples first sprang up deep in South America, in the region where Brazil and Paraguay now meet. The wonders of their shape, color and taste led people to begin carting them outward from there.

    Over hundreds of years, pineapples worked their way from native tribe to tribe and to islands in the Caribbean. One of them was the lush, volcanic island of Guadeloupe, where Columbus landed in November 1493. Imagine sailors ashore amid the wonders of a “new world,” where they met with pineapples. The story builds.

    From this second voyage, Columbus brought pineapples back to Spain. Most likely no more than pineapple crowns arrived intact, which could start new pineapples. News of pineapples spread across Europe and spurred attempts to grow pineapples in the adverse climate.

    In those same years, seafarers ranged far around the globe. Pineapples reached the Philippines on Spanish ships on occasions in the 1500s and after. Later the fruit reached Hawaii. By tricks of fate, today’s icons of tropical islands got

    Early seafarers from New England brought pineapples back from trips to the Caribbean. Pineapples were big treats in the colonies, as much as in South America, Europe and the islands, and then a notch more. Their novelty and scarcity brought a price higher than many people could afford.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-23-19

    ‘Jeremy’ had questionable information about coyote contests

    Dear Editor,

    The Monitor article about Land Commissioner (our own) Stephanie Garcia Richard signing an executive order to prohibit coyote-killing contests on State Trust Land contained questionable information from a source identified only as ‘”Jeremy.”

    “Jeremy” (we assume he is a participant in killing contests) claimed that reining in competitive killing would result in “more sheep and livestock attacks” while at the same time stating an arresting contradiction that it was impossible to put a dent coyote populations by killing them.

    Published research (available at the Project Coyote website that includes the full names of the scientists involved) shows that while killing coyotes doesn’t really impact coyote numbers as they biologically have a prodigious ability to compensate for loss, it does upend their social order. It results in a population that is young and inexperienced and likely to lead to more conflict with people.

  • Letters to the Editor 12-16-18

    Arts Council thanks all who helped make council a roaring success

    Dear Editor,
    Los Alamos Arts Council would like to take this time to thank all of the people who have helped to make the events at LAAC a roaring success. Over the past six months, we have had several events that have required the help of other organizations in town, as well as the assistance of many volunteers.
    Our No. 1 “Thank You” goes to our board members and their families, who spend many hours in preparation, as well as time staffing each event. Without their time and dedication, we could not present our events to the level we hope to present to the community.
    The Arts Council is fortunate to have a wonderful group of volunteers who assist us with our events. Among them are Marlane Hamilton, Patrice Goodkind, Lisa Lloyd, Lori Dauelsberg, Don Monteith and Luckey, as well as several students from the LAHS and LAMS. We could not manage these events without their help. Specifically, we would like to thank Aidan, Isaac, Xavier, Jeffrey, Nolan, Haley, Troy and Peyton. We also send our heartiest thanks to Monica Jean and “The House of Boo” for their fantastic Pumpkin Glow Display.

  • Letters to the Editor 12-12-18

    The Los Alamos Monitor got it wrong in their article

    Dear Editor,

    It appears that the Monitor is looking for a reason that local Democratic Party Candidates swept all the Los Alamos races. This article seems to point to a political strategist as the reason.

    Tarin Nix has run Stephanie Garcia Richard’s campaigns since late October 2012. And she has been successful, including Stephanie¹s latest win in her race for State Land Commissioner. I applaud Tarin (and Stephanie) for their successful races, but Ms. Nix is not the reason that Los Alamos Dems swept the local races in 2018. Our success came down to two things:

    1. Excellent, well-qualified candidates who worked hard to get their message out.

    2. A large grass-roots effort that included over 100 volunteers.

    Volunteers who knocked on thousands of doors and called thousands of phones in Los Alamos during this election cycle.

    Christine Chandler did have a professional campaign manager, Katharine Clark, who ran a great campaign and helped Christine with her overwhelming win.

    But Christine was also the most-qualified candidate and she worked incredibly hard for months to win her seat.

  • Letters to the Editor 11-7-18

    White Rock needs Jemez House Thrift Store

    Dear Editor,
    The closing of Jemez House Thrift Shop was a blow to the entire community. The shop performs good deeds at every turn using only volunteer workers.
    The main goal is to provide college scholarships to New Mexico students who had at one time resided in a group home. But it does untold good along the way: keeping tons of used clothing, furniture, housewares, books and electronics out of the landfill, at the same time providing a low cost source for these items.
    Now Jemez House needs our help. It will continue to exist until all of its scholarship money has been distributed so there is still time to resurrect the thrift store. They need a space at reasonable rent and adequate parking in order to resume business.
    The community needs to step up and help this worthy organization to continue their good work.
    Kathy Taylor
    Los Alamos

  • Letters to the Editor 11-4-18

    Sara Scott will serve interests of community

    Dear Editor:
    I have coached Sara Scott’s children in soccer; I am her neighbor; and I have worked with her in LANL’s Russian programs. Sara is approachable, inclusive and makes decisions based on a carefully considered consensus of all stakeholders. She has lived, worked, built friendships, recreated, and raised a family here over the past 30 years. She loves this community and will serve the interests and well-being of its residents. 
    Join me in supporting Sara Scott for the Los Alamos County Council. Here are others that I know support Sara as well: Laura and Roy Bohn, Laura and Ed Kober, Thomas Bowles, Steve Russell, Margo and Steve Batha, Laura and Andy Wolfsberg, Ann Cernicek, Mary K Cernicek, Morrie Pongratz, Don Cobb, John and Sarah Gustafson, Steve Buelow, Craig Martin and June Fabryka-Martin, Denny Erickson, Judith McKenzie, Laura Loy, Ed Garcia, Doug Reilly, Bill Wadt and Ann McLaughlin, Susie Schillaci, Norm Schroeder, Barb Smith, Pat Walls, Allen Pratt, Dave Schiferl, Joe Granville, Nan and Jeff Sauer, Amy Birnbaum, Karyl Ann Armbruster, Lynn Strauss, Felicia Orth, Susan and Warren Oldham, Sue Newman, Laura Smilowitz, Erika Leibrecht, Benjamin Warner, Ellen McBee, John Berg, and Brian Scott.
    Molly Cernicek
    Los Alamos

  • County’s decision to defend IPRA suit is questionable

    BY HELEN M. MILENSKI
    Guest Editorial

    I love a bargain. These days everyone needs to be selective on where and how we spend our hard-earned dollars. It puzzles me how the local government in our corner of the world doesn’t seem to share this frugal sensibility, especially when it is our money they get to spend.

    There are lots of examples I could point to, but recently there is the notorious case of Brenner vs. Los Alamos County Council regarding Councilor Susan O’Leary’s emails.

    First off, let me say that I believe heartily that Patrick Brenner was firmly in the wrong when he wrote his infamous letter to the council, but I also think that the events that unfolded illustrated flaws in character all around. I got sick of hearing about this whole thing a long time ago and hoped that the end was in sight when I head a judgment was to be issued by the court. I think the judge felt the same way I did. I think we all felt it was going to go away, but alas we aren’t so lucky.