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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the Editor 7-24-19

    White Rock needs a thrift shop

    Dear Editor,

    White Rock is in dire need of a thrift shop. It might be to the county’s benefit to do something. The Los Alamos thrift shops receive much more than we can use. We end up being more of a sorting center than a thrift shop. We are overwhelmed!

    A county committee could look into inviting a commercial thrift shop such as Habitat for Humanity, Savers, Salvation Army, Good Will, or similar companies. Savors, located in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, receives a lot from us through Clothing Helping Kids and Big Brothers & Big Sisters.

    Habitat for Humanity receives a fair amount from us and has shops in Espanola, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. These stores would be open six or seven days a week and would need to charge higher prices but they would be handier for the customers. Their overhead would need to include hiring sorters and clerks, maintenance, rent, etc. Our shops would be open one or two days a week with cheaper prices. Our shops are run by volunteers.

  • Letters to the Editor 7-21-19

    Offering an Olive Branch to the Polaris Charter School Governing Board

    Dear Polaris Charter School and Governing Board,

    Congratulations on working together to complete your 338-page application. It is clear that you have worked very hard on what may seem like a dissertation without the associated degree. Your grassroots work is to be commended. In reading the proposed Polaris plan, I can see many good ideas and educational approaches. I resonate with the idea of using formative assessments to develop a growth mindset for student learning.  

    This letter is to send an open invitation to meet and work together. After all, Los Alamos is a small town and we want what is best for every child in our community. Whether the Charter is approved or not, it would be great to open a line of communication, share approaches, and maximize the very limited education resources available in our community. We may even want to hold a community meeting to seek additional input from students and parents. 

  • Letters to the Editor 7-12-19

    Watch out for that foxtail, Snoopy!

    Dear Editor,

    My name is Gwen, I am 11, and I love dogs. Around town I have been noticing a lot of foxtail grass. This time of year it turns golden and has sharp seeds. 

    If dogs get into it, it could become extremely dangerous to them because it can get under their skin and doesn’t break down causing an infection.

    If left for too long the sharp seed will move deeper and require the help of a vet for removal. Dogs with curly, long ,or thick fur are more likely to get seeds in their coats. If you see any in your dogs fur, than simply brush it out. It is best to avoid grassy, open areas, and if you find foxtail in your yard, the best thing to do is to pull it up with a pair of gloves. I hope that this letter will be useful to people who don’t know how harmful this plant is and that it will help their dogs stay safe.

    Gwen

    Los Alamos

  • It makes sense to believe in the kindness of strangers

    BY KRISTIN BRETHEL-HAURWITZ
    University of Pennsylvania

    Would you risk your life for a total stranger?

    While you might consider yourself incapable of acts of altruism on that scale, it happens again and again. During hurricanes and mass shootings, some people go to great lengths to help people they don’t even know while everyone else flees.

    To learn whether this behavior comes more naturally to some of us than others, I partnered with Abigail Marsh and other neuroscientists working at the Laboratory on Social and Affective Neuroscience at Georgetown University. We studied the brains and behavior of some extraordinary altruists: people who have donated one of their own kidneys to a total stranger, known as nondirected donors.

    These kidney donors may never learn anything about the recipient. That means they are not making this personal sacrifice because a relative or someone they may interact with in the future would benefit.

    What’s more, this act of altruism is costly in multiple ways. It is a major, painful surgery. Many donors end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for medical and travel expenses, and they can lose out on salary and other earnings.

  • Assets in Action: Make time to spend with family

    So, we are at the halfway mark of summer. By the halfway mark, of course I mean when school starts. Have you accomplished some good family time yet? If not, let’s get on the ball.

    You might start thinking about the small, fun moments you can squeeze in there, before time slips away. If you let us know what fun things you like to do together, we can post them on our Facebook or webpage. It can be as simple as a Sunday dinner or movie night and as fancy as a trip to California, and an unexpected earthquake.

    Life for us does revolve around the Sunday dinner. I take turns making a night of someone’s favorites. I usually can get them to the table, but knowing you might enjoy your favorites, is an added bonus. Once the birds leave the nest, there really aren’t family vacations. When you have five people, five calendars and who will watch the dogs, life gets a bit less easy to organize. So, if that isn’t your issue, enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Letters to the Editor

    More water filling stations needed at parks, summer concerts

     

    Dear Editor,

    Hi Parks people. I’ve been working at the summer concert Zero Waste stations for several weeks now, and we’ve had a lot of people asking for water, and especially water bottle filling stations. 

    I think these would be a great addition to our community! So many people carry their own bottles these days, yet there are few places to fill them up. Let’s keep our residents and visitors happy and hydrated!

    Thanks for considering.

    Sue Barns

    Los Alamos

  • Medicare for all: Not a program -- it’s a slogan

    “Medicare for all” is not a program. It’s a slogan. We don’t know what it means until somebody defines it.

    By itself, it is not a solution to America’s health care needs. 

    Medicare for all was hotly debated during the recent Democratic presidential debate and will continue to be a major topic during the presidential primary season.

    New Mexicans may want to consider what the effect would be in our state, especially since more than half of our population is covered by Medicare or Medicaid or both.

    The version advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders, as expressed in legislation he has already introduced, would make medical care free to everybody and would add services not currently covered, such as dental and vision care.

    With this version, Americans would no longer pay insurance premiums but would pay for health care through taxes. 

  • You have the right to send all of your money to Santa Fe 

    This Independence Day holiday, while many of us will celebrate with backyard barbecues and neighborhood fireworks, bureaucrats in Santa Fe will be busy updating their accounting codes to prepare for the influx of new tax revenue. It will be a happy time for fans of big government. 

    I can’t imagine that our country’s founding fathers envisioned the current governing reality in our state. The Revolutionary generation built our country on the principles of limited government and individual freedom. They enshrined our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the very document that declared our independence as a self-governing nation. 

    Unfortunately, over the last 243 years, these ideals sometimes have been used to provide cover for objectives that limit individual freedom rather than protect it.  Take the tax increases passed by partisans in Santa Fe earlier this year. 

    New Mexico’s booming oil and gas industry produced a $1.2 billion revenue surplus in Fiscal Year 2019, and it’s on track to generate an additional $1.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2020. These surpluses could grow once the final numbers are tallied.