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Letter to the Editor: Comments About White Rock Water Wells

on August 21, 2013 - 12:19pm
Comments About White Rock Water Wells
By Russell T Pack

Water is by far the most valuable resource in the West. I hope that everyone understands that, when the term San Juan-Chama is used, it does not mean that the water in question has ever been in the San Juan or Chama or Rio Grande rivers.

Water trading has a long history. If I have rights to a certain amount of water in the Rio Grande, and you have rights to a certain amount of water, I can take mine higher up, so long as I let your amount of water come down to you.

Letter to the Editor: Support UNM-LA

on August 21, 2013 - 9:39am
Support UNM-LA
By Teralene (Terry) Foxx

I moved to Los Alamos in 1969. At that time there was no institution of higher learning present in the community. The community was negotiating with UNM to establish a branch. They wanted a way to enhance the learning opportunities for those in the community. In 1970, UNM established a branch and it became known as UNM-LA.

I was the first biology teacher hired at the new branch. For the first seven years I taught General Biology, Plant Taxonomy, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Ecology. Then later I taught community education classes.

In the early

Letter to the Editor: A Healthy UNM-LA is a Great Resource for Local Students

on August 18, 2013 - 12:14pm
By David Izraelevitz
County Councilor

I was delighted to read that my fellow county councilors passed a resolution in favor of the special election to consider a property tax levy to help UNM-LA.

Even though I was away for that meeting, I want to voice my support for this resolution, and furthermore urge every voter to approve this ballot question.

I have many reasons for my support, but I wanted to concentrate on a specific value that UNM-LA provides to our community and one that my family has benefited from directly.

Letter to the Editor: On the Question of Small Class Size – An Open Letter to the Los Alamos Community

on August 18, 2013 - 7:50am
On the Question of Small Class Size – An Open Letter to the Los Alamos Community
Dr. Eugene (Gene) Schmidt
Superintendent, Los Alamos Public Schools

Small class sizes are a quality and hallmark that Los Alamos has long valued. Community conversations and strategic plan surveys continually reinforce the importance of maintaining small class sizes. Over the past several years budget constraints have made it increasingly more difficult to honor our community’s desire for small class size.

Letter to the Editor: Los Alamos School Funding Requires Action

on August 17, 2013 - 2:05pm
Los Alamos School Funding Requires Action
By Tim and Susan O’Leary
Los Alamos

Long-time Los Alamos School Board member Kevin Honnell was recently quoted as saying: “This (school) district, financially, is headed toward an iceberg like the Titanic.” The observation was made in connection with a discussion about class size, but Dr. Honnell correctly pointed out that the issue is much broader, and it is pressing. 

Because of the way in which New Mexico funds K-12 education, our Los Alamos schools don’t have the funding profile, moving forward, to support the quality schools we have come to

Letter to the Editor: Did Anyone in Los Alamos Hear a Meteor Aug. 11?

on August 16, 2013 - 12:43pm
By John Eklund
Los Alamos

Sunday evening, Aug. 11, I was watching the night sky for signs of the annual Perseid meteor shower on the roof of my Barranca Mesa home.
At about 11:05 p.m., the largest yellow fireball of the night thus far streaked in from directly above from NE to SW, leaving behind a golden tail across the sky. I was astonished to hear a load deep ripping, roaring sound within a fraction of a second of seeing the light.
Judging from the 5-second per mile rule of thumb for calculating the distance of lightning strikes, the meteor could not have been more than 1/4 mile

Letter to the Editor: The Latest News on Water Wells

on August 12, 2013 - 1:09pm
The Latest News on Water Wells

To those interested in the proposal to drill water wells on the canyon rims in White Rock and Pajarito Acres:

The Los Alamos County Council will meet at 7 p.m., Aug. 20 at the White Rock Fire Station on N.M. 4. It will be a working session and public comments will be allowed. One of the topics is the San Juan/Chama water allocation. A good turnout at this meeting will be a sign that the subject of water well drilling in residential areas is still of concern to many people.

During this summer, a group of people who have been involved in

Letter to the Editor: Solution to Open-Air Restaurant Quandary

on August 11, 2013 - 9:44am
Los Alamos
Los Alamos county government, being a constitutionally empowered home-rule (combined city-county) municipal corporation, vis-a-vis the Home Rule amendment to the New Mexico State Constitution, enacted in 1970, can create its own health inspection subdivision, and its own set of rules ... and write in a special exemption for "outdoor architectural restaurant appurtenances, etc." as such.
Of course, this means the county will have to have an oversight & enforcement mechanism.   
Hey, the county already has 4%+ of the LA county population on the payroll,

Letter to the Editor: Retain County Parks Director Position

on August 11, 2013 - 9:14am
Los Alamos

Los Alamos parks and open spaces are in the best condition they have ever been. Please consider retaining a Parks Director to replace Dick Mcinyre. 

For many years we had no parks director (or landscape architect) and the parks and open spaces looked like it. When the county got serious about our appearance and invested in the parks everything quickly changed.

Today the maintenance is up to date, landscaping is beautiful and trails are popular with both citizens and visitors. Don't take us back to the bad old days.

Letter to the Editor: UNM-LA a Great Resource for Seniors

on August 7, 2013 - 7:42am
UNM-LA a Great Resource for Seniors
By Colleen Hanlon
Los Alamos

I am a believer in the value of education. I am going to support the upcoming UNM-Los Alamos mil-levy, and I have been encouraging the people I meet to join me in this effort.

Why do I support the mil-levy increase for UNM-LA, and how have I benefited directly from UNM-LA?

About six years ago I registered (at the $5 Senior Rate) to audit a class in Native American Film Studies. I was a little timid about who my classmates would be, and how they would feel about an almost 70 year old in their class.

Well, it was a memorable

Letter to the Editor: We Are Using Too Many Pencils

on August 6, 2013 - 9:03am
We Are Using Too Many Pencils
Third grader at Aspen Elementary School

How many pencils do we use in each school and how many pencils do we need? 

On this year’s school supply list, third graders were asked to bring 48 pencils. Is that too much? I think so! 

I think we could each use just two pencils and sharpen them when they get dull. I wonder, how many trees can be saved if each student would bring only two pencils to school rather than 48.

You can make about 300,000 pencils out of one tree.

Letter to the Editor: 'Not-Back-to-School' Breakfast

on August 3, 2013 - 8:47am
Retirees to Meet at Not-Back-to-School Breakfast
By Judy Crocker
Los Alamos

If you live in the Western Area, you’ve heard the High School Band back at work, and should you try to drive through the Middle School parking lot to see the new building, oops, you can’t – new portables are being moved in. This part of the summer must be getting us ready for Back to School.

Los Alamos Public School Retired Employees are invited to the organization’s only yearly meeting at the Not-Back-to-School Breakfast Wednesday, Aug. 14. Breakfast is at 9:30 a.m.

Letter to the Editor: Brief Response to 'Weak Correlation Between CO2 and Temperature ...'

on August 3, 2013 - 8:28am
By Stephen Price and Charles Keller
Los Alamos
We have responded briefly to the writer’s comments, which are in quotes, and written additional comments of our own. We are happy to provide scientific journal citations to support any of our statements made below.

“A weak short-term correlation between CO2 and temperature proves nothing about causation. Proponents of the notion that increases in the air's CO2 content lead to global warming point to the past century's weak correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global air temperature as proof of their contention.”

Actually they

Letter to the Editor: Response to “Weak Correlation Between CO2 and Temperature' ...

on August 1, 2013 - 6:53am
Response to “Weak Correlation Between CO2 and Temperature Proves Nothing About Causation” by J.G. Beery from Los Alamos.
By Liviu Popa-Simil

I have to disagree in part with the author, because it presents just a part of the problem.

The CO2 and all the green house effects are based on the relationship between transmission absorption coefficients of the gases in the day light spectrum (light coming from sun) and night spectrum (light emitted by the Earth, mainly in IR), and has a logarithmic variation with partial pressure (concentration) of a gas or composite particles.

The good news observed by


Letter to the Editor: Weak Correlation Between CO2 and Temperature Proves Nothing About Causation

on July 31, 2013 - 11:13am
By J.G. Beery
Los Alamos

There is little doubt the air's CO2 concentration has risen significantly since the inception of the Industrial Revolution; and there are few who do not attribute the CO2 increase to the increase in humanity's use of fossil fuels.  
There is also little doubt the earth has warmed slightly over the same period; but there is no compelling reason to believe that the rise in temperature was caused by the rise in CO2. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that future increases in the air's CO2 content will produce any global warming; for there are numerous problems with the

Letter to the Editor: Universal Car Seats and Pediatric Vision Plans

on July 29, 2013 - 9:04am

Universal Car Seats and Pediatric Vision Plans
By Lisa Shin
Los Alamos Optometrist

Imagine there is new law in the land. Everyone has to purchase an infant car seat. Already have one? Don't have kids? Don't have a car? Can't afford it? Sorry, you can't opt out of this one. The intent of the law was to provide a car seat for those who couldn't afford it. Law advocates feared that a child might get missed, if car seats were made optional.

There was a “collective gasp” at the possibility of parents having the choice to “opt-out” of this life-saving device.


Letter to the Editor: Protest Against Slanted Reporting of Nuclear Weapons Issues

on July 17, 2013 - 2:19pm
Protest Against Slanted Reporting of Nuclear Weapons Issues
Los Alamos

This is a protest against the consistently slanted reporting of the Los Alamos Monitor on nuclear weapons issues. It appears that the Monitor takes pleasure in attacking the foundation of this town’s existence and deriding its proud history of supporting the nation’s defense. I am open to balanced criticism and, although I do not agree, I can respect intelligent advocacy of the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Letter to the Editor: Climate Must Be Considered Over Profitability

on July 15, 2013 - 8:13am
Los Alamos

President Obama’s leadership on capping carbon emissions is long overdue with the impending climate crisis. 

Special interest groups can no longer decide the fate of the environment we all share. New Mexico is already experiencing the effects of climate change. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than 60 percent of New Mexicans live in conditions of exceptional drought. This drought is aggravated by increasing global temperatures and extended periods of time without precipitation.

We need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, but natural gas is not an

Letter to the Editor: Underground Powerline Issues

on July 12, 2013 - 8:10am
By Richard Nebel
Los Alamos

This is just a quick answer to the letter by Jody Jones and Dan Cather. (

You cannot ship AC power underground for long distances. The losses are too high. 

AC couples both inductively and capacitively to the surrounding environment. That is why transmission lines sit high above the ground.

My company (Tibbar Technologies) is working on a solution to this problem. If you are interested in this, contact me at and I will be happy to give you a tour of


Letter to the Editor: Bury Power Lines Through or Near Forests

on July 11, 2013 - 8:36am
By Jody Jones and Dan Cather
White Rock

This is in response to a column by Sherry Robinson that ran July 3, 2013 in the LA Monitor entitled, "Cut hundreds of trees or lose them to fire."

A third, and more effective option is never mentioned. Bury all power lines through or near the forests. This is a proven method of providing utility service, and its use in forests is long overdue. All the discussions about clearing vegetation, purchasing wider easements and interagency cooperation are fruitless.

Even with 150-foot easements, a downed power line can ignite weeds and fire can run

Letter to the Editor: Beware of Considerate Behavior

on July 10, 2013 - 7:36am
Los Alamos

One of the nice things about living in Los Alamos is that we have so many considerate drivers. 

However, this can also cause problems. My understanding is that you yield for pedestrians in crosswalks, but you don't yield for golf carts. Yet I don't know how many times I have seen automobiles stop at the crosswalk at the western end of the golf course and wave golf carts out into the middle of Diamond Drive. 

Sooner or later one of these good Samaritans is going to lure a golf cart out into Diamond Drive where they will be T-boned by a car doing 40 (or more)

Letter to the Editor: Many Make July 4 Event Successful

on July 9, 2013 - 6:45am

A crowd of more than 10,000 people settled in at Overlook Park for Thursday's Kiwanis 4th of July Celebration. Photo by Greg Kendall/

Many Make July 4 Event Successful
Kiwanis July 4 Celebration Chair

The 2013 Fourth of July Celebration at Overlook Park was an outstanding success. After the tragedy of the Las Conchas Fire in 2011 and the cancellation of the fireworks display in 2012, we all traded nervous excitement for satisfaction and wonder.

Thankfully, good rains in White Rock in the days leading to the event helped put our minds at ease.


Letter to the Editor: Zip Lines Continue to Garner Big Followings Worldwide

on July 7, 2013 - 7:15am
Zip Lines Continue to Garner Big Followings Worldwide
Vice President, Los Alamos Entrepreneurs Network
Nearly one year ago, the Los Alamos Daily Post was so gracious as to publish an opinion piece I wrote on how Los Alamos might [try-try-try] to diversify its economy for more tourism, using something my wife and I had seen on a 3.5 month “off the grid” soiree through six countries in Southeast Asia: Zip Lines.
It looks like zip lines are becoming increasingly bigger attractions, courtesy of this story (July 5) on Fox News

Letter to the Editor: Flower Larceny a Shameful Act

on July 1, 2013 - 12:15pm

Wanton destruction, apparently by someone taking pleasure in defacing a flower garden at Central Park Square Sunday. Courtesy photo

Flower Larceny

By Philip Kunsberg
Owner, Central Park Square

My predecessor, Tom Netuschil, established a custom at Central Park Square of planting Marigolds, thousands of them, every spring. 

We have continued this tradition. It is an expensive and elaborately organized project, with very precise specifications on planting, mulching, irrigation, etc.

Letter to the Editor: Response to Local Editorial Regarding 4th of July Event

on June 27, 2013 - 4:16pm
President, Los Alamos Kiwanis Club

In their editorial comment section of June 23, the Los Alamos Monitor chose to criticize the manner in which the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos is preparing for our annual 4th of July celebration at Overlook Park. 

I would like to respond to that editorial with our own viewpoint, and to remind all of the residents of Los Alamos that a great deal of preparation and planning has already taken place, and much of that has been in consultation with the Los Alamos Fire Department.