Letters to the Editor

Letter To The Editor: History Of ‘Black Hole’ Building

Formerly of Los Alamos

Apparently the ‘Black Hole’ has absorbed its own history.

Long before Ed Grothus purchased it, it was the home of Mesa Market, which began as a part of the Bond-Willard Store in Espanola, and was purchased by my uncle, John Martins, and remained in business throughout the 1960s.

I was the son of his partner, Wayne Seidel, and worked in the store every summer from 1963 through 1967.  After John Martins bought the Community Center, Keith Kelly took over management and the store was briefly part of the Piggly-Wiggly chain until Grothus bought it in 1973, not Read More

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Letter To The Editor: Response To Julie Walker

Los Alamos

Thank you for your patriotism. I appreciate your honorable service on the Navy’s combat team.

I would like to challenge kindly your portrayal of the GOP in your Letter to the Editor of June 19, 2022 (link). By “GOP” it seems you are referring to local Republicans as a group. You ascribe offensive and unkind actions to a whole group of people, and I am unaware of when Republicans have committed such deeds as a group.

You wrote that the GOP is “so hateful to those they do not understand.” You wrote that the “GOP believes that EVERYONE needs to fit within their narrow parameters Read More

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Letter To The Editor: The Perils Of Plastic


For seven weeks this spring, I attended an online course on plastic pollution taught by Judith Enck, former EPA administrator during the Obama years.

Here are some key points:

  • Since 1950 nine billion tons of plastic have been produced, half of that in the last 19 years.
  • Less than 5 percent has been recycled.
  • The United States is the largest generator of plastic solid waste, by mass and per capita.
  • 99 percent of plastics are produced from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels.
  • Recycling was introduced in the 1970s by the plastics industry to shift responsibility
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Letter To The Editor: To Council For Consideration

Sirphey, LLC

Dear Council and Mr. Lynne,

I’d like to address some false statements and suggestions that were made by Ms. Laurent and Mr. Styron under the Manager’s Report at the June 14th Council meeting.

I would further like to renew my objections to the county merely slipping a presentation on this matter into the meeting without any mention on the agenda, not allowing those who wish to be heard on the matter to be heard. The interactions of those present showed that notice had clearly been given to the council and staff, but not to the public all such individuals represent. Read More

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Letter To The Editor: Love Your Neighbor

Los Alamos

Love your neighbor as yourself. We are all your neighbor!

In 1983 it was not just taboo for a gay man to raise a child; it was completely unheard of. Thus, when I was born, I was given to a ‘good, god-fearing’ family to raise me. Those “people” tried to raise me to hate gays, people of color, and anything/anyone that was different. 

I didn’t think they were right then, and I certainly do not think they are right today. I am a Christian, but I also believe that some pastors are using their power for evil and turning their flock against people. Aren’t they supposed to be a light in the Read More

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Letter To The Editor: I Know Roger…

Brother of Dist. 40 Rep. Roger Montoya
Velarde, N.M.

I have known Roger Montoya his entire life.

I was there when he overcame a stutter in first grade.

I was there when he had an emergency appendectomy at the old Taos Hospital when he was 8.

I was there when he started painting at 12.

I was there when he accepted he was gay at 15 and asked his family to do the same.

I was there when he placed in the top ten in the Colorado State High School Boys Gymnastics meet.

I was there when he gave up gymnastics as he was a much better modern dancer.

I was there when he found out his partner had AIDS and died Read More

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Letter To The Editor: About Fr. Glenn’s ‘You are gods!’

Los Alamos

Fr. Glenn states, “…not only do we live and grow and are animate like all animals, but unlike them, we can think, plan, reflect, discern cause and effect …” (link)

As a religious leader, Fr. Glenn is free to make such a statement. As a scientist, I cannot accept it. Yes, it may be correct, but it is a mostly untested assertion, not the conclusion of careful study and analysis of the precise type Fr. Glenn correctly asserts that we are capable of. We do not know, and admittedly perhaps, cannot know, the mental capabilities of many animals. But we need to try very Read More

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Letter To The Editor: Wildfire Restrictions

Los Alamos

A recent journal article is very relevant to the discussion on fire-related restrictions:

Benefield and Chen, 2022. Examining the influence of outdoor recreation on anthropogenic wildfire regime of the southern Rocky Mountains, Natural Hazards. (Copy provided to me by the lead author along with some discussion and clarification).

Their detailed analysis of fire records show that man-made forest fires occur predominantly near regions of overnight camping, presumably from campfires, and near trails used by motor vehicles. A fair conclusion is that restricting

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Letter To The Editor: Thanks Jason, Steve & Reid!

Los Alamos 

Ms. Hanrahan would do well to remember that one can disagree without being disagreeable.

Attacking a person based on that person’s age, ethnicity, or gender is inappropriate.

I would like to publicly thank Steve Reneau, Jason Halladay, and Reid Priedhorsky for their well done letters to the editor regarding the Stage 3 restrictions in our area. They did not whine. They presented reasoned arguments against blanket policies and proposed alternative solutions with reasoning for them. Such is not the input of a whiner.

I’d like to thank Jason for his Read More

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Letter To The Editor: A Tale Of Two Counties – Los Alamos Fights Fire And ‘Fights’ COVID

Los Alamos

The county’s approaches to fighting fire and fighting COVID reflect a “tale of two counties.” Examining these very different approaches could offer lessons for dealing with a range of local issues in the future.

The county’s response to the fire followed the basic principles of good governance and included:

  • Rapid mobilization
  • A proactive approach based on the best available evidence
  • The involvement of people with high levels of expertise
  • Reaching out for a range of help from outside
  • A well-coordinated approach across many agencies
  • Communications with the affected
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Letter To The Editor: In Response To Lynn Hanrahan

Los Alamos 

In response to Lynn Hanrahan’s letter, characterizing Jason Halladay, Reid Priedhorsky and Steven Reneau as “whiney middle-aged white guys,” I guess that makes me one, too. 

I’d also guess my whining is at a lower pitch than a certain someone’s sanctimonious spouting, though.

Certainly the townsite’s inner canyons are a hazard. I know the county has done some thinning and cleanup, but that’s just been the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, very close to my house is a thick stand of dead-standing scrub oak right next to the street at the upper end of such a canyon, Read More

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Letter To The Editor: Response To ‘Whiney Middle-Age White Guys’

Los Alamos

I take more than a little offense to the letter to the editor (link) submitted by Ms. Lynn Hanrahan. Though this letter might be interpreted as too personal of an attack on the views of Ms. Hanrahan, it is an objective response to her insulting stereotyping of users of county open spaces and her failure to objectively analyze risk.

First, she assumes those taking issue with the overreaction in closing all open spaces within Los Alamos County are middle-aged white guys. Not sure how she knows this to be true but guessing it is just generalization and stereotyping on her part. Read More

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Letter To The Editor: Whiney Middle-Aged White Guys

Los Alamos

Yes, we know, your workout is sacrosanct. 

You are used to being taken quite seriously. Your opinion matters. We should all be willing to accept a greater degree of risk so your life style is in no way compromised by a historic drought worsened by climate change. You, after all, are you.

Please get over yourselves.

Here are 10 things you can do to make our planet a better place while your sneakers gather dust:

  • Work to end climate change
  • Write a thank you letter to all the Hot Shot crews in the American West
  • Donate money to those suffering as a result of evacuations
  • Write a letter
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Letter To The Editor: Reconsider Blanket Closure Of Los Alamos County Trails

Los Alamos

I’m a native New Mexican and resident of Los Alamos for more than 40 years. I choose to live in Los Alamos largely due to its proximity to trails, both county and United States Forest Service (USFS) trails, and rock climbing opportunities.

Sadly, I’ve watched the climate get drier and hotter here and see no end to this warming during my lifetime. While I do what I can to limit my impact on the climate, I realize it’s inevitable the climate will continue to warm and dry.

I have adapted my actions and behaviors to address the warming climate as best I can. I’d like to see local, Read More

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Letter To The Editor: Total Ban On Access To Local Open Space Is Bogus…

Los Alamos 

Dear citizens:

I suppose it’s refreshing to hear Fire Chief Hughes state during last Monday’s Council meeting that open space is closed “no matter how good an argument you present to us” (at 17:56) until he decides otherwise, because it says the quiet part out loud: Los Alamos County leadership remains disinterested in non-elite citizens’ concerns or opinions, regardless of their merits.

Even though we’ve been told we will be ignored, I think it’s worth detailing why the total open space ban is a bad policy, and that better, more nuanced policies are available. Read More

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Letter To The Editor: Closure Of Los Alamos County Open Space

White Rock

When the U.S. Forest Service announced the closures of the Santa Fe, Carson, and much of the Cibola National Forests, I was pleased to see our Senator, Martin Heinrich, offering a different perspective.

Understanding the importance of recreational access to public lands to New Mexicans, he asked the Forest Service to reconsider their blanket closures. While he acknowledged the value of certain actions including prohibiting campfires, barbecues, and overnight use, he questioned the need to prohibit all day use in areas like the Sandia foothills next to Albuquerque. Read More

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Letter To The Editor: In Support Of Community Composting

Los Alamos

I’m writing in support of the letters to the editor from Jodi Benson and Katie Leonard May 17 in support of a community composting program.

The Environmental Sustainability Board in Los Alamos’ comprehensive feasibility study to the Los Alamos Council May 17 recommends: (1) Residents to have access to food waste collection at drop-off site(s), and (2) businesses to have curbside food waste pick up, much like trash, recycling, and yard waste.

As a Los Alamos resident living in an apartment, I would greatly value such a food composting program. At present, I freeze my food Read More

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Letter To The Editor: In Support Of Community Composting

Los Alamos

The LA County’s Environmental Sustainability Board has completed its composting feasibility study and has will be recommending to the County Council to proceed in the following ways:

(1) Residents will have access to a compost drop-off site, and (2) businesses will have curbside compost pick up, much like trash, recycling, and yard waste.

A compost drop-off site for residents (as opposed to curbside pickup) will reduce the number of animals that are attracted to the decomposing waste in neighborhoods while still allowing these fruit/veggie scraps to stay out

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Letter To The Editor: Tonight – Tell County Council To Initiate Long-Studied County-Wide Food-Waste Composting System

Los Alamos

At tonight’s Council Meeting, the County will decide whether to approve what has been a years-long study to establish community food-waste composting. 

Here’s what could happen:

Rather than tossing scraps and uneaten food into the dumpster to rot into methane to contribute to yet more never-ending holocaust fires incinerating our entire state, all that luscious, organic material could break down into rich and useful compost to augment our soils and create a habitat for all sorts of microorganisms and vegetables and flowers and shrubs and trees. Free. Rich, delicious, Read More

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Letter To The Editor: Attorney General Candidates

Former Commissioner
NM Public Education District 4

Once again, the Democrats have two outstanding candidates for Attorney General, but one stands out for my vote.

In 2009-2010 I worked closely with current State Auditor, Brian Colon and Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in an election they did not win. I was running Labor 2010 for AFT, and I, along with the other Labor Unions worked to get candidates elected. Senators Heinrich and Lujan (as a congressman) were two successes. I have worked closely with Brian several times in the last 12 years. 

That 2010 election taught me a few things. Read More

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