Columns

Catch Of The Week: COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams

By BECKY RUTHERFORD
Los Alamos

COVID-19 relief is on the way from the federal government, and even though they haven’t printed a single stimulus check yet, the bad guys are already trying to get their share.

There are already reports of scammers who claim to be calling about the federal government’s COVID-19 stimulus package. These calls claim that you can get your money immediately if you just give the caller your debit or credit card information. They might claim you qualify for $1,000-$14,000 in federal relief funds; in some cases, they might claim it is “grant money”. The government will not


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Fr. Glenn: Bursting Bubbles

By Fr. Glenn Jones

Was very sorry to see the news of Los Alamos yesterday with a number of shops having been “broken into”… rather an understatement when one looks at the photos. The poor shop owners—first they get hit with closures because of the coronavirus, and now this. “Who woulda’ thunk it” in quiet little Los Alamos? But … it happens once in a while. Los Alamosians will remember a several-night crime spree a few years ago. Such things certainly wake us up from easy complacency. 

That “double whammy” of the shop owners reminded of a much worse double hit in the early 20th century; you may have seen


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Posts From The Road: Splendor Of Desert Blooms

Poppies & Lupines: Poppies and Lupines were making their presence know at Picacho Peak State Park a few miles northwest of Tucson. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

Green & Yellow: A blanket of yellow blooms covers the ground as green hillsides rise up and show off their spring green. This colorful scene was at the Pioneer Living History Museum in north Phoenix. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

By GARY WARREN
Photographer
Formerly of Los Alamos

We love to visit and explore Arizona in the spring. While much of the mountain west is still covered in snow, the desert is alive and showing


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An Open Book: Together

By DAVID IZRAELEVITZ
Los Alamos

How can we feel we are together when we are told to stay in our homes as much as possible, to treat each other as if you (or me) are infected with a deadly disease, where a hug or even a handshake can be the final link in a chain that leads to the death of someone’s grandmother?

If there was any comfort in the days of 9/11, it was that we could feel togetherness. I remember clearly that evening, here in Los Alamos. Without any organization or announcement, it seemed the whole community gathered around Ashley Pond, to cry together and console each other about a world that had turned


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County Council Chair Sara Scott Issues Update On Local COVID-19 Response Following State’s Recent Actions

By Chair Sara Scott
Los Alamos County Council

In the past week, two important actions have been taken by our state government to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

These include the Stay at Home instruction issued by Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel on March 23 and the announcement by Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart (today) that schools would be closed for the remainder of the year. 

Our state is also aggressively expanding access and throughput for testing; New Mexico is currently the fourth highest in testing per capita in the nation (New York Times, March 26, 2020). While understanding that


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Tales Of Our Times: Normal Times, Too, Wrestled With The Meanings Of ‘Safe’

Tales of Our Times

By JOHN BARTLIT
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water

Our daily thinking about covid-19 will benefit from looking again at the permanent dilemma of explaining safety. A look back at normal times provides more context than appears in the rush of news.

News stories often cover issues of safety. The pattern is standard: A safety expert claims that something is not safe and a second expert says the safety is top-notch. Is a new medicine safe? Are airlines safe? Are we safe from terrorists?

The two experts hammer away at their unerring, inscrutable points, then go their separate


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Emotional Healing: Navigating The Unknown

Dr. TED WIARD
Golden Willow Retreat

Editors Note: This is part of a series by grief specialist Dr. Ted Wiard, dedicated to helping educate the community about emotional healing.

We have been discussing the topic of grief and how it is a natural and normal healing process from any type of loss. Grief is the process of redefining one’s self after loss into the new situation and definition of who that person is now.

In previous columns we have discussed the first five phases of grief – since that time, we have watched the entire world shift in unsuspecting ways for different people, but in that shift, there


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Life After 50: Warriors And Angels

By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Executive Director
Los Alamos Retired & Senior Organization

My Love Warriors staff at the Los Alamos and White Rock senior centers and our Donor Angels, have made week two of our shut down as uplifting as a pandemic could be during hard times.

While I write to keep the community updated, I also write, I assume in a therapeutic way, and we might not realize it, to document our living history.

We instantly started a program called Senior Services, to allow my staff to shop for our members and pick up prescriptions. We also allowed community members to donate funds for the


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Catch Of The Week: COVID-19 Phishing Via LinkedIn

Screenshot of a COVID-19 phishing message. Courtesy/Becky Rutherford

By BECKY RUTHERFORD
Los Alamos

COVID-19 phishing scams… so hot right now. Check out the latest and greatest, straight from my inbox (First screenshot of the phishing message above. Second screenshot is posted at the bottom of the story).

LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional network and make connections, but this is not the kind of connection I want to make. Yes, this is relatively obvious, but let’s go over the signs that this is malicious:

Do I know the sender? Am I expecting information about a government grant


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Skolnik: In An Outbreak, Delays Kill

By RICHARD SKOLNIK
Los Alamos

As our governor has correctly and repeatedly said, the US federal government is still failing to address COVID-19 with sufficient urgency. In an outbreak, every day of delay leads to cases and deaths that should never occur. In due course, history will correctly attribute many of these deaths to government indifference, delays, and incompetence.

In states like New Mexico, more people filed for unemployment last week than at any time in history, including the great depression. Jobless claims for the US as a whole rose from 70,000 to over 280,000, as COVID-19 began


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