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'Common Sense Still Applies'

on April 2, 2012 - 10:21pm

It's presidential election season and the rhetoric is ratcheting up. And because of that, it's important to get the facts and know exactly what the record is.


Far less important is what's being said ... especially on the campaign trail.


Our president was out on the campaign trail last week on a so called "energy tou.r."


He even stopped in New Mexico, where he traveled to the tiny oil town of Maljamar to tout his accomplishments ... a slick political move because no one would expect a big crowd.


Had he gone elsewhere, the reception would've likely been rougher because the

Ethical Behavior: The Baldrige Director’s Lesson

on March 31, 2012 - 5:46pm

Christine Schaefer

As any (self-certified) Baldrige geek knows, the Criteria for Performance Excellence consider legal and ethical behavior among the key requirements for high-performing leaders of any organization. In the first section, known as category 1, the 2011-2012 Criteria ask, “How does your organization promote and ensure ethical behavior in all interactions?”

Anyone who’s familiar with Baldrige Program Director Harry Hertz knows well that his personal leadership of the program since 1996 has provided many inspiring examples of ethical behavior.

 (Disclosure: He was my past but


Dispatch from the Field: District 43

on March 18, 2012 - 1:46pm

Rep. Jim Hall

The diversity and community that exists in House District 43 is unique and rewarding for all. As your State Representative for District 43 I received many positive comments about my legislative updates from the 2012 Session and I believe constituents will want to know of my continuing work in the District. In this brief periodic column, I will continue to discuss state government concerns and issues that arise while I work with constituents and communities in District 43. If you live in District 43 and have an issue or a concern, I welcome your comments and questions.


Life on the Border

on March 17, 2012 - 2:27pm

Column by Bonnie Gordon

All my adult life, I’ve been a border crosser, moving from one place, social milieu, or state of mind to a new one often.

It all started when a working class kid from Boise, Idaho decided she wanted to grow up to be an intellectual.

Where this hunger to explore big ideas and hang out with other people who wanted to the same came from, I couldn’t tell you.

It propelled me to get a full scholarship to Reed College where I was suddenly surrounded by preppies and other members of the upper middle class. It was quite a shock.

Being a border crosser means you never


Los Alamos needs YOU

on March 13, 2012 - 8:12am

You undoubtedly have ideas for the future of our community and on how the county government should serve its citizens today. You have the opportunity to put those ideas into ACTION. 

Three county councilors and a county clerk will be elected next November. You could be one of them; the process starts now.

Roughly 14,000 adults call Los Alamos home and care about it. All are affected by county government. In this community of extraordinary people, there are hundreds with the knowledge and skills to help lead it. 

Are you one of the handful with the desire and courage?

The only legitimate

Signs of the Times

on March 8, 2012 - 4:05pm

Bad Signage Examples?

In mid-March, the Community Development Department (CDD) held an initial public kickoff meeting for a renewed effort aimed at revising the existing Los Alamos County sign code.  Past efforts to revise our much maligned sign code have met with failure over the last half-decade plus. The last sign code update was attempted by then CDD director Rick Bohn in 2009. That attempt was derailed, in large part because of a dispute over how to handle temporary signs placed in truck beds and elsewhere. The proposed revisions would have prohibited such signage.

Ice, Mud, and Spring Fever

on March 7, 2012 - 5:00pm

Column by Craig Martin

Even though north-facing slopes are snow-packed, south slopes and ridgelines dry out                                                                                                                                                 quickly. Photo by Craig Martin

April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire…” T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland.

For a Los Alamos resident who lives to be outside, March is the cruelest month. Once or twice a week, the weather hints of the end of winter and I get a touch of spring fever.


I Reveal Myself as a Fan Girl

on February 24, 2012 - 5:00pm

By Bonnie J. Gordon

I’m coming out as a fan girl. I love graphic novels, horror and science fiction, but my real passion is for fantasy, especially epic fantasy.

I think there are a lot of us out there, but maybe we’re afraid we won’t be taken seriously if people find out we spent our vacation at a sci-fi and fantasy convention.

When you look at the numbers, it’s clear that a lot of people are reading fantasy. Why is it so popular? Maybe because it tackles some really big issues that sometimes get ignored by realistic literature.

One of them is that perennial biggie, the meaning of life.


How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Facebook

on February 17, 2012 - 12:00am

For someone who’s been using the internet since 1981, I sure keep underestimating its power. When Facebook first emerged, I thought of it as a gimmick for kids to share embarrassing pictures and annoy each other. Eventually, I realized that it was an emerging social medium that had been embraced by the under 30-crowd, and now I am convinced that it is a force for good that will spread democracy across the world. Well maybe not, but it is pretty neat.

I set up my first Facebook account some time ago, but it was for Louie, our cat.

A Place for Idea People

on February 17, 2012 - 12:00am

Imagine a place in our downtown designed to address housing and other needs of our early career “idea people” … scientists, technologists, artists and innovators of all type … and entrepreneurs. What would it look like? Where might be a good location? What related amenities would benefit both the residents and the larger community? The Los Alamos Creative District Steering Committee facilitated by Los Alamos MainStreet has been putting thought and effort into these and other questions.

Trinity Drive: Not a Hard Decision

on February 9, 2012 - 5:00pm

It was a momentous couple of weeks for Los Alamos and our county council. Not only did the council pass a lease agreement that will allow North American Development Group (NADG) to move forward on the Trinity Place Shopping Center, but our council also approved a new road design for eastern Trinity Drive. Trinity Place will bring a new and expanded Smith’s Marketplace “big box” store to Los Alamos at long last.

At Tuesday’s tumultuous county council meeting, County Engineering Division Manager Kyle Zimmerman presented his traffic plan for the eastern section of Trinity (and a small portion


Go Past the Golf Course and Bear Right at the Circle of Life

on February 8, 2012 - 5:00pm

Column by David Izraelevitz

Editor’s Note: As the community gears up for a roundabout at 4th Street and Central Avenue, this column written by Izraelevitz in 1999 is a reminder of the local climate before construction of the roundabout at Diamond Drive and San Ildefonso Road.

As a resident of North Mesa, the new roundabout is our connection to the rest of the world. Maybe for this reason it has become much more than a traffic landmark for me; rather, as you’ll see if you bear with me for a few paragraphs, it’s become an important philosophical reference point.

I have to admit, however,


Some of my Best Friends are 19

on February 6, 2012 - 5:00pm

I’ve discovered one of the secrets to a happy middle age and I’m sharing it with you. Make friends with young people.

This isn’t possible until they get to be 15 or so. Before that, you can enjoy them, but they can’t really be friends. The experience and ideas gap is just too wide. But once they reach mid teens, guess what? If you talk to them like they’re real people, they will talk back, and what they have to say is really interesting.

You can learn lots of cool stuff about music composed in this century, how to do social networking, and what’s the buzz on the Internet.


Water Canyon Trail Work Continues in Wake of Las Conchas Fire

on February 6, 2012 - 5:00pm

Column By Craig Martin

As a community we’ve been here before, anxiously waiting for the spring thaw so that we can begin work on repairing miles of trails damaged by fire and post-fire runoff.

Fortunately, this time we are much better prepared. In the aftermath of the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000, the trail community wasn’t sure if the trails in the burned area would ever be usable again. Over the next six years, volunteers acquired a cache of tools, learned trail building skills, and eventually brought back nearly every mile we once thought of as lost forever.

The Las Conchas Fire impacted