Running national labs takes professional management

The June 30 Opinion piece, "Los Alamos to Kyoto's rescue," reveals to those of us who have worked at Los Alamos, as well as at Sandia National Laboratories, that the authors are clueless about the situation.

Environmental work has been a priority for decades for the Department of Energy, which oversees both labs, for decades. Whatever good work Los Alamos has produced since the atomic bomb has been in spite of the University of California.

The move to boot the UC is long overdue. The government is now willing to pay for professional management by professional, competent organizations that know their business and are accountable for it.

The whole idea of having any state university involved in any way with the management of these national resources seems ludicrous. Sandia is run smoothly and efficiently by Lockheed Martin alone.

Research scientists want a consistent stream of money for themselves and their research. They want highly trained, motivated support staff, and state-of-the-art facilities that are efficiently run and well maintained. No a university that can deliver any of that.

I hope that the new management in Los Alamos will rebuild the lab's reputation and improve the quantity and the quality of its work until it gets close to that produced by Sandia and the other national labs.
Bryan Bingham
Albuquerque, N.M.

Reading moves from print to pixels

Responding to the June 23 article "How the Web changes your reading habits": The piece reminded me that reading isn't dying, but expanding from print to digital technology. The debate over which media form is better, print or electronic, can stop. Both forms are vital to make sure that myriad readers have options to gain in-depth information.
Elizabeth Beall
Park City, Utah

Iraqi insurgents didn't need training

Before the US went to war with Iraq, Iraq had a functioning security force and military. Why do the Iraqi troops need training? The insurgents haven't needed time to train.

A time table needs to be set for American troop withdrawal and base closures. This is not to give the insurgency a reason to wait us out, but to give the Iraqis a reason to assume responsibility for their country. Why would they be motivated to take responsibility if they believe we will be there forever, providing an army and financial support?
Doreen Suran
Bellevue, Wash.

A living will needs 'power of attorney'

Regarding the June 22 article, "How to avoid a Schiavo scenario": The advice regarding a living will is sound. However, such a document should be supplemented with a durable power of attorney - naming a trusted adult who is a likely survivor and is willing and able to enforce your wishes.
Don Barnes
Spokane, Wash.

Rape victims must be honored

In response to the June 27 article, "A rape victim defies traditional code": Thank you for writing such an important article. I'm sure rape victims from many different cultures and religions could relate to it.

It's sad to say that even today in many cultures, it is believed that if it became known that a woman was sexually assaulted,her reputation would be tarnished, as would that of her family. We need to start sending messages to our children and our neighbors that the offender is the criminal, and that the rape victim should be honored and respected.
Vicki Polin
Executive Director, The Awareness Center: The Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault

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