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Today's News

  • Not your typical April Fools’ column

    SANTA FE — Instead of my usual April Fools’ column reminiscing about past political pranks or trying to pull one of my own, I am reminded of a promise made 10 months ago that is appropriate to begin fulfilling today.

    On June 6, 2009, full-scale D-Day commemorations were held at Normandy and many other locations around the world.

  • Thanks for your support

    Many thanks to the community of Los Alamos for the outpouring of support and encouragement regarding the accident and fire at Quemazon Montessori School on Thursday, March 25.

  • Cameras are not good politics

         SANTA FE — Why are traffic cameras so controversial? We know that speeding and running red lights is dangerous so we have passed laws establishing penalties against people who do it.

         So what’s wrong with taking a picture of people who have broken the law? For some reason many people who would classify themselves as law-and-order types become downright angry at the notion of their right to privacy being invaded.

  • A point well taken

    In my opinion, the point made recently by New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry, as reported by the Los Alamos Monitor on March 27 (“Head wants federal agency removed”), is well taken.

  • Tea Party and the John Birch Society

    In his recent letter to the editor, “Have a Spot of Tea,” Dick Foster appears to be somewhat supportive of the Tea Party movement. Be that as it may, but he said that we shouldn’t belittle the Tea Party because they are being courted by the “John Birch Society, an organization of people with good income, education and social status.” Good social status? Well, not with me! I remember the John Birch Society very well and all reasonable people should be alarmed that this organization of paleo-conservative paranoids is showing its ugly head again.

  • Mixed signals regarding Richardson

    SANTA FE — When Gov. Bill Richardson vetoed the food tax, he noted in the first sentence of his veto message that it would be the last legislative act of his two terms as governor.

    That sounds pretty final. What does it mean? Is he leaving town for one of those cushy million-dollar jobs we’ve been hearing about? Or is he just not going to call any more special sessions?

    The indications I’m getting say it is the latter. Gov. Richardson says he doesn’t want to call any more special sessions while House members are campaigning for office.

  • Future looks brighter than the news

    I’ve seen the future of American science and engineering. And, in my humble opinion, it looks very bright.

    From time to time the media tell us that American education simply isn’t working. Reports can make it seem that public schools — and universities, too — are wasteful, dysfunctional and produce students who can neither read nor write, let alone do science and math.

    But I work at a large, state-run university and I see little evidence of those claims. Let me tell you what I do know about, what I see first-hand.  

  • A simple failing yields many ideas

    Early this year I wrote about the irony of federal stimulus money going into LED traffic lights that save energy and taxpayer dollars. In response to the column, four readers put me on to a fact that I flat missed.

    LEDs produce little heat, which makes them energy efficient and long-lasting. But there is more. In wintertime, emitting less heat can let more ice and snow build up on a traffic light and make it harder to spot. Examples exist of fatal accidents resulting.

  • Would you hire a handyman to stop termites?

    Having cancer is like having an infestation of termites. They come in uninvited, take over and devour all that they can. If termites were gradually eating away at your home, crumbling the foundations, crawling through your pipes, eating away at the surface, who would you call? Joe Handyman? No you’d call a professional, someone who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and removal of pest damage. Having cancer is no different.

  • Schools struggle with belt tightening

    SANTA FE — New Mexico and most other states were able to avoid including the public schools in their first rounds of budget cutting. Since education is a state responsibility, nearly all states make it their primary responsibility. Some states pass much of that responsibility down to the local level.

    But beginning with this year’s legislative sessions, public schools are now part of the budget balancing. Federal stimulus funds have been the savior thus far in helping states avoid cutting into public school budgets. But those funds appear to be ending soon.