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Columns

  • Loss of ideas weakens nation

     Innovation is the pride and lifeblood of our democracy.
     Innovation in technical systems is vital and thriving. Innovation is equally essential in political life, but is lost in the rubble of skeletal debate for voter loyalties.   
     Our nation sorely needs ways to develop ideas in the public forum.
    The forum today treats an idea as a political hoax from the disloyal. So they all get axed, lest any idea should spread. The prevalent contempt for ideas shuts out your own fondest idea as surely as it stops all others.
    Political innovation molders in the mission of talk wars.
    Nothing needs fresh ideas more than the problems that last far longer than reelection cycles. The regulatory process is large among them.

  • Finding some perspective

    Perspective is a tough commodity to find when considering New Mexico’s economic performance in comparison to other states. The coming study of New Mexico as a place for investment will give us a good idea of our fit for a narrowly defined case.
    Yet the broadest possible perspective is the necessary basis for thoughtful policy decisions. Fortunately, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. does excellent work comparing Colorado to other states and the nation. We can be a free rider, as they say in economics.
    Our riding starts with “Resource Rich Colorado,” issued in December to describe “Colorado’s National and Global Position in the Energy Economy.” Find the report at www.metrodenver.org/news-center/publications.html.

  • Wrong side of the screen

     Isn’t life beautiful?  Isn’t life gay?  Isn’t life the perfect way to pass the time away?
      I happen to like life.  Not because the alternative is worse, but rather because it’s like strolling down a buffet of infinite choices, an endless avenue of experiences, a 24-hour a day variety show hosted by all sorts of people.
     And sometimes it’s more like a talk show where you want to stand, pick up your chair, and smash it against the guy sitting next to you.  Yeah, life can be fun.
     But lately I get the ugly feeling that I’m on the wrong side of the screen.
     My world is missing so many wonderful things that less dimensional people seem to enjoy.

  • Reader voices support for Zimmerman traffic option

    This is to warn the citizens of Los Alamos that an effort is being made to discredit the currently proposed re-design of NM 502 (Trinity Drive), which some have called the Zimmerman option, using two myths:
    Myth #1. “The proposed roadway would provide lower capacity than the current road and would increase congestion.”
    Myth #2.  “The roundabout would lead to ‘built-in’ traffic conflicts and would present an unsafe environment for cars, motorcycles, and pedestrians.”
    These myths contradict the judgments of professional traffic engineers who have been hired by the county and have presented their findings at meetings of the NM 502 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

  • You can't ignore history

    In 1982, I learned more about fish, Lake Michigan, and Indian treaty rights than I thought possible. The Ottawa and Chippewa tribes had won a Supreme Court case that reaffirmed their rights to fish on the lake. White commercial and sport fishermen were so riled, they smashed Indian boats and roughed up Indian fishermen.  
    I was contracted for six months to build a public information campaign that would calm public sentiment enough for the tribes to fish in peace. I brought with me from New Mexico a familiarity with Indian issues and PR experience defending unpopular causes (an electric utility).

  • How is this going to help?

    Gov. Susana Martinez wants to exempt small businesses paying less than $200 a month in gross receipts tax from having to pay the tax.
    She says it will affect over 40,000 small businesses in the state, most of which are one-person businesses.
    I am one of those businesses and the chances are fairly good that you may be one too.
    And for the life of me, I can’t figure out how it is going to help anyone. Supposedly it will help me hire an employee.
    This column appears in many newspapers around the state but even if it appeared in all of them, it isn’t enough to share with anyone but my wife, who does the bookkeeping for free.

  • The thing about trophies...

    My youngest son played T-ball a couple of years ago.  He didn’t really play. He kept the dugout safe, though.  
    He made sure the dugout bench was warm by lying on it.
    He kept track of the equipment too.  When asked to go out to the field to play, he refused because it was too cold.  
    I am not even sure if he went up to bat.  He probably did, because that is the fun part.  He sat on the ground when he was at base.  
    He was a horrible T-ball player. But, regardless of his complete lack of participation he got a trophy at the end of the season. It was a cute little bobble-head thing.  He liked his trophy.

  • Let's move forward on Trinity Site

    I am convinced that having a big box store on the Trinity site would generate the most revenue for our public schools. The lease agreement that has been negotiated between the county and NADG allows for the development of the site without requiring any financial contribution from the county. This is beneficial to the county because other alternatives to a big box store would most likely have the county taking on the role of developer with the county making lease payments to the public schools directly.

  • Trinity Site will last 73 years

    We face a significant decision on the Trinity Site.  It is essential to consider the impact on future generations and closely look at the business details because the agreement will last 73 years.  
    Whether or not one agrees with the project, the citizens and staff who worked tirelessly should be thanked.  
    Hundreds of hours, good faith  and personal commitment mark their efforts.  
    In business terms, we are playing a very weak hand.  
    The worst economic downturn since the Depression serves as the backdrop to our effort to bring new retail to a community struggling to attract business.  
    It is not surprising that the results are uninspiring.  

  • Broadband for everybody

    In the upcoming meeting this Tuesday night, the county council will be considering moving forward in creating a county broadband network called the Community Broadband Network (CBN). The council vote on Tuesday could be one of the most important votes for our future needs. The country is moving forward and the question is will Los Alamos County join in the future of our nation -- or be left behind?
    The CBN is a complete fiber network and would include every home and business, extending fiber into every premises. Currently, some of the Internet services from major providers are not adequate for the coming revolution in digital services.