.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Columns

  • 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.

  • It never had a chance

    It’s disturbing the way key decisions of state import — decisions, which properly should be left to the states’ legislatures and governors — are more and more being made or re-made by federal judges.
    Only a couple of weeks ago, federal District Judge William P. Johnson issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of a 2009 law passed by the legislature and signed by then-Gov. Bill Richardson limiting election year contributions by individuals or certain organizations to political campaign committees.
    This is a state law that emerged by fits and starts after years of legislative struggle and compromises calculated to reign in the obscene sums of money it takes to run for public office today.

  • Different approach to Trinity

    As the negotiations for the Trinity Site between the County and the North American Development Group (NADG) approached the agreement stage, I began to get an uneasy feeling about this arrangement.  In 2005, when the initial concept for this development conjured up images of a unique gathering placed with multiple opportunities for retail and eclectic mix of restaurants, café’s, entertainment venues and a Canyon Rim Trail, I was all for it.  Since then, we have witnessed one of the worst economic periods since the depression and, quite frankly conditions have changed.  We are not living in the same economy as we were in 2005.  

  • GRT has chilling effect

    Gov. Susana Martinez is proposing tax-cuts to help the economy.  
    OK. That kind of depends on what kinds of cuts.
    I have a recommendation: Reform the GRT. Either:
    • Tax moneys earned from services as personal income;
    • Apply the GRT only to the profits reported on Federal Schedule C;
    • Give a $25,000/yr deduction on the GRT to self-employeds/sole proprietors, which would be considered personal income, and reported/taxed accordingly as per any individual income; or
    • Some combination of the above.
    The GRT is a business income tax, not a consumption tax.  

  • Can gov and legislature play nice this session?

    Lawmakers take their usual Friday recess. It gives the staff time to catch up with the flurry of bills introduced during opening days of the session and into binders for committee work.
    It also gives some lawmakers from the far reaches of the state an opportunity to get back home for the last time before the session ends.
    The capitol won’t be completely vacant, however. Finance committees and others will already be meeting.
    Before high speed presses became more accessible, bills were flown by private contractors to places like Portales and Roy for duplication over the long weekend.