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Columns

  • Who watches the watchers?

    SANTA FE — The state Law Enforcement Academy is still having big problems.
    This time it involves police, who have been fired, moving to similar jobs in other communities because the Academy never files statewide charges against the officer.
    The Albuquerque Journal in a copyrighted story has covered the present situation well. The following is a review of what happened three years ago when the academy was called on the carpet. Both times the problem apparently was disinterest by Attorney General Gary King.

  • What is the mission of NM higher education?

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently made headlines around the country when he argued that institutes of higher education in his state of Florida should prioritize funding for the study of science and technology in the his state’s institutes of higher education.
    “If I’m going to take money from a citizen to put into education then I’m going to take money to create jobs…so I want the money to go to a degree where people can get jobs in this state,” Scott said. “Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don’t think so.”

  • Who's in 2nd District again?

    Just a year ago New Mexicans and other Americans were stumbling out of mid-term elections, wondering how a Republican group calling itself the Tea Party would use its powers as the new majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
    Today campaigning is already underway for next year’s elections, which promise to be equally unfathomable.
    The uncertainty is palpable in New Mexico where Democratic and Republicans hopefuls are jousting for seats in Congress and the state Legislature from districts, the shapes of which are unknown.
    It couldn’t be otherwise after Gov. Susana Martinez and the Legislature failed to agree on how to remap the state’s sundry political districts at a special redistricting session this summer.

  • Green up your holiday season

    From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, Americans create 5 million tons of solid waste, the vast majority of which is shopping bags, wrapping paper and holiday cards according to the California Department of Resources Recycling & Recovery.
    Start off your holiday season on a green foot by making a few small changes. It’s easy to get the entire family involved, have fun and decrease the burden on your wallet as well.  To help get you started, the New Mexico Recycling Coalition is providing New Mexicans with a simple list of steps the average resident can take to put the green back into the holidays. View the full list at www.recyclenewmexico.com.
    Below is an excerpt from the full list of things you can do to help reduce waste during the holidays.

  • Agenda must focus on strengthening middle class

    As we enter the final month of the year, it is critical that Congress takes swift action on a number of important issues that will impact people across New Mexico.
    With extended federal unemployment benefits set to expire, a payroll tax cut about to lapse and devastating cuts to Medicare providers ready to kick in, Congress has no time to waste to address these serious issues and take action that will help middle-class families and seniors during this difficult economic time.

  • No lack of jobs in Hobbs or Artesia

    Gobs of jobs in Hobbs!
    An email like that gets your attention.
    Drive around Hobbs, said alert reader Jesse Monsey, and you’ll see banners and electronic signs saying, “Now Hiring” and even “$100 sign-on bonus.” The local police have offered a lavish signing bonus, and the city was forced to increase benefits to keep employees. Even the casino is offering tuition assistance and scheduling flexibility to students.  
    Jesse was responding to a recent column in which I quoted a business leader saying that if you could fog a mirror, you could find a job in Artesia.
    “The reality here is that we are desperate for workers,” he said.

  • Fear mongering tactics

    When attorneys know that the facts are not on their side it is not uncommon for them to turn to obfuscation, fear mongering and outright personal attacks.
    Sadly, we saw all of these tactics used by George Chandler in his recent attacks on Sheriff Marco Lucero.
    We haven’t heard the “cowboy” slur since the cowardly admiral snuck out of town in May 2005.
    This favorite insult of pseudo-intellectual elitists was uncalled for and not descriptive of the current occupant of the sheriff’s office.
    So, whether it is “cowboys” or the anti-government boogiemen from Mr. Chandler’s prior offering in the Los Alamos Monitor, his attempts to deflect the argument from the facts are telling of the weakness of his position.

  • Some people are very, very ...

    I was driving up Jemez to work and I came to the merge lanes as we approached the light by the guard stations.  
    There was a long line of cars and most everyone was politely merging in alternate style, but the driver to my side just had to get in front of me.  
    The line was moving slowly and there wasn’t anywhere he could really go, but this individual was hell bent on being first.  
    There was no way he way about to follow suit with everyone else and merge in an alternate merge pattern.  
    He had to get ahead, just one more car length ahead.  He just had to!
    But I didn’t get upset.  I understood his reason.

  • Martinez honing her style

    SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez has been in office almost a year now and we’re still not sure who she is. That’s because she still is a work in progress.
    Gary Johnson came into office in 1995 with no gubernatorial or legislative experience and so did Garrey Carruthers in 1987.But Carruthers hired longtime Legislative Finance Committee Director Maralyn Budke as his chief of staff. Budke also had been Gov. David Cargo’s chief of staff. She knew New Mexico government from all sides.
    Gov. Gary Johnson hired David Harris as chief of staff. Like Budke, Harris had headed the Legislative Finance Committee for many years. He also knew state government inside and out. He knew how legislators think and the maneuvers they make.

  • Spaceport starts to pay off

    The people of New Mexico made an investment for the commercial space industry, which is now paying off.
    After receiving a substantial amount of national and international media coverage of Virgin Galactic’s dedication and naming of Spaceport America’s Terminal Hangar Facility as the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space, it’s important for taxpayers to know that the spaceport will be bringing millions of dollars into our economy, and it’s not just Virgin Galactic that’s spending money.