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Columns

  • Farmers are threatened

    New legal developments related to the workers’ compensation system are affecting two important New Mexico industries – in precisely opposite ways, for precisely opposite reasons.
    Before this discussion continues, let me jump ahead to a conclusion, lest the reader assume I am a heartless, anti-worker lackey of management.
    In America, people who get hurt at work should be well and compassionately taken care of, without anybody needing to sue anybody.
    The question is whether workers’ compensation is the right delivery system.
    Some farm workers want coverage.

  • Strip mall unsustainable

    It’s human nature for judicious restraint to sometimes be supplanted by the desire to “take action.”
    Pursuit of unrealistic desires sometimes leads us to a precipice where we are finally forced to decide whether to make a potentially fatal leap or turn back.
    Our community finds itself at just such a precipice with the impending decision about the Trinity Place strip mall development.
    When we began our quest back in 2005, we were searching for a formula that would significantly diversify our retail sector, provide a suite of new and exciting shopping opportunities, greatly enhance gross receipts tax revenue, provide a community gathering place, and ensure a large, constant revenue stream for our schools.

  • Legislative Session 2012

    The 2012 legislature may be very different than the 2011 version now that Gov. Susana Martinez has a year of chief executive experience under her belt.
    Martinez appears to have learned that the adversarial approach necessarily taken by district attorneys doesn’t work when dealing with another branch of government.
    She says a number one  priority this year will be to cooperatively work with the legislature.
    The 2011 legislature had embarrassingly little to show for its efforts.
    The special session on redistricting was even worse. A surprising improvement in relations was evident when Martinez and a handful of Democratic legislators presented a bipartisan congressional redistricting proposal to the court last fall.

  • Let's highlight energy

     The energy industry can take heart from the last item of the last meeting of a legislative interim committee.
    Sen. Bernadette Sanchez, chair of the Economic and Rural Development Committee, proposes making the energy industry a central component of the state’s economic development strategy.
    This would be quite a change in attitude. Instead of being the rich uncle who’s always on tap, energy would become an asset to be encouraged and protected, like high tech, manufacturing and tourism.
    The proposal comes at a time when energy people (and entire regions of the state) are feeling picked on and under-appreciated.

  • Weekend lessons

     I attended my son’s first basketball game recently. As I watched these little guys in their oversized shirts stuffed into long baggy shorts, I was hopeful.
     They had fun. They played hard. They were good sports. They tried their best. They learned some lessons, too.
    They learned that you don’t always get the ball. They learned that sometimes you can make mistakes, but you are expected to keep playing and not quit.  They learned that if you fall down, people care, but they want you to get up and keep going.  

  • GOP treated Johnson shabbily

    To the surprise of almost no one, Gary Johnson bid a less than fond farewell to the Republican Party a couple of weeks ago.
    Whereupon, he signed on as a member of the Libertarian Party and announced that he will seek that party’s presidential nomination this year.
    That Johnson opted to make the Libertarian Party his political home is understandable.   
    Philosophically, the former-Republican former governor has always evidenced libertarian propensities with an ill-disguised disdain for government and what he deems its intrusive role in human affairs.
    Nor is his quest of the Libertarians’ presidential nomination in the least unexpected.   

  • Wisdom of mud turtles

    Do any of you remember Pogo? Pogo was a philosophical possum and a wonderful comic strip.  
    I have to admit that as a child, I never did understand the political and social humor dished out every week.  
    Actually, I’m not sure I’d understand them today.
    But one quip of humor did catch my fancy back then.
    It was a strip addressing an irrational fear that grips the minds of the irrational once a month. Pogo’s superstitious friend Churchey (the mud turtle) warned his friends, “Oh no! Friday the 13th falls on a Wednesday this month!”  
    It would seem that Friday the 13th was an unlucky day, no matter what day of the week it fell on.

  • Former tourism chief dies

    Former state Tourism Department Secretary Michael Cerletti was known to the public for his 10 years heading the department and two years at Expo New Mexico.
    But that wasn’t what made the recently deceased Cerletti the legend he was.
    Cerletti had a talent for taking aging hotels that had lost some of their charm and returning them to their former grandeur.
    In New Mexico, he began with La Posada de Santa Fe.
    Then he moved on to the old downtown Albuquerque Hilton and made it La Posada de Albuquerque.
    Then he took on the De Vargas Hotel near the state capitol and made it the stately St. Francis Hotel.
    Then it was the Sprawling Rancho Encantado guest ranch north of Santa Fe.

  • Let your voice be heard

    In the past week, reading both a cover story in the Los Alamos Monitor, and the Trinity INsite pamphlet I received in the mail, I am compelled to let my voice be heard and hope you will do the same.
    I want to acknowledge the work of the Trinity Site Revitalization Committee, some of whose citizen members have been active in the project for six years, and also the associated county staff.  They have volunteered with the objective of improving our community and I salute their efforts.

  • Time to stop debating and start building

    I have been reading letters to the editor and guest editorials about the wisdom of entering into an agreement with North American Development Group to develop the Trinity Site with Smith’s as the anchor tenant.  
    I served on the committee that extended an RFP for this project to more than 80 developers.  
    We chose the best five proposals on which to conduct due diligence and interview.  
    The committee was a diverse group of citizens who represented Los Alamos and White Rock with varied ages, family structures and backgrounds.  
    Our main objective was to maximize income for the Los Alamos Public Schools and select the best project presented to achieve this goal.