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Columns

  • Chile Pepper Institute reflects the future

    The slash of bright red peeking above a brick wall certainly will catch the eye of some drivers in west Las Cruces. It is red and it is bright.
    A closer look brings something a bit magnificent. The something, a sign claims, is the world’s largest chile. At 45 feet long, it may be. Red indeed, it is.
    It’s that time in New Mexico, the time of picking and processing of the vegetable that is central to our unique cuisine and perhaps to New Mexico’s very soul.

  • Senate race gets revved up

    SANTA FE — The Labor Day weekend usually is the kick off for the following year’s major political campaigns. This year may be a little different however.
    The state legislature’s special session on redistricting undoubtedly will grab many of the headlines for a few weeks. That likely means no major announcements by the candidates but it won’t stop behind-the-scenes jockeying.
    The wide open U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Bingaman picked up four major candidates very quickly last spring but has been rather quiet since then.

  • Water, water not quite everywhere

    When I was a kid I was “born again,” a process that involved being fully and totally immersed in water.
    Much more recently I was on the home stretch of an eight-mile walk in the hot sun when the minister I was walking with kindly poured her drinking water on my hot little head.
    Seldom does water feel so good as when splashed on an overheating noggin in the summertime. As soon as my hair was sopping wet, I certainly felt born anew, able to complete the walk with at least a tiny smidgen of spring in my step.
    Just a cup or two of water, supplied at the crucial time and applied to best advantage, made all the difference in the world.

  • Fair wages are an American tradition

    The first Monday of September, Americans celebrate the workers who make our country strong.
    On Labor Day, we are proud of the traditions that brought us the eight-hour work day, paid vacation and sick days and minimum wage and overtime protections.
    These basic labor standards helped to make our country the wealthiest in the world by creating a vast middle class able to buy the goods and services that kept our economy growing.
    Unfortunately, 129 years after the first Labor Day celebrations, more and more American workers find themselves without some of these basic labor protections.

  • Just A Wag 09-02-11

    Prime appointments

    We have learned that House Speaker Ben Lujan has appointed a certain state representative to the powerful Appropriations Committee and other prime committees.
    Watch for the full story  next week in the Los Alamos Monitor.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • Addressing the source

    There’s been a lot of discussion lately about roundabouts, most of it lambasting the county council for galactic stupidity and financial irresponsibility.  
    But I’m here to fight for the other side. Yes, I’m going to argue for roundabouts!  
    I’ve decided that they are a very viable solution. We need to increase throughput and we need to calm people down.
    Any sensible person would agree with the council that Trinity Drive is a death zone, more dangerous than the streets of Fallujah.  
    You take your life in your hands when you come within 20 miles of it.  It’s only a matter of time before the government declares Trinity a disaster area and hires Arizonian lawmakers to build a wall around it.

  • Keep Trinity Drive four lanes

    Sept. 6, 7 p.m., at the community building the county council will make a final vote on changing Trinity Drive to two lanes with nine roundabouts.  
    The cost is estimated at $40 million!  
    Please attend  this vital meeting.

    Phyllis B. Holland
    Los Alamos

     

  • Spirit is my sixth sense

    September is ovarian cancer awareness month, and, as a survivor, it always reminds me that life is definitely a journey.
    Most of us forget to value what we find most precious, and many just get lost in the day to day humdrum of the 24 hour cycle.
    Sometimes it just takes a good day to re-find our spirit. But other times it takes a miracle.
    It had been a tough couple of years. I often joked that when our container of possessions came over to the states from England in January 2001, a giant mirror must have broken on the ship, because it definitely felt like we were getting a lot of bad luck.

  • It's an ugly climate

    Nothing much, bad or good, seems to be happening in the New Mexico economy.
    For the past few months the state has been bumping along.
    The big bad exception is Las Cruces, which has dropped firmly back into recession and job loss. Maybe we’re ending the long slide.
    The job creation index of the Gallup polling firm, released Aug. 19, shows New Mexico tied for 45 out of 51 with three states, California, the epitome of state policies gone wrong; the near bankrupt Rhode Island; and New Hampshire.
    Ugly company. (See www.capiolreportnm.blogspot.com for an explanation of the Gallup survey.)
    Our neighbors fare better, as is usual with state economic performance rankings.

  • Managing epidemics: an argument against blanket job cuts

    The unvaccinated woman got on a plane in London. She flew to Washington, D.C., changed planes and flew to Denver, then on to Albuquerque, and from there drove home to Santa Fe.  She had measles.  
    During the trip, she exposed other passengers from all over the world to this disease.
    Preventing an epidemic involved 70 countries and four states, and cost $1 million, according to Dr. Chad Smelser, an epidemiologist with the New Mexico Department of Health.
    A few other thought-provoking highlights from a recent presentation by Smelser: