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Columns

  • So we want a mayor...

    It was an interesting piece in the Los Alamos Monitor on the machinations of the Charter Review Committee “that doesn’t want a mayor but would prefer a super county council chairman.”  This looks like a “weak mayor” form of government but would not subject the position to a vote of the people.  The mayor would be a strong council chair who would be chosen for us by the council.
    This sounds a bit elitist and it may well be since the CRC consists of former council chairmen and longtime members of county boards and commissions. This type of position would be beholden to the council members and not directly to the electorate.

  • Waste commitment needed

    About five years ago, I was introduced to the concept of an “energy corridor,” more of an “energy circle” in truth, centering on Hobbs and including Eddy County and Texas communities such as Andrews and Midland.
    Much has happened since. An example is the bold, three-dimensional signs at the Hobbs city limits. Corporate lodging has appeared. North of the Marriott Fairfield is a large apartment development, addressing the desperate housing shortage of 2006.
    “EnergyPlex” has become a Lea County trademark.

  • Living life on a different clock

     It’s obvious that miners focus on the highest concentration of gold or copper they can find. And geologists like me are always on the lookout for unusually high concentrations of metals in veins and rocks.
    We go where the best stuff is, and make a living helping to bring it to where it’s used in everything from the lead and zinc in your car battery to gold crowns for your teeth.  
    I know the geological perspective about resources pretty well. But recently I had the chance to think about how some very different actors approach the question of the raw materials they need.

  • Efficiency in regulations

    A lack of sturdy regulation is a large, worsening problem for the nation’s economy in all its aspects.
    Today’s column outlines sorely needed advances of large scope. Ensuing columns will amplify key features. Judge the whole.
    Department of Regulatory Science & Technology tools move us faster than slogans.                                                          

  • What’s old seems new again

    Without actually debating the issue head on, the concept of federalism is back as a central focus of American political debates.
    Federalism, at least as conceived by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, meant that the central government in Washington had a few, strictly-limited powers, but that an overwhelming majority of what was to be done was to be left to the states and people.
    The belief that Washington’s powers were few and limited was so important to the Founders that two separate amendments essentially re-stated this.

  • Abdominal pain in kids is common

    Abdominal pain is one of the most common complaints among school aged kids, whether it comes to the doctor’s attention or not. It is estimated in the U.S. to account for 5 percent of all unscheduled pediatrician office visits.
    It is somewhat more common in girls, kids aged 4-6 and early adolescence and children of single parents.
    In addressing this issue, it is helpful to classify the pain as chronic or acute. By definition, chronic abdominal pain means three or more episodes of abdominal pain over a three month period. In clinically practical terms, pain that lasts more than one to two months can also be classified as chronic.

  • Gary runs for president

    On April 21, Gary Johnson stood in front of the New Hampshire State House in Concord and announced his candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
    Afterwards, the online newspaper “Slate” noted, “Only 14 percent of Republicans have the faintest idea of who he is.”
    Still later that evening, ABC News summed up the former New Mexico governor’s quest as, at best, “a long-shot bid for the White House.”
    Johnson would probably agree with that assessment, but he also remembers how virtually every political soothsayer in his own home state was saying much the same thing in 1994 after he announced his candidacy for the GOP gubernatorial nomination that year.

  • Gag Gag me with a spoon

    Civilization is doomed. We don’t have a prayer. Let’s just pack it up, give the planet back to the jellyfish and trilobites, and admit that the human race is headed for a sad and dismal end.
    Yeah, I know. An apocalyptic aphorism might not be the best way to start a column. But sometimes you just want to get to the punch line.
    Our children are growing up in a world that praises the putrid and idolizes the idiots. We worship the worthless, value the vulgar, deify the disgusting, and exalt the egregious.
    But with so many vile incarnations of mildewed dishrags in our society, you’d be hard pressed to guess which one I’m talking about.

  • Congress has moral obligation

     

       

    As Washington engages in a heated political debate about the federal deficit, both parties agree that spending should be cut and no program seems entirely safe from the budget-slashing ax. 

    But history tells us that congress often makes mistakes during periods of indiscriminate budget-cutting. And this time, the consequences could be tragic for our soldiers still in harm’s way.

  • After Earth Day

    The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) once again did a wonderful job of organizing Earth Day activities for Los Alamos.  

    Earth Day is a special day that lets us get together as a community to celebrate how much we value a healthy, sustainable environment, and to recognize the many things we are already doing to preserve and enhance the environment for ourselves and our children.