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Columns

  • Just A Wag 09-09-11

    Hometown pride

    Rumor has it that Dr. Greg Schneider has composed an original piece of music, in commemoration of Sept. 11.
    Schneider’s music will be performed at events in Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, D.C. and New Mexico.

    Grant recipients

    We hear that a State Farm grant to benefit Los Alamos Middle School has been awarded to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, Los Alamos Public Schools and Assets In Action.
    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.

  • Saluting Citizenship Day

    Once a year, we stop arguing about immigration, abortion, taxing the rich, drilling national reserves, and other typical dinner conversations that usually result in throwing food and dishes at each other.
    Once a year, we turn our eyes towards those stars and stripes waving in the distance, and we remember why we’re able to argue over these things.  We have the freedom to disagree.
    Sept. 17 is “Constitution Day,” a day set aside by the U.S. Department of Education to observe and honor the history of our Constitution.  
    On Sept. 17, 1787, the final draft of the Constitution was sent to Congress. Nine months later, (June 21, 1788,) Congress ratified it. So was our country “born” on 9/17/87 or 6/21/88?  

  • Keep focus on efficiency

    Two newspaper essays I wrote this spring broached the idea of working on the regulatory process to boost its efficiency. The early responses are in.
    Support is unanimous in all sectors and comes in three colors – white, red and black.  
    White-colored support says the idea is “right on target.” Red support says, “I can tell real horror stories about inefficient regulation.”
    The black support says, “the worst of (business, government) will wreck the good idea from the start.”
    No one thinks the process is as efficient as is.

  • Rep. Jim Hall reports on Special Session

    We are now a few days into the Special Legislative Session.  Before things get really busy, I would like to update citizens of House District 43 on my experience to date and first impression as a new legislator.

  • The battle heats up

    Gov. Susana Martinez has been hauled into court again, although this time it’s Martinez’s Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla who is targeted in a case filed in Santa Fe state district court.
    The suit cites Padilla for implementing the governor’s directive to dispatch some 10,000 letters seeking proof of residency from New Mexico licensed drivers presumed to be illegal immigrants.
    Such licenses may be legally obtained by foreign nationals in New Mexico under a state law passed in 2003.
    Martinez doesn’t like that law and promised to have it repealed during her campaign last year.

  • 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.