.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Columns

  • All states observe Memorial Day

    Did you know that Memorial Day is commemorated in different ways and on different dates throughout our nation?
    The observance had its beginnings during the Civil War, which is a good hint that there would not be uniformity.
    More than two dozen cities and towns lay claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day, and each had its own customs.
    There is evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War.
    Following the war, towns in the North decided it would be a good idea to honor their military dead also.
    In 1868, “Decoration Day” was officially proclaimed. It was so named because the emphasis was on decorating graves of fallen soldiers.

  • Economic stimulus outcome not dramatic but measurable

    New Mexico’s economic stimulus money will begin to peter out in July. From the numbers, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act didn’t live up to our biggest expectations, which were very big, but it defied predictions by pessimists.
    In a nutshell, stimulus funding didn’t jumpstart our economy, but it kept the bottom from falling out and bought us some time. If you were one of the people who got or kept a job supported by stimulus money, and you’re now about to be unemployed, it’s at least a better time to be job hunting than it was in the depths of the downturn.

  • It’s getting APPalling out there

    My wife and I broke down the other day and got ourselves some smart phones.  But it turns out that the phones really aren’t all that smart.  
    My phone couldn’t learn even the simplest of dog tricks like roll over, beg or fetch.  It does however stay with amazing non-agility.
    It didn’t take long for us to find ourselves downloading apps. Reading apps.  Game apps.  Navigation apps.  Productivity apps.  
    I suddenly knew what it felt like for Columbus, opening your eyes one morning and discovering a new world.  
    Well, almost exactly like that, except that I didn’t get to destroy civilizations, steal riches or brutalize and enslave any Indians.

  • Remembering many valiant battles lost

    Around Memorial Day, as we remember those who fought to preserve our safety and freedom, let’s take a moment to remember those who fought, and lost, a no less valiant battle, their battle with cancer.
    I often think about my friends, and those that I’ve known and lost, and ask why?
    Why did they lose their battle and I’m still here? Why did my friend, who was diagnosed at the same time as me, lose her fight and yet I remain in remission? Why do some suffer and others not? They were good people. They didn’t deserve it. No one does. In fact, cancer survivors are the most wonderful people I know.

  • Trying to make sense of it

    Amid the news of Osama Bin Laden’s killing, and the extreme public reaction in Pakistan, it is worth asking, “Do all Muslims support jihad killing of innocents?” and “What human rights do Muslim majority nations allow?”
    We regularly read about the denial of voting rights, civil rights, public education or free speech for women and minorities in Muslim nations, such as Iran’s killing of members of B’nai Brith, an offshoot sect of Islam that many Muslims consider a heresy.
    But how much of this repression of basic human rights is due to the “culture” of national governments and how much is due to the religion of Islam?

  • Board actions questioned

    The LAPS Board ultimately decides which community organizations can rent the Duane W. Smith Auditorium (DWSA) and what these organizations can perform. This is reasonable.
    The board should not, for example, allow performances that go against the LAPS policy on temporary/long-term use of school facilities (1330-3270), which states that school facilities such as the theater are for the educational benefit of the people of Los Alamos and that “district buildings and facilities should be available, subject to reasonable conditions, to ... organizations for activities that foster the educational, cultural .... or social development of the community.

  • Playing games for sustainability

    I call the computer the bringer of prospects. A few odd souls will think of computing. Most think of video games, texting, or e-books.
    Environmental thinkers may think of smart cars and paperless records. Rare is the breed hooked on sustainability games, a many-pronged teaching tool.
    Who knows? Games may be the best hope that the world’s youth will work out the problems we pass to them.
    “Sustainability games” are computer games that test a player’s skill at prolonging the world’s use of natural resources and the environment. The games take many forms.

  • Martinez hits some turbulence with state plane fiasco

    SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration has been taken to task for misuse of a state airplane. The basics of the situation sound reasonable for the state to have undertaken.
    A production crew shooting a pilot for at TV series was stuck in Las Vegas, N.M., and needed to take a look at the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad in Chama.
    They called the head of the state film office who offered to get a state plane to fly them up. She checked with the state transportation director, two cabinet secretaries, two top state lawyers and the governor’s office.

  • Letter grades better than AYP

    Making AYP.
    This bit of education jargon has hung like a sword over schools and educators since the Bush administration introduced No Child Left Behind in 2001. In an attempt at accountability, the yardstick called Annual Yearly Progress was supposed to push schools and students toward improvement. But in design and implementation, it guaranteed that most schools would eventually not make AYP.
    So it’s hard to get excited about the new initiative, letter grades for schools. The governor considers it one of her education reform planks, and it won support from Democratic education leaders in the Legislature. Sen. Cynthia Nava, chair of the Senate Education Committee, supported the idea because it recognized growth and not just the watermark of proficiency.

  • Of gasoline and golf balls

    At the gas station, the customer tried to squeeze a few more drops into his tank and in doing so, some gas spurted out onto the pavement. And a little onto his pants.
    He screwed the gas cap back on, patted down his pants, and then demonstrated why there should be a test given to people before letting them vote.  He lit up a cigarette.
    I readied my cell phone for video mode. You know, just in case the police asked about the ball of fire running down the road. Either that, or to make a few bucks by selling the video to CNN.
    Yeah, you guessed it. I’m talking once more about the epidemic of stupid in this country.