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

Columns

  • Energy key to development

    “You couldn’t pick a better industry to concentrate on.”
    Energy was the topic for Jim Peach. His audience was the interim Economic and Rural Development Committee.
    The Aug. 2 meeting was in Grants at the Cibola County Convention Center, which doubles as the county office building. Or maybe the county offices double as the convention center. Unlike the committee’s July meeting in Santa Rosa, a sign on the door said the committee was inside.
    Peach spoke “from an economist’s perspective,” a good thing since he is a New Mexico State University economist. His focus was uranium, the appropriate emphasis given Grants’ location in the heart of the Grants Uranium Belt.

  • Fire column was flamingly arrogant

    We were shocked to read the self-righteous, condescending “ViewPoint” column written by Kathleene Parker in Sunday’s paper entitled “Understanding Fire Dynamics.”
    While Ms. Parker clearly has knowledge of the fire history of New Mexico, her writing suggests that this knowledge is purely academic, which is where the problems with her piece arise.
    She got off to a bad start by questioning when mountain homeowners will “get it.”  As mountain homeowners, we find that remark incredibly offensive. We all “got it.” We had cleared and thinned for years, and had large defensible spaces around our homes.  Our neighbors did too.

  • Bad processes make for bad laws

    Blackmail rarely produces any good.  
    Never was that more apparent than last week when Congress passed and the president signed legislation pulling the United States back from the brink of defaulting on its debts.
    Heretofore, the debt limit had routinely been raised in a straightforward manner, with Congress hiking the limit without other encumbering legislative attachments to frustrate the process.   
    That is not how it was this time, thanks to the intransigence of that large class of freshman House Republican who demanded that any hike in the debt level must be accompanied by commensurate cuts in spending.

  • The markets and your nest egg

    Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, or whether you like it or not, what’s going on in the financial markets affects us all.
    On Aug. 4, we saw the Dow Jones Industrial average drop more than 500 points, the worst one- day drop since December 2008.
    Not even a better-than-anticipated jobs report released the next day allayed fears — the market at one point dropping by as much as 200 points and ending in positive territory only when good news about the Italian economy was announced.
    But last week’s overall market loss has the unwanted distinction of being one of only three weeks since World War II that has had a weekly decline of this magnitude.

  • Governor keeping state government lean

    Gov. Susana Martinez has pleased almost everyone with her trimming of political appointees in state government. The only people not happy are a few politicos who hoped for jobs.
    The target number for Martinez originally was to cut appointees from over 500, which former Gov. Bill Richardson had during most of his administration, to the 320 former Gov. Gary Johnson had before he left office.
    But focus by Republicans on Richardson’s appointees, beginning over a year ago, caused Richardson to start cutting his appointees back so it wouldn’t be a campaign issue and wouldn’t tarnish his legacy.

  • Understanding fire dynamics

    There is a personal irony associated with the Las Conchas and Cerro Grande fires.
    Meanwhile, the jury is out on forest recovery and what the future holds for unburned parts of our beloved Jemez Mountains, especially if prolonged drought, a return to drier norms or, as many fear, global warming, continue the wildfire legacy begun with the 1996 Dome Fire.
    Las Conchas also begs the question of when mountain homeowners will “get it,” that they must realize that that proliferation of often sick, stunted trees snuggled near their homes is dangerous — and unnatural.  
    Too, there is the dangerous trend in many subdivisions of narrow, winding roads bordered by heavy timber.

  • Memories from Nagasaki

    NAGASAKI  1945 — Decision time had come. Do we invade the main islands of Japan or do we drop atomic bombs? There were strong feelings on both sides.
    But most of our political and military leaders came down on the side of the bomb. America was heavily committed to the Manhattan Project.
    It had cost $2 billion and had been run on a breakneck, two year schedule to be ready prior to the Japanese invasion.
    We’d done it. The bombs were ready. As Robert Oppenheimer, the project’s scientific director, put it “The decision (to use the bombs) was implicit in the project.”

  • Clubbing kids is fun

    Parents — do you want your child to learn more than what is usually taught in school?  
    Well then, my advice is that you should club your kid. Yeah, at least once a week — a good clubbing makes all the difference in the world.   
    Over the past few years, I’ve clubbed dozens of students every week.  Usually, I employ geometric logic or a good algebraic conundrum to get their attention.  
    Of course, I’m talking about the Math Club.  You don’t have to be a geek to have fun with math, and students find that they can answer some very tricky questions with ease.  
    Like, how many seconds are in a year?  Well, there’s January 2nd.  February 2nd.  March 2nd.

  • Following the sewage

    Out of sight, out of mind. (At my age, alas, I no longer live within the confines of that dictum. I can forget, misplace and overlook things that are smack in front of my face. But I digress.)
    What many folks can’t see they can indeed overlook. And all too many Americans have never seen what happens to the water that flows down the kitchen sink and out of the house.
    But with each load of laundry or flush of the toilet, we create wastewater that’s mingled together and heads toward treatment plants.
    The average American makes 100 gallons of wastewater per day.
    While it’s natural to think that sewage water is icky, it’s also a fact that sewage is natural – and it’s even interesting from a biological point of view.

  • Secrecy obsession is no longer part of the equation

    Should the Manhattan Project that produced the world’s first atomic bomb be made part of the U.S. national park system?
    The answer in most of the country is disbelief that our proud nation has taken over 60 years to get anywhere close to recognizing its role in the birth of the Atomic Age.
    But the answer in much of Santa Fe and its surroundings is how dare they honor an instrument of mass murder and universal destruction.
    Opposition of the moralistic handwringers has not been much of an impediment to establishing a historical park, however.