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Columns

  • Fighting the law and saving money

     The laws of physical science teach us we can neither  create nor destroy energy. But it’s also a simple fact that we can surely waste it.
    And that raises the possibility of saving money by refusing to let energy slip through our fingers.  
    Typical families in the U.S. spend about $1,900 each year on home utility bills. That’s $160 per month. Your bills may be higher if your household consumes a lot of energy, if you heat with oil or if you live where the cost of electrical power is high.  

  • Cutting to the chase

    Rep. Don Bratton, as usual, cut to the chase.
    “For the first time we have a female governor, who may proceed differently,” said the Hobbs Republican last week in the House Rules Committee. “People may have different expectations than they did 10 years ago. Redistricting is at the forefront, but the Constitution empowers the governor to put other items on the agenda, and they should be treated expediently.”
    Raul Burciaga, director of the Legislative Council Service, was instructing the committee on what the state Constitution has to say about special legislative sessions and, more importantly, on the authority allocated to the governor and to the legislature.

  • Just A Wag 09-23-11

    A close encounter

    A source close to the Atomic City Roadrunners said that while running in the canyon behind the Aquatic Center last week, Ted Romero heard a squeaking noise, looked down and saw a bobcat looking up at him — with a squirrel in its mouth.
    Ted continued running down the trail – later telling friends that he sure was glad that big cat already had his mouth full.

    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.

  • An unhealthy view of health

    Maggie walks down the sidewalk and pretends not to notice the disapproving glares or to hear the snickering.
    She sits in the back row of the classroom in the hopes of not being seen.
    When asked to go to the board to work out a problem, she declines and pretends not to know the answer. Better to be considered stupid than to be considered at all.
    Maggie’s a fat girl and in the world of discrimination she is a constant target of ridicule, abuse and disdain. She’s a fatty, a chubby, a porko, a thunder-thighs. She’s a big fat disgusting pig! With increased social awareness centered around sexual and racial discrimination, it astonishes me how cruel some people can be to the overweight.

  • Time it is a-wastin'

    Tomorrow is the end of the second week of the New Mexico Legislature’s special session on redistricting. And not much has happened.
    The first encouraging sign emerged the middle of last week when 13 of 15 Republican senators signed a bill redistricting the Senate so that no returning Republican senator gets hurt.
    That feat was accomplished soon after Sen. Kent Cravens, an Albuquerque Republican, announced that he will be leaving the Senate to become director of governmental affairs for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association.
    Senate Democrats also have an Albuquerque member, Sen. Eric Griego, who has announced his intent to leave the Senate to run for Congress.

  • Some economic good news

    Years of writing negative things about the New Mexico economy have gotten tedious.
    Maybe I’m hallucinating, but I see a few items suggesting some economic green shoots.
    I’m sure that our eventual recovery will resemble my tomatoes this year — small and slow. That’s because we’ve been so far down so long and because the creaky national economy is our biggest economic driver.
    State jobs figures, due today, could place all my optimism in the delusion file. (Seewww.dws.state.nm.us .)
    Still … Some people want to be optimistic about the reported Albuquerque appearance, set for next year, of Dick’s Sporting Goods, the nation’s largest such firm.

  • Composting conundrum in Los Alamos County

    It’s just a hunch, but I bet everyone reading this column has driven by the intersection of East Jemez Road and West Jemez Road and caught a whiff of the county’s composting operation.  
    Depending on the day, and your past olfactory experiences, you may find the smell to be an assault on your nostrils.  
    Personally, I think it is a pleasant earthy scent that symbolizes the transformation of waste into a valued commodity. But, that seems to be a minority view.  
    The Los Alamos County Council and public in general have made it clear that the creation of a sustainable community is important, and composting is one initiative that greatly increases the sustainability of our community.  

  • Analysis grossly misportrayed

    A recent letter by Steven Gray grossly misportrayed the Los Alamos Transportation Board’s analysis of the 502 design options.  
    This letter will address some of Mr. Gray’s comments as well as represent what the board actually did in carrying out its mission to advise the Los Alamos County Council on transportation matters.
    Although Mr. Gray wrote “...(the) Transportation Board announced that they had a perfect solution to traffic on Trinity Drive — traffic circles.”

  • House Majority Whip defends sluggish redistricting pace

    From recent articles it appears that there is a concern about how legislation is moving through the House of Representatives and the Senate.  
    The comments I have heard criticize the pace at which the legislators are hearing bills and the priority on redistricting versus non-redistricting issues.  
    Let me clarify the intent of this special session and how this process unfolds.  
    First, redistricting is complicated. Not only are we considering over 20 redistricting plans with considerable discussion, legislators from areas throughout the state are meeting in smaller groups to further discuss districts within their regions.   

  • A walk through history

    The first week of this decade’s special legislative session on redistricting has been anything but exciting.
    The only action has been complaints from Democratic leaders that Gov. Susana Martinez has loaded other items onto the agenda, something no other governor has done.
    And now we have complaints from Republican lawmakers that nothing is happening so they should be considering items the governor added to the agenda.
    Interest about that argument has its limits so let’s move on to looking at some truly momentous events that occurred on this date in past years.
    On Sept. 16, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo delivered his Grito to the people of Delores, Mexico, calling on them to unite in overthrowing the Spanish government.