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Columns

  • Census data available, eventually

    A few days ago, the sweet young blonde woman newsreader gushed on the noon newscast that the Census has announced that New Mexico’s April 2010 population was just over 2 million.
    Actually, this number, 2,059,179, was released three months ago.
    So much for television’s immediacy. The “news” that sunny March 15, which I think the blonde lady missed, was that the Census had done its first public release of a huge amount of New Mexico data.
    For those of you interested in this material and who also are, uh, “challenged” by getting there, here are some initial steps, offered because this ain’t easy, even perhaps for the unchallenged.
    On the Internet, start with www.Census.gov.

  • MIG's contractual requirements

    In July 2010, based on its qualifications and experience with designing roadways, MIG, Inc. was awarded a project to study the N.M. 502 corridor from Los Alamos County’s east boundary to Diamond Drive and to develop a design recommendation conforming to several requirements for modern roadways.  
    This corridor includes all of Trinity Drive.

  • Perceptions may have been altered

    During at least two public meetings where several designs of Trinity were proposed, the contractor, MIG, displayed a graph and explained that it showed how dangerous Trinity Drive is.
    That graph represented data found in a document entitled Environmental Assessment New Mexico 502 Improvement Project: Knecht Street to Tewa Loop Los Alamos County, New Mexico.  

  • Sweet and sour science

    I remember the first time I had sweet and sour pork.  It was New York City and the meat was soaked in that sugary vinegar sauce, guaranteed to hide the flavor of pretty much anything you wanted to cook.  
    My friends and I were delighted with an endless variety of food names we had never seen before; Moo shu, bean curd, chicken cooked by some military dude named Tso, and of course the sweet and sour.  It was all very delicious, but I’m not really sure what the meats were.

  • Civility still greases the wheels

    Here’s a word legislative Democrats and Republicans use for each other quite often, one you won’t see often in the press: collegial.
    You might think a legislative session is only one step above Jello wrestling, but you’d be wrong. The language is civil, even courtly: “Gentle lady from Chavez… Gentleman from Cibola…”

  • Cancer survivor lives life

    I’ve tried to be normal for more than two years now and I just can’t do it. To you, I may look normal, sound normal, smile when I should and argue when I shouldn’t, but behind the facade is a person who’s acting out a role.
    Why? Because cancer changes your life. Normal went out the window.
    If you’ve ever been in an oncology clinic, you probably have seen that poem, taped to the wall, about what cancer cannot do: “It cannot rob you of your smile, it cannot steal your hope …,” and it’s very true.

  • Time to pull that trigger

    There have been so many “defining moments” in our nation’s history – every election today, for example, is proclaimed such – the term is more cliche than truth.
    Our war for independence was obviously a defining moment – not solely for our country, but for the world, as it turned out. The Civil War – the election of Lincoln and the anti-slavery voice countering the growing power of the South.
    Two world wars. The civil rights movement. We send a man to the moon. Those were genuinely defining moments.

  • State budget ripples through economies and communities

    We complain that they aren’t competent. But now we have reason to worry that there aren’t enough of them.
    Government employees, that is ­— specifically, the front-line regulators who are charged with keeping us safe and keeping our institutions honest. This is an effect of the looming cuts in the state budget.

  • Geography can be unfair

    Recently I had an opportunity to visit with a gentleman from Catron County. The topic was what is happening in his part of the world.
    “Some ranching,” my informant said. The saw mills are gone, thanks to the spotted owl and the environmentalists.
    Subdivisions are the other development, he said. Some attract older people. Subdivisions are fine, he said, but he wonders about an older person building a Catron County home. Health care availability is modest, a problem he knows well, being equipped with a small oxygen tank.

  • U.S. less prepared for quake

    Geology has surely been in the news lately, with the price of petroleum moving relentlessly upward, a threat to global economic recovery because oil is so central to industrial society the world around.
    But now matters are suddenly worse.