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Columns

  • Valentine's Day isn't the only time for us to appreciate others

    Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, reminding us to celebrate the ones we love. But most of us need more than one day a year to remember to honor and cherish those dear to us.
    I was telling my husband off in my head the other day. You know the way you vent your frustration with the virtual argument you can win, rather than with the actual one you probably won’t, when I suddenly realized that, what I was saying to him, equally applied to me.  

  • How’s that working for ya?

    Do you ever wonder why children don’t routinely stick their hands in fire?  
    Maybe it’s because they did it before and it hurt?  They learned not to do it again.  This is what psychologists call “one trial learning.”

  • Help shape the future of Los Alamos County

    Los Alamos County has been working toward creating a more sustainable community for several years.  
    It is time for us to take a step back, analyze our progress and reexamine our plans for the future.  
    Previous columns have touched on some of the actions taken, and now it is time for you, as an educated and motivated citizen, to take an active role in shaping our community’s future.     
    Creating a sustainable Los Alamos County is going to require participation and ingenuity from you.  

  • This state is a mess

    You’ve got to hand it to Rep. Joseph Cervantes, Las Cruces Democrat. He pursues lonely quests, an admirable trait so long as he doesn’t go too far along the fantasy paths of Don Quixote, the protagonist of the first modern novel, written by a namesake, Miguel de Cervantes.
    But read Don Quixote (and I have). You will find that the good Don’s efforts, some addled, some not, pursued truth, justice and the American way, as Superman might put it.

  • Charter Review group seeking citizen input

    The Charter Review Committee (CRC) is a group of county council-appointed citizens tasked to conduct a comprehensive review of the Los Alamos County Charter and provide options and recommendations to the council for potential changes.
    In the past year, the committee completed a review of the charter for “consistency and clarification” improvements that resulted in 11 recommendations to council, followed by approval of all by the citizens at the recent election.  

  • Up to 100K for top plans

    Northern New Mexico technology companies have been using the Venture Acceleration Fund since 2006 to help bring their products to the marketplace.
    The fund, administered through Los Alamos National Laboratory, awards up to $100,000 to qualifying ventures.
    This year, the VAF is changing some of its rules: calls for ideas will be accepted year-round, and companies no longer must have a direct technology-transfer association with the lab — though some preference is given to those ventures.

  • 3,800 permits backlogged

    Irony seemed to be a guest last week along with Harrison Schmitt, who appeared before the Senate Finance Committee.
    The designated Secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department talked about the department’s budget needs and commented on the energy industry on the same icy day that thousands of people were losing their natural gas service.
    I was there to see what he knew about New Mexico’s energy industries. The former astronaut has, after all, been absent from the state for decades.

  • Session may prove moot

    Little may happen this legislative session. It reminds me of two heavyweights feeling each other out in the first round of a boxing match.
    Since Gov. Susana Martinez is new to the game and since she is new to nearly all legislators, it takes awhile to get a feel for each other. We saw much the same situation during former Gov. Gary Johnson’s first year.

  • Cupid's sweet lament

    The Chocolate Doo Doo Drop gift bag. Now, I bet you never had anyone start off a conversation by saying that, eh?
    A chocolate doo doo drop is an extruded pile of milk chocolate “attractively packaged and nestled on a small pile of green grass” and wrapped in cellophane. The perfect gift for that special friend who gave you that yellow and purple checkered sweater for Christmas.
    Of course, if $30 a pound for “extruded” chocolate is a bit more than you want to spend, there are other organic options.

  • Good customer service is business no-brainer

    Mistakes happen, but good customer service is one way to set a business apart.
    Owners need to build and maintain a stellar perception of their companies so that conversation about it is always positive.
    This is especially important for startup companies, which are more likely to experience stiff competition from entrenched organizations already in the marketplace.
    A savvy owner of a startup business will do research to make sure there is a market for any product before launching it; what customers want from it; and how to price it.