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Columns

  • Successful roundabout example exists

    As an author published in the area of traffic safety and a former Transportation Board member, I would feel remiss in not pointing out numerous errors in Joel Williams Thursday “ViewPoint.”
    What has surprised me in the discussion of local roundabouts is the obvious, successful, example that already exists.  I was a Transportation Board member when the alternatives for the intersection at North Mesa and San Ildefonso were discussed.  

  • Taking melodramatic media to task

    In Japan’s recent devastating earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant structures remarkably survived the 9.0 quake intact, but suffered major damage when the tsunami destroyed external electrical transmission.
    It also topped the seawall and inundated the backup diesel generators that power pumps for cooling water to the cores and adjacent spent fuel storage pools.
    It is a severe loss of coolant event. The frantic reporting is reminiscent of Three Mile Island – inflated and misinterpreted.
    It is hard to separate the facts from the assertions and the media are not helping, but with each passing day more information relevant to the outcome emerges and the hand wringing of previous days lessens.

  • Reviewing is not research

    It would be interesting to see what “safety statistics” the Transportation Board reviewed and who the “representatives of the community” they reviewed were, as stated by D.D. Martin in the Los Alamos Monitor.
    Reviewing is not research as implied; and I thought the community’s only true representatives were the councilors. The board’s initial 7-0 vote against roundabouts should have told them how the community at large would receive them.

  • Finally putting our money where our mouths are

    On Sept. 11, 2001, some radical Islamists stole airplanes with which to attack the U.S.  The overwhelming majority of these murderers were Saudi Arabians and had been educated in the intolerant version of Sunni Islam, called Wahhabi Islam, in the government schools and mosques of Saudi Arabia.
    These inspired Saudis felt that attacking the U.S., or for that matter Shia Islam or any other belief system, was doing Allah’s work. Apparently none had a connection with Saddam Husein or Iraq.
    We couldn’t invade Saudi Arabia because we needed their oil.  Therefore, we invaded Iraq, against the wishes of the U.N. and most of our allies.  

  • The nature of political ambition

    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and his gang of senate GOPers are at it again.
    This time they’ve told President Obama that his choice for a new Secretary of Commerce won’t be confirmed until the president submits proposed free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama for Senate confirmation.
    The Obama administration is holding back those agreements pending negotiations with Colombia and Panama on related issues.
    But McConnell, et. al, have their own agenda and are now embarked upon another of their tantrums by threatening to leave the Department of Commerce leaderless unless they get their way.
    It’s as mindless as it is irresponsible.

  • The nature of political ambition

    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and his gang of senate GOPers are at it again.
    This time they’ve told President Obama that his choice for a new Secretary of Commerce won’t be confirmed until the president submits proposed free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama for Senate confirmation.
    The Obama administration is holding back those agreements pending negotiations with Colombia and Panama on related issues.
    But McConnell, et. al, have their own agenda and are now embarked upon another of their tantrums by threatening to leave the Department of Commerce leaderless unless they get their way.
    It’s as mindless as it is irresponsible.

  • Taking the 30,000-foot point of view at projects

    Let’s eavesdrop on a legislative Transportation and Public Works Committee meeting earlier this month.
    Rep. Rick Little asked how much it would cost to mothball the New Mexico Rail Runner. “I’m from a county that’s way down south and it doesn’t benefit them one bit. Other counties feel the same way.”
    Chris Blewett, of the Rio Metro Regional Transportation District, tried to put the commuter train in perspective. Central New Mexico has one road, I-25, connecting Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Belen and four pueblos.

  • 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.