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Columns

  • Hollywood’s Old West still here

    The Old West of Billy the Kid is still with us. And so is Hollywood’s Old West.
    The governor has been entertaining the idea of a pardon for the Kid since 2003, and the Legislature considered a pardon before that. The descendents of Sheriff Pat Garrett, who killed the kid in 1881, have made their opposition clear.
    In 2001, historian Bob Boze Bell and I took opposing positions on the question in side-by-side newspaper columns. Bell made a case for forgiveness; I argued that Billy was a rustler, horse thief and back shooter, not a misunderstood youth.

  • Recharging the battery

    It’s that time of year once again.
    As a geologist, I’m not thinking of the holiday season when I note this time on the calendar.
    What’s impressed me lately is the clear start of the annual cycle in which we benefit from a recharging of the nation’s water supply.
    In late November, while I was digging my pickup truck out of 14 inches of snow, I had time to meditate on the importance of this time of year.

  • Keep on marketing

    Marketing is essential to the growth and success of any business, yet it seems to be the first part of the operating budget that managers slash when revenues dwindle and the economy gets unpredictable. Understanding and appreciating the role of marketing can prevent business owners from making the mistake of viewing this type of outreach as a dispensable luxury.
    Whether you conduct business in a small, rural area or the global market, some principles are universal:

  • Size does matter when talking about departments

    The New Mexico Economic Development Department employs fewer than 100 people and has a pretty simple business model: promote economic development.

  • Make sure behavior keeps you cyber secure

    When Ben Franklin famously wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t warning his readers about the perils of cyber crime. But in today’s world of phishing, shoulder-surfing and computer spyware, his advice hits home.
    It’s a sad reality that some people will rip you off if you give them an opportunity. Just as you take safety precautions when handling cash, so should you be vigilant when using credit or debit payment cards for purchases, whether the transaction is in person on online.

  • Richardson mulls gentleman rancher role

    “I want to remain in New Mexico and become a gentleman rancher.” That is Gov. Bill Richardson’s latest life-after-governor pronouncement.
    It occurred recently as part of remarks the governor made thanking the Governor’s Mansion Foundation for its efforts in furnishing the public areas of our governor’s mansion.
    First Lady Barbara Richardson also expressed thanks  and ended her remarks saying the couple plans to remain our neighbors, perhaps within a few blocks of the mansion.

  • A billion here, a billion there

    When discussing the difficulty of defining pornography, Potter  Stewart, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said, “I know it  when I see it.”  
    Pornography comes in all forms these days and we  are graced with its ubiquitous presence on television, the internet  and in lyrics of hit songs.  But is it really all that easy to  recognize?

  • Cancer survivor’s Christmas

    Yes it’s that time of year again. It’s the holidays and ‘tis the season to be stressed! Crowded malls, last minute shopping, endless lines, 200 cards to write….what? You mean it’s only me who does that? Bummer! No wonder I never get many back.
    For the average person, there’s enough stress. Add cancer, or illness, into the equation and this season can be the Everest of anxiety.

  • Tread carefully on film incentives

    A new study argues that New Mexico and 42 other states are wasting their money on film incentives.  
    “In the harsh light of reality, film subsidies offer little bang for the buck,” writes Robert Tannenwald, of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
    I give the study a thumbs-down for its biases and mistaken assumptions, but it’s another reminder that the incentive program isn’t well understood.

  • Bingaman ponders reelection bid

    We have become such a rancorous lot, we Americans.
    Perhaps that’s why many New Mexicans had a moment’s pause when Jeff Bingaman recently let it be known that he is thinking about not seeking another term in the U.S. Senate come 2012.
    Bingaman is that rare political figure who rarely blows his cool, an isle of balance and sanity in a sea of roiling political waters.