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Columns

  • Accessing federal funds

    The next-best thing to free money is available through two federal programs for small businesses involved in technology and innovation.
    The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program – the larger of the two – grants money to small and startup businesses to develop products, technology or services that solve pressing problems in agriculture, defense, education, energy, transportation, the environment, space exploration, health and other areas.

  • Pull plug on water bill, appoint state engineer

    Water hasn’t gotten much legislative attention this year. Maybe that’s why one bill with far reaching consequences has passed its first committee.
    HB 109 would allow water permit applicants who disagree with the state engineer’s initial decisions to appeal directly to district court. In other words, a dissatisfied applicant could bypass practice and precedent and see if the courts would hand down a more favorable decision.

  • PRC needs to get a grip

    At the height of the bitter cold that left tens of thousands of New Mexicans without heat in their homes and workplaces last month, the Village of Taos sent out a plaintive news release updating the gravity of the situation.
    “With temperatures again dropping, and communications from Taos’ community constituents becoming ever more urgent,” the release said, “Taosons are advised to take care of themselves…”
    Translated: Folks, you’re on your own.

  • Knowing which type of insurance is best

    When it comes to insurance, many people face the Goldilocks dilemma: Am I buying too much coverage, not enough, or just the right amount?
    How do you determine your proper insurance levels while ensuring you don’t waste money on unneeded coverage – or worse, leave your family exposed?

  • Whenever the economy tanks, folks inevitably rein in spending

     

       

    So many expenses, so few dollars saved. That’s the dilemma faced by millions of Americans – everyone from struggling college students to young families saving for a down payment to baby boomers approaching retirement. 

  • More money, less result

    During her campaign, Gov. Susana Martinez said that she would not cut education. Based on revised budget numbers that were released immediately after she was elected, that went out the window. Now, Martinez is proposing very modest cuts of 1.5 percent for K-12.

  • Let the good times roll

    We’re out of the woods. We’re out of the dark. We’re into the light.
    Nope, we’re not in Kansas anymore. However, there is a Wizard of Oz-like feel to remarks made by Mark C. Snead, an energy economist from the Denver office of our Federal Reserve Bank.
    Speaking to the CFA Society of New Mexico, Snead reportedly said New Mexico and other oil and gas producing states were on the verge of good times.  

  • Perhaps U.S. is lagging

    The pubic is bombarded with news reports saying that young people in the U.S. aren’t learning enough about science, especially compared to kids in Asia.
    I’m not sure that’s true, because I work at a large university where I see very able American students starting to excel in their scientific careers, and I hear back from them as they flourish in later years.   
    But perhaps we really are falling behind. After all, everyone says so.
    How would we start to investigate that possibility?

  • Tax considerations for the self-employed

    Self-employment has its appeal, especially when businesses aren’t creating jobs fast enough for the nation’s unemployed.

  • Review is dismal flop

    Oh, dear. Sunset review is back again – another great idea that may not work so well in New Mexico.
    Sunset review is legislative code language for kicking the can down the road.      If it worked, we would not today have the proliferation of boards and commissions that some folks consider irrelevant and excessive. They would have been sunsetted — that is, closed — in prior legislative sessions.