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Columns

  • Off and On: Higher gas prices could mean more taxes

    State lawmakers are being warned that rising gasoline prices could aggravate financial problems confronting the state Department of Transportation and New Mexico’s highway system.

    The agency expects that as motorists cut back on their travel because of high gasoline prices, less money will flow to the state from New Mexico’s fuels taxes. Less fuel sold means less revenue to the state, based on per-gallon sold.

    And that is already happening.

  • Charting UNM-LA's vision for the future

    On April 25, Cedric Page, executive director of UNM - Los Alamos, convened the institution’s first Higher Education Summit.

    A special group of community leaders joined forces with the key UNM-LA staff to examine where UNM Los Alamos is going, how it will get there and what will it look like in the future.

  • If only you believed in numbers

    Phew, we missed another one. I can only assume that if you are reading this the end of the world did not happen Saturday - as was predicted.

    See, a group called BetCRIS.com released a statement that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the world's population clock will hit 6,666,666,666 and that meant the end of the world was upon us.

    This is related to the "fearful" 666 number sequence, of which this is the biggest yet.

    Of course, there was a time when the population was 6,666 or 66,666, or 666.666, or 6,666,666, or ... well, you get the idea.

  • Fried Light: Debt in the saddle rides mankind

    In case nobody noticed, the country has been run on a vast array of debt instruments for quite awhile now.

    It is our common concession to the imperfectability of humans that we can all have a little more than we deserve, a little sooner than we can afford it, perhaps even a lot more of what we could never, ever have afforded.

    National debt, consumer debt, credit card debt, savings and loan debt, hedge-fund debt, mortgages, home-improvement loans and industrial revenue bonds. What ever happened to layaway?

  • Pearce, Wilson united on ... oil

    Tom Udall has to be feeling smug. He is the New Mexico version of John McCain. Tom is enjoying a leisurely and inexpensive stroll toward the Democratic nomination for United States senator.

    You have to believe the New Mexico congressman is taking great delight as he watches his Republican opponents rip one another to shreds. As is true on the national scene with Obama and Clinton, New Mexico’s Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce are digging deep into their pockets trying to make the other look inept.

  • I stand by my state

    Caller ID immediately identified the ring.

    “Might as well put the meatloaf on hold,” I nodded to my bride, who was laying out placemats, “it’s Barney from New Jersey.”

    Barney doesn’t call as often as he once did. It is just as well. He likes to gig me about what he perceives as New Mexico’s shortcomings, and it gives me indigestion.

  • Survey's problem shows path forward

    My phone rang in its best business voice. The person asked if I would answer questions in an environmental survey hired by Company X. I said sure.

    The survey pertained to environmental sustainability. The term means a large-scale system that helps keep itself working well. This quest plays a big part in what follows.

    Who hired the survey doesn’t matter. With any name or none, the same story emerges.

    The first question brought out the usual snare that surveys have. That is, each answer had to fit into a set box.

  • Guest Opinion: The other side of the skate board park

    In a recent Monitor County Corner column (April, 17), Robert Gibson, vice-chair of the county council (CC) described his view of county government as both “owner” and “regulator” of county projects. Then he claims “as owner, the county decides where we want a project, how much we are willing to pay for it, and where it should be.” The CC sets themselves up as both judge and jury, switching back and forth to their advantage.

  • Guest Opinion: Army Reserve celebrates 100 years

    April 23 marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Army Reserve. This is occasion is noteworthy given the history of the Army Reserve, and its mission since September 11, 2001.The Army Reserve’s 100th anniversary validates our nation’s enduring need for such a force, and the event gives Americans the opportunity to recognize the contributions of hundreds of thousands of men and women who served our nation for a century.Further, our anniversary recognizes that the force has changed dramatically over 100 years to meet the needs of our nation.

  • Off and On: Support education – it is the key

    A recent study reported that about 70 percent of U.S. students graduate on time with a regular diploma and about 1.2 million students drop out annually.

    Locally, we had only 22 dropouts out of some 1,200 students last year.

    Nevertheless, the numbers are disturbing.

    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, founding chair of the group doing the study, told the Associated Press that “when more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it’s more than a problem – it’s a catastrophe.”