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Columns

  • Chattering about Susana

    So Susana Martinez came out of her recent reelection campaign pretty much as just about everyone had expected.
    Way back when they were still making glitzy movie musicals, the wondrous Marilyn Monroe won hearts and superstardom with the proposition that “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
    Well over a half-century later, New Mexico’s governor for-four-more-years will tell you that if you’re going to strut your stuff today — at least in electoral politics — there’s no better friend than a big, fat campaign treasury, the bigger and the fatter the better.
    From start to finish Martinez had so much cash on hand that her campaign came off as unnecessarily squandering its resources.
    Certainly that was the case in the final weeks of her campaign, long after it was abundantly clear that she had locked it up, but nonetheless continued to sling the high-priced attack TV ad mud with an abandon that appeared almost gleeful.
    Gary King never had a chance.
    The first negative ad Martinez leveled against the erstwhile Democratic nominee prominently featured remarks once made by the state Democratic Party chairman to the effect that King was one of the worst attorneys general in state history.

  • Teacher: Governor needs to listen to state education issues

    Editor’s note: Jessica McCord was born and raised in Los Alamos and for the past 10 years she has taught in the Rio Rancho school district and has taught at the University of New Mexico. McCord wrote a letter to Governor Susana Martinez after the election results were counted Tuesday night. This is the text of that letter.

  • Indicted and elected

    So, once again, fear ruled the roost as voters headed out to protect our children, our shores, and our divine national right to elect the best government money can buy.
    And what money buys is fear. Or at least fear-filled voters.
    The one good thing about the election being over is that we don’t have to listen to moronic fear-mongers telling us that Ebola-stricken blood sucking illegal aliens with webbed feet, pus oozing out of their eyeballs, and spitting caustic acid are swarming over the United States-Mexico wall with the sole intent of infecting us with diseases and bad taste in music.
    Now, whereas it is not really true that we need to start arming ourselves to fend off ISIS trained 6-year-old terrorists, it is true that the illegal alien issue is getting out of hand. But the question no one is asking is, “Who’s breaking the law?”
    Illegal is illegal and if you break the law, you should be punished. But much to the delight of political pundits, the lawmakers shout the loudest are like patrons at a cafeteria. They stroll down the aisle taking only those laws that they find appetizing and leaving the rest. It’s natural selection at its best.

  • Dealing with canine diabetes

    Canine diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a common disease in dogs and is the result of inadequate insulin production.
    “Canine diabetes is usually caused by an immune mediated attack on the pancreas, which is likely related to genetic predispositions,” said Dr. Audrey Cook, associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “It may also be secondary to chronic pancreatitis, or may occur in intact females following their heat cycle.”
    Some predisposed breeds include the cairn terrier, the dachshund, and miniature poodles. Although these breeds have a higher incidence than others, all dogs have a chance of becoming affected. 
    Diabetes mellitus is known to cause excessive thirst and urination due to the high concentrations of glucose in the bloodstream.
    Glucose appears in the urine, and can predispose the patient to urinary tract infections. Left untreated, other signs such as vomiting, dehydration and lethargy are expected.

  • Entrepreneurs build creativity during Startup Weekends

    Steven Eiserling is an idea machine. Ever since he was a teenager, Eiserling has turned ideas into businesses — even during his 20-year career in information technology. Now the Chicago transplant studies business information systems at New Mexico State University and participates in entrepreneurial events. In Las Cruces’ Startup Weekend Oct. 24-26, he and his team pitched an application to link nonprofit organizations to volunteers through an online portal.
    At last year’s Startup Weekend, Eiserling led a Las Cruces team that proposed a real-time parking app to help motorists find vacant spots in large commercial lots, and that team formed a company — ParaPhin — that’s developing the project.
    Eiserling’s team didn’t win this year’s event prizes, including legal and business development services, but working with young innovators made the whole exercise worthwhile, he said. Even teams that don’t secure financing or other prizes at the marathon weekend events benefit from the experience by working with potential collaborators, mentors and investors to create a business that can bring commercially viable products or services to market on a tight deadline.

  • Seven ways to cut your holiday expenses

    When it comes to holiday spending, waiting in store lines all night and jostling for discounts will mean very little if you don’t have a budget that shapes your finances year-round. With the average United States household spending $600-$700 in 2014 for the holidays, putting that money together shouldn’t be a game of chance. Here are some tips to get it right:
    • Before you make a list, plan. How’s your debt? Do you have an emergency fund or any savings put aside? Start the holiday season by getting a handle on what you owe and what you’re spending day-to-day. Then plan a holiday budget (practicalmoneyskills.com/YourHolidayBudget) as early as possible that allows you to spend wisely.
    • See what spending is really necessary. It’s tough to cut young kids off a gift list, so turn to the adults. If your finances are limited, it’s worth asking adult friends and family members if they’d consider a gift swap or forego gifts altogether. They might actually think it’s a good idea.

  • Maestas: State needs robust job creation fund

    The best thing we can do for small businesses, said Steve Maestas, is to increase their revenue.
    The best way to do that is to attract big businesses – the businesses that bring new dollars into the state’s economy, making products that are sold everywhere and generating revenue from outside the state. Speaking recently to a group of small business owners, he said big businesses generate the jobs and pay the employees who support the local service economy.
    So — here comes the punch line — New Mexico needs a taxpayer-funded job creation fund with $50 million of taxpayer dollars. We already have such a fund under a law called the Local Economic Development Act, but the law needs some amendment. And with only $15 million authorized so far, the fund doesn’t have enough money to be competitive against the incentives offered by other states.
    Maestas is a co-founder and partner of Maestas and Ward commercial real estate company and Deputy Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He’s on a mission to reverse New Mexico’s dismal economic outlook, and the job creation fund is his cause.

  • Something's happening out in the country

    Television cop shows have a mantra that there is no such thing as a coincidence. In the journalist-analyst cosmos, sometimes things happen at the same time. These things, being quite different, have to be a coincidence (or are they?). But the timing creates curiosity about underlying commonalities.
    Events reported Oct. 24 and 25 suggest hunting for insights or patterns or defining opportunity might be useful. The people creating these events may see and be acting upon opportunities missed by the powers that be, buried as they are in government dependence wailing.
    All these events happened in rural New Mexico except the first, which was the detail added Oct. 24 by the Department of Workforce Solutions to the federal jobs report released a week earlier. The salient detail is that the seven counties comprising the four metro areas (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Farmington) lost 2,700 jobs between them.
    Maybe something is happening out in the country.
    Robert Goddard started testing rockets around Roswell in the 1930s. Flight-related testing and practice continue at the Roswell International Air Center where B-52s wander by for touch-and-go drills.

  • Some families have politics in gene pool

    Political dynasties are a hot topic lately because of potential runs by a Bush or a Clinton. We have our share in New Mexico.
    In this election cycle, we heard most often about the King family, but other candidates (at this writing we don’t know who prevailed) grew up with politics in their Cheerios.
    Take the two men competing for state land officer.
    Incumbent Ray Powell Jr.’s father, a mechanical engineer, came to New Mexico in 1943 to work on the Manhattan Project and helped found Sandia National Laboratories. He retired in 1985, ran for governor and lost to Garrey Carruthers.
    In 1963, when all state employees were political appointees, Gov. Jack Campbell assigned Powell to develop and implement a state personnel system, which he did, with integrity and fairness. In 1988, Powell became state chairman of a Democratic Party fractured along geographical and ideological fault lines, which spawned coalition control of the Legislature. Under Powell’s leadership, Democrats won majorities, and the coalitions ended.
    When he died in 2010 at 90, columnist Jay Miller wrote, “New Mexico has lost one of its greatest public servants.”
    Powell’s opponent, Republican Aubrey L. Dunn, another junior, is the son of a legislative powerhouse.

  • Pet Talk: Dogs can get diabetes

    Canine diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a common disease in dogs and is the result of inadequate insulin production.
    “Canine diabetes is usually caused by an immune mediated attack on the pancreas, which is likely related to genetic predispositions,” said Dr. Audrey Cook, associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “It may also be secondary to chronic pancreatitis, or may occur in intact females following their heat cycle.”
    Some predisposed breeds include the cairn terrier, the dachshund, and miniature poodles. Although these breeds have a higher incidence than others, all dogs have a chance of becoming affected.
    Diabetes mellitus is known to cause excessive thirst and urination due to the high concentrations of glucose in the bloodstream. “Hunger is also a common symptom in the early stages of diabetes, followed by rapid weight loss,” said Dr. Cook. “Vision loss is sometimes reported.”
    Glucose appears in the urine, and can predispose the patient to urinary tract infections. Untreated, other signs such as vomiting, dehydration and lethargy are expected.