.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Columns

  • Candidates at the door

    It must be spring – spring in an election year.  The first candidate of the season has beat the hummingbirds to my front doorstep. She is walking my neighborhood, petition and voter registration list in hand, asking for a signature.
    She’s running for the Legislature. What’s her top priority, I ask. Changing the tax law that reduces income tax for rich people – the one enacted when Richardson was governor.  
    Here’s the problem, I say. Before this tax rate change, New Mexico had the highest income tax in the region for the wealthy. Rich people can choose where they live, and will choose states where the tax rates are favorable. States compete for them.

  • Nonsense can be stunning

    Sometimes the amount of dissembling nonsense thrown at us is just stunning. Metaphorically stunning, that is.
    Some Department of Transportation genius decided to cite people supporting pilgrims making the Holy Week walk to El Santuario de Chimayo if the supply stands happen onto highway right-of-way. Safety was the excuse.
    A recent report (“The Economist,” Feb. 18) discussed the Obama administration’s “generous use of ancillary benefits, or ‘co-benefits’” and “private benefits” in proclaiming the bounteous gains from new regulations. The issues cover so-called gains from a regulation directed at something else.

  • Accion helps launch new business

    A new brewery is coming to Albuquerque in June, run by three local beer-loving entrepreneurs. Bosque Brewing is the brainchild of partners Jotham Michnovicz, Kevin Jameson and Gabe Jensen and in their corner is nonprofit lender Accion, which extended a loan of $100,000 to help the partners build a brew house and cover their initial operating expenses.
    The idea for the brewery started two years ago, before any of the partners had ever made a batch of home brew, Jameson said. The three were united by longtime friendships, one family tie — Michnovicz and Jenson are cousins — and membership in the same church. All three attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

  • Gov. slipping out of VP stakes

    SANTA FE – Considerable discussion still revolves around Gov. Susana Martinez as a running mate for the GOP presidential nominee. But most of that discussion is now occurring in New Mexico.
    Gov. Martinez still seems to be making good moves. She is following the Republican playbook but isn’t causing the fuss that many other newly elected Republican governors are.
    Martinez got some good publicity in Arizona recently when she graciously greeted President Barack Obama at the Roswell airport on the way to an appearance at Maljamar.

  • Watch the water grab case

    Newly appointed State Engineer Scott Verhines just made his first big decision, denying an application to Augustin Plains Ranch in its standoff with federal and state agencies, counties, ditch companies, environmentalists, locals, and tribes.
    It’s a case all of New Mexico should be watching.
    West of Datil in Catron County, promoters want to drill 37 wells 20 inches across and 3,500 feet deep, and pump 54,000 acre-feet of water a year for 300 years. That’s a breathtaking amount of water – enough to supply half of Albuquerque’s needs. In fact, the Rio Grande Valley would be the market.

  • Future not bleak on energy front

    Harold Morgan’s article entitled PNM turns profitable is interesting and thought provoking. It’s good news hearing that PNMis  profitable again.
    Harold aptly pointed out the technical, environmental and political difficulties when supplying enough electricity for the wants/needs of New Mexico’s population, service, manufacturing and agricultural industries. Obviously PNM and its investors deserve profits.
    Historical DOW indexes reveal that share values and profits for most major energy-producers are cyclic, rising and falling by as much as 80 percent.

  • A peep of a cottontail

    There’s an old joke about a farm boy who sneaks into the chicken coop one night and paints all the eggs different bright colors.
     The next morning when the rooster walks in, he sees all the colored eggs.  The rooster promptly storms outside the coop and kills the peacock.
    Easter is a fascinating holiday, full of tradition, folklore and calories.  Despite its religious significance, its history is entrenched in myth and ritual, the most prominent of course being a Harvey-like rabbit that sneaks into your house at night to leave chocolate and eggs for your kids.  
    Kind of like that creepy old guy up north who knows when they’re sleeping, knows when they’re awake.

  • Can’t pay your taxes?

    If you’re worried you won’t be able to pay your income taxes by this year’s April 17 filing date, don’t panic; but don’t ignore the deadline and certainly don’t wait for the IRS to reach out to you first. Acting quickly not only gives you more repayment options, it can also significantly lower penalties you might owe the government.
    By not filing your 2011 federal tax return or asking for an extension by April 17, 2012, the penalty on any taxes you owe increases dramatically  –  usually an additional 5 percent of taxes owed for each full or partial month you’re late, plus interest, up to a maximum penalty of 25 percent. But file your return/extension on time and the penalty drops tenfold to 0.5 percent.

  • More colorful characters

    SANTA FE — As part of this column’s centennial coverage, I am pleased to write about colorful legislators. I may miss a few from the early days before I arrived on the scene.
    I begin with Louise Coe, the first woman elected to the state Senate. Her political rise was not easy. Women had attained the right to vote only six years earlier. Coe went on to become president pro tem of the Senate. She is the only woman ever elected to that position.
    A strong, determined woman, Coe married into a Lincoln County ranching family that included George and Frank Coe who rode with Billy the Kid. Her husband Wilber Coe stayed home to run the Coe’s Ranch on the Ruidoso, the title of Wilbur’s autobiography.

  • Resurrection of faith

    Cancer and Faith, particularly religious faith, is a complicated and empassioned subject, one I usually steer clear of. But a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, by Lawrence Krauss, questioned what faith really is, given our ever increasing knowledge of cosmology and quantum mechanics.
    It’s a subject which is especially soul searching for cancer survivors, who are forced to address their own mortality and the meaning of their lives frequently. For some, it reaffirms their religious faith in which they find solice. For others, it reawakens years of separation from their faith as they start to understand their God’s plan. And for the rest of us it raises many unresolved questions.