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Columns

  • Giving back always a top priority

    As a British ex-pat, now American citizen, I watched the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games with anticipation. What would it show about the country I grew up in? Would it stand up to the overwhelming amazement of the Beijing Games?
    Well what it certainly did show is that we’re no Chinese!
    We don’t have their synchronization, nor maybe their order. But what it truly did show is our wit, our sprit and mainly our heart. I mean, who else’s Queen would jump out of a helicopter, and then go on to keep a stiff upper lip during a children’s choir singing and signing God Save The Queen.

  • Workshop may work wonders

    Michael Tso was 10 months into his job running a high-tech envelope-making machine at Desert Paper and Envelope in Albuquerque when his employer sent him to the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s lean-manufacturing workshop this summer. There with other representatives of New Mexico companies he learned fundamentals of the lean manufacturing philosophy, which aims to improve business operations – and enhance competitiveness – from the shop floor to the front office.

  • New Mexicans should be proud of themselves

    SANTA FE — It is becoming obvious that the National Republican Senatorial Committee has decided that Heather Wilson can win New Mexico only by being seen as a great compromiser.
    Normally, Republicans are into binding their candidates with pledges never to stray from the party line. But in Wilson's case, she is being characterized as a problem solver, who will reach across the political aisle to craft solutions.
    Wilson’s race for the U.S. Senate is being rated by most analysts as “lean Democrat.”

  • Pig Olympics takes center stage

     The Sport-Pig Federation runs the “Pig Olympics.”  Piglets compete in three events; track, swimming, and football.  Since they push the ball around with their noses, maybe it’s more accurately “snoutball”.
     Whether one is trying to break the record for a cowchip toss or a wife-calling “Soo-ey!”, people love watching competitions.
      Finland recently hosted the 17th annual Wife Carrying World Championship games.  One might have expected more husbands to compete, but the rules are very strict.  You have to carry your own wife.

  • Human treats poison to pets

    There are a number of things around your house that can be deadly to your cats and dogs, some you may know, and some may be surprising. Some are even in your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. Dr. Dorothy Black, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVM), shares some enlightening information about common food items that may be toxic to your pet.
    According to Dr. Black, the following foods can be particularly dangerous to cats and dogs.

  • Funny business at NMFA

     Ten members of the 11-member New Mexico Finance Authority board are appointed by the governor. Four of them are members of Gov. Susana Martinez’s own cabinet. The Authority’s CEO, Rick May, served in her cabinet until assuming his NMFA post nearly a year ago.
     So you might think the Martinez administration would have had its ducks in a row last week, when NMFA board members met, not once but twice, to deal with evidence that a former agency controller had fraudulently concocted the 2011 financial reports of the Finance Authority, which loans millions of dollars to state entities and schools for capital equipment and infrastructure.

  • Should there be limits to our freedoms?

    SANTA FE — Early this month, we celebrated the many freedoms Americans enjoy. Some recent events have indicated those freedoms have some limitations ­– but not enough in some people’s minds.
    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this month that freedom of speech has fewer limitations than perhaps many Americans intended. In the case of Alvarez v. United States, brought under the 2005 Stolen Valor Act, the justices found that simply lying about one’s military awards is not a criminal act.

  • Let’s check the alternatives

    My dog needed surgery last month, and the veterinary office handed me an estimate of charges. Try asking for an estimate from a doctor or hospital. It won’t happen. Their attitude and ours seem to be, it costs what it costs. And we all know they will sock the insurance company, so we don’t care.
    Because our health-care system relies on socking the insurance company, insurers and health plans have come up with their own ways of socking us back – denied claims, bigger co-pays, cancelled coverage if you’re too sick, denied coverage if you have a pre-existing condition, and capped lifetime payout.

  • How business is really created

    Hey, business people, President Obama says you didn’t do it. Especially those of you who think you have created, led and built small businesses. You didn’t do it. The government did. Never mind that you and your staff pay the taxes.
    Here’s the statement, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” That’s what President Obama told a Roanoke, Va., group at a campaign event July 13.
    I believe that with this remark, the President opened a window into his soul, into his deepest convictions.

  • Employers risk penalties

    Under competitive pressures, some employers are tempted to label workers “independent contractors” rather than employees so they can avoid paying benefits, matching Social Security and Medicare taxes, paying federal and state unemployment taxes and following employment laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act.
    This practice of misclassification has created substantial problems for affected employees and for the United States Treasury, the Social Security and Medicare funds, and state unemployment and workers’ compensation funds.