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Columns

  • Santa Fe officials overdo it again

    SANTA FE — Most New Mexicans outside of Santa Fe know that some pretty weird things happen in our capital city. And most of what you’ve heard is true. Here’s another one to add to your list.
    The city of Santa Fe has a number of committees and boards designed to protect our 400-year heritage. It’s a good idea. No other communities in the nation have buildings that truly are 400 years old. But Santa Fe gets carried away protecting every other building in town.
    Last week, the Historic Districts Review Board declared four Depression-Era houses across the street west of the capitol as too precious to be torn down to make way for a state executive office building.

  • Sipping the tea of ignorance

    Why do babies cry?  The reason is simple enough — they learn to do what works.  Babies learn that crying gets attention, brings food, gets them what they want at the moment.
    Adults aren’t all that different from babies.  We learn to do what works.
     While campaigning back in 2008, President Obama angered Pennsylvanian voters when he characterized them as one issue voters clinging to their ideals on guns, God or gays.

  • Hooray! We're not Wisconsin

    On the same day as the New Mexico primary, Wisconsin voters decided not to recall their governor.  
    Pundits have been busy analyzing the tea leaves about that election.  I’m considering the meaning for New Mexico.  I think simply: Thank goodness we can’t do that here. The New Mexico Constitution does not allow for recall of a governor.
    It is sometimes discussed among us policy wonks whether New Mexico should have “recall and initiative” like some other states. Recall is the opportunity to kick an elected official out of office by popular vote; initiative is the ability for citizens to put a proposal on the ballot directly, without going through the Legislature.

  • Outside capital helps growth

    Blue Skies Consulting knows a lot about building a business through strategic growth funded by outside capital.
     The Belen-based aerial photography company is a client of The Loan Fund, a community development financial institution that provides loans and other banking services to underserved markets in New Mexico.
    Blue Skies began its relationship with The Loan Fund in 2009 when it sought funding to buy aerial camera system components in preparation for the purchase of a digital aerial camera designed for high-resolution photography.

  • State gets closer to historical park

    Legislation finally has been introduced in Congress to create a Manhattan Project Historical Park. New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman is the prime sponsor.
    The Senate bill is the culmination of a nine-year effort by Bingaman to recognize the founding scientific community of Los Alamos which forever changed the world. Some will say the change was for the worse yet it was a historically significant part of our nation’s history.
    Bingaman’s bill isn’t about honoring the Manhattan Project or about the bomb. It is about the incredible effort the country put forth to remain free and the scientific advances made by unlocking the secrets of atomic energy.

  • New tricks are needed

    Our new dishwasher says, right there in the operator’s manual, to push the start button twice to wash the dishes using the settings from the previous cycle. Push the button once and tiny lights identify the earlier settings. Once understood, this is very nice, even for those of us without previous experience in twice-pushing dishwasher start buttons.
    New appliances come with other surprises that, when the human habit factor is added, may mean those vaunted energy savings are less than the government assures.
    We got the new dishwasher, to start, because we had the money. Then I saw an ad about a Sears Memorial Day weekend sale.

  • On apples and activism

    Sorting out complex issues is something I like to do in these columns, but the space in a typical opinion column doesn’t always permit that. Today, we return to a couple of subjects of past columns – apples and activism.    

  • In quest of some tax relief

    I’ll wager that when most brides and grooms utter the phrase, “For better or for worse,” the “worse” they’re imagining probably involves situations like getting laid off or a prolonged family illness – not being the victim of tax fraud perpetrated by a current or former spouse.
    Married couples typically file joint tax returns because it lets them take advantage of certain tax credits and other benefits not available if they file separately. However, one potential drawback is that you’re each responsible, jointly and individually, for any taxes, interest and penalties due on returns filed while you’re married, even if you later divorce.

  • Will Ft. Sill’s Apaches move to state?

    SANTA FE — New Mexico is home to the nation’s newest Indian reservation. Ever since Gary Johnson first became governor in 1995, the Fort Sill Apaches have been trying to establish a presence in New Mexico.
    In the first month of Gov. Johnson’s administration, he signed gaming agreements with those tribes and pueblos seeking them. That same year, he also welcomed Fort Sill’s repatriation back to New Mexico.

  • Primary winners, bummers

     “I congratulate Hector Balderas on a clean, well-run campaign. I know Hector has a bright future in politics and I look forward to working with him.”
    Martin Heinrich handily won the Democratic nomination to fill the U.S. Senate seat from which New Mexico’s longtime Sen. Jeff Bingaman will retire in January. But in accepting victory, the first thing Heinrich did was to commend his primary campaign rival, State Auditor Hector Balderas, for a hard-fought but classy campaign.
    Campaign mud-slinging is as old as, well…the beginning of political campaigns.