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Columns

  • Initiatives take center stage

    I have to admit that some county council meetings are pretty boring,  and almost all of them are too long. Sometimes we discuss headline-worthy topics, such as the Trinity Site development or the N.M. 502 redesign, but often they are pretty mundane items about renewing a cement work task order contract, which is about as interesting as it sounds (although task order contracts ARE important!).

  • All about 'wasteful pork'

    Wasteful pork!
    It makes a good headline, doesn’t it?
    How about this one: Governor slashes funds to poorest counties!
    Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed $23 million in the $130 million bill. She is correct that our capital outlay system is unfair and inefficient, but you might say the same of her lengthy list of vetoed projects.

  • Officials should follow transparency

    Open government advocates came to Santa Fe this past legislative session with a game plan for improving the public’s right to know, but even with the enthusiasm of some great team players in the House and Senate, there just wasn’t enough time on the clock for us to score a win for transparency in New Mexico.
     We’ve got the better part of a year to build a bigger team of sunshine champs and then we’re going to bring our A game to the 60-day session in 2013. In the meantime, public officials who say they support transparency should lead by example and not wait for new laws to force them to do the right thing.

  • Where has childhood gone?

    I have a friend that has a 3-year-old daughter.  Her daughter plays with my daughter. Because I am this low-pressure-be-a-kid kind of mom I was very happy to meet another mom that was similar. I noticed that her daughter was allowed to run around barefoot. Mine too. She didn’t get stressed out if her daughter got all wet or dirty playing outside. Me too. She didn’t worry if I fed her daughter when she was at my house. I am the same. I got this strange feeling that her daughter was a kid.

  • Parties would block CCC idea

        A look back at our nation’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s shows the CCC met many needs like those we have today. The CCC model might help again, with a bit of work.
    CCC ideas could have value today, except for our biggest problem. Today’s habit is to ax ideas with ideology.
    The trick is so easy that the ideology of either party can stop any idea the wrong guys raise.
     Strange to tell, the other party’s ideology stops the same idea just as easily. So either party making a proposal dooms it.
    The history of the CCC confirms a proud legacy and scripts the catchwords that kill the thought. A queer hello.  

  • Standing up for Luján

     It appears that there are some misleading statements in the ViewPoint article the Los Alamos Monitor published Sunday, March 11. Mr. Newton states that Congressman Ben Ray Luján  “has chosen the narrow partisan interest of President Obama over the jobs of highly skilled workers in northern New Mexico.”
     If Mr. Newton had done his research he would have seen that Congressman Lujan did not support the Budget Reduction Act that the Tea Party group fiercely fought for in Congress.
    The Tea Party’s demand was for drastic cuts to government spending all across the country that would immediately eliminate jobs wherever there was a cut in funding. That some of these cuts should affect Los Alamos, although tragic, is no surprise.

  • Protecting the LANL workers

    Rick Newton, Taos Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in District 3, blasted his opponent, Ben Ray Lujan, this week for endangering our national security and for his uncaring attitude toward the nearly 800 people losing their jobs at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  
    Rick Newton ripped the incumbent, Ben Ray Lujan, saying “Once again, Lujan has chosen the narrow partisan interests of President Obama over the jobs of highly skilled workers in northern New Mexico.” Lujan actually said “LANL is not immune from these cuts in the President’s budget”, as though they were only trimming a little fat out of the Obama administration’s bloated Government.

  • More about logrolling

    The Los Alamos Monitor reports that the “search for county attorney commences.” The candidate must, according to the first item on their list of qualifications, provide advice and counsel on topics that include development and interpretation of county ordinances and policies.
     In the county council meeting of Feb. 28, county attorney Brian James likened logrolling to fraud and said that his office would never recommend putting a logrolling ballot proposal before the voters, and this was so reported in the Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Maximizing the value of business

    Many business owners dream of selling their business at a price that will pay them in retirement what they earned while working. The ones who achieve this goal start planning and preparing well before retirement by saving a portion of personal income from the business in retirement accounts and diverse investments and by managing the business so it’s offered for sale at the peak of its success.
    Not everyone needs to earn the same amount of money in retirement as he did while working, but many business owners hope to get as much money as possible for their business so they can invest in other income-generating instruments. That requires the business to be valued as high as possible.

  • Incentives help competitiveness

    The recent talk of taxes in these columns has been an introduction to reviewing a study of what New Mexico’s taxes do to new investment.

    Driven initially by Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, who recruited all sorts of help, the study is “New Mexico Business Tax Competitiveness and Simulations of Selected Tax Policy Changes.” Find it at the New Mexico Tax Research Institute, www.nmtri.org. The Ernst & Young accounting and consulting firm did the work.