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

Columns

  • Workers' comp with a wrinkle

    The Workers’ Compensation Administration is suggesting yet another attempt to change the statutory language relating to workers who get injured while using drugs or alcohol.  Meanwhile, the workers’ compensation community is more and more concerned about workers who get addicted to drugs as a result of their injuries.

  • Uninhabited city attracts

    SANTA FE — During our recent stay in Maui, I routinely bought the little newspaper printed on the island. It carried local news and a few Associated Press stories from the mainland.
    One of those few AP stories that made it into the Maui News was about Hobbs winning a competition for the development of a nearby $400 million city with no people.
    I remembered reading about this deal before. Someone was trying to talk a city up north, maybe Santa Fe, into entering the competition for a $200 million research city to test next-generation technology.

  • 'Frontier' slips into spending talk

    Last week we looked at highlights of the 2012 legislative session, through the policy eyes of the Legislative Council Service. This week it’s the money, thorough the eyes of the Legislative Finance Committee.
    Planning spending means building the budget. The job starts with the spending expected in a given budget year, say, Fiscal Year 2012, which ends June 30. That base is matched against expected revenue for the following year, FY 13.
    For FY 13, the money will come into the general fund, the state’s main font for spending, from sales taxes (43 percent), income taxes (individual and business), energy (16 percent), investments (16 percent) of the money from energy, and from “other” (four percent).

  • No way to cultivate young farmers

    U. S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan visited New Mexico recently to encourage students to think about careers in agriculture.
    New Mexico has the nation’s highest average age for farmers and ranchers, at nearly 60, and the rest of the country looks similar. Among farmers and ranchers, the over- 65 crowd is the fastest growing group, says the U.S. Census.
    The USDA has programs to help young farmers and ranchers, but the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau has said the red tape is a barrier. The National Young Farmers’ Coalition is pushing for training, access to financing and credit, student loan forgiveness for new farmers, and tax breaks for selling land to young farmers.

  • Origins of evidence

     The massively reported shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Florida spotlights key elements of a working nation. I do not mean Florida gun laws.
    The highly public tragedy by any measure you choose pries open the subject of evidence and data.
    What is evidence? What are data and how do they apply to problems?
    Courses of action follow from evidence and data. Yet, the meanings of “evidence” and “data” vary greatly, depending on which forum you think of.
     Three forums vital to an ably working nation are law, science and the public forum. How does each of them deal with evidence and data?

  • Let CRC proceed to an election

    Dear Editor,
    I am writing to alert the community to yet another event involving the county’s current referendum process.  
    The Charter Review Committee worked for more two years reviewing the current county charter holding dozens of public meetings seeking citizen input.  The CRC made many recommendations to the council.  Some were designed to eliminate awkward, ambiguous language.  Others were substantive. In formulating its recommendations, particularly in the area of initiative and referendum, the CRC attempted to strike an appropriate balance between principles of representative democracy and citizen driven legislating.  

  • Political races tighten up

    SANTA FE  — As we approach the June 5 election, the close races look even closer. But there just aren’t many of them.
    The Democratic 1st Congressional District race appears to be tighter than ever between the top two contenders Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham and state Sen. Eric Griego.
    Former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez also is in the race but his moderate politics just don’t fit into a primary election for either party. Chavez did well in his runs for mayor, which is a non-partisan position. But put him in a party primary and he doesn’t have a big enough base.

  • People forget to remember

     “It’s a funny thing, war.  Never have so many suffered so much so so few could be so happy!”  (Frank Burns, idiot extraordinaire M.A.S.H).
     In the early 60s, America found itself entrenched in yet another war on whatever.  It was not waged to protect our shores or to protect democracy.  Vietnam was an exercise in political futility, doomed from the start to fail.
     And like President Johnson’s gall bladder surgery, Vietnam’s legacy left a scar on the belly of a nation that prided itself in “never losing a war”.
     But hey, it wasn’t really a war.  It was a “police action” -- that is, if you ignore the 58,209 Americans killed during the action.

  • Make your vacation security checklist

    With summer vacation right around the corner, you’re probably busy planning itineraries, shopping for new bathing suits and finishing up work projects. But before you completely check out, take a few minutes to review a few financial safeguards that could save you a ton of grief and money – and protect your identity.
    Credit and debit cards. If you’re planning to travel – especially overseas – follow these precautions:

  • A woman of mystery

    SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez still is mostly a mystery to the state and national media. She doesn’t do many interviews and she doesn’t make many public appearances. The public appearances she does make usually are not publicized because she does not issue a schedule of her coming events as most other governors have done.
    Former Gov. Bill Richardson had some pretty mysterious cronies but he was not mysterious himself. Not long after he was elected to Congress, he pulled me aside at one of the frequent media gatherings he hosted and told me he was concerned about someone on his staff feeding me inside information about his thoughts and plans.