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Columns

  • No lack of jobs in Hobbs or Artesia

    Gobs of jobs in Hobbs!
    An email like that gets your attention.
    Drive around Hobbs, said alert reader Jesse Monsey, and you’ll see banners and electronic signs saying, “Now Hiring” and even “$100 sign-on bonus.” The local police have offered a lavish signing bonus, and the city was forced to increase benefits to keep employees. Even the casino is offering tuition assistance and scheduling flexibility to students.  
    Jesse was responding to a recent column in which I quoted a business leader saying that if you could fog a mirror, you could find a job in Artesia.
    “The reality here is that we are desperate for workers,” he said.

  • Fear mongering tactics

    When attorneys know that the facts are not on their side it is not uncommon for them to turn to obfuscation, fear mongering and outright personal attacks.
    Sadly, we saw all of these tactics used by George Chandler in his recent attacks on Sheriff Marco Lucero.
    We haven’t heard the “cowboy” slur since the cowardly admiral snuck out of town in May 2005.
    This favorite insult of pseudo-intellectual elitists was uncalled for and not descriptive of the current occupant of the sheriff’s office.
    So, whether it is “cowboys” or the anti-government boogiemen from Mr. Chandler’s prior offering in the Los Alamos Monitor, his attempts to deflect the argument from the facts are telling of the weakness of his position.

  • Some people are very, very ...

    I was driving up Jemez to work and I came to the merge lanes as we approached the light by the guard stations.  
    There was a long line of cars and most everyone was politely merging in alternate style, but the driver to my side just had to get in front of me.  
    The line was moving slowly and there wasn’t anywhere he could really go, but this individual was hell bent on being first.  
    There was no way he way about to follow suit with everyone else and merge in an alternate merge pattern.  
    He had to get ahead, just one more car length ahead.  He just had to!
    But I didn’t get upset.  I understood his reason.

  • Martinez honing her style

    SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez has been in office almost a year now and we’re still not sure who she is. That’s because she still is a work in progress.
    Gary Johnson came into office in 1995 with no gubernatorial or legislative experience and so did Garrey Carruthers in 1987.But Carruthers hired longtime Legislative Finance Committee Director Maralyn Budke as his chief of staff. Budke also had been Gov. David Cargo’s chief of staff. She knew New Mexico government from all sides.
    Gov. Gary Johnson hired David Harris as chief of staff. Like Budke, Harris had headed the Legislative Finance Committee for many years. He also knew state government inside and out. He knew how legislators think and the maneuvers they make.

  • Spaceport starts to pay off

    The people of New Mexico made an investment for the commercial space industry, which is now paying off.
    After receiving a substantial amount of national and international media coverage of Virgin Galactic’s dedication and naming of Spaceport America’s Terminal Hangar Facility as the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space, it’s important for taxpayers to know that the spaceport will be bringing millions of dollars into our economy, and it’s not just Virgin Galactic that’s spending money.

  • Finding joy this holiday season

    Here we are again at the most wonderful time of the year, where our thoughts turn to the celebrating the holidays and rearranging our schedule.
    For some people it may not be the most wonderful time of the year, it just might be a tiring, hectic, depressing time of the year.  I know that is how it once was for me.
    It was late one night as I sat by the glow of the Christmas tree, waiting for my husband to come home, when suddenly I realized I had it all wrong.
    The holidays were never meant to be so depressing. For Christians it is the time of the year to join in on the special lights, gatherings and giving gifts to love ones near and far and to prepare for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

  • Air flow, air quality related

    People wander among natural joys – sun, food, shelter, canyons, the night sky, ripples of ideas, tidal flats, sand dunes, the Internet and getting your way some of the time. Keeping your own list is part of the fun.
    A jewel that gets overlooked is the variety of weather. The richer detail is not “weather,” but “variety.”
    Everyone likes sun. Everyone wants rain. Snow has fans and critics. Nature’s variability is the pot of gold.

  • Hard-fought rules add jobs to NM’s oilfields

    People dearly want a lasting supply of clean air and water. The answer is pollution control.
    As more people make and use more stuff, pollution sources grow to need more controls. The controls add jobs in the pollution controls industry. The bonus is more of the clean air and water people want.
    In mid-October, a black headline glared from the Albuquerque Journal. It read “Jackpot in the Oil Patch, State Rules Helped Politically Connected Players.”
    The front-page report hit on the eternal thought that campaign money might sway things. If it might, new money that sways toward the middle is a step forward.

  • Highlights of New Mexico’s 100 years of statehood

    What were the most important events of New Mexico’s first 100 years of statehood?
    Mine appear below.
    The State Department of Cultural Affairs has a list, available in poster form.
    The New Mexico Blue Book has a list available from the Secretary of State’s Office.
    1912 - Any such list must beginning with Jan. 6 when President William Howard Taft signed the statehood proclamation and Gov. William C. McDonald, a Democrat, is elected to office.
    1916 - Pancho Villa_s troops raid Columbus, NM. A massive Punative Expedition into Mexico, headed by Gen. Black Jack Pershing, ensued. It involved the first tactical use of aircraft. A state park museum in Columbus tells a good story.

  • It’s not just the lava

    Mt. Rainier in my native Washington State is a stunning site. It’s a beautiful mountain, covered in snow and ice in both winter and summer.
    At over 14,000 feet, its summit is worthy of respect from even serious hikers. There’s no wonder it’s a National Park.
    Like most all of the other beautiful peaks in the Cascades, Mt. Rainier is also a deadly volcano. It hasn’t erupted since 1894, but that’s not long ago to a geologist – we are sure it’s only sleeping and will be heard from again.