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

Columns

  • We don’t want them to cry

    Recently I asked why my son wasn’t allowed to bring his Pokemon cards to school.
    Well, he is allowed to bring them for sharing, but not for recess or trading. This all goes along with some rule about not bringing toys outside for recess.
    I kind of understand the whole toys at recess, but I am really struggling with trading cards. In my mind I am picturing little boys huddled together in some corner of the playground in intense conversation, practicing hard-core negotiating skills.
    In picturing this scenario, the boys in question are wearing black shoes and little caps and shirts with buttons. It’s so Norman Rockwell.

  • Corporate value statements useless, perhaps harmful

    My odd experiences now include the strange exercise of an appeals hearing for state government employees. Everything favors the state. The hearing officer sits at a table facing the door. Flanking and facing the officer are two tables, one for the employee (and lawyer) and one for the bureaucrats, a lawyer and a paralegal. Spare. Empty. Surreal. Totally tilted to the state.
    Strip everything — nice words and thick employee manuals — and the room embodies a statement of ultimate values to state employees. Something like: We are all powerful; you are an insect.
    The context here — 10 reasons to not define corporate values — comes from Glenda Eoyang of Minneapolis, founding executive director of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute.

  • Saving for the future

    Halloween brought little witches and goblins and ghouls to our doors, scaring us with frightening blood stained scars, loose skin hanging from half eaten faces, and now and then even a knife impaling someone’s head.  
    One child proved to be the most frightening of all by wearing a Mitt Romney mask. I threw a bowlful of candy bars at him and pleaded, “Leave my dog alone!”
    Trick or Treat! Gimme gimme gimme candy!!! Ah, the sweet sound of young greed.
    Yes, another Halloween come and gone, another visit to the dentist to drill out cavities from ingesting all that sugar and chocolate (well, you’re lucky if there was actually any real chocolate in that stuff.)

  • Lt. Govs are a nuisance

    Here we go again. The lieutenant governor is getting in the governor’s way. They are such a nuisance. Why do we even have them?
    That, by the way, is a good question. Some states don’t have lieutenant governors. And those states do just fine.
    New Mexico governors not only are saddled with lieutenant governors, the lieutenant governors get to be full time employees if they desire.
    And why wouldn’t they want to be on the top floor of the Merry Roundhouse in the middle of all the action?
    The problem is that they don’t have anything to do except preside over the Senate when it is in session.  
    And, oh yes, take over for the governor when he or she can’t serve or is out of state.

  • Cancer detection and man’s best friend

    Dogs are loyal, playful, loving and sometimes cute as a button. It’s no wonder we love them (some of us more than others, to be sure).
    Dogs were likely one of the very first animals we humans domesticated. They’ve been sitting around our campfires for a very long time, indeed.
    We train our dogs to sit, shake and lie down. It also could be said the dogs train us to dispense kibbles, rawhide treats, and scratches behind the ears. What matters isn’t which side comes out ahead in the exchange, I like to think, but that both sides benefit from our association.

  • Sexual harassment charges aren't going away

    Sexual harassment isn’t just a complaint – it’s become a small industry of legal specialists ready to accuse or defend, plus consultants called in to educate workers.
    On the job, I’ve sat through a few of these workshops.
    Lots of people have, and yet the lawyers and consultants haven’t run out of work. And late-night comedians still have plenty of fodder.
    As Herman Cain, Republican candidate for president, fights his battles with accusers, we see new accusations against two managers at the state Workforce Solutions Department, of all places. “Multiple” women in the call center complain of unwanted physical touching, crude remarks and supervisors who ask them for dates, according to news reports.

  • State deregulation woes

    Does New Mexico have too many regulations? Gov. Susana Martinez thinks so. She campaigned for smaller government.
    Eliminating regulations is one way of making government smaller. With fewer regulations, fewer inspectors are needed to monitor and enforce the regulations. And it is easier to conduct business with fewer rules to follow.
    So Gov. Martinez appointed a Small Business Friendly Task Force.
    The group has reported on ways to eliminate regulations and reduce waste. As one might guess, the Regulation and Licensing Department and the Construction Industries Division were two of the first targets.
    Gov. Martinez has heard plenty from the construction business about the onerous regulations they face.

  • Committee chair accepts olive branch

    On Wednesday, the Los Alamos Monitor published a story on my resignation from the White Rock Master Plan Implementation Committee. This story did a reasonable job of covering the major points of the disagreement between myself and some members of the county council.
    However, I would like to elaborate on a few additional points; give my views on where the master plan goes from here; and, perhaps most important, publicly accept the olive branch that has been extended to me by Councilor Ron Selvage.

  • House races are shaping up

    U.S. House races are beginning to take shape. Senate races already are well set because they are statewide.
    Senate candidates don’t have to worry about what redistricting might do to their campaign plans.
    Heather Wilson and Martin Heinrich reported impressive third quarter fundraising totals.
    Lt. Gov. John Sanchez still can give Wilson a race in the GOP primary, with Greg Sowards lurking as a possible spoiler.
    State Auditor Hector Balderas still has a shot at Heinrich in the Democratic primary.
    But it is the House where interest now is turning. The 1st Congressional District has a full-blown race on the Democratic side. Rep. Martin Heinrich is giving up the seat to run for the Senate post being vacated by Sen. Jeff Bingaman.

  • Stepping up to a bright idea

    At first I wasn’t sure I was reading the CNN report correctly. The story hinged on special pavement that uses the impact of human feet to generate electricity.
    That’s right. A young man in Britain has invented a device that harvests the energy from a footfall hitting the pavement to power things like LED lights.
    Talk about a bright idea. The “PaveGen” project is the brainchild of Laurence Kemball-Cook, 25. He’s an engineer who built a prototype of the device during his last year in school and is now working to make and market his creation.