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Today's Opinions

  • Real ID is a tough standard for some

    New Mexico is finally complying with the federal standard for Real ID.
    Real ID is the new form of driver’s license (or ID card for non-drivers) that will be required beginning in 2020 to board a plane and for other federal purposes. Real ID confirms that you are genuinely you to the satisfaction of the federal government. When you next renew your license, or no later than October 2020, to get a Real ID license, you will have to present several documents to the Motor Vehicle Department.
    New Mexico’s Legislature delayed several years before adopting this standard. After studying the requirements, I see why. Pulling together the necessary documents will probably be easy for most homeowners. It will be hard for some low-income people, especially those who don’t have a stable address.
    The details are on the MVD website at mvd.newmexico.gov/real-id-information.aspx.
    You’ll have to present three types of documents: one with your Social Security number, one that identifies you by age, and two that establish proof of residence.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-11-17

    Thank you to all for help with Nancy’s cancer fight

    Thank you to our dear neighbors, friends and family for all your help during Nancy’s bout with cancer. Thank you for taking care of our house, for the food, cards, calls and your very generous and kind gestures.
    Thank you to the wonderful medical personnel in Los Alamos, Santa Fe and the University of New Mexico Hospital for your knowledge, expertise, patience and caring.
    Thank you to the Anonymous Angels who contribute to the cost of the excellent care and medical needs our cats, Luigi and Fellini, received during their stays at the Animal Clinic of Los Alamos.
    Nancy continues to give her cancer the good fight. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
    Nancy and Annette
    Los Alamos

    Agree with proposed gun legislation

    There is a confused quote from Stanley Hayes in the Sunday Monitor, wherein he objects to Stephanie Garcia-Richard’s proposed bill that would require gun sales between two individuals to pass through a registered dealer so that a background check can be carried out.
    I think that Hayes was trying to make the point that such sales should be like the sale of a car, claiming that this is without a comparable intermediary. That claim is

  • Less pay means less tax everywhere

    Like Chicken Man, taxes are everywhere – they’re everywhere.
    We forget that. The latest gross receipts tax increase quickly recedes into the background. When economic life is good, as it was when oil and gas drilling boomed for a few years until mid-2014, we forget recent history. Yet when history reappears and life for state government revenue reverts, life is just awful.
    The links are easily lost. Cities and counties get a lot of their revenue from gross receipts taxes. Local tax increases are one reaction. Eleven governments across the state hiked gross receipts rates as of January 1. Those basic local services are necessary. Gov. Susana Martinez may say no tax increases. Tuition increases at universities are doing the job for her.
    Last month the Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD) summarized the sad situation for seven of the state’s largest income categories. The 19-page paper, presented Dec. 5 to the Legislative Finance Committee, got into some of the matters seldom considered except by those paid to pay attention. The reminder is useful as we approach the 60-day legislative session with a chance of comprehensive tax reform.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-8-16

    Rose Chocolatier feels right at home

    In case you haven’t heard Rose Chocolatier has moved. We are now located at 149 Central Park Square.  We love our new space especially being so near to other great local businesses. To be precise we are across from Finishing Touch, between Allure & ProjectY and about half way between UnQuarked and Pet Pangea. With the Bathtub Row Beer Co-op and El Rigoberto’s and other stellar businesses nearby we feel right at home.
    Rose Chocolatier is in a larger space which allows us to expand our offerings. We are now serving espresso drinks tailored to each customer. We still serve our luscious hot cocoa and now are adding it to our mocha drinks for a special delight.
    Our expanded kitchen space means we can bake more goodies and produce more chocolate candies.  But we haven’t completed our space design yet. Soon we will be adding more tables and chairs for those who want to and enjoy visiting with friends over coffee or tea.
    Oh, we sold out of everything over the holidays. So are a bit slow producing and restocking our cases. Thanks to everyone who came and supported during the winter break. It was a pleasure serving you and showing off the new space!

  • GOP was right about ethics office

    The Wall Street Journal on Congress’ ethics reform controversy:

    The 115th Congress flopped into Washington on Tuesday with House Republicans proposing and then dropping marginal changes to an internal ethics office. The reversal is an unforced political error, but the GOP is right that the investigative body has the power to destroy reputations without due process.
    By the way, Paul Ryan was re-elected Speaker Tuesday with one GOP defection, while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lost four Democrats. But that news was dwarfed as the House considered rules for the new Congress, and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte offered an amendment to restructure the Office of Congressional Ethics.
    The office is composed of political grandees, often former Members, and it has no prosecutorial power. But it conducts investigations into Members or staffers and makes recommendations to the House Ethics Committee. The proposal limited what information can be released to the public and barred the committee from having a press secretary. Also banned: anonymous tips.

  • Assets in Action: Award nominations were best ever

    Happy New Year!
    I think a fresh start is something needed by so many people and start with a positive outlook.
    I am elated to say that the nominations for the Community Asset Awards was the best since the event started years ago. We have more nominations for youth and higher totals than we have ever.
    C’YA, the LANL Foundation and the LACDC will look forward to the Jan. 21 event and I believe almost all of the notifications have taken place…with the exception of a few people needing to return to work to find out. Truth be told, there was one person nominated with just a first name and an address,
    We have individuals, couples, clubs, businesses and our youngest is a fifth-grader.  Remember this is a project that is open year long, so once we hold the event in January, the nomination process will begin again.
    I have heard a number of people saying they won’t be making any resolutions this year, what’s the point?
    I say, there’s always something you can do to be better or make the world better and often you can do such small things that make a big different.
    My first hope is for folks to join the Assets movement! This isn’t just some neat, fun idea of mine, this is based on decades of research, shown to improve so many areas of life for young people.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-1-17

    Thankful for support of Be a Santa to a Senior

    On behalf of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Santa Fe and Los Alamos, we would like to thank the community for its overwhelming support o the Be a Santa to a Senior program this holiday season.
    Community members in Santa Fe and Los Alamos generously donated over 800 gifts for more than 430 seniors through this year’s program – all of which were wrapped and delivered by volunteers, just in time for holidays.
    Many of the gifts were for everyday needs such as socks, shirts, blankets and toiletries.
    The 2016 program marked our most successful Be a Santa to a Senior program to date.
    We would like to especially thank the following Santa Fe and Los Alamos organizations that partnered with us this year: Christus St. Vincent Hospital, Walmart, Mary Esther Gonzalez Senior Center, Betty Ehart Senior Center, Santa Fe Place Mall, the Santa Fe Care Center and the City of Santa Fe Senior Services. Over the past several weeks, these businesses and organizations, along with all the donors and volunteers in our community have brightened the holidays by bringing both gifts and companionship to seniors in need.
    Ken Hendricks
    Los Alamos

    Many good reasons to vote yes on UNM-LA mill levy

  • The whole truth requires assembly

    A witness hired by New Mexico oil and gas interests steps before the hearing officials with his written testimony. The court reporter greets him with these antique words: “Raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” He solemnly swears he will indeed. 
    Forms of this terse ceremony have been in use since Roman times and today’s forms are still recited countless times each day in venues looking for the truth. The phrases race by so fast that their mandates are fuzzy. 
    Think a moment on that middle phrase – to tell “the whole truth.”
    What do the words intend? The whole truth extends very far and is hard to know. No one can know everything.
    Since they cannot know everything, people tend to fill in what they do not really know with guesses, hopes and rumblings. What most people bring to the table are some pieces that mostly help one side.
    The court system knows the ways of people. So courts assemble the “whole” truth out of parts gathered by questioning a range of relevant people about what each of them knows. Firm questioning works to separate what is truly known from guesses, feelings and rumblings.