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

Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the Editor 11-25-16

    Thanks to Los Alamos Sportsmans Club

    Los Alamos Boy Scout Troop 22 would like to thank the Los Alamos Sportsmans Club (LASC) for again hosting the troop’s annual Turkey Roast in November.
    The club not only provided excellent facilities for the event, but also provided safety and marksmanship instruction for the boys. The club even donated practice ammunition and targets. The scouts had a great time, finishing up their Shooting Merit Badges and learning about safety and responsibility.
    The club’s support for cubs, scouts in general and all the other local youth organizations is exceptional.  The boys (and parents) learn about gun safety, responsibility and that patience and some work bring good results. They also have a great time in the process, and will never forget it. We are very lucky to have volunteer organizations in our town, such as the Sportsmans Club, that take the time and effort work with our children.
    Again, thanks to LASC for all they do for our youth!
    Christine Sweeney
    Troop Committee Chair
    Los Alamos Boy Scout Troop 22

    Thank you to LA first
    responders

  • NM ranks 47th in ratio of employment to population

    New Mexicans don’t especially like work, or at least work captured in official statistics.
    This work aversion is a continuing theme here. It’s something cultural, one of those rents in the social fabric that is central to our systemic troubles.
    The state Department of Workforce Solutions recently provided valuable additional insight by reviewing the propensity for work in our 33 counties. The measure is the ratio of employment to population (E/P). The ratio reports the percentage of the population age 16 and over that is not in an institution such as a jail and not in the military.
    The states stacking on top of Oklahoma lead in diligence. With 68 percent of its population employed in 2015, Nebraska has the highest employment-to-population ratio. Minnesota follows with 67.6 percent and Iowa has 67.3 percent. The other end of line finds West Virginia at 49.4 percent; Mississippi, 52.2 percent; and – ta da – New Mexico, 53.5 percent.
    “For the five-year period 2010 to 2014, Los Alamos County posted the highest E/P ratio, at 62.3 percent,” DWS said. For the 2010–2014 period, the national rate was 57.7 percent, with New Mexico at 53.9 percent.

  • Optimism about the state but the nation, not so much

    We hear a lot that civility died in the recent election, but it survives here and there.
    Republican Janice Arnold-Jones and Democrat Alan Webber, former candidates for governor, proved that speaking recently to New Mexico Press Women.
    On New Mexico elections:
    “The truth lost,” said Arnold-Jones, a former state representative. “I have never seen such complete willingness to abandon the truth – on both sides.” She said Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, the target of the governor’s political broadsides, “was a thorn in the side but a decent human being.”
    “Michael Sanchez was defeated by a scurrilous campaign,” said Webber. “It was a dark spot on the election.”
    He said the crime bills introduced in the special session “were a carefully laid trap to go after Democrats, in particular, Michael Sanchez.” The reality is that legislators “are too close to voters to be soft on crime,” he said.
    On New Mexico’s economy:
    Despite continuing bad news, the two describe themselves as optimistic. The way forward, both say, is to focus on infrastructure.

  • Business altruism pays off even when payoff isn’t the point

    For many businesses, philanthropic giving has an element of self-interest: It’s giving with the expectation of getting something back in the form of tax breaks and image building.

    But more and more businesses are discovering that unselfish giving has a value that’s immeasurable and that reverberates throughout the community, the workforce and the economy. 

    Community quality of life 

    Businesses that create and nurture an organizational culture based on gratitude can drive significant change that benefits everyone, not just their customers, especially if they can involve likeminded entrepreneurs.

    When a business spearheads a project that solves a local problem or provides a public service, such as building a bike path or setting aside company land for habitat restoration, it demonstrates an investment in the city or town in which it’s based and a commitment to making the host community a better place for everyone to live and work. 

  • How do you get middle school girls hooked on STEM?

    Although women comprise a small fraction of tech professionals—just one in four, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology —several nonprofits and startups are working to jumpstart women’s participation in computer science.

    In a previous column, I considered Grace Hopper Academy, a New York City coding bootcamp designed explicitly for women. GHA’s sister school, Fullstack Academy, takes that program online with a Remote Immersive program. Most recently, I examined how the Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) has expanded female educational access in sub-Saharan Africa using big data. But what about middle school girls here in the United States?

    Middle school is perhaps the most prudent place to promote female participation in STEM, according to several studies. Given that many girls rule out tech careers by high school, educators and administrators would be wise to pique student interest before it’s too late. A Philadelphia-based non-profit called TechGirlz takes that challenge seriously.

  • Credit union merger to create largest NM owned financial institution

    Two Albuquerque credit unions are merging. The combination of Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union and Kirtland Federal Credit Union will have total assets of just over $3 billion, which makes for the largest New Mexico based financial institution and more than double the $1.4 billion In assets recorded by Los Alamos National Bank in September.
    Los Alamos National has had the “largest-local” title since its bigger brethren were sold to companies such as Well Fargo and Bank of America more than 20 years ago.
    Robert Chavez, Sandia president and CEO, will lead the combined company. Chavez is an alumnus of Sunwest Bank.
    The two credit unions have an enviable customer base (credit union customers are called “members”) that combines the people from Albuquerque’s research establishment (Sandia National Laboratories) and the military, which is most everything else on Kirtland Air Force Base.
    These people are steadily employed, decently paid and loyal. Bankers should be so lucky.
    After jumping the regulatory hoops, the deal is expected to be done by the end of 2017.

  • Election 2016: Slime attacks, upsets and close calls

    Gov. Susana Martinez will face a legislature firmly in the hands of Democrats after this election. On the other hand, she got rid of the chief thorn in her side, Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez.
    At this writing, the results are still new and not entirely final. Political pundits will be sorting out this election for a long time, but there are some takeaways.
    The big news here is that Democrats took back the House. After two bitter years of Republican control, we might expect to see some payback, but I hope they focus on the state’s business. Similarly, the Senate is a little more blue than red.
    The leadership shuffle in the House will probably make Rep. Brian Egolf, of Santa Fe, the new speaker. Keep an eye on the powerful House Appropriations and Finance Committee, where Gallup’s Rep.
    Patty Lundstrom has not only the seniority but the knowledge to be chair. And, fellas, women have been a little scarce in leadership positions.
    Incumbents often had the advantage, but not always.
    Newcomer Greg Baca overwhelmed Michael Sanchez after an expensive, ugly campaign. Advance New Mexico Now, a super PAC operated by the governor’s political adviser Jay McCleskey, dropped more than $370,000 on TV advertising alone, according to New Mexico In Depth.

  • Changes to FAFSA make it easier to apply for student aid

    BY NATHAN SILLIN
    Practical Money Skills