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Today's Opinions

  • John Pawlak: The beauty of impermanence

     

    "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings. Look on my works, ye mighty and despair!”

    So wrote the English poet, Percy Shelley, in 1818.  Ozymandias, once all powerful and feared, and now nothing remains but fragments to remind us of his reign. The grandeur of a king falls into dusty ruin and oblivion, much like the decaying face of the Great Sphinx of Egypt.

    Ozymandias is a metaphor for the impermanence of all things.

    Humans, however, believe that they themselves are eternal, their fame destined to live on in historic perpetuity.

    Sorry folks. Even a diamond isn’t forever.

  • Six must-know facts about Obamacare open enrollment

    Nov. 15 is the date open enrollment is available for individual healthcare plans offered through the Healthcare.gov site, your respective health insurance marketplace (healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/eligibility/) or independent agents in your community.
    If you’re working for a company that provides your health insurance, chances are your open enrollment period has already begun. The SHOP insurance marketplace, open to small businesses and nonprofits with 50 or fewer full-time employees, also begins taking online applications Nov. 15.
    If you buy your own personal or family coverage, don’t wait until Nov. 15 to start planning your 2015 coverage decisions — do it now.
    Here are six things you should know to get started:
    1. Timing is tight. Last year’s health insurance enrollment process lasted six months. This year, it’s only three — Nov. 15 to February 15. You may be able to enroll outside of those dates if you’re facing a major life change like a divorce, birth of a child or marriage; otherwise, that’s your window.

  • Small Business Saturday benefits local communities

    Maria-Alicia Cordova cares about her business and the community it serves. Besides offering manicures, haircuts and other personal-care services at Al’s Styling Salon in Belen, Cordova serves on the board of the Belen MainStreet Partnership — a community effort to improve the appearance and economic vitality of the city’s downtown.
     Small Business Saturday — the Saturday after Thanksgiving — draws attention to the important role that Cordova and other independent merchants in New Mexico play in the local, state and national economy.
     “Belen has always been good to my business,” Cordova said of the venture her father started 57 years ago. “My father raised our family on salon work.”
    When communities embrace small businesses, it proves that people can thrive in small towns, she said. “Communities are sustained by local businesses — they anchor a community.”
    Business owners like Cordova are the core constituents of the New Mexico MainStreet program, an initiative of the New Mexico Economic Development Department. The MainStreet program, which started in 1985, is reviving the state’s traditional business districts through investments in infrastructure and amenities that bring new businesses and jobs back to distressed downtowns.

  • Pet Talk: Pitfalls of ringworm

    Dermatophytosis, otherwise known as “ringworm,” is a fairly common fungal infection that can affect dogs, cats and other animals.
    “The term ‘ringworm’ actually comes from the circular, ring-like lesion formed on the skin of infected people; however, the disease itself is not caused by a worm at all,” said Dr. Alison Diesel, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
    Dermatophytosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning it not only can be transmitted to other animals, but to people as well. An animal or person can become infected with dermatophytes from contact with another infected animal, transfer from infected materials such as bedding and grooming equipment, or from the soil.
    “Very young animals and older animals with other underlying illness are at higher risk for dermatophytes,” Diesel said.  
    “Dermatophytosis is the most common cause of alopecia, or hairloss, in cats. In addition to poor hair coat, it can also cause reddened skin, hyperpigmentation, and lesions.
    “Lesions will often involve little red bumps called papules, scabs and circular areas of hairloss. Anywhere on the body may be affected by hairloss, but face and paws will often have lesions,” Diesel said.

  • Negative ads allowed Martinez to choose her opponent

    Did Susana Martinez’s campaign strategists influence the selection of her opponent? Did the Martinez machine want Gary King to be the Democratic nominee for governor?
    Brian Sanderoff thinks so.
    That was one of several points Sanderoff made in a recent talk about the forces at work in this year’s election. Despite how we prefer to think of ourselves, in many ways we voters are the captives of trends, from ethnic preferences to the unpopularity of sixth-year presidents.
    Sanderoff is president of Research and Polling and a respected analyst of New Mexico politics.
    In the Democratic primary, we recall, there were five candidates, three Hispanic and two Anglo. The Martinez campaign ran TV commercials during the primary against candidate Alan Webber. The intention, said Sanderoff, was to draw Anglo votes from Webber, which would tend to shift to King. With Hispanic voters divided, that would put King on top.  
    King, Sanderoff explained, would be the easiest candidate to beat because he has the longest public record. He has served eight years as attorney general and 10 years in the Legislature. That enabled the Martinez opposition researchers to find negative gems like the building in Moriarty that has no doubt become the best-known lease in state history.

  • Right-to-work gets a second wind

    As Republican legislators update goals in light of their newly won House majority, right-to-work is waking from a long slumber.
    Right-to-work laws prohibit union membership as a condition of employment. Republicans and the business community have long believed right-to-work would be good for economic development — a signal that the state is business friendly. Unions, Democrats and advocates for working people have always said that weakened unions would mean lower wages and deteriorating working conditions.
    Right-to-work has come up repeatedly, but hasn’t been a big issue for decades. In 1978, it was so hot that Bruce King almost lost his election to Joe Skeen. As governor, King vetoed right-to-work in 1979. When that veto was challenged, the state Supreme Court upheld its legality.
    For a sneak preview of the debate to come, look at the legislative session of 1981, when a gaggle of right-to-work supporters took office. One was Sen. Mickey Barnett, R-Portales, who introduced a right-to-work bill.
    House Minority Leader Hoyt Pattison, R-Clovis, argued: “The fact is, the people of our state and our nation don’t like to be told that they have to do something.” They don’t like to be told they have to pay dues to hold a job, especially when dues are used to support political candidates.

  • http://www.lamonitor.com/content/report-truck-crash-released

    As Republican legislators update goals in light of their newly won House majority, right-to-work is waking from a long slumber.
    Right-to-work laws prohibit union membership as a condition of employment. Republicans and the business community have long believed right-to-work would be good for economic development — a signal that the state is business friendly. Unions, Democrats and advocates for working people have always said that weakened unions would mean lower wages and deteriorating working conditions.
    Right-to-work has come up repeatedly, but hasn’t been a big issue for decades. In 1978, it was so hot that Bruce King almost lost his election to Joe Skeen. As governor, King vetoed right-to-work in 1979. When that veto was challenged, the state Supreme Court upheld its legality.
    For a sneak preview of the debate to come, look at the legislative session of 1981, when a gaggle of right-to-work supporters took office. One was Sen. Mickey Barnett, R-Portales, who introduced a right-to-work bill.
    House Minority Leader Hoyt Pattison, R-Clovis, argued: “The fact is, the people of our state and our nation don’t like to be told that they have to do something.” They don’t like to be told they have to pay dues to hold a job, especially when dues are used to support political candidates.

  • Slow movement for enforcing solar power PART 2

    This is part 2 of 2

    The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has put on hold plans for a new 1 MW solar array for Los Alamos County, and there has been slow and inadequate movement in the adoption of solar PV for new and existing Los Alamos County buildings.  
    A full 8.2MWh (megawatt hour) battery storage system is already in place — as described in the county’s “Los Alamos Smart Community” publication, one that would provide stable, clean power at a rate of 25 to 50 percent on a residential neighborhood of 1,600 homes. This technology has not been utilized to its full potential yet, and it seems that the DPU is willing to put up an air of being progressive and “smart” while actually moving in the opposite direction.
    According to Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Manager Tim Glasco, solar power generated from Los Alamos County residents is “a completely uncontrolled source of power coming into our system that we don’t know when it’s going to come in, we don’t know how much is going to come in, and that wreaks havoc with the quality of power, with the scheduling of power, with reliability.”