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

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.

  • Black Friday blues

    Shoppers will be lining up at the crack of dawn on “Black Friday” for spectacular deals. What they don’t know is that the best bargains have already been taken — not by other shoppers, but by some of America’s largest corporations.
    Walmart, the biggest corporation in America, with revenues of almost half a trillion dollars, gets a $1 billion tax break each year on average by exploiting federal tax loopholes, according to a new report from Americans for Tax Fairness. Taxpayers, even those lined up in the early morning darkness at giant retailers like Walmart, pay the price.
    How? First, the more big corporations dodge paying their fair share of taxes, the more American families and small businesses have to make up, or else there is less money available for critical investments, such as rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, improving education and making college more affordable, or finding new medical cures.
    When Black Friday shoppers check the prices, they’ll never see these hidden costs of tax avoidance. But when Americans figure out what’s going on they’ll have a bad case of the Black Friday Blues.

  • New Mexico needs a thoughtful plan for the future now

    The political punditry in the aftermath of the recent elections has focused on the inevitable political maneuvering while missing an essential point: citizens are tired of the bickering and rhetoric and are desperate for real solutions to real problems.
    Much of the talk in the weeks since the election has focused on which legislators and members of Congress will gain or lose power or whether the governor will be able to more easily advance her agenda through the legislature. How will the president work with Congress? Has the country undergone a dramatic philosophical shift? Or is this change more of a footnote in the history books?
    Of course, for close observers and pundits, those questions are interesting, and sometimes even fun, to kick around. But the truth is, the answers to those questions mean nothing to the young woman in her 20s who can’t find a job that pays enough for her to live on her own, or to the 7-year-old boy starting his day hungry because he’s one of 144,000 New Mexico children living in poverty, or to the hundreds upon thousands of New Mexicans struggling to find jobs, grappling with substance abuse, or facing a bleak future because of an inadequate education.

  • Black-Eye Friday

    Yesterday was Thanksgiving. Families and friends spent the day together to commemorate a day of thanks, a time to reflect on the good times past and the good times to come.
    When I was younger, Thanksgiving meant a family dinner at my parents’ house, gaining 10 pounds by the evening’s end. As I grew older, it meant going out with friends and being very sophisticated as we sampled four-dozen different wines (usually cleaning our palettes with shots of whiskey). And as the years went on, the dinners became more sedated, the conversation more civilized and the party animal put to bed before midnight.
    I’ve learned over time that what makes Thanksgiving a time to be thankful is not the past nor the future, but simply the moment itself.
    Ah, but Thanksgiving is over, and the moment is gone. It’s Friday and no one is fighting over who gets the last drumstick. The fight is now focused on who gets the last computer tablet, who gets the last set of discounted bathroom towels, who gets the last Barbie Fantasy Castle.
    It’s a contest to find out who has the most stupid stuffed in their head.

  • Statewide Biz Calendar promotes business-building connections

    New Mexicans never have to wonder where they can go to widen their professional networks or learn the skills that will grow their businesses or advance their careers.
    The online business calendar — or Biz Calendar for short — offers the most comprehensive cache of information about the business events, workshops, meetings, certification classes and professional gatherings that are happening anywhere in the state today, tomorrow, next week and later in the year.
    Public and private service providers use the collaborative web-based calendar to inform the business community about what they’re offering, and economic development organizations use it to connect their local businesses to resources designed to help create jobs and raise the quality of life in New Mexico communities.
    The Biz Calendar began as a project of the nonprofit arm of New Mexico Community Capital in 2007, with support from New Mexico’s Economic Development Department, the Finance Authority and the Small Business Development Network. Organizers aimed to distribute information about events hosted by nonprofits and government agencies.