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Today's Opinions

  • Trump, Mexico and the art of the deal

    BY BOB HAGAN
    Coffee on a Cold Morning

  • Letters to the Editor 2-3-17

    Time is approaching for seasonal employees

    While we are still in the icy grip of winter, summer is not that far off and with it will come a small crowd of summer seasonal employees, here to work the season and looking for a place to live.
    With the ever-tightening housing market in Los Alamos and the requirement for yearly leases, summer employees find it difficult to locate housing.
    Los Alamos National Laboratory often dominates the scene with its summer interns and techs that visit for projects during the summer, allowing few opportunities for others. Santa Fe and Española have housing available, but the distance and price make it much more costly and less efficient.
    Most summer seasonals will start their season in April or May (some even earlier) and finish up in the fall around October. If you have a small apartment, efficiency or room available that you would be willing to rent for less than the usual 12 months, to an outgoing, pleasant, quiet, hardworking (hopefully) person, please let me know and I can pass on this information to those who are looking for a place to stay this summer.
    Brian Kliesen
    White Rock

    Apologies to drivers
    running amok around town

  • Letters to the Editor 2-01-17

    Jim Hall has leadership that is needed on school board

    Voters in the Piñon district have a choice that one wishes every voter would always have, namely, two excellent candidates. I have had the pleasure to work with Jim Hall and Ellen Ben-Naim. They are both dedicated public servants who care deeply about our students, teachers, and schools.
    If I were eligible to vote, I’d give my nod to Jim Hall. Jim has a remarkable set of experiences from leading business computing at the lab to serving as the State Chief Information Officer, to serving as a county councilor, our state representative, and president of the school board. Jim is also a successful businessman and property developer, who serves on the board of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation. He understands budgets and information technology from both a private and public sector perspective. His breadth of knowledge is an invaluable asset for governing our schools, especially in times of resource constraints and changing needs for our students and teachers to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

  • Two New Mexico cities put values on display

    How do you want people to think about your community?
    If you live in Carlsbad, the nation currently knows your town through a Facebook post. If you live in Santa Fe, the nation has heard about Santa Fe’s declaration as a sanctuary city.
     In case you were abducted by aliens, Carlsbad City Councilor J. R. Doporto said on Facebook: “Just want to give a heads up to the women! You have rights! A right to cook and a right to clean. Today is Sunday and the NFL playoffs our (sic) on! I suggest you stop your b!tch!ng/protesting during this time. Because you also have a right to get slapped!”
    For that, he lost his job.
    Doporto has said he was just joking and claims his right to freedom of speech has been violated. His wife says he’s a good husband and father.
    I’m not going to rant about the post – plenty of other people have done that. My concern – and I write about this periodically – is how New Mexico is perceived on the outside.
    Doporto’s post made news all over New Mexico and, after Cox Media Group and the Huffington Post picked it up, across the nation. For a community that’s dependent in part on tourists, this isn’t healthy.

  • ABQ income rank down, Mora income up and people still leaving

    Topics this week: How many of us are there? How has our population changed? How much money do we make in each county? Population numbers come from the Census Bureau. Money numbers are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    A non-federal number gets us started. Albuquerque’s population is projected to be 919,854 as of Jan. 1, 2018, up a slight 5,028, or 0.5 percent, from 914,826 to start 2017. The figures come from American City Business Journals, publisher of “Albuquerque Business First,” a weekly. Love the specificity. Also the immediacy.
    Translated, Albuquerque’s population will be flat for 2017. Presumably this is metro Albuquerque, though American City doesn’t say.
    The federal numbers folks aren’t much into projecting. They wait a while for some early figures to supply the computers. The newest federal numbers are for July 1, 2016.
    New Mexico’s population grew 687 from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016. That means no growth at all, maybe even a decline because the miniscule 687 is an estimate within a range. The “growth” happened only because busy New Mexicans added more babies to the population – an estimated 25,491 during the 2015-2016 year – than there were subtractions because people died. The gain was 7,692.

  • How poor do we want to be?

    Three little words will generate a lot of heated words during this legislative session: To be determined.
    This is how the Legislative Finance Committee, meeting between April and December, indicates the source of money to help balance the budget in fiscal 2018. “To be determined” is shorthand for more cuts on top of cuts already made or new revenue in the form of tax increases.
    Before you jump to a conclusion about that choice, take a minute to grasp where we are. The choices made in this session will decide how poor New Mexico will be in coming years.
    All the usual clichés about “belt tightening,” “trimming the fat,” “low hanging fruit” and “right-sizing” no longer apply. In previous years, the governor and Legislature have made across-the-board cuts to state agencies, and those cuts continue. This year, they have to decide who gets hurt.
    The proposed victims, according to proposals from the executive and legislative branches, are schools, higher education (big time), courts, fire departments, law enforcement, economic development, water, tribes, local communities, state employees and teachers, and wildlife.
    Let’s see, did they miss anybody? Our unpaid legislators even cut their own feed bill, which funds the current session.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-27-17

    Join NM Wildlife
    Federation for annual rally Feb. 1 in Santa Fe

    On Jan. 21, millions of people from around the globe rallied for women’s rights, civil rights, the environment and a host of other issues. Here in New Mexico, thousands attended rallies across the state. The day was an amazing example of communities coming together and the power of organizing.
    The big question is, what’s next?
    As the legislative session continues and a new administration takes control in Washington, D.C. more and more citizens are looking to get involved. I think the best way to do that is by learning about local issues, elected officials, and races.
    One issue that hits particularly close to home in New Mexico is the continued access to our public lands. We are lucky to have an abundance of public lands in our state, but politicians are pushing to overturn our national monuments, and public land seizure is officially in the GOP platform.
    Our public lands give New Mexicans the opportunity to hunt, fish, hike, camp, and enjoy the outdoors however they want all year long. Transferring control of our national lands to the states is fiscally irresponsible and could deny Americans access forever.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-25-16

    Governments can’t be trusted with existing gun
    regulations

    Unfortunately Terry Goldman and I’m sure many others do not keep informed and therefore do not realize that both the federal government and state governments lie to the people all the time, especially about gun rules and laws. Though the Brady Bill requires that the Federal Bureau of Investigation destroy requests for background checks after 24 hours, the FBI has proved over and over again during the last year that they do not do this.
    Reference for one example that within three hours of the San Bernardino shooting, they knew where the shooter had bought his gun. The only way that is possible is if they never destroyed the background check, as required.
    And while we’re on the Brady Bill let’s not forget that at the moment it does not exist! Federal Judge Reed O’Connor declared the act “on it’s face blatantly unconstitutional,” and the Obama administration never appealed the ruling. Not to mention that the Second and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution clearly say the federal government has no jurisdiction to control firearms period! So the Interstate Commerce clause does not apply!
    Requiring gun owners to carry gun insurance is a form of registering.