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Today's Opinions

  • Get involved in local politics to make a difference

    BY ROBYN SCHULTZ
    Chair, Democratic Party of Los Alamos County

    Guest Columnist

  • What’s the deal with a $15 minimum wage?

    BY DR. TRACY MILLER
    Center for Visions and Values

  • WWII glider pilots braved primitive training conditions

    New Mexico’s air space has blessed us with three Air Force bases, but it didn’t just happen. Civic leaders pitched their communities as the nation was gearing up for World War II, and for a time the state was dotted with airfields.
    Fort Sumner snagged an installation that became Fort Sumner Army Airfield. This one trained glider pilots.
    Glider pilots?
    This had to be one of the Army Air Force’s more unusual programs. The boxcar-like WACO CG-4A gliders could carry 15 men – a pilot, co-pilot, and 13 heavily armed troops called “glider riders.” It could also carry a Jeep, an anti-tank gun or medical supplies and food. On release, the glider coasted down and made something like a controlled crash landing. The pilots, trained as commandos, then became infantry troops. The Brits had similar aircraft, and they all saw service in the D Day landing.
    “The center of glider training was Eastern New Mexico and West Texas,” said John McCullough, of Lubbock, during the New Mexico Historical Society conference last weekend in Farmington.

  • Letters to the Editor 4-17-16

    Democratic Party
    machine trying to
    pre-select president

    The term “Political Machine” evolved largely to describe iron-fisted control of the Democratic Party in New York City and Chicago in previous centuries. Now, a new Democratic Political Machine has appeared, and it encompasses the entire United States.
    Led by Party Chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, the Machine is doing everything it can to pre-select the Democratic nominee for president.  Its bias toward Hillary Clinton is blatant. Representative Shultz has even introduced a bill that would seriously hamper Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Senator Warren is an outspoken supporter of much of Bernie Sanders’ platform.
    While seeming to champion the interests of individuals, the party’s acceptance of corporate money through Super-Pacs has made it cautious when venturing into areas where new laws and regulations may be imposed on those very donors.

  • In early days, Bankhead Highway was a first

    “If any town in the United States needs roads worse than us, it has my pity,” a citizen told his county commissioners. “Farmers,” said the local paper, “have been wedged between two sand hills long enough.”
    These were the first rumblings of the Good Roads movement in New Mexico. In 1915, farmers on the East Side threatened to take their produce to markets in Texas, where roads were better, if the Roosevelt County Commission didn’t do something.  
    The next time you get in your car, remind yourself that a century ago the nation’s roads were little more than dirt tracks and trails with no signs or bridges. In New Mexico, land owners fenced across roads, and drifting sand was a bigger hindrance than fences.
    New Mexico joined the national Good Roads movement, which produced a network of highways, such as they were. We know Route 66 best, but a few years earlier and farther south was the Bankhead Highway, one of the first transcontinental highways.
    It began in 1916 with the Bankhead Highway Association, whose namesake, U. S. Sen. John H. Bankhead, of Alabama, was a leader of the Good Roads movement. That year, Congress passed the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 over the objections of citizens like Henry Ford, who didn’t think roads were a good use of taxpayer money.

  • Song starts path to 206 commissions

    Follow a random path and the journey can get a little strange. This path started with a song, a terrible song, it must be said. I heard the song, “Truth or Consequences,” when I paused my dial flipping at KUNM, the public radio station at the University of New Mexico.
    What I could understand of the lyrics indicated unkind things about Truth or Consequences and about New Mexico. The song seemed to fit our situation.
    By email, I got the name of the song and the artist, Fish Karma of Tucson, aka Terry Owen. The lyrics, in part, say:
    “Well I was on my way to Santa Fe to take a brief vacation.
    “Feeling hungry I pulled in here to get a bite to eat.
    “That was about a month ago and they won’t let me leave.
    “I’m stuck in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
    “Ain’t no way out that I could see…
    “…the deepest pit of hell has gotta be better than this.”
    Unfortunately, the song appeared in 1992, just as we began an Intel-driven boom.

  • Letter to the Editor 4-13-16

    Explosive ideas for Roundabout art

    First, dear county councilors, thank you for standing your ground on the new roundabout at Central and Trinity. It showed loyalty to our commuters.  It was the right and thoughtful thing to do.
    Second, this is about a plea – a recommendation – for utilizing the space in the center of the new roundabout.
    The question to be asked is, what do we want people to know about Los Alamos as they enter (or leave) the town?
    The recommendation is this: we want them to know that this town was central to building the weapon which ended WWII and put up the nuclear umbrella which has preserved world peace from then until now.
    And how? By placing in the center of that roundabout some artifact central to the mission of our town. Something(s) which unmistakably points to the great things which have happened here, and which are still happening here, and how important they are to the nation and to the world. It should be big, and inspire the imagination of all who enter this town concerning the greatness of our past and of our future.  Several Cruise missiles would be good! Or a missile launching pad with missiles, etc.

  • Medicare takes aim at diabetes epidemic

    BY BOB MOOS
    Southwest Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid