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Today's Opinions

  • Letter to the Editor 5-20-16

     Thanks for the support

    Pig + Fig Cafe is overwhelmed and humbled by the support and generosity that the Los Alamos community gave us last week during the Special Olympics Los Alamos Wine Dinner Benefit.
    We would like to give a special thank you to:
    Our guest sous chefs and local restaurateurs Vance Boone of Aramark, Patrick Mockler-Wood, as well as our guest sommeliers Karen Easton, Dane Spearing and Andrea Pistone.
    Our food vendors Altamira Foods, Snake River Farms, Cheesemongers of Santa Fe, Just the Best Produce and Sysco Foods also generously donated all the food served at this event. The stars of the show were the exquisite wines graciously donated by local wine collectors: Tom Hill, Glenn Magelssen, Mark Gray, Steve Costigan and Laura Hamilton.
    The wine dinner tickets were $125 each with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Special Olympics Los Alamos.
    In one night, we were able to raise over $3,000 for Special Olympics Los Alamos. This event could not have been possible without all the food and wine enthusiasts who generously purchased tickets for this special night. From the bottom of our hearts and tummies, we thank you all!
    Claire Roybal
    Pig + Fig Cafe

  • PNM investments drive economic development

    BY AGNES NOONAN
    President, WESST

  • Don’t let candidates stretch the facts about taxes

    As we get closer to primary elections, you’re going to hear two stories about taxes.
    Story No. 1: New Mexico’s taxes are a dreadful burden on its citizens. Story No. 2: New Mexico’s big corporate tax giveaway in 2013 has eroded the tax base so much that revenues have plummeted and responsible public officials must raise revenues.
    First, we’ve heard scare stories about our tax burden for years, and for just as long various studies have told us that we’re actually middling.
    This year, WalletHub said New Mexico ranked 27th in state tax burden as a percentage of personal income. Our gross receipts tax burden is fifth highest in the nation. But the total tax burden, of 8.67 percent, is far lower than New York (13 percent), Hawaii (12 percent), and Maine and Vermont (11 percent). The lowest was Alaska, at about 5 percent.
    On the other hand, WalletHub placed New Mexico 41st in the return for taxes paid. This is based on 20 categories of education, health, safety, economy, infrastructure and pollution. We took a big hit for our sorry economy. Yes, you can hold elected officials responsible for the ranking and the economy. Colorado’s return on investment was third, Texas was 15th, and Arizona was 19th.

  • Letters to the Editor 5-18-16

    Seriously? Christine Chandler?

    In the current political environment, where our government thinks that they should make all the decisions for us, we are offered Christine Chandler as a candidate for county council.
    I had to think back on the name, as I recall it being associated with some controversy in Los Alamos in the not too distant past. Following a bit of research, it all came back.
    In 2010, Christine and her husband, both attorneys, sued the county to keep a petition, regarding a proposed location of the new municipal building, from being put in front of the voters of Los Alamos County. Roughly, the petition suggested letting the voters decide if the new municipal building might go back where the old one was torn down.
    Prior to the lawsuit, the county council thought voter input was appropriate, given the petition. The whole ballot process had been set up and was ready to go, but it would appear that the Chandlers didn’t want that to happen. From all the articles in the Los Alamos Monitor, it wasn’t like there was some grand movement, public sway or another petition that drove them to champion the cause.
    It looks like it was just them and a pup tent where they wanted the new building to be.

  • Comparing cities’ appeal for ‘successful aging’

    As the oldest Baby Boomers turn 70, there is an opportunity to compare among cities the factors in successful aging. Disclosure: The Baby Boomer group includes me.
    The analysis comes from the Milken Institute (milkeninstitute.org) of California.
    While Milken talks of aging, boomers in the audience need to admit something obvious and un-boomerlike; 70 is old. So is 68, which is Hillary Clinton’s age. Donald Trump is 69. This old-people-for-president bit is the weirdest part of this very weird presidential year. But I digress.
    Milken provides two lists, one ranking large cities, one ranking small cities. The title is “Best Cities for Successful Aging.”
    Of the 100 large cities, Albuquerque places 67th. Among the 252 small cities, Santa Fe is 76th; Las Cruces, 140th; and Farmington, 169th.
    Cold places rank highest for aging. Madison, Wisconsin, is best large city. Iowa City, Iowa, 177 miles away, leads the small. Both are state-university cities, home to, respectively, the University of Wisconsin and University of Iowa. Both are in the Big Ten. All coincidental, I presume. Weather gets the biggest weight among the general factors. Other than drinking, weather is Madison’s worst rank. Madison and Iowa City must do well on other factors.

  • Better ways to ‘pull together’ for our kids

    BY VERONICA C. GARCIA
    Executive Director, New Mexico Voices for Children

  • Letter to the Editor 5-15-16

    We need to learn to
    ‘unvalue’ our differences

    In a recent Rolling Stone article entitled: “The Line That May Have Won Hilary Clinton the Nomination,” Matt Taibbi makes a valid argument for the role that racism played in the financial crisis of 2008. His argument begins with Clinton’s question at a rally aimed at her opponent, Bernie Sanders: “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow would that end racism?”
    While there is amble evidence that people of color were specifically targeted during the sub-prime fiasco, it appears that Taibbi is suggesting not that greed and racism are tied together but rather that the marginalized are easy targets for those who are greedy. I would suggest, however, that greed and racism are intimately tied at a deep and dark subconscious level.
    To see the answer, we need to get below the materialism of greed and the black and white of racism. We need to get to our deepest fear, the fear of being cast out by society. We need to see it for what it is, a true reality that drives much of our behavior but, at the same time, is no more than a state of mind produced by an electrical potential along the axons of a certain group of neurons.

  • Decision making on public lands needs to be close to users

    BY BOB HAGAN
    Special to the Monitor