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Today's Opinions

  • Millennial creatives fill ‘New Mexico Magazine’

    From its conceptual box of chile, art and opera for the January issue, New Mexico Magazine stepped to the millennial bright lights of arts and technology entrepreneurship.
    The issue, the magazine says, features “some of the creatives who are shaping 21st-century New Mexico culture (and the business incubators that love them)… Neo Santa Fe: America’s oldest capital city has an exciting new vibe (and) ABQ Awakening: New Mexico’s urban core is being reinvented as a hub of creativity and commerce.”
    New Mexico Magazine is the state-owned tourism and lifestyle promotion publication. The nmmagazine.com description is, “Functioning as an enterprise fund in state government, the magazine is self-sufficient with virtually no funding from the taxpayer other than office space.”
    The description sounds about right, based on my brief stint long ago as the magazine’s business manager. I also scored a cover story about the border, which was highly instructive to me. The other side of state ownership is jumping through incredible bureaucratic hoops to get anything done. My boss, publisher Bob Davis, had some inventive techniques for subterfuge.

  • Letter to the Editor 1-10-16

    Do right thing with incorrectly delivered mail

    To all postal patrons in Los Alamos (especially Western Area). As we all know mail delivery in Los Alamos is less than satisfactory and frequently we get mail that belongs to someone else. It mostly happens when our regular carriers have the day off, or is on vacation, that they assign routes to substitutes who are usually unfamiliar with the route or the “sorter” is not paying close enough attention to their job and puts mail on the wrong carriers route.
    If you are one who receives mail addressed to someone else do the right thing and either take it to the correct recipient, who is usually your neighbor, or put it back out on your mail box so the post office can deliver it to the correct person(s). Don’t just throw it away! These miss delivered items could be checks, bills, or other important items that are important for the intended addressee to receive.
    Need I also remind you that it is a federal offense to hamper the delivery of mail to its intended destination? So please do the right thing and make an extra effort to get the mail that isn’t yours to the correct destination. I know that I do.
    Robert Visel
    Los Alamos

  • LANL contract change merits attention more than worry

    BY ROBERT GIBSON
    Los Alamos

  • Free online tool helps businesses succeed

    Finance
    NEW MEXICO

  • Requirements to get a job won’t make jobs magically appear

    Food stamps have been a battleground for two years.
    On Jan. 1, with New Mexico’s unemployment the highest in the nation, a new rule kicked in that returns pre-recession requirements. Thousands of New Mexicans must work, with or without pay, to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
    Nonprofits, religious organizations and the public objected to the new rules and some even sued. The state Human Services Department modified a few rules and pushed them through.
    We’d like to think this move would create more wage earners, but that’s unlikely. Economic reality and systemic weaknesses will sandbag the administration’s wishful thinking.
    The new rule requires most able-bodied, childless adults aged 18 to 49 to show 80 hours a month of approved work to qualify for SNAP, formerly called food stamps. Otherwise, they get just three months’ benefits in three years. On Oct. 1, people aged 16 to 59 and parents of children 13 and older will come under the rules. That’s 24,000 people, HSD estimates.
    The idea is that these people can work without pay in a job that “gives a person experience in a job or industry, tests a person’s job skills, or involves volunteer time and effort to a not-for-profit organization,” the regulation says. They can also participate in state-supervised activities like filling out job applications and contacting employers.

  • Letters to the editor 1-8-16

    Voting yes on mill levy is a ‘no brainer’

    Please make a special effort to vote in favor for HB33 Mill Levy in the January 2016 Special Election. Approval will not increase your property taxes. Voting is easy – your ballot will be mailed directly to you. Please remember to sign the outer envelope!
    Why vote? HB33 will provide over $13 million over the next six years to the Los Alamos public schools. Funding schools is a “no brainer” in a community as fortunate as we are and with citizens who put a priority on education. I believe in this community. I believe that the voters in this town will absolutely vote in support of HB33. I will vote yes and await for the results of an overwhelming positive voter response. Thank you in advance.
    Kelly Myers
    Los Alamos

    LA County resolution in support of the
    Endangered Species Act

  • Reflections: On snow balls and drivers’licenses

    As best my research has been able to determine, testing American drivers’ skills as a prerequisite to operating motor vehicles on public arteries began in 1899, and it started in two U.S. cities, Chicago and New York City.
    The purpose of that testing was to validate motorists’ ability safely to use and operate all those automobiles and other motorized locomotives that had suddenly started lumbering along the local roadways and streets which previously had served mainly as thoroughfares for horses and buggies, oxen and wagons.
    The new tests also measured a would-be motorist’s “knowledge of the road,” including speed limits, stop-and-go regulations, rules governing left turns and right turns and all the other protocols involving the art of operating motor vehicles.
    When a person passed one of those tests, he or she would be licensed to drive and would be given an actual artifact known as a “driver’s license” which validated his or her ability safely to drive.
    It wasn’t nuclear science or brain surgery, of course. It was simply a very sensible thing to do. If you are going to have all these vehicles running around on public roadways, make sure you set down some rules to ensure that persons operating motorized vehicles have passed the required tests.
    So what have we done with this common sense arrangement?
    Well, here in New Mexico lately, we have pretty much screwed it up.

  • Unemployment trends don’t seem to apply in New Mexico

    When people leave an area, unemployment should drop. That’s because, so the theory goes, the people leaving (migration is the technical term) have some tendency to be unemployed. That doesn’t seem to apply here. Migration declined ever so slightly in 2015 from 2014, but unemployment stayed essentially the same.
    The applicable theory appears to be the old Lew Wallace maxim, “Every calculation based on experience elsewhere fails in New Mexico.” Wallace was governor of New Mexico from 1878 to 1881.
    During the year ended July 1, 2015, there were 13,352 people pulling up their New Mexico stakes and leaving, according to the annual population estimates released by the Census Bureau Dec. 22. The population dropped 458 during the year.
    For the year ending July 1, 2014, it was 14,154 departures and an overall population decline of 1,323. The decline in out migration was 802 people, or 5.7 percent,
    The departure total since the April 2010 census is 43,041 with 27,506 going during the last two years.