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Today's Opinions

  • Shoot, shovel and shut up!

     

    If you find oil or natural gas on your property, the value goes up. If you find an endangered species, your land becomes virtually worthless — resulting in the half-jest, half-serious advice: “shoot, shovel and shut up.”

    The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed into law in 1973 by President Richard Nixon to preserve, protect and recover key domestic species. Though well intentioned at the start, the ESA has since been used as a tool to hinder or block economic activity from logging and farming to mining and oil-and-gas development.

  • Billions sitting on the sidelines while critical ideas lack funding

     

    As the legislative session winds down and the final budget is crafted, I can’t help but reflect on one of the great tragedies of current state government. With every tax break, education program, special interest and critical line item being accounted for, it is easy to forget that our state government is awash in cash.

    There are hundreds of millions of unused tax dollars — excess bonding capacity and thousands of unfilled jobs — tucked away throughout state government. 

    Meanwhile, critical government services, water projects, ‘big idea’ education and economic development investment proposals fall to the wayside. We have the resources to move New Mexico forward but they remain unused. 

  • Bullet in the head of a ridiculous law

     

    Column as I see ’em …

    It’s rare these days when proponents of the 2nd Amendment have a reason to celebrate, and rarer yet when that reason emanates from a state like California.

    With little fanfare and a begrudging attitude from gun control advocates disguised as reporters, news broke Thursday that the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel overturned restrictions on carrying concealed handguns.

    No, that doesn’t mean gun owners no longer need to apply and be approved for concealed carry permits, but pending future and inevitable appeals from gun control zealots, it does strike a blow to local municipalities that place unrealistic restrictions on those who apply for a permit.

  • Ways to protect a pet's dental health

     

  • Global warming has Winter Olympics skating on thin ice

     

    As the world turns its attention to the Sochi Olympic Games, Environment New Mexico revealed a summary of global warming impacts on Winter Olympic sports, and highlighting the need to act urgently to reduce the carbon pollution fueling global warming.

    “When it comes to the future of winter sports, global warming has us skating on thin ice,” said Dominick Lawton, field associate with Environment New Mexico. “There’s still time to keep from sliding off the edge by going after the biggest sources of the carbon pollution fueling global warming.” 

  • E Pluribus Multi Stulti

     

    In  the United States Constitution, the Founding Fathers took great care with the inclusion and exclusion of various topics. Many aspects of what defines America are explicitly enumerated.

    And many other aspects were purposely avoided. For instance, they made no effort whatsoever to define a national language.

    Standing on avant-garde political terra firma of the times, these colonial guerrillas forged a joie de vivre mentality that gave birth to a nation. The omission of declaring a national language was, de facto, evidence of their compos mentis and a sense of Realpolitik.

    Then again, maybe this exclusion was per se, a faux pas? 

  • Agreement reduces separation anxiety

    There are many circumstances under which an employee and employer part ways.
    An employee can choose to leave a job, or the company may make a unilateral decision to end the employment relationship. Whatever the case, the separation should be documented in writing to protect both parties.
    For the employee’s benefit, a separation agreement should detail in writing what the employer intends to provide at the parting. These might include the final paycheck, severance pay, pay-out of unused vacation or sick time and/or any continuation of coverage under the company’s health-care plan.
    For the employer, an agreement can help protect against some potential lawsuits and clarify what the employee agreed to provide the company when hired. These might include an agreement stating that the employee would not compete directly against the company for a predetermined period, agreements not to disclose proprietary or confidential information and promises to return company property, such as a company-provided laptop or car.
    A separation agreement should identify the company and the exiting worker, and it should give the reasons for the departure. While this is especially important when the employee is fired for cause, it’s just as critical when the employee initiates the separation.

  • Get ready for Crab Fest from Rotary Club

    Ahoy, Los Alamos! It’s time for Rotary’s 5th Annual Crab Fest, Feb. 22 at the Knights of Columbus Hall. This all-you-can-eat crab and prawn dinner, our biggest fundraiser of the year, is served family-style with coleslaw, beans, rolls, dessert and beverages. There will be chicken for those who do not care for seafood.
    The cash bar opens at 5:30 p.m.; dinner, primarily prepared by Blue Window Bistro, will be served at 7 p.m. with help from members of the Los Alamos High School National Honor Society.
    Along with dinner, you’ll be treated to guitar music by Tony Chan, and you’ll have many opportunities to bid on an abundant selection of silent and live auction items, with Jill Cook as auctioneer.
    Auctions items include a Towa golf and overnight package at Homewood Suites; a condo stay at The Village at Steamboat Springs; a Firehouse Station 3 dinner and tour; and spring clean-up by Oasis Landscape. There will also be a handmade quilt by artist Katy Korkos, antique New Mexico window frame mirrors, fine wines, jewelry and artwork, golf lessons and massage certificates and gift certificates for ciopinno, filet mignon-prawn, and sushi dinners with wine pairings. There’s even an airplane flight to Taos with Sunday brunch.