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Today's Opinions

  • The slippery slope of civil society

    Civil society is a slippery slope.
    It’s a constant tug of war between total individual freedom and rules that enable us to live as a society.
    We have free speech, but we may not yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater to start a panic. If we defame another person, we can be liable for the damage we cause. Your freedom to swing your arm, the saying goes, ends at my nose. We argue vigorously about freedom of the press and what government should be required to disclose.
    Government imposes laws, enforces laws, and has the opportunity to abuse its powers.  Usually it doesn’t. When it does, people sometimes get very badly hurt, but we can correct the abuse.
    Our laws swing back and forth with trends. We go through an era of being “tough on crime,” then the trend reverses as we see, for example, that too many people are in prison.
    Government makes mistakes; sometimes those mistakes lead to tragic results for individuals, but the power is kept in check by opposing forces, including the will of the people and the opportunity to throw officeholders out of office at the next election.

  • Letter to the editor 2-12-16

    Bartlit unaware of LANL’s various contributions

    As usual, John Bartlit’s Sunday column on Structural Health Monitoring is wise, insightful and informative.
    But it is somewhat startling that he was unaware of SHM, as Los Alamos National Laboratory has been a significant contributor both in applying techniques, such as frequency response (sound spectra) measurements for both validating parts (such as castings) and in situ monitoring (such as metal beam bridges) for corrosion or stress accumulation leading to cracking.
    LANL has also contributed to designs for such monitors that can be powered and report without grid connections (reducing costs and enhancing remote sensing capabilities).
    While Lab publications can be painfully self-congratulatory, they are worth at least skimming for the many technological developments carried out here that they report regularly.
    Terry Goldman
    Los Alamos

  • Old-school PR can help business, not bust budget

    BY SANDY NELSON
    Finance New Mexico project

  • Latest batch of DWI bills, like the last, won’t work

    Tim Solano is one big reason we need tougher DWI laws, says a lawmaker. Solano is a good example of why those laws don’t work, says a DWI expert.
    Solano had five DWIs in 2005 when he killed a woman bicycling in Santa Fe. He served 10 years in prison. In December, after his release, he was arrested again for DWI.
    That was frightening to Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes, R-Albuquerque. Her husband exercised in the same area when they lived in Santa Fe. She’s carrying HB 83 to increase penalties for multiple DWI convictions. It’s one of three DWI bills in the governor’s package that recently passed the House.
    The measures won’t have any effect on the state’s dreadful drunken driving experience, said Linda Atkinson, executive director of the DWI Resource Center. “The victims get told that these laws will prevent future DWI deaths, but it’s a disservice to victims,” she said. “It won’t change anything. It’s very, very sad.”
    Atkinson has been involved in DWI issues since the 1980s and has worked with such DWI crusaders as Nadine Milford and former Gallup Mayor Ed Muñoz. She co-founded the nonprofit DWI Resource Center, which tracks data and provides information to victims.

  • End cynical manipulation of the New Mexico ballot

    BY REP. NORA ESPINOZA
    Dist. 59, New Mexico State Representative

  • Pearce mine spill bill seeks special investigator

    Temporarily stopping the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency from making new regulations except in emergencies would result from a bill filed by Congressman Steve Pearce to appoint a special investigator to find exactly what happened last year with the Gold King Mine spill.
    The proposal is the ‘‘Gold King Mine Spill Accountability Act of 2016.” The move comes, Pearce said via telephone from his Washington, D.C., office, because, “We just feel like the federal government has no concern for their effect on local people.”
    We need to “defend our constituents…(and) hold the EPA responsible,” he said.
    “People come to us when they want someone to stand up,” Pearce said, explaining his pursuit of the matter, as opposed to, say, Congressman Ben Luján, whose district contains the Animas River, which was badly polluted by mine waste. Pearce said he has pursued other problems outside his district.
    A request to Luján’s office for comment produced a 154-word statement that is posted at capitolreportnm.blogspot.com. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, Rep. Luján, and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet have introduced a Gold King bill lacking the special investigator and allowing continued EPA regulation production,

  • House proposes responsible budget for New Mexico

    BY REP. LARRY LARRANAGA
    Chair, House Appropriations and Finance Committee, Dist. 27

  • Economic policy: a long-ignored issue

    BY JOE D'ANNA
    Los Alamos