.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Today's Opinions

  • Credit union merger to create largest NM owned financial institution

    Two Albuquerque credit unions are merging. The combination of Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union and Kirtland Federal Credit Union will have total assets of just over $3 billion, which makes for the largest New Mexico based financial institution and more than double the $1.4 billion In assets recorded by Los Alamos National Bank in September.
    Los Alamos National has had the “largest-local” title since its bigger brethren were sold to companies such as Well Fargo and Bank of America more than 20 years ago.
    Robert Chavez, Sandia president and CEO, will lead the combined company. Chavez is an alumnus of Sunwest Bank.
    The two credit unions have an enviable customer base (credit union customers are called “members”) that combines the people from Albuquerque’s research establishment (Sandia National Laboratories) and the military, which is most everything else on Kirtland Air Force Base.
    These people are steadily employed, decently paid and loyal. Bankers should be so lucky.
    After jumping the regulatory hoops, the deal is expected to be done by the end of 2017.

  • What New Mexico’s tax-hikers don’t want you to know

    BY D. DOWD MUSKA
    New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation

  • ABQ income rank down, Mora income up and people still leaving

    Topics this week: How many of us are there? How has our population changed? How much money do we make in each county? Population numbers come from the Census Bureau. Money numbers are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    A non-federal number gets us started. Albuquerque’s population is projected to be 919,854 as of Jan. 1, 2018, up a slight 5,028, or 0.5 percent, from 914,826 to start 2017. The figures come from American City Business Journals, publisher of “Albuquerque Business First,” a weekly. Love the specificity. Also the immediacy.
    Translated, Albuquerque’s population will be flat for 2017. Presumably this is metro Albuquerque, though American City doesn’t say.
    The federal numbers folks aren’t much into projecting. They wait a while for some early figures to supply the computers. The newest federal numbers are for July 1, 2016.
    New Mexico’s population grew 687 from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016. That means no growth at all, maybe even a decline because the miniscule 687 is an estimate within a range. The “growth” happened only because busy New Mexicans added more babies to the population – an estimated 25,491 during the 2015-2016 year – than there were subtractions because people died. The gain was 7,692.

  • Two New Mexico cities put values on display

    How do you want people to think about your community?
    If you live in Carlsbad, the nation currently knows your town through a Facebook post. If you live in Santa Fe, the nation has heard about Santa Fe’s declaration as a sanctuary city.
     In case you were abducted by aliens, Carlsbad City Councilor J. R. Doporto said on Facebook: “Just want to give a heads up to the women! You have rights! A right to cook and a right to clean. Today is Sunday and the NFL playoffs our (sic) on! I suggest you stop your b!tch!ng/protesting during this time. Because you also have a right to get slapped!”
    For that, he lost his job.
    Doporto has said he was just joking and claims his right to freedom of speech has been violated. His wife says he’s a good husband and father.
    I’m not going to rant about the post – plenty of other people have done that. My concern – and I write about this periodically – is how New Mexico is perceived on the outside.
    Doporto’s post made news all over New Mexico and, after Cox Media Group and the Huffington Post picked it up, across the nation. For a community that’s dependent in part on tourists, this isn’t healthy.

  • Letters to the Editor 2-01-17

    Jim Hall has leadership that is needed on school board

    Voters in the Piñon district have a choice that one wishes every voter would always have, namely, two excellent candidates. I have had the pleasure to work with Jim Hall and Ellen Ben-Naim. They are both dedicated public servants who care deeply about our students, teachers, and schools.
    If I were eligible to vote, I’d give my nod to Jim Hall. Jim has a remarkable set of experiences from leading business computing at the lab to serving as the State Chief Information Officer, to serving as a county councilor, our state representative, and president of the school board. Jim is also a successful businessman and property developer, who serves on the board of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation. He understands budgets and information technology from both a private and public sector perspective. His breadth of knowledge is an invaluable asset for governing our schools, especially in times of resource constraints and changing needs for our students and teachers to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

  • Letters to the Editor 4-21-17

    The cautionary tale of the golf course

    When the county’s consultants asked which recreation projects were most favored, golf course work was just about last on the list. Yet it gets a $4.5 million piece of the bond pie.
    Why? “Because,” as Mallory so nicely put it, “it’s there.”
    So much has been invested that it’s nearly unthinkable to do anything other than maintain and upgrade the course, even though most taxpayers either don’t care or actively wish it were gone. They’d probably be annoyed to learn it costs the county about half a million dollars a year out-of-pocket just to keep it going. The proposed rec center will be about as expensive, not including the cost of construction.
    The real rule is: if you build it, you will pay. And pay. The bond alone will last long enough that many of your kids will get to pay off some of it, but the maintenance and upgrades will be the gift that keeps on giving, long enough for their kids to ante up too.
    But by then, some other sports facility will be the hot ticket. Enthusiasm for new toys can fade fast, but the credit card bill doesn’t care.
    David North
    Los Alamos

    Thank you, Los Alamos!

  • Letter to the Editor 4-14-17

    Council needs to hear from public about sheriff’s budget

    Sheriff Marco Lucero was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 by stressing the importance of the sheriff’s role in Los Alamos. Majorities on County Councils, not including myself, have worked against this, drastically cutting his budget and ultimately calling an election last November to eliminate the office of sheriff. Our citizens disagreed, and voted to keep an elected sheriff.
    Lucero will present a proposal at next week’s budget hearings to restore his office’s budget. I support returning the duties that have traditionally been done by the Los Alamos sheriff: process and writ serving, sex offenders tracking, transportation of prisoners and court security. Because most of these duties have recently been done by police officers (often on overtime) or contracted personnel, a full-time deputy sheriff (trained and certified by the New Mexico law enforcement academy) could do them more efficiently.  Transfer of these duties would not increase the overall budget, since we are already spending the money for them in other departments.

  • Letter to the Editor 4-5-17

    Opposed to new White Rock ZIP Code

    I share John Ramsay’s objection to the USPS designation, “White Rock,” as part of my mailing address. (ref: Monitor letter of March 29, 2017) White Rock is not an incorporated city, nor is Los Alamos. Our only local government is that of an H-class county.
    It is entirely resonable to separate areas within the county by ZIP codes to expedite mail delivery, but not to arbitrarily change the name of the destination.
    To suggest that both must be changed to deliver mail to my residence, which hasn’t changed its physical location in 50 years, is ludicrous. For examply, the city where I was born (before ZIP codes were invented) is also called, “LA.”
    By my count, it is now subdivided by the USPS into 214 ZIP codes. One city name, more than 200 ZIP codes, yet the USPS seems able to cope. Why not here?
    Don Hanson
    Los Alamos