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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the Editor 9-15-17

    Pajarito Mountain
    ownership transfer poses unacceptable risk

    Dear Editor,
    Some readers may be aware that the Los Alamos Ski Club is seeking a second new arrangement for Pajarito Mountain. The original proposal was to transfer ownership of the ski area to the county, and a private company would operate it.

    However, that never actually happened, and now the club has voted to transfer ownership directly to this private company. The next step is for the County Council to approve funding for a water pipeline.

    I believe this poses an unacceptable risk that the public will lose access to the mountain.

    This opinion is based on my reading of the ski club’s background memo to members. Quotes are from the memo, which is very helpful in understanding the situation but received very limited circulation.

    I am disappointed that the ski club is making a very significant decision that affects everyone in town but made no apparent effort to seek or incorporate the opinions of the public. We did not learn about this proposal until a concerned club member pointed it out only a few days before the vote.

    The ski club’s board assures us that the public’s interests will be protected. This conclusion is not supported by the evidence.

  • Time to deal with Dodd Frank bill

    The New York Times on an upcoming Treasury Department report on the Dodd-Frank financial oversight bill expected to propose lighter regulation for financial firms other than banks:

    Among the most appalling aspects of the financial collapse nine years ago was that no matter how reckless and predatory big financial institutions had been, they had grown so big and so interconnected that the federal government found itself forced to prop them up to avoid failures that would wreck the economy. The resulting bailouts, which included billions of dollars in bonuses for executives responsible for the fiasco, provoked deep public anger and became a rallying cry for populists on the right and the left.

    To reduce the risks from too-big-to-fail institutions, Congress in 2010 passed the Dodd-Frank financial oversight bill. But ever since, even as the stock market soared, wages stagnated and the victims of predatory lenders continued to struggle, Wall Street’s champions have demanded an end to Dodd-Frank’s regulations.

    Step by step, the Trump administration has made it clear that it is on their side, that Wall Street need have no real concern about Dodd-Frank’s provisions and that the lessons of the financial crisis will be ignored.

  • Letters to the Editor

     Public invited to join in worship, prayer

     

    Dear Editor,

    I call on all Christians to join with me in observing Thursday, Sept. 14, as a day of prayer and fasting, acknowledging that “God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son (Jesus the Messiah) that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 in the Holy Bible, TLB version)

    May Americans believe in Jesus so much that we again trust and obey God’s laws to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets (in the Bible) stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others.” This summary was given by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40 TLB.

  • Letters to the Editor 9-3-17

    Time for tough talk with North Korea

    Dear Editor,
    I agree with some of the letter about U.S. – North Korea relations. I’m sorry I can’t call them by the name they want because their not a democracy or even a republic. I wouldn’t even call them communists. It’s just a dictatorship propped up by the military for unknown reasons.
    It is, however, about time for Trump’s tough words. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
    As the letter pointed out negotiations and even a nuclear treaty have not worked. Talk, negotiation and appeasement even a treaty worked out well for Chamberlain and the British people, as well as Stalin and the Russian people, not! It only gave Hitler the time to build his forces. Further attempts to talk will not work with Kim, only give him the time to perfect his nuclear intercontinental missiles.
    Presidents afraid to stand up to the Kim family have produced our current situation over the last 60 years.
    At least Hitler was an adult (though the most horrendous and evil one of all time). Kim is a spoiled brat little child who’s never been disciplined in his life and had a country literally handed to him at age 27 and proceeded to kill thousands including family members.

  • Insurance rates reflect science

    Hurricanes, as we saw last week, are complex. Such events bring out only a few of the talking points, which leaves a good many pertinent factors still drifting in the dark.

    Think where we are today. Republicans and Democrats have settled into rejecting each other’s beliefs about sea rise from climate change. Further, the two parties cling to opposing views of big corporations. 

    Imagine if a big business were to change the conversation about sea rise. This outcome is not as crazy as it seems. Sea levels affect many interests. Average sea levels in the future will rise or not rise. Each possible trend results in a different amount of flooding near coastlines. Floods near the sea may get worse or stay the same.

    A flood means a streak of bad business hits a lot of people all at once. A flood also means a patch of strikingly good business comes in a rush. Bad business for homeowners, churches and shopkeepers is suddenly good business for builders and suppliers. In the middle are the insurers. 

    A place to watch for news is the future rates that insurers will charge for flood insurance on sea coasts. Commercial insurance companies will respond the way big insurers always have, by applying sound business principles.

  • Las Cruces massage school gets boost from local bank

    By Sandy Nelson of Finance New Mexico

    Timothy Gay shopped around before securing a loan in 2013 to buy a building in downtown Las Cruces for his Massage Therapy Training Institute (MTTI). He chose Century Bank to help him secure a U.S. Small Business Administration commercial 504 loan.

    “They were the nicest people to work with, which is definitely a bonus,” he said about the bank.
    Gay, a graduate of MTTI, bought the business from his father, Laun Smith, in 2007. Over the years, he grew tired of paying rent to the people who owned the building where Smith launched the institute in 1999. Gay wanted to build equity for his own venture in a more centralized location where he could attract more students.

    The gamble paid off: The institute has seen a 25 percent increase in business since moving to the new location in 2014.

    Getting money where it matters

    As a state-chartered and locally owned community bank, Century Bank proclaims on its website that it wants to be “the bank of choice” for borrowers like Gay.

  • Dental care charity is not enough

    If you need dental care and live far from the nearest dentist or can’t afford the cost, you might plan a trip to Albuquerque on Sept. 22-23. That weekend will be the occasion of the sixth annual Mission of Mercy, called New Mexico’s largest charitable event.

    An estimated 150 volunteer dentists will set up a temporary clinic in the Convention Center and provide services free of charge on a first-come first-served basis.

     There have been five such events since 2010, held in different cities. To date, New Mexico MOM has served more than 6,900 patients and has provided $4.9 million in donated dental care.
    But New Mexico is still woefully short of access to dental care.

    Reports show 32 of New Mexico’s 33 counties do not have adequate access. A 2017 report from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services states only about one-third of New Mexicans are adequately served, and an estimated 138 dentists are needed to bring the state up to standard.

    So, in this writer’s opinion, the generosity of this charitable event does not compensate for the Legislature’s failure once again to pass a dental therapy bill.

  • Atomic City Update: Officials say no truth to golf course rumor

    In last week’s column, I talked about an idea that had been brought to my attention that I found interesting.

    It involved selling the existing golf course and building a new one in Pueblo Canyon, something I had heard about from a small group of people. However, it was just an idea and I attempted to present it in that way.

    Since the column was published, there has been a lot of reaction from the community and county officials about the idea. Although many people think that it is an interesting concept, it doesn’t seem to be very realistic at this time.

    County Council Chair David Izraelevitz explained that this idea is not a totally new one, and that it has been brought up in the past, but has been quickly dismissed each time.

    “It hasn’t been taken too seriously because of opposition to closing down the course for a long period of time,” Izraelevitz said.

    It has been discussed at least as far back as the 1980s, when then-County Councilor Roger Waterman brought up the idea of moving the golf course and building houses on the current site, according to Morris Pongratz, his fellow councilor at the time.