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Today's Opinions

  • Farmington seeks softer landing from power plant cuts

    The nation’s lowest average residential electric bill comes to New Mexico’s homeowners. Who’d a thunk?
    The rates rank 20th nationally, but we use less electricity, the 11th lowest amount. Combine the factors and the average monthly bill becomes the lowest.
    This is a federal number, coming from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, courtesy of our Public Regulation Commission. Four PRCers, led by Sandy Jones, commission chair, had a long session July 19 in Farmington with the Legislative Finance Committee and the Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee at the BP Center for Energy Education at San Juan College. The session ran an hour and 25 minutes beyond the scheduled hour.
    The electric bill item, obscure but of interest to all New Mexicans, appeared in an out of the way place making it difficult for the information to circulate. This is an old problem. New Mexico’s large size means a lot of out of sight and out of mind. Even the Center for Energy Education, a gorgeous white building located about four blocks from the main campus, shares the out of sight problem.

  • Sheriff investigate corruption? Makes no sense

    Corruption: dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people (such as government officials or police officers) (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

    My fellow councilor Pete Sheehey has proposed a council resolution to more expansively define the roles and responsibilities of the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office. The last paragraph of his resolution is very troubling, as it would give the Sheriff the power to perform a criminal investigation should the police department be deemed, in the sheriff’s “reasonable” opinion, to be compromised. I see this expansive power as a fatal flaw in his proposal. To understand my objections, let’s dig deeper into the implications of this role.

  • A word in praise of drilling rigs

    I like drilling rigs. They’re noisy, dirty and dangerous, which appeals to the teenage boy in me. And I’ve always felt the big flag on the derrick is a nice touch. As a combination of hard work, technical savvy and high-stakes optimism, oil and gas drilling is the quintessential American enterprise.

    As with so much of the modern world, we invented it. Years ago, I met an oilman who had a photo of the famous Spindletop Geyser on his office wall, and he was happy to share the story. On Jan. 10, 1901, Lucas No. 1 in southeast Texas struck “black gold” at just 1,020 feet down. The gusher spewed a fountain of crude 150 feet in the air, blowing nearly a million barrels of oil over the landscape before settling down to pump a steady 10,000 barrels a day. As hundreds of derricks sprouted around that lone well on Spindletop Dome the price of oil dropped from $2 a barrel to less than a nickel and the American Century was underway.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 8-9-17

    Lab Retiree Group
    recommends RFP provide for communities

    Dear Editor,
    The Laboratory Retiree Group (LRG) is a non-profit organization devoted to helping retirees from Los Alamos National Laboratory (the laboratory) stay in contact with significant issues. The LRG has about 600 members, most of whom live in northern New Mexico, though others live throughout the rest of New Mexico and the U.S.
    Last month, NNSA released a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new management contract for the laboratory. NNSA invited comments on the draft RFP. The board of directors of the Laboratory Retiree Group submitted comments and recommendations to NNSA, on behalf of LRG members.
    This is a summary of those comments and recommendations. The full LRG response to NNSA is available on the LRG web site, lalrg.org. LRG has also shared these comments and recommendations with our N.M. congressional delegation.
    A major concern of LRG is that the draft RFP describes the procedure a management contractor must follow if it changes, terminates, or introduces new retirement or benefits plans. Although those would likely have a profound effect on the lives of both employees and retirees, the draft RFP has no provision for employee or retiree involvement in the decision to make such a change.

  • Parker’s statement is wrong, not mine

    To the Editor,
    In response to Kathleene Parker’s criticism of me: Through an error in printing, my words were changed and a correction was issued. I have never supported sanctuary anything, not even churches! I never mentioned riots of any sort. You are obviously a very angry person who selectively read my column. Yes, racism is alive and well in White Rock and Los Alamos. I have experienced it first hand. What facts would you like? I have no doubt you will deny anything I present.

    Just as so many deny the Holocaust. I am Christian, but my parents were Jewish and I have experienced antisemitism at two churches here, despite Jesus himself being a Jew and condemning it!