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Today's Opinions

  • http://www.lamonitor.com/content/report-truck-crash-released

    As Republican legislators update goals in light of their newly won House majority, right-to-work is waking from a long slumber.
    Right-to-work laws prohibit union membership as a condition of employment. Republicans and the business community have long believed right-to-work would be good for economic development — a signal that the state is business friendly. Unions, Democrats and advocates for working people have always said that weakened unions would mean lower wages and deteriorating working conditions.
    Right-to-work has come up repeatedly, but hasn’t been a big issue for decades. In 1978, it was so hot that Bruce King almost lost his election to Joe Skeen. As governor, King vetoed right-to-work in 1979. When that veto was challenged, the state Supreme Court upheld its legality.
    For a sneak preview of the debate to come, look at the legislative session of 1981, when a gaggle of right-to-work supporters took office. One was Sen. Mickey Barnett, R-Portales, who introduced a right-to-work bill.
    House Minority Leader Hoyt Pattison, R-Clovis, argued: “The fact is, the people of our state and our nation don’t like to be told that they have to do something.” They don’t like to be told they have to pay dues to hold a job, especially when dues are used to support political candidates.

  • Letters to the editor 11-9-14

     

    Understanding what peace means

    In the theater, the overture is the moment when everything begins. It gently directs our attention to the stage. It helps us willingly suspend disbelief and enter the world of possibility. The overture says, “Hush, pay attention, something wonderful is about to happen.”

    On Oct. 27, the White House released a letter (full text posted at thecommunity.com) that created in me almost exactly that feeling of wonder and anticipation. Perhaps this feeling is even better because this possibility is very real. What if now is the time when we can end, peacefully and permanently, the awful practices of “extraordinary rendition” and “enhanced interrogation techniques?”

  • Teacher: Governor needs to listen to state education issues

    Editor’s note: Jessica McCord was born and raised in Los Alamos and for the past 10 years she has taught in the Rio Rancho school district and has taught at the University of New Mexico. McCord wrote a letter to Governor Susana Martinez after the election results were counted Tuesday night. This is the text of that letter.

  • Dealing with canine diabetes

    Canine diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a common disease in dogs and is the result of inadequate insulin production.
    “Canine diabetes is usually caused by an immune mediated attack on the pancreas, which is likely related to genetic predispositions,” said Dr. Audrey Cook, associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “It may also be secondary to chronic pancreatitis, or may occur in intact females following their heat cycle.”
    Some predisposed breeds include the cairn terrier, the dachshund, and miniature poodles. Although these breeds have a higher incidence than others, all dogs have a chance of becoming affected. 
    Diabetes mellitus is known to cause excessive thirst and urination due to the high concentrations of glucose in the bloodstream.
    Glucose appears in the urine, and can predispose the patient to urinary tract infections. Left untreated, other signs such as vomiting, dehydration and lethargy are expected.

  • Entrepreneurs build creativity during Startup Weekends

    Steven Eiserling is an idea machine. Ever since he was a teenager, Eiserling has turned ideas into businesses — even during his 20-year career in information technology. Now the Chicago transplant studies business information systems at New Mexico State University and participates in entrepreneurial events. In Las Cruces’ Startup Weekend Oct. 24-26, he and his team pitched an application to link nonprofit organizations to volunteers through an online portal.
    At last year’s Startup Weekend, Eiserling led a Las Cruces team that proposed a real-time parking app to help motorists find vacant spots in large commercial lots, and that team formed a company — ParaPhin — that’s developing the project.
    Eiserling’s team didn’t win this year’s event prizes, including legal and business development services, but working with young innovators made the whole exercise worthwhile, he said. Even teams that don’t secure financing or other prizes at the marathon weekend events benefit from the experience by working with potential collaborators, mentors and investors to create a business that can bring commercially viable products or services to market on a tight deadline.

  • Seven ways to cut your holiday expenses

    When it comes to holiday spending, waiting in store lines all night and jostling for discounts will mean very little if you don’t have a budget that shapes your finances year-round. With the average United States household spending $600-$700 in 2014 for the holidays, putting that money together shouldn’t be a game of chance. Here are some tips to get it right:
    • Before you make a list, plan. How’s your debt? Do you have an emergency fund or any savings put aside? Start the holiday season by getting a handle on what you owe and what you’re spending day-to-day. Then plan a holiday budget (practicalmoneyskills.com/YourHolidayBudget) as early as possible that allows you to spend wisely.
    • See what spending is really necessary. It’s tough to cut young kids off a gift list, so turn to the adults. If your finances are limited, it’s worth asking adult friends and family members if they’d consider a gift swap or forego gifts altogether. They might actually think it’s a good idea.

  • Criteria unsuitable for publication?

    This is in regard to your posted criteria for the letters the Los Alamos Monitor welcomes for publication versus the piece published on Oct. 30 from Paul Gessing. The criteria published in your paper says, “Letters that might be deemed unsuitable for publication include those that are . . . part of an organized letter-writing campaign, or are part of a mass mailing.”
    Gessing is the president of the Rio Grande Foundation. His letters are part of organized letter-writing campaigns backed by nationwide conservative think tanks. A web search on his foundation will show that it hosts writers chosen by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, whose funding is 100 percent anonymous and which screens its writers to ensure a free market bias before hiring them.
    According to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) website, The Rio Grande Foundation also has ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a corporate bill mill.

  • Maestas: State needs robust job creation fund

    The best thing we can do for small businesses, said Steve Maestas, is to increase their revenue.
    The best way to do that is to attract big businesses – the businesses that bring new dollars into the state’s economy, making products that are sold everywhere and generating revenue from outside the state. Speaking recently to a group of small business owners, he said big businesses generate the jobs and pay the employees who support the local service economy.
    So — here comes the punch line — New Mexico needs a taxpayer-funded job creation fund with $50 million of taxpayer dollars. We already have such a fund under a law called the Local Economic Development Act, but the law needs some amendment. And with only $15 million authorized so far, the fund doesn’t have enough money to be competitive against the incentives offered by other states.
    Maestas is a co-founder and partner of Maestas and Ward commercial real estate company and Deputy Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He’s on a mission to reverse New Mexico’s dismal economic outlook, and the job creation fund is his cause.