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Today's Opinions

  • Government only helps

    Here’s the recipe for growing an economy:
    “The growth rate of real per capita output is the sum of the growth rate of real per capita labor input and productivity growth.
    Productivity … is determined by the technology and regulatory structure of the economy and therefore is largely independent of spending policies.”
    The good words come from two economists, Harold L. Cole of the University of Pennsylvania and Lee E. Ohanian of UCLA. Their essay appeared Sept. 26 in the Wall Street Journal.
    Growing real per capita labor input means more people working more. Doing more stuff and doing existing tasks more efficiently grows productivity.
    Companies are doing something about growing real per capita output.

  • Fracking cracks open the crannies

    “Fracking” is shoptalk for hydraulic fracturing. The technology uses mixtures of fluids and sand under pressure to crack rocks underground and prop open the cracks.
    In the right rocks, the technique frees natural gas trapped in mini-pockets and adds greatly to the nation’s supply of the popular fuel.
    It works too for extracting oil. The industry proudly promotes fracking. A persistent TV ad shows a lady riding a see-through elevator deep into the Earth to highlight the value of fracking while suggesting no risks.
    But everything has risks. The chance of error and unknowns lurks on every side.
    The policy questions are what are the risks, who bears the risks and how can the total risk be cut.

  • Thanks to kind strangers

    A truly wonderful thing happened.  As you may know, we are doing a fundraiser for the Middle School library called Books4Hawks:
    (http://www.funds4books.com/fundraiser.aspx?pincode=80ca).  
    An older lady must have seen the information about this in the Los Alamos Monitor, and she came all the way to the Los Alamos Middle School and anonymously donated a $100 bill.
    She gave it to our receptionist, Claire Swinhoe, and made her getaway before I could thank her. Claire does not know who the lady was, but says she was an older woman probably past retirement age.  
    This is such wonderful generosity!

  • Hampton Inn honored for helping firefighters

    “Fracking” is shoptalk for hydraulic fracturing. The technology uses mixtures of fluids and sand under pressure to crack rocks underground and prop open the cracks.
    In the right rocks, the technique frees natural gas trapped in mini-pockets and adds greatly to the nation’s supply of the popular fuel.
    It works too for extracting oil. The industry proudly promotes fracking. A persistent TV ad shows a lady riding a see-through elevator deep into the Earth to highlight the value of fracking while suggesting no risks.
    But everything has risks. The chance of error and unknowns lurks on every side.
    The policy questions are what are the risks, who bears the risks and how can the total risk be cut.

  • Call for broadband access

    This week, two New Mexico health care professionals, two online learning educators and a small business owner, will travel to Washington, D.C. to ask congressional leaders to support efforts to expand broadband access to rural and underserved areas.
    Debra Newman, a physician’s assistant at a rural health center in Espanola, will lead the delegation.
    Joining her on the trip are William Dubois, a diabetes educator and resident of Pecos Valley; Alice Hopkins-Loy, Field Manager of Fast Forward New Mexico and resident of Santa Fe and Eva Artschwager, University of New Mexico distance-learning professor and resident of San Miguel County.

  • Community earns kudos

    I want to thank all the people who made the weekend waffle breakfast (“Pulp for Pawlak” on Sept 17) such a wonderful success.
    The money collected will go a long way in helping the schools.  So many people did so much work to plan and prepare the breakfast, staff the service and make the affair a truly fun time for all.  
    The Masons were wonderful and I just can’t thank them enough for hosting this event — and matching the funds collected at the breakfast!
    They were assisted by members of the Unitarian Church, a great bunch of people who didn’t hesitate a second to offer their help — they make a mean waffle!

  • Call to redesign high traffic lane markings

    I’m sure everyone is glad to see the end of construction on Diamond Drive and personally I’m glad to see the continuous bike lanes.  However, I have to express some displeasure with how they have been executed.  
    In particular, turning the right turn lanes at Canyon Road and Sandia into bike lanes.  
    This situation forces cars to turn across the bike lane, possibly in front of an oncoming cyclist and increases the chance for a very bad interaction.  
    A good example is northbound Diamond Drive at Canyon Road. A large number of cars turn right onto Canyon and drivers are often not alert to the chance for vehicles (bicycles) approaching on their right.  

  • Voters must speak up about Medicare

    I am writing to express my deep concern about the House Republicans’ vote to end Medicare and cut benefits that hard-working seniors have earned.
    This reckless privatization scheme is an insult to every hardworking American who has paid into Medicare.
    Especially in these challenging times, when retired Americans rely on their Medicare benefits, congress must do whatever it takes to protect this critical safety net.
    Medicare belongs to the people who worked their whole life to pay into the system.
    It’s not the government’s piggybank to balance the budget on the backs of seniors.