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Today's Opinions

  • Playing games for sustainability

    I call the computer the bringer of prospects. A few odd souls will think of computing. Most think of video games, texting, or e-books.
    Environmental thinkers may think of smart cars and paperless records. Rare is the breed hooked on sustainability games, a many-pronged teaching tool.
    Who knows? Games may be the best hope that the world’s youth will work out the problems we pass to them.
    “Sustainability games” are computer games that test a player’s skill at prolonging the world’s use of natural resources and the environment. The games take many forms.

  • Martinez hits some turbulence with state plane fiasco

    SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration has been taken to task for misuse of a state airplane. The basics of the situation sound reasonable for the state to have undertaken.
    A production crew shooting a pilot for at TV series was stuck in Las Vegas, N.M., and needed to take a look at the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad in Chama.
    They called the head of the state film office who offered to get a state plane to fly them up. She checked with the state transportation director, two cabinet secretaries, two top state lawyers and the governor’s office.

  • Letter grades better than AYP

    Making AYP.
    This bit of education jargon has hung like a sword over schools and educators since the Bush administration introduced No Child Left Behind in 2001. In an attempt at accountability, the yardstick called Annual Yearly Progress was supposed to push schools and students toward improvement. But in design and implementation, it guaranteed that most schools would eventually not make AYP.
    So it’s hard to get excited about the new initiative, letter grades for schools. The governor considers it one of her education reform planks, and it won support from Democratic education leaders in the Legislature. Sen. Cynthia Nava, chair of the Senate Education Committee, supported the idea because it recognized growth and not just the watermark of proficiency.

  • Thanks for the scoop

    I would like to thank Dan’s Cafe for the 2,000 scoops of ice cream they gave away on Tuesday evening. You are very generous. My family looks forward to the free scoop night every year. It is a good opportunity to see friends and of course, have a lot a of ice cream. I myself contributed two scoops to that number of 2,000.
    The pinwheels were really nice and added to the fun. I liked to stick mine in my scoop of ice cream.
    Thank you so much. We look forward to seeing you throughout the year and again at free scoop night next year.

    Faith Koh
    Los Alamos

  • Better use of money than on Trinity Drive?

    There have been many well-considered letters supporting and opposing changes in Trinity from a four-lane road to two lanes with roundabouts.
    The benefits of the proposed change are and will remain uncertain. The cost is sure to be enormous. What is the projected cost and who would be paying? The inconvenience to motorists during months (or years) of reconstruction is also to be considered. Is it worth it?
    Safety for pedestrians crossing Trinity is a valid concern, but one which could be addressed with a more modest project.

    Janet Tallman
    Los Alamos

  • Council quashes alternate opinions

    Every now and again I overhear members of the Los Alamos County Council lamenting that citizens don’t seem to comment on important issues until the 11th hour, or worse, until after votes already have been cast and things are in motion.
    If the councilors would look up from their papers on the dais and notice what was happening beyond the front of their own noses, they might have an epiphany about how they treat some members of our community and how this treatment could have a chilling effect on constructive citizen input.

  • Of gasoline and golf balls

    At the gas station, the customer tried to squeeze a few more drops into his tank and in doing so, some gas spurted out onto the pavement. And a little onto his pants.
    He screwed the gas cap back on, patted down his pants, and then demonstrated why there should be a test given to people before letting them vote.  He lit up a cigarette.
    I readied my cell phone for video mode. You know, just in case the police asked about the ball of fire running down the road. Either that, or to make a few bucks by selling the video to CNN.
    Yeah, you guessed it. I’m talking once more about the epidemic of stupid in this country.

  • Martinez testing her powers

    Perhaps it is inexperience. Or perhaps she’s simply insensitive to the give and take required in a system of state government where the authority to govern is apportioned between three separate branches of government, legislative, executive and judicial.
    Whatever it is, New Mexico’s neophyte Gov. Susana Martinez’s use of the line-item veto to accomplish legislative ends she sought but failed to achieve at the 2011 legislature has key state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle talking about hauling her into court for exceeding her authority under the state Constitution.
    There have been a number of instances where her veto practices have struck seasoned observers as constitutionally dubious.