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Today's Opinions

  • LANL employees have the spirit of giving

    Los Alamos National Laboratory employees’ exceptional spirit of giving and generosity can be seen throughout the year in their participation in Laboratory community drives, campaigns and volunteerism.

    For example, the recently completed 2010 employee-giving campaign raised a record-breaking $1.3 million in donations. With the Los Alamos National Security, LLC match, this community investment will provide more than $2.3 million in services and resources for children, senior citizens and families.

  • Women’s lives should not be valued in dollars and cents

    There is one glaring error in a recent editorial cartoon by Trevor. He shows two women (out of five members) on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. In reality, only one of the 10 members is female.

    This may account for the cavalier attitude of the task force recommendation that regular mammograms for women between the ages of 40 and 49 be discontinued. It appears that fewer lives are saved in this age group than in women over 50 whose breast cancer is diagnosed through regular mammography. They also recommend mammograms only every two years for the older group.

  • Now is the time for fast reactors and recycled fuel

    A new evaluation of fast reactors and recycling spent fuel is badly needed; the time to start is now. To recycle spent light water reactor fuel and use the product to fuel a fast neutron reactor will solve at least two major problems – adequate electricity (with no emissions) for the indefinite future (millennia) and elimination of the current red herring, spent light water reactor fuel disposal. The power stations of the future, equipped with fast neutron reactors, burn everything – plutonium does not accumulate.

  • Demands fall due on big budget shortfall

    With Gov. Bill Richardson following his usual management approach to tough matters – leave town – the Legislative Finance Committee gathered in Santa Fe Aug. 28 for the latest report on what might be done to maintain the solvency of state government.

    The LFC got a first look at proposals to deal with the state’s shortfalls.

    Right. That’s plural, meaning two budget years, the previous one and the current one.

  • When budget cuts won't reach and taxes won't go

    SANTA FE — This is a highly unusual special session. It might be over by the time you read this. But if it is, it will be because lawmakers gave up on solving the total problem.

    The state is faced with its biggest deficit ever. Gov. Bill Richardson has complicated matters greatly by putting tax increases and public school classroom cuts off limits.

    What’s left are cuts of over 10 percent to the rest of the budget. Since people are by far the largest part of governmental budgets, it is almost impossible to make 10 percent cuts without cutting people.

  • Deficit going up? Where does the money go?

    SANTA FE ­— We’re not out of the woods yet. Have you noticed that our state budget deficit grows about $100 million a month beyond projections?

    Last March, the 2009 Legislature plugged a $500 million hole. The budget reduction was projected to get us through until July 2010. But by August 2009 we were already over $400 million further in the hole.

    In September, that deficit rose to $550 million and in October, it was $660 million. At this rate, by January, when the 2010 Legislature convenes, we’ll be another $300 million deeper in the hole.

  • The corrupt are in jail, more regulation needed?

    “Money is good,” my daughter says.

    In politics, money means communication – that is, speech. Lobbyists have a job. It is communication.

    A new report from Think New Mexico, a non-partisan but liberal think tank in Santa Fe, treads the well-trodden path that money in politics is evil, especially money from people contributing to candidates.

    The title is, “Restoring Trust.” The subtitle is, “Banning Political Contributions from Contractors and Lobbyists.” Find it at www.thinknewmexico.org.

  • Budget battle rolls toward January

    SANTA FE – The closing gavel of this year’s special legislative session also served as the opening gavel for next January’s 2010 Legislature.

    The first round has been completed. And as in any heavyweight fight, the budget cutters and tax increasers spent their time feeling each other out.

    Now that the combatants know each other’s tendencies, both can proceed to defend their territory and attempt to maximize their advantages.