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Today's Opinions

  • Anything is possible

    The master plan for this special legislative session on redistricting seems to be falling into place.
    Although surprises always are possible in the give and take between the governor and lawmakers who aren’t particularly fond of each other.
    Gov. Susana Martinez says the session can easily be over in two weeks. The legislature appropriated enough money for three weeks.
    The maximum length allowed by law is 30 days but no one would benefit by it going that long.
    The likely scenario is for lawmakers to wrap up redistricting in about two weeks and then turn their attention to the governor’s agenda for several days.
    By remaining in session, Martinez will have to act on the redistricting bills within three days.

  • Just A Wag 09-16-11

    Property for sale  

    We’re hearing that a major property owner in town intends to sell off everything. Read all of the details on this developing story in an upcoming edition of the Los Alamos Monitor.

    Send us your wags

    “Just a wag” features initial snippets of news heard around town.  
    The wags may grow to larger stories or simply remain snippets, either way this is meant to spark interest and provide food for thought.
    E-mail wags to lanews@lamonitor.com.

  • Budgets matter to business

    Business owners striving to survive the tough economy need to know how cash flows in and out of their business.
    A good place to start is with a budget – a basic tool used to forecast when cash will be collected and when expenses must be paid.
    Many business owners don’t take the time to create a budget, or they neglect to update the one they have.
    In this slow economic recovery, it’s more important than ever to know where money is going.
    Financial institutions also want to know; banks often require that borrowers include a budget with their loan requests.
    Understanding how to create a business budget is vital to improving a business’s chance of survival.
    A good budget has six key components.

  • Retool, rethink, reshape

    Consideration of competitiveness began and ended the recent Domenici Public Policy Conference in Las Cruces.
    Norm Augustine, former Lockheed Martin CEO, began the conference. Since Lockheed manages Sandia National Laboratories, it is reasonable to figure that Augustine knows a bit about New Mexico.
    James L. Jones, retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former National Security Advisor for President Obama, closed the event.
    Reports from news organizations such as the Washington Post indicated that Jones didn’t fit with established Obama advisors, giving Jones added credibility.
    First, a note on the conference. In four years it has grown into an event bringing the highest-level national policy players to New Mexico.

  • The time for action is right about now

    I was very happy to learn that Ms. Coffin, a victim of an accident on  Trinity Drive, is able to walk and get around again.  
    We should look at options to prevent such accidents now, and not wait for grandiose plans that may never materialize, and cost many millions of dollars.
    For example, we could adjust the current signals so that if a pedestrian pushes a button to cross the street, all lights would go red.
    Additionally, the county should install the HAWK (High Intensity Activated Crosswalk) system that has resulted in a 29 percent reduction in total crashes and a 69 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes on Tucson highways.  
    It is cheap, and can be implemented without significant delay.

  • Serving on local T-Board is less than a thankless job

    At the risk of getting involved in another senseless debate, I admonish the Los Alamos Monitor for publishing childish letters intended to damage the enthusiasm of  our community volunteers.
    Please let me remind the roundabout detractors that the Transportation Board  is a citizen advisory board of volunteers who give their time to serve the community.
    They are not paid for their service yet they do their best to advise the county council on transportation issues in the community.
    It is less than a thankless job. Some of the nastiest letters I have ever read have been directed at the Transportation Board.
    All I can say is, “Shame on you for attacking our community service volunteers!”

  • Design within context

    In the Thursday story published in the Los Alamos Monitor, “Trinity Drive Still Hot Topic,” the reporter greatly simplified my blog comments on the relative value of separated bicycle facilities vs. on-street bicycle facilities.
    There are no good “one size fits all” solutions and I would not suggest, without context specific information, what type of bicycle facility I would recommend to the county council in my capacity as a Transportation Board member or for that matter, as a private citizen.
    Readers can refer to the blog for details (www.labikes.blogspot.com.)

  • Flor and fauna a lovely sight

    I would like to express my appreciation to Los Alamos County and the Parks Department for the great job that is done on our medians and our downtown area in making them so enjoyable.  
    All summer, it is a joy to travel around town and enjoy the colorful and well-kept gardens, hanging baskets and medians.  
    Thank  you!

    Dot Smith
    Los Alamos