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Today's Opinions

  • More than 10 years have past since the feared 2000 disaster

     I remember it like it was yesterday: 9 p.m., Dec. 31, 1999. The world, according to people who knew, would soon end. All of civilization was run by computers, and when 1999 rolled over and became 2000 we would be launched back into the Stone Age.  
    Or at least the Eisenhower years.
    I checked our stockpiled food and water, gathered the family together, built a fire, brought out our most cherished family game, and waited. Ever vigilant.  
    Finally, I dozed off. My son poked my ribs, “Wake up.”

  • Seeking answer to school woes

    Education may be the biggest item of discussion in the 2011 Legislature. That is as it should be. New Mexico’s constitution identifies public schools as the state’s most important service. And it’s almost half the budget.
    But every year, state lawmakers get embroiled in discussing social issues. The media add to the distraction by pushing open government legislation that will help us tell you what is going on up here.

  • Obstacles to state restructuring may be set in concrete

    In the old days, a friend reminisced long ago, we had to move after every election.
    State office buildings were rented, she explained. After the election the new governor could reward political supporters with leases.
    Mediocre facilities, scattered all over the place, imperfectly matched to the needs of their occupants or the public. Short leases.
    With all the talk of reorganization and consolidation, don’t we wish those good old days were back again. Many of New Mexico’s state institutions are now, literally, set in concrete.

  • Stunning vistas and recent storms

    Here’s a classic poem that’s dear to me, both for its manic intensity and its meaning in the natural world. It’s so short you can memorize it right now and always have it at your disposal when you consider news of storms and their destruction.
    “Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!”
    The poet was Edna St. Vincent Millay. Her lines always come to my mind when heavy rains ravage the West and homes, bridges and roads are swept away by mudflows and flash floods.

  • The warm, strong truth

    I was rather dismayed to see that you chose to publish a letter from the Grinch, aka “The Truth Fairy,” derisively “informing” the now very adult Virginia that “there is no Santa Claus.”
    On the contrary, although my religion does not recognize the origins of the “jolly old elf,” I think that Mr. Church made a very strong case that Santa Claus does “exist,” based on the abundance of generosity and love that appears annually in December, as we saw again here in our own county this year.

  • Mistake was ignoring the initial impression

    As one who signed the Hannemann petition, I would like to add my two cents.
    When approached outside Casa Mesita, my questions were “Isn’t this a little late in the process?, and Isn’t the county ready to go out on bids for the cave lots?” The answer was no.
    At first I declined to sign, but then the philosopher in me came out and I thought “Why not democracy?”
    And I have to admit I knew this was going to cause a ruckus and there is just too little entertainment in this town, so I signed.

  • Seeking the new and novel

    The current Age of Anger feeds on daily news that reports and receives public gripes.
    Mainstream news is a prime venue for bouts between camps of adversaries, called “strategists.”  
    The most public value of the medium, apart from entertaining joy rides or rant fodder, depends on whether its role is understood. What is news and how does it fit in?  
    To explore news, I make up a typical, but imagined, news event. I do it to disrupt political habits.  

  • Enough with the earmarks

    The federal budget  practice of “earmarking” – or “pork spending” as it is known colloquially – has exploded during the last 15 years. Earmarks are line items in spending bills inserted by legislators for specific projects in their home states.
    Some infamous earmarks funded a $50 million indoor rain forest in Iowa and a $223 million “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska. Earmarks can provide recipients with federal grant money, contracts, loans, or other types of benefits.