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Today's Opinions

  • Options to cuts do exist

    Are there alternatives to a government shutdown and the tidal wave of “budget cuts” proposed by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and by President Obama’s Budget Committee of last year?
    Yes! Here are some revenue raising and budget cutting options:
    •To better fund Social Security, Congress should remove the salary cap on FICA deductions that appear on payroll slips. FICA pays for Social Security.
    For some insane reason, no employee who earns more than $106,800 a year has to pay FICA on any income above this amount. Millionaires and billionaires should pay FICA on all income received from any source, without a “cap”.

  • Mining is nearly everywhere in state

    The state’s roughly 240 “active registered” mines, 83 percent of them producing aggregate and stone, employed 5,156 people in 2009, paid them $287 million, and produced minerals worth about $1.8 billion – good for a ranking of 20th nationally without counting oil and gas.
    The big value numbers come from coal ($736 million in 2009), potash ($491 million), and copper ($290 million and hiring again).
    Except for potash and salt mines around Carlsbad, the mines are located in the southwest quadrant and in a broad and mostly rural northern arc that starts at Raton, swings south to include Belen and Albuquerque, edges north and west to Grants and then goes to the Arizona.

  • Adolescents represent the most underserved group in healthcare

    The Preparticipation Physical Exam, or PPE, commonly known as a sports physical is performed over six million times in the U.S. annually and may be the only contact an adolescent or teen ever has with a physician.
    In fact, adolescents represent the most underserved population in healthcare. Traditionally, parents have viewed the PPE as a yearly, comprehensive medical evaluation, whereas physicians have held that it is more of a cursory exam in which possible limitations to sports participation may be identified.

  • Just A Wag 04-08-11

    LA Reservoir work begins

    We hear  the road  to Los Alamos Reservoir will close to the pubic Monday as Los Alamos County ramps up  renovation on the reservoir. Heavy equipment activity will make it hazardous for hikers, bicyclists and dog walkers to be on the road.

    Diamond signage issues

    Some drivers find the limited signage confusing around the Diamond, Canyon  and Trinity area. They caution other drivers to slow down in the intersections where vehicles are stopping, starting and making turns.

    Send us your wags

  • Winners and losers who emerged in 2011 session

    In legislative post mortems, we’re hearing that the economy wasn’t much of a priority this year for either party.
    Not necessarily so. Economic development bills may have been overshadowed by bigger dramas, but some good bills made it to the governor; others were impaled on ideology and ignorance.
    The most obvious winner was the locomotive fuel tax credit to help Union Pacific Railroad create its $400 million rail hub in Santa Teresa, a project mothballed since 2007. A slam dunk, you might think, but no.

  • For a few dollars more

    Although seriously wounded, the bad guy was still dangerous.
    With radioactive blood oozing, he reached for the feedwater coolant release valve. But then, hearing the muffled laugh of regulatory oversight, he looked up and found himself staring into the barrel of a 357 fuel rod.  
    The inspector smiled and said, “I know what you’re thinking.  Did he hit me with an 8.6 earthquake, or was it point 5?
    Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself.

  • Gov's turn to reform

    In the recently completed 2011 legislative session, Senate Bill 17 (Keller, D-Bernalillo & Neville, R-Aztec), a bill designed to complete SIC reforms by removing the governor as chairperson, passed with wide bi-partisan support.
    It now sits on the governor’s desk waiting to be signed. SB-17 was carefully crafted in the interim, by the bipartisan Investment Oversight Committee, long before the recent gubernatorial election.  
    It is composed of original sections from the 2010 bill including sections to ensure minority party legislative appointments.  
    It now also includes an amendment that allows the Governor to serve for two more years in the Chairperson role before removing the position all together.  

  • Creativity in science and art

    When there is an economic downturn, often the first things people want to sacrifice in our schools are programs that are not considered the basics, such as art, physical education, and music.  Yet these disciplines are life skills that help us to be happier and healthier in our maturity.  But are we sacrificing something else?  First and foremost, I believe we are eliminating the teaching of creativity--creative ways of thinking, moving, and enjoying life.
    We often compartmentalize various disciplines: art is art and science is science, and in our mind they do not intersect. Furthermore, we somehow fail to value art as much as science and are more willing to do away with art.