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Today's Opinions

  • Smith’s helps hungry kids, families

    Recently, The Food Depot had the pleasure of participating in the grand opening of Smith’s Marketplace. During the transition from their former location, Smith’s donated fresh produce and other food to The Food Depot, Northern New Mexico’s food bank.

  • Visting Nurses appreciate the support

    As President of the Board of Directors of Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service, I would like to thank the Los Alamos community for its continued support.

    As noted in our recent advertisement in The Los Alamos Monitor, LAVNS is experiencing great changes!
     Our Executive Director of 43 years, Sarah Rochester, has stepped down and is now devoting her energies to the building of The Sanctuary at Canyon’s Edge, the first stand-alone hospice house in New Mexico located north of Albuquerque.
    Sarah Rochester has shown amazing dedication, leadership, and vision in founding and growing LAVNS as the only non-profit home care and hospice organization in Los Alamos.
    I have had the pleasure of working with Sarah for several years and LAVNS is grateful for her continued work as the Consultant to the Hospice House.
    We look forward to celebrating Sarah’s work and the groundbreaking for The Sanctuary at Canyon’s Edge in the near future.
    Thank you to Los Alamos for your continued support of LAVNS under the guidance of our new Executive Director, Georgina Williams, and our new Clinical Director, Debbie Storms.
    We are fully staffed with a close-knit team of dedicated professionals and offer the same great services you have grown to expect.
    For more information on our team, contact LAVNS at 662-2525.

  • Better shopping through math

    Your new store is very imposing, but there is a problem for many of us who have limited time or energy. This concerns the vast distances that must be covered to complete even a modest shopping list.

  • Smith's crew does outstanding job

    Initially I was vehemently against this new “big box store,” its location, and what it was going to do to “my” businesses.

  • Artists can get a chance to hone business skills

    Etsy, the leading online craft marketplace, established its Craft Entrepreneurship Program last year to make it easier for artists, craftspeople and other microentrepreneurs — especially those in underserved communities — to sell their products and services directly to consumers.
    That program is coming to New Mexico in September, thanks to a partnership with WESST, a private nonprofit economic development organization that provides business training, consulting and loans to small businesses in New Mexico.
    The Craft Entrepreneurship Program is a five-week series of classes in which artistically talented, low-income adults learn the basics of business so they can set up online venues that enable them to reach new markets.
    Classes will be taught by successful online craft sellers who coach and support participants through every aspect of setting up their online shops alongside WESST trainers who work with small businesses every day.
    Using Etsy as a learning lab, teachers share best practices on topics that impact new sellers most — including time management, branding, pricing, shipping and photography — to help them earn supplemental income through their craft business.
    To minimize startup costs, students will be able to list 20 items for sale on Etsy.com at no cost.

  • Reporting agencies are always watching

    By now, you’ve probably heard about the Big Three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, which monitor your financial history and issue credit reports and credit scores to potential lenders.
    But did you know that there are dozens of other specialty consumer reporting agencies that track your history for activities that may not appear on your regular credit reports – things like bounced checks, late utility payments, insurance claims and prescription orders?
    Most people never hear about these companies until they’re suddenly turned down for an apartment, checking account, insurance policy or even a job or promotion. But you need to know that potential landlords, banks, insurance companies and employers are very likely ordering specialty reports to help them assess the risk of doing business with you.
    That’s fine if you’ve got a squeaky-clean track record. But what if their files contain mistakes; or worse, what if someone has hijacked your identity and is poisoning your record with their own bad behavior?

  • State highways need $100 million, but finding money may be difficult

    Miles and miles of roads traverse New Mexico, 20,000 of them by the count of the state’s Department of Transportation.
    The count covers 10,000 miles of state highways, 981 miles of interstates, 3,424 miles of U.S. highways and 5,595 more of mere state “roads.” Those miles miss county roads, forest service roads and, surely much more.
    DOT says we have 33,000 “lane miles” of roads. Four-lane interstates provide 3,924 of those lane miles. U.S. 285 between Vaughn and Roswell and U.S. 550 between Bernalillo and Bloomfield, both also four lane, account for more lane miles.
    The state has around 109 miles of roads for each New Mexican, which makes sense with half our 2.2 million people scattered around the nation’s fifth largest state. The other half concentrates in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe north central urban area.
    The miles and miles require buckets and buckets of money—$862 million for the current budget year. The money is getting harder to find.
    Around 45 percent of DOT’s money, about $375 million, comes from the Federal Highway Administration. The biggest dollar source is the state road fund, which provides $385 million, or about 46 percent.

  • Raising bar for entry into college is crucial

    Every few years we debate raising entrance requirements to enter the state’s universities, and then nothing happens.
    Recently, NMSU regents voted to raise admissions standards from a 2.5 GPA to 2.75. UNM, which inched up from 2.25 to 2.5 in the last few years, is making noises about following suit.
    This would be good for everybody, but most importantly, it would be good for students.
    For years, our institutions of higher education have been victims of their own successful recruiting. “Register for college,” the sirens sing. “It’s your ticket to future success.”
    Not if you’re unprepared. Every year hundreds of young people who fared poorly in high school and slipped under the bar to enter college; they struggle with the material and drop out after a year or two – often with student loans attached like a ball and chain. How is this serving them on their future path?
    Numbers tell the story. According to NMSU, half its students entering with less than a 2.75 GPA will drop out the first year, and 85 percent won’t graduate in six years. The same discussion is going on all over the country because studies show that high school grades are the best indicator of college success.
    The real wonder is that this has gone on so long. It reflects denial up and down the line.