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Today's Opinions

  • Letters to the Editor 12-2-16

    An effortless way to help education

    Take the time to vote for the public schools bond in January.  It’s easy and almost effortless.  If your house is anything like mine, there’s a stack of papers on the counter where important things may get lost or overlooked.  Apparently, every college in the country feels the need to send a glossy publication to my home because a high school senior lives here.  When I get my ballot in January, though, I will open it immediately and check the yes boxes, sign and seal it, place a stamp on the envelope and put it in the mailbox right away.  It’s too important to get lost in the shuffle of pictures of impressive buildings and happy students promising a bright future.
    It hasn’t been that long ago that my oldest son started kindergarten and now, unbelievably, we’re nearing the end of his school years in Los Alamos.  The buildings have changed along the way with many improvements for which we are extremely grateful.  It’s been amazing to watch the transformation of the high school, middle school and Aspen, and for my kids to reap the benefits of new and remodeled buildings.  One thing that hasn’t changed at all is the team of dedicated teachers, guiding and encouraging my children from beginning to end.  

  • Use caution when lending startup money to family

    BY FINANCE NEW MEXICO

  • Do we believe in free and fair elections?

    New Mexico dodged a bullet in the recent election. We elected a Secretary of State who encourages voting instead of a candidate whose publicly stated goal is to suppress it.
    Congratulations to us!
    At a candidate debate in October, Republican nominee Nora Espinoza talked about only one issue: requiring voter ID. Her opponent, Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver, won by almost 100,000 votes.
    Voter ID has been shown to be a code word for voter suppression – purposeful organized techniques to prevent legally qualified Americans from voting.
    Some forms of voter suppression are now legal in America. Both legal and illegal forms of voter suppression were employed this year in several states. Pundits and scholars will argue whether voter suppression caused the election results or merely contributed, but there’s little doubt that many votes were never cast or never counted – as to how many, the pundits will argue about the numbers also.
    The 1965 Voting Rights Act recognized that voting practices in some states actively discriminated against ethnic minorities and other target groups. The law required that voting procedures be conducted so as not to discriminate against those groups. In states with records of discriminatory practices, federal oversight was imposed.

  • Letters to the Editor 11-25-16

    Thanks to Los Alamos Sportsmans Club

    Los Alamos Boy Scout Troop 22 would like to thank the Los Alamos Sportsmans Club (LASC) for again hosting the troop’s annual Turkey Roast in November.
    The club not only provided excellent facilities for the event, but also provided safety and marksmanship instruction for the boys. The club even donated practice ammunition and targets. The scouts had a great time, finishing up their Shooting Merit Badges and learning about safety and responsibility.
    The club’s support for cubs, scouts in general and all the other local youth organizations is exceptional.  The boys (and parents) learn about gun safety, responsibility and that patience and some work bring good results. They also have a great time in the process, and will never forget it. We are very lucky to have volunteer organizations in our town, such as the Sportsmans Club, that take the time and effort work with our children.
    Again, thanks to LASC for all they do for our youth!
    Christine Sweeney
    Troop Committee Chair
    Los Alamos Boy Scout Troop 22

    Thank you to LA first
    responders

  • Pot farming becoming a big business

    By Bob Hagan

  • Optimism about the state but the nation, not so much

    We hear a lot that civility died in the recent election, but it survives here and there.
    Republican Janice Arnold-Jones and Democrat Alan Webber, former candidates for governor, proved that speaking recently to New Mexico Press Women.
    On New Mexico elections:
    “The truth lost,” said Arnold-Jones, a former state representative. “I have never seen such complete willingness to abandon the truth – on both sides.” She said Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, the target of the governor’s political broadsides, “was a thorn in the side but a decent human being.”
    “Michael Sanchez was defeated by a scurrilous campaign,” said Webber. “It was a dark spot on the election.”
    He said the crime bills introduced in the special session “were a carefully laid trap to go after Democrats, in particular, Michael Sanchez.” The reality is that legislators “are too close to voters to be soft on crime,” he said.
    On New Mexico’s economy:
    Despite continuing bad news, the two describe themselves as optimistic. The way forward, both say, is to focus on infrastructure.

  • NM ranks 47th in ratio of employment to population

    New Mexicans don’t especially like work, or at least work captured in official statistics.
    This work aversion is a continuing theme here. It’s something cultural, one of those rents in the social fabric that is central to our systemic troubles.
    The state Department of Workforce Solutions recently provided valuable additional insight by reviewing the propensity for work in our 33 counties. The measure is the ratio of employment to population (E/P). The ratio reports the percentage of the population age 16 and over that is not in an institution such as a jail and not in the military.
    The states stacking on top of Oklahoma lead in diligence. With 68 percent of its population employed in 2015, Nebraska has the highest employment-to-population ratio. Minnesota follows with 67.6 percent and Iowa has 67.3 percent. The other end of line finds West Virginia at 49.4 percent; Mississippi, 52.2 percent; and – ta da – New Mexico, 53.5 percent.
    “For the five-year period 2010 to 2014, Los Alamos County posted the highest E/P ratio, at 62.3 percent,” DWS said. For the 2010–2014 period, the national rate was 57.7 percent, with New Mexico at 53.9 percent.

  • Business altruism pays off even when payoff isn’t the point

    For many businesses, philanthropic giving has an element of self-interest: It’s giving with the expectation of getting something back in the form of tax breaks and image building.

    But more and more businesses are discovering that unselfish giving has a value that’s immeasurable and that reverberates throughout the community, the workforce and the economy. 

    Community quality of life 

    Businesses that create and nurture an organizational culture based on gratitude can drive significant change that benefits everyone, not just their customers, especially if they can involve likeminded entrepreneurs.

    When a business spearheads a project that solves a local problem or provides a public service, such as building a bike path or setting aside company land for habitat restoration, it demonstrates an investment in the city or town in which it’s based and a commitment to making the host community a better place for everyone to live and work.