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Today's Opinions

  • GOP was right about ethics office

    The Wall Street Journal on Congress’ ethics reform controversy:

    The 115th Congress flopped into Washington on Tuesday with House Republicans proposing and then dropping marginal changes to an internal ethics office. The reversal is an unforced political error, but the GOP is right that the investigative body has the power to destroy reputations without due process.
    By the way, Paul Ryan was re-elected Speaker Tuesday with one GOP defection, while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lost four Democrats. But that news was dwarfed as the House considered rules for the new Congress, and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte offered an amendment to restructure the Office of Congressional Ethics.
    The office is composed of political grandees, often former Members, and it has no prosecutorial power. But it conducts investigations into Members or staffers and makes recommendations to the House Ethics Committee. The proposal limited what information can be released to the public and barred the committee from having a press secretary. Also banned: anonymous tips.

  • Assets in Action: Award nominations were best ever

    Happy New Year!
    I think a fresh start is something needed by so many people and start with a positive outlook.
    I am elated to say that the nominations for the Community Asset Awards was the best since the event started years ago. We have more nominations for youth and higher totals than we have ever.
    C’YA, the LANL Foundation and the LACDC will look forward to the Jan. 21 event and I believe almost all of the notifications have taken place…with the exception of a few people needing to return to work to find out. Truth be told, there was one person nominated with just a first name and an address,
    We have individuals, couples, clubs, businesses and our youngest is a fifth-grader.  Remember this is a project that is open year long, so once we hold the event in January, the nomination process will begin again.
    I have heard a number of people saying they won’t be making any resolutions this year, what’s the point?
    I say, there’s always something you can do to be better or make the world better and often you can do such small things that make a big different.
    My first hope is for folks to join the Assets movement! This isn’t just some neat, fun idea of mine, this is based on decades of research, shown to improve so many areas of life for young people.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-1-17

    Thankful for support of Be a Santa to a Senior

    On behalf of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Santa Fe and Los Alamos, we would like to thank the community for its overwhelming support o the Be a Santa to a Senior program this holiday season.
    Community members in Santa Fe and Los Alamos generously donated over 800 gifts for more than 430 seniors through this year’s program – all of which were wrapped and delivered by volunteers, just in time for holidays.
    Many of the gifts were for everyday needs such as socks, shirts, blankets and toiletries.
    The 2016 program marked our most successful Be a Santa to a Senior program to date.
    We would like to especially thank the following Santa Fe and Los Alamos organizations that partnered with us this year: Christus St. Vincent Hospital, Walmart, Mary Esther Gonzalez Senior Center, Betty Ehart Senior Center, Santa Fe Place Mall, the Santa Fe Care Center and the City of Santa Fe Senior Services. Over the past several weeks, these businesses and organizations, along with all the donors and volunteers in our community have brightened the holidays by bringing both gifts and companionship to seniors in need.
    Ken Hendricks
    Los Alamos

    Many good reasons to vote yes on UNM-LA mill levy

  • The whole truth requires assembly

    A witness hired by New Mexico oil and gas interests steps before the hearing officials with his written testimony. The court reporter greets him with these antique words: “Raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” He solemnly swears he will indeed. 
    Forms of this terse ceremony have been in use since Roman times and today’s forms are still recited countless times each day in venues looking for the truth. The phrases race by so fast that their mandates are fuzzy. 
    Think a moment on that middle phrase – to tell “the whole truth.”
    What do the words intend? The whole truth extends very far and is hard to know. No one can know everything.
    Since they cannot know everything, people tend to fill in what they do not really know with guesses, hopes and rumblings. What most people bring to the table are some pieces that mostly help one side.
    The court system knows the ways of people. So courts assemble the “whole” truth out of parts gathered by questioning a range of relevant people about what each of them knows. Firm questioning works to separate what is truly known from guesses, feelings and rumblings.  

  • How to turn monetary gifts into teachable moments

    BY NATHANIEL SILLIN
    Practical Money Skills

  • Lessons to learn from Johnson administration

    In the early days of Gary Johnson’s governorship, I had occasion to be at the State Capitol talking with some of his new appointees.
    “Oh,” one of them said to me, “so you work for the Department of Labor.” He looked pleased with himself.
    “No,” I said. “I work for the Workers’ Compensation Administration.”
    “Right,” he said, “Department of Labor.”
    “No,” I said, but he didn’t believe me.
    Several similar conversations happened with other appointees of the new administration.
    A few weeks later, I saw taped to a wall in the Capitol an organization chart of state government, showing a dotted line between the Department of Labor and my agency. We had at one time been “administratively attached” to that department. But we had never been part of it.
    The chart was several years out of date. This new gang of managers were relying on it as reference information to learn what they were now in charge of.

  • Assets In Action: Many local youth recognized in 2016

    As we round out 2016, we see the final nomination for the year with our Community Youth award. The award was started after the annual community award event did not garner the name of a single youth.
    After it was announced, many people they would have nominated someone if they had only known.
    The truth is, I could have fixed the error myself, nominated a youth anonymously and then the “problem,” would have never existed. It was more important that we let the community know that as adults we slipped a little bit, we weren’t paying attention or didn’t take a minute to let someone know.
    So after the annual Community Asset Award event, the Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) board understood the importance of highlighting the great things youth were and are doing all year long.
    It isn’t always about grades or sports, it is about the character, the connection and the good deed that often fail to go, perhaps unnoticed each day. So we started an opportunity for folks to notice for youth to get heralded in some small way, and avail the opportunity throughout the entire year.
    Which leads us to one Josh Fuller. Fuller is a local freshman that participated in the youth leadership program called WEB Crew as an eighth-grader and continues to blossom into his high school years and Joy Freymiller Rhodes made sure you knew.

  • Letters to the Editor

    Support higher education with mill levy

     

    Higher education is essential to the productivity and innovation of our workforce in New Mexico. College-educated workers earn higher wages and experience lower levels of unemployment than do workers with less education. Research done by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) forecasts that by 2020, two out of every three jobs will require some postsecondary education. For many women, that education comes through attending community colleges like UNM-Los Alamos.

    The Coordinating Council of the Los Alamos branch of AAUW strongly supports the mil-levy increase sought by UNM-LA. While its enrollment is growing, the college’s state funding continues to shrink, threatening its ability to provide the innovative programs that benefit our community. For example, it offers Los Alamos High School students free dual-credit courses, which not only enrich their curriculum but give them valuable college-level credits. Through its Early College and Career Academy, LAHS students can work toward a certificate in emergency medical services, electromechanical technology, or marketing by the time they graduate from high school.