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Today's Opinions

  • Avoiding shutdown is not such a bad thing

    The Boston Herald published this editorial Wednesday.

    So either “This is what winning looks like” or “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix (this) mess!”
    Yes, we’re confused too. In an early morning tweet yesterday President Trump seemed so unhappy with the temporary spending deal struck by congressional Republicans to keep the government up and operating until September that he would risk a shutdown then. But by mid-day he had suddenly decided that it’s a good deal after all and “a clear win for the American people.”
    The $1.1 trillion spending package does include a $15 billion boost in military spending — half of what Trump wanted — but in the greater scheme of things not a bad deal. And it includes $1.5 billion in additional cash for border security — some of it for “fixing” existing portions of the border wall.
    As for all those proposed cuts in domestic spending, well that’s just a big nevermind. The proposed $1.2 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health? NIH got a $2 billion increase. Defunding Planned Parenthood? Nope. The Environmental Protection Agency takes a 1 percent haircut on its $8 billion budget.

  • Hang on to your socks, it’s May

    Can you believe we have arrived at May? As friend of mine use to say, “Hang onto your socks.”

    If you’re the parents of a senior, enjoy every breath taking moment and hold your breath or at least your tongue, when you wonder just for a moment how your senior would forget to do, say or tell you that. 

    You may find a point where you question your parenting because you are pretty sure you taught them this or that, just chalk it up to the old saying, “It’s May.”

    One of the most important things to be aware of is Mental Health Awareness month. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about someone five, 55 or a 105, try and cut everyone some slack as pressures heat up and tensions never seem to cool down.

    Somehow it will all get done and we think it will slow down, but alas, it won’t, we just like to think it might for a minute or two.

    The 40 Developmental Assets have never been more important for this time of year, this moment in time, this place in history. We have to rally around our community members, our youth and help them build resilience factors or Assets.

  • Letters to Editor

    Road repairs already on track; focus on rec bond

     

    Dear Editor,

    When I hear people saying “roads first” in response to the Rec Bond, I’m sympathetic. I also drive down Trinity and despair at the crumbling curbs. 

    The thing is, Trinity Drive is a state road it’s NM 502, which continues along East Road. Other roads folks are complaining about are state-owned as well: the Truck Route and the whole stretch of NM 4, from the Y through White Rock and out to Bandelier. Rendija Road to the Sportsmen¹s Club is a forest road. 

    If people want these roads fixed, they should appeal to the state, not the county. The Rec Bond has nothing to do with these roads, nor does it have anything to do with eyesores such as Mari-Mac, which is owned by Smith¹s. The county can enforce code violations, but it cannot repair infrastructure it doesn’t own.

    I encourage others to call or email the Public Works department for info on infrastructure. 

    In addition to the above facts, I learned that there¹s a five-year plan to rebuild the few county roads that need it, with an $18.4 million budget already adopted by the County Council. 

  • Recreation Bond is not justified

    Lke any tax increase, the “Recreation Bond” deserves careful scrutiny. A tax should be for a legitimate valuable public purpose. There should be reasonable expectation the funds will be well used. And there should be no other reasonable alternative to further burdening citizen taxpayers. The Public School and UNM-LA mill levies in January were among the rare tax proposals that satisfy these three criteria (reference Jan. 18 column). This one does not.

    “More recreation facilities” sounds good. 

    What we really need is a different mix of recreational venues. We keep adding new ones, but rarely prune those no longer well utilized. Our demographics have changed. We have fewer young people, the biggest users. Sadly, physical activity is less per person, too. And tastes are more diverse. Baseball, softball, tennis, and golf are not nearly as popular as they were half a century ago. Yet, we build and maintain facilities as though they were. Build a new ice rink and keep the old one? Let’s get real.

  • We need state tax reform but let’s be clear that it won’t be easy

    Many of us cheered Rep. Jason Harper’s tax reform bill in the recent legislative session. The Rio Rancho Republican, an engineer, had taken on the state’s knotty gross receipts tax, a burden to business, consumers and economic development.
    Harper proposed to dump most gross receipts tax breaks and levy one fair tax on everyone. It was significant that two Democratic heavyweights, the chair and vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee, signed on as sponsors.
    But complicated bills face an uphill struggle in Santa Fe, and this one was no exception. Majority Dems incorporated pieces of the Harper bill and proposed a multi-year phase-in.
    Now the governor has seized on tax reform as a way to balance the budget – and salvage her legacy.
    The governor has been on the road bashing Dems for passing tax increases. She took another swing at them during the nonpartisan New Mexico Tax Research Institute’s annual conference when she called legislators childish. This from an executive who vetoed the entire higher education budget.

  • Letters to the Editor 4-30-17

    LANL, LANS’s reason for nixing daycare is puzzling

    Dear Editor,
    At a recent annual presentation to community leaders in Santa Fe by the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Nuclear Security, Administration (U.S. Department of Energy), a participant asked if LANL could offer child care for its employees. 
    The response from both Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan and Kim Davis Lebak of DOE/NNSA was “no” for liability reasons.
    The National Laboratory that developed the first nuclear weapon in the history of mankind is concerned about the liability of a child care center. 
    Think about it.
    Jack Sullivan
    Los Alamos

    Have open mind for Rec Bond vote

    Dear Editor,
    Please read, and please have an open mind. Our family always says, options are always better than no options!
    Even if you don¹t care, or don’t like it, consider “voting yes” to the upcoming rec bond. There are many families in Los Alamos that do want these recreational facilities.
    We should support that desire and the excitement that it is generating. When the seniors needed money for improving the senior center, many of us voted “yes.” How does that benefit me? I’m not a senior.

  • Congress should ensure broadband can’t pick winners and losers online

    This editorial appeared in The Los Angeles Times April 19.

    Under its last chairman, Democrat Tom Wheeler, the Federal Communications Commission dramatically ramped up its regulation of telecommunications companies, especially those that provide broadband Internet access to the home. The commission adopted rules to preserve net neutrality, limit the collection and use of data about where people go online and subsidize broadband access services, while also slapping conditions on or flat-out opposing mergers between major broadband companies.
    Although the telecom industry resisted many of these steps as heavy handed and overly restrictive, Internet users, consumer groups and scores of companies that offer content, apps and services online welcomed them as prudent limits on broadband providers who face too little competition. And they’re right about that – far too many consumers today have only one or two practical options for high-speed Internet access at their homes today.

  • Government should tighten belt, not raise taxes

    BY REP. RICK LITTLE
    New Mexico House of Representatives, R-Doña Ana and Otero Counties